Book Review: Cicadas Sing of Summer Graves

Quinn Connor

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

published: 8th June 2023
spoilers? no


Years ago, yellow fever gripped the small lakeside town of Prosper, Arkansas. At the height of that summer swelter, in the wake of an unexpected storm, the dam failed and the valley flooded—drowning the town and everyone trapped inside.

The secrets of old Prosper drowned with them.

Now, decades later, when a mysterious locked box is pulled from the depths of the lake, three descendants of that long-ago tragedy are hurled into another feverish summer. Cassie: the reclusive sole witness to an impossible horror no one believes. Lark: a wide-eyed dreamer haunted by bizarre visions. June: caught between longing for a fresh start and bearing witness to the ghosts of the past. Bound together, all three must contend with their home’s complex history—and with the ruins of the town lost far beneath the troubled water.

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Book Review: Speak of the Devil

Rose Wilding

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 13th June 2023
spoilers? not really


All of us knew him. One of us killed him…

Seven women stand in shock in a seedy hotel room; a man’s severed head sits in the centre of the floor. Each of the women – the wife, the teenager, the ex, the journalist, the colleague, the friend, and the woman who raised him – has a very good reason to have done it, yet each swears she did not. In order to protect each other, they must figure out who is responsible, all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Against the ticking clock of a murder investigation, each woman’s secret is brought to light as the connections between them converge to reveal a killer.

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Book Review: Same Time Next Summer

Annabel Monaghan

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 6th June 2023
spoilers? not really


Beach Rules:
Do take long walks on the sand.
Do put an umbrella in every cocktail.
Do NOT run into your first love.

Sam’s life is on track. She has the perfect doctor fiance Jack (his strict routines are a good thing, really), a great job in Manhattan (unless they fire her), and is about to tour a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house. Everything should go to plan, yet the minute she arrives, Sam senses something is off. Wyatt is here. Her Wyatt. But there’s no reason for a thirty-year-old engaged woman to feel panicked around the guy who broke her heart when she was seventeen. Right?

Yet being back at this beach, hearing notes from Wyatt’s guitar float across the night air from next door as if no time has passed–Sam’s memories come flooding back: the feel of Wyatt’s skin on hers, their nights in the treehouse, and the truth behind their split. Sam remembers who she used to be, and as Wyatt reenters her life their connection is as undeniable as it always was. She will have to make a choice.

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Book Review: Mrs. S

K. Patrick

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 8th June 2023
spoilers? no


In an elite English boarding school where the girls kiss the marble statue of the famous dead author who used to walk the halls, a butch antipodean outsider arrives to take up the antiquated role of “matron.” Within this landscape of immense privilege, where difference is met with hostility, the matron finds herself unsure of her role, her accent and her body.

That is until she meets Mrs. S, the headmaster’s wife, a woman who is her polar opposite—an assured, authoritative paragon of femininity. Over the course of a long, restless summer, their unspoken yearning blooms into an illicit affair of electric intensity. But, as the summer fades, a choice must be made.

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Book Review: Never Trust a Gemini

Freja Nicole Woolf

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 1st June 2023
spoilers? no


Star-crazed, star-crossed – and starting to fall in love. Meet Cat Phillips: chaotic teen lesbian and self-confessed clown…

Life is fraught for fourteen-year-old, zodiac-obsessed Cat. First there’s a minor bus-meets-girl accident, then there’s a boy-next-door suitor who can’t take a hint, but the most desperate disaster of all is Cat’s crush on the stunning and poetic Alison Bridgewater. According to their star charts, Cat and Alison are the perfect match. To which Alison (woe alas!) remains oblivious.

But when the dangerously cool Morgan Delaney wades into the river to save Cat’s sketchbook of kissing Disney princesses, she sends Cat’s stars spinning. Can Cat get over her Alison obsession and follow her heart towards Morgan? Or should she exercise caution? After all, Morgan is a Gemini, and if there’s one thing Cat’s Bible to the Stars has taught her it’s that you can never – ever – trust a Gemini…

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Book Review: The Malevolent Seven

Sebastien de Castell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 16th May 2023
spoilers? no


‘Seven powerful mages want to make the world a better place. We’re going to kill them first.’

Picture a wizard. Go ahead, close your eyes. There he is, see? Skinny old guy with a long straggly beard. No doubt he’s wearing iridescent silk robes that couldn’t protect his frail body from a light breeze. The hat’s a must, too, right? Big, floppy thing, covered in esoteric symbols that would instantly show every other mage where this one gets his magic? Wouldn’t want a simple steel helmet or something that might, you know, protect the part of him most needed for conjuring magical forces from being bashed in with a mace (or pretty much any household object).

Now open your eyes and let me show you what a real war mage looks like . . . but be you’re probably not going to like it, because we’re violent, angry, dangerously broken people who sell our skills to the highest bidder and be damned to any moral or ethical considerations.

At least, until such irritating concepts as friendship and the end of the world get in the way.

My name is Cade Ombra, and though I currently make my living as a mercenary wonderist, I used to have a far more noble-sounding job title – until I discovered the people I worked for weren’t quite as noble as I’d believed. Now I’m on the run and my only friend, a homicidal thunder mage, has invited me to join him on a suicide mission against the seven deadliest mages on the continent.

Time to recruit some very bad people to help us on this job . . .

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Book Review: The Blood Gift

N. E. Davenport

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 11th May 2023
spoilers? small ones




Ikenna is now a fugitive with a colossal bounty on her head. Yet, somehow that’s the least for her worries. Her grandfather’s long time allies refuse to help, and the Blood Emperor’s Warlord is tracking her. She’s also struggling to control the enormous power she was granted by the Goddess of Blood Rites … and come to terms with the promises she made to get such power. Amidst all of this, the Blood Emperor leaves decimated cities, war crimes, and untold death in his wake. As the horrors increase, Ikenna and her team realize they must assassinate the Blood Emperor and quickly end the war. His killing may have planet-shattering consequences. But to do nothing means annihilation.



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Book Review: Paradise

Patricia Wolf

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 17th May 2023
spoilers? yes, but vague


As DS Lucas Walker recovers from his injuries, he heads from Caloodie, Queensland, to the Gold Coast. Surfer’s Paradise: a seaside city where gleaming high rises fringe sparkling surf beaches, sunny days lead to wild nights, and criminals and bikie gangs mingle with tourists and dignitaries at five star hotels, clubs and casinos.

Before long, Walker is part of a team trying to solve a horrific home invasion and murder that has claimed the life of a young mother and left her nine-year-old daughter fighting to survive. Can he help them find the perpetrators, and keep the young girl safe? Meanwhile, Vandals head honcho Stefan Markovich is in town – and Walker once again finds himself on a dangerous collision course with the drug gang.

Weak from his injuries, and grieving, can Walker solve a case that is more shocking than anyone expected, and survive the dark underbelly of Australia’s Surfer’s Paradise?

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Book Review: Dual Memory

Sue Burke

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 16th May 2023
spoilers? nope


Antonio Moro lost everything to the Leviathan League. Now he’s alone in a city on an Arctic island fighting the ruthless, global pirates with the chance to be the artist he always wanted to be. Unfortunately, he thinks it’s a cover story for his real purpose―spying on sympathizers.

When things look bleak, he discovers an unusual ally. His new personal assistant program, Par Augustus. It’s insolent, extroverted, moody, and a not-quite-legal nascent A. I.

Together they create a secret rebellion from unlikely recruits to defend the island from ideological pirates with entitlement and guns, and capitalist pirates with entitlement and money.

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Book Review: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come

Jen St. Jude

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 11th May 2023
spoilers? no


On the morning Avery Byrne plans to end her life, the world discovers there are only nine days left to live: an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.

As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery fights her way home to save the girl she has been in love with her whole life. But can Avery also learn to save herself and find hope again in the tomorrows she has left?

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