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Take a trip across time and space with the latest Sci-Fi titles; head to another universe with the latest and greatest Fantasy novels and get your heart pumping with a brilliant selection of Horror.
This skittish sci-fi adventure is set in a world that’s at once familiar and strange. A world in which technological advances have made it possible to unleash the inner secrets of the human mind, a place in which dreams might become real. Maria’s sudden death sets off a chain of momentous discoveries and events when her father, Henry, seeks to save his grieving wife from insanity. In desperation, wealthy Henry assembles top medical professionals from around the world in the hope they can cure her after conventional medicine has failed. After some months - during which Henry’s hope fades fast – a monumental discovery is made, leading to the establishment of Silicate, a private institution that probes unexplored depths of the mind. Silicate’s discovery leads to the effective treatment of hundreds of patients, but its repercussions are earth-shattering. Pacey, and packed with intriguing characters and plenty of twisting, turning plot curves, this is a lively, entertaining adventure. To paraphrase Star Trek, this is sci-fi, Jim, but not as we know it. Joanne Owen, A LoveReading Ambassador
The Lost Girls is a dark and twisty supernatural thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Edinburgh student Rose MacLeod has been losing time for as long as she can remember. Days and weeks disappear, leaving terrifying gaps in her memory. Now she is seeing horrifying visions - waking nightmares of violence and death. Around the world young women like her are being killed, and Rose has a ringside seat. Mal Fergusson was raised to hunt demons across Scotland. With his father dead and his brother in a coma, he no longer believes in the grand battle between good and evil. Instead, he scrapes a living as an investigator and hit man for the supernatural Mafia of Edinburgh. Tensions are rising in Scotland's capital, and Mal must capture Rose to keep his demonic boss sweet - but is he really willing to harm an innocent to do so?
An all-female high-seas YA fantasy adventure of survival and revenge, with a diverse cast and filmic feel, perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.
TRUST NO ONE. NOT EVEN YOURSELF. After a devastating scandal breaks in her elite New York City private school, Magdalena is shipped off to her family home to spend a summer recovering under the radar. Over-medicated and under-confident, she spends her days in a fog, hiking in the woods behind her grandparents' cottage. But then a gorgeous boy called Bo stumbles across her picnic blanket and Magdalena starts believing she might be able to move on from her past. Bo is wild and free and he gets her - it's like he can see into her soul. Finally she's starting to feel . . . something. But there's something dark going on in this sleepy town, and when a mutilated body is found in the woods near Bo's forest home, it's clear that Magdalena's nightmare is just beginning. She's no longer sure if she can trust anyone - even herself . . . What She Found in the Woods is an addictive and all-consuming thriller with a twist from the internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini.
This is a really superb book, the type of book that you can sit comfortably in a chair in a winter's night and just totally relax with. The Author has written the story in a smooth continuous flow of writing which allows the Reader to follow the story easily without having to backtrack to previously read material to keep the theme of the story in mind. The book itself satisfies many genres and thus will appeal to a wide range of readers. The work includes love, classical background, fear, battles, friendship and so many other areas. The main characters are with the story from beginning to end with a few twists along the way which brings surprise to the reader and also draws the readers attention to a deeper understanding of the story. A classical themed story but not all romance and god's. A good read guaranteed. Catherine Bryce, A LoveReading Ambassador
A thoughtful, comical, thoroughly entertaining relationship story with a difference. Kelly is an introverted perfectionist, she is also a leading robotics engineer. When she feels overwhelming pressure from her family to find a date for her sister’s wedding, it makes complete sense to build her own boyfriend… doesn’t it? I instantly fell into the pages, this is such a delightfully readable tale, made all the more refreshing by Kelly’s family and friends. If this were a film, it would be billed as an offbeat Hollywood romcom. It borders on the quirky (perhaps more than borders with a robot as the romantic interest!). The chaos surrounding Kelly’s decision snowballs, creating smirks, and also intrigue, how on earth was she going to rescue the situation? While Sarah Archer embraces fantastical, she also focuses on legitimate thoughts and feelings, creating a wonderful and original balance. How to Build A Boyfriend From Scratch is a positive, smile-filled, engaging read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Often lyrical, and always entertaining, this Norse-vibed YA debut has friendship, fear and coming-of-age conundrums at its heart. It tells the tale of a land ransacked by a civil war that saw a new religion and younger prince replace a brutal old regime. Some nine years later, in peacetime, friends Torny and Ebba remember nothing of the war, or life before the uprising. But with their land on the brink of fresh upheaval, the unforgettable female protagonists find themselves on separate tracks, with painful, testing, relentless repercussions. With a cast of characters that includes gods and spirits, shamans and magic-workers, the world-building is fabulous, and the dual narrative device (it alternates between Torny and Ebba) really adds to the drama and tension. Fantasy fans will be delighted to hear that a sequel is on its way.
Places to Visit on the Way There is a collection of 25 short stories, each with their own prologue to set them in context. In genre, they range from social commentary to science fiction to horror, with many having a religious undertone and some defying categorisation altogether. It would not be possible to write about each story individually, so I have chosen four that I particularly enjoyed reading. 'Paying the Price' is a Faustian tale with a twist and a very hard body blow at the end, which, for all that it is predictable, nevertheless has great impact. This is the first story in the book, with keenly observed characterisations, so it's off to a great start. 'Best Friend' tells the tale of an elderly man, who, just in time, regains hope after bereavement has robbed him of everything that made his life worth living. It is a fact that more of us than ever before live alone so it's vital that, as a society, we ensure that 'alone' doesn't equate with 'lonely'. A heart-rending but at the end very joyful story. 'Wish' is the story of Myron Schlumberger, one of life's unfortunates, until, like Aladdin, he gets an offer he can't refuse. Whilst reading 99% of it, the hair on the back of my neck was standing on end, only for me to explode in laughter at the end. Mr Schlumberger should most definitely have adhered to the old adage, 'be careful what you wish for!' Finally, 'Seeing it All (Again and Again and Again)' is another lost soul tale, though this time not because of a pact with the Devil but rather a misplacement between passing over and being brought back again. For this is the story of Lazarus, who, without a soul, is destined to live forever, never growing old, like Dorian Gray, and knowing everything that is going to happen. Whilst this might sound like an ideal situation to be in, Lazarus soon finds that, although making money is never going to be a problem, making relationships is a different matter altogether. Again, a very well-written observation of human nature. I should also like to mention two further stories that I didn't enjoy reading, not because there was anything wrong with them, but because they made me feel very uncomfortable, as I suspect there may be more than a grain of truth lurking there. 'Failing the Test: Again' describes the inhospitable and compassion- lacking reception meted out to Jesus on his return to an American midwest town and 'Papering over the Cracks' details the lengths the powers behind the thrones would be prepared to go to prevent ordinary people learning what is really going to happen to the planet when the forces of nature get out of control. The author is already working on 'Places to Visit on the Way Back', which will see the reappearance of some of the characters from this book. I know which ones I should like to meet again but, whichever ones they are, I very much look forward to reading their new stories. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Cassandra Clare certainly knows how to write on an epic scale - following hot on the heels of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, this third and final book in The Dark Artifice trilogy is a true beast of a book due to its wildly imaginative world, doggedly determined characters, and its sheer size and scope. “There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls…Later Emma would remember it as a sort of red mist”. Amidst this gory scene, Julian clutches Livvy Blackthorn, “resisting all efforts by the guards to lift her dead body away from him”. But, while death looks down upon them and Julian grieves, the Clave is on the brink of war and swift action must be taken if the Shadow World is to survive. To this end, Julian and Emma embark on a jeopardous journey to recover the Black Volume of the Dead, battling great peril alongside grappling with their forbidden love. And then the secrets they uncover in the Court risk destroying everything they value, and everyone they love. The sense of urgency is dazzlingly evoked and swells to a suitably heart-pounding finale to this opulent love-and-justice-driven trilogy, with the many plot threads woven together in Clare’s typically extravagant style. Take a look at our Ambassador Book Buzz for The Dark Artifices.
This much-anticipated second collection of stories is signature Ted Chiang, full of revelatory ideas and deeply sympathetic characters. In 'The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate', a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and the temptation of second chances. In the epistolary 'Exhalation', an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications not just for his own people but for all of reality. And in 'The Lifecycle of Software Objects', a woman cares for an artificial intelligence over 20 years, elevating a faddish digital pet into what might be a true living being. Also included are two brand-new stories: 'Omphalos' and 'Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom'. In Exhalation, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth - what is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human? - and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning and compassion.
I was intrigued by the author could not find him in the mainstream of searches, but this is his debut novel. This was a well-written book. The story is set somewhere in the future, the world is experimenting with a new drug. You can go to sleep and have a prescription to have adventures in your sleep how fab is that. The prescribed medication is named "dreamers”. This could already be today - there is climate change, populations dependant on technology, political instability and domestic terrorism. In the mix of this is a love story too. Well written thought-provoking and an author that needs to be known out there. Jane Brown, A LoveReading Ambassador
Whether you want to join Jonathan Strange on the magic-haunted streets of London or Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch on the wall Fantasy is the genre for you. Authors from Joe Abercrombie to Zen Cho have turned the modern fantasy genre into one of the most exciting and imaginative genres around. They’ve brought magic and wonder, heroes, heroines and people like you and me, together in stories that will delight, scare and mystify you. Whether you want the romance and deceit of court, the shadows of a great city’s alleyways, the clear air of a mountain range, the terrors of a bloody field let fantasy take you to new realities.
There are characters for everyone; Scott Lynch’s charming conmen, Liz William’s artful magicians. Fantasy has worlds for all; Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea, George RR Martin’s brutal Westeros, Ben Aaronovitch’s contemporary London, Naomi Novik’s dragon haunted version of our 19th century. And the genre has a style for each and every reader; whether the playful literary trickery of Angela Carter or the imaginative epic adventures of Peter Brett. Somewhere here there is a story for everyone, so follow us and let your imagination run wild.
Established names like Stephen King and new stars like Lauren Beukes alike have taken horror into the mainstream. And it’s no surprise why – we can’t help ourselves we love a good scare from the safety of our armchairs. But there are any number of authors out there ready and willing to confront you with your darkest fears and, if you’re lucky, take you through them and out into the light again.
There’s always a fresh take on whatever has scared us down through the years. Whether the dark thrills of the demons that haunt the paranormal romances of Cassandra Clare or the hunger of the vengeful ghosts and vampires of Joe Hill. Or the high concept terrors of Sarah Lotz’s work, the insidious chills of Adam Nevill’s urban horrors. Horror can be stealthy like the classic chills of Susan Hills’ ghost stories or screaming in your face like Max Brooks’ terrifying zombies. So step this way and let us put the frighteners on you; scares that are subtle and literary or full-on ‘slap the book shut and turn on all the lights’. Or scares of the best sort – where you don’t know WHAT to expect.
If you’ve ever dreamed about the world our grandchildren will live in, thought about how life could be different, looked at a star and wondered if there’s someone or something there looking at our sun you’ve been wondering about the same things as the great writers of Sci-Fi. Or perhaps you’ve simply wanted to share the excitement and danger of life on an alien world or in the harsh expanses of space? Maybe you’re so busy you wish you had a clone of yourself to do the work while you had the fun of exploring new places and experiences – how would that feel? For both of you?
Sci-Fi is all about these questions and thoughts. And it’s about things we can never experience, perhaps not even thought about yet. It’s about putting you at the centre of wonder and excitement. Whether the wide-screen excitements from the likes of Peter Hamilton and Suzanne Collins, or the noir thrills of cyberpunk by authors such as Pat Cadigan and William Gibson or the intricate speculations of authors like Ian McDonald and Nnedi Okorafor Sci-Fi really does have something for everyone and you’ll find the very best of it here.