I’ve fallen behind with my book reviews so I’ve decided to cheat and combine them in the hope of both giving myself more time to write the creative stuff, you know, wordy shit, and make them incredibly brevity. That was a butter joke.
Time is as short as your attention span, so…
SUMMER READS SO FAR
Four Londons, a coat for every occasion and magic as common as Pidgeys. Schwab revels in her new magical universe, pitting blood magicians against pirates against twins against groupies, all in a city that has as many faces (and colour schemes) as a British politician. A Darker Shade is a debut full of capital cities seeped in magic, but it’s the realism of the miracles that strikes a chord. They’re just right. The sequel, A Gathering, pits magicians against magicians in a magic competition held in floating arenas. Need I say more?
Schwab is a master of the reveal, with many, many sleeves.
The Destructives by Matthew De Abatiua
Data drenched humanity spawned AIs but it cost them their souls. Now, with the AIs exiled, humanity must pursue the old evils—money, power, fame—or risk fading away. De Abatiua captures a possible future that rings true right now—“Power will conceal its true nature as long as possible so that its victims remain passive and even compliant in their own destruction”—that only a burnt-out recovering drug addict can comprehend. And that ending.
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
Baxter—sociopath, porn peddler, 16—enters Cape Town’s seedy supernatural underbelly to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. Ronin, the supernatural bounty hunter trained by dwarves, steals the show in a thrilling cartoon that revels in its South African, rather than US, setting. This novel is almost District 9-like in its celebration and dismissal of American influence. South African folklore dominates but US pop culture pervades, instilling senses of belonging and abandonment all at the same time. Apocalypse suffers from a dislikeable unreliable narrator in Baxter, but that’s just a testament to the quality of the writing. After all, you’d be surprised, you get addicted to it.
Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis
All I need to say is you’ve already read this. What will you think?