A prequel to Antonia Honeywell’s The Ship, this short story is only available in audiobook format. Lalla is 11. She’s lived a life as sheltered as a life can be in a post-apocalyptic world, but her curiosity gets the better of her and she begins to realise that things are not as simple, or as ordered, as she’s been raised to believe. On the whole, this was a decent short story, pacy and full of interest. Unfortunately, I felt like it didn’t add anything to the world established in The Ship. If anything, it seemed to retread ground explored in the novel. I was also put off by the narrator, Melody Grove, who had a plummy English accent that I found incredibly distracting. If you’ve read The Ship, this might be of interest to you, but don’t go out of your way to get hold of it.
An absolutely wonderful nursery book that explores ideas of imagination, and celebrates the worlds books can create for us as children. The artwork in this is gorgeous – the type of artwork you can stare at for hours – and the story is gloriously uplifting.
Full disclosure: I have not read The Gruffalo. I have also not read The Gruffalo in Scots. Despite that, I absolutely loved The Glasgow Gruffalo. The story is the same, it’s just the language that has changed. Full marks to Elaine C. Smith for making this so hilariously and obviously Glaswegian. Between high-rise tree hooses and curried owl gein folk the boak, this is a laugh-out-loud read that will appeal to anyone who has ever spent time in Glesca!
It’s 1916 and three Trinity students embark on a voyage to recover the bones of the last Irish giant. I have such mixed feelings on this one. The set-up is good – take three idiots and send them on an adventure to the Arctic. There are background rumblings about class, colonialism, privilege and feminism (this last one moves to the fore several times). But… well, it just didn’t float my boat (excuse the pun). It’s funny, yes, but the humour seems a bit forced. And then there’s the ending, which is unexpected and not particularly fitting, to say the least.
I had such high hopes for the story of Roisin, an Irish astrophysicist, and Francois, a French chef. It’s got the winning combination of Irish interest, space, Antarctica, the supernatural, history and an amazing cover that honestly looks like it’s a piece of embroidery. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I found myself slogging through it. It’s told in an unemotional present tense, something that can work really well for a story, highlighting emotions without drifting into melodrama, but it’s a tone that didn’t seem to suit this particular novel. There’s a lot going on in the book – family expectations, restlessness, forbidden love, ghosts – and I should have loved everything about it, but, for me, it just fell flat.
Who recommended this to me?? Whoever you are, thank you so much! I absolutely zoomed through this spine-tingling read. I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. Reports come from all over the world of people losing their minds and killing themselves (and others). The cause seems to be something that they’ve seen. Simple but amazing, because we never see the ‘bad guys’ in Bird Box. They are outside, they are right next to us when we are forced to leave the house to get water, they are everywhere. And yet we never see them, because we cannot look outside. So simple, so creepy, so good. (Ruined slightly by the tonally different short story that takes up the last 40-50 pages.)