Review: In the Service of The Boyar by Jason Graff

In the Service of The Boyar by Jason Graff

In this fantasy romance for all ages, a boy catches a glimpse of Fifika, as he flees with his family from danger, traveling with his clan with haste to the lands of the boyar, a mysterious benefactor. Smitten, the boy becomes her playmate there in the Carpathians where the boyar resides and whose hillsides are filled with enchanted beasts. The boyar assures the clan that the beasts are harmless unless provoked, but some of the members are not so sure… When tragedy visits Fifika’s family, the boyar invites her and the boy into his castle to learn from his English tutor, a lazy and fearful man. The boy, now almost a man, falls deeply in love under Fifika’s tutelage. Goodreads

In the Service of The Boyar by Jason Graff
In the Service of The Boyar by Jason Graff

I’m never keen on re-writings of books (unless executed exceptionally… think Angela Carter), but In the Service of The Boyar simply uses the story of Dracula as a base and then chooses a new angle to approach from. It’s a nice little tale which stays interesting from start to finish. Jason Graff manages to create effective visual scenes without relying heavily on adjectives and needless description. I think adults who enjoy dark fantasy, light horror, or historical fiction would get the most from this book, but it’s also suitable for teens and young adults.

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The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel

The Unity Game

9781911079439

WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?

A New York banker is descending into madness.
A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.
A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.

Read more on Goodreads.

My thoughts:

Non-Spoilers

This is the second book that I’ve read by Leonora Meriel, the first being The Woman Behind the Waterfall. It has cemented my views that she’s a great writer, particularly because the two books are just so different. For this reason, I really don’t think I could say which I enjoyed the most – they’re too different to compare.

The Unity Game is written in rotating sections, a style that I always enjoy reading, covering a host of very diverse characters. Some characters, such as David, a New York banker, are explored heavily, whilst others remain somewhat mysterious. Whether you’ve read The Woman Behind the Waterfall or not, I would highly recommend reading The Unity Game.

Spoilers (scroll past the cover image if you’ve already read this book and want to compare notes!)

9781911079439

David is such a well-written character. I felt true hatred and disgust towards him at times, particularly in his more violent sexual scenes, but I also managed to always want to understand what he was going through. Why was he doing these things? Was he going to be ok? Truthfully, I really liked him and found him to be a very believable character. His dream scenes were probably my favourite sections of the book.

Alisdair’s experiences were really interesting to me. I didn’t care about him so much and I’m not sure we’re really supposed to, but it was fascinating to imagine being in his shoes in the after-life that exists in the novel. It could almost be a starting point for one of Stephen Baxter’s immense short story collections, like Vacuum Diagrams or one of the Xeelee books.

The story of the alien pair was so very emotional but also strangely flat. I don’t mean that as an insult to the storytelling but more as a compliment to the range of feelings which are shown throughout the book. David’s life and experiences are so vivid and action-packed and here are these two beings… on a mammoth task yes, but ultimately experiencing something very basic.

I was a little bit disappointed that Elspeth wasn’t in the story more, but I can see why the novel needed to focus more on David. At least she got her wonderful ending!

4stars

Thank you for reading this review! I hope it inspires you to try one of Leonora Meriel’s books because they really are great reads.

5 Authors to Check Out in 2018

  1. Henry Lin. images Author of The 100-Pound Gangster.          4/5 on Goodreads.          Henry Lin spent most of his precocious youth involved with the international criminal underworld.
    Originally published: 20 September 2016.

    Genre: Autobiography.          This was a really interesting read. It’s fascinating to get an insight on how the author feels about various events which have taken place in his young life.
  2. Maria Luisa Lang.          Author of The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti. 25651660 4/5 on Goodreads.       16 May 2015184 pages.    I absolutely loved both of these books. They made me laugh out loud and they made me cry. Read The Pharaoh’s Cat first.
  3. Mike Russell.          A British author best known for his books Nothing Is Strange, Strange Medicine and Strungballs.          Nothing Is Strange, was released in December 2014.          Strange Medicine was released in May 2016 and the novella Strungballs was released on Halloween the same year.          Expect to see a new book from Mike at the beginning of 2018! 25099252
  4. Lucille Turner32313477 British author of The Sultan, The Vampyr and The Soothsayer.          “A butterfly has landed on a patch of milk parsley. Wings held vertically so it’s not going anywhere – for the time being. Once he would have leant across and seized it. Now he’ll let it fly.”          I really enjoyed Lucille’s writing and I’m looking forward to future books!
  5. H.P. Lovecraft. MV5BOTU3OTU1MDkyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODEyNDk5OA@@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_ American author of horror and weird fiction stories.          Similar to Poe, Chambers and Machen, but unique.          Best known for The Call of Cthulhu and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. 220px-Weird_Tales_May_1941 “The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”          He’s the only dead one on the list, but make sure you check out this author if he’s new to you!

5 Weird Fiction Authors

Not sure what to add next to your reading pile?

  1. Charles Baudelaire.
    Portrait of Baudelaire, painted in 1844 by Emile Deroy (1820–1846)
    Portrait of Baudelaire, painted in 1844 by Emile Deroy (1820–1846)

    French. You’ll probably like his work if you enjoy Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas de Quincey and Emanuel Swedenborg. Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a 19th century French poet, translator, and literary and art critic whose reputation rests primarily on Les Fleurs du Mal; (1857; The Flowers of Evil) which was perhaps the most important and influential poetry collection published in Europe in the 19th century. Similarly, his Petits poèmes en prose (1868; “Little Prose Poems”) was the most successful and innovative early experiment in prose poetry of the time. Goodreads

  2. Mike Russell. British. You’ll probably like his work if you enjoy Philip K. Dick, Angela Carter, Algernon Blackwood and Franz Kafka. Mike Russell is a British author best known for his books Nothing Is Strange, Strange Medicine and Strungballs. Goodreads

    Nothing Is Strange by Mike Russell
    Nothing Is Strange by Mike Russell
  3. Matthew Lewis. British. You’ll probably like his work if you enjoy Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley. Matthew Gregory Lewis was an English novelist and dramatist, often referred to as “Monk” Lewis, because of the success of his classic Gothic novel, The Monk. Goodreads

    The Monk (Oxford World's Classics)
    The Monk (Oxford World’s Classics)
  4. China Mieville. British. You’ll probably like his work if you enjoy J.G. Ballard, Michael de Larrabeiti, Thomas Disch and William Durbin. A British “fantastic fiction” writer. Goodreads. He’s the fifteenth most followed author on Goodreads, with over 200,000 book ratings. Titles include Embassytown, Un Lun Dun and Railsea.
  5. Howard Wandrei.
    MURPHY: THE COLLECTED FANTASY TALES OF HOWARD WANDREI VOLUME II
    MURPHY: THE COLLECTED FANTASY TALES OF HOWARD WANDREI VOLUME II

    American. You’ll probably like his work if you enjoy William Peter Blatty and Shirley Jackson. Howard Elmer Wandrei was a US artist and writer. Goodreads

8 Lord Dunsany Books

Here are eight books by the incredible Lord Dunsany. If you haven’t read any of his work before, you should definitely give him a try. If you have read some before, perhaps you’ll discover some unknown pieces in this list.

  1. The Charwoman’s Shadow
    The Charwoman's Shadow by Lord Dunsany
    The Charwoman’s Shadow
    by Lord Dunsany 

    An old woman who spends her days scrubbing the floors might be an unlikely damsel in distress, but Lord Dunsany proves once again his mastery of the fantastical. The Charwoman’s Shadow is a beautiful tale of a sorcerer’s apprentice who discovers his master’s nefarious usage of stolen shadows, and vows to save the charwoman from her slavery. Goodreads. 1926.

  2. The Book of Wonder
    The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany
    The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany

    “Not only does any tale which crosshatches between this world and Faerie owe a Founder’s Debt to Lord Dunsany, but the secondary world created by J.R.R. Tolkien–from which almost all fantasylands have devolved–also took shape and flower from Dunsany’s example.” –The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. 1912. It’s quite difficult to convey in words how happy reading Lord Dunsany’s short fiction makes me. Eleanor Toland, Goodreads reviewer

  3. Fifty-One TalesWithout doubt Lord Dunsany was one of the most influential writers of fantasy fiction in twentieth century.Goodreads. 1915. A hen decides to go south for the winter, an angel tosses an advertiser into Hell, an orange makes nefarious plans and a sphinx visits Thebes, Massachusetts. Often witty, frequently melancholy and occasionally blood-chillingly creepy, these fifty-one very short stories are a foundational document for the modern fantasy genre. Decades before Neil Gaiman was born, Dunsany wrote about a cyclist encountering decrepit versions of Odin and Thor begging for worship by the side of the road. – Eleanor Toland, Goodreads reviewer
    Fifty-One Tales by Lord Dunsany
    Fifty-One Tales
    by Lord Dunsany

    The first editions, in hardcover, were published simultaneously in London and New York City by Elkin Mathews and Mitchell Kennerly, respectively, in April, 1915. The British and American editions differ in that they arrange the material slightly differently and that each includes a story the other omits; “The Poet Speaks with Earth” in the British version, and “The Mist” in the American version. Wikipedia

  4. Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow ValleyAfter long and patient research I am still unable to give to the reader of these Chronicles the exact date of the times that they tell of. Goodreads. 1922. “Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley conveys its young disinherited protagonist through a fantasized Spain, gifting him with a Sancho Panza companion, good luck with magicians, and a castle” — The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.
  5. The Hashish Man and Other Stories
    The Hashish Man and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany
    The Hashish Man and Other Stories by Lord Dunsany

    In this collection of 23 short stories, one of the original masters of early-twentieth-century science fiction and fantasy is introduced to a new generation of readers. Goodreads

  6. Gods, Men and Ghosts: The Best Supernatural Fiction of Lord DunsanyIrish writer Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany, ranks among the twentieth century’s great masters of supernatural and science fiction. Goodreads. 260 pages. I had this book in my home as a child, but I had to read some other stuff first to truly appreciate it. HP Lovecraft’s Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Jack Vance’s Eyes of the Overworld, I reread The Hobbit as an adult and fell in love again, and then I understood a predecessor to them all, Lord Dunsany. Arpad Okay, Goodreads reviewer
  7. Tales of Three Hemispheres
    Tales of Three Hemispheres by Lord Dunsany
    Tales of Three Hemispheres by Lord Dunsany

    This peculiar collection is a very real treat: we envy you the reading of it. Goodreads. 108 pages. The section at the latter part of the book he calls Beyond the Fields We Know is beyond remarkable. Andrew James Jiao, Goodreads reviewer

  8. The Blessing of Pan. “The Blessing of Pan portrays English rural life under a sign of paganism, after the fashion of writers like T.F. Powys.” — The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. 288 pages. Published in 1927, this is a highly unusual tale of fantasy. Daniel Martin Eckhart, Goodreads reviewer

    Lord Dunsany
    Lord Dunsany

5 Days of Lovecraft – 4: The Statement of Randolph Carter

Welcome to day 4 of 5 Days of Lovecraft!

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

The Statement of Randolph Carter
Short story by H. P. Lovecraft
I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless. Detain me here forever if you will; confine or execute me if you must have a victim to propitiate the illusion you call justice; but I can say no more than I have said already. Everything that I can remember, I have told with perfect candour. Nothing has been distorted or concealed, and if anything remains vague, it is only because of the dark cloud which has come over my mind—that cloud and the nebulous nature of the horrors which brought it upon me.
     Again I say, I do not know what has become of Harley Warren; though I think—almost hope—that he is in peaceful oblivion, if there be anywhere so blessed a thing. It is true that I have for five years been his closest friend, and a partial sharer of his terrible researches into the unknown. I will not deny, though my memory is uncertain and indistinct, that this witness of yours may have seen us together as he says, on the Gainesville pike, walking toward Big Cypress Swamp, at half past eleven on that awful night. That we bore electric lanterns, spades, and a curious coil of wire with attached instruments, I will even affirm; for these things all played a part in the single hideous scene which remains burned into my shaken recollection. But of what followed, and of the reason I was found alone and dazed on the edge of the swamp next morning, I must insist that I know nothing save what I have told you over and over again. You say to me that there is nothing in the swamp or near it which could form the setting of that frightful episode. I reply that I know nothing beyond what I saw. Vision or nightmare it may have been—vision or nightmare I fervently hope it was—yet it is all that my mind retains of what took place in those shocking hours after we left the sight of men. And why Harley Warren did not return, he or his shade—or some nameless thing I cannot describe—alone can tell.
     As I have said before, the weird studies of Harley Warren were well known to me, and to some extent shared by me. Of his vast collection of strange, rare books on forbidden subjects I have read all that are written in the languages of which I am master; but these are few as compared with those in languages I cannot understand. Most, I believe, are in Arabic; and the fiend-inspired book which brought on the end—the book which he carried in his pocket out of the world—was written in characters whose like I never saw elsewhere. Warren would never tell me just what was in that book. As to the nature of our studies—must I say again that I no longer retain full comprehension? It seems to me rather merciful that I do not, for they were terrible studies, which I pursued more through reluctant fascination than through actual inclination. Warren always dominated me, and sometimes I feared him. I remember how I shuddered at his facial expression on the night before the awful happening, when he talked so incessantly of his theory, why certain corpses never decay, but rest firm and fat in their tombs for a thousand years. But I do not fear him now, for I suspect that he has known horrors beyond my ken. Now I fear for him.
     Once more I say that I have no clear idea of our object on that night. Certainly, it had much to do with something in the book which Warren carried with him—that ancient book in undecipherable characters which had come to him from India a month before—but I swear I do not know what it was that we expected to find. Your witness says he saw us at half past eleven on the Gainesville pike, headed for Big Cypress Swamp. This is probably true, but I have no distinct memory of it. The picture seared into my soul is of one scene only, and the hour must have been long after midnight; for a waning crescent moon was high in the vaporous heavens.
     The place was an ancient cemetery; so ancient that I trembled at the manifold signs of immemorial years. It was in a deep, damp hollow, overgrown with rank grass, moss, and curious creeping weeds, and filled with a vague stench which my idle fancy associated absurdly with rotting stone. On every hand were the signs of neglect and decrepitude, and I seemed haunted by the notion that Warren and I were the first living creatures to invade a lethal silence of centuries. Over the valley’s rim a wan, waning crescent moon peered through the noisome vapours that seemed to emanate from unheard-of catacombs, and by its feeble, wavering beams I could distinguish a repellent array of antique slabs, urns, cenotaphs, and mausolean facades; all crumbling, moss-grown, and moisture-stained, and partly concealed by the gross luxuriance of the unhealthy vegetation. My first vivid impression of my own presence in this terrible necropolis concerns the act of pausing with Warren before a certain half-obliterated sepulchre, and of throwing down some burdens which we seemed to have been carrying. I now observed that I had with me an electric lantern and two spades, whilst my companion was supplied with a similar lantern and a portable telephone outfit. No word was uttered, for the spot and the task seemed known to us; and without delay we seized our spades and commenced to clear away the grass, weeds, and drifted earth from the flat, archaic mortuary. After uncovering the entire surface, which consisted of three immense granite slabs, we stepped back some distance to survey the charnel scene; and Warren appeared to make some mental calculations. Then he returned to the sepulchre, and using his spade as a lever, sought to pry up the slab lying nearest to a stony ruin which may have been a monument in its day. He did not succeed, and motioned to me to come to his assistance. Finally our combined strength loosened the stone, which we raised and tipped to one side.
     The removal of the slab revealed a black aperture, from which rushed an effluence of miasmal gases so nauseous that we started back in horror. After an interval, however, we approached the pit again, and found the exhalations less unbearable. Our lanterns disclosed the top of a flight of stone steps, dripping with some detestable ichor of the inner earth, and bordered by moist walls encrusted with nitre. And now for the first time my memory records verbal discourse, Warren addressing me at length in his mellow tenor voice; a voice singularly unperturbed by our awesome surroundings.
     “I’m sorry to have to ask you to stay on the surface,” he said, “but it would be a crime to let anyone with your frail nerves go down there. You can’t imagine, even from what you have read and from what I’ve told you, the things I shall have to see and do. It’s fiendish work, Carter, and I doubt if any man without ironclad sensibilities could ever see it through and come up alive and sane. I don’t wish to offend you, and heaven knows I’d be glad enough to have you with me; but the responsibility is in a certain sense mine, and I couldn’t drag a bundle of nerves like you down to probable death or madness. I tell you, you can’t imagine what the thing is really like! But I promise to keep you informed over the telephone of every move—you see I’ve enough wire here to reach to the centre of the earth and back!”
     I can still hear, in memory, those coolly spoken words; and I can still remember my remonstrances. I seemed desperately anxious to accompany my friend into those sepulchral depths, yet he proved inflexibly obdurate. At one time he threatened to abandon the expedition if I remained insistent; a threat which proved effective, since he alone held the key to the thing. All this I can still remember, though I no longer know what manner of thing we sought. After he had secured my reluctant acquiescence in his design, Warren picked up the reel of wire and adjusted the instruments. At his nod I took one of the latter and seated myself upon an aged, discoloured gravestone close by the newly uncovered aperture. Then he shook my hand, shouldered the coil of wire, and disappeared within that indescribable ossuary. For a moment I kept sight of the glow of his lantern, and heard the rustle of the wire as he laid it down after him; but the glow soon disappeared abruptly, as if a turn in the stone staircase had been encountered, and the sound died away almost as quickly. I was alone, yet bound to the unknown depths by those magic strands whose insulated surface lay green beneath the struggling beams of that waning crescent moon.
     In the lone silence of that hoary and deserted city of the dead, my mind conceived the most ghastly phantasies and illusions; and the grotesque shrines and monoliths seemed to assume a hideous personality—a half-sentience. Amorphous shadows seemed to lurk in the darker recesses of the weed-choked hollow and to flit as in some blasphemous ceremonial procession past the portals of the mouldering tombs in the hillside; shadows which could not have been cast by that pallid, peering crescent moon. I constantly consulted my watch by the light of my electric lantern, and listened with feverish anxiety at the receiver of the telephone; but for more than a quarter of an hour heard nothing. Then a faint clicking came from the instrument, and I called down to my friend in a tense voice. Apprehensive as I was, I was nevertheless unprepared for the words which came up from that uncanny vault in accents more alarmed and quivering than any I had heard before from Harley Warren. He who had so calmly left me a little while previously, now called from below in a shaky whisper more portentous than the loudest shriek:
     “God! If you could see what I am seeing!”
     I could not answer. Speechless, I could only wait. Then came the frenzied tones again:
     “Carter, it’s terrible—monstrous—unbelievable!”
     This time my voice did not fail me, and I poured into the transmitter a flood of excited questions. Terrified, I continued to repeat, “Warren, what is it? What is it?”
     Once more came the voice of my friend, still hoarse with fear, and now apparently tinged with despair:
     “I can’t tell you, Carter! It’s too utterly beyond thought—I dare not tell you—no man could know it and live—Great God! I never dreamed of THIS!” Stillness again, save for my now incoherent torrent of shuddering inquiry. Then the voice of Warren in a pitch of wilder consternation:
     “Carter! for the love of God, put back the slab and get out of this if you can! Quick!—leave everything else and make for the outside—it’s your only chance! Do as I say, and don’t ask me to explain!”
     I heard, yet was able only to repeat my frantic questions. Around me were the tombs and the darkness and the shadows; below me, some peril beyond the radius of the human imagination. But my friend was in greater danger than I, and through my fear I felt a vague resentment that he should deem me capable of deserting him under such circumstances. More clicking, and after a pause a piteous cry from Warren:
     “Beat it! For God’s sake, put back the slab and beat it, Carter!”
     Something in the boyish slang of my evidently stricken companion unleashed my faculties. I formed and shouted a resolution, “Warren, brace up! I’m coming down!” But at this offer the tone of my auditor changed to a scream of utter despair:
     “Don’t! You can’t understand! It’s too late—and my own fault. Put back the slab and run—there’s nothing else you or anyone can do now!” The tone changed again, this time acquiring a softer quality, as of hopeless resignation. Yet it remained tense through anxiety for me.
     “Quick—before it’s too late!” I tried not to heed him; tried to break through the paralysis which held me, and to fulfil my vow to rush down to his aid. But his next whisper found me still held inert in the chains of stark horror.
     “Carter—hurry! It’s no use—you must go—better one than two—the slab—” A pause, more clicking, then the faint voice of Warren:
     “Nearly over now—don’t make it harder—cover up those damned steps and run for your life—you’re losing time— So long, Carter—won’t see you again.” Here Warren’s whisper swelled into a cry; a cry that gradually rose to a shriek fraught with all the horror of the ages—
     “Curse these hellish things—legions— My God! Beat it! Beat it! Beat it!”
     After that was silence. I know not how many interminable aeons I sat stupefied; whispering, muttering, calling, screaming into that telephone. Over and over again through those aeons I whispered and muttered, called, shouted, and screamed, “Warren! Warren! Answer me—are you there?”
     And then there came to me the crowning horror of all—the unbelievable, unthinkable, almost unmentionable thing. I have said that aeons seemed to elapse after Warren shrieked forth his last despairing warning, and that only my own cries now broke the hideous silence. But after a while there was a further clicking in the receiver, and I strained my ears to listen. Again I called down, “Warren, are you there?”, and in answer heard the thing which has brought this cloud over my mind. I do not try, gentlemen, to account for that thing—that voice—nor can I venture to describe it in detail, since the first words took away my consciousness and created a mental blank which reaches to the time of my awakening in the hospital. Shall I say that the voice was deep; hollow; gelatinous; remote; unearthly; inhuman; disembodied? What shall I say? It was the end of my experience, and is the end of my story. I heard it, and knew no more. Heard it as I sat petrified in that unknown cemetery in the hollow, amidst the crumbling stones and the falling tombs, the rank vegetation and the miasmal vapours. Heard it well up from the innermost depths of that damnable open sepulchre as I watched amorphous, necrophagous shadows dance beneath an accursed waning moon. And this is what it said:
     “YOU FOOL, WARREN IS DEAD!”

Book Review – Feeder by Eliza Green

 

Eliza GreenFeeder (Book 1 in a new series of the same name)

Goodreads synopsis: When their hometown of Brookfield is poisoned by radiation, seventeen-year-old Anya Macklin and her older brother Jason are relocated to the safe but boring urbano of Essention.
While Jason is put to work, Anya is enrolled in the adult skills course at Arcis, a secretive and heavily monitored education facility. There she must compete with other teenage recruits and earn her place in society by reaching the top floor.
At first, Anya fears change, and is reluctant to advance. But then she meets Dom Pavesi, a brooding, evasive stranger who drives her to discover the rules of this dangerous game where there can be only one winner.
Who is Dom? Which side is he on?
And what terrible truth awaits Anya on the ninth floor of Arcis?

08214405-b328-4449-90ce-70e5285b04e5Eliza Green, author.

Feeder is a young adult dystopian romance which leans more towards character growth and exciting adventure and less to rippling muscles and tight t-shirts (my major problem with most YA).

It’s an interesting read which ambitiously covers a number of ‘levels’ which the protagonist and her friends must navigate in a game-like fashion. Feeder has a number of memorable visual scenes such as a room of crying babies, a maze of coloured doors, and part metal, part organic wolf creatures.

Ultimately, the book is a tale of self-discovery and growth. Anya must make difficult decisions about the way in which her life is progressing, who she chooses to trust and who to be wary of, and what is the right thing to do for the common good.

Along her journey she faces many moral dilemmas, often having to choose between self-preservation and helping others. Once these decisions have been made however, she must still deal with the regret and remorse which arises from her actions.

On a bigger scale Feeder also touches on social and political issues in the style of 1984 (which I love) or The Hunger Games (not so much). Although many YA books appeal to me even at the age of thirty, I would recommend this book to those aged 14-21 or to adults who specifically enjoy YA fiction.

If you’re the parent of a teen and you think they’re not quite ready for 1984, this is definitely the book to buy them! I thoroughly enjoyed Feeder and felt as though I was binge-watching a new TV series. At times there was far more information than I needed and I think the book could really benefit from being cut down, but the story holds it up high.

5 Books Set on Mars

Want to escape? Here are five books set on Mars. Bon voyage!

    1. Across the Zodiac: The Story of a Wrecked Record by Percy Greg – The book is notable as containing what is probably the first alien language in any work of fiction to be described with linguistic and grammatical terminology. It also contains what is possibly the first instance in the English language of the word “Astronaut”, which features as the name of the narrator’s spacecraft. In 2010 a crater on Mars was named Greg in recognition of his contribution to the lore of Mars. Public Domain Review. You can also read the full book for free by following that link. 25683464
    2. Doctor Omega by Arnould Galopin – In a quiet Normandy village, amateur violinist Denis Borel meets a mysterious white-haired scientist known only as Doctor Omega, who is building an amazing spacecraft, the Cosmos. Doctor Omega invites Borel to accompany him on his maiden voyage – to Mars! Goodreads

3. To Mars via the Moon by Mark Wicks – Available in paperback and for Kindle here.

4. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs – Available in paperback and for Kindle hereOn this new world, Carter has great strength and nearly superhuman agility, which make him a valued member of the Tharks, a nomadic tribe of Green Martians. But when the Tharks capture Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Helium, and a member of the humanoid red Martians, Carter begins to question his role on Mars. He is determined to return Dejah Thoris to her people, but in time it becomes clear that Carter must lead a horde of Tharks. With Carter’s loyalty tested to its limit, this victory or defeat will determine the fate of Dejah Thoris as well as the whole of Mars itself. – blurb

5. Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis – Available in paperback, hardback, audio and for Kindle hereThe first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force. – blurb