Vanished

–  by Eden Darry

 

After reading and thoroughly enjoying Eden Darry’s debut published novel, “The House,” I was looking forward to reading her sophomore effort, “Vanished.” Although after reading its blurb, I realised that it wasn’t going to be a horror story, rather, a speculative fiction, more like. I was intrigued to see how Darry weaved an apocalyptic/dystopia story, even though this particular sub-genre of spec fic isn’t my usual cuppa.

In the first few pages, I realised that this “end-of-the-world” story was going to have a heavy religious connotation throughout. Two words: NOAH’S ARK. Even if you’re not from the Christian/Muslim/Jewish persuasion, I’m sure you’ve heard about it since it’s been so mainstreamed already. Anyway, Darry started off the book with a huge storm and then a massively blinding white light descending upon the MCs (and the rest of the world), which caused the vanishing of just about everyone overnight! Well, except for the select (“chosen”) few including Ellery and Loveday, the 2 MCs, along with their pet dog and cat.

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Cupid’s Bow

– by Karen F. Williams

 

I was so bloody excited to read Karen Williams‘ latest story, “Cupid’s Bow,” after I saw the words, “maths,” “teacher” and “professor” in the blurb! To me, that was it. I was ready, with me nerd hat on. I was ready to curl up in me seat to read a story I KNEW would be a blast (because I love Williams’ intellectually stimulating writing style and I’m a maths/academia nerd). Needless to say, “Cupid’s Bow,” left me wanting more. So. Much. More. Why? Well, because it was UTTERLY FUN & INTRIGUING to read! From. The. Start. And it ended too quickly for me! Blink of an eye! Literally. There were no more pages for me to swipe! That’s why!

Now, imagine this scenario: Snowed in. A hotel bar. An English teacher/novelist. A maths professor. Writer’s workshop. Lesbian speed-dating. What can come out of this unlikely mixture of sorts, you ask. Well…. whatever theory you may have about how this whole scenario will end up, I can venture to say that you will be wrong.

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Full English

– by Rachel Spangler

Thanks to Rachael Byrne (Les Rêveur), I won a couple of books from Bywater Books months ago and the ever-lovely Salem West (you rock, mate!) let me choose something that wasn’t published yet then but was listed, and that was Rachel Spangler‘s “Full English,” which is released on the pub’s site now and widely on 12th February. So, I received it and basically breezed through it. What a lovely and delightfully quaint, heartwarming story, indeed!

First off, the cover. Ok, someone, just give the incomparably gifted Ann McMan ALL the awards already! Just look at the cover! The colours! The lavenders! So vivid that I could literally smell me favourite scent amongst all flowers (because it doesn’t smell floral at all, thank heavens!) – in the name of the ENGLISH lavender! Yes, I stress on the “English” type because the French ones…well, I’ll let Spangler’s words (through Brogan) from the book elaborate why because when I read it I let out a chuckle because that’s exactly how I feel about the comparison! Anyway, the always eye-catching McMan cover, alone, only increased me already-excited feel about “Full English” (because I was curious about Spangler’s debut story set in England!). And Spangler sure didn’t disappoint! And well done, Ms. McMan!

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