Whichbook Blog

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Into the Fire

What an amazing book - it takes alternative history to a new and totally convincing dimension and what better story to retell than that of Joan of Arc - the Maid of Orleans. The dual narrative dovetails perfectly with equally compelling characters and actions in both time-zones. It delivers the fast and furious pace of a thriller coupled with elegant prose and intelligent historical detail. Authentic through and through - I loved it!

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The Crooked Maid

Vienna 1948 - a place where small actions can lead to tragic results and silence may seem the best policy. This novel is a wonderful evocation of the desperation felt by many at this time, including Austrians re-writing their recent pasts. A great read which also made me wonder how I might act under similar circumstances.

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Furo Wariboko wakes on the morning of his job interview to find his black body has turned white. As a white man in a black world some doors now open for him as he invents a new identity for himself and turns his back on his family. This book explores race and identity with a light touch and will make you both laugh and think.

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This novel has all the key elements of a thriller but a backstory about displaced Vietnamese refugees gives it an extra dimension. I really warmed to all of the characters, even the heavies, because they are so compassionately portrayed. Readers hoping for a neat resolution may find themselves disappointed; I thought it the fitting end to a story about a woman who remains elusive to all, including the reader.

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Bitter Sixteen

This first volume of a trilogy introduces Stanly, an introspective loner and pop culture geek, who acquires superhero powers on his sixteenth birthday. So far, so typical for this genre, except for a most unusual wisecracking sidekick, who just happens to be a talking dog. Spotting the cultural references within the engaging interplay and snappy dialogue ensures this is will appeal to a wider age range than the target young adult audience.

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