My birthday’s in September. I say this not because I’m fishing for gifts, but because my birthday is my self-imposed Halloween limit and now we’ve passed it I can move into my traditional (for me) Halloween books. Therefore, at some point in the next few weeks, I’ll be re-reading some old favourites, maybe Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau? I’ve got Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Hollow Ones sat in my TBR pile, so that’s a probable, too.
The first of my choices for October is one that I’ve just read for review – Wish You Weren’t Here, by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch. It’s sort of a low-tech Ghostbusters, if Ghostbusters was set on a small island off the East Midlands, and the Ghostbusters were all members of the same family. It’s pretty daft, and good enough that it’s convinced me to try more of the author’s works.
I think I first read The Sword of Shannara in the mid-80s, and carried on with the Shannara novels through to the end of the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy. His Word and the Void series was excellent, and the Magic Kingdom of Landover series was fantastic. I’ve seen the new Shannara novels coming out since but, not having the oomph to go back and re-read right from the start, I’ve had to ignore them, but October marks the beginning of a new series. It looks to be a standalone series, so I’ll definitely be checking out Terry Brooks’ Child of Light.
Nicola Davies is a zoologist and children’s author. She usually writes for the younger end of the market, but her new fantasy novel The Song That Sings Us falls into the Young Adult age range. The beautiful cover art of the Starling drew me in initially, but the synopsis sounds interesting, and it will make a nice change to read a fiction involving animals that’s written by somebody who knows what they’re talking about.
Reading update for the month (as of September 25th): 21 eBooks
Best read of the month: What Abigail Did That Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch
Worst read of the month: The Last Final Girl, by Stephen Graham Jones
Wish You Weren’t Here [The Rooks #1]
Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
The Rook family run a little business: ghost hunting. And things have picked up recently. Something’s wrong. It’s been getting noticeably worse since, ooh, 2016?
Bad spirits are abroad, and right now they’re particularly around Coldbay Island, which isn’t even abroad, it’s only 20 miles from Skegness. The Rooks’ ‘quick call out’ to the island picks loose a thread that begins to unravel the whole place, and the world beyond.
Is this the apocalypse? This might be the apocalypse. Who knew it would kick off in an off-season seaside resort off the Lincolnshire coast? I’ll tell you who knew – Brenda. She’s been feeling increasingly uneasy about the whole of the East Midlands since the 90s. . .
Released 7th October 2021
Child of Light
The electrifying first novel of an all-new fantasy series from the legendary author behind the Shannara saga, about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known.
At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by a handsome yet alien stranger. Harrow claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?
Told with a fresh, energetic voice, this fantasy puzzle box is perfect for fans of Terry Brooks and new readers alike, as one young woman slowly unlocks truths about herself and her world—and, in doing so, begins to heal both.
Released 12th October 2021
The Song That Sings Us
When animals talk, it’s time humans listened: Harlon has been raised to protect her younger siblings, twins Ash and Xeno, and their outlawed power of communicating with animals. But when the sinister Automators attack their mountain home they must flee for their lives. Xeno is kidnapped and Harlon and Ash are separated.
In a thrilling and dangerous adventure they must all journey alone through the ice fields, forests, and oceans of Rumyc to try to rescue each other and fulfil a mysterious promise about a lost island made to their mother.
A stunning environmental epic with cover and chapter illustrations by award-winning illustrator Jackie Morris.
Released 14th October 2021