There haven’t been too many reviews submitted in the last month, but the reviews that were submitted were fabulous (and just might be adding to my to-read list . . . )
Just one review in Children’s books over the last month with Nalini from Dark Matter Zine reviewing Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr – a reimagining of the minotaur legend told in a mixture of prose and free verse. This book received a 5 out of 5 star review:
“I found the story so engaging that I wanted Aissa to be older, the story to be more adult. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is for primary and middle school children! However, it’s an excellent story for generations of family members — parents, grandparents and children — to share, to read together or apart and to discuss.”
In Young Adult books, Emily from A Keyboard and An Open Mind reviewed Tallow and Votive by Karen Brooks, the first and second book from Curse of the Bond Riders. Emily was completely engaged in Tallow – the first of the two books, finding it fresh and original:
“The world-building is definitely the highlight of this book, and the books that follow. It is rich and sensual and makes the reader feel like they are really there, too. The descriptions of the various regions of Serenissima, the canals, Carnivale, etc, were all vivid. Italian language is peppered throughout the story, which also served to remind us where we were.”
With the second book, Votive, she found it engaging when it concerned characters she cared about, but harder going when it came to characters she cared less about.
Jools reviewed Never to Return – a look at young boys who were transported as convicts to Van Diemen’s Land. The story follows one particular convict, Fred, tracing his journey from England to Van Diemen’s Land and discussing the life he had there.
Jonathan Shaw isn’t counting his review of The Book that Made Me as part of his Australian Women Writer’s tally, but it is a truly beautiful piece of writing which makes me want to read the book right now! The Book that Made Me is edited by Judith Ridge and asks writers to write about the books which made them. What follows is a work which showcases 200 or so novels, comics, plays, poetry anthologies – with royalties going to the Indigenous Literary Foundation. Jonathan was prompted by the book to share his own narrative about books in his history – a response I’m sure a lot of us would share.
Carolyn looked at Frontier Defiant by Leonie Rogers, the third book in a sci-fi trilogy. Like Emily, it was the world of the book which stood out for her.
“I loved the brilliant world building in this series of books and can picture in my mind the settlements on the plateau and the more exotic wilderness down below with its often weird and dangerous plants and animals. It’s been wonderful too, watching Shanna and the other new cadets grow through the series to become more confident and to see them develop their own individual skills.”
Finally, Brenda has high recommendations for The Heir by Lynn Stringer, the first book of a trilogy:
“The Heir is the first in the Verindon Trilogy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Normal high school days with teenage angst; different classes; attentions of an unwanted kind; unrequited love – all flowed through to set the stage for what was to follow! The second part of the book was pretty intense as the action and pace ramped up, leading to a conclusion which left me wanting more. Book 2 won’t be far away! Highly recommended.”
Thanks to all the reviewers for this brilliant collection of reviews. If you know someone who reviews children’s or Young Adult books by Australian Women Writers, make sure they know they can add them here – we’re always looking for new books to celebrate!
Despite others hinting that I am supposed to ‘grow up’ at some point, books for young people continue to play a huge part in my reading life. This has served me well, when I became a teacher and was known for always having a book recommendation at hand. I’m currently enjoying the rich world of picture books with my four-year-old and baby, revisiting some of my favourite authors and reviewing books when I manage not to lose my blog . . .