Booktopia - Australia's llocal bookstore

Pile by the Bed reviews Goldilocks by Laura Lam, a philosophical, humanist science fiction thriller with a little bit of fairytale at its core.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Seven Lies an unreliable narrator thriller debut by Elizabeth Kay

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Book of Koli (The Ramparts #1) the start of a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by MR Carey

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Pile by the Bed reviews Frying Plantain the debut novel by Zalika Reid-Benta, a series of short stories which follows the life of a young girl of Jamaican descent growing up in Canada.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Desire Lines by Felicity Volk an Australian romance that spans the second half of the Twentieth Century

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi, an assured and unique debut novel set in an alternate Elizabethan England.

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Pile by the Bed reviews new military science fiction novel Providence by Max Barry.

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Pile by the Bed reviews By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar, a profane, violent enjoyable take on the Arthurian legend.

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Pile by the Bed reviews How Much of These Hills Is Gold the debut novel by C Pam Zhang which gives a new perspective on the American gold rush and the myths of the West which challenges views of race, gender and class.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley. Steampunk sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street set in late 19th Century Japan.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Repo Virtual by Australian author Corey J White an action packed stand-alone cyberpunk novel set in a near-future Korea.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Last Emperox (Interdependency #3) by John Scalzi - the latest volume in an enjoyable, sometimes pointed space opera series.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel which explores the impact of the global financial crisis on a range of disparate characters.

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Pile by the Bed reviews the new thriller Prey by LA Larkin, the second to feature intrepid journalist Olivia Wilde.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Saint X the debut novel by Alexis Schaitkin which uses the crime genre to explore the impact of a tragedy.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Blessed Rita by Dutch author Tommy Wieringa, who takes on rural life in modern Europe

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Pile by the Bed reviews and recommends The City We Became by NK Jemisin an urban fantasy that celebrates New York and establishes the basis for a fascinating new series.

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Pile by the Bed reviews Our Dark Secret, a dark coming of age tale by Jenny Quintana

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Animals in that Country by Laura Jean McKay, an idiosyncratic pandemic novel in which people affected gain the ability to understand animals.

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Pile by the Bed reviews The Slaughterman's Daughter, a wild ride across 19th century Poland by Israeli writer Yaniv Iczkovits

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Welcome to Night Vale by Fink and Cranor

The extremely strange town of Night Vale will be familiar to listeners to the popular podcast which has been going since 2012. For those who have never heard about the town of Night Vale – which is ruled over by a glow cloud (all hail the mighty glow cloud), where the most dangerous place is the library, it is subversive to believe in mountains, the most popular dish at the diner is invisible pie and where the police have been ...

Steeple by Jon Wallace

Jon Wallace’s debut novel, Barricade was a blistering, visceral ride through a post-robopocalyptic Britain. It dropped readers into a nuclear blasted landscape and an ongoing war between the ravaged, disease-ridden survivors of humanity (the Reals) and their implacable, seemingly indestructible android foes (the Ficials). Barricade’s protagonist, a Ficial called Kenstibec, emotionless and virtually indestructible, was the perfect gui...

The Silent Inheritance by Joy Dettman
Crime , Review / 14/03/2016

Joy Dettman delves into a world of crime in her latest novel. Over a wide cast of characters she manages to fit in a whole spectrum of crime and general meanness into a small space: from a serial killer through to a hit and run, perjury and drug dealing. The Silent Inheritance ranges across a large group of characters so it takes a while to get going. Sarah Carter, deaf since birth, is trying to get a promotion but is passed over for...

Fever City by Tim Baker
Crime , Historical , Review / 10/03/2016

There is nothing more certain than death, taxes and books about the assassination of JFK. This event had everything – sex, drugs, mafia, movie stars, the FBI, the CIA, communists. And to top it all off, as Tim Baker does not hesitate to point out in Fever City, it was an event that changed the course of America and world history. The shooting of JFK  has always been the motherload for conspiracy theorists but also for crime writers. ...

Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn
Fantasy , Review / 06/03/2016

Lian Hearn returns to her best-selling faux-Japanese fantasy world in a new four book series being published in Australia in two volumes. Set three hundred years before her Tales of the Otori, The Tale of Shikanoko is pure sword and sorcery fantasy with a Japanese twist. As with her Otori series, the setting is not Japan, or even a Japanese version of ancient Japan, but it is a Japan-like world heavily based on the myths, legends and...

The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore
Crime , Recommended , Review , Thriller / 06/03/2016

Many crime novels straddle the line between crime and horror. Serial killers, on the whole, are the stuff of nightmares and crime writers have been falling over themselves for some time to up the gore factor. While horror novels usually rely on some form of supernatural agency and do not necessarily have the neat resolution of the crime genre, the bloody results are often the same. And so it is with The Poison Artist – a crime novel ...

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
Literature , Recommended , Review / 06/03/2016

It is easy to compare any novel narrated by a disaffected American teenager with the seminal Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield has become the archetypical American teen – intelligent, insightful and with plenty of promise but constantly fighting against a system which seeks to pigeon hole and repress. Lucia, the eighteen year-old narrator of How to Set a Fire and Why, fits into this mould but this is a very different tale and a ve...

Down Station by Simon Morden
Fantasy , Review / 06/03/2016

Doorways into magical lands are a venerable fantasy tradition going back centuries in English fiction. Think Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan. In the Twentieth Century we had the seminal Narnia series and plenty of imitators followed. More recently we’ve even seen a modern deconstruction of that mythology in books like Lev Grossman’s Magician’s series. In this context, Simon Morden’s Down Station seems a little staid. The central ide...

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

The sinking of the Titanic, now over one hundred years ago, is still one of the most famous disasters in history. So it is no wonder that it has been the subject of countless books and films. Given this, the question has to be whether there is the appetite for yet another novel exploring this incident. The answer, strongly given by David Dyer in his debut The Midnight Watch, is an unqualified yes. The Midnight Watch is not primarily ...

Fall by Candice Fox
Crime , Recommended / 23/01/2016

  Eden Archer, Australia’s answer to Dexter Morgan, and her damaged partner Frank Bennett are back at work in Fall, investigating a series of murders of women joggers. Underlying this investigation is another one by Frank’s lover (and former psychologist) Imogen, who solves cold cases in her spare time and is closing in on Eden’s true identity. There is plenty else going on in Fall, with Eden’s ex-crimelord father Hades having a...

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
Fantasy , Literature , Review / 05/01/2016

Patrick deWitt has gone into fractured fairytale territory in his latest novel. Undermajordomo Minor, set somewhere in Europe, sometime in the nineteenth century comes complete with castles, dukes, battles, pickpockets, chambermaids and the titular majordomo. Lucien “Lucy” Minor needs to leave home. He lands himself a job as assistant to Olderclough, the majordomo  of the Castle von Aux. On arrival, Lucy finds that Olderclough’s prev...