Unspoken

Unspoken was written by Sarah Rees Brennan and was first published in 2012. It is a paranormal romance novel about a teenage girl who learns that her imaginary friend is real. The novel forms the first part of The Lyburn Legacy series and is followed by Untold (2013) and Unmade (2014), as well as a couple of short-stories that further expand the world.

As long as Kami Glass can remember, she has had Jared. Although the other kids at school thought that she was weird, she has always talked to the strange boy in her head as though he was there with her. While she’s never really doubted his existence, he’s never quite felt real to her either. Yet that is before the Lyburn family returned to her small hometown of Sorry-in-the-Vale.

The Lyburn family have been gone for years but never forgotten. They are the founding family of the town and are revered by almost everyone, yet no one seems to want to talk about why. As a budding journalist, Kami is determined to get a scoop about them despite the wall of silence. The best way to do so seems to be through the two teenage Lyburn boys. It’s not long before she runs into charming Ash at school, yet it is his brooding cousin that she finds more intriguing. Especially when she learns that his name is Jared.

Yet, at the same time that the Lyburns return, strange things begin to happen in Sorry-in-the-Vale. Kami stumbles across what seems to be the site of a dark ritual in the woods and soon after is attacked herself. Rallying a small group of friends, Kami makes it her mission to discover the secret of the mysterious family. Yet it soon becomes clear that this investigation could risk both her bond with Jared and her life…

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Jumper

Jumper was written by Steven Gould and first published in 1992. It is a science fiction story about a teenage boy who discovers that he has the ability to teleport. The novel forms the first part of the Jumper series and is followed by Reflex (2004), Impulse (2013) and Exo (2014), as well as a couple of short-stories that are set in the same universe. The story was also made into a major motion picture in 2008, although this film is only very loosely based on the first novel.

Davy Rice first discovers his power when he is about to receive a beating from his alcoholic father. One second, he is in his home; the next he is in the local library. Through trial and error, he soon discovers that he has the ability to instantly teleport to any place that he has visited before, so long as he can clearly visualise that spot in his mind. The potential of this thrills him. Finally, he has a way to get away from his father and search for his mother, who abandoned him when he was little.

However, Davy soon discovers a major flaw in his plan. As a seventeen-year-old runaway, he has no chance of surviving by himself. He has no money, identification or social security number. Unable to find a job by any legitimate means, he uses his power to its full potential and successfully steals almost a million dollars from a bank.

The money is more than enough for Davy to buy a life for himself, living comfortably and quickly falling in love. However, it also makes him more confident and Davy starts to use his ability to jump more and more. After a horrible crime takes away someone that he cares about, he starts to realise that he could use his power to save lives. However, doing so draws the attention of the NSA. Is there a way that he can continue to help people without being caught or, worse still, becoming a pawn of the American government?

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The Thief

The Thief was written by Megan Whalen Turner and first published in 1996. It is a high fantasy story that focuses on a small group of men on a quest to find an object with mystical powers. The novel forms the first part of The Queen’s Thief series and is followed by The Queen of Attolia (2000), The King of Attolia (2006), A Conspiracy of Kings (2010) and Thick as Thieves (2017). A sixth instalment – Return of the Thief – is expected to be released later this year.

Determined to prove himself as a master thief, Gen stole the seal of the King of Sounis. Unfortunately, he then had the foolishness to brag about his victory to everyone in the local inn and soon found himself a prisoner in the inescapable royal gaol. It seems as though he has been left there to rot, until the day when the magus – advisor to the King – comes to him with a proposition.

The magus has discovered the location of an ancient artefact – one with the power to crown a new ruler of the neighbouring kingdom of Eddis. Unfortunately, all parties who have gone to retrieve it have never returned. The magus needs the skills of a thief and is willing to offer Gen his freedom in return. However, if Gen refuses, the magus has the power to ensure that he will never see the light of day again.

With the protection of a skilled soldier called Pol, and the magus’s two apprentices – Sophos and Ambiades – the party sets off on a long journey across three nations, each on the edge of war with each other. Their success will determine who will rule over these countries for centuries to come. However, if any of the other rulers catch wind of what the magus has planned, they will stop at nothing to destroy them.

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Arabella of Mars

Arabella of Mars was written by David D Levine and first published in 2016. It is a steampunk science fiction novel, set in an alternate timeline where the secret of interplanetary travel was discovered in late 17th Century. The novel forms the first part of the Adventures of Arabella Ashby series and is followed by Arabella and the Battle for Venus (2017) and Arabella the Traitor of Mars (2018).

The year is 1812 and Arabella lives happily with her family on their Martian plantation. Although her mother worries about her tomboyish behaviour, Arabella loves nothing more that to play hunting games with her brother, Michael, and learn about the tribal Martian culture from her native nanny, Khema. However, when she is injured during a rough game, Arabella’s mother declares this to be the last straw. She will not allow her daughter to grow up as a savage and whisks her away to London, where she can learn to be a lady and find a respectable husband.

However, a few months into their stay on Earth, Arabella receives terrible news. Her father has suddenly died and now Michael has been forced to take over the plantation. The news thrills her despicable cousin, Simon. Desperate for money, he hurries to Mars with the intent of murdering Michael. As the closest male relative, he would surely inherit everything and leave Arabella and her mother destitute.

Arabella disguises herself as a boy and makes her way to the docks, determined to catch Simon before he can depart. When she is too late, she hits upon a risky plan to beat him to the Red Planet. After impressing Prakash Singh, Captain of the Mars Company Airship “Diana”, she accepts a place on his crew as a cabin boy. The Diana is a fast ship and should be able to deliver her to Mars before Simon reaches the plantation. However, her safety depends on her ability to hide her sex for two months on a ship that is entirely crewed by men…

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Happy New Year from Arkham Reviews

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year! I hope that you’ve had a fantastic festive season, however you chose to celebrate it.

Following the tradition of my previous years on this blog, I decided to take part in LibraryThing‘s “SantaThing” event. This is a Secret Santa in which you post up your reading preferences (such as young adult novels) and a random person selects a handful of books for you on that basis.

As my books did not quite arrive in time for the holiday, I’ve decided that I will dedicate my next few reviews to looking at them all. Here’s what you have to look forward to over the next couple of weeks:

Arabella of Mars by David D Levine

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Jumper by Steven Gould

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

It’s quite a varied selection and so I’m really excited to get started. If none of these take your fancy, check back in two weeks time for a sneak peak of my reading plans for the next few months!

The Sobeks 2018 – Part 4

Woohoo! We made it! Happy New Year everyone!

Yet, before I start on my substantial pile of 2019 reads, it’s time to take one last look back over the previous year. The Sobeks are my prestigious annual awards that showcase the very best novels that I have reviewed. These are the ones that I have awarded 4 stars or above to on Goodreads, which is a select few as I am a bit stingy when it comes to giving out high ratings!

Just in case your Christmas money is still burning a hole in your pocket, here is the last set of winners. They are all taken from novels that I read and reviewed in October, November and December. Check back on the 3rd January for a sneak peak about what will be coming up next on Arkham Reviews over the first few weeks of this wonderful new year!

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The Sobeks 2018 – Part 3

Hello again. There isn’t much left of 2018 now and so it’s a good time to look back and remember all the brilliant worlds that I have had been able to explore in the last year.

The Sobeks are my annual awards where I showcase my favourite reads of the year. These are the ones that I awarded 4 or 5 stars to on Goodreads. As I don’t give high ratings out to just any book, you can consider these to be the absolute cream of the crop and certainly worth your time.

Curious? Well, read on to find out what my recommendations are. This time, I’ll be looking back at the novels which I reviewed in July, August and September.

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The Sobeks 2018 – Part 2

Hello and welcome to my continuing retrospective of my favourite reads of 2018.

In case you missed my previous post, the Sobeks are my prestigious annual blog awards. I take a look back over the previous twelve months and showcase every review that I awarded 4 stars or above on Goodreads. As I’m very stingy when it comes to giving high ratings, you just know that all of these books are of the highest quality.

In this post, I’m going to be talking about the winners from April, May and June. If you’re looking for some great ideas of things to read in the new year, look no further. My recommendations lie beneath the cut…

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The Sobeks 2018 – Part 1

Hello Everyone! I hope that you are having a wonderful festive season and welcome to the third annual Sobek Awards.

Named for this blog’s crocodilian mascot, this is a series of four posts that showcase the very best books that I have had the pleasure of reviewing in the past year. As I’m a bit stingy when it comes to giving “starred” reviews on Goodreads, I have selected my choices for each month based on the novels that I have awarded four stars or more. Hopefully, it will give you an idea of what to spend your obligatory Christmas book tokens on!

Anyhow, without further ado, here are winners for January, February and March:

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Shifters and Glyphs

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Wolves and Roses. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Shifters and Glyphs was written by Christina Bauer and first published in 2018. It tells the continuing story of Bryar Rose, a teenage girl who has the rare ability to use every kind of magic, as she tries to prevent all magic from disappearing from the world. The novel forms the second full-length instalment of the Fairytales of the Magicorum series, following on from Wolves and Roses (2017) and the novella Magic and Midtown (2018).

Bryar Rose thought that her troubles were over when she defeated Jules. She found out that she was a rare Trilorum (a person with the powers of a witch, a fae and a shifter), awoke her inner wolf and found a loyal mate in Knox. Yet her nightmares have been getting worse. Every morning she wakes up terrified and yet cannot remember why.

Things take a downward turn as she starts to attend a magical school for the first time. She nearly gets expelled on the first day when the doors to each wing refuse to open for her and Knox suddenly gets sick, gradually seeming to lose his Warden powers. Through this, Bry learns two terrible truths. Firstly, the fountain of magic will activate in a few days and, if she does not find it in that time, it could fall into the hands of evil monsters called the Shadowvin. Secondly, Knox’s illness is magical and she could very well be the cause.

Unsure of what she can do to help, Bry pours all of her efforts into locating the fountain. Her quest will take her across Europe and back in time as she learns about the origin of the three schools of magic. It quickly becomes apparent that she is the only one who can prevent all magic from fading from the world. However, it may require for her to make a terrible sacrifice…

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