Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

The Farm by Joanne Ramos – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE MUST-READ DEBUT NOVEL OF 2019. Sharp, compulsive and darkly funny, this is an unforgettable novel about a world within touching distance of our own.

Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility economy – where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules.

Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost?

A novel that explores the role of luck and merit, class, ambition and sacrifice, The Farm is an unforgettable story about how we live and who truly holds power.

MY REVIEW 

In The Farm, young women are paid to be surrogate mothers for the wealthy. These women get the best of everything to keep the baby healthy, paying parents to be…..regardless of what the mother herself wants.

This is a tale of power and privilege, of the exploitation of immigrants and racism. 

A dystopian world that feels all too close to the present day. I found this to be a compelling and thought provoking read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of The Farm. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Murder mystery, Mystery

No One Home by Tim Weaver – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF YOU WERE GONE

‘THE TENTH IN THE TERRIFIC DAVID RAKER SERIES – BLISS!’ LEE CHILD

One night, the residents of Black Gale gather for a dinner party. As the only nine people living there, they’ve become close friends as well as neighbours.

They eat, drink and laugh. They play games and take photographs. But those photographs will be the last record of any of them.

Because by the next morning, the whole village has vanished.

With no bodies, no evidence and no clues, the mystery of what happened at Black Gale remains unsolved two and a half years on. But then the families of the missing turn to investigator David Raker – and their obsession becomes his.

What secrets were the neighbours keeping from their families – and from each other?

Were they really everything they seemed to be?

And is Raker looking for nine missing people – or nine dead bodies?

MY REVIEW

#10 in the David Raker series. It can be read as a stand-alone. I hadn’t read any of the previous novels in this series and that’s something I am now going to rectify.

No One Home is a crime thriller. David Raker is an investigator who specialises in missing person cases. He is approached by some of the relatives of nine people who had gone missing from the same village a couple of years previously. All nine just disappeared one night. 

There is also a second story run set 30 years ago, in the US, Jo is a member of the LA Sheriff’s Department and in hunting a murderer……gradually it becomes clear these cases are connected.

This is so well written with a superbly twisty plot and a great, likeable main character. With an ending that will leave you gasping this is a compelling and utterly engrossing read.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of No One Home.

blog tour, Spotlight

*SPOTLIGHT* on Silence In The Shadows by Darcy Coates

ABOUT SILENCE IN THE SHADOWS

The world continues to change. Each passing day twists it further and pushes the surviving humans closer to the brink of extinction. But, for the first time, there is hope. Clare and Dorran set their sights back on Winterbourne Hall. It’s a daunting journey, but vital. Humanity needs more refuges—safe areas where food can be grown without attracting the attention of the hollow ones. Winterbourne promises to provide that. But their home is no longer a sanctuary…it has become a trap. By the time they realize just how dangerous it is, the door has slammed closed behind them…and their fight for survival is far from over.

Look at this stunning cover!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Darcy Coates is the USA bestselling author of horror and suspense fiction and has sold over 200,000 eBooks and 50,000 audiobooks. Born in Mascot, Australia, Darcy’s childhood home backed onto a rainforest nature reserve and she got to experience all the wildlife that came with it: possums, foxes, kookaburras, and wild peafowl endangered yellow-bellied gliders, small animals that screamed like someone was being murdered, metre-long goannas who would fight cockatoos to snatch their eggs.

There were even rumours that a platypus was living in the creek in the nature reserve, though she was never lucky enough to see it. She once rescued an injured fledgling magpie (and had its mother attack her when she tried to release it).

Writing Horror Fiction

Darcy’s approach to storytelling is a reversal of the traditional horror structure. The traditional horror story involves penance where the protagonist has “sinned” and the narrative continues with characters confronting their past transgressions. But Darcy writes a different kind of horror: the protagonist is thrust into a bad situation from no fault of their own. They must fight, grow, and be vulnerable in order to survive. But, as long as they never give up, as long as they continue fighting no matter how dark the night gets, they’re rewarded at the end: their struggles were worth something. They can now rest.

Fascination with Haunted Houses

Darcy’s books blend classic gothic fiction and modern horror. She has always been fascinated by the creepy and unsettling, and loves combining traditional horror elements (abandoned houses, ghostly presences, wild forests and secret passageways) with fresh storytelling. Her real-life fears (she’s terrified of mannequins, but clowns are fine!) and inbuilt anxiety was useful for writing creepy fiction: by channelling her fears into her books and then dial them up to ten, thus creating scenarios that resonate with readers.

A fascination with haunted houses arose after scouring her local library shelves for horror novels but coming up empty handed with generic gore stories and metaphorical ghosts. That’s when Darcy decided to write the story herself: the most archetypal haunted house novel she could imagine; the kind of ghost story that could encompass the whole genre – where the ghost was ‘literal’ and not ‘metaphorical’.