Our latest reviews

China Dream by Ma Jian

Reviewed by Paul Goodman

It’s no coincidence that Ma Jian dedicates this book to George Orwell. Named after Xi Jinping’s vision for Chinese prosperity, China Dream is a tale of the self, broken over the rack of the state. As…

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Through the Night by Ed Moreno & Caio Fernando Abreu

Reviewed by Deborah Crabtree

In 1990 Ed Moreno was given a death sentence: at just 25 years of age he tested HIV positive and doctors gave him five years to live, at best. Almost thirty years later, with the help of antiretrovir…

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The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Jane Harper won so many awards for her debut novel, The Dry, that I could use my entire word count just listing them. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have the chance to tell you to go and read this, he…

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Preservation by Jock Serong

Reviewed by Alison Huber

A little-known (though maybe soon-to-be-well-known) historical event forms the basis for Jock Serong’s latest novel, Preservation.

Using the 1797 shipwreck of the Sydney Cove off the coast of Preser…

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Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Reviewed by Cindy Morris

We live in an era where we get told to accept who we are and show it – but is that really true for people of colour? We ask them to whitewash themselves to appear successful and to fit in. They have …

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The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth by Rachel Ignotofsky

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a highly illustrated, fascinating guidebook to ecosystems, featuring key animals and plants. Rachel Ignotofsky, bestselling author and illustrator of Women in Science, delightfully displays b…

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Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen

Reviewed by Marie Matteson

Niviaq Korneliussen begins her novel Crimson with a letter to the reader: ‘I began creating characters and stories on paper and suddenly the whole world was available to me.’

Crimson, originally tit…

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Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery by Mary Amato

Reviewed by Timothy de Sousa

Edgar Allen Poe’s cemetery is certainly the last place a newly deceased person would like to be interred within, with ‘unbreakable rules’ that, if broken, can result in you being nailed into a coffin…

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Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Reviewed by Cindy Morris

Five former high-school friends gather for a reunion. The sixth member, Jim, mysteriously died over a year ago. Beatrice Hartley (Bee for short) hasn’t spoken to her best friends since the mysterious…

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The Dinosaur Artist by Paige Williams

Reviewed by Julia Jackson

Adapted and greatly expanded from her 2013 New Yorker article ‘Bones of Contention’, Paige Williams delves again, more deeply, into the heady and complex world of ‘commercial palaeontology’ and its i…

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