Book review: The Book of Sand by Theo Clare.

An odd book, this one. It was written by one of my favourite authors under a pseudonym, and unfortunately, it was the last thing she wrote before succumbing to complications from motor neurone disease.

I’ve read (and reviewed) one or two of her books from the excellent Jack Caffrey series, and I’ve found her an author who write brilliantly, and never shied away from the tough subjects like child abuse and genocide. The Book of Sand was very different:

The Book of Sand

The story is set (mostly) in a desert, the location of which doesn’t appear to make geographical sense. (There is a reason for this). In this desert, a group of families are searching for an artifact called the Sarkpont, which gives them the way out. But if that wasn’t enough, the families are being pursued by a fast-moving carnivorous creatures known as the Djinni.

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The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

A Dystopian thriller that’s not for the squeamish.

Set at some unspecified point in the near future, Year of the Flood follows a loosely-connected group of characters trying to navigate and survive a dystopian future. The world is run by corporations who happy to carry out genetic research on the population and extinguishing any people or groups who get in their way. One of these groups is the Gardeners – a church of religious vegans who believe that the world will be decimated by the flood: a global pandemic that will kill a sizeable proportion of the world’s population.

And as it turns out, they were right on the money.

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Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter

The opposite of “Phenomenon” apparently …

The trouble with eBooks is that it’s pretty difficult to judge how big they are. I picked up Noumenon and thought it was going to be a pretty average-sized science-fiction novel.

Well it wasn’t that. This book is epic. It was one of those book that felt like you’d been reading it for years. I don’t mean that in a bad way; the book was absolutely brilliant. It’s just that the pacing was so good, and the characters so well-defined, it felt like I was living every minute of the adventure.


Convoy Seven is a fleet of twelve ships dispatched from Earth in the middle of the 22nd century. The plan is to travel to a nearby star that, according to long-range scans, may be encased in an artificial structure (a Dyson Sphere, if you’re interested). As this is the first real possibility of life elsewhere in the galaxy, the fleet, crewed by one hundred thousand clones of astronauts and scientists, is sent on a three hundred year round trip to investigate the star. And as if three centuries wasn’t long enough, due to space/time dilation caused by travelling faster than light; three thousand years will have passed on Earth by the time the convoy returns.

See? I said it was an epic.

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