Oryx & Crake – Margaret Atwood

Summary A post global-warming dystopian novel from the pen of Margaret Atwood, it focuses on Jimmy (aka Snowman), who believes himself to be the only human survivor of a deliberate viral destruction of the human race. This is the first part of the MaddAddam trilogy, so essentially is setting the scene for the next novels … Continue reading Oryx & Crake – Margaret Atwood

The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

Summary: The story is essentially a time-travelling love story. Henry DeTamble has Chrono-Displacement – he periodically gets pulled out of linear time to moments in his past, present and future. All those he loves are in linear time, so they are older or younger, depending on when he is displaced to. Clare is the eponymous … Continue reading The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

The Carhullan Army – Sarah Hall

Summary: This is a dystopian near-future. Britain is essentially a wasteland, ruled by the Authority (a totalitarian type government), and everything is grey and bleak. Everything in people’s lives is controlled, right down to women being forced to fit contraceptive devices. The hometown of our narrator, Penrith, is over-crowded, filled with despairing people doing meaningless … Continue reading The Carhullan Army – Sarah Hall

The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

Summary: We follow the life of Holly Sykes, as she grows from a 15 year old teenager, to the end of her life. In six different Time sections, we get the backstories of people who will eventually impact Holly’s life, for good and bad. There is also a large element of the mystical/fantasy, which is … Continue reading The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

Ironweed – William Kennedy

Summary: This book deals with the life of Francis “Frank” Phelan, homeless guy in 1930’s Albany, New York. It gives a couple of days in his life, along with various flashbacks to enable us to see how he got to be the way he is. It is the third in the author's "Albany" cycle of … Continue reading Ironweed – William Kennedy

Murder at the Columbarium – Emily Gallo

Summary: This is an interesting whodunnit story, which also has a number of other threads running through it. Main Characters: Jed Gibbons: Sixty-something African-American, curator of a Columbarium (a building where funeral urns are stored). Monica: His wife, positively diagnosed with HIV. Minor Characters: Dutch: Sixty-something grower of legal weed. Juniper: Dutch’s live-in companion, and … Continue reading Murder at the Columbarium – Emily Gallo

The Kingmaker Contest – Troy Clem

Summary: Main Characters: Theo: An orphan brought up in the palace as a ward of the king. Nagima: She is a Sigander, the race that were the original natives of the land. They now are mainly forest dwellers, and Nagima is endowed with magical powers, which is not unexpected in her race. Tess: An urchin … Continue reading The Kingmaker Contest – Troy Clem

Pure – Andrew Miller

Summary: Paris. 1785. The final years before the revolution. A young engineer is given the job of clearing the old cemetery of Les Innocents of its current inhabitants, and then tear down the old church. Main Characters: Jean-Baptiste Baratte: The engineer charged with cleansing the over-flowing cemetery of Les Innocents, sited in the Les Halles … Continue reading Pure – Andrew Miller

All The Broken People – Amy Rivers

Summary: Set in Georgia, Alice Bennett has taken on the role of caregiver to her recently-injured mother-in-law. Travelling from New York, she hopes she will find the space and time to deal with her marital pressures in this quiet picturesque town. Underneath the surface, however, simmering old feuds and resentments are finally boiling over, and … Continue reading All The Broken People – Amy Rivers

Blackfish City – Sam Miller

Summary: Qaanaaq is a floating city, based in the Arctic, a complex highly-engineered environment that somehow survives in this dystopian world. It is built along Arms, and social castes gravitate towards their own. The city has its social problems, and is riven by class, power and wealth. The city is run by mysterious shareholders (they … Continue reading Blackfish City – Sam Miller