In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.
Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a re-imagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting.
I learnt about this novella from the Narrative of Neurodiversity Network, and have one of Rivers Solomon’s other novella’s, An Unkindness of Ghosts, on my TBR pile. The Deep draws on the terrible history of the Middle Passage, during which sick and pregnant people were thrown overboard as too much hassle. The ‘what if’ question of what if the babies born to their dead parent were able to breath underwater and survived.
The Historian holds the memories of the people, but for Yetu it is a painful position to hold every touch, every movement of the water, every memory is real. Getting lost in the pain at the wrong time almost kills her. In her pain and anger she shares the memories with all of her people and runs away.
Oh, it’s so beautiful! I found Yetu so relatable. The sensory perception of everything, of feeling overwhelmed by life, is familiar. Also, the way water feels and the pressure of the sea is familiar, I feel like that in the pool, and in the sea when I get a chance to swim in the sea. I love the love story between Oori and Yetu, it was so gentle and powerful. I totally understand the hesitancy and shyness. It’s a powerful story of history, memory and love for family and friends.
Totally in love with this novella, highly recommended.
In a vault beneath the Mediterranean Sea, a creature from myth and folklore sleeps. Government agents David Coswell and Hannah Martin join forces to find and study the creature with the hopes of harnessing its power for their country’s good. Accidentally, they release the creature and London is plunged into chaos. Lawlessness and hedonism spread as Lord of the Flies regains his strength and uses violence and fear to build his new kingdom.
David Coswell, along with his ‘handler’ Sentinel Nutbeam, retired soldier Nigel Carter, and Spanish matriarch Maria Perez help the Prime Minister confront the beast and take back control of a fractured country.
The Devil’s Shadow is a fast-paced supernatural thriller. Sometimes scary, sometimes sexy and always exciting, it is an absorbing tale of friendship, loyalty, faith and belief.
Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.
Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.
He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.
Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.
At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in Icelandic literature.
When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?
Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…
Bertie the Buffalo is having fun on the farm where he lives in Scotland. Then a mysterious letter arrives inviting him to represent Scotland in the Worldwide Games. Bertie and his friends fly to Tokyo where they meet new and exotic animals and try to win first prize in all the different events. Bertie is sad when he isn’t winning any medals but finds out if he works together with his friends, he will be a winner in the end.
Thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. I read a Bertie book last year and was so pleased to see another, Bertie is an adorable little buffalo.
Aww, this is so cute! Bertie and friends represent Scotland in running races in Tokyo, and learn the importance of team work.
I think the writing and illustration have improved since the first book. There’s something more vibrant about the illustrations. The story has a strong rhyme and I’m sure it’s ever so slightly more complex than in the first book. Maybe Bertie is getting a bit older so the prose is getting more complex?
I like it! The colours of the pictures are eye-catching the writing is fun and bouncy, and the message is good.
Wendy H. Jones is the award-winning author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries and Cass Claymore Investigates. She lives in Scotland and is also an international public speaker and the president of the Scottish Association of Writers.
Illustrator: Barry Diaper
Barry Diaper is best known for his cartoons and caricatures for The Beano. He was once short-listed for the Daily Mail’s ‘Not the Turner Prize’. He lives in Salisbury, England.
Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.
There’s a routine at The Beresford.
For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.
Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate Smythe no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends.
And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.
Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…
Lee is a tiny tiger who lives with his Mum in the safety of his treetop house. There he feels safe from the dangers of the dark jungle below. But one wild stormy night, Lee and his Mum are thrown to the ground and Lee is forced to face his fears in order to help her. A Tiger named Lee tells the story of a timid little tiger who refuses to leave his tree-top perch and go down to the jungle floor for fear of what may lie there. However, he and his Mum are thrown from the tree on a stormy night and the little tiger has to overcome his fears.
The aristocracy abide by a different set of rules…
…or so it seems to Sam Applewhite when her job brings her to Candlebroke Hall, the stately home. The burglary definitely wasn’t what it appeared to be, and the subsequent accidents suggest that it’s a dangerous place to spend time.
Sam is caught up in events as she tries to protect the interests of young Hilde Odinson, part of the local viking family. The Odinsons insist on doing things their own way though, with scant regard for the law. In the meantime, Sam starts to understand that while many people would kill to live at Candlebroke Hall, maybe there are others who would kill to get away from it