The Gifts by Liz Hyder#Blog Tour @Rachel’sRandomResources Historical Fiction#Womens’ Stories Patriarchy#Fantasy#Magic Realism

About The Book:

The Gifts

A young woman staggers through the woods. Something is happening deep inside and as she’s thrown to her knees in agony, the world around her stops. When she comes to, she is astonished at the sight of her shadow – it has wings.

Meanwhile when rumours of ‘fallen angels’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune will find himself in the grip of a dangerous obsession, and the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through several female voices and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the knife-edge roles of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

My Thoughts:

This is my first read by this author but it wont be my last. This book was a delight to read and the story will have you turning the pages furiously.

This book is told from five viewpoints; four of which are women and the fact they dare to question their place in society and the other is an ambitious surgeon, who in his quest for fame and glory forgets the oath he took to serve mankind and instead serves his own ambition. This has disastrous consequences or him and others in his orbit.

This book is set in the 1840’s and sets the tone of the period and draws on folklore and legends; one being The Angel of the Thames a legend which persists in the present day. This could also be classed as a feminist novel but this does not stand in the way of a well written story.

For me a well written and well crafted story with quality writing that wraps the parcel up nicely. Highly recommended.

The Author:

Author Bio – Liz Hyder has been making up stories for as long she can remember. She has a BA
in drama from the University of Bristol and, in early 2018, won the Bridge Award/Moniack Mhor Emerging Writer Award. Bearmouth, her debut young adult novel, won a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award and was chosen as the Children’s Book of the Year by The
. Originally from London, she now lives in South Shropshire. The Gifts is her debut adult novel.Social Media Links – Twitter: @LondonBessie ( )Website:

Life On Mars:The Vikings Are Coming by Hugh Duncan# Blog Tour#Book Review#Science Fiction @ welcometoearth@geoffnelder @MaighreadMackay @maximka25@Sensim

About The Book:

Racing against time, Jade and her friends must hide evidence of Life on Mars to stop the probes from Earth finding them

Jade is on her way to meet up with her dad, Elvis, for her sixteen-millionth birthday (tortles live a long time in spite of the harsh conditions on Mars), when she gets side-tracked by a strange object that appears to have fallen from the sky. Elvis’ travelling companion Starkwood, an electrostatic plant, is hearing voices, claiming that “The Vikings Are Coming”, while their football-pitch-sized flying friend Fionix confirms the rumour: the Earth has sent two craft to look for life on Mars.
It then becomes a race against time to hide any evidence of such life before Earth destroys it for good. Can Jade and her friends succeed, with help from a Lung Whale, a liquid horse, some flying cats, the Hellas Angels, the Pyrites and a couple of House Martins from the South of France? Oh, and a quantum tunnelling worm – all while avoiding Zombie Vegetables and trouble with a Gravity Artist and the Physics Police?! A gentle and lightly humorous science fantasy adventure.

My Thoughts:

Straight up I have a confession to make. I don’t read very much Science Fiction. Why? The Science part usually goes right over my head. Fourth dimensions, alternative universes etc. But I had a look online and something appealed to me. The thought of Martians banding together to stop probes from Earth finding out about life on Mars; which humans have long considered lifeless but have long been intrigued by canal like features. Do or did they ever contain water and the possibility of life. What Martians don’t want is humans coming to Mars and making the same mess of Mars as they have of their own planet. I started to read this book with some trepidation as I’m not a readerin of Science Fiction normally; but as I got more and more into the book the more I enjoyed it. Sure the science still went over my head. But I love the humour which was was very tongue in cheek and full of parodies.

A mad urban graffiti artist named Hanskie. No prizes for guesses of his earth equivalent.

A mad bunch of gravel named Echers and when they attacked the were called Echer-schmidts.

And the pyrite pulling pulling in his beer belly before going into battle. How many middle-aged men have done this when they have wanted to impress. And also the thought of Tortles(turtles) leading the fight to save a planet is too ridiculous for words

If you want science this book has it and laughs too. Highly recommended.

About The Author:

Hugh Duncan hatched in Leicester in 1957. He studied astronomy at University College London and, though very lazy, got his degree. His final thesis was on Martian craters and, after, he worked at the UCL observatory cataloguing the Viking Mission photos. Having fallen in love with a French woman and wanting to live happily ever after, he ruined that plan by becoming a science teacher. The temporary job became a lifelong career, first in the UK then for 32 years at the International School of Nice, from which he has recently retired. A few years ago, UCL launched the maths journal Chalkdust, in which Hugh has had a number of articles published. In 1997 Oxford Study Courses, asked him to write revision guidebooks for IB Physics, which continues to this day. Hugh started in science fiction aged five, when he wrote ‘Dr Who goes to the balloon planet’ and some have said it’s his best work to date. Nearly sixty years later, Life on Mars is his first published novel. Inspired by the Mighty Terry Pratchett, for school charity projects he started writing his own ‘Deskworld’ stories, parodying his school as one for witches and wizards. Three dozen stories sold using a captive audience scared of getting bad grades if they didn’t buy them, hmm… Hugh has been married for 40 years and has four children – most don’t seem to want to leave home in spite of being adults and having to listen to his songs and stories all the time. He lives in the South of France, not very far from the village with two famous house martins who appear in Life on Mars. He owns a Hermann’s tortoise called Sophie Rose.