#BookReview - Alex by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne)

 SHE'S RUNNING OUT OF TIME

Alex Prévost - kidnapped, beaten, suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a wooden cage - is in no position to bargain. Her abductor's only desire is to watch her die. 

HE WANTS ONLY ONE THING

Apart from a shaky police report, Commandant Camille Verhoven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no leads. If he is to find Alex, he will have to get inside her head. 

ESCAPE IS JUST THE BEGINNING

Resourceful, tough, beautiful, always two steps ahead - Alex will keep Verhoven guessing till the bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries.

This isn't going to be an easy review to write. Not because I don't know what to say about the book - there's plenty I could say, but I really don't want to give away any spoilers and in a book that's as packed with twists as this one that's not easy. So I won't be saying much about the plot, suffice to say it's one of the most gripping, shocking and gr…

Book Review: Terra by Mitch Benn

Image courtesy of Orion Books
I was hopeful that I'd enjoy Terra by Mitch Benn. I'm not a true sci-fi nerd but I'd rather read HG Wells than Charles Dickens and prefer Verne to Hardy plus I know Mitch is a fellow Doctor Who fan and that alone suggested Terra would be a book I'd like! I was therefore delighted to be lucky enough to win my copy of the book through a giveaway on Winged Reviews, thanks to the generosity of the publishers, Gollancz.
The book tells the story of the eponymous Terra, an Earth girl brought up on the planet Fnrr by Lbbp, a scientist who believes he'd rescued the baby after she'd been abandoned by her parents. The inhabitants of Fnrr don't use many vowels in their language. Lbbp lives in the country of Mlml, Earth is Rrth and humans are Ymns. Whilst I'm not sure I'd want to read the story aloud to an audience, it wasn't actually as distracting as I thought I'd find it not really knowing how many of the words are pronounced.
In many ways Terra covers familiar ground. Terra herself is the girl who doesn't quite fit in at High School, her friends include a swot and a shy nerd. Lppb is the kind but over-protective father figure. The aliens are technologically advanced, they have studied Rrth and see Ymns as rather primitive, ridiculing and fearing them. There is an alien invasion, bloodshed, unexpected bravery and redemption.
Thankfully despite the familiarity Terra never feels stale.It's tense and dark but also witty, charming and very moving. Yes it's a story about aliens but it's also a very human story about families and love. I was left wanting more of this captivating world and had the feeling a sequel may be in the offing. Thankfully Mitch confirmed this is the case, the next book is planned for release next summer.
I am very much looking forward to catching up with Terra, Lbbp and friends then.

Terra is published in the UK by Gollancz.

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