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Sunday Post #11 June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018
Sunday Post, Weekly Feature, InToriLex
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.

LAST WEEK


COMING SOON

Review: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Review: Somebody's Daughter by David Bell

Recommended 2018 Summer Releases

Book Scoop June 22-  June, 29 2018

BOOKS HAULED

Emergency Contact, The Other Woman, If They Come For Us, Brin Me Back, InToriLex
If they Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar
(Goodreads Giveaway) OUT August 7th

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris 
(Publisher Giveaway) OUT NOW 

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
(Publisher Giveaway) Out August 21

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
(Twitter Giveaway) OUT NOW

LIFE LATELY 

I have continued to struggle on all fronts with my blog this week. I am looking forward to being on Vacation next week and giving my mind some time to just relax. I recently finished Somebody's Daughter by David Bell which I enjoyed despite some issues. I'm listening to The Book of M by Peng Shephard which is phenomenal. I'm trying my best to read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee despite a slow start. I recently started Artificial Conditions by Martha Wells which is the second novella in the Murderbot series.  The Murderbot series is funny and action packed so definitely pick it up if your into Sci-fi. 

How did your reading go this week?
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Book Scoop June 8- June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018
Book News, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, InToriLex

HEADLINES

BOOK RELEASES

Not the Girls You're Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
Not the Girls You're Looking For, Aminah Mae Safi, InToriLex
Not the Girls You're Looking For
Lulu Saad doesn't need your advice, thank you very much. She's got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It's all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can't find her way out of this mess soon, she'll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She'll have to go looking for herself.
Call Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftin
Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin, InToriLex
Call Me American: A Memoir
~Amazon~ 
Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.

Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. But as life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee.

In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America--filled with twists and turns and a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi--did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin's dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life.
Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
Bring Me Back, B.A. Paris, IntoriLex
Bring Me Back
 Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.
The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty
The Robots of Gotham, Todd McAulty, InToriLex
The Robots of Gotham
After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines.

Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

June 19, 2018
Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Doubleday on June 5, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (273 pages)
Genre: Thriller/ Contemporary/ Mystery
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Publisher Request
Rating: TWO POINT FIVE STARS
Social Creature
~Amazon~
They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste...

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.


Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Drug Use, Suicide, Self Harm, Violence, Murder, Sexual Assault, Graphic Sex Acts, Mental Illness

REVIEW:

Toxic friendship mixed with champagne and money, sounded like a great read to me. I'm familiar with the A Talented Mr. Ripley which the blurb mentions, so I knew way to much of how this story would unfold. Lavinia is a  rich troubled woman who is taking time off from college to pretend she's writing a book, while her parents support her. Louise is a SAT tutor who meet's Lavinia by chance when she comes by her house to tutor he little sister. Louise and Lavinia quickly become joined at the hip and participate in lots of drinking, partying and doing drugs. The frenzied pacing of the book is told from Louise perspective as a fish out of water, but it give way too much away, leaving no buildup for what happens later.
Louise leans her head on Lavinia's shoulder. Lavinia squeezes her hand.
Louise thinks: we cannot be know and loved at the same time.
Louise and Lavinia are unlikable characters. I can root for characters who make bad choices but there wasn't enough character development to determine what motivate their behavior. This thriller had little to no suspense because your clued in to what will happen very early on in the book. Louise past was mysterious but in the book the sparse clues we have to her past were not enlightening. I enjoy reading about female friendships but the pretentious side characters and conflict never added the pizazz that this book needed.
There's a reason people are able to function, in this world, as social creatures and a good part of that reason is that there are a lot of questions you're better off not knowing the answer to, and if you're smart you won't even ask.
The plot line was not entirely original and I was happy when I finished this book to never think about these characters again. If you like thrillers with whacky party elements and dark characters you may enjoy this. However I couldn't relate with the character and there was little to no thrills involved with this thriller.

Recommended for Readers who
-enjoy books that incorporate our society's social media obsession
-like violent plot driven novels
-can roll with unlikable characters while reading

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Tara Isabella Burton has followed a female hermit into the remote Caucasus, gotten love amulets from Turkish Islamic shamans, and held signs with the street preachers of Las Vegas.

Her work on religion, culture, and place can be found at National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, The Economist's 1843, Aeon, The BBC, The Atlantic, The American Interest, Salon, The New Statesman, The Telegraph, and more. Her fiction has appeared at The New Yorker's Daily Shouts, Great Jones Street, Tor.com, PANK, Shimmer, and other places. She has received The Spectator's 2012 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize and a 2016 Lowell Thomas Award.

​Her first novel, Social Creature, is forthcoming from Doubleday (US) and Bloomsbury/Raven (UK) in June 2018, and will be translated into nine more languages, including Italian, French, and Russian. She is also working on a non-fiction book about new religious and "replacement religion" movements, Strange Rites: Cults and Subcultures After the Death of God, to be published by Public Affairs in 2019.

Tara recently completed a doctorate in theology as a Clarendon Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford. She is currently a staff writer on the religion beat at Vox.

TWITTER
WEBSITE
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Sunday Post #10 June 17, 2018

June 17, 2018
InToriLex, Sunday Post
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.

LAST WEEK

I posted no reviews, book scoops, or discussions. I've been in a very weird place, where I'm struggling to do much besides work. This unplanned hiatus will be over soon. I appreciate everyone who has continued to comment, while I've been inactive. But planning on posting on my regular schedule. 

COMING SOON

Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton 

Review: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Recommended 2018 Summer Releases

Book Scoop June 8-  June, 22 1018

BOOKS HAULED

Underneath the Whiskey, Chelsea Lauren, The Dinner List, Rebecca Serle, InToriLex
Underneath the Whiskey by Chelsea Lauren 
(Twitter Giveaway)

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle OUT September 11, 2018 (Flatiron Books Giveaway)

Ohio, Stephen Markley, InToriLex
Ohio by Stephen Markley OUT August 21, 2018
 (Simon Schuster Giveaway)
GIVEAWAY
How did your reading go this week?
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Sunday Post #9 June 10, 2018

June 10, 2018
Weekly Feature, Sunday Post, InToriLex
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next. 

LAST WEEK 

Review: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl 

Book Scoop June 1- June 8, 2018

COMING SOON

Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton 

Review: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Recommended 2018 Summer Releases

Book Scoop June 8-  June, 15 1018

AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE

Bina shares 10 Women of Color June Book Releases

Aimee Reviews Save the Date by Morgan Matson Wedding Date

Karla Reviews The Book of M by Peng Shephard 

 BOOK HAULED

Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown (Sent by Penguin Random House)

LIFE LATELY

I visited with family and friends this weekend which meant little to no reading got done. I also had my five year reunion for Law School. Time keeps speeding by and I'm in awe by how much I've grown since then. I'm currently reading The Night Masquerade (Binti, #3) by Nnedi Okorafor, Somebody's Daughter by David Bell and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. The Night Masquerade is on audio and the last book in a trilogy, its barreling to a great conclusion, Pachinko is fantastic Historical Fiction and Somebody' Daughter has managed to keep me in suspense from the start. Hoping for more reading and writing this week. 

How did your reading go this week?
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Book Scoop June 1- June 8, 2018

June 8, 2018
InToriLex, Book News, Book Scoop

HEADLINES




LINKS TO CLICK




BOOK RELEASES

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
Neverworld Wake, Marisha Pessl, InToriLex
Neverworld Wake
~Amazon~
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers... and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake. 
   Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman 
Something in the Water, Catherine Steadman, InToriLex
Something in the Water ~Amazon~ 
 If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Number One Chinese Restaurant, Lillian Li, InToriLex
Number One Chinese Restaurant
~Amazon~
The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.

Generous in spirit, unaffected in its intelligence, multi-voiced, poignant, and darkly funny, Number One Chinese Restaurant looks beyond red tablecloths and silkscreen murals to share an unforgettable story about youth and aging, parents and children, and all the ways that our families destroy us while also keeping us grounded and alive.
   There There by Tommy Orange  There There, Tommy Orange, InToriLex
There There
~Amazon~
Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange’s first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career.

There There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the plight of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country. 
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

June 6, 2018
Neverworld Wake, Marisha Pessl, InToriLex, Book Review
Published By: Delacorte Press on June 5, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (324 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Mystery/ Sci-fi
Series: Standalone
Source: Won Publisher Giveaway
Rating: FOUR STARS
Neverworld Wake
~Amazon~ 
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers... and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Suicide, Murder, Mental Illness, Drug Use

REVIEW:

This book pulled me out of my reading slump because I had such a good time with this book. Beatrice/ Bee sets out to find answers from her ex-group of friends about her boyfriend Jim , who died suddenly. After a night out they find out they are stuck in time by a mysterious man. While stuck in time the mystery of what happened to Jim begins to unravel while secrets the friends have held close are slowly revealed. The group of friends Bee, Martha, Kipling and Cannon were very well developed. I was nervous while reading that this group of white privileged teens would not be relateable, but I slowly became more invested as I learned about their lives.
"Friendship, when it runs deep , blinds you to the outside world. It's your exclusive country with sealed borders, unfair distribution of green cards, rich culture no foreigner could understand."
Science fiction and fantasy elements added danger and tension to the what happens to the group of friends as they are stuck in time. It allowed the characters to engage in action and settings that kept the story interesting and going at a fast pace. The mystery takes twists and turns I was not expecting.  I was anxiously turning the pages and waiting to see what would happen next. The drug use, narcissism and bad young adult decisions were portrayed realistically and made me nostalgic about my high school experience. While you suspend your belief for some elements of the story, the suspense and nice pacing of the book never let up.
"You are more magical then you know. Take your advice from the elderly and children. None of it as crucial as you think , but that makes it no less vital. Our lives go on. And on. Look for the breadcrumbs."
The only issues I had with the book had to do with the ending. While the story had unique elements I was disappointed with the direction the author decided to take. This was a solid thriller with great writing so I'm definitely going to check out this author's other books.

Recommended for Readers Who
- enjoy page turning thrillers
- love books that make you think
- enjoy great writing and surprising twists

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Marisha Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, her debut novel, was a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. It won the 2006 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Her new novel, Night Film, comes out August 20, 2013.
WEBSITE
TWITTER
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Review: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

June 5, 2018
LIFEL1K3, (Lifelike #1), Jay Kristoff, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Knopf Books for Young Readers on May 29, 2018
Format Read: Kindle ARC Edition (416 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Book one of Likelike
Source: Netgalley
Rating: TWO POINT FIVE STARS
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
~Amazon~
On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn't looking for trouble--she's too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she's on the local gangster's wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she's discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she's ever had a worse day, Eve can't remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day--one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel--called a "Lifelike" because they resemble humans--will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves...and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Graphic Violence, Animal Death

REVIEW:

This is marketed as Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max, X Men and a little of Blade Runner. A mashup of sci-fi futuristic technology, in a post apocalyptic world featuring super powers led to memorable world building. Unfortunately the character development took a backseat to fitting in elements that never felt cohesive. Eve is a likeable protagonist who is determined to survive on a island exposed to radiation while dealing with traumatic memories from her past. Ezekiel is a lifelike, a robot immune to almost anything, who had little defining personality other then his relationship to Eve. Eve and Ezekiel  have a Insta-Love formed bond with starry eyed romance that never felt real.
"Rule Number Three in the Scrap: Carry the biggest stick."
Eve's best friend Lemon Fresh and Cricket were interesting and funny, but only served as two dimensional characters to balance out the violence and conflict in the story. Lemon Fresh who's name I never got used to had little desires or opinions that mattered to the plot or other characters. Cricket is a little bot focused on safety but his suggestions and advice was never listened to. He brought humor and logic to a story that needed more of both. The slang used in the book grated on me and never felt "fizzy" (what characters used to describe something good).
"But you get fancy, Mister Stabby gets dancy, you read me?"
I did enjoy the world building, action and villains, but never felt tied to this world because of the characters. The sci-fi elements were great including a sea creature who is a mix of organic and artificial parts, along with giant fighting robots. But in a world the author wants us to care about human like robots, I never found empathy for the Lifelike robots in the book. While I did finish the book there were too many twists that lead to a unsatisfying conclusion. I am a fan of Jay Kristoff's other books. he just missed the mark by combing awesome elements with little character development.
Recommended for Readers Who
-enjoy action packed post apocalyptic settings
-can tolerate a plot driven novel
-aren't hung up on romance that develops instantly

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.


WEBSITE
TWITTER



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