Robert Batten

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author

Tag: scifi

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn's families rule opposite ends of Verity, a grisly metropolis where violent acts summon real monsters: bloodsucking Malchai; clawing Corsai; and soul-stealing Sunai. The truce that keeps the families at peace is crumbling, and August is sent to spy on Kate. But when Harker's men try to kill her and pin it on the Flynns, August and Kate find themselves running from both sides, in a city where monsters are real…

This Savage Song is another powerhouse from Schwab and I loved every second of it. Prior to this book, I’d read her Shades of Magic series, which is a stunning urban fantasy trilogy, and I was excited to dive into a different Schwab world. This Savage Song did not disappoint.

Set in a grim world of the future, where the US has separated into independent territories, the story takes place mostly within V-City; a territory divided in two by a shaky truce. It is a city where violent acts give birth to literal monsters. Where some monsters dream of being human. And some humans are… well, monstrous. In the middle of this we meet two youngsters on opposite sides of the divide, who despite everything, forge a connection and must learn to trust each other. The characterizations are deep and wonderful, the world gloriously dark and unique, and the plot sucks you inexorably toward the epic ending.

This Savage Song is the first of two books, with the sequel, Our Dark Duet, already available.

You can buy This Savage Song from Amazon using the link on the right, or from your favourite bookseller. You can also look it up on Goodreads here.

Have you read it?

Add your thoughts in the comments!

Want other recommendations?

If you found this recommendation helpful, you can check out my other recommendations here.

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New Captain Marvel Trailer

A new Captain Marvel trailer has dropped — have you seen it yet?

I'm getting pretty excited for this movie; it looks like there'll be plenty of Marvel's self-aware humour, and Captain Marvel herself is looking Badd@ss.

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Dystopian Giveaway to ring in the new year

I'm giving away some great dystopian books to celebrate the start of 2019!

I'm giving away:

Entry is free. By entering you agree to join my mailing list (if you're already on my mailing list, you can still enter).

Entries are open until 16 January 2019 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

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2018 in Books

2018 was a good year for reading. As they do every year, Goodreads have started generating member’s “year in books” reports, and it’s always fun to dive in and remind yourself what you read (you can view mine here).

The Stats

This year, I finished 65 books, which is way up for me, but is also deceptive, as that includes children’s books I read with my son. If I remove those 31 short stories, that means I completed 34 novels in 2018.

In total, I read approximately 13,000 pages, with the shortest book being only 16 pages (Stephen Biesty’s Trains) and the longest book coming in at 768 pages (The Fireman by Joe Hill).

(more…)
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No season of Doctor Who in 2019

The BBC has announced there won't be a 2019 season of Doctor Who, but we will get a New Year's special on 1 Jan (instead of the more traditional Christmas Special) and the series will return in 2020.

This news, while disappointing, isn't a surprise. There had been talk the new writing team didn't feel they could do the show justice while still churning out a full season each year, and even rumors they (and Jodie Whittaker, could depart).

I think this year's season has been excellent; episode one was a little shaky for me, but since then it seems to have gone from strength to strength, and I love Whittaker in the role of Doctor. It's going to be a long wait, but I'm confident the 2020 season will be worth it.

Update: we’ve also been gifted with a trailer for the New Year’s special. 

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Genres: Science-Fiction | Dystopia.

"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."

"I live for you," I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."

I’ve been getting hassled about reading this series for a while, so finally sat down and read the first installment — Red Rising. It was fantastic.

Red Rising is set on Mars in a distant future. It follows Darrow, a red, who believe themselves the first colonists on the planet, mining the resources necessary to terraform the surface and make the planet safe for full colonization.

Only, that’s not really true.

A series of events reveals to Darrow just how badly they’ve all been lied to. Left with nothing but a hunger for revenge, he agrees to become the enemy in order to bring them down.

“See. That’s what I don’t get. If I am a good man, then why do I want to do bad things?” Darrow.

What follows is a brutal adventure and Darrow’s first steps on his mission. Darrow is a great character who grows significantly throughout the book and Brown does an amazing job building a believable world. I became completely caught up in the narrative and cheered out loud on several occasions as Darrow successfully pulled off something particularly outrageous. He is wild, audacious, and driven, and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.

Where to find it

If you're interested in Red Rising, you can learn more on Goodreads here, or buy a copy from Amazon here.

While you're here

If you enjoyed this recommendation, why not have a look at my other recommendations as well?

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