Latest Reviews

History

Queensland Reviewers Collective (QRC) is the new name for an initiative that began eighteen years ago. Up until November 2016 it was known as M/C Reviews. In December 2015, the M/C Reviews website had a major security breach that took it down, and the editor of the book reviews section and some of the reviewers responded by starting a blog as a temporary site for book reviews until the website could be repaired. Unfortunately, it eventually became apparent that the website was not able to be restored, thus ending its long and illustrious presence as a place for the lively engagement with books and film through reviewing.

Once again, the editor and a small group of book reviewers decided they valued M/C Reviews enough to enable its rebirth as the Queensland Reviewers Collective. It no longer has an association with the Queensland University of Technology.

The website that M/C Reviews was initially a part of was M/C – Media and Culture, founded in 1998 as, according to the History section, ‘a place of public intellectualism, analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture’. It was meant as a place where the popular and the academic could meet, and ‘debates may have some resonance with wider political and cultural interests’.

The website was initiated and developed at the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia; since 2004, it has been hosted by the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology in Kelvin Grove. The first publication was the M/C Journal, still thriving today, followed by M/C Reviews, and then M/Cyclopedia of New Media.

Other Reviews

2020 Booker Prize

On 15 September, the 2020 Booker Prize shortlist was revealed by the 2020 Chair of Judges Margaret Busby. The shortlist was selected from 162 submitted books. Readers of the six chosen books will explore the tender story of a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a dystopian city made inhospitable by the climate crisis;

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Children

Havoc! The Untold Magic of Cora Bell by Rebecca McRitchie

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The rollicking sequel to Jinxed! Cora Bell’s Untold Magic is a roller coaster of colourful adventures, humour and, of course, magical antics.  It is bound to please the ever-increasing number of readers who are lovers of fantasy. The background to Cora’s acquiring her magic skills and becoming a ‘syphon’ is explained

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General Fiction

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

Reviewed by Ian Lipke A huge book of 800+ pages, The Evening and the Morning appears to be a useful source of information relating to the pre-1000 CE period. Having read general knowledge books in the history of this era as well as some specialist tomes, I am comfortable in asserting that the author’s research

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General Fiction

Lionhearts by Nathan Makaryk

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Lionhearts opens with England in dire need of a king. But Richard 1, the Lionheart, has been captured while on Crusade and is held fast in Austria pending payment of a ransom. To raise the money needed to bring him home, every lord has increased taxes and the common people are

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Non-Fiction

The Good Germans by Catrine Clay

Reviewed by Ian Lipke While I have never heard of Catrine Clay, whose ‘ground-breaking research’ produced The Good Germans, the fault is not hers. It is my responsibility to keep up. I note that Ms Clay has written at least one other book, King Kaiser Tsar, and on its merits has been described as an

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General Fiction

Bluebird by Malcolm Knox

Reviewed by Rod McLary Bluebird is a sprawling novel set in the fictitious small town of Bluebird located just across the bay from Ocean City.  It could be anywhere but the descriptions of the town’s characters place it squarely in Australia.  Most readers would recognise – and perhaps some may even know – many of

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Non-Fiction

People of the River by Grace Karskens

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Almost seven hundred pages face the reader of Professor Grace Karskens’s latest book People of the River. This is a masterpiece of historical writing that deals with the lost worlds of early Australia (as she calls them). Karskens bases her text on the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers areas, where she identifies

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General Fiction

The Wreck by Meg Keneally

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This second novel by Meg Keneally has much in common with her first solo novel Fled. The early part of both novels is set in Britain at a time when the common people felt powerless, exploited by those with money and where survival was all a matter of chance. The second

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Children

The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour by Beck and Robin Feiner

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve One of the most exciting developments in publishing is the high quality and irresistible nature, mostly, of books for children.  From babies to young adults, there is an ever-growing selection which would impoverish a family should book-loving parents succumb and shower their offspring with appealing items. Of course, libraries are an

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