May 2018

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Rise with the Dawn (Book 4 of the Red Queen Series) Reviewed by Ian Lipke Victoria Aveyard must be feeling very pleased with her efforts of the past few years…if she’s not, I urge her to check her bank account. She should be pleased, not because of anything to do with cash reserves (that was

Read More »

The Making of Martin Sparrow by Peter Cochrane

Reviewed by Rod McLary Set in 1806 – a mere 18 years after the First Fleet landed in Botany Bay – this novel chronicles the activities of Martin Sparrow and a rag-tag collection of convicts, farmers, constables, prostitutes and hunters.  Martin holds leased farmland near the lower reaches of the Hawkesbury River.  He is heavily

Read More »

The Outsider by Stephen King

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Readers of the Stephen King novels will love this classic tale. Baseball coach Terry Maitland stands accused of a particularly vicious rape and murder of a young boy. Arrested in front of a crowd watching a baseball game, the town turns on the popular family man when the evidence against him

Read More »

Sunburnt Country by Joelle Gergis

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke In 2008, young researcher Joelle Gergis was contacted by the University of Melbourne to reconstruct Australia’s climate history for as much of the last 1000 years as possible. To help achieve this goal the South East Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project was born and funded in 2009. In 2014 the work

Read More »

On Leopard Rock by Wilbur Smith

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In this book Wilbur Smith provides his readers with an insight into his own birth as a writer and the genesis of many of his tales that have thrilled so many people over many years. There has always been a swashbuckling tone to Smith’s books. For this he has been heavily

Read More »

Universe in Creation by Roy R. Gould

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Roy Gould’s work before Universe in Creation and I will have to take steps to rectify that situation. Gould writes the deepest scientific thoughts with the ease of a skilled raconteur. He is never boring, always interesting, seemingly unconcerned or unaware

Read More »

A Portrait of Bowie by Brian Hiatt

Reviewed by Angela Marie Ziggy played guitar. And then he stopped. And the music world bowed its collective head in grief and shock.  A bright and shining star extinguished. The royal chameleon of rock transformed and taken away too soon. His creative spark still exploding in Black Star, his final offering. It is not the

Read More »

Barney Greatrex by Michael Veitch

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders What makes a hero? Ralph Waldo Emerson thought that “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”  Tom Hanks once played the role of an ordinary man who fought behind German lines during the liberation of France: “A hero is somebody who voluntarily

Read More »

Five Years from Now by Paige Toon

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Paige Toon has taken an old idea, dressed it in a new costume, and provided readers of romantic fiction with a well told story whose characters are likable, settings beautiful and a plot that hangs together to the very end. The lead character Nell opens the story with a scene where

Read More »

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I must say that, when I read this book, I was looking for something escapist, something that required next to no cerebral effort, in short, just a rattling good yarn. And that is what I found. A General of some hidden department in the Pentagon has the bright idea of setting

Read More »

A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey

Reviewed by E.B. Heath This is the Great Australian Classic Adapted For Younger Readers There are so many reasons why this young readers’ edition of A. B. Facey’s, autobiography A Fortunate Life, should be reinstated on school reading lists.   Historical facts and figures are useful to a point, but fall short of illustrating how lives

Read More »

Complete Photography by Chris Gatcum

Reviewed by Gary Alech It is widely acknowledged that a picture is worth a thousand words. Just how many words that picture, read photograph, is truly worth is dependent on the skill set and the physical and emotional connectedness of the photographer and the viewer. There are numerous technological aspects to photography. Ultimately the question

Read More »

Venom by Brendan James Murray

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders This is a story about death.  And life. More or less in that order. Venom’s lurid cover pretty much gives away the topic. It is not a book about snakes in general, but about one snake in particular – nguman, dhayban – the coastal taipan. The central theme is about the

Read More »

Spinifex & Sunflowers by Avan Judd Stallard

Reviewed by Rod McLary In the 1990s, a new genre in literature emerged in Australia – grunge literature.  Perhaps the best exemplars are Andrew McGahan’s novels Praise and 1988 published in 1992 and 1995 respectively.  The characteristics of grunge literature are that its novels are usually fictional or semi-autobiographical and concerned with dissatisfied and disenfranchised

Read More »