Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Australian Women Writers Reading and Reviewing Challenge - Roundup 1

For those of you keeping track, you may have noticed that my purple progress bar on the left has filled up all the way, which means I have reached one of my goals for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Of course, I’m not going to stop here. For a start, my science fiction challenge is incomplete and for an end, I’m going to keep reading books by Australian women regardless, so I might as well continue keeping track in the spirit of the year.

So consider this the first roundup post of the year. I’m not sure how many I’ll end up with. At least three, I suppose (one for SF and probably another fantasy/misc one), but who knows what the rest of the year will bring.

Also, I know I’ve called it “Fantasy/Misc”, but really all the books on this list have some fantastic elements. A breakdown by subgenre would go something like this:

YA Fantasy

  • EonaEonEon and Eona by Alison Goodman — although as per my discussion in the review, I think they’re borderline YA/adult

  • Angel Arias by Marianne de Pierres — has science fictional elements but gothic fantasy sensibilities

Urban Fantasy

  • Spider GoddessBlood CountessThe Blood Countess and The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss — set in New York with vampires and other paranormal beings. You can’t get more urban than that

  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti — superheroes and most of the stories were set in Sydney

More difficult to classify fantasy


  • Hoodwink by Rhonda Roberts — it’s more noir crime time travel fiction, but I didn’t include it in my SF challenge because technology/other SF aspects aren’t central to the story at all

  • Debris by Jo Anderton — sort of steampunk except instead of further evolving steampunk tech, magic was discovered and used industrially

  • Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts — I’d call it high fantasy, but my personal definition of high fantasy doesn’t overlap with many other people’s. Also, it’s set in fantasy sort-of-Rome, so no pseudo British/French/German castles/knights/etc, which I’m told is refreshing (I tend to avoid a lot of traditional fantasy for reasons I’m not about to go into)
  • Thief of Lives by
    Lucy Sussex — two stories were fantasy, two were, um, what’s the word for non-genre? Contemporary? Literary? I don’t know. Well, one was crime (but not a mystery).
Books read in order with review links:

  1. Eon by Alison Goodman (review)

  2. Eona by Alison Goodman (review, same page as above)

  3. Hoodwink by Rhonda Roberts (review)

  4. Debris by Jo Anderton (review)

  5. The Blood Countess by Tara Moss (review)

  6. The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss (review)

  7. Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (review)

  8. Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts (review)

  9. Thief of Lives by Lucy Sussex (review)

  10. Angel Arias by Marianne de Pierres (review)
I’m pretty pleased that I’ve reviewed all the books so far. In the past, I haven’t really got into the swing of writing reviews so I wasn’t sure how that aspect of the challenge would go. I’m glad to report it wasn’t at all a chore.

Neither, of course, was reading the books. Really, for this category, this was less of a challenge than an excuse to buy some books. My SF challenge is more challenging, but mainly because there are fewer books to choose from (and more of the fantasy books are RIGHT THERE on my shelf already).

Here’s to the next ten books!

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