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Shaun Tan

Lothian (2006)


Reviewed by Alisa Krasnostein (this review was first published in April 2007)

For me, by far the most outstanding work published in Australia last year was Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. The book itself, physically, is a beautiful work of art. The hard cover is designed to look like a beat up, battered old book – maybe a loved storybook or family photo album. It also reminds me of an old suitcase.

The story, too, is a beautifully crafted work of art. It tells the story of the immigrant – of a man who leaves his wife and child to escape the monster terrorising their city to begin a life for them anew in some other, freer city. Along the way, we share his struggles as he is confronted by the alienness of this new world as he misses his family as well as the stories of other immigrants who have fled their own oppressors to start a new life in this city. Read the rest of this entry »

Edwina Grey

Lothian (2006) 

ISBN: 0734409680 

Reviewed by Nicole Murphy (this review was first published in August 2006)

Prismatic is from the shortlived Lothian Dark Suspense line (it was intended to be a long-running line but was cut with just four books under contract). If Prismatic is indicative of the calibre of the books that would have been published, then Australian readers can consider themselves robbed.

Prismatic is three stories in the one book, each an interesting tale in its own right, but each building on the information of the other to create the full story. The basis of the entire story revolves around a patch of mangrove swamp on the Lane Cove River, in Sydney. In antiquity, the Aboriginal tribes avoided it. People living nearby tell strange stories. It is a place to be avoided. Read the rest of this entry »

Jessica Shirvington


ISBN: 978-0-7344-1184-6

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack

Embrace is a novel that will appeal strongly to Twilight fans. It’s not a copycat by any means – for a start, there’s not a vampire or a werewolf in sight – but both are romantic fantasies aimed at young women, and there are striking similarities between the strengths and weaknesses of these novels.

Violet Eden is about to turn 17. She’s never been a big fan of birthdays, largely because her mother died on the day she was born. This birthday is shaping up to be more difficult than usual, too, as quite a few people seem to think that 17 is important. And for Violet, it is; she will discover her Grigori heritage and be faced with life-changing choices.

Angels, it seems, are real. They are there to guide humans, and are not necessarily either good or evil in themselves, although some lean one way or another. But when an angel leaves their own dimension and comes to earth, he or she essentially becomes wicked – their lust for power overwhelms them and they become a danger to the humans around them. As a result, the Grigori were created – humans whose duty it is to find rogue angels and despatch them back to their own realm. These humans are given supernatural powers when a parent dies within a few days of the child’s birth, leaving a gateway for an angel to impart some of their own essence to the child. These Grigori children come into their power when they turn 17, but they must consciously choose to accept the power and responsibility for it to flower completely.

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