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Tohby Riddle

Allen & Unwin (2012)

ISBN: 978-1-74237-9722

Reviewed by Ross Murray

Unforgotten is Tohby Riddle’s latest book, following My Uncle’s Donkey (2010) and Nobody Owns the Moon (2008). However, his impressive catalogue of publications (including collaborations) goes back to 1989 and includes books for pre-schoolers, cartoon collections, graphic novels, non-fiction, and a novel, The Lucky Ones (2009).

Down from the heavens arrive angels, sweeping through cities all over the earth. They travel so fast their presence is hardly perceived. On train stations, in traffic tunnels, on the top of buildings, they flicker in and out of sight. These angels come “to watch over, and to warm, and to mend”. Read the rest of this entry »

KJ Taylor

The Fallen Moon, Book 3

Harper Voyager (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-7322-8854-9

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

The dark griffin Skandar, along with the griffin/woman Skade, search to find Arrenadd, who is both saviour and destroyer. Plans for vengeance by those who survived the destruction of the griffin city dog the Northerners at every turn – who will survive the clash of two peoples?

I struggled with this book and I was very disappointed that I found it such hard work. I really enjoyed Taylor’s first book in this series, but the second and third have been a challenge. With book two, it was more that I was not as impressed as I had been with the first one, rather through any fault of the book itself, but this time, I think the story, characters and writing have really let the initial idea down. The complete reversal of characterisation really threw me for a loop, and this was never justified well enough to make it believable for me. The writing meanders and the action is poorly paced. The world building maintained its complexity, but was let down by a plot that simply did not, to me, make sense or live up to the expectations created by the first book.

It’s hard to me to give a bad review, particularly for an Australian fantasy series that showed such marvellous promise early on, but sadly, I can’t recommend the series based on the strength of one book. This just didn’t satisfy.

KJ Taylor

The Fallen Moon Book Two

HarperVoyager (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 7322 8853 2

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Arren Cardockson is a wanted man after he brought down the ruling class of Eagleholm, effectively (if unwittingly) destroying the city and its government of griffiners. On the run with the wild griffin Darkheart (now named Skandar by Arren), he heads towards the North, the only place he can think of where he might find peace. But peace is not in Arren’s destiny – first coming across the strange woman Skade and joining her on her own strange quest in the hopes of redeeming his own curse, then being captured and enslaved, Arren crashes from crisis to crisis, embroiling himself ever deeper in a spiral of rage, fear and hate that has no visible way out. Read the rest of this entry »

KJ Taylor

The Fallen Moon, Book 1

Harper Voyager (2009)

ISBN: 978 07322 88525

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

KJ Taylor is a young author and The Dark Griffin is her first book for Voyager. In my experience, this combination frequently makes for a naively written book that I generally find easy to dismiss. From the first chapter though, The Dark Griffin engaged and intrigued me. Taylor has written a cohesive and powerful tale, peopled with deeply layered characters and set in the wonderful tapestry of a new fantasy world. Read the rest of this entry »

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