The Friday Face-Off: It Shuffles Through The Dry, Dusty Darkness


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


Pyramids by Terry Pratchett


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off! This week we’re comparing covers which feature mummification!

Lucky for us speculative fiction lovers there are numerous books in the fantasy world which have been inspired by Egyptology but those pesky mummies seem to be few and far between. Mr. Pratchett of course can never disappoint and threw Pyramids into my lap to aid in this week’s cover exploration. With mummies tearing their way out of the original cover and lying soundly in the sarcophagus for the Russians, these two covers go head to head in this Friday’s Face-Off!


Original – Cover #1

Cover Art by Josh Kirby

Russian – Cover #2


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

From chaos, colour and action to sombre, creepy and mysterious, these two covers for Terry Pratchett’s Pyramids could not be more different. As with all the original Discworld covers I love the vibrancy and detail, the riot of figures and the wonderful humour reminiscent of the novels. This is a cover which demands attention and further exploration; a cover you can get lost in as much as the book.

By comparison the Russian cover for Pyramids is startlingly simple. The typeface is elegant and uncomplicated and the single, mysterious image on a dark background allows the plume of dust and wispy wrappings to bring a hint of mystery and darkness to the fore. However, the beauty of Kirby’s art is that it captures Pratchett’s humorous writing incredibly well – you see it and you know it’s Pratchett; something that sadly the Russian cover barely even hints at.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext week’s theme is:

You Couldn’t Not Like Someone Who Liked The Guitar

A cover which features a guitar

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Productions

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday Firsts: Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: June 09 |

Spiderlight

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Fantasy | 298 Pages | Published by Tor in 2016


| First Paragraphs |

THE WORDS THAT TWANGED and thrummed their way to Nth said, New food coming, and he stirred, resettling his legs to take the measure of the message: how far, what direction, who originated it. Mother’s Brood was large. Some of her children were more reliable than others.

New food. Different food. That had everyone’s interest. Across the span of the web, that was strung in mistlike sheets from tree to tree across their forest, he felt the others rousing, rising from their torpor. There was always food, even for so many bodies as Mother’s Brood ran to, but variety was welcome.

In the dark wood, the deer ran in their many herds, feeding in the clearings under the shadow of the webs, and being fed upon in turn. Mother saw to it that there were always clearings, where the great trees had been poisoned and weakened. There would always be deer aplenty.

In the trees there were monkeys, and they were clever and often escaped the hunt or the web, but this, too, was Mother’s plan. The monkeys were just clever enough that there would always be enough monkeys. They were aware enough to realize their fate, when they were caught, and that gave their juices an extra savor.

There were no wolves, no stalking cats. It was not that the flesh of these things was unpalatable, but they were wasteful. They consumed too many deer and monkeys for their presence to be tolerated.

New food , though. Nth waited for the words of the web to tell him that this prize wastaken, so that he could beg Mother for a taste.

More speech came from the hunters, a constant commentary as they shadowed the intruders into the dark wood, hurrying above them while their siblings wove traps and barriers to channel them and funnel them.

New food. Man.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

My third week of Friday Firsts and once again I return with one of my favourite authors! Adrian Tchaikovsky has written a multitude of outstanding fantasy and science fiction novels which always appear to hit the mark – and Spiderlight, I expect, will be no exception.

The novel begins in the heart of the dark brood itself. The thoughts,  hungers and animalistic desires that creep through this cluster of spiders are brought to the fore in Spiderlight’s opening paragraphs, leaving an impression of tension, excitement and a sense that this is going to be one unique novel!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday: Our Dark Duet


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: June 07 |

Our Dark Duet

Book Two of Monsters of Verity

by V. E. Schwab


Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

To be published by Titan on 13th June 2017

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: June 06


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: June 06 |

Daughter of Necessity

by Marie Brennan

Fantasy | Short Story | 32 Pages | Published by Tor in 2014


“Too late, she will see that it has gone too far. He has coaxed from her words she never meant to speak, implications she cannot disavow. To do so would bring war, and the destruction she sought to avoid. She will have no choice but to acquiesce, for the sake of her people, for the sake of her son.

She will fail, and pay the price of that failure until the end of her days.”

~ 34% | Daughter of Necessity by Marie Brennan


| Synopsis |

By day she crafts; by night she unmakes. Surely somewhere, in all the myriad crossings of the threads, there is a future in which all will be well. Marie Brennan offers an intriguing new spin on a classic tale.

Amazon | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017


Welcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!


| The Monthly Round-Up: May 2017 |

This May saw my return to book blogging, something I have missed for a long time! While I’m still finding my feet – reading more books, writing more reviews and generally posting more than once in a while – I’ve really enjoyed this month! So thank you for reading this blog, for continuing memes in my absence and for recommending such awesome books! And though small in number, here’s what’s made it off the TBR this month:

| Books Read |

| 1. |

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

The second book in Sanderson’s Reckoners series carries on in the vein of its predecessor, Steelheart. Firefight is an action packed, power flexing, villain infested romp across an unrecognisable US which leaves me eager to complete the series and write up a review! 

| 2. |

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons is the first in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series by Marie Brennan and transports the reader to a world steeped in Victoriana, where lady adventurers explore exotic climes and feats of science, industry and progress await discovery.

| 3. |

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

The Tropic of Serpents, the sequel to A Natural History of Dragons, continues the tale of Lady Trent in another beautifully written and utterly engrossing memoir which paints a picture of a world not entirely different from our own.

| 4. |

The Pilgrim of Hate by Ellis Peters

The Pilgrim of Hate is the tenth novel in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters. From a pilgrimage of the devout comes another murder, another mystery and a whole lot of trouble for our ex-crusading holy man.


Firefight

by Brandon Sanderson


| Goals for 2017 |

Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge: 14/50 Books Read (28%)


| Reviews Posted |

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak


A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan


| Other Posts From May 2017 |

The Friday Face-Off: An Update

The Friday Face-Off: May 12 – Don’t Use The Phone

The Friday Face-Off: May 19 – The Airplane Takes Off Against the Wind, Not With It

The Friday Face-Off: May 26 – Of all the Words of Mice and Men

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Mother’s Day Special

Teaser Tuesdays: May 09 – A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 16 – The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 23 – The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Teaser Tuesdays: May 30 – Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Waiting on Wednesday: The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan

Friday Firsts: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday: The Legion of Flame


Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.


| Waiting on Wednesday: May 31 |

The Legion of Flame

Book Two of The Draconis Memoria

by Anthony Ryan


The Legion of Flame is the action-packed second novel in the Draconis Memoria series – an enthralling epic fantasy of magic, adventure and the furious battle to forge an empire.

Claydon Torcreek has survived drake-infested jungles, hostile tribes and the cold touch of betrayal – yet his troubles have only just begun.

The legendary white drake – believed to be nothing more than a myth – has awoken from its long slumber, with a thirst to reduce the world of men to ashes.

One city has already fallen to the drake’s formidable legions. More will follow, unless Clay can uncover an ancient secret that lies buried beneath the southern ice.

Once again Clay must face unthinkable danger, and this time he carries not just the hopes of his own nation, but the fate of the entire world.

To be published by Orbit on 06th July 2017

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Teaser Tuesdays: May 30


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker.


| Teaser Tuesdays: May 30 |

Legion: Skin Deep

by Brandon Sanderson

Sci-Fi | Novella| 208 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2015


“Arnaud adjusted his spectacles. ‘Well, um, you see, in quantum physics we talk about possibilities. One interpretation says that dimensions are infinite, and everything that can happen, has happened. It seems to follow if this is true, then each of us aspects somewhere has existed in some dimension or realm of possibility as a real person. A curious thought, would you not agree, Étienne?’

‘Curious indeed,’ I said. ‘It –’

‘So I’m real,’ J.C. interjected. ‘The smart guy just said it.'”

~ 33% | Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson


| Synopsis |

Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the new story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there’s a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous…

What follows is a visionary thriller about the potential uses of technology, the mysteries of the human personality, and the ancient human need to believe that death is not the end. Legion: Skin Deep is speculative fiction at it most highly developed. It reaffirms Sanderson’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most intelligent—and unpredictable—voices.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Friday Firsts: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a new weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. New Book: First paragraphs. First impressions. New favourite?


| Friday Firsts: May 26 |

The Waking Fire

Book One of The Draconis Memoria

by Anthony Ryan

Fantasy | 594 Pages | Published by Orbit in 2016


| First Paragraphs |

REPORT TO: BOARD OF DIRECTORS IRONSHIP TRADING SYNDICATE HOME OFFICE FEROS HOLDINGS

Report by: Lodima Bondersil – Acting Director, Carvenport Division, Arradsian Continental Holdings

Date: Settemer 29, 1578 (Day 166 of Company Year 135 by the Corporate Calendar)

Subject: Events surrounding the demise of Mr. Havelic Dunmorn, Director Carvenport Division, Arradsian Continental Holdings

Esteemed Sirs and Ladies,

By the time this report reaches your hands you will, no doubt, have received word via the Blue-trance of the demise of my immediate superior, Mr. Havelic Dunmorn, and an initial estimate of the associated deaths and considerable material destruction accompanying that tragic event. I have compiled this written account in the hope and expectation it will obviate any asinine and ill-informed rumours spread by competitors or Syndicate employees (see addendum for a list of recommended dismissals and contract terminations). It is my intention to provide a clear and unbiased account of events so as to better inform the deliberations of the Board and any subsequent directives they may see fit to issue.

The incident in question took place in and around the Harvesting and Dockside quarters of Carvenport on Settemer 26. The Board will recall Mr. Dunmorn’s Blue-trance communication on 12 Dimester which described the successful capture of a wild Black by the Chainmasters Independent Contractor Company, following a lengthy expedition to the south-western regions of the Arradsian Interior. I also refer the Board to the previous ten quarterly written reports from this Division concerning the increasing attrition rate amongst pen-bred stock, with Blacks proving the most short-lived of all breeds. I am sure the Board requires no reminder of the ever-decreasing potency of product harvested from inbred and youthful stock. Therefore, the capture of a live and healthy wild Black (the first such capture in more than a dozen years) was greeted with considerable excitement throughout the ranks of Syndicate employees, in that it offered the prospect of thickened blood lines and quality product for years to come. Unfortunately such expectations were soon revealed as premature.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


| First Impressions |

I cannot even describe how much I already love this book… but first… first impressions! Opening with a report from Lodima Bondersil, The Waking Fire creates tension and excitement from the very start, throwing the reader into the chaos of an historic event before confronting them with the repercussions further down the line.

The prologue reveals an interesting and gripping opener, raising question after question following the apparent disaster revealed almost immediately. The writing style is formal, owing to the nature of the report, yet fluid enough to engage with the reader from the start; and the introduction of key events and figures gives the reader a number of clues that will ostensibly tie in with the rest of the novel. So far, so awesome! I just wish I had more time to read it!

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: Of All The Words of Mice and Men


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


The Builders by Daniel Polansky


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off! For this week’s comparison we’re on the look out for covers which feature mice (though all rodents are welcome!).

Published by Tor globally and by Acheron in Italy, The Builders by Daniel Polansky features two incredibly striking covers that just beg for you to turn the first page. Take a look at these two artistic beauties and see which one is your favourite.


Tor – Cover #1

Cover Art by Richard Anderson

Acheron- Cover #2



| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

I’d like to say the choice was incredibly difficult this week – the runner-up is, after all, an absolutely amazing piece of art – but I can’t help but be seduced by the sheer beauty and atmospheric qualities of Richard Anderson’s artwork. Needless to say, due to my quite clear bias, it was an unfair contest from the start.

But let’s not overlook the details. The Tor cover is dramatic, gritty and gives the reader an immediate feel for the dark (if humorous) writing within while the Acheron cover speaks of comic western violence with its bold, selective palette and blocky typeface. I love the ink-like splatters and watercolour wash of the former and the styalised figures of the latter. But most of all, I love that both covers have instantly recognisable characters and that both transport you instantly into Polansky’s writing. Amazing covers. Amazing book.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Post LinksNext week’s theme is:

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

A cover which features the moon

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Ronyell @ RabbitEarsProductions

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin