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The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

Hannah wasn’t born blind, but sometimes it feels that way. – Opening sentence The Dark Net’s title and cover instantly appealed to me, because I love dark and gritty stories.  However, after reading it I would now say that the title and synopsis is actually misleading, as ‘the dark net’ isn’t the main facet of the story, and only appears briefly at the beginning and again at the end. The Dark Net is actually set in a modern-fantasy world where demons exist. ‘Light’ exists as well, but people on the ‘light’ spectrum just look like normal people. Demons, on the other hand, are shadowed beasts that haunt the world, with man-sized hairless hounds that stalk you in the middle of the night. So, not what I was expecting. But still an interesting premise. However, as I got deeper into The Dark Net I found myself getting more and more disappointed. There’s a…

Transition by Iain Banks

Transition is only the second book by Iain Banks that I have read, the first being The Wasp Factory (one of my favourite reads) back when I was a teenager. As Bank’s final book before his death last year, Transition received a lot of media attention and was described as a cross between Banks and Iain M. Banks (the name he used for his Sci-Fi works). As The Wasp Factory was my first introduction to Banks – as well the first book Banks published – I thought it would be fitting and rather poetic to read Transition as well. The story is narrated through a handful of mysterious characters, who’s identities are slowly revealed as the story develops. I don’t mind this style of writing – but I think it has to be done with cleverness and precision. For me, Banks does well to attract initial attention and pull you in…

The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, his Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren

Apart from having a ridiculously long title, this book is a one-of-a-kind that you will either love or hate. Set in a fictional Victorian-inspired era of Europe, our hero Hercules Barefoot is born deaf, dumb and horribly disfigured. However, Hercules Barefoot also has the power to read people’s minds, and it’s this power which is both a gift and a curse in his long and miserable life. Described as a love story, the majority of the book follows Hercules Barefoot searching for his one true love, Henriette, who he was dramatically parted from when she was ‘sold’ to a man in their youth. Along the way the reader bears witness to the extreme prejudice, bullying and torture that Hercules Barefoot suffers as he struggles to be treated as an equal among his peers. But Hercules Barefoot is not equal, and it is is the curse that he must endure that…

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