In the near future, lab-grown sex dolls are the pleasure toy of choice in this disturbing and provocative short story from Lauren Beukes, the bestselling author of The Shining Girls.
Actor and sex worker Nats is experienced at putting on a show. However, her new gig supplying intimate whispers for growgirls takes her to a place darker and lonelier than she could have ever imagined. The lab-grown dolls can respond to pleasure or pain; their synthetic heads contain only the simplest AI to prevent any pesky robo sex doll uprisings. But just because growgirls don’t have a brain, doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice…
Lavie Tidhar - The Bookman
When his beloved is killed in a terrorist atrocity committed by the sinister Bookman, young poet Orphan becomes enmeshed in a web of secrets and lies. His quest to uncover the truth takes him from the hidden catacombs of a London on the brink of revolution, through pirate-infested seas, to the mysterious island that may hold the secret to the origin, not only of the shadowy Bookman, but of Orphan himself…
Lavie Tidhar - Camera Obscura
CAN'T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself.
Lavie Tidhar - The Great Game
When Mycroft Holmes is murdered in London, it is up to retired shadow executive Smith to track down his killer - and stumble on the greatest conspiracy of his life. Strange forces are stirring into life around the globe, and in the shadow game of spies nothing is certain. Fresh from liberating a strange alien object in Abyssinia - which might just be the mythical Ark of the Covenant - young Lucy Westerna, Holmes' protégé, must follow her own path to the truth while, on the other side of the world, a young Harry Houdini must face his greatest feat of escape - death itself. As their paths converge the body count mounts up, the entire world is under threat, and in a foreboding castle in the mountains of Transylvania a mysterious old man weaves a spider's web of secrets and lies. Airship battles, Frankenstein monsters, alien tripods and death-defying acts: The Great Game is a cranked-up steampunk thriller in which nothing is certain - not even death.
Nadine Gordimer - A Guest of Honour
James Bray, an English colonial administrator who was expelled from a central African nation for siding with its black nationalist leaders, is invited back ten years later to join in the country's independence celebrations. As he witnesses the factionalism and violence that erupt as revolutionary ideals are subverted by ambition and greed, Bray is once again forced to choose sides, a choice that becomes both his triumph and his undoing.
Wilbur Smith - Golden Fox
She felt Ramn come awake and spring from the bed, naked and lithe as a jungle cat. She heard the metallic snicker of a firearm as he snatched the pistol from the holster. In the darkness a yellow flower of gun-flamed bloomed, and a single bullet whiplashed across twenty yards of open ground... In the searing heat of a divided Africa two decades of bitter dynastic conflict explode with terrifying ferocity. To Gary and Sean Courtney it is a struggle to the end; brother pitted against brother as they are dragged unwittingly into the lair of an international terrorist. Only Isabella Courtney stands between them and the mutual destruction they have willed for so long. Beautiful, headstrong Isabella; the link to 'Golden Fox' - a man whose alias hides a sinister and deadly secret... Traversing a vast panorama, from the heart of London society to the grandeur of Spain, from parched Ethiopia to war-torn Angola and on to the blazing hunting grounds of South Africa and Zimbabwe, Golden Fox is masterful storytelling from the arena of war; an adventure of stirring, irresistible intensity.
Tarryn Fisher - The Opportunist
Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption
Wilbur Smith - Warlock
Warlock is a sequel to River God that details the later life of Taita 40 years on from the death of Lostris. Taita is no longer a slave but a powerful warlock with great fame throughout Egypt and the surrounding nations, and has become the most influential man in Egypt through his close connection to the Pharaoh Tamose. The story begins with Pharaoh Tamose, accompanied by his most trusted companion, Lord Naja, marching towards the Hyksos main camp and planning a surprise attack from the rear. Lord Naja, however, has deviously tricked Pharaoh, for he is of Hyksos blood, and kills Pharaoh Tamose. However no one sees this tragedy, and Naja convinces the army of Pharaoh that he has been slain by the Hyksos and orders the army to retreat back to Thebes. When Naja arrives at Thebes, he cunningly sways the council members to appoint him as Regent, successfully obtaining power of the Upper Kingdom. Meanwhile, Taita takes a 14-year-old Nefer Memnon, Tamose's only surviving son from the Yellow Flower plague, into the desert wilderness to hone his mind and skills and to capture his godbird in order to prove his divine favor. Just after Nefer was born, years prior to these events, during his life in the desert as a hermit, Taita was visited in a dream by the former Queen Lostris, and returned to Thebes to be appointed as Nefer Seti's tutor, who is now next in line for the throne. Taita and Nefer fail to capture the godbird on two occasions, with their last incident revealing dire omens about Tamose's death and a dire threat to Nefer's life in the form of Tamose's unknown murderer. The two try to flee towards the Red Sea to escape the threat, but are found by Egyptian scouts sent by Naja, and return to Thebes. During the return, Nefer is crowned as Pharaoh Nefer Seti but is not of majority age nor ordained by the gods (either by capturing the godbird falcon or passing the trial of the Red Road), and hence must be placed under the protection and care of his Regent, Lord Naja. As the story develops, Taita's talents are spotted by Naja and he is appointed as his personal advisor. Naja then reveals to Taita that he is no longer to be Nefer's tutor and is separated from him indefinitely. Taita is aware of Naja's cruel intentions and the truth behind Pharaoh's death, however he does not reveal this to Naja, and instead uses his influence of him to gain some small control. Nefer's two sisters, Heseret and Merykara are force-wedded to Naja and become his wives, placing him next in line, after Nefer, through marriage. After complications arise, Naja confides in Taita for advice on how to restore peace between the two kingdoms. Taits suggests a treaty, and is sent to King Apepi, the Hyksos leader, to require that he attends a meeting between the two leaders. After a long debate which lasts many days, a treaty is agreed and both leaders sign it, restoring peace throughout the land. However, Apepi is killed not long after and Trok, who was Apepi's general, and is also Naja's cousin and co-conspirator, takes the role of Pharaoh of the Lower Kingdom. All of Apepi's children die as well, except Princess Mintaka, whom Apepi betrothed to Nefer Seti to reinforce the peace treaty. The two False Pharaohs join forces and begin an expedition to conquer more land and extend their kingdom. The co-Pharaohs' plans result in a sudden rise in military activity and levees of taxes, as well as harsher treatment of those who did not readily show their support of them, cause growing dissent and rebellion. Taita, using his vast knowledge and cunning, rescues Mintaka from Trok and reunites her with Nefer Seti, with whom she has fallen in love. The three, with loyal followers such as Nefer's childhood friend Meren Cambyses and a few others, begin to build up their own army in Gallalla over the next years, after Taita has a well constructed in the dead city. During these years Nefer's leadership and capability begins to flourish, and his fledgling forces complete successful missions against the false pharaohs. Nefer rescues his youngest sister, Merykara, who immediately falls in love with Meren. However Heseret has fallen in love with Naja, whom she was forced to marry, and is convinced he is the one true ruler of Egypt. When Naja and Trok are both slain in battles against Nefer's forces, by his efforts and that of his companions, Heseret becomes delusional and kills her sister when she is captured along with Mintaka. She escapes into the desert, determined to search for her dead husband, but is caught by Nefer and punished for killing their sister. Nefer hands her over to Meren and he kills her as justice for killing Merykara, to whom he was betrothed. The story ends with Nefer taking his rightful place at the throne of Egypt, with Queen Mintaka at his side, and with Taita and Meren leaving Egypt on a pilgrimage journey.
Wilbur Smith - Vicious Circle
Internationally bestselling author Wilbur Smith returns with Vicious Circle -a heart -racing story of family secrets, greed, and revenge. Hector Cross left behind a career of high risks and warfare when he married his beloved Hazel Bannock. But after his new life is tragically upended, he recognizes the ruthless hand of an old enemy behind the attack. Determined to fight back, Hector draws together a team of his most loyal friends and fellow warriors to hunt down those who pursue him and his loved ones. For he and Hazel have a child, a precious daughter, whom he will go to the ends of the earth to protect. Soon, however, Hector learns that the threat comes not just from his old enemies, but also Hazel’s. Brutal figures from her family’s past - thought long gone - are returning, with an agenda so sinister that Hector realizes he is facing a new type of adversary. One whose deadly methods and dark secrets will lead Hector to a series of crimes so shocking that he has no choice but to settle the score.
Colleen Hoover - Tarryn Fisher - Never Never
Best friends since they could walk. In love by the age of fourteen. Dating for over four years. She’ll do everything she can to never forget. He’ll do everything he can to never remember. Too bad it’s not up to them.
Colleen Hoover - Tarryn Fisher - Never Never 2.
“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last. And never stop loving me between all of them. Never stop, Charlie. Never forget.” Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found. “Where are you, Charlie?”
Olive Schreiner - The Story of an African Farm
Two cousins grow up in the 1860s on a lonely farm in the thirsty mountain veld. Em is fat, sweet and contented, a born housewife; Lyndall, clever, restless, beautiful...and doomed. Their childhood is disrupted by a bombastic Irishman, Bonaparte Blenkins, who gains uncanny influence over the girls' gross, stupid stepmother...This novel is one of the most astonishing, least-expected fiction masterpieces of its time and one that has had an enduring influence.
Tarryn Fisher - Marrow
In the Bone there is a house. In the house there is a girl. In the girl there is a darkness. Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her. What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one. But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.
Lavie Tidhar - The Violent Century
They'd never meant to be heroes. For seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart. But there must always be an account... and the past has a habit of catching up to the present. Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism, - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question: What makes a hero?
Sarah Lotz - The Three
Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right? The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage. Dubbed 'The Three' by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...
Tarryn Fisher - Mud Vein
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat...and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
J. M. Coetzee - The Childhood of Jesus
After crossing oceans, a man and a boy arrive in a new land. Here they are each assigned a name and an age, and held in a camp in the desert while they learn Spanish, the language of their new country. As Simon and David they make their way to the relocation centre in the city of Novilla, where officialdom treats them politely but not necessarily helpfully. Simon finds a job in a grain wharf. The work is unfamiliar and backbreaking, but he soon warms to his stevedore comrades, who during breaks conduct philosophical dialogues on the dignity of labour, and generally take him to their hearts. Now he must set about his task of locating the boy's mother. Though like everyone else who arrives in this new country he seems to be washed clean of all traces of memory, he is convinced he will know her when he sees her. And indeed, while walking with the boy in the countryside Simon catches sight of a woman he is certain is the mother, and persuades her to assume the role. David's new mother comes to realise that he is an exceptional child, a bright, dreamy boy with highly unusual ideas about the world. But the school authorities detect a rebellious streak in him and insist he be sent to a special school far away. His mother refuses to yield him up, and it is Simon who must drive the car as the trio flees across the mountains.
Rachel Morgan - Guardian
1. Receive assignment. 2. Save a life. 3. Sleep. 4. Repeat. Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone - she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments - a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her - follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion. The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble - and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.
Wilbur Smith - Giles Kristian - Golden Lion
For readers of Game of Thrones, Ken Follett, and Clive Cussler: an epic adventure spanning land and sea... time and distance... courage, revenge, and everything in between. GOLDEN LION He saw his father executed in battle. He spent his youth avenging that death. And now Henry 'Hal' Courtney is a man with a ship – and a family – of his own. But fate has not finished with Hal. On a voyage along the eastern shore of Africa, a powerful enemy abducts his wife, the fearless warrior Judith… and with her, Hal's unborn child. For Hal, a man all too familiar with loss, there is only one way forward: He must track his nemesis across desert and ocean, through the slave markets of Zanzibar and the dangerous waters of the coast, in pursuit of the woman he loves, the child he sired, and the glorious destiny that awaits him. Bursting with action and suspense, heroism and heartache, this unforgettable novel proves once more that Wilbur Smith is the world's greatest adventure writer.
Joanne Macgregor - Rock Steady
Samantha Steadman, and her best friends smart-mouthed Jessie Delaney and politician's daughter Nomusa Gule, are back at boarding school, in grade 9, and they are up against a whole new set of challenges. Their creepy new Science teacher the Poison Dwarf - takes delight in tormenting Sam, and she s started counting and checking everything in a way that has her friends worried about her sanity. Add to that Sam's determination to uncover and stop the illegal trade in San rock art, a blossoming new romance (or two), and a dangerous survival competition in the mountains which will endanger the trio s lives, and Sam will need all her wits and courage to stand steady. Together they will need to find the strength to cope, and the hope that comes from knowing that individuals can make a difference.The book is aimed primarily at middle-school children, between the ages of 9 and 14 years. Girls are the chief protagonists in the story, so presumably it would mostly attract female readers, but the story is not very girly. The girls are strong characters who do their own rescuing and make a real difference in the world.