Book Reviews: September's Subscription Box Choices Revealed - SFF, Classic & Irish Author

Check out our reviews of this month's subscription box choices - three great books that are perfect for curling up with on a chilly autumn evening with a mug of hot tea and a delicious treat. You can find them now in this month's subscription box or pick up as a one-off treat for yourself.

Local Voices: Though the Bodies Fall, by Noel O'Regan

Cover Image of Though The Bodies Fall by Noel O'Regan, an Irish Author

What's the craic?

From an exciting new voice in Irish fiction, a powerful novel set on an Irish clifftop - a story about duty, despair and the chance encounters upon which fate turns. Micheal Burns lives alone in his family's bungalow at the end of Kerry Head in Ireland. It is a picturesque place, but the cliffs have a darker side to them: for generations they have been a suicide black spot.

Micheal's mother saw the saving of these lost souls - these visitors - as her spiritual duty, and now, in the wreckage of his life, Micheal finds himself continuing her work. When his sisters tell him that they want to sell the land, he must choose between his siblings and the visitors, a future or a past.

Paperback Down says...

A captivating debut novel about a dysfunctional family who for three generations have lived beside a popular suicide spot in Kerry. There's a dark ambiguity to Though the Bodies Fall and something so powerful in the way Noel O'Regan questions what exactly our motivations are when we help others - is it ever really altruistic or just a way of giving purpose to our own lives? I loved too the underlying question of whether a landscape is imbued with the feelings and intentions of those who walk upon it, or whether we're intrinsically defined by the nature of landscape we inhabit. This is a thought-provoking and intimate story that will linger with you long after you've finished.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao

Front cover image of The Surviving Sky by Kritika H Rao, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy choice for this month's Paperback Down Subscription Box

What's the craic?

High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity in plant-made civilisations held together by tradition, technology and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else.

If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below. Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few.

Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change. Their marriage is already thorny - then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society.

As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya's discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.

Paperback Down says...

With floating cities, arcane science and references to Hindu philosophy, this world-building novel brings together science fiction and fantasy with breathtaking inventiveness. Intricately drawn, it deals with concepts around consciousness, spirituality and humanity's relationship with the eco-system with refreshing imagination. And yet it remains at heart a character-driven story about a fractured marriage - two people united by love and shared history but divided by the roles which society has conferred upon them. A thought-provoking and immersive read!

Bucket List Books: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

A cover image of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

What's the craic?

As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house, Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget.

There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge - and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death.

Paperback Down says...

A tragic love story of eternal soulmates torn apart by societal convention and poor decision-making, or a toxic relationship between two selfish and thoughtless individuals who are both as bad as each other? From its initial publication in 1847 to the present day, this is book that continues to divide readers. An iconic example of Victorian gothic literature that's inspired countless books, films and music, this is one you'll definitely want to tick off that bucket list. 

Which will you choose?

Subscribe today to guarantee you get first dibs each month on our featured picks, along with locally-made gifts and treats all carefully chosen to help you relax and unwind with your new favourite book - just click here to get started.

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