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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Review - The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason

Review - The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason

THEN

1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

NOW

Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?



The Wayward Girls is a beautiful and haunting book.

It's a story told across two times, the long, hot summer of 1976 and the present day. (Appropriate given how much people have been talking about that summer in the present heatwave.)

In 1976, a family living on a fairly remote farm are being haunted, starting with knocking on the walls, but quickly escalating to objects being thrown around and more. Specialist paranormal investigators and a photographer come in to try and find out what's happening and to gather proof. At the centre of the supernatural events are two young girls, Bee (Bianca) and Loo (Lucia).

In the present day narrative a group of students have gone to the house, now empty and derelict, with cameras and other equipment to look for their own proof. Loo, now Lucy, tries to dissuade them and then joins them as they uncover evidence of the paranormal. 

There's such a slow, eerie revealing of events from 1976 as the two narratives play out together. There are hints and suggestions about some of what happened but it takes its time playing out, teasing the reader in a way that had me gripped.

There's an almost ethereal, whimsical quality to it, a haunting beauty that reminded me of things like Picnic at Hanging Rock or Virgin Suicides, as events slowly but surely build up to tragedy over the course of many long, hot summer days. There's a real subtlety to it as well, relationships left unclear, often little more than lingering glances or jealous looks. 

And like all great ghost stories, I was left wondering what had been real.

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The Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason is out now, published by Bonnier Books.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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