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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 International Yeti Collective: Shadowspring

The International Yeti Collective: Shadowspring by Paul Mason and Katy Riddell

Henry is the new boy at Halbrook Hall - a crumbling boarding school in the Scottish Highlands. He thinks the rumours of yeti lurking in the misty hills are nothing more than stories. Until one day he gets lost in the forest...

As a young yeti, Tadpole loves living in Shadowspring. But now the precious spring water is disappearing and no one knows why. The situation is serious - surely there's something she can do to help... 

When Tadpole accidentally reveals the top-secret location of Shadowspring to Henry, the lost boy she saves, she knows she's in deep trouble. But what if this human actually has the power to help the yeti not harm them? 

I loved the first International Yeti Collective novel, so I was very excited to get hold of the sequel. It absolutely lived up to the promise of the first book.

Cryptozoology, environmentalism, unlikely friendships, high tension chases through dark forests, it's a thrilling and beautiful read.

Shadowspring focuses on a different group of Yeti, and it's one of my favourites! The Greybeards sett are based on stories of creatures seen in the Scottish Highlands, and they may be something I've looked for myself, though without any success in finding them. Tadpole (She of unripe character) is a young Greybeard yeti at the heart of this story, and she's just a wonderful character. The sett are preparing for the arrival of yetis from around the world, and one of the real strengths of this series is the way it incorporates cryptozoological examples from across the world. They were mentioned, and seen briefly, in the first book and here they play a much larger role. It bodes very well for this as an ongoing series that it's already tapping into so much promising material.

There's also Henry, a human child sent to a boarding school in Scotland. The school sequences are pretty good, establishing Henry and his environment, his new friends and the school bullies, and hinting at some sinister goings on on the school grounds. 

Everything really kicks off when Henry and Tadpole inevitably meet, and most of the drama of the novel comes from the tension between their two worlds colliding, and the implications this could have for both of their separate societies. There's a lot in there about acceptance and fear of outsiders, and like the first novel there are some very timely environmental warnings here. 

Shadowspring is excellent. A cryptozoological environmental warning, told with humour and warmth. It's also beautifully illustrated by Katy Riddell, who really captures the humour and humanity of the different yetis.

I'm giving this 5 full moons


The International Yeti Collective is published by Little Tiger Press and is available now. I was given an eproof in return for an honest review.


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