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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 Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name by Reece Carter

Review - The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name by Reece Carter

Welcome to Elston-Fright, a forgotten town where witches lurk, sea monsters roam and a girl is on the hunt for answers. . .

With a body made of wax, seaweed for hair and polished abalone shells for eyes, Corpse is bound to haunt the Witches’ sea shack forever. She has no memory of who she was before she arrived on the rock-that-doesn’t-exist.

That is, until a ghost visits her with a message: a treasure exists that can reunite Corpse with her family and her name.

She sets off on a night-time quest for answers, bringing her trusted friend Simon, a huntsman spider, along for the ride. Corpse must battle magic, zombie-skeletons and sea monsters to find the treasure. But is it really all that it seems?

A super-creepy seaside story.

The main character of this story goes by the charming name of Corpse, and she is a ghost of a girl with no memory of who she is, where she came from or where her family is. She's stuck on an island no one else can see with the most horrible trio of witches I've seen in ages.

There's something charmingly endearing about Corpse and her efforts, offset beautifully by her really creepy appearance. You see, despite her name, she doesn't actually have a body. Well, apart from the one she made for herself out of bits of wax and seaweed, stones and shells. But if you think Corpse is a little gruesome, the three witches are absolutely repulsive, and make really very effective villains. There's little doubt that they're up to all sorts of evil and absolutely, definitely have to be stopped!

While their maliciousness is abundantly clear, there are plenty of people around the town where we're left in doubt as to whether or not they are good or bad, trustworthy or not, including a kelp monster, the Merchant with the backroom full of magical trinkets and a mysterious Fisher wandering around in an oilskin coat.  This mystery, and the mysterious nature and power of the trinket everyone is searching for, keeps the plot flowing along at a great pace and kept me reading just to uncover what was going on. 

I loved the playfulness of a lot of the language too, from Elston-Fright being described as the town-that-nobody-visits and the rock where the witches' shack is as the rock-that-doesn't-exist to Corpse talking about feeling things in her not-chest. It subverts a lot of expected norms in quite a delightful way. 

The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name also has a lot to say about friendship, family and love, and I enjoyed this element as much as the creepiness. The relationship between Corpse and Girl is not an easy one, but the full details of what happened between them are only revealed slowly over the course of the story, building tension and another layer of mystery. It also has Simon, the adorable crab sidekick, whose character growth throughout the book is quite extraordinary.

The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name brilliantly captures the creepiness of a bleak seaside town and not-life as a ghost having to build your own body. 


The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name by Reece Carter is out on 29 September, published by Usborne.

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


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