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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 Curio Collectors by Eloise Williams

Review - The Curio Collectors by Eloise Williams

Lily and Tom travel the county with Ma Hawker, enthralling crowds with their amazing collection of curios.

Always on the lookout for new wonders, Lily is tricked into buying a worthless bag of rubbish. But hidden within is a special piece of scrimshaw.

A young woman called Flora Meriweather is desperate to buy the scrimshaw, hoping it can help her solve a mystery surrounding her late mother. But someone else also wants to get his hands on the scrimshaw and ensure that secrets stay hidden in the past.

Can the Curio Collectors help the truth come to light?

The Curio Collectors is another fantastic short book from Barrington Stoke, the publishing industry specialists in making books interesting, exciting and incredibly accessible. They're targeted at reluctant readers and people with reading difficulties, but personally I just find them a really great, short read.

The Curio Collectors is a historic novel, set in 1896. And for such a short read it really does pack an awful lot in! Lily and Tom are travelling the country with Ma Hawker, scraping a living by showing off their collection of curios to paying crowds, and selling some of their pieces to distinguished collectors. From the very start we can see that it's not a very secure life, as they get chased off of a piece of land by a farmer demanding rent for the small patch of field their caravan takes up. 

It's when they head for London that the mystery element of the story really kicks in, and I thought it was excellent! There's a young maid after one of their curios, and a gentleman who also seems very interested in purchasing it. There follow secret messages, hidden treasure maps, and an exciting treasure hunt. As well as the fascinating portrayal of the main characters' travelling lifestyle, there are some strong feminist themes that come out of the writing, challenging perspectives of the 1890s in a way that is still all too relevant today. It raises important questions about who took credit for the advances of the past, and was it always the person responsible for the actual discoveries?

A thrilling mystery, intertwined with some important themes. A delightful curio!


The Curio Collectors by Eloise Williams is out now, published by Barrington Stoke.

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


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