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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

Blog Tour Review - Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

Blog Tour Review - Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman

Revolutionary France is no place to be, especially for aristocrat vampires facing the guillotine. But the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel are determined to rescue them. And they have an ace up their sleeve: Eleanor, a lowly maid from an English estate with a striking resemblance to French royalty.

For Eleanor, the League and their legendary deeds are little more than rumour - until she's drawn into their most dangerous plot yet. The mission? Travel to France in disguise, impersonate Queen Marie Antoinette and rescue the royal family. If they succeed, it'll be the heist of the century.

But there's more to fear than ardent Revolutionaries. For Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they're out for blood . . .

Scarlet has such a fantastic concept at the core of it. It's a blend of the Scarlet Pimpernal, that swashbuckling English nobleman freeing French nobles from the guillotine, with a vampire novel. That period of French history, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, is known as the Terror, a period when blood ran through the streets as the nobility were imprisoned and then the revolutionaries turned on each other in turn. Vampires fit so perfectly into that mix of aristocracy, politics, blood, suspicion and death, that it feels almost good enough to be real.

I really liked the main character, Eleanor. In this game of nobility, she's a commoner, a maid. It's a nice little contrast, and it allows us to see this world through her eyes, those of an outsider in their societies. Without really knowing why, she's plucked from her mistress' household and sent to that of Sir Percy Blakeney where she is trained in how to be a spy. Her training is fun and interesting to watch, as she slowly begins to get her bearings, especially her interactions with Lady Marguerite, Sir Percy's wife, who has her own deceptions.

But it is when Eleanor is taken to France that the drama and the tension really starts to ramp up. Everything before that is mingled with a little tension, as she is prepared for some great, but largely unknown, mission. Once there, it feels like there are threats around every corner. As she is separated from the rest of her group, she has to find her courage and determination to continue, drawing upon unexpected allies and facing terrible dangers.

I love the complexities of this. The vampires are skillfully woven into the historical context, and there's nothing as simple as good or bad sides. There are the vampires, the Committee for Public Safety, the team of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the French royal family, all with their own needs, desires and agendas at play. The clash between these factions drives the drama and creates a scary, tense atmosphere. Eleanor is a main character it's easy to feel a lot of sympathy for, and I found myself really rooting for her throughout. 

Scarlet is very exciting and utterly thrilling, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.


Scarlet by Genevieve Cogman is out now, published by Tor Books. 

I was given a review copy in return for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR blog tour.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


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