SFX - - Reviews -

Of this month’s paperbacks, the one with the big­gest pro­file is un­doubt­edly Clive Barker’s THE SCAR­LET GOSPELS ( , 28 July, Pan), which sees the re­turn of nail-nut­ted hor­ror icon Pin­head. Ini­tially the book is cen­tred on mys­ti­cal de­tec­tive Harry D’Amour, but grad­u­ally the Ceno­bite be­comes the fo­cus – and there’s a de­fin­i­tive end­ing for the char­ac­ter. We said: “Ex­cit­ing, vivid and bru­tal... the grand­est Hell­raiser movie never made.” Mean­while, if you loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Nor­rell you’ll prob­a­bly also en­joy Zen Cho’s de­but, SORCERER TO THE CROWN ( , 28 July, Pan). The first in a tril­ogy set in a Re­gency Eng­land in which magic is real, it cen­tres on a girl trapped in a board­ing school that teaches its pupils to sup­press their mag­i­cal abil­ity. We said: “Ut­terly de­light­ful… A smart, glee­fully fun tale that fizzes with en­ergy and en­gages the brain.” We also rec­om­mend an­other de­but: Natasha Pul­ley’s THE WATCH­MAKER OF FILIGREE STREET ( , out now, Blooms­bury). This whim­si­cal fan­tasy set in Vic­to­rian Lon­don is cen­tred on a Ja­panese watch­maker who ap­pears to be able to pre­dict the fu­ture… We said: “A de­light­ful read, that ben­e­fits from colour­ful char­ac­ters and a lyri­cal prose style full of es­o­teric de­tail.” Also worth a look are a cou­ple of clas­sics: Ur­sula Le Guin’s Al­ways Com­ing Home (1985, out now) and Marge Piercy’s Woman On The Edge Of Time (1976, 11 Au­gust).

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