by stephen Fry
is published in hardback by Michael Joseph, priced £20 (ebook £9.99)
» The second instalment of Stephen Fry’s foray into the exuberant world of Greek mythology tackles the heroes, from Perseus to Bellerophon, and is just as delightful and difficult to put down as the first. Any Classics students who read their Homer and their Hesiod will know the Greek stories, while brilliant in their detail, depth and sense of epic adventure, are not altogether light or easy reading. Just as in Mythos, Heroes manages make the stories relatable without skimping on the wonderful gory details, or sacrificing the traditional truths of the myth. Heroic sons of Zeus become personable boys-next-door and malevolent kings have their motives laid bare through satirical and witty conversation, typical of Fry. It’s rich, it’s funny and once again you’ll feel like you’ve learned a lot along the way. With the audiobook read by Fry, listening is as delightful as reading, too.
10/10 Review by edd dracott
And so It begins
by rachel Abbott
is published in hardback by wildfire, priced £12.99 (ebook £4.99)
» Two murders in the same house, an abused woman and a lifelong ambition for revenge - if you’re a fan of Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, Rachel Abbott’s And So It Begins won’t disappoint. Gripping from the start, each unnerving twist leads you deeper into this psychological crime thriller. Evie Clarke ends an abusive relationship in an act of violence, but as she stands trial for murder, the courtroom unearths deeper truths about her life - or is everything a lie? Sergeant Stephanie King and DI Gus Brodie must untangle the realities from the complex family dynamics between Evie’s partner Mark and his sister Cleo, in which everyone seemingly walks the line between being innocent and guilty. Switching
between the perspective of vengeful Evie, overbearing older sister Cleo, and determined police sergeant Stephanie, Abbot cranks up the intensity, leaving you guessing until the final few pages. 8/10
Review by Rebecca Wilcock
Hazards of time travel
by Joyce carol oates
is published in hardback by Fourth estate, priced £16.99 (ebook £9.99)
» Prolific American novelist Joyce Carol Oates, author of the Marilyn Monroeinspired novel, Blonde, turns her attention to sci-fi in her latest effort, Hazards Of Time Travel. We open with Adriane Strohl making her high school valedictorian speech. But this is not just any high school: We are in 2039, where books don’t exist and even the smartest students strive hard to appear mediocre for fear of being vaporised for thought crime. When Adriane’s speech, consisting entirely of questions, is deemed seditious, she is teletransported back in time to 1959, where she must live as ‘Mary Ellen Enright’. There she must come to terms with things she’s never seen before trees, smoking, flagrant sexism - unable to reveal her true self to anyone. That is, until she becomes infatuated with her college Professor Ira Wolfman. Lovers of Margaret Atwood will appreciate Oates’ critique of American culture, but will likely find her characters a little on the flat side.
6/10 Review by Rachel Farrow
American overdose: the opioid tragedy In three Acts
by chris mcgreal
is published in paperback by Faber & Faber, priced £12.99 (ebook £9.99)
» American Overdose is written by Us-based Guardian journalist Chris Mcgreal. Divided into three acts, it looks at the opioid crisis in the United States, dealing with the origins of the drugs involved, their proliferation, efforts to
combat the problems, and what the future holds for those caught up in the trade. Mcgreal delves deep into the story behind prescription painkillers (with a focus on Oxycontin) that have left families and communities in ruin, and many people in the grip of addiction. We meet the good, the bad and the ugly characters involved. There are people who spotted the problems and tried to stop them; rogue doctors and pharmacists who cashed in with unscrupulous prescribing and dispensing, and then there are the people who have lost loved ones to addiction and its consequences. It is a riveting read, and as well as painting a detailed picture of this crisis and its history, it can also be seen as a warning of what can happen when healthcare is run like an industry.
8/10 Review by Ryan ward
diary of A Wimpy KID: the meltdown
by JEFF Kinney
is published in hardback by Puffin books, priced £12.99 (ebook £5.99)
» In this 13th book in the best-selling Wimpy Kid series, Greg and his trusty best friend Rowley get up to their usual crazy capers, but this time it turns in to a battle for survival as a neighbourhood snowball fight goes feral. A sudden cold snap shuts down Greg’s school and, snowed in and with nothing better to do, the local kids soon see this winter wonderland become a winter battleground. Rival gangs fight over their territory and friends make and break alliances in an epic fight of modern-day Lord Of The Flies proportions. Awardwinning author Jeff Kinney dishes up his usual dry humour in this hilarious latest instalment, with many a laugh-out-loud moment thanks to Greg’s bad ideas and lovable middle school neuroses.
8/10 Review by holly williams