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Opera North - The Little Greats

Book Reviews: Bum Apple Freak Show and Other Stories

2 August 17 words: Write Lion

Here, have some words about words...

Bum Apple Freak Show and Other Stories
Steven Brown
£6.50, Mrs Brown Comics

Wildly original and intensely weird, Bum Apple Freak Show and Other Stories transports you to a world full of chaos and unimaginable storylines. Despite the fact that these are extremely short stories, with the combination of Steven Brown’s fantastic illustrations and the use of simple writing techniques, this book is the ultimate entertainer and shall not fail to make you laugh. There is an eclectic mix of stories, ranging from a man in the 1800s who tries to re-sell a mysterious item, to a group of individuals who deal with a peculiar box that does terrifying things. Steven Brown and his band of imagineers use a bizarre blend of techniques to construct original ideas that evoke everything from confusion to laughter. Awesomely, the authors have managed to liberate themselves from “premeditation and reason,” producing a book that is incredibly funny and definitely worth the read. Filsan Hirmoge

Inhale, Exhale, Repeat
Emma Mills
£9.99, Penguin Random House

Sometimes, our hectic, jam-packed lives can get a bit much. We all need a remedy for stress, and in her first short novel Inhale, Exhale, Repeat, Emma Mills helps you find your inner zen. After several years of non-stop charity work in London, Emma found herself craving the peace of the countryside, and moved up to Nottingham to work on her book. Her novel, released a few months ago, follows a 24-hour day, and shows how you can use meditation to find peace at each and every point of it, regardless of your surroundings. Mindfulness seems to be all the rage of late, but Emma’s approach is different; combining ancient practices with her love of poetry to give short, doable meditations that are stripped of pretentiousness and fuss. Overall, it’s a lovely read with plenty of useful tips to bring out the happiest version of yourself. Alex Kuster

The Last Sacrifice
James A Moore
£5.49, Angry Robot

Imagine a world without technology; ruled over by cruel gods who demand sacrifice and send their monstrous servants to abduct and kill their victims. This is the world the battle-weary warrior Brogan McTryre finds himself in as he defies the gods to save his family, incurring divine wrath in the process. Brogan is not the only one to feel the heat, however, and his actions have calamitous consequences that affect characters far and wide. Better known for his sword-and-sorcery series, Seven Forges, Moore’s new novel is firmly within grimdark territory. With clear, concise prose and an engaging hero in Brogan, this book is an easy read that builds to a gripping climax while leaving scope for a sequel. Fantasy lovers will enjoy this book, and while an emphasis on gritty storytelling and horror elements elevates this from more standard magical creatures or hocus-pocus, it is still an absolute page-turner. Ian C Douglas

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