RaveThe Guardian (UK)in his first adult fantasy novel, Colfer takes on dragons. Highfire is a briskly entertaining outing centred on the curmudgeonly and slobbish Vern, last of the fire-breathing beasts of folklore ... Vern is closer to the size of a bear than a dinosaur, and the central plank of the book is his relationship with savvy local teenager Squib Moreau, who chances on the dragon’s lair. What could have been a fairly saccharine odd-couple, cross-generational confection, with Vern as the ultimate boomer to Squib’s Gen Z-er, becomes something more satisfying in Colfer’s deft hands ... While the humans who populate this grittily realised world are sometimes rather too quick to accept the existence of Vern, it’s probably necessary to keep the bouncy plot moving. With this satisfying and at times hugely joyous novel, Colfer is, like his engaging scaly protagonist, cooking on gas.
RaveThe IndependentA triumph, and while it is solidly situated in the real world, it has themes and tones that will certainly satisfy fans of his science fiction ... an ingeniously-plotted and multi-layered tale ... Though rooted in the real world, the whole book is suffused with a patina of the occult – not necessarily the paranormal or the supernatural, but the power that symbols can hold, and how the personas we construct for ourselves, the masks we wear, can in some way take on lives of their own ... If you can imagine the first series of the TV show True Detective, with its nightmarishly-unsettling murder investigation, but set in the south of England in the 1980s, then you’re some way to getting a handle on the rather unique tone Noon has brought to this crime story ... Noon is a master plotter, and all the secondary stories and sub-plots are firmly resolved to the reader’s satisfaction, while leaving them wanting to know more about Detective Inspector Hobbes.
RaveIndependent600 pages of graphic storytelling that is quite astonishing in its scope, breadth and execution ... Though Lutes’ characters are well-rounded and have lives of their own, they live under the inevitable shadow of what we as readers know is to come: the rise of Nazism ... Each of the first two chapters of Berlin was collected together as they were finished, and now the third one is finished they’ve all been brought together in a huge, handsome and thickly-spined volume. It hangs together almost seamlessly.
Charlie Jane Anders
PositiveThe IndependentAnders has created a special little confection here, a novel with a foot in both camps of science fiction and fantasy, and something that is greater than the sum of its parts … While parts of the book might feel familiar, the whole is completely Anders. She’s an important new voice in genre fiction and All The Birds In The Sky marks a brave, genre-bending debut that, as satisfying as it is, perhaps hints at even more greatness to come.