PositiveThe Times\"The writing is raw and deeply affecting; Li’s free-flowing recreation of the sparring, sometimes prickly back-and-forth between a highly intelligent, perfectionist teenager and his mum is interspersed with her acknowledgements that it is all a construction, and that, at the crucial moment, language fails her...\
PositiveThe Times (UK)\"Lost Children Archive is, in short, probably not a beach read ... The narrative structure is difficult, the language sometimes clunky. But then Luiselli dazzles with a poetic description, or a trenchant observation about the power and danger of stories. And the motivating crisis — those thousands of unaccompanied, \'undocumented\' children — forces itself through with moving insistence.\
PositiveThe Times (UK)The feverish inventiveness of Jasper Fforde’s latest novel is exhaustive — and at times exhausting. His imagined world is thoroughly packed with detail, but reading lines such as, \'He’s womad stock; Oldivician, I think. Part of his midwinter freezerthon,\' can make you wilt ... Fforde’s comic touch — which includes unexpected references to everything from Showaddywaddy to Tunnock’s teacakes — just about balances out the geekery of this alternate reality, and the thriller side of the tale is addictively propulsive.
Luke Jones and Anna Mill
MixedThe Times[I]f a clearly delineated story is important to your reading experience, Square Eyes is not the book for you. The designer and illustrator Anna Mill and the architect Luke Jones have come up with a spiky tale set in a dystopian near-future ... Mill’s graphics, clearly influenced by manga, zoom in dizzyingly on details, then fling us into vast industrial landscapes. Augmented reality images bewilderingly overlay seamy real-life; dialogue is terse and full of invented jargon. This is not a book that you can race through and if you understand what happens at the end, you’re doing better than me—but it certainly is a wild ride.
Javier Cercas, trans. by Frank Wynne
RaveThe Times (UK)...a fascinating, highly charged, scalpel-sharp dissection of Marco’s deception ... In the vein of true-crime accounts, such as In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and Emmanuel Carrère’s The Adversary, Cercas inserts himself into this analysis, applying a ruthless logic to his own role and the consequences of his choices.
PositiveThe Times (UK)\"Amid the recent slew of rewritings of the great Greek myths and classics, Barker’s stands out for its forcefulness of purpose and earthy compassion ... If Achilles’ anger powers The Iliad, the anger of Briseis powers her through to her survival. \'The death of young men in battle is a tragedy,\' she notes, \'but theirs is not the worst fate.\' Barker puts a searing twist on The Iliad to show us what that \'worst fate\' can be.\
PanThe TimesIt’s only in the final straight that Ryan reveals how [the characters are] all connected. This is quite annoying. Not least because there’s a woman who acts as the fulcrum for this slightly improbable coming-together, and she gets short shrift. There’s a message here about compassion (the notion of being kind crops up more than once), but in this instance Ryan has let the structuring of his story overwhelm its humanity.
PositiveThe TimesBestowing modern feminist mores on classical texts may seem unwise, but it’s marvellous to see this Circe emerge through the haze, sympathetic and ringing true to 21st-century motivations ... Miller’s Me Too-era, kickass portrait of a woman trying to defy the men and Fates arrayed against her may be light reading, but it is rather enchanting.