the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Gillian Philip’ Category

icefall gillian philipIcefall, by Gillian Philip (Rebel Angels #4)

published March 24th

where I got: received ARC from the publisher (Thanks Tor!)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

Icefall is the fourth and final book in Gillian Philip’s Rebel Angels series, which means this review has unavoidable spoilers for the first three books.

 

the non-spoilery part of this review is: I absolutely love the characters in these books. Seth, Finn, Rory, Jed, Hannah, everyone, even the bad guys. Philip portrays them with such effortless ease that you yearn to fall deeper into their histories and futures, and her writing style offers an addicting and compelling reading experience. When it comes to satisfaction, this series delivers.  And let’s not forget the feels. Heartbreak, betrayal, deception, emotional torment, starcrossed lovers and families torn apart, Philip could teach your favorite epic fantasy authors a thing or two about kicking readers in the feels. And the way she does it? You’ll willingly take the punch to the feels. In fact, she’ll have you  begging for it.

 

The Sithe know the veil is dying. The elusive boundary between their world and ours, what will happen when the veil ceases to exist? Queen Kate NicNiven has paid a terrible price to guarantee the veil ends on her terms, but she’s missing a few pieces yet needed to seal the deal. Seth MacGregor and his clann have been been living in exile on our side of the veil. Not the worlds best father by a long shot, Seth is raising and protecting his half-mortal son Rory as best he can. No one really knows what exactly will happen when the veil fails. Well, a few people have an idea of what might happen, but they’re not talking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time. If you’ve been paying attention, nothing on this list will be a surprise to you.  If you happened to stumble by because you like “year end” lists,  these are my top ten speculative fiction books I read this year.  Looking for a good read? go find one of these.

Some of them are old.

Some of them are new.

Some of them were borrowed.

None of them are blue.

😉

I’ve linked the titles to my reviews.  In no particular order:

Sky Coyote by Kage Baker (1999) – the second in The Company series, this novel is told from Joseph’s point of view (and yes, Mendoza is still really, really pissed off at him). Joseph gets to do one of his favorite things – pretend to be a God. But this time, he’s got to get even the skeptics to believe his act.

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (2013) – No surprise this one made it to my best of the year list, as this is one of my favorite fantasy series.  It’s true, I ranted a little about a character who really annoyed me, but holy shit, that ending??  holy shit!  Also, I do just happen to have a Cinnamon colored dress/jacket combo and a four cornered grey hat in the making.

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White (2013 )- Secret societies, multiple personalities, sublime prose, metaphysics, unexpected romance, characters that rip each other to shreds.  What more could you possibly want? I got meddled with, my switches got hit, and I never wanted it to end.  Just go read it already. Everything about this book was spot-on perfection for me.

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks (1990) – only the best Culture novel of the best space opera series in existence.  Not the easiest book in the world to read, but the subtlety, and the reveal at the end, and oh god I knew something was so horribly wrong as soon as he said he was going to cut his hair. . .

Read the rest of this entry »

Gillian Philip has been making me all sorts of squeerolling happy lately.  It was only April of this year that I read Firebrand, the first book in her Rebel Angels series. And just, WOW.  Go read my review.  no, seriously, go read it. And then go read the even better review of the second book in the series, Bloodstone, which just came out.

Ok, so what’s better than these two incredible books?  well, two things, actually.  Thing the first, is Gillian’s superb guest post below on character point-of-view, and thing the second is Tor is giving away two copies of Bloodstone!  See details at the bottom of the post for rules about the giveaway.

about the author:

Gillian Philip was born in Glasgow, lived for twelve years in Barbados, and now lives in the north of Scotland with her husband, twin children, three dogs, two sociopathic cats, a slayer hamster, three chickens and a lot of nervous fish. She’s the author of The Darke Academy series (writing as Gabriella Poole), the  Survivors series, (as part of the Erin Hunter writing team), a long list of children’s and young adult stand alone novels, and the Rebel Angels dark fantasy series.  She’s been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend award, the Carnegie Medal, and been shortlisted for numerous other book awards. Learn more at her website her twitter, and her facebook page.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

A viewpoint on points of view…  by Gillian Philip

When I wrote Firebrand – and I still remember how much fun it was, for me if not for my characters – I had the best time spending an entire book and months of my life in Seth MacGregor’s head. Every word was written in his first person narrative. I lived with that boy every minute of every day and it felt like having… well, let’s see… a very, very close younger brother constantly at my side (anything further might verge on creepy, ahem). I knew what he was thinking and feeling, I knew what he was planning, and it felt very much as if that came from him, not me.

Now, Seth had actually started his life as a minor villain in Bloodstone (the first of the series I actually wrote) and he’d barged in, taken over and demanded it be all about him. I didn’t mind.  I liked him. I liked him more than I really should have, given the kind of things he got up to in Bloodstone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bloodstone (Rebel Angels, book 2) by Gillian Philip

published November 2013

where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (thanks Tor!)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Earlier this year the first book in the Rebel Angel series, Firebrand, really hit me hard. No, “hit me hard” isn’t quite right, “destroyed me where I stood” is closer to the mark.  Having survived that, I thought I had an idea of what to expect with Bloodstone, I knew to emotionally steel myself.

Seth’s MacGregor’s inner conflicts are tearing him apart, and one day it’s going to rip a hole in him so wide that another person could walk right through. What do you do when your family needs you to be someone you’re not? How do you tell someone a truth that might kill them?  How do you run from one, and face the other? Didn’t matter that I thought I was preparing myself. I was still completely floored from the first page to the last.

Seth  means to do the right thing. He wants to be as brave and mature as his older brother Conal, whom he idolizes. But Seth just isn’t that person, and he’s never going to be. He’s always going to prefer flirting to politics and fists to compromise.  Seth is no one’s hero, and he doesn’t want to be. Doesn’t matter, you’ll still love him.

The Rebel Angels series has everything I look for in a good story – compelling characters who act like real people, dialog that’s got some humor to it (when Jed finds out Seth is a fae, there is no end of Tinkerbell and other fairy jokes),  misunderstood promises and prophecies with unintentional and painful consequences. No “chosen ones” here, just people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, people who couldn’t fathom the consequences of their actions. There is a long conversation in here somewhere about free will.

Read the rest of this entry »

firebrandSome of you may remember a few weeks ago when a book called Firebrand blew my mind, gave me a band-aid, then blew my mind again.  I’ve pretty much been twitter-stalking Gillian Philip ever since, harassing her friends, following people who follow her, and generally being a pest. I was such a pain in the rear that Gillian agreed to let me interview her and ask all sorts of personal questions about her writing habits, her favorite foods, other projects she’s involved in. Even better, she let me interview a very close, um, friend of hers. That interview will be posted a little later this week, and trust me, you’ll like it.

Since I can’t even coherently talk about Ms. Philip or Firebrand without turning into a blathering fool, here’s some official bio type stuff:

Gillian Philip was born in Glasgow, lived for twelve years in Barbados, and now lives in the north of Scotland with her husband, twin children, three dogs, two sociopathic cats, a slayer hamster, three chickens and a lot of nervous fish. She’s the author of The Darke Academy series (writing as Gabriella Poole), the  Survivors series, (as part of the Erin Hunter writing team), a long list of children’s and young adult stand alone novels, and the Rebel Angels dark fantasy series.  She’s been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend award, the Carnegie Medal, and been shortlisted for numerous other book awards.

Learn more at her website her twitter, and her facebook page.

Let’s get right to the interview!

Was there something that triggered you to write the Rebel Angels series? How did you develop the characters of Seth and Conal?

There were all kinds of triggers for this one. I always wanted to write a fantasy set in Scotland, and the faery myths seemed a good place to start (because believe it or not, when I started writing Rebel Angels, there were hardly any books about modern fae… so you can tell how long ago I started it…) The landscape where I live is just brimming with stories, and I’d get ideas practically every time I went for a walk. The very first spark came at a small but sinister loch, where I threw in a couple of teenagers and watched them vanish. (But only in my head, honest.) That was how lochs became my watergates between the worlds.

There are lots of places in the Highlands named after the Gaelic Sith – Schiehallion, Glenshee and so on – but I didn’t want to use the term Sith because of the Star Wars connotations. I compromised on Sithe, because they aren’t the Irish Sidhe (though they are related. I’d like to see one of those family get-togethers).

Seth and Conal kind of grew, organically. Seth started out as a villain, but he grabbed hold of the story (and my throat) and wouldn’t let go. And brothers have been fascinating since Cain and Abel, so there were so many games to play with them.

Our supernatural characters in Firebrand are violent fae, certainly not angels in the traditional sense. Why is it called the Rebel Angels series?

That came from a Highland myth that really appeals to me. The story (which varies from region to region) goes that when the Rebel Angels were thrown out of Heaven, the ones that fell in the sea became selkies, or seal people. The ones that got caught in the sky became the Northern Lights. And the ones that reached land became the faeries.

The opening scene of Firebrand is quite the hook. Did you always plan to open the book that way? (you can read an excerpt of Firebrand, which just happens to be that opening scene, here)

I did. Originally, that scene was all there was. I’d actually written Bloodstone first, before Firebrand, and Conal had made a throwaway remark – the way characters sometimes do – about something that had happened to him centuries before. I found I wanted to know more, so I started scribbling the backstory in a notebook. At first it was just that scene between Seth and Conal; before I knew where I was, I had pages and pages of notes. When it reached about five chapters, I gave in and wrote the whole novel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Firebrand, by Gillian Philip

published February of 2013

where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (thanks Tor!)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I wanted to write a formal review of Firebrand. I tried to. Really, I did. But nothing I typed was conveying anything I wanted to say. Thus,  this post is more emotional reaction than formal-ish review. Shit happens.

I’m having a tough time coming up with words to describe Firebrand. Words like wonderful and amazing and stunning just aren’t going to do it this time. What’s the word for the taste of a late summer heirloom tomato warmed by the sun? What’s the word for that feeling in your chest when listening to a beautiful piece of music, and the groundedness of the cello and tympani reverberates right through you and reminds you who you are? That word for wanting to trap perfect moments forever in amber, so you can watch the sunlight get caught in them?  Those. those are the words I need for Firebrand. The last book that made me feel this way was The Name of The Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.  I felt like I was waking up.

Philip effortlessly reached into the recesses of my mind, found the story I most wanted to hear, and then she put it on paper. I was addicted in the first few pages, and the book only got better. Everything you think a fantasy about fae creatures is, everything you expect, throw all of that out the window, right now. Firebrand is something new.

Instead of prattling on and on about the plot, I’m going to tell you the most important thing, and the thing that bound me instantly to Firebrand: Seth MacGregor idolizes his older half-brother Conal.  The first time we meet Seth, he’s readying himself to murder his brother.

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow me on Twitter!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,736 other followers

Follow the Little Red Reviewer on WordPress.com

Archives

Categories

FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.