Book reviews, Dystopian fiction

Q by Christina Dalcher – Book Review


Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.

Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.

Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.

But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…



What is your Q score?

Everyone is tested monthly, at school and work to find your score. It’s based on IQ, your timeliness (you lose points if you’re late for class or work), health and family wealth. 

Elena is a teacher, her husband Malcolm works in the Department of Education, so Elena’s score is improved by his status. They have two daughters, Anne and Freddie, both are doing well, even if Freddie needs a little help. But then Freddie’s score inexplicably drops…..with terrible consequences.

Q is a dystopian thriller, that’s truly terrifying as it feels so possible. In these current times we hear that if you are no longer young and healthy, you are expendable, so what if someone decided only those with a specific IQ, health and social standing score were worth life?  It’s then only a small step away from the eugenics of Q.

But, this is also the tale of maternal love, how far will Elena go to keep Freddie safe? 

I found Q to be a gripping, disturbing thriller and I read this in one sitting, I just had to know how it was going to end…..oh my ! 

It’s well written, with great characters and a very clever plot.  I loved Elena, even with her spiteful past, Lissa and Ruby Jo are brilliant and Malcolm is a truly despicable excuse of a man, which makes this a tense, terrifying and heartbreaking read. Utterly compelling.

Thank you to HQ, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Q for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.


You can buy a copy here:


Book reviews, Fantasy

The Heron Kings By Eric Lewis – Book Review


After a warlord slaughters her patients, Sister Alessia quits the cloister and strikes out on her own to heal the victims of a brutal dynastic conflict. Her roaming forest camp unwittingly becomes the center of a vengeful peasant insurgency, raiding the forces of both sides to survive. Alessia struggles to temper their fury as well as tend wounds, consenting to ever greater violence to keep her new charges safe. When they uncover proof of a foreign conspiracy prolonging the bloodshed, Alessia risks the very lives she’s saved to expose the truth and bring the war to an end.


Alessia, a novice in the temple of Polytheon, treats all those injured in the War that is raging. But a Lord enters the temple and slaughters all those deemed on the other side. As a result Mother Tanusia decrees only those fighting o. The side of this Lord will be treated, leaving anyone else to die at the gates.

Alessia decides to leave and do her physic-ing without restriction. Travelling alone she eventually meets Ulnoth, whose family had been killed by soldiers and is hell bent on revenge.

Gradually they meet others and become a small band of survivors with no allegiance to any and call themselves The Heron Kings.

When they find plans of a conspiracy they decide to join the war with them aim of ending it once and for all.

A well paced tale with great characters, Alessia being my personal favourite, lots of scheming, violence, blood and gore in a clever plot that makes this a gripping read from start to finish.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.




By day Eric Lewis is a PhD research chemist weathering the latest rounds of mergers and layoffs and still trying to remember how to be a person again long after surviving grad school. In addition to subjecting his writing to one rejection after another, he can be found gathering to himself

as many different sharp and pointies as possible and searching for the perfect hiking trail, archery range of single malt Scotch. Don’t ask where, because he’s never lived anywhere for longer than five years.

His short fiction has been published in Nature, Electric Spec, Allegory, Bards and Sages Quarterly, the anthologies Into Darkness Peering, Best Indie Speculative Fiction Vol. 1 and Crash Code, as well as other venues detailed at THE HERON KINGS is his first novel. 


FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.