First Lines From 5 New Books

You know how they say that the first sentence of a book is the most important? 

That writers really need to “hook” a reader in the first pages, really from the first word?

Well, as it happens, I just got a few books in the mail, books that are getting great reviews and I really look forward to reading (once I finish John Langan’s absolutely fantastic horror novel The Fisherman).

Every now and then I order a bit of books (last order was a total of eight books).

Every Heart a Doorway


Every Heart a Doorway tells the story of children, mostly girls, in a boarding school.

These are not ordinary children, but returnees from portal worlds (Like Dorothy returned from Oz) and the school’s main purpose is to help them get back to life in the “normal” world.

I’m about third of the way through and so far it’s interesting and well written, though not exactly fast-paced.

It has a great dedication though: For the Wicked.

The girls were never present for their entrance interviews. Only their parents, their guardians, their confused siblings, who wanted so much to help them but didn’t know how. It would have been too hard on the prospective students to sit there and listen as the people they loved most in all the world – this world, at least – dismissed their memories as delusions, their experiences as fantasy, their lives as some intractable illness.

Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky


This promises to be an action-packed quest fantasy that has something to do with spiders in a new way.

I’ve read the first chapter and.. yes, this is going to be fun.

The words that twanged and thrummed their way to Nth said, New food coming, and he stirred, resettling his legs to take the measure of the message: how far, what direction, who originated it. Mother’s Brood was large. Some of her children were more reliable than others.

Violence, swords and sorcery and a spider-made-human (but not completely).

I bought this mostly because I really liked Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time, but also because this just looked so good.



This is a Man Booker shortlisted book, and also comes highly recommended by Jeff VanderMeer. Those two things make the book irresistible to me.

I looked like a girl you’d expect to see on a city bus, reading some clothbound book from the library about plants or geography, perhaps wearing a net over my light brown hair. You might take me for a nursing student or a typist, note the nervous hands, a foot tapping, bitten lip. I looked like nothing special.

The Many


I don’t remember where I first heard about this book.

But it kept popping up, with people describing it using words like “weird”, “dark” and “very well written indeed if you ask me”. In other words, the kind of things that make me want to buy the book.

It certainly starts out with a bit of mystery.

A thin trail of smoke rises up from Perran’s,  where no smoke has risen for ten years now. Ethan spots it close in, a few hundred yards from shore, as he scans the houses , a regularity of grey spirals where there should be a break in the line. He turns to see if Daniel has seen it too and shouts back at his wheelman to keep his eyes on the course until they’ve cleared the rocks and made land.

Longlisted for this year’s Man Booker.

The Three Body Problem

Three Body Problem book cover

“Hugo Winner” has an even stronger effect on me that “Man Booker winner”. That, and the fact that ken Liu has championed this book (he is the translator) made me interested.

I’ve also heard great things from some of my Book Riot peeps, so I decided to buy this.

The Red Union had been attacking the headquarters of the April Twenty-Eighth Brigade for two days. Their red flags fluttered restlessly around the brigade building like flames yearning for firewood.


What are you reading these days?

5 thoughts on “First Lines From 5 New Books”

      1. I liked the story. Interesting POV/narrator. I think it would have been more entertaining if the narrator made observations about the other characters instead of going on a rant about the geopolitics. This book wouldn’t be high on my recommendation list.


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