Author: Jess Gately

Jess Gately is a freelance editor and writer with a particular love for speculative fiction and graphic novels.

The AU’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024: Jan – Mar

It’s a new year and The AU book team are already eyeing up the release charts and penning in their most anticipated releases for the year. The beginning of 2024 brings in a host of exciting books. With everything from mythical sea creatures, 1800’s apothecaries, America as seen through the eyes of its First Peoples,…

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Never A Hero

Book Review: Vanessa Len’s Never a Hero is an exhilirating, fun and satisfying sequel

The highly anticipated sequel to Vanessa Len’s hit debut Only a Monster, Never a Hero is another wild ride through time and morality as Joan is forced to face the consequences of her actions and take on a new and powerful foe. Joan is still reeling from her decision to unmake the hero. Riddled with…

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“If you take out the hero, you better take out the villain” Vanessa Len on her new book Never a Hero

Vanessa Len is a bestselling Australian author and educational editor, who has worked on everything from language learning programs to STEM resources, to professional learning for teachers. She took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Jess Gately about her writing process, book boxes and her new book Never a Hero. So, first of…

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Sir Hereward

Book Review: Garth Nix’s Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz is the gritty, deadpan bite-sized fantasy you’ve been waiting for

Deadpan humour meets swashbuckling swords-and-sorcery in this collection of short stories from fantasy heavyweight Garth Nix. A series of adventurous tales about friendship and duty, Sir Herward and Mister Fitz: Stories of the Witch King and the Puppet Sorcerer pulls together eight previously separately published stories, plus one new story of the dynamic god-slaying duo….

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The AU Review’s resident bookworms share the books they couldn’t put down

The Books Team here at The AU Review is growing, and what better way to get to know the nerds behind all your favourite lit reviews than through the books they can’t stop raving about? Buckle in bookworms – this list is going to be killer! Jemimah Brewster – Every Version of You by Grace Chan Jemimah: I…

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Sinister Booksellers of Bath

Book Review: Everyone’s favourite magical crime fighting booksellers are back in Garth Nix’s The Sinister Booksellers of Bath

The sequel to the best-selling The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is finally here, and Garth Nix certainly delivers. Return to the wild, dangerous but eccentric world of the magical crime-fighting bookseller St Jacques family in The Sinister Booksellers of Bath. Demi-mortal Susan Arkshaw has been steadfastly avoiding all bookseller business since discovering her magical heritage. She wants…

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Book Review: You can’t trust anyone in Kate J. Armstrong’s Nightbirds

Magical girls, politics, religion and revolution collide in Kate J. Armstrong‘s debut novel, Nightbirds. Set in a 1920s-inspired world where magic is prohibited, this YA fantasy explores the politics of women in power in an action-packed and wild ride through the fictional city of Simta. Matilde, Sayer and Æsa are Nightbirds, girls will innate magic…

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Dublin Literary Award 2023

Aussie books garner international attention at the 2023 Dublin Literary Awards

Five Australian authors have had their work recognised in the 2023 Dublin Literary Award Longlist; an award that saw 84 libraries across 31 countries nominate worthy recipients. With a prize of €100,000 for the winner, the award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The last time…

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The Prime Minister's Literary Awards

The 2022 Winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are here!

Six categories, six winners. The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have announced the six books that represent outstanding literary talent in Australia and have made a valuable contribution to Australian cultural and intellectual life. Let’s learn more about the winners… Fiction: Red Heaven by Nicolas Rothwell Beginning in the late 1960s in Switzerland, a boy’s ideas about…

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Audiobook-lovers rejoice! Spotify just launched over 300,000 audiobooks on their catalogue

Spotify has just launched its Audiobook services to Australia, the UK, Ireland and New Zealand with a catalogue of more than 300,000 books. With the promise of a slew of Aussie titles as well as worldwide bestsellers, we took a look through and pulled out some highlights… The Dry by Jane Harper 9 hr 37 min…

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Eleanor Jackson wins the Small Press Network Book of the Year for 2022

Picked from a shortlist packed with incredible stories, the Small Press Network has announced its Book of the Year. The SPN Book of the Year Award recognises the literary greatness of books published by small publishers in Australia each year. The winner this year was Gravidity and Parity by Eleanor Jackson, a poignant and intricate collection of…

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And the 2022 Dymocks Book of the Year is…

If you’ve been looking for a book that has the booksellers raving then its time to check out the Dymocks Book of the Year winners. On Monday 28 November, the Dymock’s team announced the 2022 Book of the Year and Young Readers Book of the Year as voted for by Dymocks staff across the company….

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“History is often more remarkable than anything I could make up”: Philippa Gregory talks about the Fairmile series and her new book Dawnlands

Philippa Gregory, best known for her worldwide hits The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen is a recognised authority on women’s history. With a slew of awards and recognitions for her contributions to literature, including a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020, her latest saga, The Fairmile Series, spans the years of 1648-1685. The…

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The shortlist for the 2022 Dymocks Book of the Year is out… and it’s juicy!

The Dymocks Book of the Year award was first introduced in 2018 to recognise and continue to support literary talent. Voted on by Dymocks staff across the country, the winners will be announced on Monday 28 November at the Dymocks flagship store on George St, Sydney. The shortlist for the Dymocks 2022 Book of the…

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11 Events you do not want to miss at Perth Festival 2023

Perth Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2023, and artistic director Iain Grandage looked to the stars when pulling together this program. In his address at the program launch held at the Perth Concert Hall last week, Grandage talked about how the stars are central to, and connect, cultures around the globe; and how for Noongar…

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Shehan Karunatilka takes out the 2022 Booker Prize for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

Shehan Karunatilka‘s story of a war photographer who wakes up dead in a celestial visa office and has ‘seven moons’ to try and solve the mystery of his own death has taken out the 2022 Booker Prize. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida (published by Sort of Books) is Karunatilka’s second novel and was announced…

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Love Your Bookshop Day 2022: The books that drew our team to the bookshop

October 8th was Love Your Bookshop Day and The AU Review book team took to their local bookshops to snap up an entire haul of titles to top up their TBR piles. Two of the team even went on a whole bookshop crawl to share the love with as many of their local indie bookshops…

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Book of Night

Book Review: There’s a reason to be scared of your own shadow in Holly Black’s adult fantasy Book of Night

Holly Black breaks away from YA and into adult fiction in her latest novel Book of Night, a gritty urban fantasy about a woman who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. After a life of petty crime nearly gets her killed, Charlie Hall decides it’s time to go straight. But when she stumbles…

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Holden Sheppard

Interview: “I’m doing what I want from now on” Holden Sheppard on what inspired his new book The Brink

Holden Sheppard is the award-winning author of Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press, 2019), which was published to both critical and commercial success. It won the WA Premier’s Prize for an Emerging Writer, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and was named a Notable Book by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Invisible Boys is…

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“Extraordinary skill and compassion” Jennifer Down wins the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Bodies of Light

Taking home the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Bodies of Light, Jennifer Down is one of the youngest authors to ever receive the accolade and as such has cemented herself as a potent voice to watch in the Australian literary landscape. The judges said of Down’s work, “Bodies of Light invites readers…

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We Who Hunt the Hollow

Book Review: Kate Murray’s We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome dystopian fantasy

Kate Murray’s debut novel We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome, angsty YA dystopian urban fantasy about who we are and who we want to be. Perfectly drawing on the awkwardness and fear of the late teenage years, Murray uses the anxiety and anticipation of becoming an adult to address issues of identity, family,…

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Sea of Tranquility

Book Review: The past, present and future are more alike than you think in Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

The new novel from award-winning author Emily St. John Mandel traverses time and space to tell a multifaceted story of love, endurance, human nature and reality. Sea of Tranquility is set within the same universe as her previous novels Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel offering fans of her earlier works plenty of ‘a-ha’ moments….

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Unlimited Futures

Book Review: Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neervan reflect on the past to imagine the future in Unlimited Futures

“I think it’s really important to show that, for us, the past, present and future, are happening simultaneously.” These are the words of editor Rafeif Ismail in the introductory conversation with fellow editor Ellen van Neervan for Unlimited Futures, a collection of speculative fiction from First Nations and Afro-Black writers. They perfectly encapsulate the unifying…

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The Way Spring Arrives

Book Review: Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang showcase the creativity and passion of Chinese women and nonbinary SFF voices in The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a beautiful, intelligent and poignant collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories and essays by Chinese women and non-binary creators, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. The stories range from the fantastic to fable-like, with writing voices and styles that at times feel more…

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League of Liars

Book Review: Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars asks the hard questions about justice

Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars is a YA fantasy thriller full of twists and turns; in which no one can be trusted to tell the truth and everyone’s motives are questionable. It’s a suspenseful page-turner with an interesting cast, told in alternating points of view. But despite its young protagonists, the book doesn’t shy away…

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Book Review: Vanessa Len’s Only a Monster is YA at its very best

Melbourne’s Vanessa Len takes all the tropes you know and love and manages to make them feel new and exciting in her debut novel Only a Monster. This urban fantasy adventure features enemies-to-lovers romance, a hidden magical underworld, time travel, hot monster boys, and a mysterious monster king surrounded by a frightening monster court. The…

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Wild Dogs

“The way it feels, the way it smells, and the way it sounds”: Michael Trant talks about his new thriller Wild Dogs

Michael Trant is a WA country boy who now resides in Perth after a variety of careers ranging from farmer, marine draftsman, pastoralist, and FIFO pot washer. He writes with an authentic rural voice, drawing on his experiences to open readers to places and lifestyles foreign to many. Trent is passionate about farming, writing and…

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Sarah Walker

Book Review: Sarah Walker examines the not-so-pretty sides of life in The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

At times unsettling but decidedly open and honest, Sarah Walker’s collection of essays The First Time I Thought I Was Dying explores the often-taboo aspects of life and living. Told from her perspective as an actor and photographer, the collection examines the awkwardness, the disgustingness and the discomfort of our bodies and minds in a…

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Book Review: Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes – Nerdy easter eggs and queer, disabled representation are just the beginning

A refreshingly fun and hopeful take on the coming of age story, Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes is a graphic novel that celebrates nerdiness and reinforces the value of representation, all while exploring first love, self-care and identity. The story follows Maisie as her Mum takes her to her first Fancon. Maisie…

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After Story

Book Review: Larissa Behrendt dissects complex family relationships in her entrancing new book After Story

Larissa Behrendt doesn’t pull any punches in this poignant but difficult examination of family relationships, racism, and the justice system. After Story is a captivating tale about a mother and daughter trying to reconnect after years of tragedy, trauma and secrets have created rifts between them. Bookworm Jasmine is a lawyer and the first of…

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