The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

Specimens of Song (review of Reached by Ally Condie)

Reached Ally Condie Penguin 2012
Reached is the final book in the trilogy that started with Matched and progressed with Crossed. If you haven't read the first two books, then this review will contain spoilers of the story up to this point.
Cassia, Ky and Xander have returned to the Society.Cassia t…

To Boldly Go (review: Redshirts by John Scalzi)

Redshirts: A Novel with 3 Codas John Scalzi Gollancz 2012
The Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union, seems like the dream assignment for any aspiring Starfleet rookie. The chance to work alongside the best of the best; the most up-to-date technology; the most exciting missions. This is what Ensign…

Shouting Lager lager lager lager Shouting (Review: Grow Up by Ben Brooks)

Grow Up Ben Brooks Canongate Books 2011
Jasper Wolf is an average white, middle-class, suburban teenager on exam leave from school but. As with most average teens, studying for his A Levels is pretty low on his list of priorities – actually, it is at the bottom of his list after partying, seducing his…

Them Young Girls They do Get Wearied (Review: How to Save a Life; Sara Zarr)

How to Save a Life
Sara Zarr
Little, Brown 2012

Jill is angry. Her father, the one person who she felt understood her, is dead and her mother, Robin, queen of the impulsive decision, has decided to adopt a baby.  Having isolated herself from her friends former life, Jill finds herself floundering in h…

Virtual Insanity (Review: Metawars by Jeff Norton)

Jeff Norton Orchard 2012
Norton’s near-future dystopian world sees society in ruins, with the majority of citizens choosing to spend their time logged in to an alternative virtual world known as the Metasphere - Jonah being one of them.  Jonah lives with his mother on the top floor of a retir…

At last, the time has come, and we have REACHED the final curtain (yes, I went there).

Trilogies must be tough for authors - regardless of how good the first two books are, it all ends up hanging on that final volume.  A trilogy that's coming to an end near you is that by Ally Condie.  Following the spectacularly good Matched and the divisive Crossed comes Reached.

Need a reminde…

Strong In The Broken Places

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this t…

Guest Post: Ilsa J. Bick on the vision behind Ashes and Shadows!

As promised, we're happy to welcome Ilsa J Bick to The Mountains of Instead.  Ilsa is here to tell us about the creative vision behind the dark apocalyptic world of her books Ashes and Shadows.  It makes for fascinating reading and we'd like to thank Ilsa for taking the time to share her th…