The Mountains of Instead

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

Nothing More Terrible, Nothing More True (Review: Undone by Cat Clarke)

Cat Clarke
Quercus 2013

Jem and Kai have been friends forever.  She adores him, loves him, would do anything for him and he for her.  Well, anything except live.  Kai is easygoing, kind, gorgeous and gay.  When he is brutally out-ed online, he cannot see past the hell of homophobic abuse torren…

Singing in the Dead of Night (Review: Blackbirds; Chuck Wendig)

Chuck Wendig
Angry Robot 2012

Imagine you could see the future. Every event about to unfold around you in a crystal-clear vision. You know every single disaster which is going to affect humanity. Every war, every famine, every plane crash. You try to tell people, to save them, but no-one li…

Form and Feature, Face and Limb (Review: Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid)

Black Heart Blue
Louisa Reid
Razorbill 2011

Hephzibah and Rebecca are twin sisters living under the watchful eyes of their neglectful, abusive and uber-religious parents in the vicarage of an idyllic country village.As with many teenagers, they have just started college and are trying desperately to f…

Here Comes a Candle to Light You To Bed and Here Comes a Chopper to Chop of Your Head (Review: Ten; Gretchen McNeil)

Ten Gretchen McNeil Balzar and Bray 2012
Meg and Minnie are off to a secluded island on a creepy boat for a weekend of boys and booze. They haven’t told their parents where they are going, were surprised to receive an invitation to join the in-crowd and have no mobile phone signal what with the approa…

Maybe Not Today, Maybe Not Tomorrow, But Soon and for the Rest of Your...Oh. (review: The Last Policeman, Ben H Winter)

The Last Policeman
Ben H Winter
Quirk Books 2012

You’re a cop in small-town USA, the country has been gripped by a spate of suicides - mostly hangings in your, erm, neck of the woods. You’re called to yet another body in the toilet of a local MacDonald’s, now run as a pirate franchise in the absence o…

Black Rook in Rainy Weather (Review: The Rook, Daniel O'Malley)

The Rook
Daniel O'Malley
Hachette 2012

“Dear You, the body you are wearing used to be mine.”

Not exactly what you want to read when you find yourself in the pouring rain, surrounded by prone, gloved bodies and without the vaguest clue about who you are or how you got there. Such is the beginning of…

Can't Escape, Yet Can't Accept (Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara)

Lovely, Dark and Deep Amy McNamara Simon and Schuster 2012
Once, there was a girl called Mamie who was carefree, hopeful, fun and full of joie de vive, ready to deal with whatever life threw her way.  Then came the accident, bringing death, guilt and overwhelming grief in its wake; sweeping Mamie away…

Go Do That Voodoo, That You Do Do Well (review of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake)

Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare Blake Orchard Books 2012
Cas has, for as long as he can remember, lived a life less ordinary. Descendent of a long line of men with the ability to slay the already dead he has picked up the sword (well, knife) of his dead father and spends his time travelling America, rid…

That Was The Year That Was - Splendibird's Pick of 2012

Over the past couple of days, you've had 2012 Top Fives from Cannonball Jones and PolkaDot Steph and today is the last of the bunch with Splendibird sharing her favourite books of the last year. As you have probably realised, the three of us have tastes that run along the lines of Same Same but…

That Was The Year That Was - Polka Dot Steph's Pick of 2012

Looking back over the past 12 months in books today is the rather superb PolkaDot Steph.  She's gone for an eclectically excellent list that will surely have you all reaching for the e-readers we suspect most of you got for Christmas. We'd love to hear if you agree or disagree with her choi…

That Was The Year, That Was - Cannonball Jones and his Top Five of 2012

Ok, so we are well aware that we have now reached the dizzy heights of 4th January, but before we go rushing gleefully (er, well, kind of) into 2013, here at Mountains of Instead we wanted to share with you our top five books of 2012. As there are three regular contributors here (yes, we love Swis…