Review: THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE by Claire North (Orbit)

NorthC-SuddenAppearanceOfHopeUKAn intriguing novel about identity and isolation, thieves and scary tech…

My name is Hope Arden, and you won’t know who I am. But we’ve met before — a thousand times.

It started when I was sixteen years old. 

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous.

Long-time readers will know that Claire North is one of my favourite authors. With each new novel (and novella, because we have to include the linked Gamehouse trilogy), North takes reading on a riveting journey of unexpected and thought-provoking directions. The Sudden Appearance of Hope is no exception, with one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read in a while. Well, maybe since North’s previous novel… I enjoyed this a lot. Continue reading

Upcoming: THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE by Claire North (Orbit)


A couple of days ago, Orbit unveiled the cover (above) for Claire North‘s highly anticipated next novel, The Sudden Appearance of Hope. Given how much I’ve loved all of Claire North’s books, this is very easily in my top five most anticipated novels of 2016. Maybe even the most anticipated of the year.

You might have met Hope Arden before. In fact, you might have met her a hundred times.

But there’s no way that you’ll remember who she is. Because Hope’s unique problem… is that she’s the girl the world forgets.

It all started when she was sixteen years old. A slow declining, a kind of isolation, one piece at a time. Her father forgetting to drive her to school. Her mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher forgeting to chase her missing homework. A friend looking straight through her and seeing a stranger.

No matter what Hope does – the words she says, the people she hurts, the crimes she commits – you will never remember who she is. That makes her life tricky. But it also makes her dangerous.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope is due to be published in all English-language territories in May by Orbit in UK, Redhook in US (there may be a slightly different cover for the North American market, but I’m not sure — I’ll share if there is).

Also on CR: Reviews of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry AugustTouchThe Gameshouse Trilogy


New Books (May)


Featuring: Michael Arnold, Rob Boffard, Mike Brooks, James L. Cambias, Wesley Chu, John Henry Clay, James S.A. Corey, Cindy Dees, Bill Flippin, David Hair, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nalo Hopkinson, Andrew Michael Hurley, N.K. Jemisin, Chuck Klosterman, Gayle Lynds, K.M. McKinley, David Mitchell, Keith Richards, Slash, Bradley Somer, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Mick Wall, Django Wexler, Bill Willingham Continue reading

Book Trailer: TOUCH by Claire North (Redhook/Orbit)

I am a huge fan of Claire North‘s novels – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is probably one of my favourite novels, and Touch (out next week) is also brilliant. Published by Redhook/Orbit Books (US/UK), both of these novels are absolute must-reads for all. To celebrate the release of Touch, Orbit has commissioned a trailer:

Here’s the novel’s synopsis and cover:

NorthC-TouchKepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.

In related news, gleaned from Hachette US’s website, in November Orbit is publishing three new titles by North: The Serpent of Venice, The Master of the House and The Thief of Bangkok. (I’m guessing novellas, as there’s scant information available at this time.)

Review: TOUCH by Claire North (Redhook/Orbit)

NorthC-TouchA triumphant second novel

Your violent death usually triggers the first switch.

Just before your life ebbs away, your skin happens to touch another human being – and in an instant, your consciousness transfers completely to the person you touched.

From that moment on, you can leap from body to body with a touch of the skin. You can remain for a minute, an hour, a lifetime, and after you leave, the host has no memory of the time you were there.

My name is Kepler. I could be you.

For me, the carefree life of jumping between bodies has become a terrifying nightmare. I am being hunted. I don’t know who. I don’t know why. If you’ve read this far, our lives have already touched. Now you are part of the conspiracy too.

Get ready to run.

Claire North’s debut, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, blew me away. It has easily become one of my favourite novels. It was with great anticipation and trepidation, therefore, that I began Touch. I needn’t have worried, though. This is another fantastic novel, one that gripped me from the beginning and didn’t let go. North is my new favourite author. Continue reading