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Nov 2

NASA Adds to Evidence of Mysterious Ancient Earthworks

Posted on Monday, November 2, 2015 in Links


Satellite photographs from 430 miles above Kazakhstan reveal colossal geometric figures that remain puzzling and largely unknown.

Read more here.

Sep 8

Laos’ strange plain of jars

Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 in Links

The few travellers that make it to this remote corner of Laos will find fields of ancient stone jars. Who put them there, and what were they for?

Read more here..

Apr 12

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2015 in Books, Children's books, Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult Books

“When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it’s too late.”

This book was a little creepy, as the author herself puts it, but it never gets too scary for the age group it’s intended for (that I imagine might be about 9-12 and of course, all the rest of us who are young at heart). Despite all the weird details you learn about Triss, you find yourself being sympathetic to her. She is in a very frightening situation and as she uncovers more and more about the secret of what’s happened to her, things go from bad to worse. Fortunately, she manages to find a few (to begin with) reluctant allies along the way.

Frances Hardinge turns out to be quite a versatile author. She showed up just in time, for me to discover her books, when Diana Wynne Jones passed away. Not that I’ve stopped loving her books and will continue to read them, but sadly now there won’t be any more from her. Hardinge’s books remind me a bit of Diana Wynne Jones’ books. I’ve been quite surprised at how varied Hardinge’s stories are, especially when it comes to the setting. They’re all quite ‘serious’ and dark, but not too much so. Fortunately there’s always a happy ending, at least to some extent.

If I’m going to mention something that didn’t quite work out, it’s the fact that the atmosphere in the story didn’t ‘feel’ like the 1920’s – at first I couldn’t guess what time the story was set in – anytime before the 1970’s? I also have a bit of a question – did the newspapers really publish photos of missing people back then? It seems a bit too modern, but then I’m hardly an expert.

This book, that I initially thought might be a bit too dark to be a real favorite for me, actually turned out to be among my very favorites, among Hardinge’s books. In fact, I love them all, though I found the last book I read (Face of Glass) a little too bleak and depressing. As for Cuckoo Song, I can recommend it to anyone who likes low fantasy YA books. I rate it 4 out of 5.

Jan 24

The Rune House by L J Hutton

Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2015 in Books, Fantasy, Reviews

I recently read The Rune House by L J Hutton. The book starts in 1574
when a strange house in the shape of a rune is built somewhere near the border between England and Wales. Strange and tragic events begin to occur near the house. In the present day two police officers begin to investigate an old case from one of the officers’ past. It leads them to the strange house where they begin to unravel the mystery connected to the building.

The book is quite well written (but as usual, these e-books would benefit from more proofreading.) Sometimes the plot gets a little too gruesome for my taste, but I see the necessity for it. I love this type of mysterious story. Another thing I’m rather fond of is sympathetic characters and a happy ending, both of which I get in this book. If you like fantasy, with a rather dark twist, then this might be a book for you.

It’s available on, among other places,, ( for those who live in the UK) and Smashwords.


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