The Beautiful Side of the Moon

Leye Adenle. Crime Scene Books. (?p) ISBN 9781912563012

The Beautiful Side of the Moon

The Beautiful Side of the Moon

First off before my ramble gets into overdrive I want to say that I read this book in one sitting, it actively forced me to sit there and read it until I was finished.

A mixture of sci-fi, psychedelia, high-magic, street-magic, hallucination fever, and as vivid an imagination as I’ve read for a long time. I could compare it to some of the more out-there sci-fi of the sixties, Jeff Noon and a raft of others but it seems to take all those comparisons and shrugs them off to become an original work.

Partially set in a Nigeria of now(ish), this book (along with one or two others) has really made want to know more about Nigerian culture, magic, and society. I feel if I knew more I may have loved this book even more.

I love this book but actually judging it is so difficult as it is so different from my usual reads. The language is at times, lyrical, speculative, down-to-earth, playful, but always on the move and always making you take that next step into the story of Osaretin Osagiemwenagbon.

Approached by a mysterious Brother Moses who promises to teach him the truth about being a magician, Osaretin comes to grip with a reality that is unexpected by all. Battles with flying magicians, healing gardens, moon robots, magicians and beautiful assistants, dimensional folding, space ships, and prestidigitation, this book has it all.

I’m still finding it hard to choose between a four or five-star rating, but whatever I give it in the end if you love weird, fast-paced, punchy, sci-fi you will love this.


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The Smoke Thieves

Sally Green. Penguin. (512p) ISBN 9780141375397

The Smoke Thieves

The Smoke Thieves

The Smoke Thieves is the first in a new series by Sally Green, the tone is quite low-fantasy throughout, more an adventure but with demons and demon smoke permeating the story.

Demons aren’t really explained in this book, lots of allusion and ideas but nothing solid, as diaphanous as the smoke.

It is quite a traditional story of Kings at war, clashing nations, familial intrigue, despotism and love.

The characters are well written and there are some really despicable ones which make the heroes shine all the more.

Really looking forward to the next instalment of this series.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.