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Presented by State Library Victoria

4 Mini Reviews from the Inky Longlist

The inky longlist is out, and looks great! I’m very excited to read the rest of the books on the list, and I’ve reviewed a couple of the ones I have read here. Tell me what you thought of these books in the comments!


Scythe is set in a world that has conquered death. In order to keep the population under control, Scythes are appointed. A Scythe must be perfectly impartial, selfless and have enough self control to avoid any kind of immorality. The world is governed by an AI, alongside the council of Scythes. Two kids are chosen to be Scythe apprentices, and are told that in their final test, one will have to kill the other. They soon find that the council of Scythes is not as perfect as it should be.
This book explores the meaning of life, and whether a life without death means anything at all. It explores the effect of immortality on the arts, on religion, and on the intensity of emotion. It also asks what immorality and morality really means.

This book does have a lot of world building, but I found it all fascinating, and the story line was great. One thing I really didn’t like was the whole romance between the two apprentices. It felt sooo forced, and I felt there was a really big missed opportunity in the development of their friendship, despite them being pitted against each other. However, the development of the characters individually was great. The struggles they faced as they tried to determine right from wrong brought out the most interesting parts of their character. I didn’t really understand some character’s motives, and the religious elements of the world. I was also disappointed by the complete lack of LGBT rep considering the amount of characters in the series.

This review sounded very harsh but I really did love this book and I would truly recommend reading it. 9/10

After the Lights Go Out

This book was really really good. It’s about a family of doomsday preppers (people who prepare supplies that would keep them alive in the event of an apocalypse). They have a bunker full of food and water to last couple of years. They live in a small town, and when the power, and all communication is shut off, the three daughters retreat to their bunker and wait for their dad to come home from work at the mine a few hours out of town. Then he doesn’t come home. The town quickly becomes desperate as supplies run out, and the girls must decide what to do with their secret supplies.

This book raises questions about human nature, and how far we will go to survive. It asks us how selfish we should be in the face of disaster. The terrible situation brings out the best and the worst in the characters, and you just have to keep reading to find out what they will do

It was a really engaging story and I would really recommend reading this book. I’d give it a 9.5/10

Amelia Westlake

This book is a romance novel about two highschool girls, Harriet and Will, who enter a comic about their creepy sports teacher into the school magazine. In order to avoid being expelled, they enter it under a psudonym, Amelia Westlake. Amelia becomes a kind of hero to the girls at the posh highschool attended by Harriet and Will, and so keeping Amelia’s identity a secret becomes difficult.

Obviously, a romance blooms as the two learn more about themselves and each other.
This book was so refreshing for me. It‘s an lgbt romance that didn’t really involve any coming out drama. It was just a normal romance novel, but about two girls. The two faced some mild homophobia, but this fit into the book very naturally, as it is a politically charged book about feminism and about fighting for what is right.

I was sent this book by inky for the lit club and I loved it so so much. It is now one of my favorite books. 10/10

The Art of Taxidermy

This book is actually a series of poems, that together make a story. It’s about a girl, Lottie, who likes to collect dead animals, trying preserve them, to hold onto the life they once had. Her aunt tries to put a stop to her obsession, but her father can see a scientist’s mind at work, and he introduces her to the art of taxidermy. For Lottie, the beauty and tenderness she finds in her preserved creatures provide a way for her to feel close to the mother she lost.

It’s a story about coping with loss and death, growing up without friends who understand you, but being content with being alone and true to yourself.

I recommend reading this book out loud as it’s truly beautiful. I loved it so much, it was so haunting and real. 10/10




Great reviews for all four longlisted books! I can’t wait to pick some of them up myself.

13th Mar, 19

Amelia Westlake and Scythe! I'm currently waiting on the Toll to come out

17th Mar, 19

Cool, I'm lucky to be able to read them all!! The Art of Taxidermy sounds super interesting. I like books with a really magical writing style, so I hope I enjoy it!

26th Mar, 19

Yes! It was a really interesting and refreshing book to read I’m sure you’ll like it!

26th Mar, 19