Reviewer: DV

By this author

Books May 13, 2017

Closing Down

Some time in a not-too-distant future, with an increasingly inhospitable climate, a faceless authoritarian Australian government – unable to support a sparse population – is forcing people into overcrowded “inclusion zones”. The outside world …

Books March 04, 2017


Garth Nix has a gift for writing interesting, complex and capable young women, as anyone who has read his Old Kingdom fantasy series (Sabriel, Lirael etc) will already know. In his new book, Frogkisser!, the young woman at …

Books February 18, 2017

Why I Am Not a Feminist

Despite its title, the newest book from Bookslut founder Jessa Crispin isn’t actually a disavowal of the principle of women’s equality. Rather, it’s a manifesto arguing that contemporary feminism has become so moribund that Crispin no …

Books October 15, 2016

From the Edge

Mark McKenna is not the first historian in recent years to present a compelling counterargument to the comfortable lie that Australian history is a dull narrative of “discovery” and “settlement”, but he is certainly one of the most accomplished. …

Books October 01, 2016


With her debut novel Goodwood, Holly Throsby has become the latest author to tackle small-town Australian life, combining country fiction’s two great genres: the coming-of-age story and the sinister crime drama. The plot focuses on the mysterious …

Books July 30, 2016

No Man Is an Island

In 2010, Adele Dumont volunteered to teach English to the detainees in the Christmas Island detention centre. As she recounts these early experiences in her memoir No Man Is an Island, her earnestness and restrained excitement are palpable. …

Books June 04, 2016


Jane Abbott’s novel Watershed proposes a future climate change scenario that even the most pessimistic climatologist might hesitate to predict. The oceans haven’t just risen, they’ve inundated, drowning the old world beneath violent, debris-filled …

Books April 30, 2016


An upside of the troubled time in the publishing world of late seems to be an increased appetite for experimentation and risk-taking. Perhaps this mood of “try anything once” is what brings us Nick Earls’ new book, Gotham, the first in …

Books April 09, 2016

Oliver of the Levant

Walkley Award-winning journalist Debra Jopson has thrown her hat into the fiction ring with her debut novel Oliver of the Levant. It’s a coming-of-age story that cleverly avoids the clichés of the form by setting its young protagonists’ …

Books March 12, 2016

Emperor of the Eight Islands

There are those who find books with line-drawn maps of imaginary lands and extensive character lists irresistible, and those who shudder at the very thought. The latter group may dismiss Lian Hearn’s new novel, Emperor of the Eight Islands

Books January 30, 2016

The High Mountains of Portugal

Even before the stratospheric success of Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi, the Spanish-born Canadian was not a notably prolific author. His new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, is only his second since Pi. If fans of that …

Books December 12, 2015

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

Anna North’s new novel, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, tells the story of Sophie Stark’s life, as promised, but it does so entirely through the words and impressions of others. Her brother, her colleagues, her lovers all contribute …

Books November 07, 2015

A is for Arsenic

Fans of Agatha Christie will be familiar with her fondness for poison as a method of dispatching her fictional victims, but they may be less aware of just how accurate and precise her depictions of death by poison usually were. This accuracy stemmed …

Books October 03, 2015

The Natural Way of Things

Ten young women wake from a drugged sleep to find themselves in a ramshackle compound somewhere in the outback: a scattering of buildings, scrubby bush and dry earth surrounded by a massive electrified fence. They aren’t sure how they got there, but …

Books August 22, 2015

The Loney

Andrew Michael Hurley’s debut, The Loney, is a genre-defying novel, a description usually meant as a compliment. But for all its ambitious experimentation with genre and beautifully ominous mood, in the end The Loney’s muddled …

Books July 18, 2015

Pretty Is

One summer, a man abducts two 12-year-old girls. One is a pageant queen, the other a spelling bee champion. Both have parents who can’t quite give them the loving attention they crave. Their captor drives them to a remote cabin in the Adirondack Mountains, …