Small Places: The Best of Intentions, The Blackest of Magic
A childhood encounter with a witch. Serious illness in the family. The earth itself sick. Small Places is a modern-day fairy story twisting the usual roles of good and evil as Jamie, a shy researcher, and Melusine, an ancient witch, hurry to uncover why Gaia, the earth spirit, is sickening, as the ripples are felt across England.
Parasites is a science fiction, solarpunk / hopepunk exploration novel that takes place at the end of the universe, just as it slowly starts to contract in the ‘big crunch’. On the planet Lyra, humans evolved late, on a resource-poor world, in a resource-poor solar system. The Lyrans master space flight, only to discover that their nearest worlds have also been stripped of resources. The population begins to decline, until a scientist discovers a technology allowing people and vehicles to travel through ‘thinnings’ – patches of space linking universes.
Kael and Alessia are explorers, charting where the thinnings go and bringing valuable resources back to Lyra, trying desperately to extend the lifespan of their home world. Alessia’s father, Ben, set out two years ago to uncover another species’ reference to a ‘solution’ to the big crunch problem – but never returned. A chance discovery leads Kael and Alessia to a clue, prompting another expedition to see if they can avoid the mistakes of the past and help to unravel the mystery.
The book accompanies Kael, Alessia and their gruff bodyguard Basteel as they retrace Ben’s steps, seeking closure for Alessia, a solution for Lyra and together begin a voyage through wild, weird and wonderful planets.
Parasites is the first book in The Navigator series.
“This was a really good book, expertly written by author Matthew Samuels. I like the characters a lot … When you set it up so that your characters can travel to other, unexplored universes it pretty leaves the author with a blank slate to do whatever they want. And this author takes advantage of that fact, creating unique worlds rich with alien species and different features”
It’s been two years since Kael and Alessia returned from their expedition to find a solution to the big crunch, but things haven’t gone according to plan. Despite an unexpected source of help, Lyra’s resources are being used up faster than ever before, and one of the monstrous creatures from Carthusian, the city-ship, seems to have been sighted in Vulpes, Lyra’s farming city.
With new enemies coming from unexpected places, Vega’s mayor Alhambro is determined to find a faster way to navigate the thinnings linking universes, dispatching Basteel and Slyph into the diplomatic and scientific nightmare in Vulpes. At the same time, Kael and Alessia embark on a mission crossing a forbidden asteroid, an abandoned planet previously home to a super-advanced race and into the unknown.
But as a new, hostile species capable of traversing the thinnings emerges, it seems that the sun is setting on Lyra for the very last time.
A young aristocrat safeguarding a terrible secret, sponsoring an archaeology graduate obsessed with angels. An all-knowing orphan worshiped by a mysterious cult. Britain’s finest example of toxic masculinity and an introverted librarian. Together with a retired demon hunter, they’ll face the apocalypse.
The Navigator Series 3: Lyra faces annihilation. Despite world-shattering discoveries and rescues, the unstoppable Tardigrade threat has thrown the Lyran people into disarray. Fleeing and unprepared, Kael and Alessia attempt to regroup and determine a way to fight the Tardigrades – or flee for good. Meanwhile, Basteel endures the unwelcome attention of the Vulpes refugees, protecting people who hate him as he attempts to locate Jira and the Marsia colonists. In the last book of the trilogy, a people of pathological organisers and rationalisers desperately take one last leap into the unknown in a gamble to save everything they know – or lose it all.
Grace and Vengeance: In a world where the faery coexist uneasily with humans, factions attempt to control and protect humanity from harm. Decades of tension between the three groups is starting to reach boiling point, and a long, slow campaign of persecution and threat is undermining the factions’ very existence.
At his school, Ben is beaten down and bullied, but a chance encounter forces him to take on a summer apprenticeship at the urban fey research centre, a once-proud tourist and scientific attraction, now increasingly despised. Thrown into the centre of an age-old conflict, Ben and his friends will be forced to take sides, learn the truth and if they can – survive.
The Slow and Gentle Wyrd: A cancelled flight leads Sam to tumble through a magical door in an airport bookshop. In a peaceful, low-stress, hopepunk, cottagecore adventure, Sam helps a boy on his quest for the Autumn City, meeting a wonderful cast and crew of characters who help and hinder the duo.