Tentacles: An Anthology consists of four short stories of monsters by three different authors. (Haley Whitehall, D.R Larsson, and Eva LeFoy) I mistakenly thought there might be other monsters involved, but they were all of grasping limb variety. Apart from that similarity, the stories are varied; a couple are in space, one spans across time and place, the last is set in the past. The last (very) short story has a lovely twist at the end, a wonderful dessert to a great feast of suckered appendages.
. Hexult by Perry Aylen is marketed as a young adult book, but don’t be fooled. While it took some time to orient myself in this new and chilly world, the world has much potential. Reading this book is like browsing in a foreign market; colorful and filled with a variety of remarkable people.
When a boat crash kills their father, Elya and Jacob, 15-year-old twins, are stranded in Hexult, a loose federation of island city-states on the brink of civil war. The two of them try better communication and new devices to reduce tensions between the islands.
The part I liked best in this book was the ice itself. Hexult is unique from other worlds; a series of islands set in oceans of ice. While there are many things that the reader is expected to take on faith (for instance, all he islands are heated from below) it has beautiful descriptions of the terrain. Moreover, the place has a personality, a “soul”, some of the characters considered it to have a name: Vajra.
I thought the ending was abrupt, perhaps not a cliffhanger, but certainly didn’t wrap up the problems completely. Perhaps this is to leave room for a sequel. Alternatively, like in real life, there always will be another adventure waiting. People who like the realms of Diana Wynne Jones and enjoy reading about enterprising young people taking on the problems of their world would certainly find Hexult a good read.