Today I come bearing gifts: an excerpt of Shadow Queen!
Thanks to Allen & Unwin, if you want to try before you buy, without all the inconvenience of trudging into a brick and mortar store, now you can read the first chapter online, or download it for reading later. (Those of you who download will get the extra special glimpse of the book's layout and font-design, since the PDF is a true representation of the finished book.)
As a bonus fun-fact, consider when reading that this first chapter is in fact one-fifth of what in my head I still call the first chapter. Yes, when I say the chapters in the original manuscript were LONG, I'm not exaggerating.
For those of you who've already read the book, I give you instead the feedback from friends and family who have actually finished reading it:
P, on starting the book: "I think she went a little too hard too early on the big words — I don't think she'll be able to keep it up."
P, on finishing the book: "Er, I take that back. She did keep it up."
N: "Oh my God, I'm going to need a dictionary to read this thing!"1
B:2 "Tricksy. Very tricksy."
S: "Is this the sort of stuff you were thinking about while you were at work? Because the majority of what I think about is what to cook for dinner, and there you were all this time, pondering the ways to kill people? I think I'm a little bit scared now."
And, the overwhelming response from pretty much everyone: "What the…? Cliffhanger! I have to wait HOW LONG for the next part? AGH!"
So, people, consider yourselves warned.