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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Kicking Zombie Butt: A Review of Death of a Saint by Lily Herne

Death of a Saint is the second in the Mall Rats horror series by South African writing phenomenon Lily Herne, which is the pen name for the composite efforts of a local mother-and-daughter writing team, Sarah and Savannah Lotz. It follows chillingly on where Deadlands (published in 2011) left off.

In Deadlands we met Lele de la Fontein, a 17-year-old girl exiled from her home in the Cape Town “enclave”, all that’s left of the city after a zombie apocalypse. She’s taken in by a gang of teenagers known as the Mall Rats, made up of the handsome Ash, the giant British orphan Ginger and the feisty Saint.

The kids survive in the Deadlands, which is the wild, zombie-infested area outside the enclave, and exist by raiding what’s left of Century City mall to sell back to the Resurrectionists, the dead-worshipping society ruled by the mysterious Guardians, and the very people who spat them out in the first place.

As an outsider, Lele not only learns to kick zombie butt, but also discovers that the home she left behind is riddled with corruption, and that the so-called Guardians were responsible for the grisly practice of sacrifice that lurks behind their self-righteous fa├žade. By the end of the novel, Lele had more questions than answers.

Death of a Saint picks up where Deadlands left off. The Mall Rats travel outside of Cape Town to find other survivors, picking up new friends, including the pretty redhead Ember, a cute baby hyena named Bambi, and the mysterious Lucien, who reveals a shocking truth about Ash’s past.

Lele has grown into a self-confident young woman, although her feelings for Ash bring plenty of confusion. We get to know Saint better, too, who is still dealing with the loss of her girlfriend. But young love is the last thing on anyone’s mind when the group falls into a trap that has devastating consequences for one of them.

Herne has masterfully created a fictional war-torn South Africa that is slowly being reclaimed by nature. As the Mall Rats travel the pot-holed roads, discovering what’s left of the country, the novel acts like a tourist guide to a future dystopian South Africa. Knynsa is repopulated with elephants. The Mall Rats visit the burnt-out remains of Port Elizabeth, its coast littered with the walking dead, and a Grahamstown turned ghost town.

The novel’s real story lies in the lives of the teen exiles, told with meticulous detail. It was a joy to be able to get under the characters’ skin. What also sets the series apart is its no-holds-barred treatment of contemporary South Africa, including its melting pot of cultures. From race to religion to sexual orientation and politics, it’s all there. With the exception of a few prognostications and pop cultural references, I would call the novel faultless and leaves you eager for the next instalment. The publisher has anticipated this and included an excerpt from the third book.

The Mall Rats series is a proudly South African youth series that is worthy to be ranked among the likes of Twilight and The Hunger Games.

This review is brought to you by Books LIVE Wire. Books LIVE Wire books sponsored by Exclusive Books.


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For the first time in Techniclolour

The illustrious editor of BookSA captured a recording of me reading from The Goblet Club at the Book Lounge on Friday.

I must warn you. It’s gritty, I have a voice that would make small children want to crawl into cupboards and whimper and… I’m wearing a polka dot alice band.

I don’t know if it can get any worse than that.

It’s SA Partridge as you’ve never seen her before.

Unedited and without the aid of a trained team of Hollywood scripwriters… its Youtube at its most raw.

Its…. SA Partridge uncut.
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Sven, Derick and Sally at Exclusive Books, Kloof Street

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Sven Eick Derick Muller SA Partridge

Please join us…

…for a post-Book Fair chat at Exclusive Books in Kloof Street, Cape Town on the 22nd July, 5 for 5h30 pm.
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Something a little different

I’ve been gathering my thoughts recently in readiness to take the plunge into my next novel. I have basically made my home into a nice little hidey-hole filled with random bits of paper and notebooks onto which I have scribbled various parts of storyline and dialogue. When one has resolved oneself to do one thing you often find yourself doing the complete opposite. In my case, instead of writing I have found myself reading a great many books. I would like to mention a few that have stood out for me and that have proven to be a great source of inspiration as well as procrastination.

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A little homegrown publicity

I have some good news to share. The wonderful folk at Kalahari.net have added my book to their homegrown SA fiction interest page, have a look at the link here. Thank you guys so much for making that happen, I’m so proud to have been included in that list.

It’s great to see that as time passes, the interest in my little novel hasn’t died down but has been steadily increasing. I have two magazine interviews lined up for next year, but more of that later. (more…)


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The Launch duh duh duh

Despite my fervent pleas to the powers that be for time to move slower the launch took place last night at the Neighbourhood Bar in Long street. NB Publishers / Human and Rousseau really went all out on the event and there was a fantastic turnout. I’m not a public speaker by any means so after a week of sheer terror at the prospect of speaking in front of a large crowd I promptly forgot everything that I was going say as soon as my hand clutched the microphone. I know that I said something as people applauded at the end but I’d rather not think about it. I’m sure that I used the word “um” about five times.

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SA Partridge: a Blog

Sally-Ann PartridgeGreetings and welcome to my blog…

Tales from the dark side

I love writing; I’ve been doing it since I was old enough to dream up interesting little characters in my young mind. I remember how excited I used to be at my creations; the little fairies and goblins that I imagined inhabited our garden. The characters may have grown up and the stories may have darkened, but the passion is still there and I plan to continue doing it for a very long time.

Winning the young writers competition boosted my confidence and allowed me to explore areas that seemed too difficult or beyond my capabilities. Writing has always been therapeutic, and to receive recognition for something so personal was amazing. I felt good about my writing and terribly proud of my story, and in a way, it increased my own self worth. It’s an impossible feeling, knowing that someone enjoyed something that you wrote. I’m still getting used to the idea but at the same time all I want to do is write more. It’s great.

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