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Ben Chandler

Ben Chandler

Ben Chandler holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Fantasy. He writes Young Adult fiction and has published academic work on popular culture, video game narrative theory, Japanese heroism, anime and manga, and Creative Writing pedagogy. Every now and then he teaches Creative Writing, English Literature, and Media Studies topics at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

Ben Chandler reviews three new young adult novels

November 2023, no. 459 27 August 2023
Three new novels from Allen & Unwin explore gender power relations – with mixed results. In Ellie Marney’s Some Shall Break ($24.99 pb, 382 pp), a young woman helps law enforcement hunt a serial killer who is kidnapping and raping young women. Garth Nix’s latest offers interesting parallels, though The Sinister Booksellers of Bath ($24.99 pb 330 pp) includes plenty of fantasy elements to ... (read more)

Ben Chandler reviews 'Growing Up in Flames' by Zach Jones, 'Sugar' by Carly Nugent, and 'That Thing I Did' by Allayne Webster

July 2022, no. 444 25 June 2022
Zach Jones’s début novel, Growing Up in Flames, unfolds after a tragic bushfire, while an approaching bushfire stalks Carly Nugent’s protagonist Persephone in Sugar. The only noticeable flames in Allayne Webster’s That Thing I Did (Wakefield Press, $24.95 pb, 336 pp) belong to a foul-mouthed granny named Daisy, who uses them to light her cigarettes, but Webster’s novel about an unlikely g ... (read more)

Ben Chandler reviews 'Fish Out of Water' by Kate Hendrick, 'The Break' by Philip Gwynne, and 'If Not Us' by Mark Smith

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
Fish Out of Water by Kate Hendrick Text Publishing, $19.99 pb, 288 pp Few traits typify the mythology of the Aussie bloke quite as strongly as a love of water and a laid-back attitude. Increasingly acknowledged is the role violence plays in shaping our laconic beach-lovers. Three Young Adult novels tackle this sinister undercurrent of male identity, but in different ways and to different effects ... (read more)