Reviews – The Sea in Birmingham:
The writing is consistently strong and widely varied, reflecting the experiences and styles of an extensive network from all walks and stations of life. A watery theme links several, as though the sea were indeed both metaphorically as well as physically inching inland . . . This book offers an insight into how Midland writers, in this instance over thirty years, create and develop a sense of solidarity within both an area and a discipline. The dots join up and make a gorgeous whole – well worth reading and emulating. Siân Miles, Book Oxygen
Reviews – The Game is Altered:
This is a smart, ultra-contemporary and ultimately deeply questioning novel-cum-thriller about where we are going with our identities, faced as we are with the diversions and unreality of the online world. The near future has never looked so vivid.
Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror
The novel is … excellent on grief … Here, the writing is at its most subtle … Packer shows us Lionel’s vulnerability and his impotent efforts to stave off the inevitable pain of loss.
Jenn Ashworth, Guardian
The Game Is Altered is a beautiful, energetically written collection of fiercely contemporary ideas, neatly packaged like an MTV indent into a post-cyberpunk soap opera of a boy looking for love and escape in a vast, immersive MMO.
Sci-Fi Now Magazine (2012 Book of the Year, runner-up)
Kirsty Logan, We Love This Book
Reviews – Among Thieves:
Coventry 1983. As the city skanks to the 2 Tone beat, so another multicultural youth enterprise gets under way. In her highly original debut, Packer weaves in … wonky wide boys to a subplot about a brooding Albanian, who will eventually provide the crackerjack ending, and sends them on an often comical, sometimes profound journey across continents, psyches and the minutiae of the drugs trade.
Cathi Unsworth, The Guardian
Mez Packer has triumphantly pulled off the trick of writing across the gender divide – each of her male characters is complex and convincing. The energy of the writing and the darkness of the story are reminiscent of Martin Amis, circa Dead Babies and Success – but it is better plotted. It’s a hard-edged story with plenty of tension and violence, but it has a heart, too. What starts out as a sour tale of grievance and revenge has an unexpectedly sweet and satisfying conclusion.
Brandon Robshaw, Independent on Sunday
Mez Packer’s witty, fast-paced thriller, Among Thieves… lovingly evokes Coventry in the 1980s. Packer, who has a gift for quirky conversational description and social satire, is a promising new novelist.
Ian Thomson, TLS
It’s Ghost Town-era Coventry. The students fear the locals, who loathe them right back. Only in matters narcotic do their worlds overlap. Among Thieves follows two upper-crusties who get in over their dreadlocked heads, kicking off a desperate hunt for easy money that takes them from Spain to India and back. Told via three separate first person narratives, it rattles along wonderfully…. Packer writes crisply about a world she clearly knows. Like any good thriller it’s all about voyage, not destination. This one’s worth travelling on.
Steve Yates, The Word
With three voices so utterly distinctive from one another, and so honest and compelling in their narration, it is easy to lose yourself in Mez Packer’s novel. Three hundred and five pages make this a story deep enough to get your teeth into, yet compact enough to maintain a swift pace… this novel is exceptionally accessible, its plot fast and unpredictable and its characters wonderfully honed. For a debut, Mez Packer’s Among Thieves is competently constructed and well-developed; her next book will be one to look out for.
Becci Fearnley, Horizon Review