Posts Tagged With: science fiction

Strange Weather by Joe Hill 🌪 BOOK REVIEW

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – BOOK REVIEW

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9780718181697I read Sleeping Giants in a paperback edition. Sleeping Giants is the first book in the Themis Files series.

Genre: Science fiction

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.

Published: April 21st, 2016

Pages: 320

Audiobook length: 8 hrs and 28 mins

 

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Synopsis by the publisher:

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel

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The Review

"Sleeping Giants is as much original as it is exciting and mysterious!" 

The Writing

The format of this book is one of the things that makes it so incredibly interesting. Almost the entire book is written in conversation logs, diary entries and files.

This makes for a very interesting reading experience. It reminded me a bit about Illuminae, but with a better story and without the pictures.

It was very fast paced and for those who want somewhat of a different reading experience, this is definitely a good choice.

The Characters

In this book you get to know all the characters through each others conversations and thoughts instead of an outside view.

There were very distinct written voices to the different characters which I really liked. I think Rose is one of my favorite characters so far in the series. And of course the mystery interviewer.

There are quite a few characters throughout this novel and I can’t wait to see who else will be introduced in the next book.

The Plot

The plot of Sleeping Giants is one that was very interesting and different. I was captured by the story at the very beginning when Rose fell into the ground and landed on a huge metal hand. Who wouldn’t want to find out more about that?

The storyline takes som major twists and turns throughout the book and sometimes it can almost feel like things are bit rushed. But all in all I really did enjoy the plot so far and I look forward to seeing where the series will go from here.

Additional Thoughts

Sleeping Giants is as much original as it is exciting and mysterious! It’s a very interesting reading experience with a good set of characters that develops throughout the story. I’ve been waiting to be swept away by a new science fiction series for quite some time, and the Themis Files might be the one. I guess we’ll have to wait until April 4th, 2017 when Walking Gods comes out to find out if my love for this series will still remain strong!

acqoaoqjiClick on the Amazon or Bookdepository logo below if you want to get your own hands on a copy:

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The Children of Darkness by David Litwack – BOOK TOUR STOP

I’ve teamed up with BookBear once again for their book tour of The Children of Darkness by David Litwack. They were so generous to send me The Children of Darkness to read and give an honest review. 

Thank you BookBear!

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41B73ehThTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I read this book on my kindle. The Children of Darkness is the first book in the Seeker Trilogy.

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

Publisher: Evolved Publishing

Publication Date: June 22nd, 2015

Pages: 314

 

 

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Synopsis by the publisher:

“But what are we without dreams?”

A thousand years ago the Darkness came-a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they have kept the madness at bay with “temple magic,” and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything.

Childhood friends, Orah and Nathaniel, have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the rigid status quo. When their friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his “teaching”-the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds young men and women eternally to the Light-they barely recognize the broken and brooding young man the boy has become. Then when Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her.  
In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a terrible secret that launches the three on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in jeopardy, for a truth from the past awaits that threatens the foundation of the Temple. If they reveal that truth, they might once again release the potential of their people.
Yet they would also incur the Temple’s wrath as it is written: “If there comes among you a prophet saying, ‘Let us return to the darkness,’ you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the Light.”
David Litwack

David Litwack

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The Review

"The Children of Darkness had everything I could ask for in a good science fiction book!"

***

The Writing

Litwack’s writing took a hold of me from the very first page and held on tight throughout the whole book. The world building was very interesting and done in a good way. I felt like I got to know the surroundings and the system without getting confused along the way. The dialogues felt very real and unforced.

The way the book was written had me flying through it.

The Characters

Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas had wonderful character development throughout the story.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the three of them, and especially between Nathaniel and Orah. It was pretty obvious early on in the story that they had some kind of chemistry (beyond their friendship) but I really appreciated the fact that their relationship did not take over the story. It just added to the whole package without being cliche in any shape or form.

Thomas had me frustrated at times, but in a good way. It suited the character and the story as it progressed.

All characters were well built and I enjoyed getting to know them.

The only thing I missed in this was that I would have liked to get to know some of the vicars a little better.

The Plot

This story never got boring. It started the build up from the very beginning and took some twists and turns I absolutely did not see coming.

There was a part in the middle of the book where it slowed down a bit, but in those parts we got to learn much more about the world and that kept it interesting until the next build up.

Additional Thoughts

Unique and mysterious. It was an adventurous ride and I can’t wait to continue on with this series.

It was everything I could ask for in a good science fiction book!

five-stars

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True Calling by Siobhan Davis – REVIEW

DevicesThis novel was sent to me by the author to read and give an honest review, so thank you so much Siobhan!

This is the first book in a trilogy. I read it on my Kindle. 

Published: July 28th 2014

Publisher: Self published

Pages: 400 pages (paperback)

 

 

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Synopsis by the publisher:

TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

Siobhan Davis

Siobhan Davis

***

The Writing

I did not find Siobhan’s writing style to be extremely unique, but True Calling is still written in a way that really grabs a hold of you and refuses to let go.

Well written, but I wished that she would have taken the time to describe the surroundings even more just to get an even better view of Novo.

The Characters

Ariana was a strong and well made main character that I enjoyed to follow throughout this book. I had some minor issues about how fast her feelings for Cal changed and felt it was a bit unrealistic. But love works in mysterious ways and all that jazz.

Cal, oh Cal! At first I was very charmed by his character, but it was still something about him that made me very unsure if I could trust him.

Ariana’s family is an assembly if interesting characters as well and they give extra depth and variation to the story.

The Plot

This book was definitely a fast paced one and I flew right through it in the curiosity wanting to know what was going to happen next.

That interesting mixture of science fiction and almost like a reality show made it into something very different than anything else I’ve read.

This story did definitely have some plot twists that made it even more interesting and some I really did not see coming.

Additional Thoughts

I really enjoyed this young adult novel and its originality. I look forward to continuing on with the series and seeing where this goes!

Another diamond in the rough! Some minor things that made me not give it a top score, but still one that I would highly recommend if you like science fiction and dystopian novels.

4star

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer – REVIEW

Cinder is a YA fantasy/science fiction novel, and the first book in The Lunar Chronicles. A retelling of Cinder_CoverCinderella, set in a New Beijing. In this story we meet Cinder, a gifted mechanic who also turns out to be a cyborg. She lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters (Cinderella.. You know..) and has little knowledge about her past before she became a cyborg.

Her life get intertwined with it of the handsome prince Kai when he suddenly shows up to her mechanic stand to get his droid fixed and I guess you can all guess that somewhat of a love interest comes up.

The one stepsister that Cinder is friends with suddenly gets the plague and is rushed away. Cinder then wonders why she does not have it since she touched her sister and the plague is highly contagious.

In this story there is also the Lunar people and their Queen Levana who is clearly up to no good with a wish to join forces and to marry Kai.

***

The Writing

I found the writing to be very well done. The way that we get to see the inner voice and information of a cyborg was very different and nice. Also really enjoyed the way that it was written from different perspectives that gave us a lot more insight.

It was fast paced and I really liked the world that she built and portraits beautifully throughout this book.

The Characters

Cinder was a refreshing and different character that I really enjoyed, but I think my absolute favorite character in this book has to be Iko. Iko is the house robot and she is all kinds of sassy and brutally honest.

Prince Kai had a pretty big part in this book and I really liked that we got to know the prince and not just as a person, but his job and his political views in this world that they are living in. There aren’t that many times that we get to really know the “oh so handsome prince” in the story, so that was definitely a big plus.

The stepmother was every bit as terrible as I expected her to be, but the main villain and straight up creepy character has to be Queen Levana. Her past and her actions are just horrible. And she’s also draped in somewhat of a mystery that I look forward to unveiling in the next books.

The Plot

This story is very well made and it was consistent and interesting all the way through the book. I was never bored. But even though I really enjoyed the story, I did find the plot twist to be somewhat too obvious. I wasn’t really surprised by it. And I think I had a little too high expectations for this book since everyone has been raving about it for ages.

That said, I really did enjoy the book even though it did not live up to my expectations and I will be continuing with The Lunar Chronicles.

4star

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This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner – REVIEW

This Shattered World is the second novel in the Starbound trilogy. You can read my review of These Broken Stars (the first book) HERE 🙂TSW_C_2-6-alt3

In the second book we meet Jubilee “Lee” Chase, captain in the forces that was sent to the terraformed planet Avon to keep the rebellious movement under control. Lee is different from the others who comes to Avon. She has her own personal reasons for fighting the rebels and for some reason she is still sane after staying on a planet that slowly drives so many others insane. We also meet Flynn Cormac, leader of the rebels. A man who wants to find peace for his home planet without having to resolve to violence and war.

Lee and Flynn were never supposed to meet, but when their paths cross one day Flynn does the only thing that makes sense to him. He takes her as a prisoner and brings her back to the rebel base hoping to exchange her for medicine and other valuables much needed, but instead he makes a decision that changes everything. When the rebels want to execute Lee to send a message, Flynn escapes the base together with her and suddenly they find themselves caught between two sides of a senseless war.

On the run they also discover that there’s something horribly wrong with Avon.

***

The Writing:

I enjoyed the writing just as much in this one as in These Broken Stars. The fact that they shift between the perspectives of Flynn and Lee throughout the book gives us a good insight to two different sides of the same story. The short in-between chapters also adds to the mystery of the book, but felt kind of confusing in the beginning.

Kaufman and Spooner paints beautiful pictures in these books that makes you feel like you’re right there beside them on Avon.

The Characters:

Lee is a strong, independent and mysterious female lead. I enjoyed her sassiness and how she wanted to be in control of every situation that was thrown towards her. As we get to know her past and how she grew up, she really grows as a character.

Flynn had the classic rebel charm to him and I did not feel like there were as many surprises to his character as Lee’s, but I did like him a lot. He’s a rational thinker that wants peace and understanding.

They were both strong protagonists that worked well together in this story.

The Plot:

Let’s just air the frustration that so many had when we found out about the plot of This Shattered World:

No more Lilac and Tarver??!!?!?!

I was (as so many others) disappointed to read that the characters from the first novel would not be the lead characters in this one. I was very curious to find out what would happen next with them.

But do calm down, they are not left out of the trilogy even though they are not the lead characters of this novel.

The mystery of the planet I found very intriguing. Something is clearly wrong. And I was also very interested in finding out what made Jubilee different from everyone else. Why doesn’t she get the dreams that most do right before going insane? What happened to her as a child to make her into such a tough-hearted soldier?

I found the romance part of the novel to be a little too predictable. You kind of expect it from the very beginning of the story. But even though there’s a fair share of romance in This Shattered World it doesn’t have the same focus  on romance and passion as These Broken Stars. This story is much crueler and harsher in comparison, but that also made it less predictable in some ways.

***

All in all I really liked This Shattered World and I’m still very curious to see how they will wrap it all up in the third and last novel Their Fractured Light (expected publication: December 29th, 2015)

Still there was something about the second novel that did not take as strong a hold on me as the  first one did. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I just didn’t LOVE this one as much, but still I would highly recommend it!

4star

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Red Queen The Substrate Wars by Jeb Kinnison – REVIEW

Red Queen is the first in The Substrate Wars series and was sent to me by the author for an honest review.

51t0jINt5uL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This is a science fiction thriller set in the US in the not too distant future. The  country is run by a Unity Party, combining the worst of both the Democrats and the Republicans. The Bill of Rights is being ignored and people are being monitored by the government. Terrorist attacks results in more restrictions on people’s freedom and privacy.

The story follows a group of young people who are tired of their countries censor, stagnant economy and no jobs for young educated people. And when one of their favored professors suddenly disappears after being contacted by Homeland Security who suspects that he’s staying in touch with a former student who now runs a rebel group.

These young students discovers a new kind of technology that could ever free mankind or be the ultimate weapon to control or destroy us if it falls into the wrong hands. What are they to do with it? And they have to work fast before Homeland Security arrests them all and get their hands on the technology. Who can they trust? How do they know that they’re not being watched already?

***

I was very intrigued by the synopsis when I was contacted about this book and it did not disappoint me. It was fast-paced and exciting. The characters were really well made but I would have loved to have gotten to know them a little bit better. In the beginning of the story some of the writing could get a bit too technical for my taste, but it definitely picked up and got easier to follow as the story progressed.

I can’t say that I’ve read anything quite like this before so I went into this with a very open mind and was definitely pleasantly surprised!

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes and I definitely recommend this if you like political thrillers and science fiction.

4star

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The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (Review)

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The Martian Chronicles is a short story collection written by Ray Bradbury, first published in the 1950’s.

All the short stories revolves around the story of earth people trying to visit and settle on the planet Mars, and it describes the conflict that surfaces with us trying to invade Mars and make it our new home. 

***

I found The Martian Chronicles an interesting read. It reflects around how humans have a problem with learning from our own mistakes. In these stories they are trying to get away from a planet that is on the brink of an atomic war and then when they get to Mars tries to live just like they did on Earth. Trying to build a new society, just the same as the one who pushed earth to its possible extinction.

It also has a lot of resemblance to our history of Europeans migrating to America, invading the new country and forcing the Native Americans of their own land.

I really enjoyed the classic Science Fiction feel of the stories and the suspense within the them. An eye opener that is just as easy to relate to (if not even more) than it was in the 50’s.

4star

A few of my favorite quotes from The Martian Chronicles:

“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”

“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”

***

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These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (REVIEW)

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In These Broken Stars we meet Lilac LaRoux (daughter of the richest man in the universe) and Tarver Merendsen (a young war hero) traveling on the massive spaceliner The Icarus. 

The Icarus in mysterious ways gets yanked out of hyperspace and by coincidence Lilac and Tarver ends up in the same escape pod. They end up on an unknown planet without any form of communication. They have to learn to work together and see past all their differences if they are going to survive and get home. But there are strange things happening on the planet they landed. And why aren’t there any other people around?

Could they be stuck there forever?

***

 From the beginning of the story the attraction between Lilac and Tarver is pretty clear. Lilac however knows that her father will not approve of him so she rejects him and it is not pretty. After this Tarver sees her as a spoiled and rude rich mans daughter and tries to avoid her as much as he can.

But crash landing on the unknown planet forces them to work together.

I immediately liked Tarver. A young, handsome war hero that loves poetry! Of course he came to my liking. Lilac I had mixed feelings about in the beginning of the story. I wanted her to stand up to her father. To be more independent and to rebel more, but later on I learned that there was so much more to her character. As the story went on she showed herself as a strong female character, full of surprises.

The book is written from both Lilac and Tarver’s perspective. Shifting between them from chapter to chapter. I really enjoyed the way that Kaufman and Spooner showed two sides of the story. And I haven’t read a lot of YA literature written by a mans perspective so that definitely added to the enjoyment of this book.

I thought it was exciting, thrilling and heartbreaking. It kept me on edge throughout the whole story and I definitely recommend it!

five-stars

Some of my favorite quotes:

“You don’t mention death when it’s hovering near someone you love. You don’t want t attract the reaper’s attention.”

“Abandon her? If only my duty or my conscience would let me. The galaxy would be better off, if you ask me. Who’d even know we were in the same pod? Except that I would know. And that would be enough.”

***

If you would like your own copy of These Broken Stars, click on either the Amazon or the Book Depository logo below: 

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The next book in the Starbound trilogy will be out on December 23rd!

Click on the cover of This Shattered World if you want to know more about it:

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Fantasy and Science Fiction Coming Up!

I thought I would give you all a heads up on what’s to come!

First of all I would like to thank Björn for being an amazing friend and sending me a link to the course that I’m taking at the moment! Thank you for being such an awesome friend! I would have never found this if it wasn’t for you 🙂

The link that he sent me was for a Coursera course called “Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World” The instructor for this course is Eric S. Rabkin, a professor at the University of Michigan. Rabkin has won numerous teaching awards and has won the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions to science fiction criticism

Eric S. Rabkin

Eric S. Rabkin

Coursera offers a multitude of online courses that you can join for free! And now that I’m struggling with my tendonitis and can’t use my arms that much I read a whole lot. This course was a perfect opportunity for me to learn more and become a better reader and writer even when I’m home and sick.

The course started up yesterday and the first week I’ll be reading tales by Grimm.

Later on we’re reading novels by H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Bram Stroker, Mary Shelley and many others!

I will review these books here on my site as I get through them on the course.

So be ready for a whole lot of Fantasy and Science Fiction for the next ten weeks!

I can’t wait to share this with you guys and there will be more goodies as well!

See you soon!

Photo: Kirsti Hegre Backman

Photo: Kirsti Hegre Backman

Click HERE to see more of Kirsti’s amazing photographs!!

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