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Tag Archives: science fiction

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (Passenger, 2)

Once again, I’m over at Tynga’s Reviews discussing Wayfarer by Alex Bracken, the sequel to Passenger. Click the picture to follow the link or click here!

wayfarer by alexandra bracken passenger 2

 

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I’m over at Tynga’s Reviews this week posting about Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, which is a unique time-travel adventure! Click on the picture to follow the link or click here!

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Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I’m over at Tynga’s Reviews this week giving my review of Veronica Roth’s highly anticipated and controversial new novel Carve the Mark. Click the picture to follow the link or click here!

carve the mark by veronica roth

 

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Illuminae & Gemina (The Illuminae Files) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Possibly the most brilliant YA science fiction/space fiction series I have ever read (meaning I liked them more than Ender’s Game, sorry mega-fans)! So good that as I write this review, I am itching to read them again. . .

Illuminae

The same day their mining planet of Kerenza is attacked with spaceships and bioweapons by a large corporation, Ezra and Kady end their relationship but must rely on one another to survive the destruction. Framed like a case file against Bei-Tech and its leadership with documentation of the incident against Kerenza, the Illuminae file contains reports, personal interviews, memos, art and design pieces, wiki entries, emails, IMs, video transcripts, and code. The few refugees from Kerenza escape to three nearby ships, science vessel Hypatia, heavy freighter Copernicus, and battlecarrier Alexander, and though the Alexander managed to cripple much of Bei-Tech’s fleet while taking heavy damage, there is still one dreadnought left–the Lincoln–that is coming to finish them off. The only hope of escape is a nearby waypoint, but the Lincoln will find and destroy them long before then. However, the bioweapon Bei-Tech unleashed is mutating into a deadly plague aboard the Copernicus, and the Alexander‘s artificial intelligence, severely damaged in the battle, is wavering between destroying them all or protecting them as it was designed to do. Military leadership is silent leaving everyone panicked.

Meanwhile, Kady and Ezra manage to help each other survive, but get separated aboard the ships: Kady on Hypatia and Ezra aboard the Alexander. Due to immediate need, Ezra is conscripted into the military as a pilot, while Kady proves too difficult. Instead, Kady spends her time hacking the networks in attempts to gain intel and communicate with others to find her mother. On Ezra’s first flight out, he witnesses the Alexander‘s AI shoot missiles at their ship the Copernicus while a few shuttles take flight. Ezra’s flight group is ordered by the AI to destroy all the shuttles and attempts to contact leadership for confirmation but all efforts are blocked by the damaged and dictatorial AI AIDAN. In the aftermath, Kady, who has been secretly working in conjunction with another gifted research hacker aboard the Hypatia, Byron Zhang, learns of Ezra’s court martial. Knowing her mother must have died on the Copernicus, Kady dedicates herself to saving Ezra, even to the point of becoming suicidal in returning to the mayhem and plague-ridden Alexander just to save the last person around that she loves. Will Kady be able to stop AIDAN before it murders everyone or will the Lincoln beat them all to it? Is there any hope of survival?

Gemina

This second file describes the events at the Heimdall waypoint, where the Kerenza survivors are looking to reach to survive. Daughter of the station’s commander, Hanna Donnelly is planning for a party with her military officer boyfriend, Jackson Merrick, and trying to score some of the local drug known as dust (think marijuana rather than anything hard). Her drug dealer is Niklas Malikov, an outrageous flirt and nephew of the local crime lord who farms lamina, terrifying fast-evolving parasites that manufacture dust. On the night Nik and Hanna are supposed to meet up, a Bei-Tech undercover operative cons Nik and his family into intercepting a secret mission allowing Bei-Tech assassins into the waypoint. Luckily, Nik skips out on the destruction to meet Hanna while the rest of the jump station dissolves into chaos and murder. As the Bei-Tech assassins continue their mission, Nik and Hanna are left as the only two free people on the station, aided by the computer skills of Nik’s cousin Ella. Through Hanna’s lifelong training at strategy and combat due to her father’s obsession and Nik’s determination, wit, and heart, they must battle or outsmart their way through Bei-Tech’s 24 assassins before a second Bei-Tech fleet arrives and their hope for a future is lost for a thousand years.

Honestly, I am trying so hard here not to reveal epic spoilers. I loved every minute of this nail-biting series and want to experience it over and over again. My favorite bits were the IMs because so much of my teen years were spent forming relationships over IM/internet forums. The art and design elements were unexpected but tied together the setting and feel of the story. Addictive. Terrifying. I want more.

While Illuminae was the real stand out, Gemina was not far behind as a solid sequel and may have equaled the first had my pre-pub edition contained the rest of the art intended for the final copy (understandably still in development).

My copies of Illuminae and Gemina are advanced reader copies (that I’ve been foisting on everyone I can). THANK YOU #alaac15, #alaac16, and most especially Penguin Random House for giving them out! Currently this series is tied with one other (coming soon!) for my favorite reads of 2016!

Note: Language, violence, sexual connotations, and visceral descriptors.

 

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Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

21996355Breaking Sky

In the near future, the United States is in another Cold War, this time with China, and has been isolated from all foreign contact. China has developed a mass of deadly weapons known as red drones that float in the air and no military has the resources to combat them. Until now.

Chase Harcourt, known as “Nyx” in the sky, is one of two special pilots for the United Star Academy flying one of the elite prototype jets called “Streakers”. Her devil-may-care attitude and maverick pilot skills make her unpredictable, fast, and deadly to everyone around her, yet she’s irresistible to her fellow pilots, earning her quite a reputation. During an emergency, she believes another foreign Streaker tries to come to the rescue, and Chase can’t back down until she solves the mystery, leading to a chain of events that brings the United States under imminent risk of mass destruction.

Perfect for reluctant readers (as long as they aren’t intimidated by the length), this book is an exciting thriller with interesting characters, intriguing plot, and fast-paced action. Chase is a strong female character with a lot of determination, will, and heart. Her first reaction is to be either as desirable or as prickly as possible, depending on her audience, which is revealed to be partially due to her questionable genetics and admission into the STAR. My favorite character was Pippin, Chase’s RIO (radar intercept officer) who is fiercely loyal to Chase but suffers an emotional crisis just when he and Chase need each other most. There’s some romance as well as a scope of diversity in characters (including LGBTQ).  The backstory seems to be a rich projection of the near future with enough military knowledge and history to be believable. The one negative thought I had about this book was the fast-paced action combined with a fairly drawn out plot, making me think that the author had wanted this to potentially be more than 1 book…It could have sat for two books with some more detail, but definitely not three. I think teens won’t be put off though and just might like it better since there’s only one.

 

 

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