Tag: Science Fiction (page 1 of 35)

BOOK REVIEW: Between Burning Worlds (System Divine #2) by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell

BOOK REVIEW: Between Burning Worlds (System Divine #2) by Jessica Brody, Joanne RendellBetween Burning Worlds (System Divine)
by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Les Misérables meets The Lunar Chronicles in the out-of-this-world sequel to Sky Without Stars that’s an “explosion of emotion, intrigue, romance, and revolution” (Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series).

A thief.
An officer.
A guardian.
All from different backgrounds, but sharing one same destiny…

The planet Laterre is in turmoil. A new militant revolutionary group has emerged calling themselves “The Red Scar” and claiming responsibility for a spate of recent bombings. The infamous rebels known as the Vangarde believe that in order to bring about a peaceful revolution, their charismatic leader, Citizen Rousseau must be freed from prison right away. Otherwise the bloodshed will only escalate.

Soon Marcellus, Chatine, and Alouette all find themselves pulled into battle with extreme consequences.

Marcellus is determined to uncover his corrupt grandfather’s plan to seize Laterre—even if that means joining the Vangarde.

Aloutte, trying to unearth the truth about her past, becomes a captive of Marcellus’s grandfather, the general.

Chatine, who is serving time on Bastille, hopes to escape the brutal and horrifying reality of the prison moon.

But the failed attempt to break Citizen Rousseau out of prison launches Aloutte, Chatine, and Marecellus into the middle of a dangerous war for control of Laterre. And in the midst of it all is the legend of a secret and dangerous weapon that could mean complete and absolute power to any that wields it.

Review

The beginning of this book started off for me, pretty similarly to the first. There was a lot of information that I had to remember again and people to get to know all over again. I remember at one point thinking “man this is another one of those long books that might not need to be so long. It’ll probably only be a 4.” And like the first book, the last 25%, maybe even 50% delivered enough excitement, intrigue, and emotions that bumped that rating up for me.

The stakes in this book are obviously a lot higher than in the first. Marcellus has agreed to secretly work with the Vanguard, Alouette is trying desperately to find out who her mother was and how her life came to be what it was in the Refuge, and Chatine is initially stuck serving her prison sentence on Bastille.

Things kind of go to shit for all of them at least once during this book but somehow, most of those situations end up working themselves out and they find themselves together, working towards the same cause. We get to see one of the other worlds and meet some great new characters along the way (I HAVE A NEW SHIP THAT BETTER SAIL IN BOOK THREE).

The one thing in this book that bothered me that my mind has been at war with itself on is Marcellus. There were a LOT of instances where his weakness pissed me off. And then I would get pissed off that that pissed me off because since when does every main male character in a young adult book have to be strong/brave/reckless. They don’t! I mean, even though Marcellus has been being groomed to take command by his dickhead grandfather for basically most of his life, it seems like he hesitates a LOT in this book. His grandfather is constantly besting him (but I mean…why wouldn’t he?! He’s old and ruthless and again, is a major dickhead who has been at it for YEARS) and belittling him, and it isn’t until the end of this book that we see Marcellus have a good stick-it-to-him moment. Basically, he’s just a normal, young, REALISTIC guy and I need to learn to let go of him not having some insane hero-complex. On the flip side of that though, was Alouette and Chatine. Holy moly did I like Alouette a million times better in this book. And let’s face it, Chatine was always my favorite anyway. But these ladies kicked major ass here and were so brave and had great character development. I was so genuinely happy and impressed. And the few new bits of new information we learned about their pasts!! AHHHH. Like let’s just say this book leaves us on a major cliffhanger and I don’t know how to deal. Very highly recommend!

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon Sanderson

BOOK REVIEW: Starsight (Skyward #2) by Brandon SandersonStarsight (Skyward #2)
by Brandon Sanderson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she's a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there's more to the story. And she's sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars--and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself--and she'll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to.

Review

“You know the worst part about being in charge, Spin?”
“No, sir.”
“Perspective. When you’re young, you can assume that everyone older than you has life figured out. Once you get command yourself, you realize we’re all just the same kids wearing older bodies.”


I’m currently sitting here, drinking my coffee, trying to decide how I want this review to start. Even though this was a perfect second novel in a series to me, I just didn’t fall as hard as I did for book one. And that’s fine. I mean, book one SHOULD be the intense one to get you hooked into the world, into the characters, into the plot. I guess I maybe just wanted a tad bit more and now I’m left sad and a little empty over the thought that we might have to wait a good amount of time for the third book after that cliffhanger!

This book brings us out further into the universe in a way that I wouldn’t have expected. That part to me, was great. While it was a bummer that we weren’t with the Skyward flight much at all, Spensa gained some new friends and perspective that was really important. Honestly, I thought her character development from page one of Skyward to the end of this book was incredible. She used to be so quick to put up a fight about ANYTHING to opening her heart and mind up to the fact that the universe is as much bigger place than she ever could have imagined and that the alien’s that inhabit that space aren’t all going to be either good or bad.

Spensa’s new “squad” was a delight. The concept of Morriumur in general and their *want* to please their family enough to be born with their personality and traits, Vapor (again, in general really), THE KITSEN and Hesho (cries)…omg…even though it said they were like tiny space foxes I honestly envisioned them as little hamsters, lol. And of course the other human, Brade. Like wtf girl. I get that if you’ve spent that much time with the Krell and are basically brainwashed that that mindset isn’t just going to go away but I was really not expecting her betrayal. Damn her. Ummm let’s see. I hope the real Alanik wakes up and I want, NO NEED to know more about her planet and the fact that they may have a human refuge on there. My heart was broken over M-Bot and I need that whole situation fixed. DOOM SLUG(s)?????? Did NOT see that coming. I really thought that Spensa would find out that they were basically using people/ cytonics to hyperjump and that the screams were them dying. Nope. And again, that ending. Wtf man. I haven’t read a book with a cliffhanger in what feels like so long and I can’t handle it. I need to know what’s coming next. Sanderson I don’t want to rush you but…don’t keep a girl waiting for too long!

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Burning Shadow (Origin #2)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with The Burning Shadow, the steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux―only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is―and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

Review:

The Burning Shadow was absolutely brilliant.  It started out slow and steady and grew into an intricate story that was deep and emotional.  I loved the ties into the Lux Series and that we got to see all of our old friends.  It felt like coming home.  But this book toyed with my emotions in the best way ever!  Lies, love, betrayal, friendship and secrets splashed across the pages and it was beyond impossible to put this book down.

“Evie.” Luc said my name as if it were a prayer and a curse.
I took a breath, but it went nowhere. His forehead touched mine, and I swore my heart stopped right then and there.

Within those first few pages, I was already laughing so hard.  That’s because the story started right where The Darkest Star ended.  With Evie’s mom, Sylvia, making lunch for Evie and Luc.  Sylvia and Luc butted heads in the most horrific ways.  They were a disaster in the making and I couldn’t look away from that train wreck or stop the laughs that were bubbling out of me.

I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted to lose myself in him. I wanted to forget, and I wanted to remember.

From there, we were taken on the most epic adventure.  So I was beyond grateful that Evie and Luc got moments where they could sit back for a few minutes and enjoy each other.  Their banter was smile inducing, but they also had these deep, emotional conversations that gutted and elated me.  Especially when Luc gave Evie little pieces of her past.  It felt like we truly got to know everything there was about them and they brought so many emotions out of me.  It wasn’t a surprise that I kept finding myself with tears falling down my face.

“Tell me what you want.” His lips brushed mine in the darkness. “You need to say the words, Evie.”
“You,” I whispered into the space between our mouths, while my heart beat so fast I didn’t understand how it could keep going. “I want you.”

But there was also heart pounding action that made it feel like I was standing on the edge of the cliff.  I was so scared I was going to fall with them down into the abyss, so I was that glued to the pages.  And as the story unfolded, we were given little clues.  When those clues started to come together I literally had chills.  And while some of the twists I figured out, a few of them knocked me on my butt.  My mind was blown.  So hold on because this book turned into a wild and twisted ride.

“You,” he spoke. “It’s only ever been you. Before. Now. Later. There’s been no one else. There . . . just can’t be.”

Luc is still holding onto my number one spot for favorite book boyfriend ever (sorry Daemon!).  The lengths he would go to protect the ones he loved was astronomical.  He did everything to keep them safe, and while sometimes it was selfish, I loved him more for it.  I also loved that he had no idea how to be modest lol.  With hysterical t-shirts, cheesy pickup lines, and being naughty and listening into Evie’s thoughts I seriously loved everything about him.  Even when he was a little too matter of fact or being violent.  His actions shouldn’t have made me laugh, broken hand scene cough cough, but it’s Luc.  I couldn’t help smiling and laughing every time he was around.

“Because I’ve already waited forever for this— for you. I’ve done nothing but watch and wait, and I am not walking away again. If I kiss you, if I touch you again, I will not be able to go back to the way things are now.” The next breath he took trembled as much as I was. “I won’t be able to pretend that you aren’t my everything.”
I couldn’t breathe.

Evie was on a huge emotional journey and grew so much!  She definitely struggled trying to figure out who she truly was.  She had her past and Evelyn Dashed mixed into who she was and my heart hurt for her.  But Evie was strong, resilient and she grew in leaps and bounds.  I was rooting for her every step of the way!  And I loved that she never once lost her confidence, snark or sassiness!

Daemon was quiet for a long moment. “Luc and I would do anything to protect the people we love.”
I stilled, unable to take more than a shallow breath as I stared at the male Luxen. I didn’t know how to respond to that.
“I would beg, plead, barter, and kill to protect Kat,” he continued, voice low, but every word struck me like thunder. “Nothing in this world would stop me, and there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do— and it’s the same for Luc when it comes to you.”

The side characters rounded out this story perfectly.  Zoe was the ultimate bff, I loved Heidi too and everyone from The Lux Series.  You guys.  My heart was elated with how many we got to see, I was screaming.  Ohhhh and be prepared because when Luc and Daemon go head to head, I didn’t know whether to laugh or hold my breath because of what would happen next.  So yes, I loved this book!  It definitely didn’t suffer from second book syndrome.  I loved every twist and turn and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, The Burning Shadow will definitely keep readers hooked and become an instant favorite!

“Evie.” Luc’s voice was quiet but strong.
Drawing in a deep breath, I nodded. “I’m okay. I’m ready.”
And then I stepped forward, hand in hand with Luc, into the unknown.

PS Diesel gets a part in this book and it was so perfect!

PPS I love their Halloween costumes!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)


The Darkest Star   #1
Reviews:
Jen
 
The Burning Shadow   #2
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Breakout by A.M. Rose

BOOK REVIEW:  Breakout by A.M. RoseBreakout by A.M. Rose
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Six days.

That’s the amount of time until Lezah’s execution.

She’ll die never knowing what got her locked up in that godforsaken prison in the first place. Her only chance of survival is to escape. Except the monitoring bracelet that digs into her wrist, the roaming AI, and the implant in her neck make freedom close to impossible.

Her best chance is to team up with the four other inmates who are determined to break out, even if one of them is beyond gorgeous, annoying—oh, and in for murder. But he has a secret of his own. One that could break Lezah if she finds out, but could also set him free.

Figuring out how to work with him and the rest of this mismatched group of criminals is the only way Lezah will survive to see the outside world again.

But nothing in this prison is as it seems. And no one.

Review:

Breakout was an intense ride that kept me on the edge of my seat.  I found myself completely captured by this story and had to know what happened next.  So this book refused to be put down and I needed to know that everyone I cared for survived.  There were lots of twists and turns and while I tried my hardest to put the clues together, I was still left in the dark at times. I loved that this book challenged me.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, then definitely give this book a try!

My legs beg for me to run, to find a way out, but all I’m trying to do right now is survive. Live one more day to figure out how to crack the system. Find a flaw they don’t even know exists to escape.

From that very first page, I was sucked in and terrified for Lezah.  She found herself in a horrific prison, and she didn’t know what she did to end up there.  But there was a countdown for her death, and if she wanted to survive then she had to escape.  The scenes that unfolded were so intense. I was literally scared to move or make any noise at all.  I felt like I was trapped in that hell with her.  And that was only the first chapter.

Something out there’s hunting us, and I don’t have the time to be quiet or think about where I’m going, I just have to go.

But escaping wasn’t easy.  The prisoners were not only monitored by a device they wore, but also by WALTERS.  WALTERS were artificial intelligence that were self aware and could think on their own.  They added another level of intensity and terror to the prison Lezah was in.  So by the second chapter I jumped and gasped out loud from being scared and startled.  And my claustrophobic self was dying in some of the situations Lezah found herself in.  It just kept getting worse and worse and as the story progressed I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.

His aren’t just gray; they look like the clouds, with swirls of blue around the middle. That weird feeling in my stomach is back, and I’m warm, maybe a little hot even with the chill in the air. He’s so close. Closer than he’s ever been, and for a second I allow myself to forget about the past and look at the boy who was willing to risk everything for us today.

Lezah was so easy to connect with, even if her past was fuzzy and she wasn’t able to give us a full picture of who she was.  She was brave, smart, resourceful and she listened to her heart and brain, which I loved.  We got introduced to other characters, but I’m keeping them a secret because this book is best going in blind in regards to them.  Each one stood out brightly and it was interesting to see how they played into this puzzle.  Just know that the love interest?  Sigh.  He was everything I love in a guy.  And the tentative friendships she created with the others gave me the hope and lightness I needed in this story.

“They have to know by now that we’re all gone anyway.” And possibly they know exactly where we are, too.

So while this story was action packed, it was also filled with deception, friendship, lies, trust and love.  Breakout was the perfect balance between a gripping storyline and emotional characters that pulled at my heart and grew as the story progressed.  Looking back, I loved how Breakout was a maze of twists and turns the whole way through.  Just when I thought safety was within reach, I had to think again, because everything would change in the blink of an eye.

“What is this place?”
He turns toward me and tilts his head. “Why do you ask questions you already know the answer to?”

This book ended at a fabulous stopping point.  Lots of questions were answered and problems were solved.  But there’s still so much that can happen in this world, so of course I’m hoping for that next book.  That way I can get a few more answers and be back with this group of characters that captured my heart.  So if you’re a fan of The Matrix or dystopian books that have sci-fi twists then definitely pick this one up.  I’m so glad I did!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay KristoffLIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1)
by Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Review:

“Leave it alone,”
 Cricket warned. 
Eve’s eyebrows hit her hairline. “Crick, are you smoked? Can you imagine how much scratch this thing is worth?” 
“We got no business with tech that red,” the little bot growled. 
“What’s the prob?” Lemon asked. “He looks armless to me.” 
Eve glanced at the severed shoulder. Up at her friend’s grin. “You’re awful, Lemon.”

Lol ummmmm. I don’t even know where to begin after an ending like that, lol WOW. I mean UNFORTUNATELY one of the regular patrons at my library spoiled one of the biggest reveals for me a few weeks ago (which really was crappy, like wtf lol) but STILL. I feel like it was just one thing after the other for the last 25% of the book like I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE ANYMORE, WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

“So. You wanna play?” the skinny boy asked again. Lemon looked the kid in the eye. Fingered the stolen creds in her cargos.
“All right, you little snots,” she muttered. “Let’s dance.” 
“What’s your name?”
 Stinky asked as Lemon pulled up a chair. The girl cracked her knuckles. Picking up the cards, she fanned them out over the table, swept them up into a riffle shuffle, dovetailed them into a perfect stack and set them down before the wide-eyed children. She dropped her stiks on the table and smiled. 
“You can call me Daddy.”

The first thing I want to mention about this book is that I am obsessed with its characters. Lemon, especially, is hilarious. Eve was BA and I loved the friendship between her and her bestest. Ezekiel was….intriguing. I don’t know my full thoughts on him and the relationship there just yet. I’ll be excited to see how certain things progress in DEV1AT3 though, that’s for sure. Cricket and Kaiser though…*sobs* perfection. Two cutest bots on the block.

Overall this book was both weirdly not what I expected and exactly what I expected. I was thinking it was going to be a little more sci-fi when really it was a lot more dystopian. Kristoff painted a picture of a world that was ugly AF if I’m being honest. All of that machinery and not one blade of green grass or clean water was mentioned. The thought it horrifying. After I got a better grip on the world building though, everything flowed better for me. A lot of really horribly visceral things happened but since I’ve read The Illuminae Files and Aurora Rising I had kind of expected it. The writing, even though it was solely his instead of also with Kaufman’s, was very familiar to me and I appreciated the consistency of it. What I thought was super interesting was that even though it’s mentioned that this was “part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator” that this is like 100% an Anastasia parallel. Like….that could kind of be a spoiler I guess (?) but…It’s still true haha. Once I realized it I was like OMG YES. SO MANY CONNECTIONS! I cannot wait to see what ends up happening in DEV1AT3, wow.

“We can’t just leave her in there alone, Freckles. You know that.” 
“We lied to her. She hates us now.” 
“It’s simple to love someone on the days that are easy. But you find out what your love is made of on the days that are hard.”
 The lifelike held out his hand. “And we still love her,” he said simply. “Don’t we?”

This final part I think I’ll put under a spoiler tag so I can talk some things out…
View Spoiler »

“Stronger together, together forever, right?” 

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