Tag: Science Fiction (page 1 of 35)

BOOK REVIEW: Breakout by A.M. Rose

BOOK REVIEW:  Breakout by A.M. RoseBreakout by A.M. Rose
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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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?” 

BOOK REVIEW: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

BOOK REVIEW: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThis Shattered World (Starbound #2)
by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

Review:

“What do you know of souls and hearts and how they break here? You don’t know me at all.”

“Oh, Jubilee.”
My resolve shatters, and my hand slides toward hers. She doesn’t pull away, but she doesn’t look up either, watching my fingers curling through hers.
“Hearts and souls and how they break? That’s all Avon teaches anyone.”

Man I am just so happy that I decided to re-read this series. I forgot how much I truly loved it and that’s saying something considering the fact that I first read it quite a while ago and have grown as a reader a lot since then. Going into this in the back of my mind I was thinking that this was my favorite book of the series. While I’m not sure if I in fact liked it more than book one, I think that overall the story line is a lot more solid and intense than book one. Even the romance develops a bit more realistically (though let’s be honest, I’m usually not a judger of insta-love….usually).

“I’m not special,” I snap. “I’m no more important than anyone else.”
“You’re the most important thing in this universe. You; this vessel; the people of this planet; lovers, warriors, artists, leaders, dreams more numerous than stars. Each mind unique, each thought created for an instant and then broken apart to form new ones. You don’t understand the unbearable beauty of being you.”

While this is a continuation of another planet that has been affected by the Whispers, it’s more of a story about the people of Avon and the soldiers that occupy it and their power struggles. It’s about peace-keeper Finn, who is part of the local group of people and the brother of the women who tried starting a huge rebellion, failed, and was executed for it and Jubilee, or Captain Lee Chase who is obviously part of the military force occupying Avon. The two meet when Finn captures Jubilee, hoping to find information on this mysterious base he finds deep in the swamp. He ends up eventually letting her go and the two wind up forming a tentative relationship for the sole sake of finding out what in the hell is going on with the slowed terraforming and this mysterious “fury” that used to only affect soldiers but spreads to more people.

This book is just so much…more (?) than the first book. Finding out about the struggles of the local people versus the soldiers and hurting for them. Talk of change, of rebellion, of just spending every day trying to survive. It’s pretty heavy honestly. There is one scene involving death that just fucking ripped my heart out and stomped all over it. I forgot how intense this book was at times, honestly but that’s what made it so good. I loved reading about Finn’s love for his people and how all he wanted was peace and to find out why his planet wasn’t doing better. I loved reading about Jubilee’s strict moral code and how she eventually had to change what she thought because she realized she didn’t have the whole picture and that sometimes you need to break the rules in order to help people and actually do the *right* thing.

Their relationship, too, was just so good. Watching it develop was so satisfying in the end and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it at all. Overall, like I said, I am so happy to have re-read this. It’s of the good ones.

ALSO, SIDE NOTE, the audio of this is AMAZINGGGGGG. Between every chapters is a few pages of what we find out later to be Jubilee’s dreams that are being “stolen” from her. They are read buy this guy who does this soft, voice that honestly creeped me out while you can hear people whispering in the background. Like holy shit. So eerie and so amazing. HIGHLY recommend.

He can’t take his eyes off the stars, but I can’t take mine off his face.

BOOK REVIEW: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

BOOK REVIEW: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?

After I finished Aurora Rising I knew that I wasn’t yet ready to venture out of the world of sci-fi. With the loss that I was feeling though, I just wanted something familiar, something that I knew I had liked before. My mind immediately went to this series (which is partially even wrote by Kaufman). This is my third time reading this book and I have to say that I liked it just as much as the other two times. I think overall I’d rate it a 4.5. It’s not a book that blew my mind but you know what? I’ve realized that you can give a book a high rating just for the sole fact that you really, really enjoyed it. It doesn’t have to be life changing but if it means something to you, makes you happy, and is memorable in any way, rate it five stars if you’d like.

That’s what this book is to me. It’s a story about Lilac and Tarver. The daughter of the richest man in the universe and a cynical war hero. The two meet on the Icarus, the spaceship which then gets sucked out of hyperspace and ends up crash landing on a strangely deserted planet. They were lucky enough to make it to an escape pod and Lilac was able to use the knowledge she’d learned from an old friend to hotwire their pod off the ship. Out of 50,000, the two are the only survivors.

The book basically just features them getting from their downed pod, to the wreckage of the Icarus, and then on from there. It’s a journey book and I know that’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. For some reason though, I just really liked it. I liked reading about them trying to survive. I liked them observing this planet that was weirdly terraformed and not familiar. And most of all I loved their hate-to-love relationship. Actually, if I remember correctly, the relationships and the characters were the defining part of what I loved about this entire series. Some of the plot lines become kind of weak later on but the characters never failed me.

Even though it initially seems like Lilac could have the potential to be a spoiled brat, she’s the complete opposite. She never whines or complains to Tarver when he’s trying to get them from point A to point B, even when she got huge blisters on her feet and was completely worn out from not having any kind of stamina for a journey like that. ESPECIALLY after falling out of the sky and realizing you are probably the only one that survived. And Tarver. Of course I loved Tarver. Tarver is the kind of guy character that will always be my type. (similar to Gale, Chaol, Garret, Cassian, etc.) Soldier, hard ass, but also has that gooey caramel center that you didn’t expect at first, lol. I enjoyed watching their relationship bloom and EVEN THOUGH I would have been really sad for Tarver’s family if he had never come back, is it weird of me to think it would have been a really interesting read to see how they flourished if they would have just stayed on that planet and made a life for themselves (kind of like in the movie Passengers)??!?!? 

Also, can I just say that the Whispers kind of creep me the F out? I know they meant no harm in this book but the whole thought of Lilac starting to hear voices and them creating those specific ~things~ was just…something else. I started to listen to This Shattered World on audio late last week and OMG. The narrator who does the scenes between chapters that are set in Jubilee’s past and brought up by the Whispers is so eerie to listen to. It’s quite frankly amazing. I’ve only just gotten into audiobooks and am finding out they can make a book 10x better because of those extra things. 

Overall this is a series that I will always love and will come back to from time to time to read again! If you’re looking for a kind of lighter (POSSIBLY AT TIMES CHEESY BUT WHO CARES) sci-fi series that is strong in the character/relationship department, I’d give this a try!

For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.


Until all that’s left is us

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

BOOK REVIEW: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay KristoffAurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1)
by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Review:

You know you’ve read an exceptionally good book when you relish the idea of writing your review as soon as you’re done because you want to impress upon everyone the exact emotions you were feeling as soon as you’ve reached the last page. Guys. I know we’re only a quarter of the way through 2019 but I’ve read some damn good books so far. This….is one of the best. As much as I loved Finale this might honestly have been better. I’ve wanted to get my hands on this book since it was first announced. I loved the Starbound trilogy by Kaufman and Spooner and also ate up The Illuminae Files which was by the same two authors who also crafted this gem of a book. In both series, I loved their take on the distant future and their incredibly addicting writing. The characters were unforgettable and there was always at least one relationship that had me swooning and dying for more. Based on ALL of that, THIS BOOK LIVED UP TO EVERYTHING I HOPED AND DREAMED IT WOULD BE.

Premise wise this book is about Tyler—a star squad leader who is about to get his dream cadet picks at the Aurora Academy and spend his life doing good and keeping peace in the ‘Way….until the complete opposite happens…kind of;

It’s about Scarlett, who only joined the Academy to stick with her twin brother, Tyler, and who is the mother hen of the group while also having killer wit and sarcasm;

It’s about Cat, Ace pilot, tomboy, not-so-secretly in love with her best friend who might also happen to be squad leader;

It’s about Kal, hot Legolas lookalike alien who has anger problems and may be the new love of my life;

It’s about Zila, trigger happy, very quiet, possible sociopath but also possibly there is a lot more to her than meets the eye and I’m interested to learn more???;

It’s about Finian, ALSO SUPER SARCASTIC, alien, techie boy who loves giving his squad shit whenever possible about whatever possible;

And finally, it’s about Aurora, or Auri, who was stuck in cryo-freeze on a missing ship for the past two hundred years and finds out she was the only one who survived and that she now has confusing new powers when she wakes up.

AGAIN, this is another one that’s been likened to SOC but other than the fact that it’s a group of misfits, it’s entirely its own thing. Each character has POV chapters but they never felt disjointed. I knew exactly who each one was immediately and loved each one immediately. What I’m trying to say is that Squad 312 is my new ~squad~ and I would die for each and every one of them. *sobs*.

This book was intense in a way that I had forgotten sci-fi could be. I don’t read a ton of it but when I do it strikes me that same way every time. I mean there’s the magnitude of Auri waking up TWO HUNDRED YEARS after she was put into cryo-sleep, knowing that life as she knew it is completely different and everyone that she had ever known and loved is dead. There’s the fact that a character dies and the incident ripped my fucking heart out and stomped all over it and I was sitting there crying in my car trying to hide it so my husband wouldn’t ask and then make it worse hahaha. I guess I’ve been reading too many romances or something. But I took it hard. HARD I TELL YOU. And the mystery of the story itself was one of the most gripping that I have read in a long time. I am dying for the next few books. Dying to see how certain characters grieve and heal. Dying to see how certain relationships blossom. And most importantly, dying to see how the universe is saved from sure destruction.

Do yourself all a favor and pick this book up when it comes out. I give it my highest of recommendations.

HUGE thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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