Books

Starsight: A Truly Epic Sequel

starsight

Starsight

By: Brandon Sanderson

This was my first read of the new year, new decade and as those things go it was a perfect 5 Star way to start a new reading cycle!

Starsight is the sequel to Skyward so there’s spoilers for that one below. I try to keep it vague but you’ll definitely find out what characters survive. If you haven’t read that one yet and are interested… what’s stopping you?

Continue reading “Starsight: A Truly Epic Sequel”

Books

Space Les Mis: Sky Without Stars

sky without stars

Sky Without Stars

By: Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Released on: March 26th

This book is being described as Les Mis meets the Lunar Chronicles so naturally I had to read this immediately! When there was a chance to do a Fantastic Flying Book Club tour I jumped at the opportunity. Many thanks to them and the publisher for providing the arc.

Continue reading “Space Les Mis: Sky Without Stars”

Books

A Monster Hunting Heroine Has Arrived

trail of lighning

Trail of Lightning

By: Rebecca Roanhorse

Grade: B

Maggie Hoskie is a bad ass monster killer who may also be a monster herself. Truth be told I’m not sure if that’s a literal or figurative thing yet. Though I’m going with something your asshole ex-boyfriend tells you being more bullshit than anything she certainly thinks she a monster.

Continue reading “A Monster Hunting Heroine Has Arrived”

Movies

What’s Your Threshold for a Trope?

Upgrade

Upgrade

Directed By: Leigh Whannell

Grade: B

After a mugging a badly injured Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) agrees to take part in a top secret experiment and is implanted with a widget that is essentially like artificial intelligence. In Grey’s case it’s supposed to help him live a full life after his injuries what it actually does is much, more more than that.

Continue reading “What’s Your Threshold for a Trope?”

Movies

A Strangely Beautiful Trip to Area X

the shimmer annihilation

Annihilation

Directed by: Alex Garland

Grade: A-

I’m not going to lie- if I was married to Oscar Issac and some weird place did something weird and was possibly killing him- I’d probably brave it to try to save him.

Annihilation is based on the Jeff Vandermeer Southern Reach trilogy.

Continue reading “A Strangely Beautiful Trip to Area X”

Movies

Life

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 1.15.22 PM

Life

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Grade: B+

Life is about a group of scientists on the International Space Station that discover an alien life form. Unfortunately not E.T. I should say first off that I have certainly heard the Alien comparisons, and understand them, but my Alien experience is only the one that had Michael Fassbender in it. (And you bet I’m gonna see Covenant.)

But that’s a whole other movie.

Continue reading “Life”

Books

Ninth City Burning

27417551

Ninth City Burning

Author: J. Patrick Black

Grade: B+

Five-hundred years after a hostile alien invasion nearly wiped us out our one chance to repel the next attack is to harness and use the power that was unleashed when they arrived. Plus a whole lot of other things going on in a book that includes aliens, magic, inter-dimensional time-travel and a ton of world-building.

Continue reading “Ninth City Burning”

Books

Starflight

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 2.43.37 PM

Starflight

Author: Melissa Landers

Genre: Sci-Fi/Space

Grade: B

Solara Brooks is desperate to get off the planet and onto her new life. So much so that she willingly indentures herself to a former schoolmate, general jerk and rich boy Doran Spaulding for the duration of the journey. Their general dislike for each other is the easy part as they wind up on a space adventure running from her past, pirates, law enforcement and even bounty hunters looking for a missing royal.

There’s a lot of familiar elements in this story even though it’s set in space (or maybe because it is). Solara and Doran are enjoyable characters. Everyone is. Which is a good thing because nothings really a surprise. I read some people comparing it to Firefly and that’s certainly the case. Luckily I loved Firefly.

The best part concerns the space pirates but not much is new in there either. And while I didn’t necessarily see the surprise at the end coming it also wasn’t a, “drop the book and be amazed” moment either!

This was a tough one to rate because the writing is good. It’s fast. It’s witty. It’s basically a television pilot looking to happen. There’s potential and a lot of set up so hopefully any forth coming sequels will mine that and break some new ground. On a better personal note despite the familiarity of it this book managed to snap me out of a mini-reading slump I’d been on. So bonus points!

Recommend: Yes. Mostly because there’s no reason I wouldn’t recommend it. Just don’t expect anything new. Plus the cover art is gorgeous!

 

Books

Radiance

18490533

Radiance

Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Genre: SciFi/ Alt History

Grade: A-

I’m going to quote the original Amazon blurb that first made me say, “What the hell?”

 “Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own, from Catherynne M. Valente, the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.”

Yep, there’s a lot going on in this book. So I’m going to try to be far less wordy. Basically Severin Unck, renowned film maker and daughter of famous director and inter-galactic Playboy Percy (who shoots Gothic romances on the moon) goes missing while investigating the mystery of Adonis. A small-town on the callowhaling world of Venus that has also disappeared off the face of the, well, Venus leaving behind nothing but a small boy with a damaged hand who seems stuck in a time loop.

This book really tells the whole story of her life as well as the people around her, father, multiple stepmothers, and lover. It jumps through time and POV’s and is told through official interviews, recordings, radio broadcasts and (in some cases confusingly) the story of Percy trying to finish the movie of his daughters life and finding it quite difficult.

I’m going to be honest. I found it a little frustrating at times because the mystery of Severin’s disappearance was a pretty good one. All the stuff on Adonis is top-notch. Valente is a great writer overall but I found her setting the scenes here really first class. I was creeped out. I was frightened. I wanted to know more but you’d be there and then you’d be jumping around to the moon, to Pluto, to a thousand different places. All really thought out but taking you away from the heart of the mystery.

Further more you had Percy’s movie about Severin which kept being changed until you had to question which parts were real and which parts were his writing her ending for her.

Strangely I had faith throughout the novel that Valente would be able to pull it all together and she does, in a way. But it’s the end that leaves me kind of torn. I can’t say that I loved it or was completely pleased with it but I can say that I’m still thinking about it. The deeper meanings and the overall beauty of this story that is this crazy and unimaginable universe told through the lens of movie making and Hollywood somehow is so familiar to still make sense.

I think a person can come at this book from so many different angles and take so many different things from it that it would be hard not to appreciate it.

What is the real story? What is the truth versus the movie? The importance of love. The heart of the universe. A father’s love for his daughter. A daughter’s need to break away from it. Each individuals place in the universe. Humanity’s place in the universe. Why did they wind up making movies on the moon?

Recommend: Yes.  If the blurb interests you it’s worth a read. I’m still thinking about it several days later and yes, I think it would be an amazing movie!

Books

The Fold

23164927

The Fold

Author: Peter Clines

Genre: Sci-Fi

Grade: B

I was so excited to read a science-fiction for a change! In this book a government funded group of scientists have managed to “fold dimensions” in order to create basically teleportation, allow people to go great distances in the blink of an eye. Mike Erikson is a school teacher with an eidetic memory who gets sent out by an old friend to get a feel for the project.

First of all I loved the idea for the Albuquerque Door as it’s called. I have a big thing for portals and yeah, while people are technically appearing only a couple hundred feet away there’s a big question about what there passing through to get there in the first place. The project goes out of control pretty quickly and after a while they can’t shut the door off!

I said this was a B because it was an entertaining book. I liked the idea of the door and the book had some great creepy elements. You never know if you can trust any of the main scientists and the build-up that there was something very wrong was well done I thought. Unfortunately it had a couple of big problems. Mainly the ending was a big mess. The twist comes out of nowhere it’s impressive someone could figure it out only with a good memory but I was willing to hand wave that part.

Yet the climax is kind of a let down. It’s like all the potential is there and there’s a good creepy thing lots of stuff is hinted at but you don’t really have answers about the actual threat. It’s hard to explain without crazy spoilers so I’ll avoid. I just wish that part would have been stronger. Also I didn’t feel that there was any threat at all to Mike and company at all despite the fact lots of people around them were dying.

The other part of my issue with the book is purely personal but these people were pretty blasé to me. When it’s explained what’s happening it’s like huh. I assume it would be a lot to progress but my reaction would be, “I’m out the door see you later catch me if you can cause I’m not sticking around at this creep fest.” Also the government contacts reaction is like I’ll try to send you some help.

Ah, I’m thinking to myself if any body in any government heard about this particular out of control project they’d be sending in the bombers. It was nice knowing you Mike. But that’s just me.

Recommend: Yes. Despite the above issues I was entertained and I think there’s potential here. I’d read a sequel. It’s not the best book I’ve read by far but it gets the job done.