Science-Fiction Book Suggestions for Newbies

sci-fi recs for newbies

A friend of mine recently asked what books I’d recommend for her niece to get into science-fiction and I thought, “Hey there’s an idea! I read enough and I love the idea of telling people what to read!” 🙂

Some of these books were literally gazing at me from my shelf. So anyway below are the books I think would help people launch themselves into the sci-fi genre. While I don’t believe in age limits on what books people should read (no one is to old for YA for instance) I tried to pick a good spectrum of books.

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Disney Princesses & the Zombie Apocalypse Tag

It's Your Universe

So I picked up this book It’s Your Universe by Ashley Eckstein which is basically a cute little book about growing up with Disney and the power of following your dreams. It’s a great pick-me up or gift idea but I really wanted to do something with the Princesses.

Then I ran into the Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag on Andreas Nirvana and I thought… zombies, princesses… Seems like a plan.

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Thoughts on Solo

alden ehrenreich as Han solo

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Directed By: Ron Howard (mostly… )

Grade: C+

Well, despite my dislike of The Last Jedi and my deep belief that no one but Harrison Ford could play Han Solo I went and saw Solo and it definitely surprised me. I think the biggest surprise is that after all the talk about the Lawrence Kasdan (and his son Jake’s) script that was my biggest issue with the movie.

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Still Torn: The Solo Trailer & More Series

Solo: A Star Wars Story

So we got a Super Bowl teaser and then the very next morning a full-length trailer. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while and once again it’s tough to have an opinion (good or bad) in this fandom. I actually read someone say that you couldn’t say anything about this movie or casting unless you had been to film school.

Really? Really?

I mean if it works for you more power to you. Great. If it doesn’t work, same you know? I don’t think you need to go to film school to have an opinion on a movie trailer.

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The Last Jedi Review: Spoilers!

the last jedi

The Last Jedi

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Grade: C-

Oh man, I had to think about this one because it was my most anticipated movie of the year and truth be told I found it, at best, disappointing. The movie picks up right where The Force Awakens left off. Rey handing Luke his light saber and the First Order stalking the rebellion about to put them down for good.

Spoilers below:

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Star Wars: Bloodline

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Star Wars: Bloodline

Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: Sci-Fi

Grade: B

This was a good book but personally I had a hard time connecting with the story.

Bloodline takes place a couple of years before the movie and deals with Princess Leia, the gridlock in the Senate, her fear that a new enemy is gathering strength and most interestingly… What happens when knowledge of who her daddy is falls into the hands of political enemies!

I have always loved Princess Leia and been fascinated by how she would have responded to the news of Darth Vader. I mean let’s be honest in Jedi there wasn’t much time and she was kind of like, “Oh hey, I kind of knew that… moving on…” Her thoughts on that and the way people respond to the information is very interesting. Everything she did (or didn’t do) regarding Vader made sense to me.

I mean if my biological father took pleasure in torturing me and blowing up the entire planet that I grew up on I would probably compartmentalize as well.

Still a lot of the political stuff was easy to see coming. There’s a Centrist Senator she befriends that is definitely the stand out of the new characters. Honestly, all of the other characters could have been background in the movies which I suppose is the point. Han makes a couple of appearances here and there. Luke and Ben are mentioned but completely incommunicado.

Makes sense. Whatever went down there is for the movies though I still couldn’t help be disappointed that he still hasn’t had a scene with his mother. I think part of my disappoint was that I was hoping for something more (or anything at all) with Leia, Luke and Ben.

I also rather enjoyed the fact that parts of the book are almost tinted with longing for the good old war days. There was a sense of nostalgia, if that makes any sense, Leia misses the feeling of being alive that she had even while being terrified which also felt realistic and human to me.

So long story short this is a good serviceable Star Wars book with character insight into Leia and some (not very surprising perhaps) insight into how the First Order came to be. But I just didn’t connect with the story overall  and it took me longer to get through then I would have imagined.

Recommend: Yes/No I would definitely say this is one of the stronger Star Wars books that I’ve read and if you’re a fan of Leia of course but otherwise you can probably just wait for the next movie.

 

 

May Releases & Goals: I Can’t Stop with the Books!

Goals & New Releases

May is a huge book month for me on the strength of two books alone:

The Last Star and The City of Mirrors both release on the 24th and I have been reading The Passage Trilogy since it’s first book in 2010 so the thought of finishing out two trilogies this month! I’m excited! Can’t help it!

My plan was to start getting better organized and get control of things, including books. I realized I have nine (9!) books that I’ve amassed over the last couple of months since Christmas (thank you sales and birthday gifts 🙂 ) that I haven’t even started yet. I had set the goal of reading those before the 24th but yeah, I already blew that…

Bloodline is a Star Wars Novel centering on Leia that is supposed to give up some information on her mental state (and other things) leading up to the current movie timeline. Queen of Hearts is about the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland! Both come out tomorrow May 3rd and for both of them I just couldn’t help myself!

And of several other great sounding new releases this month I’m looking forward to picking up:

 

Every Exquisite Thing (May 31st) is the new Matthew Quick and I always enjoy his writings. Outrun the Moon (May 24th) is the story of a headstrong  young girl during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco which is an event that always fascinated me.

Not to mention the Owlcrate box this month is steampunk book and theme!

So I’m going to try to keep my goal and do a one for one read. A book that’s been waiting and then a new release and see how that goes for me. Plus so many movies this month: Captain America, The Nice Guys, High-Rise, The Family Fang, X-Men and Through the Looking Glass just to name some.

Usually I dread going into summer. It’s my least favorite time of year. (I’m a Fall/Winter kind of girl myself). At least this May I’ll be entertained! And hopefully at the end of it feel slightly more organized…

The Force Awakens Novelization

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Genre: (Movie) Novelization

Grade: A

Girl obsessed? A little bit I must admit. I pretty much never read novelizations of movies. Usually it’s book first (if there is one) to tell me if I want to see the movie. If I see the movie first I usually don’t even consider a novelization. But I wanted more!

This was pretty well worth it. I saw this in between viewings and actually it made me much more eagle-eyed about certain things in the movie that I missed the first time around. The book also goes a little more in-depth on the political situation (though not overly) and Poe’s rescue which was something I felt the movie hand  waved.

Probably the most interesting thing to the book was a lot more Leia. She actually is the first character in the book and we get some very interesting tidbits into her mindset. She even thinks about her father a little and Alderaan. I have to say I find this is a character who does all the heavy lifting in her world but is honestly more fascinating then Han or Luke if you step inside her head.

There’s also an interesting tweak to Rey’s interaction with BB8 that the movie changed that stood out to me. Getting in her mind for the fight was also quite enlightening. The anger is a lot clearer (not that they didn’t do an excellent job in the movie but some people seem to argue the fact that she shouldn’t have beat him .) I enjoyed it immensely.

Yes, give me more Star Wars stuff!

Recommend: Yes. This had enough extra and deeper information to make it worth the price for me and it got me thinking about some theories and characterizations. So if you are currently loving all things Star Wars the novelization is a good extra to pick up.

Star Wars The Force Awakens

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Star Wars The Force Awakens

Grade A+

When The Phantom Menace came out a couple of years ago my friends and I did twelve hours in line to see the movie at midnight.

Not something I did this time though I have to admit my expectations were still sky high.

But I was for once amazingly unspoiled and yeah, the movie messed with my head a bit but I really, really don’t want to spoil it for anyone else or even take that chance. Even though there’s so much I want to say about the movie!

So what I will say is that it lived up to my high expectations (even with some faults). Seeing the old cast was wonderful and it really did feel like seeing old friends again. I also really liked the young cast. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver proved that could carry this new trilogy for me and Domhall Gleeson was someone, who I don’t think got a lot of press, but was absolutely excellent.

The music was beautiful and the locations were just gorgeous. I already want a toy version of the little droid BB-8!

I actually went with my brother who has amazingly, considering we grew up together, never seen a Star Wars movie (and was quite fine with that) but now he wants to watch the originals. So good job movie! And yep, I’m already anticipating the sequel.

Recommend: Yes.