Genre: science fiction

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Soulprint: Review

Soulprint: Review

While Soulprint brings up some interesting questions – how are we shaped by our pasts? how are we shaped by our environments? – I was ultimately not thrilled by its execution. In the world of the novel, here are the things you need to believe for this book to make sense to you: that there are souls, one; that souls are reincarnated (and are immediately reincarnated upon dying, but only travel short distances because … reasons), two; and that there’s a study that claims a high level of correspondence between criminal activity in past lives and criminal activity in current lives. Once a psychopath, always a psychopath. In the novel “shared souls” is kind of a stand-in (at least to my mind) for genes and their influence – the comparison to heredity is made more than once over the course of the novel. There is also a biological component to soul-printing… Read more »

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Invaded: review

Invaded: review

Welcome, fellow l’annabes. My name is Layla, and I will be your guide to the planet L’eihr (and the innermost workings of Cara Sweeney’s mind). To prepare for this journey, I want you to remember the following: Cara, our heroine, is fiery and passionate. You know this because she has red hair. Also, she is a woman. Aelyx, our hero, is logical and doesn’t totally get human emotions 100%. You know this because he is a man. (And an alien from a planet where they like … bred out human emotion because it is a weakness, do you hear me? A weakness! Don’t worry, they’re trying to fix it.) The L’eihr don’t believe in: feelings, compassion, humans not sucking. In this universe, it is totally realistic for one teenager to give up her life on Earth and decide to “build a life together” with her alien boyfriend on his alien… Read more »

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Classic Readalong Discussion: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Classic Readalong Discussion: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Today’s readalong discussion is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH! Are you ready to have your heart warmed by a valiant young mouse? To swoon over a dashing rat captain of the guard?  (Yes, you read that correctly.) We all loved this month’s book, so let’s dive right in. As always, while we’re always hoping that our discussions will encourage new readers to pick up these books, we do discuss specific spoilers in each story.   Wendy: I’m very fond of extraordinarily handsome rats. :D Layla: I first read this in junior high school (and still have my copy today, boo-yeah!). I remember avoiding Frisby for awhile because I was really into fantasy novels and thought the cover / title were unappealing. Boy howdy was I wrong. I loved this book as a kid and I still love it now; it has officially withstood the test of time for… Read more »

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Red Queen: Review

Red Queen: Review

I am sad to say that Red Queen is yet another bland and wholly unexceptional entry in YA fantasy. What starts out with potential is ultimately unable to fulfill the promise of its premise. Here you have the story of a common girl, Mare, a Red, who finds herself in a position to make an actual impact against the brutal oppression of the supernaturally powered Silvers, and yet the story is one long slog fest of tired trope after another. The writing is competent, yet far from stunning. But it was the convenience of the plot that first got my hackles raised. In the space of a single day Mare: is selected from obscurity to get a job serving in the castle after a chance run in with one of the princes (he is obviously instantly enamored of her) is sent out to serve the most important families in the… Read more »

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The Mime Order: Review + Giveaway

The Mime Order: Review + Giveaway

Well, this one took me completely by surprise. I had enjoyed The Bone Season, but with reservations, considering how long it took me to really understand the incredible world Samantha Shannon has built for us. It took me very little time at all, however, to disappear into the pages of this second installment of the genre bending series. At once futuristic and Victorian, The Mime Order is a fantastical, dystopian, paranormal murder mystery, and I couldn’t get enough of it. This a lush and opulent storyworld, one that unfolds in intricate detail and rewards the reader for their patience. It is perfect for character readers and for anyone who would love a series that offers a “crash course” in the nuances of its world (like me! I am one of those people!). Reading this, and even though it is third person, I felt like I was walking with Paige through… Read more »

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The Glass Arrow: Review + Giveaway

The Glass Arrow: Review + Giveaway

Oh, The Glass Arrow. How desperately I coveted you. At NCTE/ALAN this year, along with A Court of Thorns and Roses, you were the book I was most excited to find, take home, and tuck away into my heart forever. But unfortunately, our love was not to be. Why was I even excited about The Glass Arrow in the first place? Ahem. It’s a dystopian novel about women’s reproductive rights and/or bodily autonomy being taken away! It features (in theory) a badass, bow-wielding protagonist! It was being compared to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale! Augh, how could I not want to read that? If you like those things, you may also be tempted to pick this up (and don’t let my review stop you from doing so, buuuuuut). In practice, you should probably just read The Handmaid’s Tale (for the first time! or again!) instead. Here’s why. 1. I was disappointed in… Read more »

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Zodiac: Review

Zodiac: Review

Zodiac is the first in a science fiction series that centers around a galaxy where every planet takes after, both in name and its populations’ core values and personality, the different signs of the zodiac. Sounds cool, right? I was intrigued by the premise both because it seemed ripe for lots of cool world-building (and also anything centered around astrological signs is awesome). Unfortunately, Zodiac suffered from too much exposition and flat characters. The plot of Zodiac centers around there being a thirteenth sign that has returned to destroy the rest of the signs. After one of these attacks decimates most of Cancer’s population, including its Guardian, the person who protects and  leads the planet, our main character, Rho, is chosen to be her successor. Rho is the only person who believes Ophiuchus, the thirteenth sign is to blame. She goes across the galaxy with her advisor and an envoy from Libra to… Read more »

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