Genre: science fiction

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The Girl with All the Gifts: review

The Girl with All the Gifts: review

This is the story of a girl, locked in a room, who is strapped into a chair every morning while a man holds a gun to her head. She’s wheeled into a classroom in which there are other kids strapped into chairs just like hers, where a woman teaches them lessons that they will probably never need to learn. The Girl with All the Gifts is difficult to review, because it’s one of those stories that’s best enjoyed if you know next to nothing about it. It isn’t necessarily difficult to figure out what’s going on, but the meticulously crafted narrative is a pleasure to experience every step of the way, particularly in the beginning chapters inside 10-year-old Melanie’s head, when the author allows the reader to put together pieces of a puzzle that Melanie herself doesn’t even know exists. It’s brilliant writing that pulls off the trick of a… Read more »

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Scan: Review + Giveaway

Scan: Review + Giveaway

So one way to succinctly summarize Scan is “Junior MacGyver vs. the Aliens.” Okay, there is more to it than that, but that is the basic gist. We follow the adventures of Tate Archer as he unwittingly unleashes a secret and powerful alien horde on his family. Kids these days! For me, the strongest point of the book was the characterization. For being a MacGyver-level, 11 language speaking, hacker, chemistry genius, Tate comes off as a normal teenage boy. He makes some really dumb (but understandable) mistakes. Sometimes he says the wrong things to his girlfriend, Christina. Perhaps he was even too normal in some ways. At the very beginning of the book Tate’s POV is just so obnoxiously male. He berates himself for being “a pussy.” His thoughts and the way he looks at Christina occasionally rove toward “leer” territory, but is balanced by how much you can tell that Tate really loves… Read more »

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Heaven’s Queen: Review

Heaven’s Queen: Review

So here’s the deal: Heaven’s Queen is fine. If you enjoyed where the series seemed to be heading in book two, if you think Rupert and Devi are interesting together, if you don’t particularly care for the parts of the story where Devi fights in her robot suit… You’ll like this book. It will seem fitting and appropriate, you will be warm and happy, and you’ll agree with the majority of readers on Goodreads, where it currently has a rating over four stars. What follows will contain minor spoilers for the previous books in this series. If you started this series because you were interested in a story about a badass female mercenary who unapologetically sleeps around (you know, a man in every port and all that), and who fights in an awesome robot suit, you may come out of it feeling a little bit betrayed. Devi’s not a character… Read more »

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Honor’s Knight: review

Honor’s Knight: review

Wendy gave me Fortune’s Pawn for Christmas, and I put off reading it for months and months–until a week ago. I have a tendency to do this; being given or loaned a book makes me feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to enjoy it, and that perceived pressure pretty quickly turns into a weird resentment of the book in question. I’m such an idiot. Once I finally sat down with the darned thing, I devoured it in one sitting, and as soon as I finished it around 2 am, I proceeded to read Honor’s Knight right then and there in a blurry haze of bloodshot eyes and coffee breath. Because these books are really, really good, you guys. What follows will contain spoilers for Fortune’s Pawn, the previous book in the Paradox series. Honor’s Knight opens with an intense, heartbreaking prologue in which we learn why so… Read more »

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Ruins: Review

Ruins: Review

I really struggled with how I was going to rate this book. Partials and Fragments were two of my favorite reads of 2013. This is also the first series I’ve completed since I’ve started reviewing so there was that component as well. Were my feelings unfairly influenced by how high my expectations were? Ultimately, I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, of the 50 or so books I’ve read so far this year, this is one of my favorites, but I wanted more. There was much to love. The strong characterization, complex medical breakdowns, viral thrills, and realistic post-apocalyptic terror are all there. Yet there were some very significant issues that weighed down my enjoyment. For me, one of the main reasons I think this final installment flags some is the large absence of Samm. Ironically, he has more POV chapters in Ruins than in the previous books, but… Read more »

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Avalon: review

Avalon: review

When I was 21, a mutual acquaintance introduced me to Buzz Aldrin at a cocktail party. We had been talking for under thirty seconds when he just turned around and walked away.  While I was in the middle of speaking.  I got to talk to the second human to walk on the moon, and I was so boring he couldn’t even be bothered to make up a polite excuse for turning his back on me mid-sentence.  It was the greatest moment of my life. Because I love space.  Space adventures are among my favorite things in the world.  And Avalon is a really, really fun addition to this genre.  I mean, it has laser guns and a cute boy.  What is there to complain about? Not much, but… well, a few things bothered me. For instance, two (male) members of the Avalon’s crew are virtually indistinguishable from each other, character-wise,… Read more »

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Red Rising: Review

Red Rising: Review

Oh, Red Rising. Where do I even start with you? There were many “What in the world?!?” moments throughout this reading (that’s a good thing). This is essentially “Dystopian, eugenic, Capture the Flag on Mars”. For real. I did a lot of creepy, evil smiling throughout. What can I say? This book served to further chill the cockles of my cold, dark heart, and I just loved it for that. This is a story for readers who, like me, are fascinated by these questions: What happens when your enemy becomes your friend? What happens when you become your enemy? I’ve kept this as free of plot points as possible. The less you know about what is going on and what is going to happen the better. I wouldn’t want to deny you a single one of those jaw dropping moments. I am absolutely horrified by the world of Red Rising… Read more »

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