Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Overview

Title: Obsidio
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2018

Thoughts

Holy wow. This is a FANTASTIC ending to a seriously amazing series. I’m honestly seriously disappointed that this is over and still kind of in shock. But it was totally worth it. Definitely one of those series that I’m going to read again and again and recommend to all my friends and family and total strangers on the street…

I really wasn’t expecting a few things in this – particularly the ending with AIDAN. I’m still really confused about my emotions towards him (it?) I mean, some seriously disgusting and horrible choices. But also some really good moments. I’m not used to feeling so conflicted about my emotions towards a character. And even if AIDAN is a machine, it’s (he’s) still a pretty phenomenal character throughout the series.

I love that throughout Obsidio it actually shows how the Illuminae Files came to be and how they were compiled. It’s a great way for you to look back (particularly at the video transcripts). And I like the idea of rereading this series with that context in mind. It also tied out the different romances in a way that made you smile with happiness. Not going to lie, there were a few of these moments that bought a tear to my eye.

Although Asha and Rhys aren’t necessarily my favourite couple from the series, they’re still pretty cute. I probably just didn’t connect as much to them because they get the least time on the page. But, they still work, particularly for the little surprising twists and turns that they take throughout.

At its heart the Illuminae Files are based around a mass genocide. I love that of all the books, it’s Obsidio that shows the casualties of war. Not those on either side of the conflict. But all of the innocent lives that are lost for no damn good reason. It was probably this that truly bought those tears to my eyes and a soaring to my heart. Truly an amazing finish to an amazing series.

<- GeminaMore Jay Kristoff ->

Image source: Goodreads

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Overview

Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2016

Thoughts

Its been way too long since I read Illuminae. I know this because, from the very first moment of opening this book, I was completely hooked. Which makes me wonder why it took me so damn long to pick up this book now I can’t wait to get into Obsidio and see how this phenomenal trilogy will end.

Hanna is such an awesome female lead. I mean, a 17-year-old girl who is a master of war strategy? Heck yes! That, and the fact that she is a realistic teenager. She’s filled with angst and insecurities. That first blossom of love and the reliance on a parent. Don’t get me wrong, pretty much all of this is ripped away from her very quickly in this book. But she’s not a teenager who somehow has everything together – that’s a trope that just feels unrealistic.

Then there’s Nik. I have a bit of a thing for bad boys and the morally grey. He is just adorable and I’m honestly in love with him from pretty much the very beginning. Nik and his cousin are that perfect level of chaotic good, again, something that I tend to love in my characters. Ella in particular is just wonderful. I love how she is constantly ribbing Nik and there were many moments throughout that had me laughing out loud.

Not only is Gemina a fantastic story, one that was impossible to put down and forget about. But just also love how it is written. I love how you piece together the tale from dossiers. Different pieces of information, that, as with Illuminae tell a wonderful story for a space battle. But also have a few misleading moments in it that set up many conspiracies. Now I can’t wait to find out how the rest of the tale unfolds…

<- IlluminaeObsidio ->

Image source: Amie Kaufman

Memento by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Overview

Title: Memento
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2020

Thoughts

I read the first book in The Illuminae Files a while ago, and then I got distracted from continuing with the series. Which, as I’m figuring out now was a fair bit of a mistake. So, shortly after reading Gemina, I blitzed through Memento. And it was understandably fantastic, as all these books are.

Whilst Aidan is a little chilling in Illuminae, I didn’t quite feel that holy crap, evil being thing from him. Maybe because there is a lot of humour in all of the dossiers provided by this. That ambivalent feeling was completely removed by this novella.

I was kind of heartbroken by this to be honest, I really loved Ethan and Olivia. And their romance was just too damn cute for words. There is something great about how Kaufman and Kristoff are able to write in the romance to the main story. And the realism of HOW people gush over instant messaging… be still my beating heart.

<- More Amie KaufmanIlluminae ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Overview

Title: The Fifth Season
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Series: The Broken Earth Trilogy #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, High fantasy, Science fiction
Pace: Slow
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2015

Thoughts

Wow. Holy moly. This is one of those ridiculously unforgettable, stop my brain, overwhelmingly awesome stories. I’ve heard of N.K. Jemisin a few times in my literary delving, but it’s taken me this long to dive into one of her books. And, as with many of these moments of FINALLY getting around to it – the hype is damn well deserved.

From the very beginning, Jemisin’s writing style was so starkly different to anything else that I’ve ever experienced. It felt like she was reaching through the pages to speak to ME directly, no one else in the whole wide world. And that is just the prologue. Then, you get into the chapters. And you literally experience Essun’s journey as though you were her. I’ve read first person POV before, but nothing quite like this. Some of that attachment may have been because of my own (relatively recent) experience as a mother. But still it was a pretty intense reading simply because of this.

And then we get into the storyline, Jemisin is able to create a stunning multilayered world that is completely impossible to look away from. Not just built throughout Essun’s (your) journey, but also the stories of Damara and Seynite. It does take a little while to see how everything is interconnected. But when you have that lightning bolt moment of realisation… this story is just one one continues to get better and better and better. It’s honestly a little bit surreal and ridiculous.

I knew that this book would be fairly complex, being a high fantasy / Scipio novel. But you don’t actually realise how complex it all truly is until you’re out onto the otherwise. Jemisin is fantastic at leaving Easter eggs throughout that, when reflected on, give you an idea of how the tale will end. But when you’re in the thick of it… just wow. Definitely a suggested read. And I can’t wait to have the brain capacity to read The Obelisk Gate.

<- More N.K. JemisinThe Obelisk Gate ->

Image source: Amazon

Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Title: Silver Shark
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kinsmen #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Assassins, Paranormal romance, Science fiction
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2011

Thoughts

Claire and Ven are just too damn cute. Which I’m finding with pretty much every Ilona Andrews couple. I mean, they are bad asses who can kill. But they’re also just too damn freaking cute. I particularly like that Ven falls in love with Claire on two fronts. Partially as the Silver Shark he sees on the bonnet, but also as his assistant and woman who stands beside him in the business world.

I always love the world building in Andrews’ work – the world is almost like a secondary character. In the case of this tale, it was the creation of the bionet that I fell in love with. Each version and visit was slightly different, and I loved that each person had a totally different perspective and view of that world. I wonder how I would view that bionet…

Alongside the fact that this is totally an office romance, there was also the fact that this was a refugee story. It’s all about Claire adapting to a whole new culture and world and trying to figure out how to live in it. She’s also having to deal with her ptsd and find a way to cope with the past. I loved the collision of cultures and that assimilation which is being experienced. Something that I felt was very true to a lived experience.

<- Silent BladeMore Ilona Andrews ->

Image source: Kobo

Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Title: Silent Blade
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kinsmen #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AssassinsParanormal romance, Science fiction
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2009

Thoughts

Ilona Andrews manages to do it yet again. She constructs an amazing world that you can’t turn away from in a matter of words. For such a short novella, a whole, irreplaceable world is formed. One I look forward to visiting again.

This world and story had echoes of the Hidden Legacy series. And I like that although this was set I space, it felt quite familiar. I also loved how the lead female managed to take control of her own life. After all, she got dealt an incredibly shit hand. And then decided to become an assassin.

Petty revenge makes me stupidly happy. I’ll admit, I’m not that bigger person that it isn’t something I’d want to do myself. That the lead I’m this enacts her revenge across two fronts… I’m a little bit in love.

<- More Ilona AndrewsSilver Shark ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

The Disasters by M.K. England

Overview

Title: The Disasters
Author: M.K. England
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: LGBTQI, Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2018

Thoughts

Just from the title, I knew that I was quite likely to love this. I mean, it’s about a group of Disasters. I’m always a sucker for a tale of misfits and outcasts. And the fact that it’s set in space? Brilliant!!!

It was almost impossible to put this down. One insane high jinks after another had me laughing and smiling at the sometimes-bizarre difficulties the crew finds themselves in. England certainly has a gift for weaving a story that draws you in. I look forward to seeing what else she can do.

The variety in this cast added to my enjoyment. There is cultural diversity, sexual identities and familial relationships galore. Each and every character has a great structure and identity that is completely unique. One that quickly makes you bond differently with each of the characters.

This is definitely a book that I’ll read again. It’s fun and an easy read. One that took me on a fun and light adventure. Alright, there’s death and betrayal… but still…

<- More M.K. EnglandSpellhacker ->

Image source: Goodreads

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Overview
Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Honor Among Thieves
Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Series: The Honors #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space, Young adult
Dates read: 9th – 14th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I already knew – however impossible it was – why Marko Dunajski was here.

Synopsis

Petty criminal Zara Cole was shocked to be recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by a race of sentient alien ships to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to change her life, and when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned to, she feels like she belongs for the first time. But nothing – not her Honors training or her street smarts – could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

Thoughts

This book is just so dang good!!! I honestly didn’t want to put it down and found it really hard not to leap for Honor Bound the second I finished this. I have a huge stack of books to read… but man was it still tempting. This was such a phenomenal beginning to a trilogy.

Zara is a fantastic lead. She’s feisty and has a seriously horrible past. And, the part that I found the most attractive? She’s rebellious as all hell. It gives her this fun edge and relatability that made me feel connected almost immediately. It also created a really good coming of age feeling to this story. As the story unfolds, Zara slowly comes into her own and finds her own identity.

I’m still fairly new to the Sci Fi genre as a general. And particularly, fairy new to the stories of sentinent ships in space. They do have a bit of a same same to them. But Caine and Aguirre are able to add in this extra layer of mystery that is lacking in most of the other similar stories I’ve read. You know that there is a Big Bad out there somewhere… you just don’t know what or whom.

All in all, I absolutely loved this book. It was hard to put down, easy to relate to the characters and filled with twists and unexpected turns. The world building is phenomenal and the relationships help to further support this incredible reality that was created. This book was amazing and completely impossible to put down.

<- More Rachel CaineHonor Bound ->

Image source: Goodreads

Dragon Dance by Angela Knight

Overview
Image result for beyond the dark angela knight book cover

Title: Dragon Dance
Author: Angela Knight
In: Beyond the Dark (Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Emma Holly & Diane Whiteside)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Paranormal romance, Science fiction
Dates read: 4th May 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Jove
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: No, I’ll just… I’ll just…

Synopsis

Angela Knight does it… in the psychic realm of a woman attuned to the touch of strangers – and the powerful temptations of a seductive and mysterious protector.

Thoughts

I really, really loved this concept – that random people get powers and are called hypers. And that the source of these powers is aliens… I love how Knight’s novellas are able to take a concept that you kind of expect… and change it into a really unique SciFi spin!

Arial and Josiah are a great couple. I thought that they were seriously cute from the very beginning. And I definitely was routing for them from the very beginning. I also love the way that Josiah is trying to keep celibate (and the reasons for why). And how Arial just steadily and happily makes him give it all up… it’s a fun storyline. Or at least, my happy little brain finds it fun.

But, mostly I love how these characters with superpowers have managed to find a way to coexist and find their happily ever afters. I can completely imagine Arial and Josiah and Psych running off into the future fighting more bad guys and making more sense of the incredibly unique world that Knight has managed to create.

<- Beyond the DarkCaught by the Tides ->

Image source: Amazon

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Overview
Zeroes | Book by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Title: Zeroes
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti
Series: Zeroes #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Superheroes, Young adult
Dates read: 21st February – 5th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: All those training missions, shepherding crowds around a shopping center while listening to Glorious Leader’s orders in their earbuds.

Synopsis

DON’T CALL THEM HEROES

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t – like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery and lands him in deep. The only people who can help are teh other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader”. After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals across the city. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three power-house authors for the opening instalment of a thrilling new series.

Thoughts

This book is an absolute chunkster. Which is why I have kept putting it off for ages. I just find books that are this big to be kind of intimidating at times. Plus, there’s the fact that sometimes I tend to get distracted and bored halfway through these monster tales. Yet, in spite of all of my concerns… I just couldn’t put this down! It was an amazing chunkster, one that I seriously and thoroughly enjoyed.

I loved the flickering of points of view throughout this story. It is most definitely a difficult tactic in stories – but these three authors have managed to give each and every one of the six superheroes a wonderfully unique voice. The fact that it also gives you these great views into their lives and the different ways in which they see one another… it was a brilliant journey. And, unlike many other stories I’ve read that flicker between points of view, I wasn’t more or less attached to each of the characters. This is wonderfully unique and had me grinning throughout.

The whole storyline and characterization of the Zeroes reminded me a lot of Umbrella Academy. There was that great feeling of dysfunction and coming together in a pseudo family. Although, being that this is a young adult story, it felt a heck of a lot less dark than the comic / Netflix series. I love stories of dysfunctional family units, they tend to feel all that much more humorous. Which left me grinning and smiling as I journeyed through the Zeroes reuniting and finding more depths to their powers.

This novel partners teenage angst with dysfunction and superpowers. I mean, really, what on earth could go wrong there? Turns out, everything and anything. Which then makes me want to pick up Swarms straight away… it’s surely just going to get better from here on out.

<- More Scott WesterfeldSwarm ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster