Tag Archives: Science Fiction

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

Dead Man’s Hand edited by John Joseph Adams

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Dead Man’s Hand
Author: John Joseph Adams, Joe R. Lansdale, Ben H. Winters, David Farland, Mike Resnick, Seanan McGuire, Charles Yu, Alan Dean Foster, Beth Revis, Alastair Reynolds, Hugh Howey, Rajan Khanna, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Bear, Tad Williams, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Tobias S. Buckell, Jeffrey Ford, Ken Liu, Laura Anne Gilman, Walter Jon Williams, Fred Van Lente & Christie Yant
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Short story collections, Weird western
Dates read: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: “Am I interrupting?” she asked.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD!

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales – stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic – produced specifically for this volume by many of today’s finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card’s first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.

Thoughts

What a fantastic collection. And a great new genre to add to my ever-expanding knowledge of / collection of books. Before reading Dead Man’s Hand and Westward Weird, I had never heard of Weird westerns. And now it’s a genre that I’m seriously keen to find more of. There is just something amazingly fun and awesome about this collection. Very, very enjoyable.

The gunslingers and card players throughout this anthology took me on an absolutely joyous ride. One that I was kind of disappointed finished so quickly. The idea of the wild west has always intrigued me, making this the first time that I was completely able to thrown myself into this fascination.

This anthology didn’t quite get five stars because I didn’t fall head over heels for each and every story. Having said that, I would most definitely read this again. Even those stories which weren’t quite as holy crap amazing as the others.

<- Dead Man’s HandThe Red-Headed Dead ->

Image source: Amazon

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Overview
Obsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Romance, Science fiction, Young adult
Dates read: 28th July – 17th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hodder
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It wasn’t usually the safest way to travel.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

The unputdownable first novel in the Lux series. Daemon Black will set pulses racing…

There’s an alien next door. And with his looming height and eerie green eyes, he’s hot… until he opens his mouth. He’s infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, he marks me. Turns out he has a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal his abilities and the only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is.

When Katy moves to West Virginia right before her senior year, she’s anticipating a whole lot of boring. The last thing on her mind is getting involved with her sexy, exasperating neighbour – and then finding out he’s guarding a mind-blowing secret…

Thoughts

This was a seriously good novel. It took me a little while to read, but mostly because I kept getting distracted by other, shinier books. It was still wonderful and fun. This was a great teenage / young adult book with great world building and a lead female who I could really relate to. Definitely an enjoyable adventure. And, now that I’ve finished it… I can’t wait to read the next one and journey back into Armentrout’s world of the Lux.

This had a pretty typical level of the teen angst that I’m used to looking for in a young adult novel. But it was a little less painful than some of the other young adult books I’ve read – the angst was nicely balanced by the gumption and drive of Kat. I actually really enjoyed the angst that was a part of this story – it wasn’t over the top and painful, and honestly, if I had to deal with Daemon’s attitude like Kat does… I’d be pretty angsty and irritable myself.

I absolutely love the world building that Armentrout does in this series. I enjoyed the prequel Shadows, and that had a nice little introduction into this series. But it didn’t give me a full background into the world of the Lux. This novel most definitely did that. Although, I’m glad I know a little more about Dawson from Shadows. It’s a great world building that I can’t wait to sink my metaphorical teeth into… I just need to save up some money before I buy the next book is all…

Kat and Daemon definitely don’t have a cutesy, sweet relationship. Which I most definitely love. I get a bit fed up with relationships in books (both young adult and adult) which focus on the cutesy, love at first sight angle. That just doesn’t feel overly realistic to me. Instead, Daemon and Kat are constantly niggling at one another and making things somewhat difficult for each other. It’s a lot more similar to the healthy relationships that I see in my life (even if this one isn’t totally healthy).

I absolutely can’t wait to read Oblivion – I’m fascinated to see what all of the moments in Obsidian looked like through Daemon’s eyes. There are some wonderful and fun hints at the end of Obsidian, but I look forward to getting even more insight.

<- ShadowsOblivion ->

Image source: Goodreads

Artemis by Andy Weir

Overview
Artemis by Andy Weir - Penguin Books Australia

Title: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Science fiction, Space
Dates read: 9th – 22nd July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Del Rey
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Combined with a hijab (head cloth) to cover my hair, only my eyes were visible.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Welcome to Artemis. The first city on the moon. Population 2,000. Mostly tourists. Some criminals.

Jazz Bashara is one of the criminals. She lives in a poor area of Artemis and subsidises her work as a porter with smuggling contraband onto the moon. But it’s not enough.

So when she’s offered the chance to make a lot of money she jumps at it. Now all she needs to do is plan the perfect crime in one of the most dangerous places in the universe – and survive it.

Thoughts

Alright. I’ve heard the name Andy Weir multiple times over the years. And now I completely understand why I’ve heard such positive things! And why he’s so popular. Just because… wow. This book was amazing. It was phenomenal. It was funny. It was witty. And I absolutely adored reading this book… I plan to do so again and again and again.

One of the things I loved about this story was that it felt seriously realistic. It felt like there was a complete chance of Artemis being built on the moon. With all of the seedy complications and secrets which such a world entails. Somehow, Weir manages to mix science fiction and imagination with known science to bring about a great story that feels completely, totally and happily realistic.

There is something ridiculously fun about Jazz throughout this… no matter what she does. She seems to just get into more and more trouble. It creates this giant rollercoaster ride. Every time you think that she’s getting herself safe and the problem might be solved… she manages to get into a whole other kind of trouble. The only reason that fact didn’t take me completely by surprise… I could see how many pages of the book were left.

There are so many brilliant and witty one-liners in this novel. I spent a lot of time reading this out loud to my partner. Sharing those great lines and moments with someone who had no idea what I was reading. But, probably appreciated the humour that such simple moments throughout the story bought to our nightly rituals. Not only is this a fantastic adventure story set on the moon, but there’s also a slow unravelling of Jazz’s past that coincides with everything. Upping the stakes and pulling you even further into the beautiful story.

<- The MartianCheshire Crossing ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

One Small Step… by Amie Kaufman

Overview
Image result for begin, end, begin book cover

Title: One Small Step…
Author: Amie Kaufman
In: Begin, End, Begin (Danielle Binks)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Aliens, Australian authors, LGBTQI, Science fiction, Young adult
Dates read: 30th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Only a few people have ever returned from Mars to Earth, but it’s possible, just very expensive.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

She’s the first born Martian. And rightly famous for it. But what if what she wants isn’t the life that has been mapped out for her? How can she figure out how to take that first, small step into her own future?

Thoughts

This was such an amazingly cute, engaging and brilliant short story. It also perfectly encompassed the theme of “beginning” which is featured in the Begin, End, Begin collection. After all, it is about a girl on the precipice of adulthood, trying to decide what she wants to do with her life and her future. The fact that she was the first person born on Mars and is somewhat of a celebrity just helps to add to the potency of the storyline.

There are two coming-of-age battles that are fought and dwelt upon beautifully in this short story. The first is the decision about whether or not to go to college on earth. What one wants to actually do with their lives in the future. And, ultimately, how much of this decision is based upon your own needs, and how much is based upon the desires of those who love you. I know that it was a battle that I constantly had to fight when I was trying to make decisions about my future.

Secondly, there is the little fact that the lead narrator is actually LGBTQI+. Her constant battle with not knowing how to reveal this fact and desire to do so… it’s kind of precipice-feeling. And so, when she finally makes a decision about her life at the end, you are just so damn happy. It really made my heart swell two more sizes.

This is a fantastic, perfect coming-of-age story that takes you to that precipice of the future. That will either make you think of your own potential future, or those moments like this that feel so important and all powerful… just ready for you too to jump of that cliff and start your own reality.

<- Begin, End, BeginI Can See The Ending ->

Image source: Harper Collins Australia

Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Overview
Unremembered (Unremembered, #1) by Jessica Brody

Title: Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Series: Unremembered #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Romance, Science fiction, Time travel, Young adult
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Especially given you… well, celebrity status.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When Freedom airlines flight 121 went down, they didn’t expect to find anyone. Alive, that is.

But there was one survivor. Which is why a sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage – alive – is making headlines across the globe.

Even stranger is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. but can she really trust him? Can she trust anyone?

Thoughts

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while. Ever since I read Unstolen. It looked kind of cute and intriguing. But honestly, that was the extent of my thought process. It was always a book that I’ll get to at some point. And then I needed a book with a title starting with a U for a reading challenge… and wow. This is not just good. It is ridiculously good. I actually couldn’t believe how much this pulled me in. And just how quickly.

Alright, so this is a bit of a teeny little romance. Which is why I gave it one less star than I probably would have otherwise given it. I do tend to find that star-crossed lovers can get a bit of an overbearing trope. And for the majority of this novel, that was kind of how I felt about that main relationship. But then… but then it really started to develop. As more of Sera’s history was revealed, her relationship with Zen became less and less irritating and more and more developed. And now? Now I can’t wait to see how that will develop in the next two books in this trilogy. Started out a bit eh, but the relationship quickly built upon itself and developed into a great aspect of the storyline.

I knew that there was a time travel aspect to this novel. After all, it says so on Goodreads. But this wasn’t quite the time travel that I was expecting. There is surprise after surprise throughout this novel that makes you constantly reconfigure and question the whole time travel angle. And at the very ending? You’re still kind of questioning things. Still wondering if you have all of the information about time travel locked away into your brain. And what you’ve probably missed… it makes for a seriously intriguing and great way to tell a time travel story.

Aside from the teeny / young adult storyline and the very unique take on time travel… I absolutely adored how Brody is able to play with the idea of memories and thoughts all the way throughout this story. In each and every moment, you’re questioning what is real and what is manufactured. And how memories can be stored. How much influence memories actually have on our personalities… it’s a fascinating realm to play with and Brody did an absolutely fantastic job of making you think through each and every sentence.

<- More Jessica BrodyUnstolen ->

Image source: Goodreads