Books: Sci-Fi

book review | The Courier by Gerald Brandt | San Angeles 1

the courier gerald brandt book reviewAuthor: Gerald Brandt
Title: The Courier
Series: San Angeles 1
Genre: Cyberpunk; Dystopia
Pages: 293
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Whoever allowed Gerald Brandt to ruin his perfectly great book “The Courier” by passing a romance of 16 year old and a 21 year old needs to be reevaluated.

About the Book: Corporations own everything. From the water, to the sky, to your privacy. But people, including those very same corporations, rivals, have found ways to deliver messages anyway. Here come couriers, such as our 16 year old Kris. Who got dealt a bad card, and sent out to deliver a message many bad, very bad people want…

My Opinion: The story is otherwise great. Dystopian world, just on the verge of proper space travel and colonization or whatever that plotline was. With a very interesting perspective. But then someone decided to hook the 16 year old girl who gets groped by every dude that comes too close, with a 21 year old. Nothing grander than a kiss happened, and still I don’t understand why she had to be a teenager? Or why wasn’t he then too? I’m sorry, this is outright nasty.

A great new type of run-stop-run-stop kind of story. But it gets a 2 out of 5, age is not just a number, this isn’t good romance idea.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Crime, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, crews, gangs, etc, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book blog | Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells | The Murderbot Diaries 6

martha wells fugitive telemetry book review murderbot diariesAuthor: Martha Wells
Title: Fugitive Telemetry
Series: The Murderbot Diaries 6
Genre: Sci-Fi; Space Opera
Pages: 176
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells is one of my all time most favorite sci-fi series. So, of course, I was very excited when I spotted 6th one, “Fugitive Telemetry” is out.

About the Book: A dead human dumped in the mall, no traces, no evidence, no leads, other than the fact there’s no leads itself, meaning someone took care to clean it all up. Incompetent, infuriatingly slow humans, insisting there are no security breaches, as if there was no dead body on the floor. And all the damned social hoops for Murderbot to jump just to, once again, protect the humans. Salt to proverbial wound – most likely from themselves too.

My Opinion: I’m not sure if I forgot something or if there’s a gap between 5th and 6th books. This one sort of just starts, disregarding possible ending of the previous book. But then, I might be mistaken. What I do know is that this is a great book. A slow-paced but not boring detective, leading towards a lot of great banter and impressive action.

Easy to read, short, interesting. What more could one want? A 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, space opera | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | 1

John Scalzi Old Mans War sci fi book reviewAuthor: John Scalzi
Title: Old Man’s War
Series: Old Man’s War 1
Genre: Sci-fi; Military Fantasy
Pages: 332
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Books feel difficult these days. I’m beyond unmotivated. Resources of it drained in a year of quarantine. But, if slowly, I got through “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi, first in the series.

About the Book: Humans are slowly but surely putting their roots into the soil of the great universe. Some get to go as colonists. Others as those who’ll defend humanity, those said colonies, and make room for more. But here’s a catch… Those who can only enlist into military, can only do so when they’re 75, knowing nothing about anything out there, not even how a war is fought with such old soldiers.

My Opinion: It began a bit slow, but steadily picked up and then kept a good pace through and through. There’s action, but not too much. There’s gore, but not too much either. There’s good humor and a mediocre love story. All in all, if Expeditionary Force is too much, then this will be just right. A good book, easy to read, with a nice new view on how humans could begin their life as part of the Universe.

A very fine book. Solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Great Martian War: Invasion by Scott Washburn | 1

the great martian war invasion scott washburn book review coerAuthor: Scott Washburn
Title: The Great Martian War: Invasion
Series: The Great Martian War
Genre: Sci-fi; Alternative History
Pages: 325
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Got through “The Great Martian War: Invasion” by Scott Washburn. It’s good for what it is, but probably not for me.

About the Book: The first alien invasion ended almost as soon as it began. Pathogens, sickness. Martians had to run or die. Some died even though they ran. But their position is too desperate, they must try again, and soon.

Humans are getting ready for it, at least those who know it’ll happen again, for you can’t convince the masses that neither saw nor heard anything other than tales about some weird aliens in Europe. First airplanes are being built, first tanks, for there’s not much you can do with a shotgun off a horse’s back.

My Opinion: It’s definitely a good book for what it is. But in general, I didn’t enjoy it much. Too much riding, walking, and thinking where to ride or walk next.

It’s worth the time, and so, worth the 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, aliens, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky

Roadside Picnic Arkady Strugatsky book cover reviewAuthor: Arkady Strugatsky
Title: Roadside Picnic
Series: –
Genre: Sci-fi; Dystopia
Pages: 213
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Reading “Roadside Picnic” by Arkady Strugatsky I remembered vividly all the best bits from Metro 2033 series. Everyone who loves the genre should read this book.

About the Book: No one expected an alien visit like this one. With absolute chaos left behind, alien trash that makes no sense to anyone, yet might just propel humanity into the future. But it’s a very risky job, so scientists working on it are slow and few, for often, too often, they have to rely on almost mythological type of people known as Stalkers. Stalkers go into the zone, permit or no permit, and bring back whatever they can or whatever you’re willing to pay the most for. If they return alive – they’re forever changed, and even their children often no longer resemble humans. Is this in itself a form of invasion?…

My Opinion: The book is just too short. It’s very good, perfectly balancing sci-fi and philosophy, its most humbling and most baffling questions of what our part is in the Universe. And the fantastical part of it is like a fever dream. From terms like “rattling napkins” or “full empty”, to goo that dissolves bones but not soft tissues, invisible death that just happens, and dead who return.

It’s brilliant. 5 out of 5.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Daemon by Daniel Suarez | Daemon 1

daniel suarez daemon book review coverAuthor: Daniel Suarez
Title: Daemon
Series: Daemon 1
Genre: Cyberpunk; Thriller
Pages: 632
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Daemon” by Daniel Suarez would’ve otherwise been an amazing book. But there’s so much empty sidetracks that I ended up swinging between “love this book” and “hate this book“.

About the Book: In an evolution affected by tech it seems the next step is to take the Human out of the equation. A single truly brilliant evil mind is all it took to get web-entagled world onto its knees as a new video game spread through reality, with new rules to learn, and fast, if one wants to survive.

My Opinion: A great story that’ll illustrate you why there was a need of Blackwall in Cyberpunk 2077, or what would happen if all those angry kids from GTA or WOW would get to be their characters in real life. But then, parts of it, the parts that were most commonly used to introduce us to characters and make us feel anything for them, felt like they were from another book, another genre. The YA genre where protagonist bad boy could never tell the girl about that scar, for he is such a monster, with such a deep dark past… In other words “I will never trust you because of the trauma I had that I will now describe you in detail, so that even though I will never tell you my name, you can likely track down such an event anyway“.

As you can see I got a little bit irritated. As it’s a duology, I don’t know, maybe I’ll give the next book a shot too, just to see if it gets better now that the part about characters is sort of over. But at the same time, there were new angles that I have no desire to read about. 3 out of 5 for now.

Categories: 3-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Change Agent by Daniel Suarez

daniel suarez change agent book review cover knygos apzvalgaAuthor: Daniel Suarez
Title: Change Agent
Series: –
Genre: Science Fiction; Thriller
Pages: 416
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Change Agent” by Daniel Suarez was the most exciting book I’ve read this year. I dare say, it’s what I wanted Blue Ant to be.

About the Book: If one day someone told you that your child can be everything you ever wanted, everything you never was, and more, but the procedure is illegal – would you do it? And what if they told you that you too can be whoever you ever wanted to be, even if that’s no longer yourself?… Kenneth Durand has created an algorithm meant to find places that do these illegal procedures and shut them down. But the moment he stepped too close to a very notorious gang, tables flipped. Now he’s the one hunted. For another man’s crimes, wearing his face and body unwillingly, with absolutely no one to confine to…

My Opinion: A very fast start and then a decently paced progress, packed with action. The darkest human desires to be better or to be entirely someone else result in gangs of movie stars (imagine a dozen of Brad Pitts), a concept of “opposite of life“, and oh so very much of strange and scary science.

Loved it, a nice change from my usual reads this year. 5 out of 5

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, Sci-Fi Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Brushfire by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 11

expeditionary force brushfire craig alanson audiobook book coverAuthor: Craig Alanson
Title: Brushfire
Series: Expeditionary Force 11
Genre: Sci-fi; Aliens
Pages: 392
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Is there anything better than a jigsaw puzzle with an audiobook on a snowy day? Nothing’s better if said book is also “Brushfire” by Craig Alanson, 11th in the Expeditionary Force series, and the puzzle is of Maelstrom (cyberpunk 2077).

About the Book: Joe Bishop used the elder weapons card on the hostile aliens that would wipe out any life in the universe, this way everyone loses, so everyone has incentive to behave. Doing so he assumed Earth would be safe. Well… Safe-ish. They’re still going with the beta site plan, just in case. And… Well, he he, you’re not going to like where this is going.

My Opinion: Of course it’s good. By now, does anyone expect any less? The book is packed with tension, explosions, more tension, some hope to keep you reading, great humor, and utter dread for every character ever.

Damn, I dread the day there is no more. A 5 out of 5.

expeditionary force brushfire craig alanson audiobook review

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Categories: 5-5, AI, aliens, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, space opera | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

perfect state brandon sanderson book coverAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: Perfect State
Series: –
Genre: Cyberpunk; Sci-Fi
Pages: 87
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A friend asked for some recommendations in cyberpunk genre and while searching through what I’ve read and what I haven’t, I’ve unexpectedly discovered Brandon Sanderson has a very short little story in the said topic. “Perfect State“, a strange one.

About the Book: A perfect world to become a hero in and then rule it as a sole god-emperor, just to be summoned like a commoner to, what, procreate? Kairominas is reluctant. Not just because someone has power even above him. It’s the forbidden knowledge. The knowledge that outside his kingdom’s construct walls he might just be one of many, an ordinary, powerless man…

My Opinion: This is a tale of overpopulated planet trying to give everyone a chance to be whatever they wish to be, to reach the peak of their lives. And what happens when you pull these best of the best into one place where they’re less than good. Not the best I’ve read by Sanderson, but it was so short that it’s still worth it. Wouldn’t mind a sequel either, to be honest, for the way it ended was intriguing, and the worldbuilding, as little as there was, was superb.

Masterful writing, unique story, 90s cyberpunk anime vibes, a firm 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | Themis Files 1

sleeping giants sylvain neuvel book coverAuthor: Sylvain Neuvel
Title: Sleeping Giants
Series: Themis Files 1
Genre: Science Fiction; Thriller
Pages: 320
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

As AC: Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 came out, I’m torn between wanting mythology (mostly norse) and sci-fi, since cyberpunk is a bit harder to get. Themis Files seemed a good call between the two (if not norse), but after I read “Sleeping Giants” by Sylvain Neuvel, I don’t think I’ll continue with the trilogy.

About the Book: Across the world there lies a sleeping ancient robot built by aliens. Left there until such a day when humans will be advanced enough to find it and learn how to use it, with as clear the instructions as an alien race could leave. And as they found their first part, a hand, they were intrigued, a little scared maybe, but mostly curious. They kept it a secret, nation’s heads together, deciding what to do about it. Until more parts were found. On foreign soil. And the truth came out. That’s when the nastier side of humans surfaced, as nations vied over the ownership, aiming to get the robot or destroy it if they couldn’t have it. An alien race out there became secondary to most. But not all.

My Opinion: The story is very predictable and bland, with two dimensional characters you get to experience via some kind of glass, second-hand. There was just no time, no event, where I cared enough for their well-being to be invested. The only interesting point here was a character that seemed to be a Mycroft of sorts, with a network of information, otherwise not available, secrets, “friends“. But other than that, biggest mystery of all was why the hell would aliens arm a robot with a sword and a shield?

Eh. It’s a well written but boring story. A 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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