Posts Tagged With: science fiction

book review | Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor | Strange the Dreamer 2

muse of nightmares laini taylor book coverAuthor: Laini Taylor
Title: Muse of Nightmares
Series: Strange the Dreamer 2
Genre: High Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 522
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I loved the first book in Laini Taylor‘s duology Strange the Dreamer, by the same title. And I am very happy to say that this book, second book, Muse of Nightmares, is just as good if not even better.

About: After Lazlo has taken control of the fortress that has once belonged the to blue skinned gods, people of Weep were forced to remember that nightmare of a life they led under the rule of the Empire, the blue skinned Gods. For they have not expected survivors. But there they were, those young children, teenagers, young adults, with their blue skin and horror in their eyes. For why wouldn’t they be scared, met by a horde of armed people they only knew as godslayers, killers. And so it was time to reopen old scars, tell old secrets, find the truth, and see where it leads.

Mine: This book tells an origin tale of who were those blue skinned gods, where their power came from, why they required children born by humans. Why they took them, where they took them, and what happened to them. This is woven absolutely perfectly with current events. And it all is then gilded by a turn of events I couldn’t even dream of, but here it was. Truly, this is the most brilliant tale I’ve read in a very long time. The only other tale I can lightly compare it to would be “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin, due to unimaginable story, world, magic within it, and that mixture of high fantasy and sci-fi. But this one’s lighter to absorb, consume, so I’d very much recommend starting with Strange the Dreamer duology, to have a taste of what it could be like, these colossal tales of worlds, dreams, and unimaginable things imagined.

It’s an amazing book, and an amazing duology. Laini Taylor ends it with a hint for a spin-off, which I’m excited for beyond words. It could be great. It could be just as great. And it absolutely could be even greater. Laini Taylor has a mind unlike any other. 5 out of 5, and it barely gives it justice.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Cress by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 3

Cress Lunar Chronicles Marissa Meyer Cover Menulio Kronikos Trecia DalisAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 3
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages: 552
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Well, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get a translation to Marissa Meyer‘s The Lunar Chronicles series in Lithuania. They stopped after Scarlet, and Cress doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ll just finish them in English. Really, Marissa Meyer is becoming one of my top favorite authors. I’ve read her Heartless before, it was unbelievable. And so are these. Guess I’ll just have to rampage through the bibliography.

About: On a satelite in orbit lives a young woman, a girl, named Cress. She’s a lunar, a shell, sentenced to die for the crime of being born powerless. But most of those children don’t end up dead. They end up slaves to Queen Levana and her ambitions to rule the whole galaxy. Cress, for instance, is an amazing hacker. Her guardian visits her ever so often to take more blood samples and inquire on any new data about the lost princess Selene. Neither she nor Queen Levana know, that Cress is long as not on their side. With access to Earthen information feed, she learned to love those people, who didn’t just give up their kids because they were born wrong. She loves their romances and drama shows. Especially the ones where a damsel in distress is saved by a charming, morally flexible rogue. Like Captain Thorne, who is now doing his best to save princess Selene… What a hero, right?

Mine: So as you might have already guessed, this is a retelling of Rapunzel. Cress’s hair is long and prone to tangles. Her “stepmother” or guardian, rarely brings her new articles of clothes, so there she is, shoeless, in a child’s dress, hair down to her knees, erasing every trace of princess Selene’s ship from the net, covering their tracks, hoping beyond hope. I can’t put to words of how very impressed I am by the writing, how perfectly fantasy and sci-fi fit here, together, creating something so powerfully unique out of an old tale. I can’t wait to read the final book of Snow White, whom we meet near the end of this book. It’s amazing, truly.

Loved it, so, of course, the book gets 5 out of 5, and I must start remembering to put Marissa Meyer into my top tier favorite authors from now on.

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

sci-fi | “Red Moon” Kim Stanley Robinson

2Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Title: Red Moon
Series: –
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fiction
Pages: 446
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes you can make a grave mistake while choosing a book to read. And sometimes there’s no time to quit it. You see, some people quit books, because there’s no time to read books you hate, when there’s so many good ones. I don’t quit books, because life’s too short to pass on a book in general. But that’s just me.

About: One moment you can be a nobody. A worker in a new place on a job, possibly even enjoying it. Fred, for instance. It’s his first time on the Moon. His job here is to install a communication system of sorts. And as he shakes hands with someone important, next moment strikes. They both fall, one dead, the other’s very sick. From this moment on Fred is a fugitive accused of murder, and must run. Lucky for him, he won’t be alone. Chan Qi, a princeling, China Revolution symbol, and a woman who broke the law and got pregnant on the Moon, which is forbidden, is on the run too. Due to her status and connections, Fred will be as safe as someone in his position can be. But that, by far, doesn’t mean any comfort. His life has changed forever. He can’t contact his family, tell them he’s okay, and that he’s innocent. He must stay hidden in a little apartment in an unknown country, eating foods this stranger woman is making him, grateful for it, of course. And on moments notice, he must be prepared to hop back on a shuttle and go to the Moon or back. Surreal doesn’t cut it for Fred.

Mine: This book is very politically heavy. Two super-countries, China and America have colonized the moon and are experimenting on it, trying to make it nice and proper for life, see what use can be squeezed out of it. While revolution is breaking out. Have you ever head a saying “you vote every time you buy“? For instance, my friends in Germany have told me it’d be hard if not impossible to find scrubs with plastic microbeads in them, for people have “voted” them out. Something akin is happening here too, but on far greater, billions of people worth of scale. By the People, For the People, with a dash of Confucius and poems that help characters analize their situations and their feelings. It’s as strange a sci-fi book as one gets without anything alien or supernatural to it. It’s just people tired of oppression, poverty, struggling.

I give this book a 3 out of 5, because you could throw away half the damn book and not miss a thing. For through so many pages so very little to nothing happens, it’s amazing. Skip a page, they’re still in their same chairs, eating same meal, thinking the same things.

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

sci-fi | “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 2

1Author: Marissa Meyer
Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 2
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Pages: 454
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I was getting warnings left and right of how I’ll just have to bear through this book, how boring it’ll be, and so on. And yet I liked it very much. I guess it only shows how no matter what your favorite bookbloggers say: only you may know whether you’ll like a book or not.

About: Scarlet’s grandma went missing. And nobody’s doing a thing about it. No, they even go as far as slander her name, saying she was crazy, or that she possibly killed herself, because she left her ID chip behind. But Scarlet knew her grandma, and would never believe such horrible things. Her fears are confirmed when her father breaks into their home and frantically turns everything upside-down, in search of something her grandma hid. You see, he was kidnapped and tortured in front of his own mother, Scarlet’s grandmother, and she’d not give up her secrets anyway. So he must find it on his own, or die trying, since the people who had him, will surely kill him. Scarlet has an idea of what it could be, but she doesn’t trust this man she barely ever saw enough to share the information. Instead, she’s off to find her grandmother on her own.

Mine: This is a very interesting and fun take on Little Red Riding Hood, with very big bad wolves, and lots of red. There’s also a continuation on the monsters from Luna that we saw pictures of in the previous books. I liked Scarlet, she was smart, clever enough to get around and tell Cinder off for lacking the wits, and even being selfish. For Cinder definitely wasn’t around, if you know what I mean. Her decisions sometimes seemed off, arguments – lacked substance. That’s all because her mind was on a whole different matter at all times, but still, Scarlet was a good call of reality. The story itself is well written, easy to read, filled with action, and perfectly paced. Entertainment for hours or even days.

I enjoy the series a lot so far. Hopefully it grows ever better, 4 out of 5 for now, strong.

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

sci-fi | “Wayward Saint” by J.S. Morin

1Author: J.S. Morin
Title: Wayward Saint
Series: Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire 1
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 175
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

So you know how I like to pick up random books, right? And you know how they turn out to be real good often too, yes? Well, this is not it. A science fiction book with a dash of fantasy in it, and a story much too common and familiar.

About: Esper is a very bad bounty hunter. After a very traumatic childhood, she went ahead to a monastery or something, and learned herself some magic. Doing so she decided she wants to help people. And is doing exactly that, even while not being a good bounty hunter.

Her current task is a teenager whom both her parents seek separately. Esper is hired by the mother, seemingly a far better choice, for her father is a known vicious gangster. But the kid doesn’t want to be caught and taken back. She keeps escaping, choosing life in boxes, dark alleys, over, what, a loving mother? Story becomes ever clearer as Esper is doing her best to catch up with the girl. Neither of the parents is a saint, and it’s all a question of who is the lesser evil here.

Mine: Plastic surgery is beyond norm here. Mothers are all vicious and jealous of their daughters, doing their best to be more sexy than them. Sex is a great driving force, whether women want it or not. And lucky for me, there was no sex in this book, for I’m not sure I’d like it in such a concept. Characters were sadly pretty darn dull, lacking personality, and following a trope pattern. Possibly not an intended one, but hey, still a present one. The story didn’t redeem anything either, as is common with poorly written characters. But the silver lining remains in general concept of the book. I do believe author has plenty of potential, and it’s only a matter of time, and possibly a better editor, until we get a very fine cup of tea in a book form.

Speaking of which, this was not my cup of tea. I can only give a 3 out of 5, yet will add, that the story was short and light, and reads about the same way as a sci-fi cartoon would, with no overbearing information, common in sci-fi books.

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

“The Tea Master and the Detective” by Aliette de Bodard | The Universe of Xuja

1Author: Aliette de Bodard
Title: The Tea Master and the Detective
Series: The Universe of Xuja
Genre: Sci-fi, Detective
Pages: 96
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Sometimes the title of the book intrigues me so much that I feel I must read it. “The Tea Master and the Detective” didn’t tempt me by the description, yet still I had to. Sci-fi, tea, detectives. I had to.

About: Shadow’s Child is a Mindship. A shipmaiden born and raised to be put into a ship’s heartroom, where she’d eternally fuse with the ship, and the ship would become her body and she – the mind, and the heart. Revered and honored these mindships carried people through Deep space, the Unreality, be it military purposes or just passengers. Yet during the Uprising Shadow’s Child got into a trap that left her whole crew dead, floating in her cold hallways, with her unable to do anything else than drift there and wait, in hopes she’ll die, or someone will come rescue her.

Today Shadow’s Child doesn’t even want to think of Deep Spaces. In her hologram form she lives in a rented closet of a space, where she brews certain tea blends. Most her customers are travelers who need to go through Deep Space. They want to be knocked out, sleep through it, for even the toughest minds get rendered whimpering in fetal position until the voyage is over. Unreality will do that to you. But not Long Chau, the woman with the decorative name, who introduced herself as a detective writing a study on decomposition in Deep Space. She needs Shadow’s Child to not only make her a brew that’d keep her functioning in the Unreality. She also wants the shipmind to take her up there.

Mine: In less than a hundred pages my mind almost had a meltdown with the unfathomable wonders. Can you even imagine it? Because I certainly struggle to. A person of flesh and bone, becoming a ship, fully. She can FEEL footsteps in her halls. And then, her in holographic form? She could be anything, but she chooses to remain a ship. Can you imagine walking down a corridor with a giant holographic ship by your side, talking to you? And as for the detective plot line, it was so beautifully Sherlockian, I really loved it. Long Chau is a drug user, her intellect comes off as arrogance, and she’s rude, because she’s blunt. Not to mention moral flexibility and well hidden past.

It’s a mind blowing short book. I’m tempted to read other ones too, even if they’re story-wise unrelated, merely set in the same universe. This one gets 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Detective Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab | Villains 2

1Author: V.E. Schwab
Title: Vengeful
Series: Villains 2
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I follow Victoria Schwab over Twitter, and thus witnessed the birth of this book. It was full of tears and whiskey. And since I already read the previous book in the series, seeing how hard she worked, I truly had to pick “Vengeful” up too. And it started as if written for me: with a mobster wife.

About: Marcella always was an ambitious woman. But everyone tends to underestimate those, especially when one is as beautiful as she is. When she married her mobster husband, for instance, everyone assumed she’s with him despite his work. While in truth, she pushed him to it. People, men, mobsters, all rolled their eyes when she offered ideas, thoughts, or even threats. Even her dying promise to destroy her husband was taken for granted, as he fled the scene, and she died in the burning house. Just to awake as an EO with a marvelously destructive powers. But even then, with the room behind her still smoldering, men there rendered to ash, people before her rolled their eyes and thought they can use her instead. Well, not anymore. She’ll take this little game, and make it hers.

Due to such a flaunt of powers, she was soon noticed by EO hunters. And who better to use against someone who can render things dead than someone who can regenerate anything: Eli Ever. Eli, much like Victor Vale, current lives in his personal hell. Here, in a cell, they torture him, cut him, study him, use his powers to track down EO’s. While Victor, out there, got reanimated wrong, and thus dies, day, after day, after day… But neither has lost hope just yet.

Mine: All the characters, even the very cliche ones, were very interesting, and fit into the story very well. My favorite, as author predicted, promised, and as I couldn’t believe, became, of course, Eli Ever and his backstory. I suspected this might be the tragic trope he’d get, but it suits him well, and it was very interesting too. I also enjoyed the way Schwab wrote a sociopath: there’s no leading emotion. They’re not all Dexters. Even the ones who killed no less than Dexter. Well. Maybe a little less…

The book, of course, ended with a very interesting note, and thus I am left to want more. Story was fast paced, interesting, and superbly written, so it’s a 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mavericks by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 6

1Author: Craig Alanson
Title: Mavericks
Series: Expeditionary Force 6
Genre: Sci-Fi, Military Sci-Fi
Pages: 275
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve waited, and I’ve waited, and then I got it, and so I’ve read it all in one sitting. Sixth book in the Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson, the “Mavericks” was maybe not exactly to my liking, since it followed the other humans in space, but it was still a very fine read.

About: Most of the book follows the other surviving humans who now call themselves Mavericks. The ones that didn’t get to escape with Joe Bishop and become part of Merry Band of Pirates. In fact, they don’t even know such one exists. All they know is that them and Hamsters too have figured that the enemy of my enemy might just be my friend. So humans joined their military forces, for that might just be the only thing most of these folk know how to do, and are driven to do too. Not all of them, of course. It’s not like any of them expected anymore to get a lift home, especially since the wormhole by Earth, that has caused Earth so much troubles, has turned dormant. And those who did have hopes soon had them crushed anyway, once the team learned that the enemy has decided to break rules and create a bio-weapon with humans, the ones who call themselves Keepers of Faith, still serving the evil motherf-ckers, being the main carriers and possibly the main targets back on Earth.

Mine: While I really do prefer Joe and Skippy having a banter or two, this book made perfect sense. This side of the story had to be told, and so it is better to see it unfold now, in action, rather than hear about it later, in a monologue. Plus, the writing is really high-quality, and the jokes, the jokes are damn fine, even if they did get more spaced apart.

Yep, this was fun. Not as fun as the previous book, but really, really fun. So I give this one a 4 out of 5, and wait for the next one just as eagerly.

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

Craig Alanson “Zero Hour” | Expeditionary Force 5

2Author: Craig Alanson
Title: Zero Hour
Series: Expeditionary Force 5
Genre: Sci-fi, Humor
Pages: 494
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I’m pretty damn amazed how Zero Hour is a fifth book, and quality of the story is still top-notch. There was tension, complicated plans, and enough jokes to make another book. I loved it, yes. Mind you, review below is assuming you read the previous books.

Just as Joe Bishop lost all hope to hear from his friend, the snarky AI they call Skippy the Magnificent, and thus – all hope to get back to Earth – Skippy awakes. There’s an Elder, same race that made Skippy too, created Worm inside of him, trying to destroy him. They were programmed to destroy rogue AI’s, but whether it is Skippy who is doing something Elders wouldn’t appreciate or the Worm itself that went coo-coo is a great question we don’t have an answer for, yet. Anyway, Skippy returned. But no longer as Skippy the Magnificent, more like Skippy the Meh. He’s depleted in both power and awesomeness, and is barely able to keep everything steady and comfortable for his human friends. To add to that, the Worm is still out there, this was merely a battle Skippy won, and by now Humans are fully aware they won’t be able to survive without this AI helping them with absolutely everything. So to survive and thus – save the Merry Band of Pirates, Skippy must find an Elder Artifact he could use to fix himself and beat the Worm. Easier said, than done, of course.

For one, alien civil war means traffic in outer space is pretty jammed. And while you try to navigate that jam, it turns out that every other ship contains very angry people who really want you dead. Oh, and you’re driving a junk-yard grade space ship yourself, so… On top of it, anything that is left useful from the Elders apparently still has a skeleton protection to it. Which is still far more than Skippy can handle right now. The only way around is to convince the guardians that they are no threat. But, again, hehe, nobody likes the plan! Because humans are fragile, and out there is one hell of a danger zone.

This was an awesome book. It had everything it needed, and was very well paced and spaced. I’m really, really looking forwards to getting my hands on 6th book. This one, in the meantime, gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Pirate Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Craig Alanson – Paradise | Expeditionary Force 3

+5Expeditionary Force, so far, is a great sci-fi ride that never fails to amuse. Thus, by book three, “Paradise” by Craig Alanson (Expeditionary Force 3; ASIN B01M27RSKA; 447p.; Goodreads) I can truly recommend it to anyone who likes good humor that steps on no toes, and maybe likes sci-fi too. That, I feel, is not mandatory tho.

Skippy the Magnificent, the glorious sassy ass of an artificial intelligence created by an ancient, now long gone alien race, and Joe Bishop, continue their questing among the stars in search for answers, and, really, anything that could help Skippy find his own folk, and maybe help protect Earth doing so. While they’re at it, Joe, with Skippy’s help, does his best to try and help humans left on an alien planned they dubbed Paradise, which is now more of a jail if not a death trap.

In the meantime, humans on the said Paradise are just trying to survive. They’re planting the crops and raising animals, seed stock they were given back in the day, when things were still going pretty well, and no one suspected it’s the first and last shipment. They’re trying to avoid conflicts too, which is very difficult, since humans already split in two camps: those who still support the warring alien race that got them into this mess; and those who understand the truth. On top of it, not even the locals wish to help them, in fear it’ll be taken as opposing the overlords. Peace is, after all, a very fragile thing.

The book is a little dragged, I admit, and the whole make-a-plan and break-a-plan got repetitive, since after a third such break you’re already conditioned to expect it not go accordingly. But the banter, and even the making of those plans, were amusing to read and/or listen to. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, and be sure, I’ll grab the fourth one sometime soon.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Funny!, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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