Category Archives: Science Fiction

*Review* Impostor – Susanne Winnacker

Imposter Alt Cover Imposter

Susanne Winnacker

320 pages

Read 2-23-14

Format: E-book

Source: Netgalley

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 Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love …

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. There she trains with other Variants, such as long-term crush Alec, who each have their own extraordinary ability.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor – the stress, the danger, the deceit – but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

This book sounded very interesting, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it and was lucky enough to get approved.  I also found this alternate cover, which I like even more than the original cover.  I liked the other cover a lot, don’t get me wrong, but this one is smoother and better fitting for the story than the original.

Tessa has a really cool power, she can morph into anybody she has touched, and she is given this really dangerous mission.  She has a lot of internal conflict over her mission, which is very understandable since she has to deceive so many people by posing as one of their loved ones.  Tessa was on okay character, but she could have been better.  I felt at some points she was a bit too obsessed with crushing at the wrong times, but did like Alec when he was being sweet to her and could understand why she would crush on him.  I also liked seeing her struggle with being part of a “normal” family.

As for the killer and such, it wasn’t really hard to figure stuff out and it didn’t surprise me at all who it was, but the ending scenes with the killer did get a bit exciting.  There were a couple small things that were left unanswered, so I hope that there will be some explanation in the next book.  Also, there was a character in this story that I hope had a bigger part in the next story since he was a bit pointless in this one.  The writing was pretty good, but there were some things that became a bit repetitive, not a lot though.

All in all I enjoyed the story and will be looking forward to the next book.

Interesting, good writing, good story, though no surprises in the end.

4 bookmark

 

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*Review* The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave Cover The 5th Wave

Rick Yancey

457 pages

Read 1-11-14

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I had read plenty of reviews talking about how great this book is and how it isn’t what you expect from an alien book, so I decided to find out for myself how great it actually was and I am happy to report that these claims of greatness are true.  I wasn’t completely sure of what to expect with this story since I’ve never read a book that involved aliens before aside from The Host, but I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would.

The world depicted in this book is a scary place.  Imagine waves of awful things occurring, not knowing who to trust, and fighting everyday to survive, not knowing what is truth or lie.  It’s ugly, no matter who you are.  I also like the cover and how it goes with the story (can you see the giant bird?).  The characters are also really great.  Cassie is a very strong and determined female MC, and even after all of the crap she goes through, she is still willing to do whatever it takes without being whiny.  I like Evan a lot, he is unusual, but I really like him, even though he has some flaws.  And with Zombie, I enjoyed seeing the military aspect of it and what they have to go through on that end.

I read this mostly in audio format, up until the last 30 minutes when my audiobook files became corrupted and stopped working, then I finished it out in a borrowed hardcover.  Both narrators did really well reading it and had nice voices.  The action scenes were great, both in print and on audio and not at all confusing like some can be.  The book also switches points of view from  female and male characters, and I think the author did a really good job of rotating between two different genders’ mindsets.

Though there is some love interest stuff in the story, there is no real gushy mushy romance.  I didn’t expect there to be either, considering aliens are trying to wipe out the human population.  It also isn’t easy at all, which makes it more real than if they had had some sort of crazy romantic love story in the middle of an extraterrestrial takeover.  This one is definitely a book for guys or girls, and even for those who might not care for alien books much because it really isn’t the kind of aliens you think.

Scary world, great characters, good readers, not what you expect.

4.5 bookmark

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Cinder Review with Guest Reviewer – My Mom!

Cinder Cover Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Marissa Meyer

 Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

So today is a special guest review from my mom!  I am trying to win an advanced copy of Cress and for it I had it to loan somebody and have them do a review.  I loaned it to my mom since we like a lot of the same type of books.  Plus, she doesn’t read as much YA as I do, and I honestly think she really needs to remedy that 🙂  Cinder is definitely an awesome one to make her read since it is one of my absolute favorites and one of the first I recommend to anybody.

I read the back of the book, and when it said cyborgs, I was like cyborgs?  Really? I thought it was going to take me forever to read it since it was science fiction, but once  started, I didn’t want to put it down!

My daughter told me I needed to read this book that it was so good. I read the overview and thought – great a science fiction I will never finish it. Believe me when I tell you when Marissa Meyer combined a modern day Cinderella and a toned down Star Trek influence she produced a Marvelous work of fantasy fiction. I could hardly put it down, it was wonderful! Ms. Meyer was able to write and create this story as if it was completed in one day. The story flows from beginning to end.

The character Cinder has a chip on her shoulder but not for the obvious reason. You fall in love with her in the beginning and at times you wish you could just thump her on the head for making some of the decisions that she makes. She can be a bit sarcastic and at times it can go over your head and make you do a double take. She is used to getting the blame for many things she has no control over and so she blames herself for her sister’s illness, so she risks her life to try to save her.

Prince Kaito is portrayed as most princes are. Great looking and all the girls are in love with him. He seems very humble, yet wants to claim to be a bit spoiled. He is concerned about the evil Lunar Queen Levana, who tries to make the common people see her as a good and caring queen. The Queen is trying to get him to agree to marry her and he is totally against it. He has the weight of his kingdom on his shoulders so he worries the outcome of his decisions that concern the queen and her possibility of retaliation against his people, and I as hoping she would fall off the balcony, she is so evil.

The personal androids add a bit of a different kind of personality, emotion and logic to the science fiction part of the story. You have a companion that has emotions and opinions such as a friend would have. The medical androids have all the logic and very little personality. The role for them is matter of fact and emotion has no part for them and it works.  Except for Iko, who had a lot of personality and was very funny.  She was certainly different than the rest of the androids!

As for the sisters, Pearl is awful to Cinder, but Peony is nice and not like the typical evil step sisters.  And I couldn’t stand Adri, she is such a horrible, wicked stepmother,  I really enjoyed this book and it was not what I expected, but so much better than what I thought it was going to be.  Great book, even for people who aren’t big on science fiction!

I hope everybody enjoyed the guest review from my mom and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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*Review* Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall Cover Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver

470 pages

ISBN: 9780061726811

Read 10-16-13

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

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 What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Well, I had heard so much about this book and seen some of the great quotes on Goodreads and people’s blog, so I was excited to read this one.   Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  I think I am one of the rare few that didn’t really care for this book.  The writing was really good, but I wasn’t crazy about the characters or the things that happened.  I think the story had a lot of potential to be really great, but it just fell kind of flat for me.

Sam and her group of friends were really quite shallow and mean.  I don’t like those kind of people and I don’t like those kind of characters.  I didn’t realize they were going to be like that.  Several times I wanted to stop, but as stated before, I am not a DNF kind of person, so I trudged through.  Though Sam did change a lot through the book, I was still very annoyed with everybody else.  I also wasn’t big on the way the narrator of the audiobook did the voices, everybody sounded high or slow or tired.  Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in regular book format instead of audio.

The plot was an interesting idea, but it just could have been better, in my opinion.  I wanted to hit Sam so many times because of how shallow and self centered she was being.  The story made good points in some places, but I just think it could have been so much more.  Sam was definitely a slow learner and it took her quite some time before she was really starting to GET it.  I am not trying to dissuade anybody from reading it, but this just wasn’t for me.

Great writing, unlikeable characters, had potential, not for me.

2.5 bookmark

 

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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Contemporary, Fiction, Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Struck – Jennifer Bosworth

Struck Cover Struck

Jennifer Bosworth

373 pages

ISBN: 9780374372835

Read 6-30-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

This was my Random Read for June, and since I was on vacation and finished the book the day I was getting on the plane, I am now able to finally post my review.  This was the first book I have read that involves cults, and it sounded like it could be a pretty intense read, plus, the book trailer was one of the best I’ve seen.  I can’t say this one held up to my expectations, though I did enjoy it I wasn’t blown away by it.  The idea of someone being a lightning was also tugging at me to read it, but I didn’t really feel the “addict” part of it.

Mia was mostly a pretty good character.  It took a lot to shake her up (it would take a lot to shake me up to if I had been hit my lightning so many times) and she stood her ground for what she believed in.  She had a lot of hard decisions to make, sometimes making the obviously wrong ones, and she had a ton to deal with like a stubborn brother and a sick mother.

Jeremy was interesting and I thought it was cute how Mia compared him to Clark Kent at times because of his glasses.  By the end of the book, I had some mixed feelings about him because of some of the things that happened.  Rachel, one of the main Follower characters, I greatly did not like.  If she were a real person, I would have liked to punch her in the face a few times.  But, I’m sure this is what the author was going for, so, well done on her.

The book was written pretty well as were the descriptions; I just wasn’t wowed.  If you are interested in reading it, by all means, still pick it up because it was an enjoyable read and I liked the way it ended.  Also, if you have time you should look up Lichtenburg scars (the scars the MC has), they are pretty awesome looking!

Good descriptions, interesting story, good ending, didn’t wow me.

4 bookmark

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*Review* Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Cover Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Marissa Meyer

452 pages

ISBN: 9780312642969

Read 5-24-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Last year I absolutely fell in love with Cinder, and I even did something I never do – I reread it this year before reading Scarlet.  I have so many books I need to read that I never get to reread books, so that should tell you how much I loved it.  Scarlet was an excellent sequel to Cinder and I loved it almost as much.

For this installment, the POV isn’t just from Cinder, but also from Scarlet who lives in France with her grandmother who is missing, so be warned if you are weird about switching POVs.  Every now and then I got caught up in one of the girls’ POVs and got confused for a split second when it switched (easier to do with audio).  The reader was pretty good, but I wasn’t certain about her accent for Scarlet.  I wasn’t sure what she was going for, it didn’t really sound French like her friend’s did.

I really enjoy the imagery that Marissa is able to create and the characters are so real.  Iko is one of my favorite secondary characters ever (along with Zuzana in Daughter of Smoke and Bone).  Carswell Thorne was interesting and I look forward to seeing more of him (plus his first name is my last name!  How cool is that?) and I really like Scarlet since she is another strong female character.

The spin that Marissa has taken on these fairy tales and mixed them with elements of science fiction and Sailor Moon is incredibly wonderful and imaginative.  I can’t wait to read the rest of them and I really wish I didn’t have to wait so long!

Imaginative, great characters, wonderful descriptions, alternating POV.

4.5 bookmark

 

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*Review* Asunder – Jodi Meadows

Asunder Cover Asunder (Newsoul #2)

Jodi Meadows

406 pages

ISBN: 9780062060785

Read 4-30-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

Jodi Meadows writes some of my favorite book scenes and she writes some of the best musical scenes!  I can almost hear the music swirling around me when I read those passages.  Her descriptions are really wonderful and magical; love it.  The first book was mostly very beautiful, but this book takes quite a different turn and is full of angry people and scenes that make me really angry, but it does show how ugly people really can be just because someone is different.

I really like Ana.  She is very strong and fights for whatever she believes in.  She has a good heart and wants the best for everyone, even after everything the people of Heart put her through.  Much of this book left me feeling very angry because how Ana is treated and it really made my blood boil.  I don’t like when people discriminate the way they do.  Sam is great also, I still love him and he is still one of my top book boyfriends.  He is just so amazingly sweet and loyal to Ana.  Dear Council, I hate you.

There were some interesting story twists along the way and I really can’t wait until the third book, which is sometime next year, and see how everything works out.  Religion is not something I seek out in a book, but I like how this book has a religious aspect without it being overkill.  This book is definitely easy to get yourself lost in and I didn’t want to put it down; it just really sucks you in.

Beautiful descriptions, bubbles emotion, great characters, didn’t want to put it down!

4.5 bookmark

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*Review* Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay Cover Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)

Suzanne Collins

390 pages

ISBN: 9780439023511

Read 4-1-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Kat, her family, friends, and entire District 12.

This was a very exciting ending to The Hunger Games trilogy!  This book had the most action in it of all three and several ups and downs.  There are things I liked and things I definitely think should have been different.  Katniss is as strong as ever and we can see at several points how hurt and traumatized she is from everything the Capitol has put her through.  President Snow is a disgusting man and I imagine him as a horrible snake that was transformed human since he has that kind of personality.

Peeta’s change is quite surprising and it really hurt my heart that he was so different, but with what happened to him, yeah I would be different, too.  There is just so much going on in this book!  Things getting blown up, people dying, more things getting blown up, disturbing Capitol bred creatures showing up, explosions and more dying.  There are not many slow points during this book.  My biggest complaint, though, would have to be the way the uprising ended.  It was a bit anticlimactic for me the way everything went down.  I was hoping it was going to build for this huge blow out, but it didn’t have the bang I wanted it to.

I know this book is going to be hard to watch on the big screen.  For those of you who have already read this book, you guys know what I’m talking about.  I’m glad they will be splitting Mockingjay into two movies, so hopefully they will get everything the way it should be.  I’m very excited for the movies and I really enjoyed this trilogy!

Action, hurt my heart, strong heroine, anticlimactic uprising.

4 bookmark

 

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*Review* Red Glove – Holly Black

Red Glove Cover Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)

Holly Black

325 pages

ISBN: 9781442403390

Read 4-26-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Curses and cons.
Magic and the mob.

In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth — he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything — or anyone — into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue — crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too — they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone — least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

I enjoyed White Cat a lot more than I thought I was going to and I am really glad that I decided to pick this series up.  This is a great sequel and I really enjoyed it as well.  You learn a bit more about Cassel and their are great descriptions, especially concerning blow back from when he transforms things.

I like Cassel and I really feel for him at points when it comes to things, especially Lila.  Sometimes though, I just want to bonk him over his head and ask what he was thinking.  He is fun and quite sarcastic with funny quips, and he is definitely quite clever when it comes to getting things done, though somewhat reckless, but that’s part of what makes him fun.  I like all of the secondary characters, especially Sam since he is very loyal to Cassel and keeps all of his secrets.

I was surprised by a couple of things in this story, Cassel’s brother being murdered and even who murdered him.  The author did a good job not being obvious about who the murder was and really, I never suspected, so kudos there!  There wasn’t a whole lot of action, but it was still a good read and kept me interested.  I look forward to the third book and how things will be wrapping up.

Great descriptions, good characters, not much action, surprising.

4 bookmark

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*Review* Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire Cover Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

Suzanne Collins

391 pages

ISBN: 9780439023498

Read 2-19-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

I loved the first book, and the second book was great, too.  There was a lot of action in the second half of the book and we get to see more of the menacing, evil President Snow in this one as well.

In the first book, I wasn’t crazy about Peeta and Katniss’ relationship since it was so forced and had no build, but they made up for it in Catching Fire and I am definitely Team Peeta.  Peeta is so protective of Katniss, and those of you who know how I am, know I am a sucker for protectors and he is definitely one of my book boyfriends.  For Katniss, we get to see how she has been affected by the trauma of being the arena.  She is plagued by terrifying nightmares and constant worry about President Snow and his threats.

The year’s Hunger Games is the third Quell and to mark the milestone, there is a horrible surprise in store.  It hurt my heart and made me so mad when I found out what it was and President Snow is a despicable person.  I really liked all the new faces when I met the past Hunger Games champions.  There were several intense moments during the second half of the book and I am so glad that I didn’t have to wait long to read the final book because of the way it ended.

Great new characters, evil President, loved Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, can’t wait for the movie!

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