Tag Archives: sci-fi ya

Series Spotlight: Firebird series by Claudia Gray

I love sci-fi but alternate worlds never really grabbed me until this series.

thousand pieces of youten thousanda million worlds with you

The Firebird series by Claudia Gray

Review status: 3 of 3. A Thousand Pieces of You, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, A Million Worlds With You

All books released, own in hardcover, these beautiful covers match:)

The idea of alternate worlds, parallel worlds, whatever you want to call them, never really intrigued me in my science-fiction reading. I was all about space and living on other planets. Then I received an ARC of the first book in this series and gave it a chance. I was immediately hooked. I loved the way world hopping was handled, jumping into a different version of yourself instead of your body actually jumping. I also absolutely loved the family and the friendship dynamics of this series. And they just got better as it went along.

Favourite character: Theo. I have a huge soft spot for a guy with a great sense of humour, and when that guy is willing to fight for the people he cares about like Theo was, I’m sold. The first time he called Paul his ‘little brother’, I knew he would be a favourite.

Favourite book: A Thousand Pieces of You. It’s hard to pick a favourite in this series so the first one that introduced me to the characters wins by a slim margin.

Reading status: All finished!

Author status: Auto-buy.

Next up for Claudia Gray: Book 2 of the Constellation series, Defy the Worlds, due out April 3rd 2018.

Question from this series: If you could jump into any version of yourself, what would you want to be?

Answer from this series: I’m not big on travel or adventure but if I could jump into a version of myself that lived in space, just for a day or two, I would definitely do it.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

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A Conspiracy of Stars

Release date: January 2nd 2018

Goodreads: Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.
But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.
With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

Why I’m excited: I can’t wait to see a book about a girl scientist and this sounds like it’s going to take very relevant topics to today into its fantasy/sci-fi world.

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Book Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron

Release date: February 27th 2018

4.5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Geekerella was very cute and I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book. I wasn’t expecting the four person POV but it was a pleasant surprise as I really enjoyed all four characters’ thoughts. They were so different from each other so it never felt confusing but they all complimented each other, and it worked to give a full story instead of being relegated to staying in one person’s thoughts and location.

The synopsis mainly mentioned Ana and D09 so I was expecting them. They had a strong bond that had formed since childhood when they were rescued together. I could definitely understand Ana’s motivation to save her friend, someone she loved. D09’s POV was really interesting because he was an android and his thoughts were unique compared to the other four. Much more analytical. The other two POvs were Robb and Jax, two complete opposite boys who fit well together. Robb was the younger son in a family that was hungry to rule while Jax was the last of his kind and hiding secrets. I loved getting to see them bantering back and forth.

The plot seemed pretty simple at first. Ana just wanted to find the coordinates to a lost spaceship that would hopefully hold the key to fixing a glitching D09. I loved seeing all the additional layers being added, giving us more mysteries until the pieces began to fall together. I can definitely see where the Anastasia meets Firefly/Guardians of the Galaxy comparisons came from but I think it stood well on its own as well. I liked seeing the world-building, the political unrest, the familial feel of the crew. All the aspects of the book worked so well together.

The pacing had me hooked right from the start. It would have easily been a one night read if it wasn’t for work. This is definitely a favourite of 2018(even though it’s still 2017). The only bad thing is that it’s going to be such a long, long wait for the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Zenith by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg

Zenith

Zenith

Release date: January 16 2018

3.5 stars

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she’s just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.
But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder‘s all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi’s past.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.
Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

I’ve really enjoyed Lindsay Cummings writing in the past so I was really excited to see she had another book coming out, this time in Sci-Fi, a genre I love and am really happy that there seems to be a lot of books coming out in 2018. I’m less familiar with Sasha Alsberg. I’ve seen a few of her YouTube videos but that was it. Going in, it seemed like it would have a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe or maybe a Six of Crows in space.

There was a huge cast of characters in this book and many, many POVs. I didn’t find it too hard to keep track of who was who, though skimming might make it harder to distinguish the characters. I enjoyed the dynamics of the crew and it really added to the before mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy vibe. There were times when it felt like character development suffered in exchange for having so many POVs but that’s something that can hopefully be rectified throughout the series.

I thought the plot was good, maybe a little cliche at times, but still a fun read. There were some times when the plot felt a little slow and it did have a bit of predictability to it. It was a good start to the series and I look forward to seeing where it goes. There was a lot of good things happening, definitely enough to outweigh the bad or my nit-pickiness. I thought the descriptions was where the book really shone and it made me very excited to see what these two do next with their characters and world.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

27 Hours

27 Hours

Release date: October 3rd 2017

3 stars

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.
But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.
Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother’s shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon’s darkest secret.
They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.
During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

Even after reading the synopsis, I wasn’t too sure of what to expect going into this book. I’ve been reading a lot of sci-fi lately so my hopes were high, maybe a little too high. The concept was very interesting and is a topic that is talked about today. The setting was the moon which had been colonized by humans and they were heading toward a war against the species that had inhabited the moon before them. All the POVs were from human characters and it might have been nice to see a POV from a Chimera so it felt more balanced.

The four main characters were very diverse. There was Rumor, Jude, Nyx, and Braeden. I really liked seeing the relationships, both romantic and platonic, develop between these four, plus Nyx’s best friend Dahlia. It did feel like it took me a long time to connect with the characters, longer than I’m used to, but that could be because I haven’t read a multi-pov book in a while and was a little impatient to find out which would be my favourite character. It was Jude.

I loved how inclusive the book was. There was so much representation and it was a huge positive. What I found hurt the book the most was the time frame. 27 hours is so short that any character development or deep connections/relationships seemed to happen very fast and I wasn’t very convinced that it would last. I will be reading the next book to find out what happens, the concept was what pulled me in initially and I’m curious to see how things turn out.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

reneagdes

Renegades

Release date: November 7th 2017

4.5 stars

Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

I love superhero books, movies, tv shows so I was very excited for this book. I loved the world and the characters Marissa Meyer created and I already want to go back. The action/mission sequences were balanced nicely with character moments and the different groups all had interesting dynamics.

I really enjoyed the contrast between Nova’s POV and Adrian’s POV. Hers was darker, more vengeance filled, she wanted the people she blamed for her families’ deaths to pay even if that meant pretending to be one of them. Adrian believed more in what the Renegades were doing, having been raised by original members, but sometimes he didn’t like the restrictions. He had his own secrets he was hiding from everyone and he wanted justice for his mother’s murder. I liked these two together, they had an interesting dynamic that was fun to read. I also liked the whole team dynamic with them, Oscar, Ruby, and Danna.

My favourite dynamic was that between Adrian and his dads. There was a lot of love and respect there and I loved it. I wish we had gotten to see even more of it. Same thing with the dynamic between The Council, or the original Renegades. We saw a little through the eyes of Nova and Adrian but I would easily read a prequel series about them.

The book was long but I thought it was well paced. I was never bored and I finished it pretty quickly because I found I wanted to keep reading, I had to know what was going to happen. I loved seeing the characters being challenged in their beliefs. I also liked that there was plenty of history given about the Age of Anarchy and the defeat by the Renegades but there was still a lot left for future books. It left me wanting to know more and definitely impatient for the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music for review.

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Book Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia

Nyxia

Release date: September 12th 2017

4.5 stars

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Forever.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

This book caught me by surprise. I wasn’t too sure about the premise when I picked it up but once I started reading it, I was completely sucked in by the story and the characters. It felt like every time the teens started to get comfortable, something else was thrown at them, and at the readers. It was fast-paced, which made for a quick read, and when I was finished, I really, really wanted the next book.

Emmett had many reasons for wanting the chance to go to Eden. The money Babel was offering, the health care for his family, was too good not to fight for his spot, which became necessary when the group found out only eight of them would actually succeed in being chosen to go to Eden. Emmett was a good guy and I liked seeing the walls he’d put up as he tried to think of the others as only competition start to crumble as they became friends. They became a family, as dysfunctional as they were. He could be very quick to anger and point out when he thought something was unfair but he was also protective when it came to his friends.

There were many great supporting characters and I ended up liking most of the group Emmett was in direct competition with, especially Kaya and Bilal. I also really liked Jaime, Katsu, and Azima. They were a very diverse group but they all had the common goal of being one of the eight selected to go to Eden. The adults on the ship were more suspicious and it was easy to start thinking there was more going on that the teens were told.

The competition aspect of the plot took up most of the book. The teens were pitted against each other at all levels. How they could use and manipulate Nyxia(the substance they were being sent to Eden to mine), how they fought against each other in simulations, how they worked as a team, to the point where it felt like everything they did they were being judged and scored on. It was a constant reminder that no one was safe, no matter how ahead they were in points. It was what made the book so fast-paced and, combined with all the twists, made me so excited for the next book.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus

Invictus

Release date: September 26th 2017

4 stars

Time flies when you’re plundering history.
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.
But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Invictus feels like one of those books I was going to love based on the synopsis alone. A group of misfits in space? Where do I sign up? It had time travel, action, great characters, and was very well-paced. I was completely sucked into this book. It had a Doctor Who, Firefly vibe to it, and anyone who knows my pop culture obsessions knows that’s an immediate plus in my books.

Far had been training so hard to become a time traveler like his mother but he failed his final exam. When he got the chance to work for a black market operator, to be a captain of his own ship and time travel with his own crew, he can’t say no. I loved Far as a character. He was so determined and passionate about time travel and finding out who had sabotaged his final test. He was protective of his crew and it added a great dynamic between all the characters that I was definitely a fan of reading.

The supporting cast was great. They were all so different but still fit perfectly together. They really were one big family. Imogene with her log updates was hilarious, Gram was so adorably awkward, Priya was more reserved, and Elliot was the one I found the hardest to get to know but he was still great.

The descriptions of the time periods the crew visited were so well done. It was so easy to picture the locations and the scenery. It was great. I liked the way the crew’s missions interwove with the mystery of who the girl who kept showing up during their mission was, along with the mystery of what had happened to Far’s mother. I thought Ryan Graudin did a great job balancing all the story plots so they complimented each other instead of feeling like three stories crammed into one book.

The book works perfectly as a standalone, which is what it is, but I would definitely not to sad to hear of a companion novel one day.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Haul

It’s been way, way too long since I’ve done one of these posts so in lieu of a review today, I’m doing a book haul. A large one.

Bought:

Saints and MisfitsDazzling HeightsThe Broken WorldIf there's no tomorrowThey Both Die At the EndCrystal BladeReturnedWarbringerWhen It's Real

Buying soon:

Tower of DawnWarcross15797848One Dark ThroneLanguage of ThornsAutoboyography

ARCs:

Queen's RisingLove, Life, and the ListHonor Among ThievesHeart of IronEverlessDangerous Art of Blending inKat and MegOtherworldMoxieFireblood

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June Wrap-Up/July TBR

How did it get to be halfway through the year already?

June Wrap-Up:

Words in Deep Blue Words in Deep Blue – Cath Crowley. 3/5 stars. This was a really cute story with some angst. A good option for a summer read. I did find it a little predictable though.

Internet Famous Internet Famous – Danika Stone. 3.5/5 stars. Review. I loved how this one had some elements of All the Feels but showed the darker side of fandom.

lucky-in-love Lucky in Love – Kasie West. 4/5 stars. Review. Super cute but it is Kasie West so I expected that:)

Furthermore Furthermore – Tahereh Mafi. 3.5/5 stars. It was enjoyable but I did find I had a hard time getting into it. I think it was more me and the timing than the book. Will probably try re-reading to see if I can get more into it during the Fall.

Warcross Warcoss – Marie Lu. 4/5 stars. Review. I love Marie Lu and this book shows why. It’s addicting and has some amazing characters.

Our Broken Pieces Our Broken Pieces – Sarah White. 3/5 stars. It was a good read but the characters weren’t my favourite. I had a hard time relating to them

Dress Codes for Small Towns Dress Codes for Small Towns – Courtney C Stevens. 4/5 stars. Review. I love Courtney C Stevens. Saying this book was my least favourite of her three doesn’t mean it’s a bad book, just that I really loved the first two I read. This was more character driven and just friends hanging out and discovering who they were.

The Beautiful and the cursed The Beautiful and the Cursed – Page Morgan. 3.5/5 stars. I was really hoping to be blown away but I wasn’t. I had a hard time getting into this one as well.

Roar Roar – Cora Carmack. 4/5 stars. I enjoyed this one. The main girl was sassy, I liked the world that was created, and the supporting cast was great.

Dazzling Heights The Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee. 4/5 stars. Review. This sucked me in just as much as the first one did. I can’t wait to see where this is going.

The Glass Spare The Glass Spare – Lauren DeStefano. 3.5/5 stars. Review. This one went to places I wasn’t expecting and I liked that. And amazing sibling bonds!

Frigid Frigid – Jennifer L Armentrout. 4/5 stars. Might not be my favourite by her but it was still great.

Genuine Fraud Genuine Fraud – E Lockhart. 3/5 stars. I had high hopes after We Were Liars but this one was very predictable.

This Darkness Mine This Darkness Mine – Mindy McGinnis. 4/5 stars. This seemed to be the month for reading books by favourite authors and being a little disappointed. This one was still great, loved the darkness and the characters, but not as great as The Female of the Species.

If there's no tomorrow If There’s No Tomorrow – Jennifer L Armentrout. 4/5 stars. Really enjoyed this one, especially the main character.

Laney big Laney – Joann I Martin Sowles. 3.5/5 stars. I was in the mood for some vampire and hadn’t read this series yet. It’s interesting so far.

Darkness Darkness – Joann I Martin Sowles. 3.5/5 stars. I was in the mood for some vampire and hadn’t read this series yet. It’s interesting so far.

July TBR:

One Dark ThroneBefore She IgnitesArt of FeelingEven the Darkest Stars

 

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