Tag Archives: sci-fi ya

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:

Dare Mighty Things

Dare Mighty Things

Release date: October 10th 2017

Goodreads: THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.
As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.

Why I’m excited: I love Sci-Fi and this one is giving me a bit of a competitive Space Cases vibe.

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Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross

Warcross

Release date: September 12th 2017

4 stars

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I have never played the kinds of games mentioned in this book, or even anything similar, so I was a little worried going in that it might be hard to lose myself in the story. But it’s Marie Lu and I’m pretty sure she could write any plot and have me get lost in her words and her story. The plot focused a lot on gaming and technology but it didn’t stray off into an area I, as a non-gamer, couldn’t understand. I enjoyed all the action of the game, the saboteur plot, and the dynamics between the team Emika was chosen to be on as a part of her cover in the Warcross Championships.

Emika was an amazing character. I loved how hard she fought even when it seemed like there was no hope. She refused to give up. She was protective, determined, and smart. She was a brilliant hacker, which helped her a lot of the time but also got her into trouble. Turned out glitching her way into the Warcross Championship was a good thing for her since it led to a job offer and we got to see her at her best, tracking down information on a threat to the Games. With the plot being very heavy on the Warcross game and the set-up to the Championships, Emika was really the only character to get a lot of development. We saw her go from someone who barely trusted anyone to opening up to her team and relying on people other than herself.

I’m excited to see how the supporting characters development in this series. I really liked Emika’s teammates in the Warcross Championships and hope we get to see a lot more of them. They didn’t have a whole lot of screentime(pagetime) but still made an impression. I also liked the flirty banter between Emika and Hideo. It should be interesting to see how all the relationships between these characters progress in the series.

The plot had a lot of action, fast-paced, but still detailed enough so that a non-gamer like me could understand the happenings of the game as they were playing it. It sounded like a cool game. The whole book felt like it would look fantastic on the big screen(if they didn’t ruin it). I ended up finishing this in under two days because I just didn’t want to put it down. I had so many theories and I needed to know if they were right. Plus with Marie Lu, I never want to stop reading until the book is finished.

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

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Every time I think it’s getting warmer so I can start to read outside, Mother Nature tricks me and it gets cold again. And rainy.

Currently reading: If Birds Fly Back

Finished reading: dividing-edenavengedThe Gauntletdreamfall

Reviewed: Girl out of waterEliza and her monsters

What I’m hoping to get to next week: gentlemans-guideArt of starving to read

avengeddreamfall to review

Books read it 2017: 73

Debut authors read in 2017: 21

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April Wrap-Up/May TBR

How is it May already? *Looks at all the books coming out this month*….IT’S MAY!!!

April Wrap-Up:

Ramona Blue Ramona Blue – Julie Murphy. 2.5/5 stars. Review. I had a hard time connecting with the main character.

traitors-kiss The Traitor’s Kiss – Erin Beatty. 3/5 stars. Review. This was another one where I had a hard time liking the main character.

See Me See Me – Wendy Higgins. 3.5/5 stars. Not my favourite by Wendy Higgins but still a really good book.

one-of-us-is-lying One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus. 4/5 stars. Review. I really enjoyed the characters, the twists, and the whole concept.

Windfall Windfall – Jennifer E Smith. 3.5/5 stars. Review. Very typical Jennifer E Smith in all the good ways.

House of Furies House of Furies – Madeleine Roux. 4/5 stars. Very creepy. I really liked the Poe vibe this book was giving me.

Once and For All Once and For All – Sarah Dessen. 4/5 stars. A perfect summer read. I loved the coworkers to friends to lovers dynamic.

Warbringer Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo. 4/5 stars. Review. Leigh Bardugo plus Wonder Woman is a great combination.

inconceivable-life-of-quinn The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer. 3/5 stars. I was really excited for this one since it was compared to Jane the Virgin but I felt it was missing that whip smart humour and quirkiness that made me fall in love with Jane.

Defy the Stars Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray. 4/5 stars. Review. I absolutely fell in love with these two characters and their dynamics.

No Good Deed No Good Deed – Goldy Moldavsky. 3.5/5 stars. This was a fun, funny read that really made me want to finally pick up Kill the Boy Band.

Antisocial Antisocial – Jillian Blake. 3.5/5 stars. This one was a little scary with how easily the whole school was hacked and their secrets exposed.

Eliza and her monsters Eliza and her Monsters – Francesca Zappia. 4.5/5 stars. Review. Definitely labeling this as a must read.

Girl out of water Girl out of Water – Laura Silverman. 3.5/5 stars. Review. If the book had been a bit less predictable, the rating would be higher. It was still very enjoyable and I liked the romance.

Four weeks Five People Four Weeks, Five People – Jennifer yu. 3/5 stars.

dreamfall Dreamfall – Amy Plum. 4/5 stars. I love Amy Plum and this book had some great twists.

The Gauntlet The Gauntlet – Megan Shepherd. 3.5/5 stars. I’ve really been enjoying this series. This was my least favourite of the three but it was still good. I figured out a few of the twists early on so it made it a little less enjoyable than being caught off-guard.

avenged Avenged – Amy Tintera. 4/5 stars. Holy sequel! I really enjoyed Ruined but I enjoyed this one even more. If the series keeps getting better, that only means amazing things.

May TBR:

dividing-edenBad Romancethis-is-how-it-happenedIf Birds Fly Back

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Well, hockey playoffs didn’t last too long in this house. More time to read:)

Currently reading: dreamfall

Finished reading: Four weeks Five PeopleGirl out of waterEliza and her monstersAntisocial

Reviewed: WarbringerDefy the Stars

What I’m hoping to get to next week: avengedThe Gauntlet to read

Girl out of waterEliza and her monsters to review

Books read it 2017: 69

Debut authors read in 2017: 21

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Book Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars

Defy the Stars

Release date: April 4th 2017

4 stars

She’s a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is a seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.
He’s a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.
Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

I loved Claudia Gray’s Firebird series so I was really excited for a new Sci-Fi story from her. The story of Noemi and Abel intrigued me before I even started it and with each page, I found myself getting more and more invested in their stories, both separately and together. It was an interesting dynamic. For a lot of the book, it was just the two of them on the mission Noemi was hell bent on completing but they did meet up with some great supporting characters.

The book was a dual POV between Noemi and Abel. I always find it interesting when a dual POV has two such different characters and it was hard to get any more different than these two. Noemi was a soldier from a planet cut off from the rest of the galaxy and whose people had strong opinions about the technology the rest of the galaxy was using. Abel was a machine, a mech, with such advanced programming that it was almost impossible to tell he wasn’t human. These were two individuals with limited life experience who’d both been raised to believe one way of thinking and were learning that maybe their elders/creators weren’t telling the whole truth.

I was a little surprised that I didn’t miss the crew feel in this Sci-Fi book. Usually, that would be high on my list of loves when I read a book involving space and missions, but the dynamic between Noemi and Abel was so well done and so entertaining that they filled all the areas I would normally look for in a crew. I loved watching the relationship between them change and the little ways they realized they’d become to care for each other, much to their own confusion.

The plot was a mix between the type of action scenes one might expect(and hope) for in a space book and a slow build-up toward the mission’s end goal. It did a great job setting up for the second(and final?) book. It didn’t get too slow that I felt my attention wandering and it didn’t get too fast where I felt like I was missing pieces of information. I’m very excited to see where the travel takes us in book two.

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

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Hockey playoffs have started, which means lots of time to read while my mom is watching the games.

Currently reading: Antisocial

Finished reading: No Good DeedDefy the Starsinconceivable-life-of-quinnWarbringer

Reviewed: Windfallone-of-us-is-lying

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Four weeks Five PeopleGirl out of water to read

Defy the StarsWarbringer to review

Books read it 2017: 64

Debut authors read in 2017: 18

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March Wrap-Up/April TBR

Another month done, another month closer to Summer.

March Wrap-Up:

royal-bastards Royal Bastards – Andrew Shvarts. 4/5 stars. Review. I enjoyed this world and the misfit feel to the group of characters.

hundred-lies-of-lizzie-lovett The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett – Chelsea Sedoti. 3/5 stars. It took me a while to get into this one. Once I did, I thought it got better but it still didn’t pull me right in.

hidden-memory-of-objects The Hidden Memory of Objects – Danielle Mages Amato. 4/5 stars. Review. I loved the twist with the main character being able to see memories attached to objects.

the-crowns-fate The Crown’s Fate – Evelyn Skye. 4.5/5 stars. Review. A great follow-up to one of my favourite books from last year.

upside-of-unrequited The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli. 4/5 stars. Review. Another great follow-up to a favourite from last year.

geekerella Geekerella – Ashley Poston. 4/5 stars. Review. So cute and I enjoyed picking out the parallels between this story and Cinderella.

Blacklist Blacklist – Alyson Noel. 3.5/5 stars. I missed the competition aspect from the first book but this one definitely upped the mystery factor.

Lotterys Plus One The Lotterys Plus One – Emma Donoghue. 3/5 stars. It was a really cute story but it did feel like a MG-written story.

Miss Ellicott's School Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded – Sage Blackwood. 3.5/5 stars. Another cute story and I really enjoyed the magical world.

starfall Starfall – Melissa Landers. 4/5 stars. Review. I did miss that the misfit crew from the first book was less present in this one but it was still great going back to this world.

flame-in-the-mist Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh. 4/5 stars. Review. I love Renee Ahdieh’s writing and this one already has me excited for the next one.

image After the End – Amy Plum. 3/5 stars. I really enjoyed the Revenants series so I had high hopes but it took me a while to get into this one.

image The Last Thing You Said – Sara Biren. 3.5/5 stars. The way the two main characters kept hurting each other out of grief was very realistic.

image Maud – Melanie L Fishbane. 4/5 stars. Review. It was a little strange at first, reading a fictionalized version of LM Montgomery’s life when I grew up in PEI but it was good.

image Wild Beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore. 4/5 stars. There’s something very magical about Anne-Marie McLemore’s writing and the characters she creates.

Metaltown Metal town – Kristen Simmons. 3/5 stars. This was another one that was hard to get into. The pacing was a bit uneven.

The Midnight Dance The Midnight Dance – Nikki Katz. 3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed the dark and twisted spin the plot took but there was a lot of things that could have been explained better.

April TBR:

Ramona Bluetraitors-kissWindfallone-of-us-is-lying

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Sometimes I feel like all I do is read. And I’m perfectly content with that. Actually, I’m ecstatic.

Currently reading: The Midnight Dance

Finished reading: Metaltownimageimageimage

Reviewed: flame-in-the-miststarfall

What I’m hoping to get to next week: traitors-kissRamona Blue to read

imageimage to review

Books read it 2017: 51

Debut authors read in 2017: 15

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Book Review: Starfall by Melissa Landers

starfall

Starfall

4 stars

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

I really liked Starflight and was excited to hear that a companion novel would be coming out featuring a couple of my favourite supporting characters from the first book. I was looking forward to diving back into this world and into another story with this crew. I didn’t end up liking it as much as Starflight but I still enjoyed it and was very happy to have gotten the chance to go back into its world.

Cassia and Kane take a front seat in this companion and their dynamic was so different from Doran and Solara in the first book. They were the fun, banter-filled couple in the first book and now, with their relationship more in the spotlight, it showed that they weren’t just all lightness and play fighting. Cassia and Kane were friends from childhood and Kane was always protecting her. It did mean that sometimes Cassia felt smothered or like she was being treated as incompetent and that Kane felt he was only good enough for her when she needed him. It led to this dynamic of them trying to do what they thought was the right thing for themselves and for the other person, but usually ended up resulting in hurt feelings.

The plot really focused on Cassia’s return to her home planet and the rebellion. That left less time for the crew scenes where they were acting like a family, which was something I loved from the first book. Cassia spent a lot of time with her General as they tried to gain control and stop the rebellion. Kane spent more time with the crew as they tried to track down information on a cure for the outbreak ravaging Cassia and Kane’s home planet. I did find myself looking forward to Kane’s chapters over Cassia’s due to his having more interactions among the crew and there were times when Cassia was being a frustrating character with the way she was treating poor Kane.

I think my enjoyment of this book was helped by the fact that I was expecting the dynamic between Cassia and Kane, which was light and fun in the first book, to change pretty drastically with the focus on it in this one. It meant the flaws in their relationship were more exposed and their new situation meant they had to face what they could ignore when they were on the ship: Cassia was a princess and Kane wasn’t royal.

I do like that both books can be read as standalones. The first one a little more than the second. The second did refer to some instances in the first book but even with more than a year in between readings, I didn’t find myself confused. It great a great escape back into a world that I really enjoyed.

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