The Space between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Book Review

 


The Space Between the StarsBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic 

Book Series: N/A

Released: 6/13/2017

Pages: 368 Price:$26.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…

My Review:

Not quite sure what I was expecting when I requested this book for review but it wasn’t this.  I’ve been on a science fiction kick for a few months now and thought this title sounded interesting. If you are looking for a hard-hitting science fiction thriller this is not the book for you.  If you want a book about the exploration of the human character than this one might be up your alley. This book is more about the human race than it about the solar system, oh sure, there is science involved but the heart of the story is more about internal and societal struggle than anything else.

While reading this book I often wondered just where the author was taking us. There was little set up as to how the human race ended up among the start.  We do get an explanation but not much of one.  Most of the flashbacks were introspective glimpses into the main character’s past.  Her personal struggle and how she ended up so far from home.  The plot quickly forms a small pack of refugees that are trying to make their way back to hopefully more populated parts of space and we eventually do find ourselves back on Earth.

I have to say I didn’t quite expect the book to end the way it did but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It was an interesting journey for these characters and I quite enjoyed tagging along.  I loved how the author shined a light on all aspects of humanity in this book.  The good and the bad.  She made me think about how, much of the time, we are our own worst enemy.  I also tend to agree with her insinuation that even if most of the human race disappeared instantly there would still be those that thought they could tell everyone else what to do.

The author touches on many sensitive topics in this book from government, religion, class warfare, disabilities, and manages to blend them all together in an interesting and thought-provoking story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  This was simply a good book and I can’t wait to introduce it to others.

My Rating:5 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: New To-Read Science Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

June 6:  10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List

I seem to be in a Science Fiction kick lately, or at least those are the books that are catching my eye.  While they are not the only books I’ve been adding to my tbr list they are the ones I’m going to be sharing in this week’s list.

Ten Science Fiction books I added to my TBR list this year.

  1. Paradox Bound This was on last week’s list or another list recently.  The Fold was quite good so finger’s crossed that this one is too.
  2. Steal Across the Sky  I’ve read two books by this author now and when I came across this title it sounded interesting too.  I have to say I’m not a fan of her covers though,  they don’t do her books justice.
  3. Artemis  This is probably my most anticipated read yet. I am keeping an eye out for the ARC listing on Net Galley for sure.
  4. The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1) Not really sure what this one is about but it must have sounded good for me to add it to my list.
  5. New York 2140  I recommended this brick length book to my library recently.  Decided to try another title first and checked this one out to a friend.  She gave it high marks so I will try to get around to checking this one out too.
  6. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) This book sounded like a lot of fun.  The plot reminded me a bit of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so I recommended it and even went to so far as to check it and the next book out.
  7. A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)  This is the second book in the series or trilogy and I have it sitting on my nightstand currently waiting for me to finish three books… I might need to renew.
  8. Vulcan's Forge (Star Trek)   Picked this title up at a library book sale for cheap.  It was on my list already so it was quite the score.  LLAP.
  9. Never Let Me Go  Not so sure about this one.  It might be the only book on the list that doesn’t stay on my list.  It must have sounded good when I added it but now I’m not so sure.
  10. Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)  This book made this list simply because I needed a tenth book and it sounded kind of interesting.  Bonus points because it is listed as being LGBT in its categories might bring my reading list some much-needed diversity.

Well, there you have my list for the week.  Can you tell I’m feeling a bit apathetic lately… Know of a great Science Fiction title I might like or should be on this list?  Leave it in the comments or share a link to your own list for me to check out!

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress

Book Review

 


After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the FallBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Novella, Time Travel

Book Series: N/A

Released: 4/1/2012 by Tachyon Publications

Pages: 189  Price:$14.95 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The year is 2035. After ecological disasters nearly destroyed the Earth, 26 survivors—the last of humanity—are trapped by an alien race in a sterile enclosure known as the Shell.

Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the Six—children who were born deformed or sterile and raised in the Shell. As, one by one, the survivors grow sick and die, Pete and the Six struggle to put aside their anger at the alien Tesslies in order to find the means to rebuild the earth together. Their only hope lies within brief time-portals into the recent past, where they bring back children to replenish their disappearing gene pool.

Meanwhile, in 2013, brilliant mathematician Julie Kahn works with the FBI to solve a series of inexplicable kidnappings. Suddenly her predictive algorithms begin to reveal more than just criminal activity. As she begins to realize her role in the impending catastrophe, simultaneously affecting the Earth and the Shell, Julie closes in on the truth. She and Pete are converging in time upon the future of humanity—a future which might never unfold.

Weaving three consecutive time lines to unravel both the mystery of the Earth’s destruction and the key to its salvation, this taut post-apocalyptic thriller offers a topical plot with a satisfying twist.

My Review:

Such an interesting little book.  I recommended this to my library when I noticed we needed a fresh influx of science fiction and am so glad I did.  Upon closer inspection of my Goodreads account, I see that this is the second book I’ve read by this author.  Much of what I thought about her writing of the other story holds true for this one.  This is a smart thought-provoking science fiction story that captures your attention and keeps you turning the page.

The story unfolds in a way I don’t think I’ve encountered before.  We jump back and forth in time around a critical event in human history.  Obviously, something awful has happened to the human race and all that survive are locked inside this shell as someone or something is caring for them in an effort to save the human race from extinction.  As the story progresses we see that the survivors can jump back in time to get supplies and what is essentially new breeding stock.

Of course, it isn’t until the end where we learn what really happen to earth and humanity but the story did leave me with some questions unanswered.  The story was a race to figure out what happen and what will happen to the last timeline and the future of all of the human race.  The characters, while interesting, if not annoying from time to time, were not what kept me in this story.  The mystery and need to know why and how held me to the end.  Having finished it I’m glad I read it.  Not a terribly big surprise as to how it played out but I can see why it is an award-winning story.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Sleeping Giant by Sylvain Neuvel

Book Review

 


Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Audio Book

Book Series: Themis Files #1

Released: 4/26/16 by Del Rey

Pages:304  Price: $26.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.  

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.

My Review:

This is actually my second attempt at this book.  I was approved for an Arc when it was released last year and DNF the book because I found it too dry.  The story is made up of a bunch of case files recounting events of the plot after they had happened.  Just not something I could get into in print.  Now the audiobook is a whole other matter and the actors narrating the story made all the difference.  This version I could get into and was able to finish the book. I even think I’ll stick around for book two.

The book was a little slow to start with most of the action happening in the past tense.  The classified documents only giving small glimpses of what is happening through interviews and debriefing.  I think the book could have worked better for me if it had been more action as the events unfolded with a few case files mixed in with background information.  However, when listening to the book the actors do a great job of animating the story and giving perspective and life to the story through the emotion that comes through in their voice.  They truly saved this book for me.  Livened up what was a pretty dry read in print.  I applaud the choice of having a different actor for each character in the story.

Once I was able to get past my hang-ups the story is quite enthralling.  Space, aliens, mystery, secret government agencies, drama, mad scientists.  This story had quite a bit going for it I just wish it hadn’t all been told past-tense.  I will continue with the next book has its hooks in me and I want to see how things play out.  I will probably stick to the audio format.  If you struggled with this book like I had I highly suggest giving the audiobook a try before giving up completely.  It really does help give life to the plot.

My Rating:4 Stars

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Political

Book Series: The interdependency #1

Released: 3/21/17

Pages:336  Price: $25.99 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe by the Hugo Award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War.

Our universe is ruled by physics and faster than light travel is not possible — until the discovery of The Flow, an extra-dimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transport us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It’s a hedge against interstellar war — and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal — but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it’s discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster than light travel forever, three individuals — a scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency — are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

My Review:

I can’t believe I’m actually doing this but I’m DNF a Scalzi book.  I am on page 178, for future reference if I decide to try again, and am just struggling to get into this story.  I made it halfway through the book and just don’t care.  I don’t want to read another page and it is dragging down my reading groove so this is where I part ways with this book.  Not the author because I still think he is brilliant but this book is simply not what I’m looking for.  I know that many of you love it so please don’t send hate mail/comment, let’s keep the pitchforks to ourselves, shall we.

The book started off slow with not enough background information to help you figure out what was going on.  Like another reviewer stated it was if you were picking up a story already in progress and nobody was going to catch you up.  Also, way too political for me right now.  A government controlled by corporations IS our reality!  I read to escape and this was no escape.  Of what I read it was about the haves lording over the have-nots and I just don’t want to read that right now.

I’m sure Scalzi is making some great parallels to our society which is what great fiction does but I don’t have the patience to wait for the come-up-ins.  I also struggled to identify with any of the characters or even find one to root for.  They felt flat or wishy-washy.  I wanted someone to grab me and give me a reason to keep reading.  None of the characters managed that.  Quite frankly I don’t care what happens to any of them.  I would be curious to learn how humans ended up in this multi-planet system but it was never explained thoroughly and it didn’t feel like Scalzi was going to bring us back to why we left Earth in the first place.

Kind of disappointed but oh well.  I wish I had figured out sooner that it wasn’t a good fit and given up a week ago.  I’m not giving up on Scalzi, however.  There are still books of his I want to read but this series… I think I’ll pass.  Thanks.

My Rating:DNF

Top Ten Tuesday: I Wish.

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

May 9: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist

This week’s list is fairly appropriate for me as I am once again longing for a great new series to dive into.  So this week I am simply going to share ten aspects of a story that I think will scratch my reading itch.

Ten book characteristics I want in my next great read.

  1. Great Setting: I would LOVE a great setting, that I’m familiar with, for my next great read.  I love it when the location is almost like another character in the book because if I’ve been there I can totally place myself in the world so much easier.  Plus it is almost like you have a fun inside track to the world you are reading.  Locations I’m currently seeking; Chicago, Iowa, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Minnesota.
  2. Not too technical but still accurate: One thing I loved about The Martian was all the accurate science involved in telling the story.  I would love for my next science fiction read to be like that but dumbed down enough that I can get most of it.
  3. Sex but not too much sex: I am an unashamed reader of romance and I like the steamy parts.  BUT that doesn’t mean I want the characters to be constantly jumping each other’s bones.  I want a good plot too.  So I want some sex but am willing to give that up for a better plot.
  4. Witty Dialog: Some of my favorite series came with smart-ass characters that were quick with a one-liner.  So I would love my next great series to have a little sass in the dialog.
  5. Fun Sidekick: I don’t mind a story that focuses all the attention on the two key characters but when you throw in an amazing supporting cast then the book is usually even better.
  6. Alpha Male: Goes along with #3.  In books, I don’t mind a strong alpha male that has a bit of caveman mentality.  Usually, it is a great premise for hijinks as the strong female drives him up the wall.  Plus I kind of enjoy seeing them get schooled when the female shows them they are just as capable as they are.
  7. Alpha Female: Part of the reason I don’t care for historical romance is I’m not a fan of weak females.  Sorry, I know it is probably a stereotype but too often the plot in those books revolves around a woman’s role in society.  Not interested.  I want a female that is equal to her male counterparts.  I don’t mind them being physically weaker than the males but I don’t want the entire book to be about saving the female from danger.  I want her to get her hands dirty and kick some ass too.
  8. Realistic love: Now I am pretty accepting of instant romance.  I usually don’t find it annoying in paranormal or urban fantasy books where you already have to suspend reality to enjoy the plot.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want some challenges for my main couple to overcome.  They need to work for their H.E.A. too.
  9. Good Vs. Evil: I love sinking my teeth into a good battle of good vs evil.  Part of why I enjoy dystopian books when we aren’t currently living in a dystopian society…
  10. Plot Twists:  To finish off my list I would love for my next read to have some great plot twists that I don’t see coming.  Not too difficult as I usually don’t figure things out.

There you have what I am looking for in my next great read if you know of any science fiction, urban fantasy, or paranormal romance that fits the bill or comes close feel free to share in the comments!  No YA, please.

Star Trek Boldly Go by Mike Johnson

Book Review

 


Star Trek: Boldly Go #1Book Genre: Science Fiction, Comic

Book Series: Boldly Go #1

Released: 10/19/2016

Pages: 22 Price: $3.99 IDW Publishing

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this comic

 

 

Book Synopsis:

STAR TREK’s 50th Anniversary Celebration continues with this all-new series following the adventures of Captain Kirk and the iconic crew! New worlds! New species! New ships! And a new danger unlike anything the Federation has encountered before! Boldly go into a new era of STAR TREK!

My Review:

Saturday May 6th was Free Comic Book Day 2017.  I happen to be in a bookstore that was giving away some comics and had some on clearance.  I picked up the free Star Trek one set in The Next Generation world and this one that takes place after the last movie releases on the Kelvin timeline with the new cast setting off for life post-Enterprise.  I’m not much of a comic reader but I enjoyed this so much that I can’t wait to get my hand on the next five copies to find out what happens next.  I’m not in a big rush, however, so I might check the local stores first before I download them all from the publisher’s website.  I wouldn’t mind having physical copies of these but will settle for digital.

The story was quite good, the graphics a little less.  I’m reading it for plot so it didn’t bother me that some of the characters looked a bit off, Uhura being the lest resembling the current actor portraying the character.  Major cliffhanger at the end that sucked me in and frustrated me to no end that the comic was only 22 pages long.  So it looks like I might be a new convert to these graphic novels even if it is just the Star Trek ones.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Aurora CV-01 by Ryk Brown

Book Review

 


Aurora: CV-01 (The Frontiers Saga #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Audiobook

Book Series: The Frontiers Saga #1:Part 1

Released: 12/19/2011 by Tantor Media

Pages: 301 Price: $29.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A world recovering from a devastating plague…
A brutal enemy threatening invasion…
A young man seeking to escape the shadow of his father…
A ship manned by a crew of fresh academy graduates…
A top-secret experimental propulsion system…
A questionable alliance with a mysterious green-eyed woman…

What destiny has in store for the crew of the UES Aurora, is far greater than any of them could ever imagine. And this is only the beginning…

“Aurora: CV-01” is 77,000 word novel, and is Episode 1 of The Frontiers Saga.

My Review:

This was a fun audiobook that I borrowed from my library.  After reading some of the other reviews I have to agree with some of the criticism that yes, it is pretty much a Star Trek rip-off.  Maybe not blatantly but the similarities are hard to deny.  But so what.  It is still an action-packed well plotted read that brought me several hours of enjoyment.

Took me a moment to realize this book was set in the extreme far future after most of humanity had been wiped from existence.  After I caught on to that it surprised me just how familiar this society felt to our own, with the exception of space travel that is.  While entertaining the plot was pretty convenient at times as the author set all his characters into place for the longer story arch.  For me it was easy to overlook because when hasn’t a character been in the right place at the right time in works of fiction.

The characters were diverse and likable I would have enjoyed seeing where some of the relationships led towards.  I would have also liked to learn more about what happen to Earth in the past as well as the other colonies that were talked about.  But I’m afraid this is where I leave this universe.

While I truly enjoyed this book it is the only one available through my library so I will not be continuing on because with so many parts out (19), and yet to come (75 total!), this series is simply too expensive for me to continue with… I have suggested my library purchase the next three parts but it is highly unlikely that will happen.  Makes me kind of wish I had looked into the series availability before I borrowed it. I would have skipped it had I know how difficult and costly getting my hands on future parts would be.  Oh, well.  Live and learn.

My Rating:4 Stars

Time for Yesterday by A.C. Crispin

Book Review

 


Time for Yesterday (Star Trek: The Yesterday Saga, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Media Tie-In, Fantasy,

Book Series: Star Trek: The Original Series #39 (Sequel to Yesterday’s Son)

Released: 5/1/1986 Pocket Books

Pages: 303 Price: $3.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

When the Guardian of Forever malfunctions, the course of time runs amok, and the Star Trek crew undertakes a desperate mission to contact the Guardian, five thousand years in the past, and to bring Spock’s son, Zar, forward in time.

My Review:

While Yesterday’s Son read like one of the original Star Trek TV episodes the follow-up book read more like one of the movies.  The crew of the Enterprise had all moved on and needed to be rounded up for this adventure to save the universe.  Again greater stakes lent to the feeling of a movie rather than a quick hour-long show with a single plot to resolve. While I didn’t enjoy this as much as the last book I’m still glad to have read it as it resolved a lot left-over from Yesterday’s Son.

In this book, Spock and Zar are about 20 years older and thankfully over themselves.  This led to a much more satisfying relationship between father and son for the reader.  There was an interesting mix of tone or genre to this story.  At times it felt more like a historical romance almost in the parts we spent in the past on Zar’s world.  Contrast that with the high-tech future when were in Spock’s world and at times the book almost felt like two different stories.

There was supposed to be a third book, making this a trilogy, that was abandoned by the publisher and as a result of the author’s death.  I have conflicting emotions on this.  While I would love to revisit the Zar character and see what becomes of his later life I am satisfied with how this ended.  I can’t really see where they would have gone with another book but I’m sure it would have been some catastrophic event that only Kirk, Bones, and Spock could solve with the help of Zar of course.

Highly enjoyable and recommended if you have read the first book.

My Rating:4 Stars

Spock Vs Q by Cecilia Fannon

Book Review

 


1055516Book Genre: Science Fiction, Audiobook, Media Tie-In, Short Story

Book Series: Star Trek

Released:  11/1/1999 by Simon & Schuster Audio

Pages: 1 Hour Price:$15.00

Links:  Goodreads,

Source: I borrowed this from my library.

Book Synopsis:

As the end of the twentieth century nears, an asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. When it hits, the impact will result in the end of all life on the planet.
Ambassador Spock travels back in time to subtly warn Earth’s inhabitants of impending doom while calling into question humanity’s priorities. However, before the truth is told, the all powerful being Q appears and reminds Spock that he is prohibited from interfering in Earth’s history. Besides, Q doesn’t see mankind as something worth saving.
This initial encounter between the two legendary characters explodes into a battle of wits as Spock cleverly befuddles Q with his own words. As barbs are exchanged, and humanity’s flaws and wonders are laid bare, Spock’s logic just may convince Q that humans are indeed a species worthy of salvation, but will he be too late?
In Spock vs. Q, Leonard Nimoy and John de Lancie again bring their characters to glorious life in the most lively and entertaining debate since Nixon vs. Kennedy. Recorded in front of a live audience, Spock vs. Q is a stirring audio program that could only come from Alien Voices.

My Review:

This was so much fun!  If you’ve been following me for any amount of time then you know I’m a Trekkie and quite possible that Spock is my favorite character.  I’ve been having fun reading some of the Trek books that I’ve been hoarding for the past few years.  While searching through the books I might want to add to my collection I came across this little gem featuring my two favorite characters, Spock and Q.  It is as wonderful as I expected it to be.

The story is only available in audio format and appears to have been recorded at a convention by the actors themselves.  The performance was quite short, only lasting for an hour, perfect for my exercise session on the treadmill.  The story is clever and brings us these two iconic characters with all their wit and personality that we love.  If you are a fan of the franchise then I would encourage you to get your hands on this recording.  I seriously doubt that you will be disappointed.

My Rating:5 Stars