Book Review

Book Review: Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
Length: 560 pages
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: November 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City. 

THIS WAS A SOLID FINALE.

I was nervous walking into this read. Excited, but nervous. Archenemies let me down and I have all the love for Renegades. Combine these two polar thoughts and I had no idea what I was walking into for Supernova.

I ended up really loving this. I wouldn’t call it a FIVE STAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW. More of as I closed the book I realized how much I enjoyed it and my favorite pieces. I thought about how everything came together in the end and how I was cool with everything as it wrapped up (not to mention that EPILOGUE Y’ALL).

My favorite thing about this was the character arcs for Nova and Adrian. They both were coming at the story from opposing sides. As they battled each other and all the secrets started spilling out I got a glimpse into new sides of them. Nova learned that her Uncle’s ideals weren’t all they were cracked up to be, just like she learned that the Renegades weren’t the enemy. Adrian finally found the truth of his Mom’s murder and to let go of some of his own ideals to see the story from another angle. It gave me all the chills watching them. This wasn’t purely superheroes vs. villains, because who can truly define those anyways?

I love that there was actual wickedness. I love a solid evil character who can’t see past their own desires. It makes everything feel that much more dire and puts me on the edge of my seat. I said multiple times, and even wrote it in my notes, that I had no idea how I was going to get a happy ending by the time this was over. There were even a few twists that I did not see coming and loved how they tied into the final plot.

The love story never took over, but did encourage Nova and Adrian through a few of their decisions. I like that is was held back, but that I got to see it flourish. They both deserved some happiness, and if it’s with each other, that’s great [a nod to Ruby & Oscar who were TOTALLY STINKIN’ PRECIOUS in the background over there].

The ending was fascinating and heartfelt. I really like what became of the characters and their super powers. I thought it could have gone one of two ways, and I would have been fine with either [depending on how it was done]. Meyer’s writing is amazing though and it’s so quick to read. Yes, it’s 550 pages, but you would never know it. I can’t wait to see what project she is working on next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + sci-fi
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few light kisses
  • Violence: murder, battles, skirmishes, building collapses
  • Trigger warnings: Chapter 30 – a character talks about being previously molested as a child

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Book Review

Book Review: DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) by Jay Kristoff

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult science fiction
Length: 419 pages
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Expected Release Date: June 25th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world. 

I LOVE LEMON FRESH.

And I love that this book focused more on her.

This book started out with a nice little refresher of who was who and what happened (which I appreciate because lets face it, when it takes awhile to get to the second book some facts slip my mind).

So many twists yet again. I couldn’t keep up and was on my toes waiting for the next moment when I would stare at my page saying whaaaaat, nooooooo. I was kept guessing as to who some characters were and where others were located. I love the mystery of it all and it really helps me want to continue reading and flipping pages.

Lemon Fresh got a lot of the spotlight this time and she’s seriously, the best. I love her spunky personality and her loyalty to her friends. We got to see her struggles and her triumphs as she navigated meeting others like her. The dash of romance thrown in for her was sweet and not overdone. I totally ship them.

Ezekiel might destroy me by the end of this series. Frankly, this may be the case for any of our main four (Lemon, Ezekiel, Cricket and Eve). There is heartbreak and disaster literally around every corner and I DON’T KNOW IF I’LL GET A HAPPY ENDING. Going in blind to the last book may hurt, but I’m also stoked for it. The reveals and action can only go up from here.

The pacing is on point and the way information is rolled out never feels like an info dump or not quite enough to go off of. We’re given direction as needed and I love the world-building around a defunct society. It’s got a level of creep, some radicals, and those just trying to make it through the day. I’ve been real hesitant to read any dystopian as of late, but this one is definitely a hit.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sci-fi / dystopia
  • Language: very little light language (some cases of using funk as a bad word)
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: robots fighting, fire, magic, physical, swords, explosions, guns

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Book Review

Book Review: Only Human (Themis Files #3) by Sylvain Neuvel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Science fiction
Length: 336 pages
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

A STEP BACKWARDS.

I have been loving this series and I’m a general stickler when it comes to science fiction. The first book was good, the second was great, and this one fell flat. I’m not sure what quite happened, but it didn’t click as well as the rest.

For starters, I did not like Eva at allllll. She was annoying, very abrasive, unwilling to listen to anyone about anything, and ran off whenever she could. I couldn’t handle her disrespect for others and a myriad of other issues. Unfortunately she was a big part of this story and was happy she had a resolution for the end, but was otherwise unimpressed.

I missed having Vincent and Kara as the stars. I really grew to love their relationship. It was this weirdly beautiful, opposites attract kind of thing that I was all over. Without this dynamic duo playing a bigger role and being mostly in the background it left be bummed.

I loved Rose and Mr. Burns though. They were a good duo that brought so many interesting theories and points out. I didn’t realize just how crucial Mr. Burns was to the entire series! He was this odd, chipper man that always had a story to help Dr. Franklin. Rose was a favorite because she actually did try to understand what was happening and wanted to be a solution. I appreciated her work in trying to figure out how to handle the aliens and what would help the world survive.

This at times got weirdly political (as if it was remarking on things happening today). I tend to stay away from books like that personally because I prefer to use reading as an escape. I hear that stuff all the time and didn’t need to have it repeated from the author’s opinion in a book.

There wasn’t a lot that actually happened over the course of this particular installment. A lot of flashbacks to a different location (10 years prior) took up a ton of space in this already small novel. Anytime we flipped to the present things weren’t progressing at all and I didn’t know which time period I preferred. All I really remember are people arguing. That’s how I remember this book. I wish more time had been spent solving the at present issues rather than giving me a ton of backstory to things that have already happened.

Overall audience notes:

  • Science fiction
  • Language: a lot of strong language throughout (personally thought it was too much)
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: war, battles, poison, cancer, threats, robots battling, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Science fiction
Length: 336 pages
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

THE AUDIO BOOKS ARE AMAZING.

I love how quick to listen (and I’m sure read) these books are. The full cast brings all of these characters to life and makes it a very enjoyable read.

This story is so trippy! It’s a sci-fi and dystopian kinda book. Waking Gods starts 10 years after the first book and now that we have the layout of the giants and aliens it makes this book a lot more engaging. There’s so much technical mojo about genetics, and science in general that can be a lot to listen to. Once that’s all understood, it makes the story even wilder. I didn’t see the reasoning about why the aliens were on Earth and thought it was awesome.

I have really connected with all of these characters and was DEVASTATED to lose a few of them. Listening to their stories and getting to know them on many levels really forged my connections with them. I’m invested and cheering in their corner.

The action is top notch and with the unique style it’s written in (multiple dossiers that are interviews, new casts, etc.) makes things that much more intense. I feel like I’m listening to a movie as characters witness the full scale devastation these aliens robots were causing around the world. This totally rattled me and I hope there’s nothing actually like this out there. Because NOOOOPE.

Overall audience notes:

  • Science fiction
  • Language: strong language throughout
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: torture, physical, giants machines committing mass murder
  • Trigger warnings: suicide ideation, mentions of off-screen rape, torture

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Book Review

Book Review: The Alloy of Law (Mistborn: The Alloy Era #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Length: 332 pages
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: November 8th, 2011
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. 

After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

I LOVE THIS PARTNERSHIP.

Wax and Wayne ALL DAY LONG. Also, that’s a really great naming pair. And I just realized that it was probably done on purpose and I love it.

I was nervous going in because I didn’t know how it would all shake out being 300 years after the end of Mistborn (which brought all the tears, of course). Sanderson never fails though. I was completely captured by the modern and updated cities. What was the most impressive was the addition and evolution of the magic system.

The magic system now contains people who have twin powers and mixed blood of the different races that were around during the original Mistborn. I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling, but trust me. It is amazing how Sanderson creates his worlds. I am forever in aw of how every little thing makes sense.

This was like a western movie. We had gun-slinging cops, damsels in distress, a duo who are best pals with one of them always adding humor, a gorgeous girl and much more. I LOVED IT. That’s pretty much all I have to say because I enjoyed it that much. It had everything I was looking for and even better, the audio was top notch (as usual, because it’s the same narrator he’s had for all of his books).

If you’re curious about trying this new era out, DO IT. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Romance: some mentions of becoming engaged, and liking different people, but nothing explicit
  • Language: none
  • Violence: guns, magic, swords, explosions

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Book Review

Book Review: Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Sci-fi + Fantasy
Length: 757 pages
Author: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile, has returned to the Core. Determined to bring peace back to mankind at the edge of his sword, he must overcome or unite the treacherous Gold families of the Core and face down Darrow over the skies of war-torn Mercury. 

But theirs are not the only fates hanging in the balance.

On Luna, Mustang, Sovereign of the Republic, campaigns to unite the Republic behind her husband. Beset by political and criminal enemies, can she outwit her opponents in time to save him? 

Once a Red refugee, young Lyria now stands accused of treason, and her only hope is a desperate escape with unlikely new allies.

Abducted by a new threat to the Republic, Pax and Electra, the children of Darrow and Sevro, must trust in Ephraim, a thief, for their salvation—and Ephraim must look to them for his chance at redemption.

As alliances shift, break, and re-form—and power is seized, lost, and reclaimed—every player is at risk in a game of conquest that could turn the Rising into a new Dark Age.

LIVED UP TO ITS NAME.

It’s not often that I read a book where I can clearly see that it was named appropriately. HOLY COW Y’ALL. I can’t even begin to cover the darkness, and amazingness of this book.

My notes for this book were allllll over the place. I have so many caps sections of me shouting WHAT IS HAPPENING. All of my characters were [okay, still are] strewn across planets and in various disarrays of maybe dead, definitely captured, hope they’re alive, scenarios. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT? I need a dose of happiness before this is all over or I’ll cry. I want my babes to be happy. They gosh dang DESERVE IT.

This without a doubt, kept me on my toes. It took me about 100ish pages to really get into it because I was having a hard time remembering who everyone was, and some specifics of what happened in previous books. It is insane how much work clearly goes into making these sci-fi masterpieces. I am astounded at the writing (though I do wish it wasn’t so vulgar at times – you win some you lose some), and how easily captivating it is to keep flipping pages. I am deeply invested in everyone’s lives at this point. There’s barely a moment to catch your breath as the bombardment of action hits you over and over.

I want to rattle off a hundred reasons I love MY main characters (those being: Virginia, Darrow, Victra & Sevro). These original four are so flawed and so full of strength that I cheer for them at every turn. I love that they make mistakes, love deeply and care a great deal about what happens in their world. Everyone has occasions of boldness, passionate monologues and lethal how are they that good at killing moments. Even better, characters like Lysander had me questioning who’s side I was on (only for a little bit y’all, he’s a great villain).

All of this sounds great right? Well, the reason I gave it 4 1/2 stars vs. 5 is because of one scene. It was way too dark for me personally and I haven’t seen the purpose of it other than to be realllll cruel. I actually put the book down for a few when it happened. I will mention it with a spoiler warning prior in my Overall audience notes section!

Can’t get enough of this series regardless. I am in awe at the behemoth of a book this was. Absolutely amazing and I highly recommend catching up with this series! I’m not a huge sci-fi lover, but these have really become a winner.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult sci-fi
  • Language: a lot of strong language and often crude/vulgar in nature
  • Romance: a few kisses, towards the end a few little detailed fade to black love scenes
  • Violence: okay, I have no way of conveying all of the violence that happened literally every page so a small breakdown would be: explosions, war, battle scenes, swords, poison, storms, mobs, torture [all scenes are very bloody, gory & very detailed]
  • Trigger warnings: a lot of mentions of off screen rape, now: SPOILER ALERT (from what I mentioned in my review): the scene that I thought was too much was that of Victra’s murdered NEW-BORN nailed to a tree; NAILED.

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Book Review

Book Review: Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Sci-fi + Fantasy
Length: 320 pages
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped 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 – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

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 relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

DEFINITELY INTERESTING.

This was great as an audiobook! There’s a whole cast that really brings the book to life. I honestly think it influenced how much I like it. The book itself is also short, so it was quick and easy to get through in no time.

I started out wondering why in the world nobody was questioning this random interviewer who seems to be making some sort of record about the giant being assembled. Then, as the book went along he turned from what I thinking was a bad guy to a good guy? I honestly don’t know where he stands, but this transition alone has me really intrigued about his true role in the story.

The formatting was dynamite for this type of novel. Written in interviews, journal logs, etc. I really felt connected and invested in the characters. They all went through so much in the time span I got to see them. What happens next?!

It was really trippy putting this in a now day and age concept. Thinking that there’s some crazy massive pieces to a metal god underneath us? Whaaaaat. The politics of it all was well put in and didn’t overtake the story. A lot of worlds colliding and unknown allies and enemies.

Definitely ended on a cliff-hanger that had me questioning everything and quickly putting a hold on the next audiobook ASAP.

Overall audience notes:

  • Sci-fi + Fantasy
  • Language: some light language
  • Romance: some kisses, light description of a love scene; discussion of sleeping with others
  • Violence: explosions, car accident (with malicious intent), medical procedures done without consent, medical experimentation

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