Gritty short story collection by some of fantasy’s best authors like Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, and Holly Black with urban settings. Dark and atmospheric, great fantasy read.
The two volumes of “Crossovers” are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with each other and real people throughout history. The premise of the book was inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England, in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he explored the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by Win Scott Eckert and others to become the “Crossover Universe.” Mr. Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. (Mr. Spock himself claimed Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor of his!) There are 2000 entries in this chronology and 300 illustrations. Reading these two books is fun and will send you scurrying to find many of the stories and books that are referenced.
Do you ever cheer for the monster? Wish that you were an evil genius? Think that the mad scientist should win once in a while? Then The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the book for you. Full of nefarious plots and slavering Igors, it is a wildly entertaining romp of short stories where the superheros are often just stupid saps and the wicked do not get their just deserts. Muahahahahaha!
Elvie is 16 and pregnant. Since this is 2074, options for pregnant teens include things like low-orbit space ships that are retrofitted as boarding schools for pregnant teenaged girls. Elvie’s father decided she should take that option and Elvie doesn’t really care, so long as she can give birth as quickly and painlessly as possible, give the baby up for adoption and get back to studying for the PSATs. Life on board the Echidna wouldn’t be so terrible if a)Elvie’s arch-nemesis, Britta, wasn’t also on board and b)a troop of laser-gun wielding guys hadn’t taken over the ship. Britta’s your classic mean-girl-cheerleader type and she’s been hating on Elvie since they were kids. To make matters worse, Britta’s baby-daddy is the same as Elvie’s. The guys with the laser guns aren’t terrible, but their ship blows up right after they board and the Echidna begins leaking oxygen at an alarming rate. In the meantime, laser-gun-guys have some revelations for the girls that will change their lives forever. Assuming, you know, they survive this ordeal.
Elvie is a super-fun narrator, she’s about the snarkiest of the snarky and I love her for it. Britta is annoyingly evil as is her pal, Other Cheerleader (so dubbed due to her complete lack of independent personality). Baby-daddy Cole is a *mostly* loveable buffoon that Elvie can’t help but fall for. The plot moves at light-speed and the humor never lets up. There’s some subtly smart stuff going on that just might make the reader rethink how they view personhood. Awesome! I’m very interested to see where this series is headed.
Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah are still trekking East on their quest to find the jet. They are still really from the loss of Tom at Gameland. They rescue a child from a zombie hord and meet Riot and the Reapers. Riot is trying to lead a group to Sanctuary when they were attacked by the Reapers. The Reapers, led by Saint John and Mother Rose, are trying to finish what the zombie plague began and end humanity. Our group gets separated and danger finds each of them. In addition to the Reapers, they also discover the remnants of humanity. There is hope for them if only they can find Sanctuary.
These books are about so much more than zombies. It is about humanity and what the human race is capable of, both good and evil. I am glad we find out more about what is going on outside of the mountain communities in this book. We learn that there is a form of civilization left who is working on saving what is left of humanity. Whereas some of the previous books were about evil and despair this one is ends with hope (amid all the evil and despair). I can’t wait for the fourth and final book in this series.
The Book of the Night is the final book in Pearl North’s trilogy. In this book the people of Libyrinth learns the true history of their world and how and why it was created. The Book of the Night has always been a legendary book in this world of books. When Haly finds the book it rocks the very foundation of their world. On the other side of the world Queen Thela has the Lion’s Bloom, the pen that can rewrite reality. Po is trying to keep her from using it, but eventually her ambition will get the better of her.
I love books about books and this world is a book lover’s dream. I would love to visit the library where every book in the world is available. I really enjoy this world and its characters. I think this is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. We see how all the characters end up and find out what Libyrinth really is. I enjoy that this world is populated by a good mix of people: men and women of all stations of life and representing all populations. In this world everyone is represented equally even if they do not have an equal station in society. This series is definitely worth the read.
Aurora is the final book in Julie Bertagna’s trilogy of a water destroyed world. It has been many years since the events in Zenith. Mara and her group are settled in the mountains of the north. Fox and Pandora are setting up rebellion in New Mungo and throughout the other skycities. Lily, Fox and Mara’s daughter, finds out about her missing father and sets off to find him.
This is an enjoyable finale to this series. It finishes up the stories of all our main characters and brings them back together. However, it feels a little disjointed as if the stories are not connected. I am also not a fan of the ending. There is so much set up in the reunion of the characters and then Bertagna leaves us hanging with no reunion scene. I do enjoy the world of these novels though. It is a not-improbable future where the oceans have risen and flooded the world. The remnants of humanity are scattered across the world in boat cities and the highest ground and in skycities created after the world ended.
In the future the earth is plagued with Aether storms that destroy people and crops. The survivors have divided into two groups. Those that live in pods and spend most of their time in psuedo-reality Realms and those who live outside in tribes surviving however they can. Aria lives in Reverie, one of the pods, with her mother Lumina. Lumina leaves Reverie and Aria doesn’t hear from her for over a week. This leads her to a dangerous plan that ultimately gets her kicked out of the pods. She has never been outside and doesn’t know how to survive. Peregrine, Perry, is an outsider, a savage to Aria. He teams up with Aria in order to save his nephew who has been kidnapped by the pod people or moles. Together they must learn to trust each other and survive the outside world. Along the way they discover things about each other and their world.
While Under the Never Sky doesn’t really break any new ground in the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/sci-fi genre it is an entertaining read. Aria and Perry are both very interesting characters set in their ways and forced to realize that things are exactly how they thought they were. I enjoyed their journey, both the physical and the mental one. I’m glad that Rossi didn’t go for the immediate romance angle. Aria is understandably frightened of Perry and her situation at the beginning, but they grudgingly learn to trust each other and their romance progresses naturally. I was also intrigued by the outsiders enhanced senses. They seem like some kind of natural genetic mutation caused by the Aether storms. I like the fact that these mutants have status and power in the outsider societies. I guess my complaints about the book are the lack of explanation for how the world came to be like it is, what exactly the Aether is and what caused it, how the world became divided and how the pod-people live most of their lives in the Realms but still move around their physical environment. These things might be explained in future books in the series. Even though I had a lot of questions it didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. It was entertaining and intriguing.
Cinder’s story picks up right where we left off. She is in prison waiting to be sent to Luna and her execution, but not for long. She quickly escapes with another prisoner, steals a ship and takes off. She is determined to learn more about herself and her connection to Luna, which leads her to Scarlet. Cinderella has been joined by Little Red Riding Hood (wearing a red hoody of course). Scarlet lives on a farm in France with her grand-mere. Grand-mere has been kidnapped and Scarlet is determined to get her back. She meets Wolf who claims to help her, but truly knows more than he is letting on.
I love this series. It is becoming one of my favorites and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Meyer does a fantastic job combining the fairy tales with her futuristic society. I love that we learn more about Luna in this book and what they are planning for Earth. Meyer has truly created a fascinating cast of characters and a story that draws the reader in.
The two volumes of this book are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with real people throughout history. The premise of this book is inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he detailed the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by others into the Crossover Universe. Win Scott Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. Reading these two books is a fun and highly addictive experience!
Zita and her friend Joseph find a meteorite hole with a strange button. Zita, being the curious girl she is, pushes the button. Joseph is sucked through a portal. Zita follows him to a strange world that is on the brink of annihilation by an asteroid. Zita must find Joseph before the planet is destroyed. Along the way she meets a unique cast of characters: battle bot One, giant mouse Mouse, broken down robot Randy and Strong Strong (not sure what he is other than an alien!). They set off to rescue Joseph from the Scriptorians at the Castle. The Scriptorians think Joseph is the savior who will destroy the asteroid.
I really enjoyed Zita. She is spunky and ready for adventure. Her friends are equally as entertaining. I think this is a great graphic novel for middle grades, especially girls.
In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.
I enjoyed this second book of the series much more than the first. While the first really focused on the religious aspect of the land and characters, this one focuses more on the political intrigue of a person in power. And it is more difficult when that person is a 17 year old queen, who never imagined she would be in this position. I cannot wait for the next book.
Eve Spiker has just been hit by a truck. Her leg is nearly severed and her arm is crushed. Her mother whisks her out of the county hospital to move Eve to the family’s biotech facility where Eve will, ostensibly, heal better. A few blurry days later, Eve is surprised to find that not only is her leg intact, it doesn’t really even hurt anymore. To bide the time while Eve is recuperating, her mother gives her a task that involves testing the facility’s new genetic manipulation computer program. It’s set up like a game or puzzle and every component of the human is able to be controlled by the creator. Eve begins to build the perfect (simulated) boy.
In the meantime, a boy around Eve’s age, Solo, has been living in the biotech facility and planning its downfall. Solo knows as much or more about the facility that its own creators, which means he knows not only all the good they are capable of, but all the bad as well. His plans seemed so straightforward before meeting Eve…Both of them are about to discover that Spiker Biotech has more secrets than anyone could have dreamed possible.
And then there’s Adam; a further complication for all parties involved.
Fast-paced and humorous, Eve and Adam is an entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking novel about what makes us human, right down to our DNA.
You’re not suppose to judge a book by it’s cover but I couldn’t resist this book about an unusual book store in San Francisco where patrons show up at odd hours to borrow books. When Clay Jannon is job hunting by foot he sees a help wanted sign at the book store. He is just looking for employment but the owner asks him “What do you seek in these shelves”. When he is hired to work the late shift he must keep a log of all customers, what they wore and what they said. Clay is like his friends reliant on the internet for most things. His girlfriend works at Google and they use the internet to try to solve a puzzle that the patrons who borrow old and strange books have been working on for years. I really enjoyed this story and how the mystery is solved. Not sure why it’s a science fiction novel.
I am definitely a fan of Elizabeth Scott; I have loved everything I have read of hers. Everything she writes is different, evocative, and intriguing. This book was confusing and annoying at times but I could not put it down.
Ava wakes not knowing where she is or who she is. She is told that she has amnesia and introduced to her mother Jane. Eva does not recognize her mother nor anything about her life. She does have memories and flashes of another Ava and another life. These memories are of a world under surveillance the world where nothing is private and everything is known by the government. In that world Ava is a listener who spies for the government. These memories bring on headaches and confusion and does the appearance of Morgan someone from her memories.
This story is told from Ava’s point of view and because she doesn’t know everything we do not know everything. The book is a confusing mix of this world and the dystopian world of Ava’s memories. Scott never tells the whole story. We are left wondering what exactly is going on. Is it parallel universes, time travel, or something else? This book is not for your average reader. the text is sparse and the narrative bare. If you are a reader who likes to know what is going on you will probably not enjoy this book; however, if you like an interesting story and bit of confusion this just might be the books for you.
Ship Breaker tells the story of Nailer, a teenager living in a futuristic society where large, beached ships are stripped for their materials. Nailer works on the “light crew,” pulling copper out of the abandoned ships to meet the quotas of his boss. One day he finds a large clipper that has only one survivor–a beautiful, young, swank (rich) girl. Suddenly Nailer has to make the decision to break the ship down for all its worth and become instantly rich, or save the girls’ life.
I enjoyed this book as it is the first dystopian novel I’ve read that actually made me think the way Nailer lives could possibly be the US in the near future. A loose representation of the decline of culture, government, and social classes, this was a very interesting dystopian novel. I look forward to seeing what happens to Nailer in the next book.
The first book left off with the kidnapping of Mrs. King. In Watcher in the Woods, the King Family commences their search for her, quickly realizing that they must learn more about the worlds behind the mysterious doors and have a well thought out plan before they just jump to the task. Unfortunately, they must also pretend everything is normal at home and go about their daily lives to avoid attracting unwanted attention. When a stranger appears and tries to force them to sell the house, their desperation to find Mrs. King is doubled. This second book was just as good as the first. Full of suspense and of course ending in a really exciting cliffhanger, I am looking forward to reading the third one.