Enthralling and Exciting. I did Not want to put this down. And the book stayed with me for days afterwards.
It also reminded me of several other books – the initiation and bullying kept reminding me of Ender’s Game, and The Giver, as well as somewhat like Tamora Pierce’s Alana series (and also Tom Brown’s Schooldays, and Lord of the Flies, but Not that bad). I enjoyed this book a lot, and look forward to the 2nd and 3rd books. I’m even considering purchasing Amazon’s companion minibooks told from Four’s perspective – and normally, I don’t buy books, I keep my collection at the Library.
The Earth is slowing, days are getting longer, the planet is not in sync with clocks anymore. It starts as 56 minutes, then gradually lengthens until the days can last weeks as the Earth slowly moves towards its demise. Julie is an 11-year-old girl when the slowing starts. She tells us the story of how plants and animals withered and died, how people grew sick from gravity sickness, how the world fractured into those living on clock-time and those living on real-time, and of how the Earth died.
This is not a fast-paced, action-packed apocalyptic book. It is a slow, measured study of the end of the world. Even at the end of the world, Julie is still dealing with boys and friends and her parent’s marriage problems. She experiences friendships growing apart, her first love, her mother’s manic worry, and her father’s infidelity. This is set against the background of food shortages, species extinction, radiation from the sun and people disappearing.
On paper this seems more like a young teen novel, but it is written for adults. Julie is telling the story as an adult looking back on her life as an 11-year-old. As such, the voice is not always what you would expect from an 11-year-old girl; some of her insights are too wise, some of her foreshadowing too precise. I enjoyed Julie, but I don’t think this is a book for everyone. For those used to a different type of end of the world saga, they will probably be frustrated by the slow pace. For those wanting answers and scientific facts, they will be disappointed in the lack. We just know the Earth is slowing and the world is dying; we do not know why or how. Therefore, we just have to live our lives and hope for the best.
Seth wakes up outside his childhood home in England. This wouldn’t be unusually except Seth just died. He can vividly remember drowning, and his family moved to Washington years ago. So why is Seth naked outside of an abandoned house in England? And why is everything deserted and desolate and empty. There is no one else in this world and Seth has no idea what is going on. One thing he does know is he doesn’t like to sleep because sleep brings dreams of his life before and the reasons he killed himself.
This book is part mystery, part science fiction, part dystopian and a whole lot of fun. I think the magic of Patrick Ness is that he never really gives you all the information; you have to decide what you think is going on and what happens at the end. I loved the dual story lines as we learn about Seth’s past and his present and what may or may not have happened to the world. Very intriguing story that will leave you wanting more.
I got this ARC from Courtney who got it at ALA 2013. Thanks!
In the future, a group has fled Earth and someone ended up in another universe. Val and Jayce are young boys growing up on a space station in the beta universe. Their dad is working on a way to get them back to alpha earth, but hasn’t been successful yet. They are dared into making a jump by their cousin. Instead of jumping to another planet, they jump to another universe. There someone they are still able to communicate with their universe and they intercept an SOS from a girl stuck on this earth. They have to outrun pirates, space station guards and their sinister uncle and commander of the space station.
This is a fun, space adventure for kids. However, I like characters who are a little more realistic than Val and Jayce. They are almost too perfect in that they are super smart and basically can do anything they want; I like my characters to have a few more flaws. I thought the multi-universe concept was interesting, but got a bit tangled at the end. I am still not sure about the science behind the ideas in this book. If they can’t even get back to the main universe how could they get an SOS and/or communicate across universes?
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.com.
Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi—the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony.
Although this is supposed to be the first in a series, I can’t quite see how the future stories will turn out, based on this one. It’s another that would make for some interesting conversation. What would it be like to grow up in a world where you used your mind to do everything in your daily life and how to view people without the same abilities?
Imagine a love that transcends time; a love that will manifest seven times. That is the story of Eric and Merle or Erik and Melle. The story starts at the end in the year 2073 on the strange island of Blessed when Eric and Merle meet. But this is not the first time they have met; this is the last. We see each previous time as we travel backwards to the beginning. Eric and Merle are always present and always on Blessed Island, but they are not always the same lovers. Sometimes they are brother and sister, sometimes mother and son, sometimes father and daughter and sometimes doomed lovers. We learn their stories in each chapter until we get to the beginning and find out how their doomed love began.
This was an amazing book. The storytelling was pretty much perfect and I really couldn’t put it down. I loved Eric and Merle each time we met them and I really liked that they were not always lovers. Sedgwick explored all the types of love in their seven lives. I like the mystery of the island and its secret side with the dragon orchids which may or may not make you eternally young. I liked that some of the other characters seem to travel through time with our lovers. Their lives are intertwined and doomed to repeat over and over again. I think my favorite story might have been The Painter, but I enjoyed them all. This is a spooky, fascinating love story that will really stick with you.
In the distant future planet Earth has barely survived attack by an alien race referred to as the “Buggers” for their bug-like appearance. Even though Earth was able to drive the enemy back everyone is waiting for the day when the alien force returns even stronger. All children are monitored as toddlers to early school age to see if they have what it takes to become part of the planets defense force especially leadership material. Young Ender Wiggin is deemed the perfect candidate to be trained up as the commander of the whole military force. He leaves his family at age 6 for rigorous training. He is constantly watched and tested by the teachers and military leaders who believe he may be the only chance for Earth’s survival against the enemy that they know so little about and understand even less. But is Ender clever enough and strong enough to be what the military is looking for? How can a child accomplish what no adult has been able to do so far?
The history of the zombie apocalypse told through a series of interviews with survivors, politicians, soldiers, and others. This is not the zombie war up close and personal; it is recollections told years after the hostilities have calmed down. We learn how the outbreak started, what the first responses were and how each country handled the great panic and cleanup. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. I didn’t feel like I was getting a complete picture of the World War Z. I thought the beginning was pretty fragmented and a little hard to follow. But then I got into the story and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to learn more about what happened and how the people handled it. I loved that we got a picture of the entire world and how different groups handled things differently. My quibble is that I didn’t feel like things were adequately explained. It seemed like there were some geopolitical changes in the world that must have happened before the war and we are just supposed to know what they were. I also think I would have liked less broad and more specific information. As much as I love stand alone books it seems like there was so much information that this book would have benefited from being a duo or trilogy.
Cully lives with his three aunts on their apple farm. His dad has been missing/run away for several months now. Cully gets a job at Batty’s Antiques and finds out that Batty is doing more than buying old stuff. His hobby is collecting shadows. He has a special machine that can steal your shadow and save it. What does he do with the shadows? He makes invisibility cloaks for spy agencies. It is the height of the Cold War after all and there are spies everywhere. Taking shadows isn’t the innocent process it seems at first. People change when they no longer have a shadow; they are no longer themselves. Cully finds out that Batty has taken his father’s shadow and will do anything to get it back. With the help of his aunts, his friend Sam and Batty’s granddaughter Isabell, Cully sets out to rescue the shadows and put an end to Batty’s business.
This was a nice change of pace from your average book. I like the concept of shadow collecting and how Amy Gordon really thought out the shadow process. Younger shadows are darker and have more staying ability, shadows can be sewn together to make cloaks, children’s shadows can not be separated, and that your shadow contains the darkest part of you and without the shadow that part goes back into you. This is all very intriguing and she does a great job on the mystery of the shadows and Cully’s determination to get his father back. I like how unique all the characters are and how they all seem to have their own story to tell. I especially liked Isabell’s journey in the book. She goes from being a know-it-all who no one likes to becoming part of the family; I really liked how this affected her shadow. Wonderful, intriguing story.
Imagine you go to a huge high school in Phoenix. Imagine this high school gets locked down everyday; it has a huge fence with spikes on the top and locked gates. Now imagine the zombie apocalypse starting during an assembly at this school. That is what happens in Sick. Brian and his friends are in the last period of the day when all hell breaks loose. Kids are sick; infected with something that turns them into zombies determined to suck your bones and eat your flesh. Brian and crew barricade themselves in the drama department, but he is determined to find his sister and girlfriend and get out of the school.
There is nothing revolutionary about this take on the zombie apocalypse, but it was definitely a fun, exciting read. The zombies are a little different in that their skin crystallizes and they start walking on all fours. I thought the tension in the book was great, the horror was just right and the kids were all written perfectly. Everyone reacted differently to the circumstances and I thought everyone’s reactions were justified. There were no weird revelations or stereotypes to deal with. This is just a straight up zombie book for teens and it is worth the read.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
In the not-too-distant future, plans are being made to bring mankind back to the moon. It’s been decades since the first astronauts set foot on the lunar surface and NASA has now decided to send a new crew up. The twist this time is that they’ve decided to send three teenagers (for the ratings, ostensibly). A giant, world-wide lottery is held and three are chosen: Midori (a trendy Harajuku girl who longs to see the world), Antoine (the broken-hearted Parisian who wants to get as far away from his ex as possibly), and Mia (a musican from Norway who honestly has no desire to go to the moon, but is signed up by her parents and goes anyway). After their training, they’re off to be the first inhabitants on DARLAH-2, a space station that was built in the ’70′s but the existence of which has only just been made known to the public. Things go smoothly until the teens and their accompanying astronauts arrive at the station. First, the power goes out. Then people start dying.
I picked this up, thinking it was going to be a sci-fi book but was surprised to discover that this book is far more horror than sci-fi. The setting, however, did add to the claustrophobic feel- earth is days away, which means no rescue and nowhere to run. There’s a pervasive feeling of dread throughout in spite of the excitement that surrounds the fanfare put forth by NASA (the narrative is interspersed with advertisements promoting the lottery, as well as photos and diagrams from the mission itself).
I wound up using this book as one of my high school book group’s selections, with great success. There was plenty to discuss and all agreed that the book was definitely creepy. One girl claimed to have screamed. I, personally, had a few issues with the premise itself (i.e. who would ever think it’s a good idea to send minors into space?). I was also very unclear as to the nature of the menace facing the kids and crew. This was likely intentional, but still a bit frustrating. Overall, an unusual reading experience. Gotta love YA lit for its genre-blending tendencies.
In book one of the Klaatu Diskos, we are introduced to Tucker Feye and we follow his journeys through time as he attempts to find his missing family. In book two, we focus on Lah Lia, the strange girl that Tucker’s father brought back to town after going missing the first time. It’s always been clear that Lah Lia is not an ordinary girl, but her story adds entirely new dimensions to the Klaatu Diskos world.
Born and raised as a sacrifice for the Lah Sept, Lah Lia is scheduled to be sacrificed when Tucker and his father come through the Diskos atop the Cydonian Pyramid. Lah Lia is able to escape the knife and throws herself into the nearest Disko. When she reaches Tucker’s time, she realizes that their time lines are intertwined and that, by avoiding her own fate, she may have undone history.
In the meantime, Tucker has found himself stranded in the Arctic, which is not a particularly convenient place for a Disko to deposit a person.
The Klaatu Diskos really starts taking off with the second book in the series. For every question that is answered, several more crop up. Hautman has created a universe that challenges and subverts in new and intriguing ways.
Joey Harker’s adventures continue in this, the sequel to InterWorld. Joey has saved the Altiverse and he and his alternate selves are continuing their missions to keep the peace. A mission goes awry when a girl named Acacia follows Joey back to base. Since the entire base is populated with alternate versions of Joey, a new face is big news. And potentially big trouble.
Confession time: I read this because the first book was so much fun and Neil Gaiman had a hand in it. I had assumed that Gaiman also had a hand in this since his name comes first on the cover. In larger print than the title. Then I realized that the cover really just reads “a story by…”, which means that, since Gaiman co-wrote the first book, he’s still getting credit for the second. But he didn’t write it, so don’t get your hopes up if you’re really into Gaiman’s work. I’m not saying this book is bad; that’s totally not the case. It isn’t quite as good as the first book either though. It might be because it’s been several years in between books or perhaps because Michael Reaves had his wife replacing Gaiman as the second half of the writing team, but for one reason or another, this installment just kind of falls flat compared to the first. Still an entertaining, if somewhat confusing, sci-fi romp.
The small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is faced with a big dilemma when it is mysteriously sealed off by an invisible and completely impenetrable force field. With cars and airplanes exploding on contact, the force field has completely isolated the townspeople from the outside world. Now, Iraq war vet Dale Barbara and a group of the town’s more sensible citizens must overcome the tyrannical rule of Big Jim Rennie, a politician bent on controlling everything within the Dome.
I enjoyed this huge novel, even though it took me longer than I wanted! I liked the alien connection at the end and have to hope that could never really happen. I will say that I am totally disappointed in the TV version of this book, it really doesn’t match up much, in fact, a lot of it is opposite from the book. I would recommend it to any King fan.
Mia comes to Porthaven because her grandpa has gone missing. Her grandma and mom are devastated. In Porthaven, there isn’t a lot to do but worry and work in the pub her grandparents own. While she is out exploring one day, Mia discovers a boat and on the boat is a diary of a young girl, also frustrated with how she is spending her days. Mia starts writing to Dee in the diary and even though they have never met, Dee responds. Then Mia meets Peter, another teen vacationing in Porthaven. They become friends and Mia shares her frustration with never seeing Dee. Peter decides to take the boat and pick her up on the island she lives on. Then Peter disappears, or did he? Mia and Peter’s sister Sal set out to discover what happened to Peter and why things seem to appear different when they are on the boat.
I wasn’t sure where this book was going when I started reading it, but it ended up being a nice little time travel story. The mystery of it kept me turning the pages as I really wanted to know what happened to Peter and Mia’s grandpa. I loved the twist at the end. Didn’t see it coming and thought it made the story really interesting.
I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley. Thank you!
Under the Dome takes place in Chester’s Mill, Maine, a town King uses in his novels from time to time. The lives of the people of this small quaint town are abruptly torn apart when a giant dome falls over their town. No way in and no way out and it’s worse if the dome came down upon you. Like caged animals, you learn the true nature of your fellow neighbor when there is no place to hide. How did the dome come to life? Is it a government study or maybe aliens…man made or mass hysteria…read and find out.
I’ve been reading John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, the first in the series by the same name. It is, as expected, fantastic. Fans of hard sci fi and character-driven sci fi are sure to love it.
Scalzi, the mind behind Star Gate Universe, successfully blends the cold logic of military science fiction with the emotionally driven character drama he brought to SGU. This is a mix that could go horribly wrong, but Scalzi gets it right. The only thing I would change is the long build-up, but even that isn’t terrible.
Old Man’s War is a fantastic story. It combines action, adventure, war, friendship, exploration and even love. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
This book is a compilation of two previous anthologies: “Give Me Liberty” and “Visions of Liberty,” containing 17 short stories in total. They contain a mixture of old classics by renowned science fiction writers, and newer stories with the same theme: the pursuit of freedom and liberty in the near and distant future, both on Earth and in outer space. The stories tend towards a libertarian or anarchist outlook, though are not limited to those philosophies. Some of the stories show how a truly free and cooperative society could operate, and these speculations, though not always practical in the real world, are intriguing. Other stories show how a “primitive” society could successfully resist a large Empire.
Most of these stories were new to me, though several of them (“And Then There Were None” by Eric Frank Russell, and “The Weapon Shop” by A.E. van Vogt) are old favorites and are some of my favorite stories of all time. The quality of the stories in this collection is consistently high, and other featured authors include Lloyd Biggle, Jr., Vernor Vinge, Murray Leinster, Frank Herbert, Robert Sawyer, Michael Stackpole, Jack Williamson, and James P. Hogan. I highly recommend this collection!
What if the Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t end with both sides backing down? What if Russia really did drop bombs on the US? And what if your family was the only one with a bomb shelter?
This is the premise for Fallout by Todd Strasser. The neighbors think Scott’s dad is crazy when he installs a bomb shelter under a new addition to the house, but when the bombs start dropping everyone wants in. In the end, several neighbors manage to push their way into the shelter with Scott’s family. His mom gets hurt in the process. So now the shelter, which was meant for four, holds ten and tensions are on the rise. There isn’t enough food or water or air for everyone. One of the other men keeps pushing at Scott’s dad and his mom is suffering from a head injury. They have no idea what has happened above or who has even survived.
The story is told in alternating chapters with the current events in the bomb shelter and the events leading up to the present. Scott and his friends are normal kids at that time. His friend Ronnie is all about the girls…he is only interested in girls and boobs and Playboys. He and his mom and dad have made it into the shelter. The one girl on the block also made it in with her dad (who is causing all the tension), but her mom and brother did not. Scott’s brother and their housekeeper are also present. After who knows how many days, they are out of food, too tired to do anything and running out of time. They must get out, but is it safe above?
I really enjoyed this book. It seemed very true to the time with the paranoia and indifference. I thought the tension in the shelter was spot on. These people were confined in too tight quarters with not enough supplies and no idea what is happening in the outside world. Tensions are bound to rise. I think my only complaint, and it is a minor one, was the names for the neighborhood kids. Besides Scott and Ronnie, no one has a normal name! They have names like: Freak O’ Nature, Sparky, Why Can’t You Be More Like Johnny, Puddin’ Belly Wright and so forth. Seriously! It got confusing and old. Other than that I really liked the book. It is set up as a series as this one ends on a question mark.
I received this book from the Publishers on Netgalley.com. Thanks!