Science Fiction Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

Book Review: Avalon

Hello Everyone,

The cover is so intriguing!

Title: Avalon

Author: Mindee Arnette

Series: Book 1

Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

Page Count: 400

Goodreads Summary:

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.

My Thoughts:

This was proclaimed as a For fans of Josh Whedon’s cult classic television show Firefly comes a fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller from author Mindee Arnett, over on Google and I really feel like it is accurate description of the book, however Firefly remains top tier. Worth reading if missing Firefly otherwise unless you really like predictable teen science fiction, I’d give this a hard pass. I love Mindee Arnett’s books, but this just didn’t do it for me.

My Review:

Jeth, Celeste, Lizzy and others on his crew are hired by the ITA to find a missing ship in a place no one goes to anymore because bad things happen there. There’s a mystery surrounding his parents death and their being called traitors. Lots of hijinks ensue, being chased by all sorts of people and near death experiences while also Jeth is intent to buy his parents ship, Avalon, back. It’s all fun and games until the truth comes out.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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Science Fiction Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews

Physical Book Review: Victories Greater Than Death

Hello Everyone,

I read this book and wound up sadly dnf’ing it! I managed 55% before giving up out of frustration and annoyance. I know it’s a lot of people’s favorite but it just didn’t work for me.

Book Title: Victories Greater Than Death

Book Author: Charlie Jane Anders

Book Genre: SciFi/YA

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Tor Teen

Goodreads Summary:

Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy.

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic—she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed. Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachael, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she’ll have to save herself.

Buckle up your seatbelt for this thrilling sci-fi adventure set against an intergalactic war from international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders.

My Thoughts:

As mentioned, I wound up dnf’ing this book. It felt off. The writing was good, but I didn’t care for any of the characters at all. The pacing felt wrong and there was just an overall “meh” feeling to the story. This was really disappointing in that I so wanted to like this more than I did but…it just wasn’t for me. I may try again one day though I doubt it.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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Science Fiction Book Reviews

Anthology Review: The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed

Title: The Eagle Has Landed
Author: Anthology/Neil Clarke
Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Skyhorse
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook, Arc
Received: Netgalley
Review Word Count: 1000
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Definite recommendation for SciFi nerds!

This was a fascinating anthology about the moon landings, or people living on the moon and I jumped at the chance to read and review this book. I’ve been reading a lot of short fiction lately, from anthology collections to Tor’s Free Short Story Archive, to random other tidbits I’ve found here and there. My goal is to read one short story a day, perhaps more depending on what mood I’m in, or how impactful the story was and how much it lingers with me. And now that I’ve finished it, rating the stories on my goodreads review, I can say that this was a very well done anthology with several 4 star and 5 star short stories within, including two favorites which I really loved.

My overall two favorite stories were “A Walk in the Sun” by Geoffrey A. Landis and “How We Lost the Moon” by Paul J. MacAuley. Both were excellent, and there were several others that were high on my list of favorites as well. Neil Clarke definitely knows how to put together an anthology of great fiction, and I’m more interested than ever in seeing what other books he’s put together.

This took me two weeks to finish, rather a week and a half but put me in a little slump when I was done. I liked each story that was in here; there was nothing that I outright hated, which was unusual for an anthology for me, as there have been times where a few stories I simply could not stand-this was not the case here. Definitely made for science fiction, with little else in this book, I highly recommend it for scifi nerds like myself who love survival stories, as well as exploratory tales, and races against time.

My overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars, though I’ve settled on a 4/5 stars instead of rounding up, due to the slump it put me in as well as the few stories that simply weren’t to my taste. I feel that this will make a great read for those who are studying astronomy, or the moon, or the history of astronauts.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

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LGBT Book Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: Conviction

Conviction

Title: Conviction
Author: M. D. Neu
Series: Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Futuristic
Page Count: ?
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Release Date: March 15th
Type of Book: Ebook, Kindle Book, ARC
Review Word Count: 1000
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: This series continues to delight. It went a different area than what I expected, though still pulled through with a happy ending with plenty of things to resolve in the next book.

Following the continuation of Book One “Contact” which I read last year, and really enjoyed, I was delighted to find myself approved for this book within hours of requesting it. Therefore, my thanks to the publisher Nine Star Press, and I am pleased to have read and am reviewing almost immediately within receiving it. (If only all my requests worked out this way!)

Todd Landon is recovering from the attack that took his husband, and many of the Nantreaa that had arrived at Earth last year when they had first visited San Jose. He’s still grieving the loss, but he’s determined to help these visitors of another world settle in without too many hiccups along the way. Yet others are bound and determined to prevent them staying, fear, bigotry, and outright hatred making it difficult for him to do his job as well as he can.

Then there’s Mi’cen and his family. With the political aspects of this book proving to be challenging, as well as interesting in reading, Todd’s attempt at getting to know and understand Mi’cen’s family is fascinating to read and see through his eyes. I loved Todd’s interaction with Faa, a small creature that can speak, and I also liked how everyone was their own person and unique to the story. Each character breathed life to the pages that otherwise would have seemed to be dull and overly political when dealing with an alien ‘invasion’, though really the Nantreaa are more political refugees than anything, as they are trying to find a safe place to stay after their planet was destroyed, their sun having gone supernova.

The whole situation is a bit impressive build-up, and I found myself devouring each page. I really like the author’s writing style, and he explains things reasonably well without pandering or info-dumping the reader. My one complaint was the religious aspects of the book. Granted, it wasn’t bad, and more debatable between aliens and humans which is understandable, but attempting to sway aliens over to a god that they know nothing about? No. Sorry, but I don’t think that would actually fly. Not to mention “God is mysterious, his ways of hurting people always has a reason”-I never liked nor believed that was a good line to tell worshippers. You need to have a better reason than that to make innocent people suffer. Sorry, but that’s just my opinion.

Though since the religion aspect did actually matter and come to play a part in the story-surprising me completely, actually-I actually didn’t mind it overmuch. I found it was actually helpful in the plot as well, because of course when introducing aliens to a human world, they’re going to touch base on religion at some point or another, and it seemed that much more realistic than anything else.

But I digress.

The plot was excellent. The world-building was cool, and the aliens were unique and fascinating. I would have liked to have learned more about their technology, animals, and history, but it focused more on the characters than the actual history of the Nantreaa this time around. I’m hoping that those things will be more explored in book three, or perhaps four if this is a series and not a trilogy.

Overall, I’m definitely giving this a 5/5 stars, because this was a delicious LGBT science fiction with politics, humor, some pretty hefty action towards the end, and a HEA but with enough unresolved issues that it still leaves things wide open for at least two more books. I highly recommend reading these if you like realistic characters, believable science fiction, and a fast paced plot. Book three cannot come fast enough!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

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Science Fiction Book Reviews

New Release Review: The Black God’s Drums

The Black God's Drums

Title: The Black God’s Drums
Author: P. Djeli Clark
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult
Series: Hopefully a Book 1
Publisher: Tor.com
Page Count: 108
Type of Book: New Release, Paperback
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: So short, but oh so good! (Also that mention of Fillory at the acknowledgments at the end of the book!)

The Black God’s Drums swept me away for a solid half hour. I could have finished this book quicker, yet I lingered. It was short, but there was so much packed into it, that I find it’s hard to review such a beautifully well written read. I loved Creeper, and the Captain, and Feral was easily quipped my interest as to her backstory. The rich history and magic flared brightly through each page, and I tip my hat off to the author for one of my now top favorite reads of 2019.

Creeper, a scrappy young teen, is done living on the streets of New Orleans. Instead, she wants to soar, and her sights are set on securing passage aboard the smuggler airship Midnight Robber. Her ticket: earning Captain Ann-Marie’s trust using a secret about a kidnapped Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.

But Creeper keeps another secret close to heart–Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, who speaks inside her head and grants her divine powers. And Oya has her own priorities concerning Creeper and Ann-Marie…

~As seen on Goodreads

I am hopeful to check out other authors works as they are published. This is well deserved of the hype, and I highly recommend you read this if you read nothing else for the rest of the year. It’s an impressive piece of fiction, and the first piece that I’ve read from this author. It brings to mind short novellas like Binti by Nnedi Orkorfar, and Murdberbot by Martha Wells, it’s that good. Novellas are definitely making a come-up, I think.

Overall, 5/5 stars for a gorgeous piece of fiction that I’m re-reading as soon as I finish posting this review.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews, Uncategorized

New Release Review: Arabella and the Battle of Venus

Arabella and the Battle of Venus

Title: Arabella and the Battle of Venus
Author: David Levine
Series: Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 415
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 600
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Ah, Arabella continues to delight! This was a perfect read to read after the heartbreaking trauma of “All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett”!

Arabella returns in this dazzling sequel where instead of Mars being the main planet she’s on, it’s Venus. New characters are introduced, as well as old. Her fiance remains true, except he’s been captured and labeled a prisoner of war along with his remaining crew. It’s up to Arabella to harness a new crew to go and save the day.

These books are so delightfully fun! While some of the men are incredibly sexist, and her brother is a bit racist towards her fiance, it’s still full of wit, humor, and sarcasm to delight all readers. There’s plenty of intrigue, as well, and dangerous attacks in space on the ships. A new delightful captain, Daniel Fox Captain of the Touchstone, is equally fun to read!

Brave, a gambler, handsome, and full of wit, I really wanted Arabella to marry Daniel instead of Captain Singh. I digress, however, as this isn’t just about one character that I fell for. This is about Arabella going gallantly into the unknown to face Bonaparte who has escaped and is attempting to restore his empire once more, even as she’s attempting to free her fiance. There’s banter, adventure, and danger throughout this novel, and I treasured every page.

The wait for the next book is going to be just awful. *sighs miserably* Even so, this book was an utter delight, and I give it 4.5/5 stars for an enchanting and entertaining read.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Tags, Memes, and More!, Uncategorized

Monthly Wrap Up: November Reads

I read a lot of books in November. Around 30, in fact. For everyone else, the month of November seemed to have flown by, but for me it seemed to drag a bit. Whereas my favorite month (October) flew by with abandon. I read a couple of 600+page books, some fanfiction, and worked on writing my own book as it was NaNoWriMo-and was really pleased at winning the first NaNoWriMo that I’d attended! Tonight, I’ll be watching Fantastic Beasts 2, which is exciting, and I’ll be working on reading Girl of Paper and Fire for most of today, when not working on my blog. But that’s enough of the things that aren’t books-here’s the books that I’ve read for November:

 

There’s a few others that I didn’t get photos of, mostly because they aren’t released yet. I also haven’t gotten some of these reviewed yet, such as the Mercedes Lackey books, the Enchanted Castle, and a couple of others. I’m behind on reviews, mostly because I’m working on updates for my blog, as well as working on my book getting published.

My December TBR is coming up next, and then possibly either some reviews, or some new changes to my blog, haven’t decided which yet. I’m really looking forward to tonight, however, for tonight as I said earlier, I get to watch Fantastic Beasts 2! (Sadly not at IMAX.)

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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Science Fiction Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: The Stars Now Unclaimed

The Stars Now Unclaimed

Title: The Stars Now Unclaimed
Author: Drew Williams
Series: Book 1
Publisher: Tor
Page Count: 500
Type of Book: Arc, Paperback
Review Word Count:
Received: Netgalley ARC
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Science fiction, how I love thee.

While not a book I would have selected were I at a library or bookstore, I selected this one out of the list of books available for review because I’d heard a lot about it, and I’d just finished reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and was definitely in the mood for more of the same. I’d hoped this was similar, and while it’s a good book, I don’t think the two quite match up.

This was a slow burner of a read for me. Science fiction is either super fun and fast paced (see listed book above, as well as The Expanse series, as well as several others) or ridiculously slow and heavy paced with SCIENCE! And while I like science just fine, sometimes there’s lots of paragraphs that explain how things are, and so on. I’m pleased to say that this wasn’t one of those books, and while it wasn’t as fun as The Long Way it was still pretty entertaining to read!

I’m behind on reviews, so I’m posting this late, but overall I really did enjoy this book. It was fun, lots of characters and action and drama. Not sure I’m going to go out and buy a copy, but perhaps one day if I have space/money/time I might.

Overall, I’m giving this a 4/5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Science Fiction Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: The Psychology of Time Travel

 

The Psychology of Time Travel

Title: The Psychology of Time Travel
Author: Kate Mascarenhas
Series:
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: ARC
Received from: Netgalley
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: That was interesting!

Imagine if you would, four women inventing time travel. You could only travel to the point in time when they made the machine, but still…to be able to see your family and friends again after they’ve perished, to see how things worked when they did…it’s a fascinating concept, that’s for sure.

Therefore, while the idea was good, I was surprised by how much I just didn’t care for any of the characters or their unique ambition in creating time travel. While initially it began as a cool concept, it soon became more about the characters and the lives they lived. Not something I was super interested in.

Still, the story itself was rather cool, and I really liked the first half of it, so I’m giving this a 4/5 stars. Bonus points for that splendid looking cover.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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Tags, Memes, and More!

Top #5 Novellas On My TBR

I didn’t ever read Novellas before Murderbot came out, unless you count fanfiction novellas, but those weren’t physical books that I could hold in my hands and read. Novellas weren’t an important thing to me, as much as the next big hefty book that had at least 300+pages. But now, there are lots of Novellas coming out, and I’ve discovered others that have captured my attention aside from Murderbot that I’m eager to read. I found the Binti scifi series, which I absolutely adore, though perhaps not as much as Murderbot, though it is close. Now these are some of the latest Novellas that I’ve come across, and each of them not only have pretty, pretty covers but fascinating storylines!

#1: Keeper of the Dawn

Keeper of the Dawn

{Click the title to go to the Goodreads page for a description of the book, same thing for the next five books.}

This is high on my list, and one of the first novellas that I’ve found as well. The cover is nice to look at, though not my favorite (Murderbot!) and the storyline is definitely right up there with things I love. And with a strong female character, or so it seems, I’m definitely wanting to get my hands on this little story.

#2: Temporary Duty Assignment
Temporary Duty Assignment

I rarely read romance, because most of the time it’s annoying and the characters are all mushy and it’s all smutty romance. It’s not my favorite category, but there are times when I’m in the mood for a good action/romance plot! This looks like one of those, and so I’ve added it to my list! I also really love this cover!

#3: A Glimmer of Silver
A Glimmer of SilverThis one sounds absolutely fascinating, and is water based! I love water based stories, especially science fiction water based stories! And it’s also a coming of age which is another favorite thing to read! I’m eagerly anticipating this one, and again, just look at that cover!

#4: Accelerants

Accelerants

This sounds like it’s more my thing, with lots of fantasy elements and  a girl who controls fire is always awesome. And might I just point out, yet again, how beautiful the cover is? I really love this cover, and it’s close to beating out my top favorites with how pretty that art is!

And last but not least:

#5: Agents of Dreamland
Agents of Dreamland

How can I not list one of my favorite authors on this list? Caitlin R. Kiernan is a huge fantasy author that I love, and didn’t realize that there was a novella of hers coming out until I started making a list of novellas to read. Now I’m eager to read this, and the title and the fact that it’s science fiction, my second favorite category to read, is making it even harder to wait in reading this novella!

 

And those are my #5 Novellas that I’m eagerly anticipating, now that I’ve done some research, I’m going to request quite a few from the library. Seeing as they are quite short, each of them about 100 pages or so, I’m thinking that these can be read quickly. If you have more suggestions for novellas that I haven’t listed here, feel free to post them in the comments! I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

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