Category

Sci-Fi

One Fell Sweep – Ilona Andrews

One Fell Sweep (Inkeeper Chronicles Book #3)

One Fell Sweep

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I’m going to take a minute to appreciate just how FREAKING good this husband and wife author duo are. Seriously, when these two sit in front of their computer or however they get the words down, MAGIC happens. One Fell Sweep is the third instalment of the Innkeeper Chronicles, and in my opinion, the best of the lot. I’m not sure how they manage to keep getting better and better, book after book… But somehow it just happens. After this series and the Kate Daniels series, which I recently re-read because I love it so darn much, I am going to make it a mission to read every word they have ever written.

Dina is the inn keeper in Gertrude Hunt, the magical inn in Texas that is a pit stop for some very interesting creatures from all sorts of planets. Dina’s job is to keep the guests of the inn safe at all costs, and her job is near impossible with the arrival of a malodorous guest who has an unusual bounty on his head. Many of our favourite characters are back from the first two books, including one frustrating but seriously hot werewolf. Will Dina be able to keep everyone safe?

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS AUDIOBOOK! I loved everything about it. The writing, the story, and the narration! Renee Rauldman and her Southern accent is SO EASY to listen to! The audio version was magical. I’m sure I would have still adored the paper version, but I just loved this audiobook!

I have no idea where they come up with the ideas in their stories. World killers?? Nano ants?? Seriously!! Obviously in this case two writers are better than one. Its just one awesome idea after the other which leaves you thinking, “HOW THE HELL DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS!!??”

Like the Kate Daniels series, the romance is like lighting a big fireplace in a living room. You start out shivering a bit, warm up quite comfortably, and then suddenly get so hot you start sweating! I love the way that they build the romance up over numerous books. It may start off as attraction between two people, but then it grows into something much deeper, with an actual RELATIONSHIP where people DO THINGS other than swoon over each other. In this case they kill things together and talk together. They don’t just make it a quick attraction with a happy ending, and although the wait for the pinnacle of the romance is frustrating, its SOOOOOOO much better for it!

Would I recommend One Fell Swept??

YES YES YES!! Read the above! ALL THE ABOVE!! You will start with Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace first, or some things might get a touch confusing.

I purchased the audio version of One Fell Sweep on audible, at my own expense.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ilona Andrews

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge (GoodReads).

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

 

 

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009 (GoodReads).

 

 


If you enjoy One Fell Sweep, you may enjoy:

Clean Sweep   Sweep in Peace   Magic Bites

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Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was SO MUCH FUN! I know in a lot of reviews for this book they compare it to Firefly, and I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but it is definitely like the YA version of Firefly. It does have a lot of similarities, however I found it original enough to not care at all! Just so much fun!

Solara is looking for a new life on the outer realm. She has a piece of land with her name on it. She just has to get there. She must indenture herself to a wealthy traveller in order to pay for the 5 month passage. When her old school nemesis Dorin is the only one to offer her passage in exchange for her servitude – she RELUCTANTLY accepts. And when they find themselves stranded, the only opportunity they have to get there is to jump aboard the Banshee, a run down, ugly ship with an interesting and hilarious crew who have a lot of secrets.

I loved all the characters, they were all so funny and entertaining. And I ADORED the banter between Solaris and Dorin. A slow burning romance that was worth EVERY TORTUROUS SECOND!

I loved the bad guys, I loved the action and the story. I loved it all!

I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Amanda Dolan and I thought she was FANTASTIC! My main problem with a lot of female narrators I have listened to (sorry to be sexist), is their portrayal of male characters. So many times I have commented that they sound all the same and totally robotic and annoying. Not in this one my friends, Dolan does a great job making all the characters unique, and of course the writing helps with that too. I didn’t get annoyed once at the portrayal ANY character, and that is saying something. Superb!

Would I recommend Starflight?

Yes, if you are a sci-fi fan with an addiction to the TV show Firefly like myself, you will absolutely enjoy this. If you haven’t seen Firefly, if you area a fan of sarcastic humour, light-hearted comedy and space-action, with a splash of romance, give it a go!

I purchased the audio version of Starflight from audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Booktopia AU | Book Depository


If you enjoy Starflight, you may enjoy:

Zero World   Fortune's Pawn

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, this one is a MAJOR contender for my favourite book of the year! This book was right up my alley, I love nerdy science stuff, and the concept of this book really appealed to me. I was trying not to expect too much as it is very hyped. But in the end, I was totally swept away by this fabulous sci-fi adventure.

Think Schrodinger’s cat as a novel if you can… Jason Dessen is a brilliant scientist, leading a very happy, yet average life as a science professor, wondering what would have happened if his life led him on a different path. He is abducted by a masked man at gunpoint, drugged, and awakens in a world that is not his own. His house isn’t his own, his wife isn’t married to him, and his son doesn’t exist. What the hell is going on?

This is all the plot I am going to give you. It gets strange, then weird, then weirdER, then FREAKING CRAZY!

I listened to the audio version of dark matter and i LOVED IT! Jon Lindstrom was the absolute PERFECT narrator for this book, he made every minute of listening to it extremely enjoyable.

This book made me think, it made me laugh, it made me go WHOA!!!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

Its not often i’m finished talking about a book in only 200 words, but I’m done. I don’t want to ruin anything else for you, read it or listen to it. ASAP! Its absolutely fantastic!

Would I recommend Dark Matter?

YES! Even my friends who HATE sci-fi absolutely LOVE this book, and that’s saying something! Highly recommend the audio version, but I am sure it would be just as good with words!

 I listened to Dark Matter through audible.com, at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AUPanMacmillan AU


If you enjoy Dark Matter, you may enjoy:

The Fold   14   Ready Player One

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Nexus – Ramez Naam

Nexus (Nexus #1) – Ramez Naam

Nexus

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy-fun-brilliance!!!

It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future. Technology has surpassed what we could have ever imagined. The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal. Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology. But not is all what it seems. Are the government the good guys? How can linking human beings together be a bad thing?

What a ride! It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting! The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched. There is so much action in this book! It doesn’t really let up! The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The characters are all fantastically written! They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together. I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn’t have quite the depth as some of the other characters. Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is. I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.

I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC!! I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration. If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one!

Would I recommend Nexus?

YES! If you like sci-fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book! Loads of fun and there are two more! YAY!

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If you enjoy Nexus, you may enjoy:

Zero World   The Darwin Elevator   14

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Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I was expecting to enjoy this one more than I did. I felt quite underwhelmed unfortunately. It had an extremely promising start but for some reason it started to fall a bit flat for me. However, I still mostly enjoyed it, what nerd like me wouldn’t enjoy a story about super villans and super heroes?! Now I know a LOT of people adored this book, so please don’t hate me if you are one of them!

David was only 10 when the world changed. “Calamity” came, and the Epics arrived. Supervillians with terrible powers, all evil and murderous. Steelheart was the worst. He killed David’s father, and now David wants revenge. He has to somehow join the resistance known as the Reckoners to bring down the epics. And destroy Steelheart.

Points to the audio version narrator MacLeod Andrews. He was fantastic! I am glad I listened to the audio version for this one. I think he made it more enjoyable in my ears than I could have made it in my head!

This is the first Sanderson book that I have read and I didn’t realise that it was YA. Not that I would have had a problem with that, I love a good YA. However I think maybe I should have stuck with his more adult fantasy books.

I found the main character David to be exceedingly annoying. He was a pompous little upstart and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him. When he wasn’t doing stupid things, he was dreaming about a girl. Because that’s all YA characters can do you know… Its all superheroes and girls. The language that all the characters used was the most annoying part of the whole book for me. “Calamity” and “Sparks” are the new swear words, and they just made it sound so stupid. Whenever I would hear the narrator say “Calamity!” I would roll my eyes.

Sure, some of the epics were well plotted, however I was still a bit bored. There was just something missing for me. Perhaps it was the atmosphere. It didn’t feel like humanity were slaves to epics now and the whole world had changed. Maybe it needed more than the viewpoint from some annoying young character to give it a bit more depth for me. People died but the atmosphere didn’t really relay that. It felt like all the awful things that happened in the book were superficial. If that makes sense.

There were a few redeeming factors, besides the awesome narrator… It had a good twists at the end. I totally saw one of them coming but the other one blindsided me. Despite the “Calamity” and “Sparks”, it was fairly well written. It was easy to get into and had a great premise. The other characters were not quite as annoying as David, and I enjoyed the way the whole thing ended.

Would I recommend Steelheart?

Maybe… If you don’t mind the corny language and annoying main character you may enjoy it more than I.

Add to goodreads


If you enjoy Steelheart, you may enjoy:

image    Poison    The First

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The Darwin Elevator – Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle #1) – Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I immediately purchased this audio book after I finished Zero World. I loved Zero World so much and wanted to read (or listen to) something else by Jason M. Hough straight away! I heard great things about this series and wanted to delve straight in. While I did not quite enjoy it as much as Zero World, it certainly did not disappoint!

Over 200 years from now, an alien plague has taken over the earth and it is in ruin. All except Darwin, Australia of all places. Darwin was saved because a few years before the plague hit, an alien space ship arrived and put an elevator up into space. On the ground it emits a “aura” keeping all who reside in this area free from the symptoms of the disease. While outside the aura, the disease leaves humans in an angry “kill everyone they come across” state. But the elevator has started malfunctioning. Its up to Skylar, the leader of a scavenger group who are all mysteriously immune to the alien disease, to save the remainder of humanity.

I just thought this was such an interesting and original concept. And set in Darwin! Awesome! I really enjoyed the setting and the atmosphere of humanity striving to survive. I loved the politics and power plays, and thought the elevator and the aliens were just awesome. I was hooked!

Thought the characters were all fantastic, I loved the bad guys in this! They were horrible, in a good way! Skylar and Tania were awesome and there were so many awesome secondary characters!

There were a few slow parts and a lot of detail at times, but overall I really enjoyed the writing. The narrator was great, and the audio version was fabulous. I did get a bit annoyed with the narrators attempt at Australian accents, however I was able to let this slide as I got used to it!

There were twists and turns, deceit and deception, and a touch of romance. Unfortunately just a touch mind you. I am super excited to read (or listen to, I haven’t decided which yet) the next one! I really want to know what happens with the characters and those darn aliens!

Would I recommend The Darwin Elevator?

Yes for any sci-fi fan or any fan of dystopian/apocalyptic/futuristic books. Well worth the read!

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If you enjoy The Darwin Elevator, you may enjoy:

Zero World   Artificial

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Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World

5 Stars (5 / 5)

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! Oh what fun!!!!! This book is the reason I love Sci-Fi! I can’t believe it is not more popular! It was AMAZEBALLS! I only found out about Zero World through GoodReads Sci-Fi recommendations, and I am so glad I bought it! I listened to the audio version on Audible and it was FABULOUS! – One of the best I have ever listened to!

Peter Caswell is a secret agent. A super-spy! He is altered and advanced so that he can do a lot of cool stuff thanks to an implant in his brain. However this implant also activates after a set time, to wipe the memory of his mission. So when he is sent to find a scientist who escaped a space ship after killing the rest of the crew, he only has a short time before his brain is wiped and he forgets doing it. However the scientist seems to have disappeared through a wormhole near the sun, and once Caswell is on the other side, he soon learns that everything is not what it seems.

Oh man this book was an awesome ride!! Full of action, adventure and mystery! The audio version with Gideon Emery was FANTASTIC! I LOVED his voice and his portrayal of all the characters! They all had a different distinctive voice and man, I could listen to that voice all day long! I am going to find other audio books he has done!

The characters were FABULOUS! I loved Caswell and the premise of him not being able to remember his previous missions. And with a HUGE twist at the end I had NO IDEA was coming! Loved it! And Melnie, with her spiky hair and purple eyes!

I loved the twists and turns through the book, the thing I love about Sci-Fi is that it can be as unimaginable and unrealistic as the author wants because anything is possible! Without giving too much away, it was a great story, had loads of science elements and was SO IMAGINATIVE! Hough created an awesome universe and I really hope that he does more with the premise and this isn’t just a one off! I WANT MORE!

My ONLY criticism is that there wasn’t enough romance! There was SUCH opportunity for a bit more romance, and that would have made it even better for me, cause I love that crap!

Would I recommend Zero World?

ABSOLUTELY! For any Sci-Fi fan, or any Sci-Fi novice who wants a great place to start! Thoroughly enjoyed it! One of the best books I have read (or listened to) this year!

*I purchased Zero World myself on Audible.com

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PURCHASE

Zero World does not appear to be available on Audible AU! Bummer! But check out the kindle version.

AUDIBLE US | AMAZON | AMAZON AU | PAPER


If you enjoy Zero World, you may enjoy:

14    Fortune's Pawn

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Artificial – Jadah McCoy

Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles #1) – Jadah McCoy

Artificial

3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

I enjoyed this Young/New adult dystopian tale. I thought the cover was well designed and the synopsis grabbed me. It has amazing ratings on GoodReads so I was excited to be approved for a review copy.

Syl and her friends are survivors on Kepler, a colony of future Earth. By day they scavenge for food in the dilapidated city. By night they hide underground, away from the genetically engineered “Cull”, bug-like humanoid creatures intent on devouring everything in their path. Syl is kidnapped by Androids and is genetically altered, beginning to transform into one of the cull. She is rescued by an android with emotions named Bastion, who attempts to help her and the other humans who have been captured.

I really enjoyed the start of this novel. It began with a bang, and non stop action. I was enthralled! However after Syl gets kidnapped it lost a lot of its momentum for me. The storyline was still interesting, but it just lost the spark from the first part of the novel.

I liked the format of the chapters, alternating between Syl and Bastion’s point of view.

I didn’t really gel with the characters. Syl, and some things she did annoyed me and the romantic tension thing that was between her and Bastion was totally weird and I wasn’t feeling it at all.

There were some good twists and turns and the ending was not what I was expecting. There was a heap of action and a fair bit of blood and gore which was good. I liked the cull creatures. They weren’t in it as much as I was expecting in this one, I can only imagine that there will be more of them in subsequent books.

I will be interested to see how the series develops following that ending. It left a lot of questions that I would like to know the answer to!

Would I recommend Artificial?

Yes, for YA/NA fans! They will definitely enjoy the story! I will be interested to read the next one to see how it progresses.

Many thanks to the author and publisher via NetGalley for a copy of Artificial in exchange for my honest review.

Add to goodreads

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AUBook Depository


If you enjoy Artificial, you may enjoy:

Vanquished    6x9 front ebook    Poison

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The First – Kipjo Kenyatta Ewers

The First

The First

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This was one of the first books I ever requested from NetGalley, and it has been sitting on the shelf for way too long! I decided to get it read before new years! The premise was interesting and It gets pretty good reviews.

Sophia Dennison is on death row, found guilty of murdering her husband in cold blood. However after the lethal injection, something very strange happens… She comes back to life. Taller now and with super-human strength and speed, she embarks on a journey to discover what happened to her and who really killed her husband, before an elite unit of soldiers armed with special weapons can catch up with her!

I must say this was not a bad book at all! I’m not the biggest fan of the cover, and I think I was expecting it to be bad but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. That’s not saying it didn’t have its bad points. Some of the editing was terrible and I got very annoyed with the constant details. There were intricate details of even secondary characters, about how they came to be where they are, and it made the story quite tedious at times. However, ignoring those relatively small aspects, I quite enjoyed the story.

I liked the different take on the superhero thing. Loved that it was a female and I enjoyed the chase and the twists and turns as she started to get some answers about her life and the death of her husband.

I enjoyed the fight scenes and how she used her powers. I also loved the bad guy, and there were a few good twists and turns in there! I loved the last third of the book too, it was really exciting! It had a satisfying ending which sets it up for a good sequel.

The First – Would I recommend it?

Yes, it was a good read! A good escape for a few hours.

Many thanks to author Kipjo K Ewers and the publisher via NetGalley for a copy of this book to read and review.

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The Fold – Peter Clines (Audio Version)

The Fold

The Fold: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

The fold is another great science fiction/horror by Peter Clines. It is a stand alone novel but if you have read his previous novel “14” you will be pleasantly surprised by some merging stories and characters.

Mike Erikson likes to think of himself as a normal guy… Your average high school teacher. However he has a special ability, a eidetic memory. He is able to remember everything he has ever seen or heard, replaying it exactly like it just happened. His old friend Reggie convinces him to come and work for him, assessing a top secret project. A group of scientists and computer experts have created a doorway that “folds” time and space. Those who walk through the doorway are teleported to a matching doorway somewhere else. However, the doorway isn’t quite what it seems…

I have read some reviews of this book who loved it up until the last third or so of the book, saying that it takes a strange turn and becomes unrecoverable. In some ways I tend to agree. However I suppose because I read 14 (which does the EXACT same thing) I was expecting the specific twists and turns. However I admit I preferred 14.

I enjoyed all the characters in The Fold, however they are quite a similar bunch to the characters in 14. The male main character Mike in The Fold bared some striking similarities in personality to Nate in 14, and the same for the female leading character Jamie, who was very similar to Veek. Arthur was similar to Tim, and the other secondary characters also bared similarities to their counterparts in 14. This wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that 14’s characters and storyline were superior. The endings of both were extremely similar and I just wish there was a bit more.

I loved the monsters and creatures in The Fold. They were a bit more detailed and gruesome than they were in 14 and I enjoyed that.

The romance in The Fold was a bit of a let down. I think it was just too similar to 14 because the characters were so alike… It just didn’t do it for me.

Overall I enjoyed the story. The story itself I give 3.5 Stars..

However

What jacked this review up to 4 Stars?? THE NARRATOR!!! Oh my GOSH Ray Porter is a FANTASTIC narrator!!! I am so amazed how good he is! Seriously, there is a reason why he won best narrator for 2015 in the audible awards! When you listen to him, its like you are listening to 12 different people. He is so amazingly talented! I want to go out now and get everything he has ever narrated and listen to it! I am going to miss his voice now I have listened to over 20 hours of him total!

Would I recommend it?

The story? Yes it was a good read, even if it takes you in places most people didn’t want to go towards the end. However the audio version was FANTASTIC despite the story, and I would recommend listening to it to anyone! I think especially those who are new to audio books and get annoyed with monotone narrators, because Ray Porter is NOT ONE!

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PURCHASE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE

If you like The Fold, you may enjoy:

14