Category

Sci-Fi

Honor’s Knight – Rachel Bach

 

Honor's Knight

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Honor’s Knight is the sequel to the fabulous Fortune’s Pawn, which was one of the best books I have read this year. Unfortunately, like many sequels, it didn’t quite match its predecessor in terms of awesomeness.

Devi is back in Honor’s Knight. She has no memories of most of the events that occurred in the previous novel. She is still on the Glorious Fool, and for some reason whenever she looks at the horrible cook, she feels repulsed and physical nauseated. Yet when she is not looking at his face, she is oddly at peace with him. Will she be able to get her memories back in time to save the universe?

I was disappointed with the balance of action/romance/violence/mystery that this book had compared to the first one. And I got a bit annoyed with her constant thought ramblings… “I don’t like Rupert, I like Rupert, I HATE Rupert, I LOVE Rupert”. There was way too much thought dialogue about trivial things too. And the romance? Lame in comparison to the first one, I was waiting for something to happen. Although I did enjoy the fight scene! And that’s all I’m going to spoil about that particular scene! Lots of fun!

Honor’s Knight still possessed some excellent qualities. The violence and action was awesome. The action never stopped. Her suit was as cool as ever, and I enjoyed the addition of some new characters that were not in the first book. Also as far as storyline goes, it really did expand and answer some questions that were lingering at the completion of the first one.

The audio book was awesome like the first with the same narrator. I have looked to see if the third one is on audiobook. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be, so I am going to have to read the third version with my eyes. This is disappointing because Emily Durante and I are in a narrator/listener groove now that I will miss. So that’s a real bummer.

However, looking forward to reading the last instalment because I want to know what happens.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, ONLY if you have read the first one. It wouldn’t go well as a stand alone. There is SO MUCH backstory you need!

If you like Honor’s Knight you may enjoy:

Fortune's Pawn

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Fortune’s Pawn – Rachel Bach

Fortune's Pawn

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I really should read more sci-fi. I really enjoy it! And Fortune’s Pawn… HOLY MACARONI!!! What a FANTASTIC book! WARNING – ENTHUSIASTIC RANT AHEAD!

Meet Devi! Our smart, strong and BUTT KICKING heroine. Devi is an armoured soldier and leaves her prestigious position to take a security job on the Glorious Fool, a trade ship. For some reason security personnel that serve on this ship tend to do well for themselves, and she is determined to be a devastator – an elite type of armed guard that protect the king himself . The highest position that an armoured guard can get to. And Devi is ambitious. On the Glorious Fool the people she encounters are not what they seem. The Captain is something more than a trader, his daughter is more than a little girl, and the cook is more than a cook. But she has no idea what their secrets are. And she is going to find out and use the information to become a devastator. If she doesn’t die first.

This book was fantastic! My synopsis doesn’t do it justice! Think Firefly, crossed with Battlestar Galactica. It was AMAZING! Mystery, violence, sexual tension, thrills, comedy, aliens, space travel… And this is just the first book!

And the audio book! WOW! Think I have a new favourite. I couldn’t stop listening! I loved every minute of it! Emily Durante did such a fantastic job as the sarcastic mercenary!

Devi is an awesome character. Yes it has a little clichéd powerful Buffy/Alien type thing going on, but I love reading about the awesome strong female character. I loved the dialogue, the fact that she drunk way too much and made mistakes and wasn’t perfect. She is the best female lead character I have read about in a long time!

The romance was fabulous! I have read a few reviews complaining about the large romantic aspect of this novel, but I think it absolutely made it! It still would have been interesting without it, but added an extra dimension that I loved. Plus, I love a good dose of romance and sex in a book!

Another star of the book was Devi’s armoured suit “Lady”. It was almost a character itself. I thought it was so clever and I loved that it was like an extension of her body.

Oh I just loved this book! I’m already into the second!

Would I recommend it?

Yes! For any science fiction fan, and also for sci-fi newbies! Those who want a good, easy to read, fabulous story! And I absolutely recommend the audio version, which is the best one I have listened to so far!

“But fair warning, being drunk doesn’t slow down my head shots.”

ADD TO GOODREADS

  • PURCHASE FORTUNE’S PAWN

AMAZON | AMAZON AU  | AUDIBLE 

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14 – Peter Clines

14

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Well, what an unexpected gem 14 was! Loved the audiobook! What an amazing performance by Ray Porter! I honestly thought at times that I was listening to ten totally different voices! Extremely impressive! Got LOST in it!

Nate has just moved into a new and dirt cheap apartment, and something isn’t quite right. With all the rooms of the building in fact… And the basement… And who is across the street in the car monitoring the building 24/7? What are the property managers hiding? And what on earth is in room 14? Its up to Nate and the other residents of the Kavach building to find out what is going on.

Wow! What an AMAZING bunch of characters. The characters in the Kavach building, were probably one of the most fun groups of people I have ever read about! What a diverse and entertaining group of people! Nate, the main character is probably the most dull of the lot, yet he was still extremely enjoyable to read about! “Only a publisher” Tim across the hall, sun baking artist Xela, the subtle as a sledgehammer computer geek Veek, not to mention the rest… Their interactions were witty and clever, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions.

I loved the blossoming romance, and Veek was by far my favourite character! I loved her blunt attitude.

It took me in a direction I wasn’t expecting it to go to be honest. I had no idea what I was in for when I started listening to it. Not at all disappointed! I would class it as a cross between a horror/mystery/adventure/sci-fi/thriller.

I found the premise to be extremely clever. Really original. I’m looking forward to reading “The Fold” and the “Ex Heroes” series, also by Peter Clines.

I am a bit mixed about the ending. On one hand I really enjoyed it, but on the other, I feel it didn’t really answer all my questions as much as it could have. Ultimately though it was still a satisfying conclusion. It just could have been more I think. That’s the main reason for my 4 and not 5 star rating.

Would I recommend 14?

Yup! Especially the audio version! Great performance, was kinda sad when it was over! And it really made me want to invite all my friends over for a beer on the roof!

“A ladder’s a flag pole with delusions of grandeur.”

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (Audio Version)

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4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Ready Player One – What an exciting, original and FUN story!

To sum Ready Player One up briefly, it’s the year 2044 and the internet has transformed into the OASIS, a virtual reality world where anything is possible. Much of humanity work and play in this virtual universe. The mega rich, uber 80’s nerd James Halliday, creator of the OASIS, has passed away. As he had no living relatives, he created a complex game inside the OASIS – and the winner gets all of his fortune. In his video will, he stated that he has hidden his fortune somewhere in the OASIS, and that to decipher all the clues, one must be extremely well versed in 1980’s pop culture! Suddenly the majority of people want to find the fortune, but the clues are difficult to interpret. When high school student Wade almost stumbles across the answer to the first clue, this virtual game becomes very real, when his life and the life of his friends, are put in danger in the real world.

I don’t even know where to begin to talk about this story! It was just so different to anything I have ever read (or listened to) before. What a blast from the past! I can’t believe how the author brought the 80’s back to life so easily! The games, the movies, the music! Even though I wasn’t a teenager in the 80’s, I still remember a lot of the things that are referenced. Even the parts I was not familiar with I still enjoyed! I loved how the whole world went 80’s crazy after Halliday died. The young kids were studying all things 80’s and leg warmers were back in fashion!!

I just LOVED the OASIS! Its not so far fetched really, to imagine that soon we will all wake up, go to the bathroom, eat breakfast and then log on to the net. There we will be able to sit in a virtual classroom and not have to leave our house, or work in a virtual office… That aspect of it is quite believable. The rest is total science fiction, but still SO MUCH FUN! I just thought the whole thing was so cleverly done. It was exciting, interesting, and you almost felt like you were in a computer game just listening to it!

I found myself totally engaged in Wade’s journey! I loved how the story progressed and the characters developed and virtual romance blossomed. The characters were all total nerds and I really enjoyed the dialogue between them and their “avatars”. There were so many twists and turns in the book too! Thought everything was just so darn clever! I enjoyed the big corporation vs a handful of 80’s nerdy teenagers aspect to the story too.

The audio version: Will Wheaton! What can I say? I admit I had a bit of a crush on his voice in this one. What a fantastic performance! I cannot think of ANYONE who would have done this better! It sounded like he had SO MUCH FUN doing it too! There were so many times that I was laughing out loud!

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely! Ready Player One is not just for 80’s nerds, its for anyone who loves a good story and wants to escape for a while. I doubt I will read anything like this again anytime soon! If ever! Fantastic!

Authors Website

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Blog Tour – Return Once More – Trisha Leigh

RETURN ONCE MORE TOUR

RETURN ONCE MORE – REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!!

I have such a soft spot for the Young Adult genre.. However I find YA is also a genre that can go very wrong and when the concept isn’t pulled off, it can be a total disaster! I tend to be quite picky with my YA reads. When I read the description of Return Once More on the Bound Book Tours email, I admit I was apprehensive. I don’t normally like books about your “one true love” and time travel can be so hit and miss. But the beautiful cover along with the interesting description pushed me to give it a go. And I am SO glad that I did! One of my favourite YA books of the year! And definitely in my top 5 books this year!

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Return Once More is set in the distant future, where Earth as it was is no longer habitable and humans live on a group of terraformed planets, 16 year old Kaia is training to be a “Historian”. Historians are a group of people who go back in time and record important events in Earth’s history. It is extremely important that the historians do not disturb the past, only record. But when Kaia’s 17th birthday arrives, she gets to learn the name of her one true love (yes I know, I know… A scientific calculation based on genetics gives every person the name of their one true love – The person they are most compatible with throughout all of time, I don’t know quite how the author made it work, it just does). And Kaia learns her one true love is a pivotal character in Earth’s history. So obviously she can’t resist going back in time and meeting him. And thus begins an exciting tale of adventure, betrayal, and *shucks*… Love.

This book was REALLY well written. Trisha Leigh has done a fantastic job writing a far-fetched concept and making it exciting and interesting without too much of the corniness that tends to come through in a lot of these sorts of novels. I really enjoyed the world that she created. I LOVED the technology such as the time travel system and the different ways to talk to other people through these futuristic tattoos that link to the persons nervous system. I thought all of these concepts were really creative and clever.

The best thing about this book was the time travel aspect. What a FABULOUS concept! Going back to all different times to witness events of the past! Leigh takes us from the Roman era to the early 20th century and back to Egyptian Pharaoh times, back to 2001… And then swings us back again. I found it thoroughly entertaining!

The characters were fantastic! The main character Kaia wasn’t too annoying for a YA lead. Generally I find that the young female main characters of YA novels extremely irritating, but even though she made some stupid decisions, I found Kaia to be quite likeable. I am really excited to watch her grow both in age and maturity in future novels.

I LOVED that there wasn’t technically a love triangle. That’s probably my number one pet hate of YA books. But this wasn’t like that. Even though there was more than one potential love interest (sort of), the storyline was so complex that it didn’t bother me in the slightest, and I really enjoyed the romance aspect!

But again, the time travel was the star of the show… Couldn’t get enough of it! I think this would make an absolutely fantastic movie (or group of movies) or even a TV show! It has the potential to be BIG.

And what a twist at the end! I totally didn’t see that one coming and I am usually very good at picking it! Can’t wait for the next one!

So many thanks to author Trisha Leigh and YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read this book and be included in the blog tour!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

5 STARS!! FANTASTIC!!!

 ADD TO GOODREADS

WHERE CAN I BUY THIS BOOK?

AMAZON (US)    AMAZON AU   BARNES & NOBLE   iTunes (US)   KOBO   GOOGLE PLAY   BLOOMSBURY AU

ISBN – 9781619637856

Publisher – Bloomsbury Spark

Release Date – 20th October, 2015  OUT NOW!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Summary from Goodreads:

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trisha Leigh

imageTrisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

AUTHOR LINKS:iconwebsite    icontwitter    icongoodreads    iconfacebook

ENTER THE BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour Hosted By:

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If you enjoy this book you might also enjoy:

Melophobia  image  followed by frost   An ember in the ashes   the darkest minds

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The Mine – John A. Heldt

the mine

3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

I enjoyed this time travel romance. I have a high expectation for time travel books as so often they can so often be done poorly. This one was delightful.

Joel is on a road trip with a friend in the year 2000 when he stumbles across an abandoned mine. It just so happens that some strange celestial event is occurring at the same time and once he enters the mine he is thrust back in time to 1941. With money he can’t use because it hasn’t been printed yet, and no identification, he has to quickly learn how to make his way in a world that is about to be ravaged by war. He also happens to come across his grandmother and fall in love with her very-much-engaged-already best friend Grace. If the opportunity to go home again came, would he take it?

I loved the characters. Joel was a fantastic character! I loved how he was forced to navigate through this foreign time with nothing but his wits and intelligence, and luckily a good memory of history. I enjoyed his sense of humour and take on life. I was a bit perplexed by some of his choices in regards to his love life, but overall he was a great character.

I enjoyed the other characters too but I feel it lacked a bit of conflict. I find I really enjoy stories where the main character makes an enemy or has to work out how to deal with a foe, I felt that this story lacked a bit of OOMPH for me. Don’t get me wrong it was a lovely romance, but I felt at times it was a little slow moving without too much strength in the story to keep me totally hooked.

I really enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between Joel and Tom. That was one of the best parts of the book for me. The predicament he was in, that if he didn’t let Tom go, he would never be born.

The book was extremely well written and easy to read. I polished it off fairly quickly.

As for the romance. I don’t know… I just felt it was slightly forced and unbelievable. I found Grace to be quite a dull character and their interactions were quite drab. And Joel sure was forward to get the attention of the already extremely ENGAGED Grace. And knowing that any alterations that he makes in regards to the timeline may have dire consequences, some of his actions did surprise me. Especially towards the end. However the twist at the very end made up for this and overall it was a satisfying read.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, If you enjoy a nice feel good romance and a bit of time travel with a touch of history, The Mine is for you.

Many thanks to the author John A. Heldt for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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The Martian – Andy Weir

The martian

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 With the movie The Martian being released later this month, this book seems to be all people are talking about! I had been recommended the audio version, and let me tell you… WOW!! I’m starting to be a real audiobook convert!

Set in the not too distant future, Mark Watney wakes up in the Martian dirt after being impaled by a satellite… He is alive, but his crew has left, certain that he had not survived. So begins the tale of survival for poor unlucky (or lucky depending on how you look at it) Mark Watney. There is another team coming to Mars in four years. He only has food to last him two if he is lucky. Also, nobody knows he is alive and there is no way to communicate with Earth. You could pretty much say he is up shit creek. How will he survive??

Well one way to describe this book is Cast away meets Macgyver, meets Matthew Reily Although i HATED cast away, this is very different. Action packed from the start it never fails to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The audio version: Honestly I was regretting it a bit in the first hour. I found it a bit slow to start (even though it started on a climax) and I just couldn’t find my rhythm with listening to R.C. Bray narrating. However this QUICKLY changed and I found myself HOOKED ON HIS EVERY WORD! As this is only my second audiobook ever, I am assuming perhaps that when you listen to an audiobook there is a bit of time where you have to get used to the narrator and get into a listening flow. Thankfully I got there with this one and it was just wonderful! I was wondering how I was going to tolerate his accent and his use of different voices, but i even enjoyed the way he portrayed the females! Great choice!

LOVED Mark! He is one of the most enjoyable characters I have read/heard about in ages. Sure the things he does are extremely unlikely, stupidly corny and absolutely over the top… But that’s the point. I am a huge science and space fan, but I still wouldn’t be able to tell you if his research is accurate in regards to the smart stuff. But it doesn’t need to be accurate. It is still absolutely awesome. There were times where i zoned out in the science parts, how he saved his life for the zillionth time using some immaculate object and finding some miraculous way to stop himself from dying with it. But damn it, I loved it. Totally over the top and FANTASTIC! And it sounded accurate. Well researched by someone who obviously loves this stuff!

I went to the movies tonight, and I saw the trailer for the movie version with Matt Damon as Watney. I am certain he will pull it off. REALLY looking forward to seeing this one!

Anyway, TOTALLY recommend the martian as an audiobook. I thoroughly enjoyed it! 5 stars!

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The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell (Review)

the sparrow

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I wrote this review back last year, before I wrote reviews on every book I read… I wanted to write this so that I could look back and remember why I loved this book so much. Although I don’t know if I will need a reminder. I’m sure it will stay with me.

I won’t delve too much into the synopsis, humans hear music from another planet, send team to investigate, only one survives and returns to tell the tale.

I loved the before and after layout of this book. The author did extremely well to give you only parts of the story and enabled it to come to a riveting and emotional climax that brought it all together. Finally everything becomes clear. Every horrific detail.

The characters in The Sparrow are fantastic. The development of the characters and their relationships were an absolute highlight of the book for me. My favourite character was Ann. Often I re-read the dialogue between her and other characters, letting the depth of her words sink in and resonate with my own thoughts. I found her death (even though you knew it was coming) such a sad shock. (This is not a spoiler, you know only one of them survives right at the start).

Emilio himself was such a multidimensional character. Such a difference between his former self and the broken man that returned to earth. His journey to find God is the glue that holds the story together.
I am not a religious person, yet still found his struggle to be settled in his faith extremely compelling. He had such conflicted feelings towards celibacy and his determination to stay faithful to his beliefs. His apparent loss of faith in the turmoil of the end of his time on the alien planet I found resonated with my own experiences with faith and God.
And when I discovered the source of the music… my heart DROPPED. Everything that seemed so right from the start was now horribly wrong and I felt real pity for Emilio and the humans. All they went through, for this…

Another aspect of this book which I found extremely clever and almost totally realistic was the way in which the humans came into this alien world and in some direct or indirect way, stuffed everything up. Like a comedy of errors.

I was almost put off because the book almost sounded religious, but am so glad I read it. It is not religious at all even though it deals with faith and god. This was absolutely one of my favourite books. I am excited to read the sequel but need a bit more time for this one to sit first.

 

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A Gathering of Twine (Spirals of Danu) – Martin Adil-Smith (Review)

3 Stars 3 Stars

There are three types of cheapo Amazon kindle books. Firstly is the one you regret spending 99c on because it’s just so bad you don’t make it through the whole thing or get through it painfully with your one star rating ready to dish out. The second is the average book that you are relieved you only spent 99c on, but enjoyed all the same and you are content with your purchase. And then you have the 99c books that are so wonderful that you congratulate yourself that you only spent 99c and discovered a masterpiece…

Unfortunately this is not one of those masterpieces, yet is absolutely not one of the cruddy ones. This was an enjoyable book… But I didn’t love it.

Picture this, an old man named Freeman has been writing a conclusion to a number of popular books he wrote years ago. Finally after missing deadline after deadline he takes his almost finished manuscript into his editorial office and confesses he has totally changed his viewpoint. He now believes in a creator, when his books have been totally the opposite. Unconvinced, his publisher goes through the evidence with him about this creator. And so begins this tale. It is a collection of stories, all intertwining with each other. All supposedly leading to the proof of a creator, but not in the traditional sense.

I admit It is really well written. It weaves in and out of situations and times, the characters are mostly interesting and there are so many different atmospheres in the book. It is creepy at times, other times funny or engrossing. However the next minute it drags on needlessly and you feel yourself just wanting to get through it.

I liked the mythology of it, and did get swept away in the “where does this all come from” aspect of it. I also think it’s clever that the author took real events and shaped them in a way that it fit his story.

Silly me not really researching this Amazon purchase was not a stand alone novel, and the story actually continues into another book. Not sure if it captivated me enough to read the conclusion to be honest. The need for an answer does not necessarily outweigh having to read another novel.

Although I have read some reviews of his other work and it is all well received. Perhaps another time.

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