Tag: scifi

#TheReadingQuest TBR

Posted August 13, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, readathons, tbr / 0 Comments

I had been keeping my eye out for this readathon ever since it got teased weeks ago, but I still somehow missed it until the DAY it went live! Although it is happening during Tome Topple and BookNet Fest, I couldn’t pass up a readathon based on an RPG. I COULDN’T! So I rushed around today and made my TBR, and now here we are. I will be posting a video about this later on this week, but I wanted this to go up in time for sign up and to give more people a heads up. Since I missed the initial announcement, I know others did as well.

The Reading Quest is an almost month long readathon that is an RPG! You “create” a character a read books centered around that character quest line. There’s more to it, but the host (Aentee from Read at Midnight) has already perfectly laid out all of the information and rules on her announcement post. There are prizes related to this, but I’m doing it for the fun!

There are 4 main character classes to choose from, and I toiled over this a bit. In every RPG ever, I play a Rogue. A dual-wielding rogue to be exact. But I didn’t think that class tree suited my TBR. So.. I went with Mage. More specifically, (and this is bending the rules a bit), I went with Battle Mage. I did this for two reasons: 1. Because I plan to complete both the Mage and Knight quest line during the readathon (but I will be completing them in order as the rules state!) and 2. Because my second favorite class is the battle mage!

So without further ado, here is my TBR.

I have never planned out a month long TBR, because I am very much a mood reader. So, I have a few books in some of the slots because I will end up reaching for whatever I’m in the mood for. Books do not count for more than one part of the quest, so I’m not cheating in that way. I will have one book for each quest in the end. I just will choose what is most calling to me at the time.

Mage Questline:

1. A Book with a One Word Title: Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout
2. A Book that Contains Magic: Clariel by Garth Nix
3. A Book Based on Mythology: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana*
4. A Book Set in a Different World: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray or The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley*
5. The First Book in a Series: The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera*

Knight Questline:

1. Already completed for Mage quest line
2. A Book with a Verb in its Title: And I Darken by Kiersten White or Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon
3. A Book with a Weapon on its Cover: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray or Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
4. A Book with a Red Cover: Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly or Red Shirts by John Scalzi
5. A Book that Has a TV/Movie Adaptation: The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Some side quests I plan on participating in (hopefully) are:
1. Grind: Read a book with over 500 pages: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (I intend to count this for half EXP, as I was halfway through it for Tome Topple when this started.
2. Mini-Game: Read a graphic novel, novella, or poem collection: Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus* or a volume of The Wicked + The Divine

*Books by marginalized authors have an asterisk, as those give additional EXP

Are you participating in this amazing readathon? Let me know your class!

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Polaris by Mindee Arnett | Review

Posted January 9, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Polaris by Mindee Arnett | ReviewPolaris (Avalon, #2) by Mindee Arnett
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 20th 2015
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 432

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.
With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.
The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novel Avalon, Polaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to.

Polaris is the final book in the Avalon duology. The first book, Avalon, follows Jeth and his band of friends who steal space ships for an interstellar crime boss. I thought the first book had a ton of potential and was a fun ride. It deals with a Bermuda triangle-like part of space that messes with the threads of reality, and set up a lot of potential for the second book.

This series ran out of time, sadly. It’s one of those rare instances where a trilogy would have been a better fit than a duology. It packed a lot of information into the second book, and it didn’t have enough time to wrap everything up successfully. There were so many points that weren’t explored enough, and whether it was character relationships, character development, or cool elements of the world. I can always use more description of scifi tech, particularly in this world where a lot of interesting, unique things were introduced, but so many of the elements were dropped. Even the villain felt one dimensional in a lot of ways.

I wish this series had more time. It was still fun, but it could have been so much more.


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Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman | Review

Posted January 8, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman | ReviewIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 599

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Posted January 7, 2017 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | ReviewThe Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1) by Emily Skrutskie
Published by Flux on February 8th 2016
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 273

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.

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Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope | Review

Posted January 7, 2017 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope | ReviewLow, Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope (Low, #1) by Rick Remender, Greg Tocchini
Published by Image Comics on March 28th 2015
Genres: Adult, Adult Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Pages: 144

Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth's surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun's scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope. Dive into an aquatic fantasy like none you've ever seen before, as writer Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Uncanny Avengers) and artist Greg Tocchini (Last Days of American Crime) bring you a tale mankind's final hour in the cold, deathly dark of the sea.
Collects LOW #1-6

Rick Remender is a pretty popular creator in the graphic novel community, so I thought I’d try out Low: The Delirium of Hope to see how I felt about it and if I wanted to try out anything else by him. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me, and I knew that within a few pages. I maybe made it through one issue before deciding to DNF. In the first few pages, there is so much gratuitous female nudity, with no male nudity to match it. So it felt very “male gaze” to me. Also, I did not like the art style. Couple that with the fact that the series is over the top disturbing for the sake of being gross, and I wanted nothing to do with it. This is not the series for me, and after hearing more about Remender’s other series, I don’t think I’ll be trying out anything else by him either.


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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | Review

Posted July 25, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | ReviewThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on August 13th 2015
Genres: Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 404

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer | REVIEW

Posted July 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Winter by Marissa Meyer | REVIEWWinter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 824

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Winter was a finale I was very excited about. The tension had been building up for 3 books and was about to finally burst with the 4th and final installment. But even before this finale came out, I was questioning my excitement. I was starting to realize that The Lunar Chronicles books were ones that didn’t stick with me for long after reading them. I genuinely enjoyed the characters, and all of the twists and turns, but wasn’t left with much of an impact after putting them down. I had hoped the finale would change all of that.

Sadly, I found Winter to be a bit of a letdown. Even though it was a huge book, I felt it was very rushed at times. Winter struggled with having so many characters in it that I didn’t feel satisfied with the amount of time we got with each of them. It introduced the new characters of Winter and Jacin, who I was very fond of, but wished I had more time with. Then there were all of the existing characters who I knew and loved, and their stories felt rushed as well.

Aside from the characters themselves, I felt that everything was tied up TOO neatly with this book. This is a finale involving a rebellion. I expect there to be loss. I didn’t feel that with this book. And while I understand these are fairy tale retellings, and fairy tales are known for Happily Ever Afters, I didn’t think it was realistic for everyone to get one.

I can’t say much more than this without going into spoiler territory, so I did a discussion on my channel that goes into my in depth thoughts:

I ended up enjoying this book, much like all of the others in the series, but it still left me wanting more, and not in a good way. I’ve been very disillusioned with this series, and have no interest in reading any of the novellas or continuations to the story. This finale could have really packed a punch, and instead it held back.


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Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEW

Posted May 8, 2016 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout | REVIEWOnyx (Lux, #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Entangled Teen on August 14th 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 366

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I’ve sworn him off even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I’m falling for him. Hard.
Our relationship issues aren’t out biggest problem…
The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up a school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon’s.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. Daemon’s never going to stop searching until gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

I picked up Onyx during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in 2015 because Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing is so quick to read. Her books are like cotton candy to me. Delicious, fun, and an occasional indulgence, but not something I can live off of.

Onyx picks up right where Obsidian left off. Katy and Daemon continue with never-ending “will they won’t they” dance for the majority of the book, which is a little tedious. I enjoyed and appreciated their reluctance to get together in the first book, but after events of the first book, that back and forth lasted a bit too long in Onyx. It is very obvious to us, as readers, that they are going to get together so what is the point in prolonging the inevitable?

With that being said, I still enjoyed their dynamic. Daemon is much more likeable in this book, although he’s still not someone I would personally want to date. Armentrout’s writing continues to be fun and easy to read. With Katy being a book blogger, there are nods to bloggers sprinkled throughout that I always enjoy.

Ultimately, this series continues to be one I’ll reach for when I need to get out of a slump or want something to inhale read.


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Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | REVIEW

Posted October 15, 2015 by Samantha in reviews / 0 Comments

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | REVIEWOld Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) by John Scalzi
Published by Tor Books on January 15th 2007
Genres: Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 362

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger.

Old Man’s War starts off with an interesting premise: a military that is so mysterious that even it’s enlistees have no idea what they are truly signing up for, even though they are all at retirement age. From it’s start, this book had me intrigued.

I enjoyed the world that Scalzi set up. He creates a science fiction future that seems plausible. The “science” speak doesn’t drone on for too long, and allows readers new to the genre to get a feel for those elements. As this is a multiple book series, there is obviously a lot to still be discovered in this universe, but he provided the groundwork for that in book one and I didn’t feel the universe was lacking. A word of warning to the squeamish, Scalzi does not hold back in his descriptions of gross aliens or death in war. Although I’m not particularly bothered by gore, I did find myself skimming those parts because I just didn’t want to know.

The characters were what really made this story for me. John Perry and the friends he makes once he enlists are all likable, yet flawed. Their camaraderie has the reader feeling for them, even when we don’t know a ton about them. I felt for them; their struggles, their successes, and their losses.

The plot was engaging as well. I did find that I preferred the first half of the book to the second half, pacing wise, as the second half took off and didn’t stop until the end. With that being said, it did set up the future of the series nicely. I plan on continuing with this series.


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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | REVIEW

Posted October 5, 2015 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Random House NY on August 16th 2011
Genres: Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 374

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.




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