Category Archives: Science Fiction

Aaru by David Meredith

Rose is dying at just 16-years-old. Mr. Adams from Elysian Enterprises offers her parents the chance to save her. Only after she has died, do they learn that by save he meant to a hard drive where she’ll live forever in Aaru. Any time they want, they can call her up and talk to her. Elysian Enterprises hires her 13-year-old sister to be one of their spokesmodels which leads to a busy schedule and an obsessed fan that could compromise everything.

Aaru is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read. What makes you you? Is it enough to just talk to our dead loved ones like they are in a portrait at Hogwarts? What kind of life would they live in Aaru? Is it actually living? Can you really be happy if happy is the only possibility? If we could save people this way, would we want to? As I read, I found myself asking people these questions as I worked out my own answers (an informal Facebook poll on whether my friends would want to save their loved ones revealed very differing opinions).

The writing is excellent, the vocabulary is advanced. I noticed only a few mistakes (generally words that wouldn’t be caught by spell check). The story itself sucked me right in. I found myself caring very much what happened to the characters. Aaru is the first in a planned series and I will definitely be reading the next one when it comes out. This first book has a satisfying ending, no cliffhanger, but leaves plenty of openings for continuing on in the next book. I highly recommend reading this book to adults who enjoy YA and older teens!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 127
Pages Read in 2017: 34,787
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I was asked to read and review it by the author

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Humanity’s Last Chance by DP Fitzsimons

A virus has wiped out most of earth’s population and continues to turn people into cannibals. On an island, 117 children created in test tubes are being raised away from everyone else in the hopes that one day they can fly away and start human colonies on other planets.

Humanity’s Last Chance, the first in The Eden Project, a four-book series, is very fast-paced. It gets a bit gory at the end, but not overly so. I could barely put the book down. It reads fast. It ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, but in a place that makes perfect sense to end the first book of a series. There were a couple things that just didn’t make sense, such as how any of the doctors working on the island, supposedly far away from all other humans, contracted the virus. I will most likely read the other books, though, at least eventually. I recommend this book to sci-fi and end of the world fans.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 124
Pages Read in 2017: 34,130
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Science Fiction)

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The Final Spark by Richard Paul Evans

Michael Vey is gone and the Electroclan is in trouble. Hatch is quickly destroying everything they have worked toward. The Electroclan needs to find Michael or Hatch will win.

The seventh and final Michael Vey book, The Final Spark picks up where the sixth book left off. The big question is whether Michael is gone for good or not and if he is, whether the Electroclan can succeed without him. By 3/4 of the way through the book I was pretty sure there was no way it could be wrapped up in just a few more pages. A couple things I had guessed a few books ago were almost, but not quite, right. This is an amazing end to a wonderful series. I highly recommend reading The Final Spark (and the entire Michael Vey series) to people of all ages. My 11- and almost 16-year-old sons enjoy Michael Vey as much as I do and I enjoy them as much as my 70-something parents!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 122
Pages Read in 2017: 33,644
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I really like the series

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Kula Keiki Ali’i by Rosemary I. Patterson

Part historical fiction, part science fiction, Kula Keiki Ali’i tells the story of the Hawaiian children sent to be taught and “civilized” by Calvinist missionaries. In between historical scenes, a story in the present plays out. The story is good, but it is in bad need of an editor. The speech patterns of the children sound like today, not over 100 years ago. For the historical content, I highly recommend this book. For the writing, it’s just not very good.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 117
Pages Read in 2017: 32,044
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for Next School Year

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Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson

Alison wakes up in a mental hospital and slowly her memories begin to come back. As far as she can recall, she got in a fight with Tori, punched her, Tori disintegrated, and Alison went nuts. Alison has always known there was something weird about herself – letters are colors and have personalities, sounds are visible, and so on – but disintegrating someone with her mind goes beyond anything she can imagine.

Ultraviolet started out kind of slow, but still interesting, especially since my daughter has synesthesia (though, later in the book, in my daughter’s experience with multiple types of synesthesia at once, the portrayal of what it’s like to be a synesthete was not even remotely accurate). Eventually, the whole story just completely went off the rails and became a complete mess. I felt like the book was trying to be multiple stories at once and it just really didn’t work. By the last quarter, I couldn’t get the guy from the History Channel saying, “Aliens!” out of my head as the book went from a little odd to completely weird. I do not really recommend anyone take the time to read it and I will most definitely not be reading the second book in the series.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 96
Pages Read in 2017: 27,048
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (U in RUBY)

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The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Michael and his friends spend all their free time in the Sleep, the VirtNet, playing virtual reality video games and hanging out. When VirtNet security asks Michael to use his coding and hacking skills to track down Kaine, a man hidden somewhere inside trying to implement the Mortality Doctrine, the three teens embark on an exciting and dangerous journey that often seems more real than not.

The Eye of Minds is a seriously weird book. It took me quite a while to get into it, but at nearly halfways through it became much more interesting and I could barely put it down. I totally didn’t see the ending coming. I recommend this book to young adults and adults who enjoy sci-fi.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 89
Pages Read in 2017: 24,598
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (E in PEARL)

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Revelation by Karen McQuestion

Everything seems pretty quiet for the four kids in Edgewood. They haven’t heard from the Associates, school is going well, and Nadia’s parents are even allowing her to go out with Russ once a week and hold a job. And then everything changes and the kids are sent on their first mission by the Associates.

Revelation, the fourth and last Edgewood book, closed out the series with a very satisfying end. Once again, the author managed to totally blindside me with a twist I truly never expected. The story is told mostly from Russ’s point of view with a handful of chapters from Nadia’s point of view. It’s exciting to the very end and kept me second-guessing myself as to which group, the Praetorian Guard or the Associates, were the bad guys. I highly recommend this book, but definitely read the first three books before this one or it won’t really make sense.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 67
Pages Read in 2017: 19,831
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (R in EMERALD)

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