Category Archives: Science Fiction

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

The world laid out in The Fifth Season, the first of The Broken Earth series, is complicated. For this reason, I was confused more often that not for more than the first half of the book. That wasn’t really a problem, though, because the result of putting it all together and figuring out all the rules was incredibly rich and interesting. So many things happened that I just wasn’t expecting. Through most of the book, three stories are being told in alternating chapters, more or less. One of those stories is told in second person. I have never read a book in second person before and I found it to be very effective, especially once you figure out just who “you” are and why the choice to use that point of view was made. I did have one big problem with the book and that is the use of occasional normal English cuss words. They wouldn’t have been a problem if the world itself didn’t have their own expletives. The addition of English ones kind of jarred me out of the story every time like they didn’t belong in the world the author had created. Overall, I found The Fifth Season to have excellent storytelling and world-building. I highly recommend it to people who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 67
Pages Read in 2019: 18,172
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Mind Voyages, Science Fiction

Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis is a city on the moon. Jazz has lived there since she was little. As an adult, she works in the not so legal realm which of course leads to extra trouble. The story is enjoyable and, really, I felt like it ended a little bit too soon. I love how the author slips in science and it just makes sense. I recommend reading this book to anyone who enjoyed The Martian.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 56
Pages Read in 2019: 15,135
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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction

Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds by Dale Kutzera

Based loosely on the HG Wells book, Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds follows a boy, his friends, his father, and an alien and they try to save the world after alien invade earth. It’s pretty cute. It has a nice moral (don’t be embarrassed by your circumstances or what’s happened to you). It’s an excellent book to give to a middle grade age reader to read on their own. It also makes a good family read-aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 43
Pages Read in 2019: 11,215
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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Science Fiction

The Boys of Earth-180 by Paul Samuelson

The Boys of Earth-180 is just not very good. The science is bad, the story is bad, and it’s just plain strange. You have to totally and completely suspend disbelief to accept that two twelve-year-old boys are being sent on a mission by a NASA-like organization simply because their fathers, both astronauts, are lost somewhere in space. Because somehow the boys are supposed to track them down or find the earth-like planet on the other side of the sun. One of those. The end is utterly ridiculous with absolutely no explanation of that ridiculousness. My ten- and twelve-year-old boys were glad when we finished reading the book. I don’t recommend reading it.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 26
Pages Read in 2019: 7416
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Filed under Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Science Fiction

Warden’s Folly by Tony James Slater

The second book in the Ancient Guardians series, Warden’s Folly picks up right where the first book left off. It’s full of action and has a few twists thrown in that I wasn’t expecting, one of which was huge and quite a shock (I literally gasped when I read it). Sci-fi is not really my genre, but I totally enjoyed this one. The narrative is excellent and the way some things are phrased made me laugh out loud. I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy sci-fi and even those like me who usually don’t.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 142
Pages Read in 2018: 36,957
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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Science Fiction

Earth Warden by Tony James Slater

Earth Warden is Tony James Slater’s first fiction book. He usually writes travelogues about his crazy experiences. I’ve read and enjoyed all of those, but I wasn’t sure if I’d like this book since I am not a huge fan of sci-fi. So, it was with some trepidation that I began reading Earth Warden. Well, all I can say is Tony really is an excellent storyteller. I was sucked right in. This book is a nice blend of character and world development and action and adventure. Several twists were thrown in there that I didn’t see coming. The end is satisfying enough, but definitely sets up book two in the series. There are a few typos and missing words here and there, but that was really the only negative about it. I was pleasantly surprised by how into the book I got. I highly recommend it to people who love sci-fi and maybe even people like me who often don’t!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 123
Pages Read in 2018: 32,157
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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Science Fiction

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

When April May stumbles across a giant sculpture in the middle of the night she has no idea how crazy her life is about to get. She is catapulted to the heights of internet fame and thrown right into the mystery of the Carls.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is a very strange, yet very engrossing book. I was completely sucked in rather quickly and it thoroughly kept my attention if only because I really wasn’t sure where in the world the story was going. It kept springing crazy things on me that I wasn’t expecting. So that’s really good. But then there were the negatives. The first tenth of the book contains so many cuss words. After the first tenth, the number dramatically decreases, though when the storyline gets a bit thin the f-words and s-words appear in large numbers again. I kind of felt like the author was trying to capture people’s interest through overuse of the f-word (totally unnecessary as the story itself captures interest and, at least for me, the ridiculous number of cuss words made me less interested in continuing to read). The end is a cliffhanger and it really annoys me when books end like that. Almost like the author is saying, “ha, ha, now you get to buy another book when I write it.” Will I buy it and read it? Yup. Because, while it was super weird, I did like the book. I recommend it to late teens and up who like to read weird sci-fi.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 119
Pages Read in 2018: 30,948
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Filed under Reason: It sounded interesting, Science Fiction