Category Archives: Science Fiction

Ringworld by Larry Niven

Louis Wu, Teela Brown, Speaker-to-Animals, and Nessus embark on a trip to Ringworld, a place three million times the area of Earth. What they find there is not what they expected at all.

Ringworld is strange and sometimes enjoyable. The worlds and aliens can be quite confusing at first to keep straight. Louis and Teela’s relationship is downright bizarre and a little creepy since he’s 10 times older than she is and had a relationship with her great-great-grandmother. For people who like sci-fi, it’s probably a great pick.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 58
Pages Read in 2018: 14,067
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Reason: Mind Voyages, Science Fiction

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Called to a distant planet to speak for the dead, the simultaneously young and ancient Ender uncovers way more than he ever expected. What he finds just may redeem him and what he did to the Buggers.

Speaker for the Dead starts out very slow, but picks up just before the halfway point. The characters are very well developed, including the piggies. The use of so much Portuguese was pretty unnecessary and sometimes distracting. The last about 1/3 was excellent. I recommend reading this book to anyone who loved Ender’s Game.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 47
Pages Read in 2018: 11,434
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Reason: Mind Voyages, Science Fiction

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Some time in the future, aliens are using humans as hosts. They are inserted and become the conciousness, essentially replacing the human. After insertion, Wanderer is surprised to find Melanie still in her head, refusing to be erased. When Wanderer and Melanie decide to find Melanie’s family, they must convince the humans they mean no harm and figure out how to navigate the very different world of humans.

Other than being agonizingly slow on occasion, The Host is an excellent book. It makes you ponder questions like what makes a person and what makes someone fall in love. Sometimes it was hard to put down. The characters are very well developed and I found myself caring very much what happened to them and hoping they could all somehow end up happy. I recommend reading this book to older teens and up.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 153
Pages Read in 2017: 41,541
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Bestseller written in spouse or child birth year – Adrian, 2008)

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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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Filed under Historical Fiction, Science Fiction