Categories
Science Fiction

Starship Alchemon by Christopher Hinz

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Thank you so much to Angry Robot via NetGalley for the eARC of Starship Alchemon in exchange for an honest review!

Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

Deep-space action and a threat to all humanity, by the award-winning author of Liege-Killer and The Paratwa Saga.

Far from Earth, the AI-guided vessel Alchemon discovers a bizarre creature whose malignant powers are amplified by the presence of LeaMarsa de Host, a gifted but troubled Psionic.The ship is soon caught in a maelstrom of psychic turbulence that drives one crewmember insane and frees the creature from its secure containment. Now Captain Ericho Solorzano and the survivors must fight for their lives against a shrewd enemy that not only can attack them physically, emotionally and intellectually, but which seeks control of their sentient ship as a prelude to a murderous assault on the human species.

Starship Alchemon throws a pretty interesting crew of characters together on a research mission to investigate a bacteria growing on a distant planet where there shouldn’t be life forms. One thing leads to another and they are battling a disastrously powerful life for trying to get home alive.

Let me start with the characters: the ship is guided by an AI enhanced human named Jonomy, who links with the ship to guide and run interference. An interesting history is provided on these enhanced humans, and I enjoyed finding out that he also had a personality and life and conscience of his own. LeaMarsa, the psionic (psychic type) brought onto the mission is the other central character. She has a troubled past and probably the most interesting background, as she discovers the true purpose of the life form on board and her powers send the rest of the ship into catastrophe. (Think betazoids on steroids for Star Trek fans). There are a handful of other characters including a snarky researcher, his assistant, the captain and ship doctor, and a psychologically troubled first officer.

There are quite a few sub plots too, such as a shady character who is running these space missions. I wish that line had been resolved a little more. There is the history of the life form on board and LeaMarsa’s interactions with it. The relationship between the captain and doctor provides a nice touch. The other characters have their own little storylines too. There is a lot going on. Sometimes it turned into a jumble but I enjoyed the book quite a bit.

Technology plays a huge role as well, as it should in a sci-fi book! The levels of the ship’s AI each play into the other lesser levels. There are robots and weapons and computers and space portals for transports into other galaxies.

Overall I think this was a long but honestly interesting book. The ending seemed a bit easy but I would recommend for any sci-fi fans. If you are like me and love space themed reads, like Star Trek as the biggest example, I think you’ll enjoy this. It released earlier in November so check it out if it seems up your alley!

Categories
Dystopian Science Fiction Young Adult

Refraction by Naomi Hughes

Hi all! Today is my instagram stop on the Fantastic Flying Book Club tour for Refraction, by Naomi Hughes! Thank you for including me!!

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Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:

After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade―until he’s caught by the mayor’s son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many abandoned cities overrun by fog. But they soon realize their thoughts influence their surroundings and their deepest fears begin to manifest. With fast pacing and riveting characters, this is a book that you’ll finish in one sitting.

I actually read it in two sittings, the synopsis is not exaggerating at all when it says faat pacing! I was hooked from the start to the end, for a few different reasons.

First off I liked the characters. After an alien invasion where now any reflective surface can spawn vicious shadow creatures, mirrors become illegal. Marty deals in illegal mirrors, which are still prized for their potential to create electricity in the dystopian society that has developed on the island. Elliot is a great character too, I enjoyed watching them begrudgingly work together and then become friends.

The plot was absolutely breakneck, and after the boys are exiled and start learning what is happening to Earth, it became awful hard to put the book down. It is hard to not give spoilers but the main character has OCD, which ties into the rather large psychological aspect of the story.

The way that the action is framed can be done either very well or very poorly, and I was nervous at first but the author did it VERY well I thought, because it made sense. You’ll see what I mean when you read it!

I would fully recommend the book for any fans of sci fi, psychological aspects, and there is a touch of horror and supernatural as well. There is something for everyone here including found families and a lot of personal growth.

Thank you again for including me in the tour!!

BOOK LINKS:

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43263585

refraction
Amazon:
https://amzn.to/2IBDomN
B&N:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/refraction

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hughes/1130016054#/
iTunes:
https://books.apple.com/br/book/refraction/id1458360171
Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/refraction

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Google Books:
https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Refraction.html?id=7E_DvgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Categories
Fantasy Science Fiction

The Queen’s Wing by Jessica Thorne

Title: The Queen’s Wing

Author: Jessica Thorne

Publisher: Bookouture

Length: 353

Release Date: 11/21/18

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review!

In The Queen’s Wing, a young noble named Belengaria is thrown into royalty and then a political marriage after an attack on her home world. Her dream was to become a fighter pilot? And now she must adapt to life on a new planet with the leader of said planet as her future . When war and destruction ensue from the same attackers of her home world, Bel must assume a leadership role and become a true queen…

Ok, enough summary. I did enjoy the story quite a bit, but was also confused mostly in the beginning of the book. The author took evident inspiration from Star Wars and the book had more of a sci-fi feel than fantasy or romance. There are elements of all three, including mythical old creatures left to defend(?) their home planet, and a sort of love triangle that didn’t add much to the story.

I did appreciate the relationship building between Bel and Conleith, and feel like the characters are the strong point of the novel. Bel had a lot of personal development and Petra was another strong female character. I never got into the Shae character or some of the others. There was a great LGBQ reference with Jondar and… No spoilers but it was a cool addition.

Overall I am going to go with 3 stars. Some parts were just not believable and others didn’t make a lot of sense, but I still enjoyed it as a well-edited read with strong character building. It is definitely appropriate for YA, and I would recommend to anyone who likes a sci fi read and strong female leads!

Categories
Science Fiction

Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron

Hello everyone, happy Saturday to you! Let’s talk about Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron. This sci-fi thriller will release on 11/15/18 and the good news is that it looks like the rest of the series will also release at that time. I know that I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

I would first like to thank NetGalley and the author for my eARC, I received my e-copy for free in exchange for an honest review – and honestly I loved this book!

As their spaceship is damaged and the crew is awoken early from stasis, we meet Daisy and company. Enter a world of technology and artificial intelligence, mystery, conspiracy, friendship and some bluntly described romance. Daisy and her shipmate Sarah are likeable characters and a big part of the hook was the development of our feelings towards the rest of the crew – for good or for worse.

The most interesting point to me is that the book bluntly asks the question: How do you feel about artificial intelligence? Daisy has to do a lot of self-reflection regarding her views on cyborgs, technology, and humanity in general. Baron adds a great but short passage about how Earth looked before current events, including how with overseas travel becoming cheaper and quicker, xenophobia was all but gone as cultures mixed and erased old misguided prejudices. Speaking of misguided assumptions – that plot twist!!!

The majority of the novel takes place as Daisy runs from potential captors on her ship and learns their secrets. The conclusion rushes in and smacks the reader in the face with a baseball bat. I feel like that is intentional though; we can palpably feel Daisy’s shock and it sets up the next novel well. I didn’t quite grasp the full extent of what happened though so I wish he had drawn it out a bit more at the end with more background.

The book is fairly well edited with a few passages that seem repetitive, such as when Sarah was described later on. There is plenty of tech-speak reminiscent of Star Trek, which I love but some may end up skimming over

Summary: 4/5 stars. I would recommend this fully to any Sci-Fi fans, and only caution for some coarse sexual language. Thank you again to NetGalley and Scott Baron!