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review 2017-07-20 14:44
DNF: Nowhere Near You
Nowhere Near You - Leah Thomas

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I just can't get into this one. Sad, because I remember I really loved the first book because it's characters and plot were so unique. Though I just can't connect with this second book at all. Possibly because I remember very little about the story in the first book. The novel takes place shortly after the first one finishes with the two characters still writing to each other. Ollie is looking for other kids like him and Moritz has an opportunity for a new school. It's not a bad book by any means, the characters  are still very different and original, I just can't get into the story at all. I have a finished paperback of the first one, and I did get a paperback of this one to go with it. So it's certainly a book I may go back to and reread both together at some point in the future. 

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for approving my request to view the title. 

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review 2017-07-12 00:22
Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey 
Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey

Better than the first. It's got most of the same elements, but instead of the noir mystery aspect this one has hardcore politics. And a non-stereotypical female main character who has agency to spare. And another non-stereotypical female main character who has nothing in common with the other one. A diverse cast and while intimate relationships aren't the focus, they are used to good effect to make the characters and the culture well-rounded.

 

I can't hardly wait to read the third one.

 

Library copy

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review 2017-07-06 16:35
Review: Waste of Space
Waste of Space - Gina Damico Waste of Space - Gina Damico

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is the second book I’ve read recently with a satirical tone which seems to be poking fun at the absurdity of “reality” TV.  In this reader’s opinion, this is the better book. It’s funnier, and there are an abundance of characters who needed to be punched on lots of different occasions, but it is utterly gripping.

 

The premise of this one is pretty straight forward as explained in the synopsis. Ten random kids thrown together on what they think is a spaceship, and sent into space. Which is really a big ass soundstage in the Californian desert somewhere with a host of spectacular special effects, built by a team of scientists. Lead by an executive producer who’s a gigantic moron but clearly thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread.  

 

The casting is the worst type of stereotyping, and personalities will almost clearly clash, with maybe two or three characters who were actually likeable. It’s impossible to recap much without being spoilery.

 

Of course with this sort of premise, it’s not long before things go hideously wrong. There is a slightly snarky tone to most of it, it’s told in a series of reports and interviews and such of what happened after it all went down. Nothing is as it seems, behind the scenes things unravel fantastically, and the viewing public are utterly fascinated. It’s the type of terrible TV show that you find yourself unable to stop watching no matter how obviously fake it is and how obviously bad it is.

 

I did find some of the characters to be really surprising, showing a really surprising side to themselves. There were a fair number of them who were idiots. There was also some great twists to the plot as well.  Nothing too deep. It was quite silly in parts, and quite funny. Very entertaining.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-06-26 22:07
A Deserving Award-Winner!

BREEDER, by K.B. Hoyle

 

It quickly becomes clear when reading Breeder, why K.B. Hoyle is an award-winning author. Specifically, Breeder, Book One of The Breeder Cycle, is a Literary Classics and a Readers’ Favorite award winner. From the opening pages, I knew that I was in for a treat. While I don’t read a lot of science fiction or dystopian stories, I can enjoy a well-thought through, well-constructed story in any genre—and Breeder certainly hit all of the marks for me.

 

 

K.B. Hoyle introduces readers to an approved Breeder for the Controlled Repopulation Program, who resides at Sanctuary. One of a group of young women that the Unified World Order (UWO) holds because they are of “perfect” genetic background, the breeders’ job is to be “happy” and to provide Contributions—in the form of newborns. Initially identifying only as resident number “Seventeen,” Hoyle’s young protagonist recalls (at the prompting of another) her former name: Pria. Not long thereafter, she finds herself questioning the system in which she lives and spirals into a deep depression. Later, during a visit to the medical unit, she meets Pax. Pax—who should long ago have met his end in that he exhibits physical characteristics that clearly identify him as one who is not of acceptable genetic lineage--convinces Pria that her life is in danger and that she should escape with him. The two manage to leave Sanctuary, then head into the mountains of the territory formerly known as Colorado. There they meet up with a group of renegades intent on bringing the UWO and its lies to an end. But first they need information to which only Pria can provide them access.

 

Breeder was a quick and very satisfying read. The characters were real, full, and interesting. The setting met the story. The world Hoyle built satisfied this reader’s expectations. To top it all off, Breeder concluded with a satisfying “end.” But even with all of that, this reader is delighted to know that there is more to come, in Criminal: The Breeder Cycle, Volume Two. I look forward to discovering more about Pria, Pax, and all of their newfound friends (and enemies!). If you enjoy YA or are looking for engaging, well-written, “clean” stories for young readers, look no further than Breeder.

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review 2017-06-15 17:00
Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey  
Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey

I got into two different conversations lugging this around. So, apparently there's a new Sci Fi series based on this series of books. And it's good, I hear. You know what I liked best about it, besides the old-school sci fi space opera vibe? Ethics. I know, right? Lots of thought time and discussion given to ethics and morals and what is the right thing to do. It doesn't drag the plot down at all, there's still plenty going on, and big battles and such. And I liked the hardboiled cop storyline enormously.

Female characters at maybe 1 in 10, and mostly they exist for dudes to fall for, so points off for that, but the dudes are falling for clever, creative, hard-working characters, so it's not like reading Golden Age sexism, but there is definitely room for improvement. And Yay! everyone isn't white, so that's nice, too.

My library only has this one volume. So, does anyone know if the series is driving an uptick in reading? I want to ask them to get all the books, but not if I'm the only one who'll check them out.

Library copy

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