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review 2018-09-23 17:05
5 STARS for this story that lives up to its amazing cover...
Contagion - Erin Bowman

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~BOOK BLURB~

Contagion

Erin Bowman

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IT GOT IN US

 

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

 

MOST ARE DEAD

 

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

 

DON’T SET FOOT HERE AGAIN

 

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I wasn't sure what to expect with this…the only other books by Erin Bowman that I've read have been YA Westerns.  This is way different than those books.  I'll admit, early on, I thought she was jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, with this deep space horror/thriller based on a crazy virus.  It felt an awful lot like Illuminae.  Within no time though, that thought was out of my head, because I was hooked on this compelling story.  With zombie-like symptoms, this mysterious virus is seriously frightening.  It does end on a total cliffhanger, but I'm not even upset about that because I cannot wait to listen to the second book which is set to come out in July of 2019.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.8/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.8/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.8/5

Ending~ 5/5  Cliffhanger~ Yeah…you could say that.

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Book Cover~ Love it…especially the colors in it.

Narration~ Amy McFadden

Series~ Contagion #1

Setting~  The Planet Achlys

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for Dead Lands Square in Halloween Bingo 2018

 

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review 2018-08-29 23:18
4.5 OUT OF 5 "VR ENHANCED" STARS
Warcross - Marie Lu

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~BOOK BLURB~

Warcross

Marie Lu

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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

 

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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With tones that reminded me of Ready Player One, Warcross is a stellar first book in a promising new series.  It takes place mostly in a virtual world, hence the reminders of the Ernest Clines book.  But that ends with that one similarity and Warcross becomes it's very own unique story that is unlike any other books in this genre. 

 

Overall, an unpredictable and action-packed book with likable characters, there is a definite romance going on throughout and I should warn you it does end on a cliffhanger with some wtf twists at the very end.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.3/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 4.3/5

Ending~ 4.7/5 Cliffhanger~ Yeah…pretty much.

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Book Cover~ Meh…

Narration~ 4.5 for Nancy Wu, she was really good, actually.

Series~ Warcross #1

Setting~ Tokyo, Japan & New York

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-20 18:04
4.7 Out Of 5 "all for a hidden egg" STARS
Ready Player One - Wil Wheaton,Ernest Cline

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~BOOK BLURB~

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

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It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. 

 

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them. 

 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

 

A world at stake. 

A quest for the ultimate prize. 

Are you ready?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Wow…while Ready Player One was not without its faults for me…it's ultimate message was amazing and amazingly well played.

 

The Not So Good:  The overly long, drawn out sub-stories and game descriptions left me nodding off at times, so thankful I listened to this rather than reading it.  I probably couldn't have gotten through it otherwise. 

 

The Good:  The nostalgic 80's references, everything from the movies, TV shows, music to the video games. I loved them all, well…all but Monty Python, because I'm never going to understand the appeal of that.  The dynamic between the characters was exceptionally done also. 

 

Overall, a book with a sincere message about the reality of life, despite being played out almost entirely in a virtual reality, and how perseverance can help you achieve almost anything, especially with help from your friends.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.3/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5+/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nah…

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Book Cover~ It's kind of boring…it definitely hides the potential of the story.

Narration~ 5 for Wil Wheaton, he was amazing with this content…my only complaint is maybe he lacked volume.

Setting~ Inside the OASIS, mostly.

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-07-29 16:08
5 Out Of 5 "hacker-if-ic" STARS
This Mortal Coil - Emily Suvada

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~BOOK BLURB~

This Mortal Coil

Emily Suvada

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In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

 

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

 

That’s no surprise since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

 

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

 

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This book is amazing, one of the best dystopian's I've read in a while and absolutely a new favorite.  For a book involving gene hacking, splicing, decoding and lots of technical terms and such this is completely comprehensible and seriously compelling.  It also depicts a plaque virus with walking dead-like creatures that will explode and then infect anyone in a certain radius, plus some crazy plot twists that will blow your mind.  This book is pure genius.  There is also some romance…but it is done well and does not dominate the story, at least in my opinion, but I like some romance.  Book #2, This Cruel Design, comes out at the end of October.  I totally recommend!

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ I Love It!

Narration~ 5 for Skye Bennett, I really liked her voice, she made this a breeze to listen to.

Series~ This Mortal Coil #1

Setting~ A Futuristic United States & some in Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-07-10 23:21
4 Out Of 5 "Norco-induced paranoia" STARS
Obscura - Joe Hart

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~BOOK BLURB~

Obscura

Joe Hart

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In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similarly inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Obscura is one part psychological thriller, one part critical journey into deep space, and another part scientific search for a cure for a devastating disease, with a dousing of Norco induced paranoia; tossed together with mostly likable characters.  I should have fully connected with this more than I did.  Maybe it was the lackluster characters or the narration, or that it was to science fiction-y for me.  Maybe…it’s a little of each.

 

I will say this…Obscura could be awesome as a movie, I'm quite certain it would hold my complete attention in that context.  While I definitely liked this, I just always felt somewhat detached while listening.  You know when you're watching something on TV while scrolling through social media on your phone.  It was kind of like that, basically, I was easily distracted.  But seriously, what I'm really trying to say is you should totally give this a try if the synopsis sounds good to you.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

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Book Cover~ It drew me in…

Narration~☆3.5☆ for Christina Traister...she was okay, I guess.

Setting~ Outer Space --between Earth and Mars, mostly

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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