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review 2018-05-14 18:48
Honor Among Thieves / Rachel Caine, Ann Aguirre
Honor Among Thieves - Ann Aguirre,Rachel Caine

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

 

What a treat! I could barely put this book down and was almost late for the family Mothers Day celebration as a result.

The beginning was quite transparent—you have an Earth that has been contacted by aliens known as the Leviathan. Enormous whale-like interplanetary travelers, they can create spaces for humans inside their bodies and a small number of humans are chosen each year to go travel the stars with them. These people are known as the Honors and they are (by and large) star mathematicians and musicians. Into this mix, introduce Zara, someone who hasn’t really adjusted to the new situation on Earth, who is a petty criminal trying to stay one step ahead of the law and her enemies. Of course she’s going to be chosen as one of the new crop of Honors, confounding her and her contemporaries.

The story plays on our notion of what whales are all about—gentle giants, intelligent, worthy of our regard and our love. But are the Leviathan the universe’s equivalent? They’ve rescued Earth from environmental and political disaster, but it that rescue a freebie? It takes a con-woman to ask the questions and to deal with the answers! And of course, I came to love Zara because she wasn’t a bad person, but someone pushed into a bad life by her circumstances. She gets to be the skeptic, who is reluctantly won over by contact with Nadim, the Leviathan that she is matched with.

There are many twists and turns to the story, including a sequence that reminded me of Dave & the computer Hal in 2001, where Zara dons what is called a skinsuit to go make necessary but risky repairs! The tension was fabulous!

I’d be really interested to know about the process of the two authors, who contributed what and how they shared the manuscript! But mostly I’m glad that book two is in the works and I have a chance to see how Zara, her co-pilot Bea, and Nadim progress from here.

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review 2018-04-30 18:09
WaR: Wizards and Robots
WaR: Wizards And Robots - Brian David Johnson,will.i.am

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

That was a quick and fun read, even though I think it was too quick, and could’ve been developed into something a little longer without losing its focus or just filling pages: there was definietely a lot going on in this story, what’s with robots and wizards, of course, but also aliens and time travel!

I found the plot easy enough to follow, which isn’t always the case when time travel is concerned. I liked the two (three?) worlds depicted, too: Ada’s ‘present’ with its computers, drones and technological feats; the future world, full of despair but also of loyal robots holding the fort until the end; and, in a way, the world of the wizards, in a ‘powerful beings mired into their own past and refusing to acknowledge changes’ way.

The main characters, too, all had aspects that made them quite likeable in spite of their faults. Sara’s mum may not be available for her family, but she wants to further the cause of knowledge and build a good future for humanity. Ada has her sulky side, but on the other hand she’s loyal to her friends, whether humans or robots. Kaku is powerful, but uses his power and intelligence to learn and protect. Geller isn’t strong, but when offered a bigger power, he clearly uses it to help, and not for his own personal gain.

I’m not giving the book more than 2.5/3 stars, because even though I enjoyed it, it was too short to properly deal with everything, and the ending raised so many questions, and left so many doors open, for something that doesn’t look like a sequel’s in the plans (I had that feeling when I was some 50 pages from the end, and wondering how on Earth everything could be wrapped up). So, yes, the characters were enjoyable, but not very developed. There’s no clear explanation as to why the Spawn is here (well, there is one, but we never get to learn why exactly what they wre trying to destroy was so dangerous -for them-). There are too many unresolved threads when it comes to Ada’s present, such as the future role of the anti-robots people, or what she’s going to do after such an end to the story; and what awaits Geller is too vague, too.

Conclusion: Good for a quick and entertaining read, but don’t expect well-developed characters or a tight plot.

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review 2018-04-28 18:32
Review: Saga, Volume 6
Saga, Volume 6 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

We finally have a family reunion, even if it's not complete.  But things are getting crazier with every chapter!

 

The Will is in a constant state of 'high' and is seeing The Stalk.  He's really in a bad way.  Prince Robot IV is in an unlikely alliance with Marko and Alanna.  I don't even know what to say about this except that the plot continues to thicken!  Just when you think it can't get crazier or more messed up, it does!  But every now and then good things happen.    Hazel is back where she belongs, but now they've got more grudging allies.  And there are more people mixed up in the mystery that his Hazel's existence than a little.  I literally cannot even guess what's going to happen next!

 

The story is keeping me very interested and the artwork is fantastic.  I am so glad I immersed myself in this series.

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review 2018-04-28 16:08
Review: Saga, Volume 5
Saga, Volume 5 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

OMG this is getting insane!  Marko is all sorts of fired up like I've never seen. And Dengo got in way over his head with the rebellion.  And it's Alanna, Klara and Hazel who are going to pay for his stupidity.  Just when we get the reunion we've been waiting for, there's another division.  I'm trying not to spoil.

 

In this Volume things are really heating it.  We've got three sides, one trying to keep the war going, one trying to stop it, and I'm not real sure about the third.  I'm starting to wonder if anyone even knows what they're even fighting for.  And my guess is the side that want to keep the war going is in it for either money or power, likely both.  I just have this sinking feeling that we'll ever get a happy ending here.

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review 2018-04-28 15:00
Review: Saga, Volume 4
Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

Dude this story is getting brutal!

 

This volume is full of angst.  And not good angst.  Alanna and Marko having issues is disheartening.  Prince Robot IV is completely out of his robot mind.  And we've got the usual murder and kidnapping I've become accustomed to seeing in Saga.  Poor baby  Hazel is caught up in the middle of all this crap.

 

Can't wait to see how this shakes out!

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