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review 2018-12-12 03:22
The Last Star
The Last Star (The 5th Wave) - Rick Yancey

 

 

Audience: Young Adult

 

This is my body.

- first sentence

 

 

It's been a long time since I read the first book of the 5th Wave series. So long in fact, that I had to re-read the second book. But it was sooo worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was a fitting and heartbreaking conclusion to the series.

 

Throughout the series, the characters have never been sure who the enemy is. In the end, it's about who you can trust, who you are willing to sacrifice for, and how much you are willing to sacrifice. Cassie stays true to herself until the very end; she is strong and never gives up trying to protect her family. It was fun to see Cassie and Ringer (who are complete opposites) working together to save someone and to finally get their revenge. 

 

There are some twists here that I didn't see coming and some I did. I'm enamored with Yancey's writing and storytelling ability. I will happily read anything else he writes. I noticed that this book is to be made into a movie (or maybe it already was). It is perfect movie material if they do a good job.

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review 2018-12-11 14:48
Saviours: "The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and Automation" by Darrell M. West
The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and Automation - Darrell M. West



Imagine the scene: It's 2025 and a school student is visiting their careers adviser.

Student: Hey there, so do you have any advice for me in choosing a career?
Adviser: Well, we've monitored your performance over the last 13 years of schooling, your interests and abilities and used our software to predict which roles you would be best suited to.
Student: Ok, so whats the result?
Adviser: We are terribly sorry, but it seems you are what is commonly called a 'spare'
Student: Umm..a spare?

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-30 19:49
Watcher by A J Eversley
Watcher - A.J. Eversley

This story started off really good. I was pulled in straight away and the tale gripped my attention for the first 3rd of the book. By then, I was attached to certain characters and rode the rest of the story out. It lagged a bit in the middle but picked up with intrigue and action during the last third.

Sawyer is a capable young lady who has been training since a young age to protect her people and combat the bots and carbons. I love that sometimes she’s in charge of a mission but she’s also got bosses back at base. The world has long since been in disarray and humanity is losing the fight against the artificial beings. Everyone wonders when their last day will be. As far as everyone knows, there are only 2 remaining cities in the world: Cytos and Kuros. No one is sure how many free humans are left since they are all in hiding. This setting really drew me in.

I did get a kick out of some of the character names like Tennyson and Byron. Then some have regular names like Kyle and Sam. Toss in Kenzie, who we know from the beginning has something to do with a nefarious group. I do wish there had been more female characters. There is one who serves as the main cook for the humans and Sawyer’s memory of her mother plays a strong emotional role. Still, there is only 1 woman, Sawyer, who gets plot-related stuff done. We need more ladies in this story.

The romance was silly and I felt it dragged the story down. It was cliched and didn’t hold any special magic to it. I found myself hoping the two lovebirds would find out they were blood relatives so then all their angst would have a real reason behind it. I’m evil that way.

Coleman, the Big Baddie, was also a bit cliched too. His lines were always predictable and all the traps could be seen coming a mile off. I wanted a bit more from the evil ones. Also, for some odd reason, most of the humans have never even held a gun…. which doesn’t make sense at all. It’s not like the world fell just last month. No, these women and men have had years (maybe decades) to build secret bases, have organized missions, and a little bit of espionage on the carbons. I expect most would be armed with some weapon all the time and all would know the basics of a handgun.

Chevy the dog was a cute touch but I felt he was put there more to pull on the heart strings and provide some comic relief than anything else. Who takes an untrained dog on a dangerous rescue mission? Sawyer, that’s who! But, why? Sawyer, you’re in charge. You can leave Chevy behind. The base literally locks it doors behind you once you leave for your mission. He’ll settle down eventually, chewing on your favorite shoe.

The last third of the book picks up again with a few twists. I got back into the story and was rooting for Sawyer. Things aren’t looking good for the humans but perhaps Sawyer and crew can pull off a miracle. Sawyer now has some internal, personal battles to work on as well. The sequel holds promise. 3.5/4 stars

The Narration: Chelsea Stephens and Steve Campbell do a good job narrating this book. Stephens makes a great Sawyer with her clear voice that can be both tough and tender. Campbell makes a great eerie Kenzie. Most of the story is narrated by Stephens and she did a good job with distinct character voices. Her male characters sounded like men. I especially liked her voices for the cook and the elderly mad scientist on Sawyer’s side. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by AJ Eversley. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-11-30 19:24
You're Going to Mars by Rob Dircks
You're Going to Mars - Rob Dircks

This book was a pure joy to listen to. I enjoyed every minute of it. Paper Forest was the perfect character to lead me through this near future scifi tale. She’s blessed with caring family & friends even as she grows up in one of the poorest areas, working in a giant landfill. She and her sisters (Rock and Scissors, and yes, they are triplets) each have different talents and Paper’s is her fascination with rockets and Mars. This causes several model rocket mishaps, much to Duggie’s amusement (Paper’s best friend). Everyone in the Fill watches the game show You’re Going To Mars, the entertainment child of trillionaire Zach Larson.

Then a magical thing happens. People have conspired to get Paper on that show because they believe in her, love her, and want a champion of the Fill. The Gitanos, a ruthless family that owns and runs the Fills around the world, have near-slavery multi-generational contracts with the inhabitants of the Fills. The horrible living and working conditions are unknown to outsiders.

There is so much well placed humor in this story. Sometimes it’s used to lighten a moment, sometimes just to give some snark, and then sometimes to make a serious point. Paper is great with her snark. It’s just the right amount and I never got tired of hearing her thoughts on everything.

The other contestants on the show were fun too. Aurora stands out because of all her sass but also because she’s both needy and distrusting all at the same time. She’s one of those celebrity stars known for her music and not her math or engineering skills. The real astronauts that have been training for years for this Mars trip aren’t too thrilled about taking along some bratty contestant winner, whoever that turns out to be. Astronaut Dan Daniels sure isn’t happy and he lets everyone know it.

The suspense winds up and one contestant after another is dropped from the competition. I loved that it wasn’t a bad thing for everyone (in fact someone wins a pet store! Ha! What a consolation prize!). There’s also more humor as the would be astronauts learn about astronaut life, like all those close living arrangements…. when you are doing everything. I mean everything!

Paper has some scary moments but I love how Jane does her best again and again to keep Paper in the game. The Gitanos are just one hurdle. There are others that don’t want a private organization successfully setting down on Mars. Perhaps there is something there we don’t expect after all.

This story gave me one fist-bump moment after another. I was verbally cheering Paper on at times, much to the amusement of people around me. You go Paper! The ending has a few sad moments and some great want to the hug everyone moments. Honestly, this has been one my favorite books for the year. 5/5 stars.

The Narration: Khristine Hvam did an amazing job. She is Paper Forest. I also applaud her ability to make all three sisters sound closely related but to also give each a distinct voice, mostly through attitude. Her male voices are spot on too. She had the perfect older male voice for Zach Larson. Her sass for Aurora was just as I pictured it. The recording quality was top notch. Excellent all around. 5/5 stars.

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review 2018-11-20 22:05
Real
Future Fake Husband - Kate Hawthorne,E.M. Denning

Cole is running out of time.  His mother lets him in on the secret that his grandparents are giving the vineyard he runs to his vapid sister after she marries.  All that he has worked for will be lost.

 

Rhett has always known he is not good enough for his twin brother's best friend.  Cole is the sexiest man he has ever seen.  When he proposes they plan for their futures together, it seems like the best plan.

 

I am going to be honest with you.  I have never read either of these authors' books.  After this amazing story - that will change.  I loved this story so much I eagerly gobbled each page.  I laughed, cried, and rejoiced with these characters.  Happily, this is an amazing read that I, for one, hope makes it into the movie theaters.  So hot!  I give this a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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