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url 2018-01-16 14:05
Dawn of Chrysalis

After narrowly claiming victory in the first invasion, the F.O.R.C.E. team thinks it has time to rest. Not so. When Whatsit finds out Chrysalis is in danger, he's determined to rescue his fellow Chrysallamans. It's a task he knows he cannot accomplish without the help of his human brethren, but humans and Chrysallamans may not unite against a common foe. Will they work together or be destroyed?

Source: www.amazon.com/dp/B01HOO9UEQ
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review 2016-05-13 20:50
If Wishes Were Spaceships - Ainy Rainwater
"If Wishes Were Spaceships" is kind of an old-school sci-fi tale. A pilot (Jazlyn) has to set her craft down on what the maps all say is a quarantine planet ... but is anything but. She runs afoul of the autocratic planet owner early on and spends the rest of the book crafting her escape.

The book is an entertaining ride that ends on a cliff-hanger of the sort one expects in movie or radio serials: will Jazlyn and her cohorts escape the evil Sterneworth? Stay tuned until next time!

Author Ainy Rainwater has created an interesting set of characters and a location that relies on her experience as a gardener: the planet is populated by exaggerated versions of endangered carnivorous plants that actually exist on Earth.

Highly recommended for sci-fi fans.
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text 2015-04-10 00:06
Another birthday gift!
Aliens, Robots, and Spaceships - Jeff Rovin

Got this.  I usually use these as references for when I need them rather than reading them straight through, but I love having them handy for research purposes.   


Love, love, love.   Have to take a hard look at the robots section, too :D

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review 2014-10-30 12:20
Looking for a #sf to engage all your brain cells?
The Genome: A Novel - Sergei Lukyanenko

If The Genome was not written by Sergei Lukyanenko, it would not have caught my attention. But I’ve been planning to read Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko for a long time, because it sounded like interesting urban fantasy series. The fact that Sergei Lukyanenko is from Russia only increased my curiosity.


Let’s make things clear. The Genome does not have even a tiny bit of fantasy. This book is pure science fiction. And it’s the best kind of science fiction – with believable future and technology.


The human race has long ago spread its wings and left the planet Earth. A lot of planets are colonized. Intergalactic travel is not a dream but reality. Genetic engineering is commonly used at conception by parents. Embryos are modified for specific professions by altering physic appearance and mental capabilities. This genetically altered humans are called ‘spesh‘. I wont go into details here, but there are a lot of explanations about whole process through the book.


Alex Romanov is a narrator and, we could say, the hero of The Genome. He is a spesh and a spaceship pilot, who just got out of a hospital after a fatal injury. The amount of modifications Alex had to become a master pilot is astounding.

“You’ve been modified for gravity overloads?”
“Exactly. I retain mobility at six Gs and consciousness at twelve.”
“And measure distances like a radar.”
“Both distance and velocity.”

We follow Alex as he is looking for a job, crew for his new ship and during his first flight. Since we were present during interviews I felt like I knew members of the crew. Like they are one big quirky family.


After a great start, with a lot of interesting stuff about genetic engineering and Alex getting a new job and crew, the events started to get a bit boring. My enthusiasm for a book lessened and I was afraid that it’s going to be a bore-fest until the end. But then – BOOM – a murder happens. And we get a murder mystery complete with a classic ending where all suspects are in a same room while evidence who is the villain is presented. It reminded me of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.


The only thing that I can say that really bothered me, was romance/sexual aspect of the story. Alex has sex with multiple partners (not at the same time). Sure, he was not in a relationship with any of them, but still… Maybe I would not have been troubled by this, if one of his sexual partners was not a 14 year old young girl, half his age, who hero-worshiped him.


The Genome is a great book for a book club. There is a wide range of topics that can be discussed: cloning, genetic engineering, freedom of choice, love, … Yes, even love. And this is a reason why:

“Damn it, Kim. My ability to love is removed. Artificially removed.”
Her features froze. Then came a sheepish little smile. “Alex … you’re kidding, right?”
“Nope. It’s true, baby. I’m incapable of love. Anything but that.”
“How can … love be removed?” Kim’s voice quivered. “It’s like breathing … walking … thinking … Alex! You’re pulling my leg! You’re joking, right?”
“Kim, I’m telling you the truth. It is common knowledge that pilots, detectives, and tax collectors are genetically modified to be incapable of love.”

Why love interferes with pilot’s job? Can emotions really be removed? Are beings who do not feel love still humans? Some of these questions will be answered in The Genome, the rest are up to us…


In The End…

The Genome has something for everyone. Genetic engineering, spaceships and intricate planets for science fiction fans. Intrigue and thrill of unknown for action fans. Classic detective investigation for mystery fans. I can honestly say that it kept all my brain cells busy. I am not disappointed with Sergei Lukyanenko‘s writing and I am looking forward to read more.


Disclaimer: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-the-genome-by-sergei-lukyanenko
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-11-06 18:11
Shades of Earth - review
Shades of Earth - Beth Revis

Shades of Earth is the final installment in the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis and it is definitely my favourite. All the pieces of the story come together and it felt much faster paced than Across the Universe and A Million Suns (not that I didn't enjoy them too). I think part of it is because they have finally left the claustrophobic Godspeed behind (though there were times I missed the ship). 

At the end of A Million Suns, Amy and Elder were preparing to launch the shuttle that was going to take them to their new home Centauri-Earth. The beginning of Shades of Earth picks up right where the last one left off. Not all of the ship's inhabitants decided to leave with them after the rebellion that took place in A Million Suns, but enough of the ship-borns were willing to take the next step of the journey and there are the 'frozens' as well - including Amy's parents - who Amy quickly unfreezes when they reach the planet's surface.

However, upon reaching the planet Amy and Elder soon discover that Orion's warnings about the planet's lifeforms are accurate - there are 'monsters' - giant pterodactyl-like birds that waste no time in attacking and killing some of the new arrivals. Not only that but the flora itself is deadly and there are also other mysterious aliens that seem hell-bent on destroying them. They also have to contend with the newly-awakened military presence (of which Amy's father is the new de-facto leader given that Orion took out the most senior officers in Across the Universe). There are secrets that the military are hiding from everyone and things are definitely not as they seem. It is up to Amy and Elder to uncover these secrets that threaten all their lives (with a little help from Orion and his cryptic 'clues'). What deadly secrets is Centauri-Earth hiding, why was the first Elder so determined to keep them on the ship and just who are the real enemies? 

This was a truly fantastic book. I enjoyed the first two books in the series but sometimes the plot moved a little too slowly and ponderously for me. I also felt the characters were lacking depth, or at least their motivations were hard for me to understand because I never felt I really knew enough about them as characters.


Except for Harley who I still really miss. :(

(spoiler show)


I am pleased to say that this isn't a problem in Shades of Earth. The characters, mainly Amy and Elder but also the side characters as well, felt more nuanced and layered. I still find Amy a little bit annoying but I understand her better now so it was easier to accept that facet of her personality. Elder has really grown on me. He irritated me a lot in the previous books but I really like how Beth Revis has developed his character in this and although there were few moments where the old Elder popped up, I still very much enjoyed the new, more responsible side of him. Amy and Elder's relationship also develops further and their bond feels more believable than it did in the previous books.

Overall Shades of Earth was a blinding end to the series. I was riveted from the beginning to the end. There were twists and turns that took me by complete surprise and I liked the final resolution of the conflict.


I even like the cheesiness of Elder's survival at the very end after he seemingly gives his life to save Amy and his people.

(spoiler show)


Some familiar faces also made an unexpected appearance in this book whom I was really pleased to see.


I was pleasantly surprised to see Bartie and Doc again when Elder finds his way back up to the ship to save the left-behind shipmates (after Godspeed's engine failure leads to the ship start degrading at an accelerated rate - there only chance for survival is to join the rest of the crew on Centauri-Earth). I do wish Orion wasn't killed off so quickly though as he was a character I wanted to know more about.

(spoiler show)


I also like the fact that Beth Revis wasn't afraid to kill characters off and she did so in a way that served the plot and heightened the tension. All the plot threads came together nicely in this and I was floored when each secret was revealed. I am a huge science fiction fan (especially of anything set in a spaceship or an unexplored world - I have Star Trek to thank for that!) and dystopian stories have always fascinated me so I was always going to love a series that combines these two elements. Shades of Earth is the book where it all comes together for me and the climax has definitely been worth waiting for.

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