This book was a fascinating blend of science fiction and horror, all told through a "found objects" conceit. Inside the covers of ILLUMINAE is a dossiThis book was a fascinating blend of science fiction and horror, all told through a "found objects" conceit. Inside the covers of ILLUMINAE is a dossier of "top-secret files" containing all the details about a battle between several ships on the outer fringes of space. Two interstellar mega-corporations' rivalry becomes war, and when the government steps in, things go from bad to worse. Caught up in the middle of it all are teen exes Kady and Ezra. As refugees from a planet that was attacked, they are sent to two separate ships under the custody of the government. Ezra, a good-natured guy who just wants to get along, is quickly recruited to become a fighter pilot and rebellious Kady resists conscription and becomes a brilliant hacker. When the artificial intelligence goes haywire on Ezra's ship, Kady must figure out a way to save him. My only complaints: the "found objects" format does become a little tiresome as the reader makes their way through the 600 pages of various "files," and it feels like the authors threw in every stereotypical plot device from every science fiction book or movie they could find. It's a real kitchen-sink of a book. However, I absolutely loved the first huge plot twist toward the end of the book, it really took me by surprise! The other twists at the end kind of piled up in the last few pages, but I guess the authors had to set the stage for Book 2. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys horror or intense thrillers set in space....more
Unlike the other dystopias Margaret Atwood's imagined-gritty and serious and full of deep meanings-the world of THE HEART GOES LAST is petty, vulgar,Unlike the other dystopias Margaret Atwood's imagined-gritty and serious and full of deep meanings-the world of THE HEART GOES LAST is petty, vulgar, slightly gross, sort of sexy for a bit, but ultimately just...really goofy. This also describes the marriage of Stan and Charmaine, the two main characters. Living in their car after a huge economic collapse, the couple take a chance on a new life in Consilience, a gated community whose residents swap housing and lives each month with prison inmates. Of course, there's evil afoot in Consilience, which isn't as perfect a town as it first appears. But the setup and the plot are beside the point. THE HEART GOES LAST is really about Stan and Charmaine's marriage itself: real life, not idealized, messy, complicated, claustrophobic, retro, hetero, marriage. If you strip away everything else, it's a fascinating examination of marriage and what it means. But, there is also chicken molestation, a sex-bot factory, a woman in love with a stuffed animal, a plot point that hinges on the song "Tiptoe Through The Tulips," and a house full of Elvis impersonators, if you're into that kind of stuff....more
This was a satisfying ending to Margaret Atwood's dystopian trilogy. I didn't quite enjoy it nearly as much as the first two books - I think I was expThis was a satisfying ending to Margaret Atwood's dystopian trilogy. I didn't quite enjoy it nearly as much as the first two books - I think I was expecting a more epic conclusion - but it was a pleasure to return to the worlds she created (both the "chaos" of the world before the plague, and the more peaceful aftermath). I listened to the audiobook version, and the three narrators did an excellent job (although the man who narrated Zeb's back-story reminded me so much of Lewis Black!) This book focuses on Zeb - the brother of Adam One, who led the eco-religious group the God's Gardeners - and again on Toby, who was one of the main characters in Book 2. We also see more development of culture and religious beliefs among the Crakers, the genetically-engineered race of humans. The group of surviving God's Gardeners and the MaddAddam geneticists have banded together and are trying to create a sustainable life for themselves, but they are under attack from two murderous painballers (survivors of a vicious Hunger Games type-reality show). The group of survivors is forced to find and defeat the painballers while also searching for the lost Adam One and trying to rescue him. While I love the world-building of these books, I was a little skeptical that their group wouldn't constantly be under attack from other survivors, and that everything would be peaceful once they got rid of these two individuals that threatened them. Maybe The Walking Dead has warped my vision of what the post-apocalypse would be like! I recommend the entire trilogy though....I still loved this book even though I found the plot a bit meandering and implausible....more
The sequel to THE LONG EARTH! This book continued and expanded on all the numerous plotlines and characters we met in Book 1. Now that humans are coloThe sequel to THE LONG EARTH! This book continued and expanded on all the numerous plotlines and characters we met in Book 1. Now that humans are colonizing all the alternate versions of Earth that were opened on Step Day, of course the government is trying to reach their hands into the pie. Trade and military expeditions are accomplished across the alternate earths via "twains," fleets of blimps that can travel across earths high in the air. In THE LONG WAR we meet a sensible military captain who's checking on the colonies in her ship; get reunited with Joshua, who's now married to Helen the pioneer girl; and journey with him to many different planes as he and Sally try to figure out what is happening with the humanoid "trolls." Other humanoid residents of the alternate earths are introduced in this volume as well, including a dog species that I couldn't help picturing as giant cartoon Snoopys... Few of the many plotlines are tied up in THE LONG WAR, and like the first book, it ends on a note of disaster, so here I will sit waiting for Book 3 :)...more
This is the first book I've read by Suzanne Brockmann - her usual type of contemporary, military romances is not my style - but I couldn't resist theThis is the first book I've read by Suzanne Brockmann - her usual type of contemporary, military romances is not my style - but I couldn't resist the premise of this book, which reminded me of a more realistic X-Men. I chose the audio version of this book, and listening to it was like watching a big, effects-heavy summer action movie in my head. Dual narrators keep the action moving along and help the listener keep all the points of view straight.
This first installment in a paranormal/action/suspense series is set in an alternate-reality/future Boston in which the economic crisis has deepened and most government and law enforcement services are privatized. Our protagonists are members of a law enforcement team employed by the Obermeyer Institute, which studies the powers of "greater-thans" - those individuals who can access a greater percentage of their brains than the rest of society. The greater-thans have a range of psychic and mental powers, and everyone's powers are unique.
Born to Darkness focuses on romances between three main couples involved with the team, and sets up a rivalry between the Institute's team and the shadowy Organization, a criminal drug ring which manufactures the designer drug Destiny - a drug that also grants enhanced mental, physical and psychic powers to its abusers, until they "joker," or go completely, homicidally crazy.
The reason this book only gets three stars for me is its focus on the romance between Institute team member Michelle "Mac" Mackenzie and Shane, a former Navy SEAL who joins the Institute's fight against the Organization. Mac's hand-wringing about the vulnerability she feels because of her growing love for Shane takes up a ridiculous portion of the book, or at least that's how it felt to me. I found myself zoning out every time a Mac and Shane scene began. the other main characters in the book were much more engaging: Dr. Bach (he's kind of like the Professor X of their team - the leader and most powerful) and Anna, and Elliott and Dr. Diaz (an adorable gay couple who have admired each other from afar as coworkers and finally get together). I'm excited to read the next books in this series because I connected with these characters so much more.
The two series may seem quite different, but I would recommend Born to Darkness to fans of P.C. Cast's House of Night series, because the multiple points of view, the special Institute, and the diverse relationships between characters all reminded me of the House of Night books - but these are much better written and definitely for an adult readership. I'll be looking forward to following the rest of the Destiny fighters' adventures!...more
This sequel to "Across the Universe" amps up the action and politics onboard the spaceship Godspeed, which carries a crew of humans toward their new hThis sequel to "Across the Universe" amps up the action and politics onboard the spaceship Godspeed, which carries a crew of humans toward their new home, Centauri-Earth. Amy and Elder continue their romance and partnership as Elder struggles to control the ship's population now that they are off of the influence of the mind-control drug, Phydus. While Elder attempts to quell mutiny and revolution, Amy is sent on a treasure-hunt following clues that lead to revelations about the true status of Godspeed's settlement mission. While the treasure-hunt and the clue-following plotlines get a little tedious and unbelievable, (the pair still spend hours chasing clues while the ship is being overthrown by the would-be revolutionaries?!? There wasn't another way to allow them to find out the truth about the ship?!?) That's why it doesn't get 5 stars for me) the big reveals about the ship's status in its course toward Centauri-Earth are pretty mindblowing. I won't include any spoilers in my review but let's just say the end of A Million Suns will definitely leave readers anticipating the next book, as everyone's lives will change! Can't wait for Part 3 : )...more
"Glow" is a fascinating examination of how people turn to religion when tragedy strikes, and both the positive and negative connotations of that aspec"Glow" is a fascinating examination of how people turn to religion when tragedy strikes, and both the positive and negative connotations of that aspect of human nature - wrapped in action-packed teen space drama.
When a future Earth has been stripped of its natural resources and life becomes unsustainable, two groups of refugees are sent into space on ships with the mission of populating a distant planet. Teens Waverly and Kieran have spent their whole lives on the Empyrean, one of the ships. When the crew of the Empyrean encounter the second ship, the New Horizon, after being out of contact for decades, chaos ensues and Waverly and Kieran's lives are changed forever. It's not long before readers learn that the New Horizon crew has become infertile while the Empyrean crew were able to bear children in space. The New Horizon and its creepy, charismatic leader steal the female children off the Empyrean for their fertility, leaving the boys and many of the adults for dead. Kieran must step in and become a leader for the boys when the rest of the ship's crew is killed or kidnapped, and Waverly must find a way for the girls to escape off the New Horizon.
The conclusion of this volume will definitely leave readers anticipating the second installment. This fascinating, philosophical series explores the gray areas surrounding many ethical and moral issues and would probably inspire quite a bit of discussion for a teen or adult book club....more
There's not much to say about Under the Dome that the other reviewers on this page haven't already said better. I'm kind of conflicted about this bookThere's not much to say about Under the Dome that the other reviewers on this page haven't already said better. I'm kind of conflicted about this book except for one aspect of it: the Dome itself. I totally agree with all of the faults that people already listed: cardboard characters that I couldn't identify with, too much foreshadowing, too obvious battle between good and evil, anticlimactic ending, etc. However, despite all these flaws I still had a great time reading the book, and still couldn't put it down. I think it was the idea of the dome itself that really captured my imagination. The chapters where King describes it falling are so detailed and creepy. And when he begins to describe the environmental ramifications of life under the dome - like the air quality and the pollution that builds up on the outside - it's a pretty good metaphor for what's happening to the larger Dome we all live under. And, the chapters describing the final tragedy to take place inside the Dome (which you can see coming from hundreds of pages away, King really piles it on with the foreshadowing) are harrowing and devastating in their detail. So, despite all the characters King packs inside the Dome, and all their problems and conflicts and flaws, the big star of the book is the Dome itself....more