Whoa! Total mind bender! I hadn't read any reviews before diving in and I'm sorta glad as I found myself immediately immersed in Che's turned-upside dWhoa! Total mind bender! I hadn't read any reviews before diving in and I'm sorta glad as I found myself immediately immersed in Che's turned-upside down world. I'm a bit humbled to admit this is my first book by Justine Larbalestier and realize I'll have to rectify that situation immediately.
Even though the parentals have dragged his family to yet another city (again), Che finds comfort in the routine of boxing at a new gym and unexpected friends. All Che really wants is to be able to spar, get a girlfriend, and keep his little sister Rosa under control. Not necessarily in that order.
Che is a fantastic narrator and his thoughts on family and friends and his psychotic little sister are utterly compelling. This is a story that worms its way in your head without apology and I could not have stopped reading even if I wanted to. Which I didn't. ...more
Curious about ZEROBOXER after reading Fonda Lee's guest post over at Fantasy Cafe for their Women in SF&F Month, I dove right into this debut notCurious about ZEROBOXER after reading Fonda Lee's guest post over at Fantasy Cafe for their Women in SF&F Month, I dove right into this debut not really realizing I would be thrown into the world of Carr Luka, a young rising star in the futuristic weightless combat sport known as zeroboxing. Which is really just UFC fighters in space! Well, color me happy! Being a MMA fan myself (who isn't these days, really?) and with a sister who competes in the sport, I had no trouble diving right into this charged story.
Instead of the UFC's Octagon, these fighters (can I just call them MMA fighters? they definitely aren't just boxers!) go head-to-head in the Cube, a zero gravity, clear cube-shaped arena - each looking for a win through TKO or submission. And Carr Luka DOMINATES! He's a likable guy (none of that typical alphahole fighter stuff, thank goodness) who is conflicted on a variety of levels with his involvement in the sport, but you just know any time he steps into the Cube it's gonna be intense. The descriptions of his fightes and the dynamics between the other fighters were nuanced and highly entertaining. There is even an obvious nod to the UFC's Dana White in the form of Bax Gant, the media-hungry Martian(!!) co-owner of the ZGFA.
Despite some mild pacing problems, I was 100% behind Carr Luka's meteoric rise to stardom as a zeroboxer. The fighter's mentality was spot-on and the Martian-Earth politics terribly fascinating. This reader will absolutely be on the watch for more by Fonda Lee. Genetic engineering, submission fighting, and futurist politics, oh my!...more
I'm a bit of a glutton when it comes to Sci-Fi. Dangle the possibility of a well-written space opera in front of me and I'm going to bite every. singl I'm a bit of a glutton when it comes to Sci-Fi. Dangle the possibility of a well-written space opera in front of me and I'm going to bite every. single. time. I do claim a handful of favorites (Linnea Sinclair, Ann Aguirre, Tanya Huff) but new discoveries are too few and far between for my personal liking (or reading habits). A while back I put Michelle Diener's DARK HORSE on my WL after reading a recommendation for it at a sci-fi blog that of course I can't remember the name of now. After waiting patiently, it finally went on sale and I snapped it up and settled in with moderately high hopes. Reader, I am happy to report I was totally blown away by this uniquely crafted story!
Rose McKenzie is going to get off this spaceship if it kills her. After being unceremoniously picked up from earth by some particularly nasty aliens (aliens!) and experimented upon, she and fellow prisoner Sazo have bided their time until they finally can take control and flee in a smaller vessel. Her 'rescue' arrives in the form of Captain Dav Jallan and his crew of Grih explorers who are understandably wary of Rose and her many contradictions. But Sazo has definite plans for their previous captors and Rose finds herself caught in the middle of a inter-species conflict where her loyalty is torn between her future and the good of all.
Witty, fast paced and utterly dynamic in scope, DARK HORSE was a brilliant read start to finish. Many other winning qualities aside, the characters of Rose and Sazo were complete standouts. Too often in my travels as a sci-fi reader, the human, thrust into an alien society, is naive or at a distinct cultural disadvantage, making her easy prey. Not so with Rose. Due to Sazo's foresight and Rose's natural intelligence, she is right there along with everyone else -- if not two steps ahead. She is loyal and cunning (but without malice) and endearingly brave. But neither is she a warrior; which makes it that much more satisfying to see her outmaneuver these more 'advanced' races. And Sazo is just as multi-faceted; his whirlwind development throughout the book is nothing short of genius.
Here's one of my favorite bits where Rose is trying to explain how she is able to figure out advanced alien technology so quickly (with the added bonus of trying to describe what a book is):
"That your familiarity is because your people have imagined a higher level of advancement, but haven't yet achieved it. Is this true?"
Rose nodded. "We've thought up lots of interesting things. Some of them we may turn into reality, others won't ever see the light of day."
"But how do you disseminate the ideas?"
"Written comms, visual comms."
"But if it isn't reality, what visual comms do you record? How can you record something that is imaginary?"
"People pretend it isn't imaginary, and act the story out. It's a sought-after job on my planet."
Kila made a note, but she seemed completely stunned. "And the written comms?"
"You write something that is like a report, only it's about something that hasn't happened yet."
"No. A lie is a deliberate falsification. A story openly declares itself as imaginary."
"And why would people spend time reading something that is untrue?"
"Because it's fun. Exciting. When it isn't real, you can enjoy it because people aren't really getting hurt, aren't really in danger, aren't really at rock bottom. If the story writer is good, they'll make you think it is real, even as you know, at the back of your mind, that it isn't."
Exciting indeed. Bring on DARK DEEDS, Ms. Diener. I'm properly hooked....more
Picked this one up for free on a tip from a friend while waiting for the author's newest release, ACT LIKE IT written under the name of Lucy Parker. FPicked this one up for free on a tip from a friend while waiting for the author's newest release, ACT LIKE IT written under the name of Lucy Parker. Fell right into this beautiful story about a painfully shy artist and a gruff security specialist whose meet-cute is under, er, rather explosive circumstances (ha! I'm hilarious). The story was impossibly charming and peppered with art and bookish references (without being intrusive -- which is not always easy to do), making my geeky heart happy.
I've been meaning to pick this one up for ages after several comparisons with Neil Gaiman and finally dove in. I could not have been more pleased withI've been meaning to pick this one up for ages after several comparisons with Neil Gaiman and finally dove in. I could not have been more pleased with Schwab's development of her 'London's' and the magical world they inhabit. And while Kell was fascinating (and superbly multi-faceted), Lila was the true standout for me with her dreams of escape and her wicked way with a knife. Not to mention her sharp tongue and general bravado and bravery.
A friend referred to the writing as 'grimdark' and I wholeheartedly agree - it's gritty and real and heartbreaking at points. Schawb has truly crafted a standout and I eagerly await the sequel....more
Sparkling wit and quippy dialogue made this gem of a YA book a total winner. That deceptively sugar-sweet cover does nothing to prepare you for the heSparkling wit and quippy dialogue made this gem of a YA book a total winner. That deceptively sugar-sweet cover does nothing to prepare you for the heartache contained within tho! I couldn't get enough of Tim and Alice (or the entire Garrett family). They all but burst off the pages, ready to make a place in my heart.
At it's core, this is a story all about family -- the one we are born into and the one we make for ourselves.
I accidentally read this 1st book after reading THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO and my feelings for it suffered in comparison. There was lots to like (especialI accidentally read this 1st book after reading THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO and my feelings for it suffered in comparison. There was lots to like (especially the Garrett clan) but I *knew* how sparkling Fitzpatrick's dialogue could be from TBMLT and so was left decidedly underwhelmed. ...more
I've never really gotten on board with graphic novels before but NIMONA has changed my mind with its killer story and characters and science! and oh yI've never really gotten on board with graphic novels before but NIMONA has changed my mind with its killer story and characters and science! and oh yeah, the pictures.
Featuring a band of crazy thieves and outlaws with magical powers (yass!) pulling off an unforgettable crime. Lots of unexpectedSo so so soooo good.
Featuring a band of crazy thieves and outlaws with magical powers (yass!) pulling off an unforgettable crime. Lots of unexpected twists and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT like they just don't make anymore. Plus it comes in one of the prettiest packages you'll ever find. ...more
A twofer Sci-Fi political action military drama (award winning, no less) that I had no idea how much I would enjoy.
I didn't exactly hit it off with BA twofer Sci-Fi political action military drama (award winning, no less) that I had no idea how much I would enjoy.
I didn't exactly hit it off with Bujold's THE SHARING KNIFE so I wasn't really expecting great things from Cordelia et al but WOW! The woman can write. Like, srsly. I need my own copy so I can go back through and underline all the beautiful, swoony bits -- especially when Cordelia and Aral manage to stop long enough to reveal their softer sides. My favorite when Aral is trying to articulate one of the (many) reasons he fell for Cordelia:
"He wanted to know what I saw in you. I told him..." he paused again, and then continued almost shyly, "that you poured out honor like a fountain, all around you."
"That's weird. I don't feel full of honor, or anything else, except maybe confusion."
"Naturally not. Fountains keep nothing for themselves."
Lovely and action packed and exactly what I was looking for while I wait impatiently for the next Torin Kerr novel....more
This book made my heart hurt but in a good way. I loved the characters and the story and all the WORDS WERE JUST SO BEAUTIFUL!!
Finch and Violet had mThis book made my heart hurt but in a good way. I loved the characters and the story and all the WORDS WERE JUST SO BEAUTIFUL!!
Finch and Violet had me laughing and worried and so very hopeful. These are characters who do not sit idly on the page, but jump up and grab you until you are all but breathing in their world. So lovely....more
I was really hoping this series would be another good sci-fi space military series in the vein of Tanya Huff's VALOR books but sadly, Lieutenant JodenI was really hoping this series would be another good sci-fi space military series in the vein of Tanya Huff's VALOR books but sadly, Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is no Torin Kerr. But then, nobody can compare with Staff Sargent Kerr....more
Lovely little glimpse into what life was like for those not quite landed gentry but not on the lower rungs of society either. Lilly -- despite her bliLovely little glimpse into what life was like for those not quite landed gentry but not on the lower rungs of society either. Lilly -- despite her blindness on certain subjects -- was extremely likable and an interesting narrator with her wealth of knowledge and wanderlust.
Although she didn't quite end up with who (or where) I wanted, it was still an engaging read with plenty to recommend itself to fans of YA historical fiction....more
My favorite passage about how love makes us want too much:
“When she was a girl, and still growing, ravenous, whenever there had been a cake – a spongeMy favorite passage about how love makes us want too much:
“When she was a girl, and still growing, ravenous, whenever there had been a cake – a sponge cake, dusted with sugar, which Mrs. Hill had conjured up out of eggs and flour and creamy butter – Sarah would never even let herself look at it, because she knew that it was not for her. Instead, she would carry it upstairs to be rendered into crumbs, and the crumbs lifted from the plate by a moistened Bennet finger, and the empty smeared plate carried back again. So Sarah would stare instead at the carpet underneath her feet, or at the painting of a horse with a strangely small head that hung at the end of the hall, or the rippled yellow curtains in the parlour, and would do her best not to breathe, not to inhale the scent of vanilla or lemon or almonds; even to glance at the cake was an impossible agony.
And for months, she realized, James had hardly looked at her at all.” p.157
Also, even though there wasn't much in the way of comedy in this story -- I for one found myself constantly giggling over every scene with Elizabeth's Mr. Darcy. Could she have made him a more intimidating figure??!...more
Back again with the children of Artos (King Arthus) as his daughter flees for her life to Africa after her family is all killed in battle. Geowin hasBack again with the children of Artos (King Arthus) as his daughter flees for her life to Africa after her family is all killed in battle. Geowin has always impressed me with her astute wit and head for politics and this book is a perfect showcase for the many facets of her character. The personal relationships just keep getting better and better and I adored the constant lion symbology. And Telemakos! Oh, I love that precocious kid.