“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.”
I came to enjoy this more than I first thought I
“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.”
I came to enjoy this more than I first thought I would. If, like me, you're turned off by long paragraphs dealing with the mathematics of time travel and dimensions, then grit your teeth and push through the first chapter of The Time Machine. When I was reading the opening pages and stopping to google scientific terms in nearly every sentence, I couldn't imagine I'd find a way to finish the book.
However, the story moves on from this and becomes quite fascinating. The "time traveller" of this piece is a Victorian scientist who develops a machine to take him through time (and has had a huge influence on sci-fi fiction and moves ever since). He finds himself propelled hundreds of thousands of years into the future, where strange descendants of man roam an unfamiliar world.
He observes the world around him, constantly theorizing on how our current world could have reached this point, and he is many times proven wrong in his theories.
I especially liked the end parts of the book, even though it made me feel quite small and insignificant in the great expanse of time....more
Enjoyed this even more than the first. The series has a lot of Vaughan's trademark humour, whilst also offering different and interesting perspectivesEnjoyed this even more than the first. The series has a lot of Vaughan's trademark humour, whilst also offering different and interesting perspectives on what would happen if all men died (except one) and women inherited the earth. Though there are plenty of crazies in this post-men era, the story and themes are ultimately very feminist....more
I guess there's no set definition, but I do have a comic book collection that takes up its own closet. I have played WoW obseI'd say I'm pretty nerdy.
I guess there's no set definition, but I do have a comic book collection that takes up its own closet. I have played WoW obsessively in the past and I enjoy going to sci-fi conventions (view spoiler)[and meeting people like Tyrion Lannister! (hide spoiler)]
I was a Pokemon master for the first five generations and only haven't played the sixth because I keep scolding myself with "you're too old!" every time I see it in the stores. This is my favourite t-shirt:
This is my favourite cup:
And, well, I've heard that Cline basically writes novels aimed straight at the heart of us nerds. But for some reason Armada didn't work for me. Perhaps I am not really as much of a nerd as I think I am, or perhaps there is a specific breed of nerd that will enjoy Cline's books. Maybe the kind who plays a lot of alien video games and arcade games, which is basically what this book is about.
It is quite funny in the beginning, but it lost me somewhere after we got lists of video game facts and a video game timeline. I like to play video games too - Final Fantasy, Diablo, etc. - but playing them is pretty much all I do. I don't join any roleplay forums or spend my time caring about weird video game conspiracies/legends/horror stories like this:
“Polybius was an urban legend that had been circulating on the Internet for decades. It was the title of a strange videogame that only appeared in one Portland arcade during the summer of 1981. According to the story, the game drove several kids who played it insane; then the machine mysteriously vanished, never to be seen again.”
I've heard that Ready Player One is better but I find myself not wanting to read it quite so much anymore. I've been waiting to step into Cline's world for so long and Armada was really just boring and anticlimactic. Should I still read his debut? ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Visually, Illuminae is an extremely fun and unique kind of book. It's a romantic space opera told through a collection of interview transcripts, diaryVisually, Illuminae is an extremely fun and unique kind of book. It's a romantic space opera told through a collection of interview transcripts, diary entries, emails and gorgeous space images like this:
Sounds amazing, no? If I was rating solely based on cool ideas, this would get a bajillion stars.
A book this attractive should not be boring and yet the most exciting things about it - by far - were the unusual style and graphics. The story itself - of a planet being invaded in 2575 - simply didn't hold my attention. I found myself wanting to skim read many of the pages. Maybe it was because the lovers at the centre of the novel were boring caricatures of teenagers.
Maybe it was because of the detailed scientific descriptions and diagrams of spaceships:
Maybe it was the tiresome and dull "Unipedia" pages that made me feel like I was studying for an essay:
But mostly I think it was because of the teens in love. Kady embodies the definition of a "strong heroine" but doesn't actually have a personality beyond that. Her entire characterization is built around badass girl power and I almost want to love that fact, but she never felt like a person. She felt like a cardboard cutout delivering snarky toughness.
The conversations between her and Ezra feel forced, like someone reading off a script:
It's the kind of book that looks way better from far away.
Let's kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survive more than anyone I've ever known. ThisFirst off, welcome to 2015!
Let's kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survive more than anyone I've ever known. This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed, gaining hype, and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me - so I had to check this out for myself. I'm glad I gave in.
The Martian has so many good things going for it. First and foremost, it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds. In this book, Mark Watney becomes one of the first people to walk on Mars but after an accident causes him to be believed dead and abandoned by his crew, it looks like he will be the first person to die there. Like Cast Away x a million, Mark must battle extremely foreign territory, the likelihood of starvation, and the possibility of technical failures.
It's pretty hard to see an outcome where he isn't totally screwed.
The best thing about this book is the juxtaposition between the very scientific nature of everything Mark must do to survive - gave me a renewed level of respect for how damn smart astronauts have to be - and his absolutely wonderful personality. Mark maintains his sense of humour throughout every hardship he faces - it's pretty much impossible to not be charmed by him.
Here are some quotes:
“The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”
“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”
This book is part "serious" science-fiction, part an hilariously dark comedy that imagines a horrifying situation infused with humour and the overwhelming human desire to stay alive. It's hard to imagine that anyone who picks this up won't find themselves dragged into Mark's world, desperately needing to know what will happen to him.
I'm dark matter. The universe inside of me is full of something, and science can't even shine a light on it. I feel like I'm mostly made of mysteriesI'm dark matter. The universe inside of me is full of something, and science can't even shine a light on it. I feel like I'm mostly made of mysteries.
Oh my... Magonia is one hell of a rare novel.
Not only does it offer an intriguing blend of reality-infused science fiction and highly-imaginative fantasy, but it is also unlike anything I have ever read before.
I've always said that - for me - originality is one of the best and rarest compliments a writer can get. Not "this is the next Hunger Games or Harry Potter" but "this is completely different to everything else I've read". How unusual it is to read a novel and be taken to places so new, fresh and wonderfully magical.
One of my favourite things has always been when authors manage to weave fact and fiction together in order to create a fantasy story with added realism. Especially when they introduce me to parts of history I'd never heard about before. Did you know that in France in 815, sailors claimed to have come from a secret realm in the clouds they called Magonia? This was one of the first recorded instances of UFO-related occurrences and it was completely new to me.
Many times I have wondered why YA authors insist on using the same old recycled mythology when there's a whole universe of weird and wonderful shit out there just begging to be turned into a story. Here we have a fine example. This book opens up an entire new world full of detailed and exciting mythology. I was like a kid in a toy store, staring wide-eyed at all the colourful weirdness and longing for more as the pages flew by.
The author uses language that deserves the comparisons to Neil Gaiman - a rich, atmospheric style of fairytale storytelling. And with this, she creates a cast of wonderful characters who I can only hope will reappear in sequels.
The main character in Magonia is Aza Ray and she is dying. The doctors are unable to discover what is wrong with her and have failed at all attempts to cure her of the mysterious disease that is causing her to essentially drown in the Earth's atmosphere. Then one day, circumstances see Aza awakening in a whole new world where she is no longer weak and sickly, but a powerful creature at the centre of a longstanding feud that will take her to places she never could have dreamed existed.
Suddenly, she discovers the truth about her life, her past and who she is; maybe this new world can offer her a place to live the kind of life she's always wanted? Or maybe nothing is as it seems. Stir in plenty of action, romance, and well-developed family dynamics and you have something pretty damn amazing. I should also point out that the love triangle I had feared might occur never went in that direction.
Looking for a genre-defying blend of magic, love, flying and family?
“Can we go back and sit down? Dancing is for girls.” “I am a girl, Mitchell,” replies Medusa, “and try telling The Devil that.” We both look over at t“Can we go back and sit down? Dancing is for girls.” “I am a girl, Mitchell,” replies Medusa, “and try telling The Devil that.” We both look over at the master of Hell, who has cleared the dance floor with his moshing.”
I know humour is subjective, but I found this book hilarious. As in, laugh-out-loud oh-no-people-are-looking-at-me hilarious. Seriously, it's dangerous to read this in a public place.
I'm not even much of a comedy person. Give me fast-paced, angsty drama over giggles any day. But this book was such delicious fun. It's about Mitchell Johnson, who got hit by a bus and now works in Hell as the Devil's intern. When a device surfaces that can send people back in time, Mitchell suddenly sees an opportunity to prevent his own death and get the hell out of there (pun intended).
It's full of snarky humour. The dynamics between Mitchell and his friends make this book so so funny. There's the feisty Medusa - Mitchell's best friend who sarcastically gives him crap all the time. There's Elinor - a girl from 17th-Century London who died in the Great Fire of 1666. And there's Alfarin - an enormous, warm-hearted Viking prince. And that's before we even get to the Devil himself - a total drama queen.
The story behind the humour is compelling and doesn't neglect to consider the time travel paradox, but this is definitely a book for those looking for some pure entertainment. The characters bicker; Mitchell is a regular confused teenage boy, trying to understand girls; the author's comic-timing is PERFECT. Such an enjoyable read. It's a shame that it's so difficult to adequately describe the merits of humour books - I just recommend you go read it.
I'll leave you with this little scene so you can see what Mitchell and Medusa's relationship is like:
I shift her weight a little and she falls even closer against me. She smells like clean sheets, which is really nice and reminds me of my mom and my old bed and my old life. “You smell like sleep.” “I smell like sheep?” “What? That’s not what I said.” “You said I smell like sheep.” “Sleep, not sheep.” “How can someone smell like sleep? It’s a verb. Verbs don’t smell.” “I meant you smell like clean sheets.” “Are you saying I usually smell like dirty sheets?” “Forget I opened my mouth.” “You said I smell like sheep.” “I said you smell like sleep. I was trying to be cute. I thought girls like guys who are cute.”
I've been considering abandoning this whole silly "NA experiment" thing a bunch of times and getting ba
"If nothing else, humanity excelled at war."
I've been considering abandoning this whole silly "NA experiment" thing a bunch of times and getting back to books I'm more likely to have a good chance of enjoying. But I decided to have one last browse through some of the recently released New Adult; I moved my search to further down the pile, past all the popular "this is the next 50 Shades" titles and to the ones with fewer ratings. That's where I discovered this book. A book that promised to be all kinds of wild and crazy scifi-ness combined with a steamy romance. I wasn't really expecting much. But damn, not only did this book deliver the promised goods, it hooked me from the start and gave me an exciting combination of everything I love: spunky heroine, great writing, an imaginative world, humour and, yes, sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.
In this novel, the world we all know is the "old world" and this futuristic tale plants us right in the middle of space. And conflict. Don't be fooled by what you would usually expect from the New Adult "genre", this is very much a hardcore, detailed and sophisticated piece of science fiction. It is as much a story about war, slavery and military operations as it is a sexy romance. But both aspects of the book complement each other and make for an exciting pageturner. The author doesn't neglect her world-building, space politics or action scenes. She has written one of those creatures that I love above all others: a genre-defying beast that takes all the best elements of my favourite genres and mixes them together to create something even better.
Then there's the chemistry between Renna and Finn. She knew him as Hunter a long time ago and she always thought he'd died until fate throws them together again for the most important mission of their lives. Their history hangs in the air between them making the verbal sparring even more entertaining and hot. God, I love Renna. Finn's a bit of a jerk at first (we learn the reason later) but she gives as good as she gets:
Renna lowered her voice to match his tone. “I don’t mind you on top, darling. It’s when you start pushing me around that we’ll have a problem.” She smiled at him coldly. “So I’ll do my job, don’t you worry. Just don’t expect me to play by your rules. You know I was never very good at following orders.”
I love how bitingly sarcastic, funny and totally unapologetic she is. She is exactly the kind of heroine I love. This isn't supposed to be a humour book but there are a number of great lines scattered throughout - which I won't quote because you should discover them yourself - and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. It was also very refreshing to get a female MC in New Adult who wasn't obsessed with being virginal and shaming other women for being "slutty". Renna is very comfortable with her sexuality and with other women. I liked this quote:
The woman stood up straighter and puffed out her chest. She did have a nice rack. Renna would have puffed them out, too.
The book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger but I still recommend you go pick this up now. I honestly liked how everything was handled - it was well-written with lots of plot but provided me with the kind of romance I could happily stick around for. There was a realistic progression with all the relationships in the story and I particularly liked how the dislike and suspicion between Renna and her other crew mates blossomed into mutual trust and respect over time. Very, very impressive and entertaining. And I'm sure all your inner nerds will perk up at the science-y language, the artificial intelligence and the cybernetic implants. You know I'm right:)