I have many geeky interests and one of them happens to be science fiction. Armada is a book that combines elements of classic science fiction with claI have many geeky interests and one of them happens to be science fiction. Armada is a book that combines elements of classic science fiction with classic video games. Ernest Cline has once again wrote a book that expresses his geek passions in an exciting way.
Zack Lightman is a teenager in his last year of high school, who enjoys playing video games when not at school. Zack has lost his father at a young age but has in a way got to know him through pursuing the same geeky interests. Those interests include science fiction films like Star Wars and books like Ender's Game. Zack's main passion is a video game called Armada where drones are controlled to fight off alien ships. Fiction becomes reality when he finds out that the game was a training exercise for the real thing, a real alien attack on Earth.
Armada is a book that is there to be devoured. It has a fast-moving plot with plenty of action. The plot feels like a combination of Ender's Game and Star Wars, which for me created a movie in my head as good as many action packed science fiction novels. The references to geek popular culture are less random than Ready Player One, which creates a more focused plot.
Zack's character for me helped drive the story forward. His conversations with his geeky friends and his relationship with Lex leaves me as the reader wanting more. The choices that Zack faces in this book show how flawed humans can be. Should war used to achieve power, or should people try to talk to each other and find a peaceful settlement?
Armada has many plus points as a science fiction novel. It uses the themes previously explored in science fiction books and films, and combines it with more modern technology, like video games and drones. The chapters involving the drone fighters reminds me of the epic battle of above the Death Star in Star Wars. Moreover, the idea that gamers could unite and save the world is a nice touch is promoting a positive image of gamers.
My only negative opinion about this book, is that it felt too short. Armada is a shorter novel compared with Ready Player One. Although Ready Player One required a lot of world building to make the novel work, whereas Armada does not have the same obstacle. On the other hand, Armada is an interesting read and suitable for everyone, not exclusively to gamers....more
Set twenty years after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird, during the late 1950s, when tensions were rising in the South of America due to the CivilSet twenty years after the events of To Kill A Mockingbird, during the late 1950s, when tensions were rising in the South of America due to the Civil Rights Movement.Jean Louise (Scout) Finch returns to the town of Maycomb in Alabama to visit her family. Jean Louise is shocked to see that attitudes towards people of African-American origin have hardened in reaction to Supreme Court decisions which were dismantling the oppressive system of segregation.
At 26 Jean Louise Finch is no longer a small innocent girl, she has become more independent and open minded. The plot of this book is focused on Jean Louise returning to Maycomb for a short spell before returning to New York. Harper Lee uses Jean's experience of living in the South and the North to show the divide in America in terms of attitudes towards racial inequality.
Despite now being an adult Jean Louise still prefers to do things her way and continues to have quarrels with her Aunt Alexandra. For example, Jean Louise made the decision to change into more casual clothes before arriving in Maycomb, which annoyed Aunt Alexandra. Aunt Alexandra is a woman who is a traditionalist, who believes women should act lady like to achieve a high social standing. Jean's Aunt is not only racist but she also is very snobbish towards people she considers below her station. The clashes between Jean Louise and Aunt Alexandra illustrate the fact that the role of women was changing at this moment in time.
Go Set a Watchman is primarily about family and being human. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean essentially gives Atticus a godlike status because he was the lawyer who defended an African-American man accused of rape. In this book we learn that Atticus Finch is a believer in law and is no liberal who sympathizes with the Civil Rights cause. Atticus Finch holds views that his daughter disagrees with, but like every human being Atticus has his flaws. Without giving anything away, this novel tries to tell a story to show that humanity is not perfect but that a strong family unit is important.
I enjoyed reading this book quite a lot because the issues dealt with in this book are still with us today. Racial inequality is still a problem in the USA and Europe, but progress has been made. However, to fully comprehend the message of this book, you need to read To Kill a Mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird is also told from the point of view of Jean Louise Finch, but when she was a child. Knowledge about Jean's childhood helps you to understand the conflicting thoughts she has as an adult. One could say that this book is a companion novel, even though it was written before To Kill a Mockingbird.
This novel is well written with a strong character based story, Harper Lee writes with good prose and style. My only issues with this book is that it is too short. Harper Lee was told by her publisher to write To Kill a Mockingbird and therefore shelved this book. If this novel was fully edited and expanded at the time it was written, it would have rivaled To Kill a Mockingbird. I enjoyed the flashbacks to moments of Jean Louise's childhood, which feel like the author's own memories of her childhood growing up in Alabama.
To summarise, this novel was written to challenge attitudes of those who supported Segregation in the Deep South and to make us think again about human values. Moreover, Jean Louise Finch has matured into a free thinking woman who challenges old stereotypes. I also found it thought provoking to find out more about Atticuss Finch as a person, even if his views are seen as backwards in the modern world. However, the real literary merit of this novel was the importance of family and accepting people as humans who can make mistakes....more
I received this advanced copy in the form of an e-book, in return I ham posting this honest book review.
This book is based on the premise that by 202I received this advanced copy in the form of an e-book, in return I ham posting this honest book review.
This book is based on the premise that by 2020 a massive online virtual reality video game would exist. Solarversia imagines a virtual world representing our own solar system. The main story of the book tells the story of Nova’s journey through the one year game in Solarversia in 2020. The more you read Solarversia, the more you learn about the virtual reality world.
Nova’s story is the biggest strength of this novel because it adds a human element about the implications of creating a virtual world. Nova has to achieve a balance between playing Solarversia and her life in the real world. Nova wants to become a game designer, which could become a reality if she were to win the 2020 year long game in Solarversia. However, across the year she realises the value of good friends and family support. Nova’s best friends are Burner and Sushi. Both her friends play a key role in this novel, though I do not want to give anything away.
The parallel story which is linked to Nova’s journey is the Holy Order’s quest to create a super artificial intelligence called MAGI. The chapters related to the Holy Order are narrated by Casey. Casey murdered his girlfriend and felt worthless and felt his life was over until he joined the Holy Order. The Holy Order being a fanatical group, commit acts of terrorism to spread fear across the world. AI plays a major role in Solarversia as AI is used in the game to generate puzzles for the 10 million players to solve.
Although prize money is a big motivator for many of the gamers (called Solos) who play Solarversia, many of them have a passion for playing the game and there is the social aspect to Solarversia. Nova chose a place on the player grid to be next to her friend Sushi, so they could be Solarversia sisters. Not only is this book well plotted, it also tries the place virtual reality in a more realistic setting. The world today is dominated by technology and social media. For better or worse the world is well connected in cyberspace. Solarversia is what one would could the next step, a visual interactive space where people can communicate with each other and play games with each other.
My opinion on the Holy Order storyline is that it was well thought out and necessary to place this book in a real life context. Cyber warfare is a modern day reality with many systems getting hacked, including online game networks. Moreover, this novel is the first book by Toby Downton, and it was the first year long game, so there is room for a sequel.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who has read Ready Player One or other similar novels. The main character Nova is likable and her being British is a nice touch as many big Science Fiction novels are written by American authors and set in the USA, so this is a nice change. There is a small romance element to this novel, but it is not overbearing or unrealistic. ...more
In this long novel, Murakami tells the story of two characters, Tengo and Aomame, and how they react to living in an alternative reality. Both main chIn this long novel, Murakami tells the story of two characters, Tengo and Aomame, and how they react to living in an alternative reality. Both main characters must face various dangers in the reality of 1Q84 to finally meet each other again.
1Q84 is both a science fiction story, dealing with alternative reality, and a love story. I enjoyed delving into the minds of the two main characters. Tengo is a maths teacher and a writer. Aomame is a personal trainer and an assassin. Murakami uses human experience and the human condition to tell a complicated but compelling story. Although there are some violent scenes in this book, the majority of this novel is spent inside the thinking minds of the two main characters
I really like the fact that 1Q84 deviates from the action packed thriller to create a fantastical story about two people, who are linked, and their quest to find themselves. The main sub-plot that sets up the rest of the book is the publication of the novel Air Chrysalis. Tengo re-writes Fuka-Eri’s novel, so it can compete to be a bestseller. The contents of the novel are not revealed straight away, though it is hinted that it is related to the reality of 1Q84.
1Q84 also focuses a lot on the daily life of both Aomame and Tengo. Murakami describes the food that they eat and other actions which we tend to do everyday automatically. Writing about the lives of two main characters in detail does make the story longer and slower, but it also allows the reader to think about the characters deeply to form a connection.
My one criticism of this book is that Fuka-Eri does not get her own chapters. Fuka-Eri is a key character throughout the novel but her true intentions are very much kept hidden. However, there is a chance that Murakami wants to leave many things about 1Q84 open to interpretation. Is the reality of 1Q84 real? In the opening chapter, before Aomame enters 1Q84, the mysterious taxi driver tells her that there is only one reality. Like Kafka on The Shore, Murakami has made me think carefully about the true message of the novel, which is about two lonely people falling in love and wanting to be reunited.
1Q84 is a long novel which expertly tells the story of Aomame and Tengo, and their lives in the mysterious reality of 1Q84. By focussing on the inner workings of the human mind, Murakami creates an emotional human story with some fantastical elements thrown in. This book is really well written but will leave you with more questions unanswered than answered....more