Tag Archives: science fiction

Short Stories/Short Reviews:The 7th Month by Lisa Gardner and The B-Team by John Scalzi

Both of these short titles were offered free for members by Audible.com. I love when they offer these freebies. It’s a great way to try a new author or a genre you don’t normally read without having to commit $$ or a large chunk of time.

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The 7th Month by Lisa Gardner

From Goodreads:
In her seventh month of pregnancy, D.D. should be taking it easy. Instead, she accepts a small consulting role on the set of a serial killer film shooting in Boston. D.D. figures she’ll be useful to someone for at least one night, serving as a police expert and making a little extra money in the bargain.

It seems like a simple task—until the previous film consultant, a former Boston cop, is found beaten to death. Suddenly D.D.’s date with Hollywood gets serious. Extremely pregnant, on the trail of a killer, and surrounded by a hundred and four murder suspects in the middle of a graveyard, D.D. must quickly unravel a tangled web of lies. As another cast member is attacked, D.D. realizes that like it or not, her priorities have changed—and her last desperate hope is that she can catch a killer before she and her unborn baby face mortal danger.

This was my first Lisa Gardner story and I really loved D.D. She’s funny, independent and says what she thinks. This is number 5.5 in this series but I had no problem keeping up with this mini murder mystery. I love that the author could get enough of D.D.’s past across to make the story make sense without having to go into elaborate details that would have dragged the story down. It did what it was supposed to do; get you to read the series. It’s inspired me to add this series to my TBR list.

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The B-Team by John Scalzi

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From Goodreads:
The opening episode of The Human Division, John Scalzi’s new thirteen-episode novel in the world of his bestselling Old Man’s War. Beginning on January 15, 2013, a new episode of The Human Division will appear in e-book form every Tuesday. Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Unions future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers theres more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected…a secret that could spell war for humanity.

I was a little apprehensive about this title since it’s outside my normal reading comfort zone. It’s sci-fi in its truest sense. There are lots of characters to keep up with and lots of action going on. It was very well written and the attention to detail that went into creating this outer space mission is amazing. Highly entertaining with a mix of Star Wars like characters, Space Odyssey like missions and unique and exciting story line.

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A Year of Reading Recap – 2012

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What would the New Year be without a look back at the old one? Here’s a recap of my year of reading 2012.

I’ve had the opportunity to read so many wonderful books this year. I surpassed my reading goal of 75 and reached an all time high of 117. 1Q84 was the longest book I read, 945 pages. I think that made the all-time high also. I gave mostly 3 and 4 stars with only 14 making the 5 star distinction, which makes me think I’m a bit too picky and hard to please. I had two books that were so terrible I couldn’t finish them and I’m still cursing about wasting my time on them.

I read more memoirs this year than ever. People are truly interesting and in some cases their stories are stranger than fiction. I cried more this year than ever too. Some of the stories were just so heartbreaking. I’m pretty sure I blubbered through more of The Art of Racing in the Rain than I’m willing to fess up to. Dogs dying in books seemed to be a common theme this year. I seriously cannot take anymore of that!

I had a zombie run and it was a great one. Zombies are the new vampires. Super cool! If I were giving an award for best cover it would go to My Life as a White Trash Zombie. As Steven Martin said in Father of the Bride, “Bitchin!” That cover earns the Bitchin award. (if there were such a thing) Patrick Ness is my favorite author of 2012. Reading his book has inspired both my children and me.

Historical fiction is still my favorite genre. Mixing fiction in with a history lesson makes learning fun even at my age.

Out of the 117 books I’ve read this year, here’s my top 10 favorites:

1. Wilderness: A Novel by Lance Weller
2. Chaos Walking: A Trilogy by Patrick Ness
3. The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
9. The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon’s Court by by Michelle Moran
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

My goals for 2013 are much the same. I’m upping my reading goal to 100. I think I can manage it without feeling too pressured. I’m going to do my best not to purchase books this year. I have probably 75 on my bookshelf waiting to be read and they deserve my love and attention. “Try” is the main word here.

I’m going to give a State Challenge a go and will be book blogging my way through the US. I hope you’ll join me along the way! Every book is an adventure and it’s so much more fun when you’re along!

I wish each of you a New Year filled with joy, happiness and many, many great books!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!


Book Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

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A non stop roller coaster of emotion, Monsters of Men is a worthy ending to a remarkable series.

From Goodreads:
“War,” says the Mayor. “At last.” Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they’re so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge – the electrifying finale to the award-winning “Chaos Walking” trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war
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I have to confess, I put off reading this book because I didn’t want to think about this series ending. Throughout the series I’ve grown so attached to Todd and Viola and their goal of peace. This series has some of the most remarkable young characters who are unique, who don’t fit into a tidy, ready-made package of persona, and who make mistakes, have regrets, but ultimately learn from them. They are great role models. I love the incorporation of animals, who I have such a soft spot for.

Monsters of Men picks up where The Ask and the Answer left off. I really like how the author doesn’t spend time reiterating what happened in the last book. It starts right in the thick of it. In this book, we are treated to a third narrative. I don’t want to give a way who it is, but I’ll just say that this character’s representation allows so many questions to be answered and for the story to come full circle.

This book is action packed! Never slowing down, it’s a constant roller coaster between war and peace. It muddies the waters of who’s good and who’s evil and to what end. Through it all Todd and Viola’s commitment to each other is unwavering and stays true. Death comes for many in this installment, some of which are surprising.

The one thing that didn’t satisfy me was the ending. I wanted more. I wanted things tidied up more. I wanted a glimpse in to the future to see if what all these characters went through was worth it.

This is my favorite YA series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out in movie form and will be anxious to see if they can recreate the emotion that is captured in the book.

See my review of The Ask and the Answer.

View this book on Goodreads.

View this book on Amazon.


Humble Bundle e-Book Bundle – a Cool Way to Do Good

Check out this DRM free lot of books which can be purchased by donation to help authors and charities. I love this idea!

You pay what you want, divide your donation however you want and get highly rated books that are DRM free and come in multiple formats.

Www.humblebundle.com


Goodreads Live Video Chat with Ernest Cline

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Goodreads will be hosting a live video chat with Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, on Tuesday, June 12th at 2 pm eastern. RSVP HERE.

You will love Ready Player One if one of the following applies to you:

– You love video games
– You love the 80’s
– You love anything retro
– You love dystopia themed novels
– You love science fiction
– You are a nerd, a closet nerd, or not a nerd at all
– You are a teenage boy, a 30 something woman or any other age
– You are alive and can read

This book is that awesome. It was one of my rare 5 stars of 2011. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, get to it!


Book Review: Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with DragonsBeyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons by James Lowder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beyond the Wall is a wonderful companion read that allows the reader to view the remarkable series of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and its striking cast of characters in new ways.

It delves into our concept of good and evil and discusses how no clear line is drawn between the two in the world of Westeros and beyond. Most of the characters aren’t clearly good or purely evil. The essays discuss how we’re able to look past some of the character’s misgivings and not others. It offers insight into what certain characters are thinking and why.

The world this series takes place in is a brutal one not totally unlike our own. A few of the essays discuss the role of women in the books. How their strengths and weaknesses are exploited and the dependence on men for both.

I thought one of the most interesting essays was Daniel Abraham’s essay about adapting the graphic novel. Having to bring to life in pictures something each reader probably conjures differently and trying to decipher what small introduction or scene from the book are insignificant now, but may play a greater roll in the unfinished novels yet to come, seems no small feat.

This book would lead to great book club discussions of how characters react to the terrible situations they are put in and the moral implications of those actions.

The significance, or lack there of, of the direwolves, how magic is placed in the novels and what part it plays are also topics discussed in this book.

If you’re a fan of this wonderfully epic book series or hooked the HBO version, I think you will really enjoy this in-depth look into the world and characters George R. R. Martin has created. Be forewarned though, it does contain spoilers.

View all my reviews

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.


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