Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Sci-Fi

The Boy on the Bridge

Review:

The Boy on the Bridge - M.R. Carey

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook/Owned

The bucks have all been passed and the arguments thrashed out until they don’t even bleed anymore.
– first sentence

This book is a prequel set in the same world as The Girl With all the Gifts. A group of soldiers and scientists are traveling in the Rosalind Franklin (an armored motor home set up as a mobile research station); their mission is to find data that might lead to a cure for the Hungry plague. In addition to the soldiers and scientists, there’s a teenage boy genius, Stephen who seems to be on the autistic spectrum. He developed the e-blocker that keeps the hungries from smelling humans in both this book and GWATG.

If you haven’t read Girl With all the Gifts, you should definitely read it first. This book isn’t quite as good but I still enjoyed it. The scope of this book is much smaller than GWATG, and we already know some of the information that this team is gradually discovering. But it was interesting to see what happened to leave the Rosalind FrankIin where the team in GWATG will eventually find it. I loved listening to the audio because of the narrator’s British (?) accent which fits in perfectly with the story.

The epilogue was a bit jarring. I don’t want to give anything away, I just didn’t get why Carey would go there with the ending.

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror, Sci-Fi

Alien: Cold Forge

Review:

Alien: The Cold Forge - Alex White, Michael Braun

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook/Owned

Dorian Sudler knows he shouldn’t smoke.
– first sentence

This is a dark story, but that isn’t different from the other alien stories. It focuses on corporate and human greed and the evil greed creates. Weyland-Yutani had a backup plan if Hadley’s Hope (Aliens) didn’t give them the specimen they craved. They created an isolated scientific research station called The Cold Forge and transported eggs there to be stored for future research. Blue is a scientist who suffers from a debilitating genetic disease but she is also a genetic researcher. Her condition has declined to the point where she is bedridden, but she is able to function by transferring her consciousness into an android body (Marcus). Blue and the other researchers are using chimps to gestate the aliens from the eggs and produce xenomorphs. Dorian is a Weyland-Yutani hatchet man whose job is to find ways to save the company money. He is at the Cold Forge to figure out why the scientists haven’t produced results yet.

Dorian is a despicable character that you will enjoy hating. I spent most of the book hoping he would die, and die painfully. Marcus is an interesting character who manages to generate sympathy despite being an android. I understand Blue’s need to find a cure, but she doesn’t care who or what she hurts to do it. She isn’t exactly likable, and I often questioned her decisions.

The book is well-written and the characters are fully developed though not all are likable. The threat of the aliens is constantly there, but the characters (as usual) don’t see it. The reader, on the other hand, is waiting for them to escape and kill everyone. The book brings up the question of animal suffering for the sake of research, and even questions whether it’s ok to cage the aliens and cause their suffering.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of the Alien universe.

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror, Sci-Fi

Alien series from Audible Originals

Alien: Out of the Shadows - Tim Lebbon Alien: River of Pain - Christopher Golden Alien - Sea of Sorrows - James A. Moore

River of Pain –
I really enjoyed this performance; the story, characters, sound effects, and music all came together perfectly. I felt like I was listening to a movie. The atmosphere is amazingly scary and claustrophobic. And as others have said, the woman who voiced Ripley was perfect. I liked how they created a brand new story that took place between Alien and Aliens (the movies) and I liked the explanation for it. Overall a very entertaining listen that will be fun for any fans of the Alien universe.

Out of the Shadows –
The overall production of this one was great with the same claustrophobic, scary atmosphere as the first. But I didn’t love the story or the characters as much.  Still entertaining, but just not as original or interesting.

Sea of Sorrows –
This was my least favorite of the three. I just didn’t buy the distant descendant of Ripley having a psychic connection to the xenomorphs. I also didn’t like any of the characters. I didn’t connect with any of them and found myself waiting for them to die.

All that being said, I flew through these books. I found myself always wanting to listen to them, even though they are all basically the same formula:
– Humans go where they shouldn’t or mess with things beyond their understanding
– The humans are somehow connected to Weyland-Yutani (which is greedy for money, power, or both, without regard for human life)
– An android works against the humans in service of Weyland-Yutani or in rare cases helps them
– The xenomorphs come and the humans underestimate them
– There is a lone survivor (or maybe a select few)

Anyway, if you are a fan of the Alien movies, these stories are a fun revisit to the universe – and might make you want to watch all the movies again (like I did last weekend).

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

The Last Star

The Last Star (The 5th Wave) - Rick Yancey

Audience: Young Adult

This is my body.

– first sentence

It’s been a long time since I read the first book of the 5th Wave series. So long in fact, that I had to re-read the second book. But it was sooo worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it was a fitting and heartbreaking conclusion to the series.

Throughout the series, the characters have never been sure who the enemy is. In the end, it’s about who you can trust, who you are willing to sacrifice for, and how much you are willing to sacrifice. Cassie stays true to herself until the very end; she is strong and never gives up trying to protect her family. It was fun to see Cassie and Ringer (who are complete opposites) working together to save someone and to finally get their revenge.

There are some twists here that I didn’t see coming and some I did. I’m enamored with Yancey’s writing and storytelling ability. I will happily read anything else he writes. I noticed that this book is to be made into a movie (or maybe it already was). It is perfect movie material if they do a good job.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Infinite Sea – audiobook

Review:

The Infinite Sea: The 5th Wave, Book 2 - Ben Yannette, Rick Yancey, Penguin Books Australia Limited, Phoebe Strole

Audience: Young Adult

 

The world is a clock winding down.

– opening sentence

 

This was a re-read for me to prepare for reading the final book in the series, The Last Star. I read a recap summary, but I felt like I needed more information.

I enjoyed revisiting Cassie, Ben, Evan, Ringer, Nugget, and the rest of the gang. There is a lot of confusion in this series about who the good guys and bad guys are and how exactly the aliens are achieving their destruction of the majority of the human race.

This is a fun book with a few unexpected twists and a lot of action, danger, and drama.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adult, Audiobook, Book Review, Horror, Sci-Fi

Obscura – audiobook

Review:

Obscura - Joe Hart, Christina Traister

This book combines sci-fi, horror, and suspense into a gripping adventure filled with surprises. I listened to this book every chance I had and stayed up late last night to finish it. As much as I thought I knew about how it would turn out, I was still surprised.

Gillian is a neurosurgeon drafted by NASA to figure out what’s going wrong with the astronauts on the space station. Turns out Gillian wasn’t given all the details or told the entire truth about the situation. Gillian is a character with many flaws, but she is strong and never gives up. Even when it seems like all hope is lost, Gillian finds a way to keep going.

I listened to the audiobook and loved it. The narrator was amazing; I felt like I was trapped with Gillian – the fear, the claustrophobia, the doubt about who to trust. One thing that irked me a bit was the Swedish accent the narrator used for one of the characters. It was a bit like listening to Dracula as a neurosurgeon’s assistant.

This is a fabulous book. Highly recommended.

 

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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Sci-Fi

Invictus – audiobook

Review:

Invictus - Ryan Graudin

Audience: Young Adult

Farway is part of a crack team that travels back in time to liberate priceless artifacts before they are destroyed or lost to disaster. On an expedition to the Titanic, another time traveler (Eliot) takes the piece they were there to retrieve. Eliot says all she wants is to be part of their team, but can they trust her?

I loved this book. The characters are likable and relatable, including typical human flaws. The world-building is fantastic, both the future time and the pasts they travel to. The twist at the end is surprising, but not completely unexpected.

The narration is very well done. I never wanted to stop listening.

Recommended to: Fans of sci-fi stories with non-stop action and snarky humor.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Defy the Stars

Review:

Defy the Stars - Claudia Gray

Audience: Young Adult

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

– Amazon

Noemi is a soldier of Genesis. Abel is a mech prototype. Noemi is filled with hatred and prejudice for Earth and mechs. Abel is designed to be more than just a mech. They come from opposite worlds with opposite points of view. They will learn from each other and together become more than they ever were apart.

The is an epic story with rebels, space battles, prison breaks, and last-minute rescues. The themes include loyalty, love, environmental destruction, and what it means to be alive.

I was captivated by the story and the narration was excellent. I often listened late into the night because I couldn’t put it down.

Recommended to: Fans of The Lunar Chronicles and epic sci-fi adventure stories.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Audiobook, Book Review, Grades 3-5, Sci-Fi, Sunshine State 2018-19

Code Name Flood – audiobook

Review: owlowlowlowl

Code Name Flood - Laura Martin

This was a bad idea.

– First sentence

I loved the first book so much and the cliffhanger ending got me, so I jumped directly into this when I finished The Ark Plan. The change in narrator was a bit jarring because I was accustomed to the way the characters “spoke” in the first book, but the story is just as good, if not better.

Sky, Shawn, and Todd continue their journey to solve the mysteries of the topside world and the Noah. Why is the military so set on catching them and will Sky be able to complete her dad’s mission? Oh and don’t forget all the deadly dinosaurs.

I thought one character was going to be traitorous, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. (In an adult book, I might have been right.) Any kid who liked The Ark Plan will be thrilled with this sequel. The audio is a delightful way to experience the thrills and adventure of this fantastic story.

Recommended to: Grades 4 and up – fans of sci-fi, adventure, dinosaurs, and kids saving the day.

 

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Grades 3-5, Sci-Fi, Sunshine State 2018-19

The Ark Plan – audiobook

Review: owlowlowlowl

The Ark Plan: Edge of Extinction #1 - HarperAudio, Emma Galvin, Laura Martin

 

I needed two minutes.

– first sentence

Imagine a world where dinosaurs freely roam the surface and people are forced to live underground. This is Jurassic Park gone wild – dinosaurs were cloned 150 years ago and kept in zoos and on farms. Needless to say, things got out of hand. Sky Mundy lived underground her entire life and now that she found a clue to her father’s disappearance, she must venture to the topside world to find answers.

The story follows Sky’s journey and is filled with thrilling action, life-threatening situations, and heroic characters. The plot moves quickly with twists and a cliff-hanger ending. Make sure you have the second book ready for your young reader.

The narrator did an excellent job – I highly recommend the audio version. I borrowed it using the Hoopla app through my public library.

Recommended to: Grades 4 and up – fans of sci-fi, adventure, strong female characters, and of course, dinosaurs.

 

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