Reading

Dark Age – Pierce Brown | A Book Review

Dark Age - Pierce Brown

Title: Dark Age

Author: Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the fifth book in the Red Rising series that follows multiple characters in Darrow, Lysander, Virginia, Lyria, and Ephraim. Brown explores power, violence, love, as well as hope.

First impressions: I enjoyed reading the previous books, so I was excited to read this novel. It took some time for me to get back into the story because I didn’t remember everything that happened in Iron Gold.

Characters: There are so many characters that at first I found it hard to keep track of who was who. I’m glad there’s a character list at the beginning. I gravitated towards the storylines of Lysander and Lyria. They aren’t perfect, yet I still wanted to cheer them on.

Quote:

“But we are entitled only to the moment, and owe nothing to the future except that we follow our convictions.”

Writing: The novel is almost 800 pages, so it’s longer than the other books. Brown spends a good amount of time building the world and describing things in detail. The chapters alternate point of view with each being told in the first person.

Final thoughts: Overall, I preferred the ending over the beginning. I would recommend reading the entire series in order before delving into Dark Age. This science fiction story isn’t for everyone, as it’s a mature read with violent and graphic scenes.


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Reading

Zepharius: Volume 2 – Mel Synder | A Book Review

Zepharius - Volume 2 - Mel Synder

Title: Zepharius: Volume 2

Author: Mel Synder

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the second novel in the series. The narrative follows Zepharius as she joins forces with a group that doesn’t trust her in order to protect the planet.

I received a free copy of the novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: The second volume picks up right where the first book left off. I found the pacing of this novel faster, since there’s less world-building.

Characters: The story mainly revolves around Zepharius, but the secondary characters grew on me as I got to know them better.

Quote:

“Attachment can cause someone to overlook all sorts of transgressions.”

Writing: It’s not too long or too short at 300 pages. Snyder is quite descriptive, but the chapters are short. The book is independently published, so there are spelling and grammar mistakes scattered throughout. While the book has glossary at the end, I wish some of the made-up words were defined as they appeared.

Final thoughts: Overall, the premise had potential for an interesting read, but it could’ve been written better. That said, I liked the second novel a little more than the first.


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Reading

Zepharius: Volume 1 – Mel Synder | A Book Review

Zepharius - Volume 1 - Mel Synder

Title: Zepharius: Volume 1

Author: Mel Synder

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the first in a series following Zepharius who realizes the world she lives in isn’t what it used to be.

I received a free copy of the novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I was intrigued by the premise because I thought it had potential to make for an interesting story. For the most part, the author builds the world in the beginning.

Characters: There aren’t too many characters to keep track of, as the narrative mainly revolves around Zepharius. She’s a likeable and relatable protagonist. The secondary characters are unique, juxtaposing each other well.

Quote:

“I can only look forward to the next days of my expedition and hope for clarity to become my reward in the end.”

Writing: It is an independently published book with some spelling and grammar mistakes. The story’s told in first person from the protagonist’s perspective. The author spends time describing many aspects of the world.

There’s a map and a visual guide of weapons as well as other objects mentioned in the story. There’s also a much needed glossary with pronounications and translations. The novel isn’t too long or short at around 300 pages.

Final thoughts: The pacing picks up near the end, and it sets the stage for the next novel in the series.

If you like sci-fi about different worlds, you might enjoy Zepharius: Volume 1.


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Reading

The End and Other Beginnings – Veronica Roth | A Book Review

Amazons, Abolitionists, And Activists - Mikki Kendall And Anna D'Amico

Title: The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Science Fiction (Young Adult)

About the book: It’s a short story collection with black and white artwork throughout that complements the text.

I received an advanced review copy from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: The title and cover are cool. I enjoy futuristic stories, so I found the premise interesting.

Characters: Each story follows a different cast of characters. I could relate to the protagonists, and they develop a good deal by the end of their narrative.

Quote:

“I wanted one last chance to tell you that you’re worth so much more than your pain.”

Writing: The stories aren’t too short or too long. Despite the advanced technology, Roth explores human issues like friendship, revenge, as well as love.

Final thoughts: I crave closure as a reader, and I felt the ending tied up loose ends enough to satisfy me. That said, the narratives also leave room for further rumination.

If you’re looking to read a few futuristic stories, check out The End and Other Beginnings: Stories from the Future. It’s not a lengthy collection, so the book makes for a quick, fun read.


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Reading

Fading Starlight – Samantha Heuwagen | A Book Review

Fading Starlight - Samantha Heuwagen

Title: Fading Starlight

Author: Samantha Heuwagen

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the second novel in the series following Kayin, Henry, and Melissa.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: It picks up right where the first book left off. For that reason, I recommend reading Dawn Among the Stars beforehand.

Characters: Kayin, Henry, and Melissa are flawed in their own way, but they all develop throughout the story. There are a few new characters introduced. I also appreciate the racial diversity with Latino characters.

Quote:

“Find your happiness where you can and live in the present.”

Writing: The novel alternates between three perspectives all written in first person. It starts off with Kayin on another planet and then switches back and forth between Melissa and Henry on Earth.

I was a fan of the Spanish sprinkled in here and there, especially since I could understand most of the phrases without having to look them up.

The writing is simple and easy to follow. There’s a lot of romance with Kayin and Melissa both having romantic interests. Heuwagen addresses important issues such as mental health and sexual assault.

Final thoughts: The ending leaves questions unanswered, which makes me wonder what will happen next. It sets the stage for the next novel in the series.

If you like sci-fi stories about aliens and humans with action as well as romance, you might enjoy Fading Starlight.


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Reading

Dawn Among The Stars Free Ebook on Kindle

Dawn Among The Stars Free Ebook on Kindle
Dawn Among the Stars by Samantha Heuwagen is free on Kindle from January 24th to 28th.

Last year, I posted a book review of the novel on this blog. Here were my thoughts.

About the book: It’s the first in a series, following the perspective of three characters: Kayin, Henry, and Melissa in that respective order.

First impressions: I like the premise of the novel with other beings arriving on earth. I also love the title, and the cover page reflects what the story is about.

Characters: The three characters are different with each having their own goals. What’s more, the secondary characters are likeable.

Quote:

“Sometimes it is better to be disappointed than to never know at all.”

Writing: There’s a mix of description and dialogue. The world building is done well because the author doesn’t bombard readers with too much information all at once.

Check out the full review here.

The next novel, Fading Starlight, will be released in June 2019. The author will send you the first chapter from it if you tag her or share Dawn Among the Stars on social media. You’ll just need to give her your email address.

The book is only free from now until January 28. So get it soon!

Reading

Dawn Among The Stars – Samantha Heuwagen | A Book Review

Dawn Among The Stars - Samantha Heuwagen

Title: Dawn Among The Stars

Author: Samantha Heuwagen

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s the first in a series, following the perspective of three characters: Kayin, Henry, and Melissa in that respective order.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I like the premise of the novel with other beings arriving on earth. I also love the title, and the cover page reflects what the story is about.

Characters: The three characters are different with each having their own goals. What’s more, the secondary characters are likeable.

Maybe it’s just me, but Kayin, Henry, and Melissa seems younger than they actually are.

Quote:

“Sometimes it is better to be disappointed than to never know at all.”

Writing: There’s a mix of description and dialogue. The world building is done well because the author doesn’t bombard readers with too much information all at once.

Even though the book follows three characters, their perspectives are written in the first person.

Final thoughts: The book wraps up many loose ends but still leaves questions to be answered in the second instalment of the series.

If you love sci-fi reads about survival, check out Dawn Among The Stars.


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Reading

84K – Claire North | A Book Review

84K - Claire North

Title: 84K

Author: Claire North

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s a standalone sci-fi novel where rich people can commit crimes and pay them off instead of get punished. I received an advanced reader copy from Hachette.

First impressions: I had no idea what to expect, but I was taken aback by the writing style. Nevertheless, the story slowly but surely started to grow on me.

Characters: By the end of the novel, I liked the characters more than I did at the beginning. Theo, the protagonist, wasn’t the easiest guy to root for at first, but in my opinion, he redeems himself.

Quote:

“Did you think that kindness is born of terror?”

Writing: North writes in a unique but fragmented way. She uses line breaks to format some of her prose like a poem. I found her style a bit challenging, even confusing. Even so, I think the author compels readers to slow down and ask questions. I enjoyed part two more than part one because pieces of the plot start to fall into place.

Final thoughts: The ending provides some closure but also leaves room for individual interpretation. Although some things went over my head, I appreciate the work as a whole.

North’s latest book is a tough but worthwhile read. 84K comes out on May 22, 2018. If the story sounds like your cup of tea, consider pre-ordering it.


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