Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Only Human by Sylvain NeuvelOnly Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Published by Random House Publishing Group on May 1st 2018
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 352
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It’s ironic, in a really sad way. There’s more closeness here, more love and acceptance, than anywhere else. White, black, brown, Christian, Muslim, all brought together by the greatest injustice of all.

 

This has been such a fantastic series. I think Waking Gods will forever be my favourite, but there’s many great things I can say about this final installment.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain NeuvelSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Published by Random House Publishing Group on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction
Pages: 288
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A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.   Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.   But some can never stop searching for answers.   Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

You have to understand that this flies in the face of everything we know about American civilizations.

Sleeping Giants is being compared to the bestseller and now successful Matt Damon film – The Martian – which is misleading, if not entirely inaccurate.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Railhead by Philip Reeve

Railhead by Philip ReeveRailhead by Philip Reeve
Published by Capstone on April 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 352
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The Great Network is an ancient web of routes and gates, where sentient trains can take you anywhere in the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Zen Starling is a nobody. A petty thief from the filthy streets of Thunder City who aimlessly rides the rails of the Network. So when the mysterious stranger Raven offers Zen a chance to escape the squalor of the city and live the rest of his days in luxury, Zen can't believe his luck. All he has to do is steal one small box from the Emperor's train with the help of Nova, an android girl. But the Great Network is a hazardous mess of twists and turns, and that little box just might bring everything in this galaxy — and the next — to the end of the line. The highly anticipated novel from Carnegie-medal-winning author Philip Reeve, Railhead is a fast, immersive, and heart-pounding ride perfect for any sci-fi fan. Step aboard — the universe is waiting.

“Aren’t you curious? Don’t you want to know what’s beyond that gate?”

This is a book for the curious. This is for those readers who get excited by possibility. If you like the idea of a great, wild universe spread out before you, full of mysteries and secrets, then I highly recommend you step into this world.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World by Emily HenryThe Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Published by Penguin on January 26th 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.   That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

This book is almost impossible to rate. Take my 3-teacup rating lightly, because it does not even begin to sum up everything I felt about this different, imaginative, weird romance.

One StarOne StarOne Star

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet (The Lunar Chronicles Book 2) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Penguin UK on February 7th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 464
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This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.SCARLET BENOIT'S grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive - when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.
As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight by Melissa LandersStarflight by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney Book Group on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 309
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Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it's not like the law has ever been on her side. Still, off-world travel doesn't come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school. The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara's heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe. It's been a long time since Solara has believed in anyone, and Doran is the last person she expected to trust. But when the Banshee's dangerous enemies catch up with them, Solara and Doran must come together to protect the ship that has become their home—and the eccentric crew that feels like family.

“I guess we’re stuck with each other.”
“Guess so,” she said. “Too bad you make lousy tea.”

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are the Ants by Shaun David HutchinsonWe Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon and Schuster on January 19th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
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Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.
Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.
Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.
But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe.
But you don’t.
Because we are the ants.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra BrackenPassenger by Alexandra Bracken
on January 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 496
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In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she's inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she's never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the Colonies-and the servitude he's known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can't escape and the family that won't let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them-whether she wants to or not. Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods' grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

One Star

Perdition by Ann Aguirre

Perdition by Ann AguirrePerdition (Dred Chronicles, #1) by Ann Aguirre
Published by Ace on August 27th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Pages: 337
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WELCOME TO HELL.
The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first.
Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Ms. Aguirre, your writing slays me. It always has.

One StarOne StarOne Star

Planetfall by Emma Newman

Planetfall by Emma NewmanPlanetfall by Emma Newman
Published by Roc on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Colonization, Science Fiction, Space Exploration
Pages: 336
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From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…
Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.
More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.
Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.
The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

Planetfall is what I would call “Soft Core Sci-fi.” Regular folk would just call it Soft Sci-fi. This is the type of story that would appeal to all kinds of readers, rather than just sci-fi readers. It doesn’t focus only on the usual sci-fi elements. Yes, there is a story here that involves 3-D printing, engineering, biology, and the colonization of a new planet, but the strength of the story lies with the very human characters.