Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RunLoveKill Vol. 1 | Jon Tsuei, Eric Canete and Leonardo Olea | Mini-Review



Summary:

Rain has been on the run for a couple of years now from an organization called Origami. She has to run again because soon construction of the walls around her current city, Prygat, will be finished and she'll be trapped. 

Review:

For such a small book, RunLoveKill has a lot to offer. This was one of only a few graphic novels that where I found myself studying some of the tiniest details in the panels. This world is incredibly intriguing to me. Despite there being completely sentient and sassy robots, the technology of this world screams biotech to me and I would LOVE the opportunity to learn more about it. I totally agree with the Mature rating on this one. There is a lot of violence and blood. But if you're interested in a lot of action, a runaway from a military style organization and science fiction technology, I highly recommend this book. I really wish there was more to this series. There are so many places this world could have gone! 4.5 hoots!


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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sungrazer | Jay Posey

*Book received from NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

Lincoln Suh leads one of the most secret special forces teams. They get called in to investigate the disappearance of an even more secret government weapon named Sungrazer. Their investigation takes them to Mars where every move they make could either get them killed, start a war between the two planets, or both.

Review:

I don't have the best of luck with "standalone sequels". I often feel like I really needed to read the previous book(s). Sungrazer, however, is one of those wonderful books where, had I not been told it was a sequel, I wouldn't have guessed until at least a third of the way into the book. Definite kudos to Posey for writing this book so that, not only could I easily get into this world, but would also make me want to read the first one. 

Let me tell you, this was a really good read! I loved the characters. I loved the dialogue. I loved the world it took place in. I want to know more about these people and their world. I want there to be a next book just as much as I want to go back and read the first one. This book was incredibly easily to get into and at no point did I feel a disconnect for not having read the first one.

The characters in Sungrazer are all so interesting and dynamic. There were one or two tropes, but overall their interactions felt so natural and real. Doesn't hurt that one of the characters reminded me so much of my husband. Seriously, look for the mischievous one. At the very least, he will make you chuckle. And Elliot's intelligence and ability to think on his feet, without resorting to using a gun, was a phenomenal breath of fresh air. I love it when characters can outsmart their opponents without resorting to force. 

And then there's the technology! The armor that Lincoln's team wears for most of the book fascinates me. Their "drones", their weaponry, their simulators, this is why I read sci-fi books. The technology is so amazing and I want to learn more about it and its applications. 

Overall, I really liked this book and happily give it 4.5 hoots! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go see about buying the first book.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Jam | Yahtzee Croshaw


Summary:

In Brisbane, Australia, Travis and one of his flatmates, Henry, start to head out of the apartment. As soon as they open the building door, however, Henry gets eaten by a flood of jam. Not covered in jam, literally dissolved into it. The week goes downhill from there. Travis, his other flatmate Tim, the and their neighbors Don and Angela, are faced with an apocalypse. Then they're faced with the other survivors, broken into two camps: the ironic Plastic People and the cubicle workers from Hibatsu. 

Review:

There were a lot of enjoyable elements to this book. An amiable main character. Realistic, and therefore hilarious, dialogue and character actions. A goliath birdeater spider. What's not to enjoy? 

Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me. I'm used to Croshaw giving a different but better ending than the one I think I want, but in this case, the ending was disappointing. I get that, in apocalyptic situations people are going to break in different ways, but I did not like Tim's break. I was genuinely disappointed by that development. I also wasn't a fan of the Plastic People and their constant need to be ironic without fully comprehending what that meant. Then again, that could be a testament to Croshaw's writing that he made them so easy to dislike. 

I did get a number of laughs throughout the book. I found it absolutely hilarious that a character who said he had no fear doing something immediately responded to the situation with "OH JESUS MONSTER TRUCK DRIVING CHRIST THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEAAAAAAAAAAA". I also appreciated the references to Mogworld, Croshaw's previous book. Even Travis not being the brightest bulb in the box was kinda funny (though that did get old after a while). 

Overall it's an okay book. It had a lot of good moments, but it ended up leaving me feeling like there could've been more. Maybe it's just me. I still give 3 hoots for all the laughs.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Children of Lovecraft | Ellen Datlow


Summary:

A collection of short stories inspired by, and written in the style of, H.P. Lovecraft. 

Review:

Not surprisingly this is a book without any happy endings. That being said, this book still had a lot of beautiful tragedy. There was plenty of horror and Twilight Zone style unsettled feelings. There were monsters in human and unrecognizable forms. There was one story in the collection that was so inane and difficult to follow that I actually put the book down for a couple weeks. The rest of the stories, however, were very engaging and I've got another list of authors to look up. This is a good book for fans of the horror genre or Lovecraft fans looking for new authors to read. 




Saturday, June 3, 2017

An Oath of Dogs | Wendy N. Wagner

*Book received from NetGalley for an Honest Review

Summary:

Standish has been hired to help out the Communications at Canaan Lake on the moon (not planet, moon) Huginn. When she wakes up from the cryo sleep she was in to make the trip from Earth, she is told that Duncan, the man who hired her, has died. Went missing the forests of Huginn and hasn't been found since. So, she's now head of Communications. When she gets to Canaan Lake with her service dog, Hattie, she finds out the hard way that there are wild dogs in Canaan Lake that dig up corpses and kill those that try to stop them. When she starts asking questions about Duncan's disappearance, however, she finds there's another layer to this small town that she may not like.

Review:

I'm not generally one for mystery novels. All the ones I read just don't surprise me anymore. They're kinda predictable. The overall mystery of this book wasn't too mysterious after a bit, I'll admit. That being said, I didn't put the book down. I happily kept reading more because I found the characters and, more importantly, the world of Huginn to be incredibly interesting. I really think there's a lot more that Wagner can do with this world and I'll be happy to see it.

I greatly enjoyed reading and trying to picture the various flora of Huginn. Seriously, if you are at all interested in botany or ecology, this is a great Sci-Fi book for you. One of the main characters is a botanist who knows what he's talking about. But there are so many parts of the descriptions of the forests and the insects that made me really wish this book had come with illustrations. The naturally multi-colored wood of the coveted, but literally explosive, horsetail trees are something that I really want to see! And Bajowski's (the botanist) observations about the terran insects' adaptations to and with Huginn's insects were fascinating to me.

And I haven't even talked about the religious sect The Believers yet! Think Amish, but way in the future. They were the first colonists in Canaan Lake and we get to find out that their journey was far from easy when Songhauser, the company that practically rules all of space travel, misplaced their main food supply boxes. Yeah, Huginn is not friendly to outsiders and no one knows that better than the Believers. 

Overall, this was an entertaining book. The mysterious parts weren't too difficult to figure out after a while, but it was still a good read. There is certainly plenty room for more stories from Huginn and I do look forward to them! 3.5 hoots!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How To Read Nature | Tristan Gooley Mini-Review

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Review:

I really appreciated reading this book. As someone who lives in an urban area, a lot of the lessons in it cannot be applied on a daily basis. However, I appreciated the reminder to slow down my daily walks and pay attention to the world around me. I also liked the exercises to practice. The author's experiences of even just looking at trees from different angles was a delightful reminder to not take what I see for granted. This is a nice, meditative read that can help your daily awareness of the world around you. 3.5 hoots!

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Deaths of Tao | Wesley Chu


Summary:

In the second book of the Lives of Tao series, Roen has been following Tao's instructions, getting essential information on Genjix projects. Unfortunately, these missions are completely off the books and he is seen as a deserter and conspiracy nut by the Prophus. Worst of all, his constant being away has caused his wife, Jill, to kick him out of the house and he is unable to spend time with his son, Cam. Meanwhile, Jill is working in Washington DC to push the Prophus agenda despite the overwhelming Genjix influence. Naturally, where Tao is involved, things turn violent and desperate.

Review:

Because I started reading this series with Rise of Io, the 4th or 5th book, I already kinda knew who was going to live and who was going to die. That being said, HOLY WAH! I still ended up completely emotionally engaged with this book to the point where I was upset with where it ended. You can't help but get sucked into the lives of these characters. Except, maybe, the bad guys. Every time the narrative switched to Enzo's perspective it just made me dislike him even more.

Chu has a wonderful ability to blend action and suspense with humor and sweetness. From Enzo's perspective, we read about the painful deaths of Prophus agents and Quasings at his hands. Meanwhile, from Jill's perspective we read about how all of Roen's passwords and codes are based on his relationship with her. Then, from Roen's perspective, we get to hear his and Tao's witticisms. Seriously, how can you not smile at some of their dialogue?

"There has to be something else we can save on other than transportation."
"Taco Wednesdays at the office were already cut."
"I miss tacos."

I enjoyed this book so much that I've already made significant progress in the next book of the series, just a day after finishing this one. Tao's world is full of interesting characters. Even those whose perspective we don't get to hear from are interesting to see in action. Stephen and his Quasling Camr had me almost crying. Master Lin had me laughing my butt off. Jacob scared me on a few occasions. Every character contributes something. Every character is engaging. 

This is, hands down, a great book to read. I highly recommend you read the first book, The Lives of Tao, first.This whole series has proven to be highly entertaining of 5 hoots!


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