Book Review

#ScienceFiction Worth Reading: Prime Deceptions #BookReview #scifi #scifibooks #sciencefictionbooks #BookLover


Another uproarious journey through space with the lovably flawed crew of La Sirena Negra.

science fiction worth reading Prime Deceptions

This fast-paced sequel to the critically acclaimed Chilling Effect delivers a perfect blend of humor, heart, and intergalactic mayhem.

Captain Eva Innocente, accompanied by her eclectic crew and their psychic cats, once again finds herself entangled in the chaos of a covert war at the outer edges of inhabited space. The story kicks off when Eva’s sister seeks her help in locating a missing scientist, promising not only a hefty payday but also a cause worthy of their attention. Despite lingering trust issues, Eva decides to embark on the mission, setting the stage for a wild adventure across the cosmos.

What makes Prime Deceptions shine is the ensemble cast of characters, each with their unique quirks and lovable flaws. Valdes masterfully captures the camaraderie of the La Sirena Negra crew, making them feel like a dysfunctional yet endearing family. The humor is a constant companion throughout the narrative, providing moments of levity even in the face of danger.

The plot takes the crew from a convention filled with eccentric costumes to a perilous bot-fighting arena, showcasing Valdes’ skill in creating diverse and vibrant settings. The narrative crescendos with a return to Garilia, a place evoking Eva’s past failures and haunting memories. This backdrop adds depth to the story, as Eva must confront her own demons while navigating a rebellion in paradise.

Eva’s journey is not just a space romp but a compelling exploration of redemption and growth. The author weaves Eva’s personal struggles seamlessly into the overarching plot, allowing readers to connect with her on a more profound level.

While Prime Deceptions is undeniably a fun and entertaining read, it also touches on themes of trust, forgiveness, and the consequences of one’s actions. The world-building remains stellar, with Valdes painting a vivid picture of the universe, complete with psychic creatures, surveillance technology, and lush landscapes.

I definitely recommend this one. Here’s the blurb:

The lovably flawed crew of La Sirena Negra and their psychic cats return in this fast-paced and outrageously fun science fiction novel, in which they confront past failures and face new threats in the far reaches of space from the author of the critically acclaimed Chilling Effect.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra find themselves once again on the fringe of populated space – and at the center of a raging covert war. When Eva’s sister asks for help locating a missing scientist, promises of a big paycheck and a noble cause convince Eva to take the job despite lingering trust issues.

With reluctant assistance from her estranged mother, Eva and her crew follow the missing scientist’s trail across the universe, from the costume-filled halls of a never-ending convention to a dangerous bot-fighting arena. They ultimately find themselves at the last place Eva wants to see again – Garilia – where she experienced her most shameful and haunting failure. To complete her mission and get paid, Eva must navigate a paradise embroiled in a rebellion, where massive forests and pristine beaches hide psychic creatures and pervasive surveillance technology. Can she find her quarry while avoiding the oppressive local regime, or will she be doomed to repeat past mistakes when her dark deeds come to light?


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#Fantasy Worth Reading: Fourth Wing #BookReview #fantasybooks #booklover


This book gave me a book hangover… because I had to finish it! Just had to!

fantasy worth reading Fourth Wing

Set within the confines of Basgiath War College, this gripping tale unfolds against the backdrop of a brutal war and the high-stakes competition to become the elite dragon riders of Navarre.

At the center of the narrative is twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail, originally destined for the Scribe Quadrant, where a quiet life among books awaited her. However, her mother, the commanding general, redirects her fate, compelling Violet to join the intense competition for dragon riders. The catch? Dragons don’t bond with “fragile” humans, and Violet’s size and physical fragility make her an unlikely candidate, facing not only the challenge of mastering the art of dragon riding but also the constant threat of being incinerated.

Yarros masterfully crafts a world where danger lurks at every corner, and the competition for survival is as fierce as the dragons themselves. The tension is palpable, especially given Violet’s physical vulnerabilities and the cutthroat nature of her fellow cadets, led by the powerful and ruthless wingleader, Xaden Riorson.

The character development is noteworthy, with Violet emerging as a resilient and intelligent protagonist. The dynamics between characters, whether friends, enemies, or potential lovers, add layers of complexity to the narrative. Each individual at Basgiath War College harbors their own agenda, creating an atmosphere where trust is scarce and alliances are fragile.

The world-building is immersive, painting a vivid picture of the war-torn kingdom, the majestic dragons, and the elite training grounds of the war college. Yarros skillfully balances the thrilling action sequences with moments of introspection, giving readers a chance to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

As the war outside escalates and the protective wards of the kingdom falter, Violet begins to unravel a dark secret. The overarching mystery adds an extra layer of intrigue to the plot, keeping me hooked until the final page.

There was something very addictive about Fourth Wing. It had some flaws… mostly some scenes were a bit verbose. Like I get it. But it was easy to flip past those to the more exciting parts. And there were lots of exciting parts. I highly recommend.

Here’s the blurb:
Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.



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#Fantasy Worth Reading: Assassin’s Apprentice #BookReview #BookLover #Fantasybooks


Here’s a great fantasy book worth your time to read!

fantasy worth reading Assassin's Apprentice

Meet Fitz, often called Boy

The story follows the life of FitzChivalry Farseer, an illegitimate son of a prince, who is thrust into the cutthroat world of the royal court. Born with the magical ability known as the Skill, Fitz becomes entangled in political machinations and secrets that shape the fate of the Six Duchies. As he navigates the complexities of court life and hones his skills under the guidance of the enigmatic Chade, Fitz transforms from an abandoned child into a trained assassin.

Fantastic World Building

One of the novel’s standout features is Hobb’s ability to create a rich and immersive world. The Six Duchies come alive with vivid descriptions, and the intricate details of court politics and the magic system add depth to the narrative. The author’s prose is elegant and evocative, drawing readers into a world filled with both wonder and danger.

Great Character Development

Fitz’s character development is nothing short of remarkable. As readers follow him from childhood to adolescence, Hobb skillfully explores the complexities of identity, loyalty, and the burdens of power. Fitz is a deeply relatable protagonist, and his struggles resonate with the reader on an emotional level. The supporting cast is equally well-drawn, with each character contributing to the intricate tapestry of the story.

Pacing, Twists and Turns

The pacing of Assassin’s Apprentice is deliberate and builds tension gradually. Hobb weaves a web of suspense, leaving readers on the edge of their seats as they navigate political intrigues and hidden agendas. The plot twists and turns, keeping the narrative unpredictable and engaging until the very end.

Often Kept me up Late

In addition to its compelling characters and plot, Assassin’s Apprentice delves into themes of destiny, sacrifice, and the consequences of power. Hobb seamlessly integrates these themes into the narrative, elevating the story beyond a mere fantasy adventure. This book often kept me up late reading. I wanted just one more chapter… Definitely worth reading.

Here’s the blurb:

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.



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#Fantasy Worth Reading: A Starlet’s Secret to a Senstational Afterlife #BookReview #fantasybooks #Booklover


Looking for a fun and fantastic read with a bit of the supernatural and a little romance? A Starlet’s Secret to a Sensational Afterlife by Kendall Kulper is the novel you need.

fantasy worth reading A Starlet's Secret to a Sensational Afterlife

A Starlet’s Secret to a Sensational Afterlife is a mesmerizing tale that effortlessly blends the unglamourous side of Hollywood with a touch of mystery and a sprinkle of romance.

Set during the golden age of Hollywood, the novel introduces us to the charismatic protagonist, Henrietta. She announces to her family over dinner once evening that she’s going to be a star and leaves Chicago. As a newcomer to Hollywood, Henrietta finds it’s not so easy to get into pictures. Then she starts seeing dead starlets. Wha??

This mystery of the many, many dead girls gets entwined with her shot at stardom. What’s a girl to do?

Then she meets Declan, who has his own secrets. He can’t die. At first this serves him well as a stuntman. Then, it becomes a problem when there’s an accident where he should have died and he’s not even injured. He had a hard life and came to Hollywood hoping to find his mother. She had run off to try her hand at stardom when he was a boy.

The pacing is well-balanced, keeping the reader engaged with a combination of suspenseful revelations and heartfelt moments.

I loved the balance of supernatural, mystery, history, and romance. I highly recommend this book.

Here’s the blurb:

A budding starlet and her handsome-but-moody co-star go from bitter enemies to reluctant partners when they get tangled up in the disappearance of a beautiful young actress in 1930s Hollywood.

Eighteen-year-old Henrietta arrives in Los Angeles in 1934 with dreams of trading her boring life for stardom.

She’s determined to make it as an actress, despite her family’s doubts and rumors of would-be starlets gone missing. And by the skin of her teeth, she pulls it off! A serendipitous job offer arrives and Henrietta finds herself on a whirlwind publicity tour for a major film role—with a vexingly unpleasant actor tapped by the studio to be her fake boyfriend.

But fierce Henrietta has more in common with brooding Declan than she realizes. They both have gifts that they are hiding, for fear of being labeled strange: he is immune to injury and she can speak to ghosts. When the co-stars get tangled up in the disappearance of a beautiful young actress, they go from bitter enemies and pretend lovers to reluctant partners—and possibly even friends.

Together, they might be the only people in Hollywood who can do something about these poor missing girls. And in doing so . . . they might just fall in love for real.

This whip smart, seductive caper by the author of Murder for the Modern Girl has the perfect combination of romance, vengeance, and a hint of the supernatural, set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.


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#SciFi Worth Reading: Saturn Run #BookReview

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctien

I love a great space mystery. This one starts with an alien space vessel spotted entering orbit around Saturn.

The race begins. The US and China compete to get to Saturn first, to be the first to meet the aliens, to be the first to gain new technologies. Then, the ship leaves. But the race is no less intense.

What did the alien ship do at Saturn? Did it leave something there? Is there something there we can’t see by telescope?

Well, I really wanted to know. So I kept reading.

The character interactions are really captivating, and the characters have layers that get peeled away as the story goes on. I thought a really, really long time was spent on how the engines and propulsion worked. Too much time. However, that didn’t take away from me enjoying the story.

Once the ship finally gets to Saturn, the thrills and twists keep going. I wish more time had been spent at Saturn and the mysteries there. But again, I still really liked this book. A lot.

A lot of the plot was pretty intense, pushed along by the race with the Chinese, the politics, and the issues with building a vessel that could get to Saturn in a relatively short time frame. Very well done.

Here’s the official description:

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope – something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins – an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect – and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.



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#ScienceFiction Worth Reading: Starter Villain #BookReview #scifi #sciencefiction #booklover


A riotous rollercoaster that delivers a fresh and uproariously funny take on the world of supervillainy.

science fiction worth reading Starter Villain

Warning: This book often made me laugh out loud!

Packed with wit, charm, and unexpected twists, this novel isdelightful and had me laughing from start to finish.

Charlie, a divorced substitute teacher with dreams of opening a pub, finds himself thrust into an unimaginable situation. When his long-lost uncle Jake dies, he bequeaths Charlie a supervillain business complete with an island volcano lair. What follows is a madcap adventure that turns Charlie’s life upside down.

Scalzi’s comedic genius shines through every page with clever humor and witty dialogue. From the absurdity of giant laser death rays to the complexities of managing a lair with unionized dolphins, Starter Villain keeps the laughs coming. Scalzi’s ability to blend humor with depth and heart makes this novel a standout in the genre.

The plot, filled with unexpected twists, takes readers on an eccentric journey. The cast of characters, including hyperintelligent talking spy cats and a terrifying henchperson, adds layers of charm.

Charlie’s reluctant journey into the supervillain world is a joy to follow. Scalzi deftly explores themes of identity, family, and the choices that define us, all while maintaining a lighthearted and humorous tone. The pacing is spot-on, with each chapter delivering new and hilarious challenges for Charlie to navigate.

In a genre often filled with clichés, “Starter Villain” stands out as a refreshing and original take on the superhero/supervillain dynamic. It’s a testament to Scalzi’s storytelling prowess that he can inject so much humor into a tale that also explores the complexities of power and morality.

I definitely recommend. This is now my favorite Scalzi read. Here’s the blurb:

Inheriting your uncle’s supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who’s running the place.

Charlie’s life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.

Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.

But becoming a supervillain isn’t all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they’re coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.

It’s up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyperintelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.

In a dog-eat-dog world…be a cat.



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