Book Review

Aurora Rising: #SciFi Worth Reading #BookReview #sciencefiction #booklover

best science fiction books
best science fiction books, Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

What I loved: the setting in space. I love being in space. A mystery that leads to exploration and discovery. This is my favorite type of mystery in space opera. Traveling to different planets and meeting people from other planets is always a fun adventure.

The plot takes twists and turns. I love this sort of ride. The story is often gripping and thrilling. It’s written from multiple POVs, which makes it interesting. The POV always keeps the story moving forward.

There are two minor quibbles I have with it. The first is that it reads young. Well, young for me. You may think otherwise. The second was a plot twist that I didn’t think made complete logical sense. From all the 5 star reviews, it seems not many people notice that flaw. So you may not either. Either way, it’s a spectacular book to spend some time with.

Here’s the official description:

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.



Blight of the Necromancer: #LitRPG Worth Reading #BookReview #fantasy #booklover

best in fantasy booksBlight of the Necromancer: Khthonia Book 3 by C. Rains.

The problem with this book is that it’s the last in the series. It was a pleasure getting lost in this fantasy world for the third time and as pleasurable as the first two times. What makes this stand out from other LitRPGs is that it’s a well-rounded and well-crafted novel. Many are just a series of battles, which isn’t my favorite kind of story. This one has a lot of character and emotion in it that keeps the story moving forward and pulls the reader farther into this made-up world.

Khthonia is familiar and new, which is an irresistible combination. Part of this made me very sad. Not many books get emotion out of me, so that’s a good thing. And I took something away at the end, about the true love. Maybe it’s not what the author meant, but I took it to mean something other than another person.

No one rational ever wants to play a bard, but Nora Quinn believed she could use her class’ skills of perception to her advantage as an investigator. As Essaerae the elven bard, she regrets picking the role now that the players are trapped in the dark realm of Khthonia. She desperately desires to go home, but her friends want to stay in the fantasy world, causing a rift in the party. To lift the Specter Plague curse from the land and win the game, the heroes must defeat the conniving necromancer. Yet he’s shadowing them with death the entire way.

Seeking the tools they need, Nora and her friends must survive perilous side quests and hordes of undead. The answer to how to slay the villain lies in the western ruins, but Nora is certain he is the only one who can get her home. And for that, he needs to stay alive.

Nora must choose between killing the necromancer and lifting the curse or siding with him and going home. Neither choice feels like a victory.

A fantasy LitRPG/GameLit for fans of table-top role-playing games.

The Psychology of Time Travel: #SciFi Worth Reading #BookReview #sciencefiction #booklover

best in science fiction booksThe Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.

The story begins with four women, who invent time travel. The human trials are done by the scientists. They take all the risk as to whether it is safe. Everything goes fantastic until they do an interview for a worldwide broadcast and one of their fellow travelers has a bit of a breakdown. This is the little grain of sand that sends the novel spinning.

There is a thoughtful exploration of how time travel affects different travelers and how the woman in charge tries to prevent any further embarrassments. By trying to prevent any further mental issues, the preventions appear to cause more of them. Then there is the murder. Ooo! This mystery keeps driving the plot forward even as we sometimes jump back in time.

The author caught my attention early on and held it. Besides showing the effects of time travel through various perspectives, there’s also the murder mystery wrapped up in it all. The first question that has to be answered is, who is the body?

Well-written with interesting characters and cleverly plotted, this novel is well worth reading. The almost entirely female cast was a pleasant surprise as well. I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it.

Here’s the official description for the Psychology of Time Travel:

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.



Fantasy Worth Reading: Something from the Nightside #BookReview #fantasybooks

best-selling fantasy novel Something from the NIghtsideSomething from the Nightside by Simon R. Green is another novel I devoured in a mere few hours. It’s hard-boiled detective meets Neverwhere, and it’s a wonderful treat. Don’t deprive yourself of this gem.

The voice of the main character, John Taylor, is strong and bleeds atmosphere into every paragraph. The Nightside’s dark alleys, neon-lit streets, and eerie locales are described with such detail that they almost become characters themselves. The author’s atmospheric prose adds depth and richness to the narrative, making the Nightside a place readers can visualize and get lost in.

Nightside is a realm within London filled with darkness and mystery. Mostly darkness. It’s always 3:00 a.m. there and is populated by the bizarre and disturbing. John Taylor swore five years ago he’d never go back, but a rich lady walks into his office when he’s desperate for money. She needs him to find her runaway teenage daughter. He has a magical gift, a third eye, which makes him an expert at finding things in the Nightside. Only, something is blocking his sight. That’s never happened before.

The plot twists into creative and imaginative jaunts that made it unpredictable in the best of ways. The final twists were delicious. I will certainly be acquiring more books in this series. Highly recommended and it gets beyond five stars from me.

Here’s the blurb:

Taylor is the name, John Taylor. My card says I’m a detective, but what I really am is an expert on finding lost things. It’s part of the gift I was born with as a child of the Nightside.

I left there a long time ago, with my skin and sanity barely intact. Now I make my living in the sunlit streets of London. But business has been slow lately, so when Joanna Barrett showed up at my door, reeking of wealth, asking me to find her runaway teenage daughter, I didn’t say no.

Then I found out exactly where the girl had gone.

The Nightside. That square mile of Hell in the middle of the city, where it’s always three A.M. Where you can walk beside myths and drink with monsters. Where nothing is what it seems and everything is possible.

I swore I’d never return. But there’s a kid in danger and a woman depending on me. So I have no choice—I’m going home.

#Sci-Fi Worth Reading: All Fools Day #BookReview #BookTwitter

As the weather goes crazy, read some great and funky sci-fi!

All Fool’s Day by Edmund Cooper was a great find. This worthwhile novel was recommended to me by another sci-fi lover on Instagram. I review a lot more books on Instagram and more than sci-fi and fantasy. If you want, follow me on Instagram! We’ll chat about books.

Anyway, Cooper is an author from the 1960s I never heard of. I’m glad that error has been remedied.  The Edinburgh Evening News had this to say about All Fool’s Day: The wackiest book of the year — this tragic, ingenious and entertaining novel. 

Wacky? That’s like a calling card to me. This was good writing and a very original story. The main character is a reluctant hero (one of my favorite tropes) and not very likeable. Yet, Cooper kept me engaged and reading.

The premise is the sun starts having sun spots that put out a strange and new kind of radiation that makes people want to kill themselves. The only people immune are those with different minds – the geniuses, the crazy, the neurodivergent, the psychopaths, etc… Yeah, it’s a nutty plot idea, but it makes sense in the story and Cooper writes it well.

The writing is old-fashioned to what’s currently in vogue (third person omniscient), but the story is compelling and keeps moving forward. With packs of murdersome rats, dogs, cats, and pigs, it was a compelling read about how the transnormals face the end of civilization.

Here’s the blurb:

Summer 1971. A marvellous spell of weather, idyllic in its warmth. But new sun-spots had appeared; and with their appearance came a significant increase in the suicide rate. The wonderful summer continued for a decade: simultaneously Radiant Suicide reached endemic proportions, the only people to escape its effects being the supposed transnormals, the obsessionals, the eccentrics and the psychopaths. These were to be the only remnants of the ancient ‘homo sapiens’ . . .

#SciFi Worth Reading: Cake Eater by Allyson Dahlin #BookReview #BookTwitter

Cake Eater is Sci-Fi worth reading. Five plus stars for a book I fell in love with!

Sci-Fi worth reading

Set in the year 3070, this novel is a retelling of Marie Antoinette’s story. I instantly related to Marie trying to exert control over her life. Only seventeen, she flies off to Franc to marry the dauphin, Louis. They’ve never met, but she’s prepared to do her duty. Sheltered and naive, she’s not prepared for much else.

She gives up her name, her home, her family, her dog, and even her clothes to become a wife and Marie. Nothing remains of her and her past, so she does her best to find herself, a way to fit in, and a way to still be Maria.  I found this book charming and enchanting. Marie immersed me into her life at Versailles and her struggle to be less lonely. This book had lots of feels, a young woman trying to figure out who she is, a struggling romance, and a sinister underlying plot. And, it made me cry. Not many books affect me that way.

If I had read the blurb, I never would have chosen this book myself. It was recommended and I’m thankful to that person for recommending it. I had a hard time putting this book down and am sorry Allyson doesn’t have any more books out. I really loved this book.

Here’s the blurb:

The year is 3070, and Marie Antoinette has just arrived at the glittering, thrilling palace of Versailles to marry the shy, soft-spoken Louis-Auguste.

But beneath the luxurious world lies a sinister underbelly and an uncompromising elite who want to keep Marie and Louis pawns in a deadly game.

Will history repeat itself? Or will these doomed lovers outwit their enemies and escape their grisly fate?

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