Category Archives: science fiction

Review: Traveler by L.E. DeLano

Traveler (Traveler #1) by L.E. DeLano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the description, this book has everything I love in it:

Pirates ✓

Alternate worlds ✓

Delectable Book Boyfriend ✓✓✓

Said Delectable Book Boyfriend Comes to Life ✓✓✓✓✓

Totally sold on this book from the get-go!

It’s not a new theory that each time we make a choice, there is a split in reality as another version of us make a different choice and therefore, there are billions, gazillions, un-numbered alternate worlds out there. There are many books written about these too but probably not many of them are as fantastical as these worlds in Traveler. There is a post-apocalyptic world where the situation is so desperate that people are hunting people. There is a world full of everything shiny and sparkly with Glitter Mousse (yum!). There is a steampunk world with corsets and pirates! These are just my favourites out of the numerous alternate universes we were introduced in this book.

I like Jessa with her rather ordinary world turned upside down or is it rather right way up? Like any ordinary teenager, Jessa has her own share of troubles but they were nothing to what’s coming her way. She is being hunted down in every alternate worlds though this time, Finn has come, determined to save this Jessa. We rarely see the other Jessas though as Finn puts it, Jessa is always Jessa whichever world she’s in. We do see however different versions of Jessa’s friends & loved ones including Finn and I must admit to like the pirate Finn more than any other!

Traveler is a fun read; not only do you get dozens of different worlds in the one book but the most important spin was that book boyfriend coming to life (can you just imagine?! btw, who would you pick?!). I was a tad disappointed that Pirate Finn didn’t make that much of an appearance but *coughs* that ending… I absolutely can NOT wait for book 2!

Thanks to Pan MacMillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

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Review: Fall

fallFall by Scarlett Dawn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: ebook courtesy of author

As I reached the end of this book, I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh maniacally or blow up in a rage. In all seriousness, Ms. Dawn is absolutely devious in stringing her readers along for the ride… I cannot wait for the next instalment of Cold Mark

At first, I found it a little hard to get into but I was experiencing the onset of a cold which made me somewhat slow in understanding. The novella was actually quite fast-paced though you do have to get used to this new world with all its quirkiness and Fall has barely scratched the surface. I am looking forward to a lot more development of this fantastic alien world.

Braita literally kicks ass though due to her upbringing and all (very very innocent). I reckon this is wicked brilliance on Scarlett Dawn’s part, to bring an un-touched to a very physical world. To my horror, the climax of this confrontation has just exploded when the story ended; hence, my confused, dazed, and absolutely disgusted reaction… Fall will continue to haunt me ‘til I get can my hands on Sink.

My thanks to Scarlett Dawn for providing ebook in exchange of honest review

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Review: The Almost Girl

almost girlThe Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Strange Chemisty via NetGalley

A smashing cover and published by Angry Robot, I need no other excuse to pick this book up. The blurb and the promise of a kick-ass heroine actually kicking ass totally geared me up for a fabulous read.

The Almost Girl began with a strong action moment. It was such a promising beginning to the book and sets up Riven’s fighter quality fantastically. Yep, she’s a cold-hearted killer on a mission. Fast forward to the present time and Riven is trying hard to track down someone well hidden on earth, by infiltrating high schools… then, she found her target, accidentally, on the road…

Truthfully, there are a lot of potential for a mesmerising story with a strong heroine, alien world, and lots of fighting. It was an easy read; the action flowing from one moment to the next. The pace was pretty fast so time flew by very quickly. Overall, it was a pretty exciting read despite the messy feeling and hence, quite a number of questions I had. The copy I read is an eARC via NetGalley so perhaps the final copy will have been tidied up.

It wasn’t until a bit later than I connected the fact that Amalie Howard also penned Waterfell, which I’ve only just read a couple of months ago (you can check out my review, here). I like Riven a lot more than Nerissa whom I found really annoying to begin with. The setting / premise seems to be worlds apart however I’m wondering if anyone noticed that the ending of both books appear to be identical?

Despite some of the shortcomings of this novel (you’ll find both love & hate reviews out there), I do think you should give this novel a chance; you would, at least, enjoy all the fighting scenes.

Thanks to Strange Chemistry for copy of eARC via NetGalley

Challenge read for: ScatterShelves

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Review: A Clockwork Heart

clockwork heartA Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Del Ray via NetGalley

Please note this is a review of second book of The Chronicles of Light and Shadow and there may be spoilers in respect to book 1: A Conspiracy of Alchemist (you can check my review on book1, here)

I mentioned in my review for book 1, A Conspiracy of Alchemist, that I think the ending was somewhat dissatisfactory due to some ‘decision’ which I thought was quite silly in consideration of the situation. It took me some time to decide that I would like to know which direction the author is taking with this series and it was truly surprising. A Clockwork Heart turns out to be a darker read that I never would have suspected.

It was a rocky beginning. I just thought Elle was being such a brat and utterly selfish that it was all I could do from strangling her myself. The saving factor was a minor character, Ducky, who basically said what I wanted to say to Elle (*kowtow* thank you, Ducky!). From then on, I could see that maybe this book is worth the read, after all. Even then, there were still a couple of Elle’s decisions that I couldn’t live it. It wasn’t until towards the end where Elle’s picked up (and I’ll have to wait and see in the next instalment!) where I might actually start liking her again.

I have to believe that Elle’s rash and somewhat asinine decisions are what make this book. A little unfortunate that without these, the plot will not go in the direction it has. You will find A Clockwork Heart to be supernatural-steampunk world where Light and Shadow have collided; with the existence of an evil villainess who wanted to rule the world, clockwork-zombies, the tricksy Shadow’s world & characters –all who wanted a piece of the Light. It is a darker sort of paranormal-fantasy filled with actions but not so much romance.

If you are hoping for more of romance (i.e. Elle and Hugh) from book 1, then you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you are open enough to appreciate the direction of the story, then there is a chance you would like it. For myself, due to the frustration I experienced with Elle, the story (along with Ducky), I only just managed to finish the read with an average sort of feeling.

Thank you, Del Ray, for copy of eARC via Netgalley

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Review: Freak of Nature

freakFreak of Nature by Julia Crane

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Indie Inked via NetGalley

This must be one of the best covers ever and it sets a pretty high expectation for the book. Who can resist a book about a beautiful half-robot girl with a hint of romance in the air? It brings to mind Cinder (by Marissa Meyer) which I loved so I really couldn’t resist peeking in.

Freak of Nature is exactly as the blurb described it and sadly, not much more. There were a lot of confusion in the air but not a lot of exploration. I feel any themes touched were barely scratched upon and any resolutions to conflicts were just way too easy. There wasn’t any prolonged suspense and things just fell into place in the next page. This makes it to be easily comfortable read but unfortunately, it doesn’t make an exciting read.

This was a fast read for me as language was pretty easy and plot pretty straight forward. There was one thing that I liked though it seemed to be pretty insignificant in my overall view of the book. It’s not something I could reveal though since it is spoiler-ish. There were great premise in the setting and characters but it wasn’t fully realised. I don’t think I will be picking up the next book.

Thank you, Indie Inked for copy of eARC via NetGalley

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Review: Gameboard of the Gods

gameboard
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Dutton Adult via Edelweiss

There is everything to love in this book!

The world: spick & span shiny High-Tech Dystopian country (the Republic of United North America) yet there are primitive settlements surrounding it, not to mention the Romanesque religions (the worship of many gods) incongruously rooted as part of life.

The kick-ass heroine: Absolutely gorgeous chick, intelligent and super strong, she can literally kick ass! I defy you to not love this goddess! um, no, that’s not at all a spoiler

The player hero: With a handsome face and tons of charm, women fell at his feet left, right, and centre. And yet… no one knew of his inner struggles, his dreams, his fears – his charm covers it all up.

The chemistry: The tension was just delicious! The attraction was pretty obvious and I am ever grateful for the alternate perspectives between Mae and Justin. They both have their own secrets that they bury deep inside until one encounter whilst each at their weakest, open a window into their souls exposing parts of the secret selves to each other. They are both experts at hiding their true feelings but how long can you deny yourself of the truth?

I’m sure I have missed a lot in my first reading of the book and I predict that this is one of those books I must own so I can re-read again and again because I’ll find something new at each readings.

A note to Richelle Mead fans, I’ve not read many of her works. I’ve only read the first book of VA (am not a fan of Rose, sorry!) but am enjoying Bloodlines (I love Sydney & Adrian) but Age of the X is more my style! As I understand it, it is quite different from her other works but I love it & I can’t wait for the next instalment!!

Thank you Dutton Adult via Edelweiss for the privilege to read & review eARC

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Review: The Best of All Possible Worlds

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Honestly, this book wasn’t what I expected at all. From the blurb, I sort of thought it might be an action sort of book or something along the life of Vatt’s War series by Elizabeth Moon. This book, however, focused outside of the action – there are many social commentaries and philosophical discussions on “humanity”, communities and relationships.

The story is primarily told from the perspective of Grace Delarua whose job is to ensure a smooth running communities (smooth integration of others into the Cygnus Beta society and assisting in their survival etc). One of the most recent tragedy was the annihilation of Sadiri which wiped out its inhabitants and is, therefore, in inhabitable conditions. The Sadirians who were off-planet are now without a home and are seeking to found a new home with similar living conditions to ensure the survival, not only of their race, but also of their culture. Grace is filled compassion for the Sadirians and are the appointed government officer to assist in their search for a new home. She found herself drawn to the Sadirians and their appointed Councillor, Dllenahkh.

Most of the book is of the search of a new home for the Sadirians – a trip around Cygnus Beta collecting genetic and cultural information on the taSadiri, organising exchanges, and of course, getting into trouble here and there. Not only was Grace facing challenged professionally but also personally. She needs to learn of who she really is and to face her challenges head on.

I thought this world was really quite fascinating and whilst I appreciate the commentaries, at about 3/5 of the way, I was wondering whether there is a point of this story at all. Unfortunately, I am one of those who needed a point to a story –there has to be a purpose to make it all worthwhile. Did I find one in this book? Not particularly or at least, not to my satisfaction. I’m actually finding it hard to compartmentalise this novel… sci-fi, yes, but the ending is more romance than anything else… romance, errr not really, since you can barely feel any tension (romantic rather than sexual) throughout the book. Oh, did I mention that the Sadiri is very non-emotional? Hhhmm… that will make it hard for a romance novel…

The world building was the most enjoyable for me though it wasn’t quite as developed as I wanted it to be. The travelling around the planet where many settlements with variety of cultures sort of made it hard as while there are many attributes to explore, you’ll be moving on in the next chapter. That was made what I found slightly frustrating –there were too many settlements to explore in the 300 pages that what we see (read) is just “in passing”. Of course, the main focus is supposed to be the Sadiri but there were too many other distracting things…

If you are looking to pick up this book because it’s tagged ‘romance’ in a sci-fi setting… let me warn you that this is not the typical romance. As I mentioned above, you can’t feel any romantic / sexual tensions at all for most of the book (that’s a good 90% of it) even though you know something’s supposed to be happening… Overall, this was a pretty average and too boring book to explore.

Thanks To Random House Publishing Group & NetGalley for the privilege to read & review galley

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