Tag Archives: science fiction

Review: Gameboard of the Gods

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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Review: Great North Road

Great North Road
Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected Proof courtesy of Random House via NetGalley – get your own copy from The Book Depository

To be honest, I don’t know what drove me to request this galley on NetGalley or at least, I can’t remember anymore. I think it was probably along the line of ‘oh, I’ve heard of this author before and I should probably give him & sci-fi a go…’, Click! Hum… then I opened the galley and noted it was almost 1,000 pages long! Arrggh… it’s definitely the way to go when one wanted to go out of one’s comfort zone – indeed, the sheer size of it really daunted me but I ploughed through it and actually enjoyed the read, overall.

Let’s keep in mind the fact that I’m really a plebeian in terms of the sci-fi genre, ok? So if you’re a Hamilton fan or a sci-fi guru, this review probably isn’t what you’re looking for…

To begin with, this novel has the feel of a mystery novel set in the far future. Immediately, what came to mind was J.D. Robb’s In Death series (I’ve only read a handful so not all) sans romance. This boosted my confidence, yes, I definitely can read something like this and possibly enjoy it too. I had some doubts about the characters, whilst not totally crims, they also do the dodge but all in the name of survival. It’s a very sad world that you’d have to do the dodge if you’d want to ensure your future comforts so it was something I learnt to accept of the characters and even, finally, respect of them.

The fancy toys they had to investigate made me wishful, of course. I love my toys. However, I noted that unlike today’s police, they don’t really get down and dirty (ie. most investigations were conducted as analysis via toys). Funnily enough, this was brought up too in the book…

“We rely too much on data analysis,” Sid said, brave enough to ignore the chief constable. “We don’t get our hands dirty anymore. It allowed the gang to take advantage of us.”

There were a lot of characters in this book and then, there were the clones. I got really confused with the clones at first but at the end, I managed to sort them out as per their classifications. It was hard to keep track of the characters though as we follow a lot of perspectives back and forth. It really was something that you’d have to watch. This is a book where you’d need your brain in its full capacity. Indeed, the many changes in perspective means that the pace of the book also changes especially in the beginning when we got used to one or two, it suddenly slowed right down again as we are introduced to yet another character in yet another setting.

This was a book totally epic in proportions and content. Firstly, it was the mystery, dystopian feel. Then, there was science fiction part with all the cool gadgets and *Good God!* Aliens(!) which led to some ‘horror’ (not as scary as the movies, Aliens, but pretty scary). And let’s not forget the Actions! Am I missing anything here? Oh right, romance… weeeelll… there is love in the air but don’t read this looking for some gooey romantic ideas.

So, it’s pretty obvious that I wasn’t a fan of Hamilton seeing that this is his first work I’ve ever read. It’s probably not the best book to start with noting its dread-inspiring size! However, it does whet my appetite to include more sci-fi in my consumption. If you’re a Hamilton fan or a sci-fi buff, do leave me your rec! I’m keen for some more exploring!

Thank you, NetGalley & Random House, for the privilege of viewing the galley.

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