In Today’s Episode of “WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS SOONER?” — Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff {Book Review}

illuminae-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoffTitle: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Book 1 in Illuminae trilogy
Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction

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My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite

What it’s about:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer and Doug Holgate {Book Review}

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer & Doug HolgateTitle: Wires and Nerve, Vol 1 (Wires and Nerve #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer (Art by Doug Holgate)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date:  January 31st, 2017
Standalone/Series: Volume 1 in the Wires and Nerve duology
Genre: Graphic Novel – Young Adult – Fantasy – Science Fiction

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My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: I really liked it

What it’s about:

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

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Zenith Part One by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings {Book Review}

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay CummingsTitle: Zenith Part One (The Androma Saga #1)
Author: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Mirabel Inc
Release Date:  June 21st, 2016
Standalone/Series: This is the first part, 3 more parts will be released over time
Genre: Young Adult – Sci-fi

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My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I liked this book

What it’s about:

Most know her as the Bloody Baroness, the captain of a fearsome glass starship called The Marauder. Androma and her crew strike terror in the hearts of those who cross them amongst the many corners of the Mirabel Galaxy.

When a routine mission goes rogue, the all-female crew is captured by a bounty hunter from Andi’s past and forced into a job that could, quite literally, start a war that will devour worlds.

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, the ruthless ruler Nor waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time. The final pieces are about to fall into place, liberating a plan that will tear Mirabel in two.

As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, there is one lesson that proves to be true: No one can be trusted in a galaxy that runs on lies and illusion.

From internet sensation Sasha Alsberg and multi-genre author Lindsay Cummings comes a new serialized space opera, full of action, intrigue, and steamy star-crossed romance.

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Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerTitle: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 10th, 2013
Standalone/Series: First book in the Starbound companion series
Genre: Sci-Fi – Romance – Young Adult

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My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: I really liked it


What it’s about:

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

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Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa MeyerTitle: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy – Sci-Fi – Young Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favourite!

What it’s about:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

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Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa MeyerTitle: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Standalone/Series: Third book in the Lunar Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy – Sci-Fi – Young Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favourite!

What it’s about:

Even in the future. there are damsels in distress…

In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana’s evil plan, has a slight problem. She’s been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

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Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerTitle: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Standalone/Series: Second book in the Lunar Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy – Sci-Fi – Young Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Really liked this!

What it’s about:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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Book Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight by Melissa LandersTitle: Starflight (Starflight #1)
Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Standalone/Series: Companion to Starfall, out 2017
Genre: Fantasy – Sci-Fi – Young Adult

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My rating in stars: 3 stars
My rating in words: It was okay.

 

What it’s about:

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

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Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderTitle: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 3rd 2012
Standalone/Series: First book in The Lunar Chronicles series
Genre: Sci-fi – Fantasy – Young adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I liked it.

What it’s about:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Book Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra BrackenTitle: Passenger (Passenger #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 5th, 2016
Standalone/Series: First book in a Duology
Genre: Sci-fi – Young Adult

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Really liked it

 

What it’s about:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

My thoughts:

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and it definitely did not dissapoint! If you want to read a fun adventure story, this scavenger hunt that spans continents and time periods is just perfect.

Timetravel is a tricky thing to write about because it can get super confusing really fast. But I appreciated the way it was written in the book and thought it actually sounded kind of logical. Timetravel through passages… sure, why not, makes sense! And since Etta is thrown into the world of timetravel without knowing anything about it, the reader can learn all about it together with her. And yes, it’s a bit of an info dump at the beginning and it took me a bit to get into the story but once the hunt for the astrolabe (basically the most powerful item a time traveler can own) begins, the story really takes off.

And once the story took off, the timetravel aspect really had a chance to shine. In one book we got to live adventures in New York, London, the jungle of Angkor and the desert of Damascus. We got to see the present day and we got to visit different time periods in the past. We got to sail the seas, escape WW2 bombings, run into cobras, ride camels and so much more. All of the different locations and periods were just so well researched and described that is was a joy to visit each place and time and experience it together with the characters. I also really like that even though the nice, romantic nostalgia aspects of the past were present, the characters also were confronted with the less nice qualities of the past. Especially Etta, who is a present day New York City girl, is really shocked by thinsg such as the blatant racism, slavery and oppression, women being considered inferior and even the very bad hygiene of the past.

I also very much enjoyed the dual POV in this book. Other than Etta, we also get to see the events from Nicholas’s point of view, who is a black man from the 1700’s. This gives their relationship something so special and I adored the romance between them. Yes, it all happened a bit quickly but I did not mind one bit. Firstly because it was just so beautifully written, almost poetically, and second because the dual POV made me completely understand their emotions and feel all their feels. I did not doubt or second-guess their love for one minute. The fact that they are from different time periods gives them an extremely believable obstacle and I very much appreciated that neither of them expected the other person to give up their lifes, friends and family for the other one. They were so respectful of each other and that was just beautiful and refreshing to read.

But like it says on the back ‘this journey is only the beginning’ and I was not ready for the ending! I need the second book, and I need it now! The ending actually left me very confused and I still have so many questions, which I’m sure will be answered in the second book. There are also a lot of interesting side characters which we only got to know briefly in this book and which I’m very curious about.

Overall, a highly recommended read. Only downside for me was the somewhat slow beginning but the second part of the book MORE than makes up for that!

Favorite quotes:

“You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you.”

“This was the danger, the seduction of time travel, she realized—it was the opportunity, the freedom of a thousand possibilities of where to live and how to start over. It was the beauty open to you in your life if you only stopped for a moment to look.”

“But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment.”

“Love was selfish, wasn’t it? It made honest men want things they had no right to. It cocooned one from the rest of the world, erased time itself, knocked away reason. It made you live in defiance of the inevitable. It made you want another’s mind, body; it made you feel as if you deserved to own their heart, and carve out a place in it.”