Review: Honor Among Thieves

Let me start off with transparency by saying that I am relatively new to the sci-fi genre. Aliens and space travel have never really been my thing, especially in books. However, I have been dipping my toes into the waters more lately and this was definitely a likable book that I was able to fully immerse myself in, even as a newcomer to the genus!

30129657In Honor Among Thieves, our lead Zara Cole is a YA character we’ve seen before–she’s the girl off the streets who trusts no one and has been betrayed by everyone she has ever known. It is unprecedented in this futuristic world when a girl of her personality and background is chosen for the Honors–an elite space program which partners with the Leviathan, a race of sentient alien beings. Of course, Zara has Earthen enemies to flee, so she boards the Leviathan with her new partner, Beatriz (Bea), and heads off into the vast unknown.

In my opinion, some of the best parts of this book were built around the most bizarre things. As I mentioned, I’m still breaking in to this genre and maybe some of these things are relatively normal, but it was so weird to picture people living inside of this alien. ‘Alien’ = spaceship. I had in my mind Jonah and the whale or the Magic School Bus. Then at one point Zara has to dig through Nadim’s circulatory systems to fix an injury! Eek! All of that being said though, I think that one of the most beautiful parts of this book is the relationship that Zara, Bea, and Nadim grow to have. It is so incredibly intimate that Zara and Nadim basically feel one another’s feelings; that Bea can sing and Nadim essentially absorbs that essence. This concept of bonding and journeying together throughout life is so exquisite!….until it gets a bit creepy…but I think you can sort of see where I’m going with all of this.

38496253To wrap this up, I am very interested to see where this series goes. Both the leaders of Earth and the Leviathan have been keeping big secrets regarding “the journey” and how the relationship between humans and the Leviathan got to be exactly how it is, and the Leviathan themselves have a lot of ‘fessing up to do about their own history and backgrounds. Just as there are Earthen enemies, so are there galactic enemies. Why, exactly, have the Leviathan saved planet Earth just as it was about to be destroyed? How did they know? As odd as they are, they really are fascinating creatures and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in book 2, Honor Bound, which just released February 19, 2019. So tell me…

Have you read this or both of these books? Do you enjoy sci-fi at all? Would you be able to space travel if given the opportunity?

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Soundtrack: “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead

Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener

357958931Hello, book lovers! Happy hump day! This post was supposed to be up this morning but apparently I don’t know the difference between AM and PM when posting blogs anymore–my bad!! Anywho, without further ado, I have an amazing review to share with you today….Between Frost and Fury begins right where Amid Stars and Darkness left off (kind of like this review, right? heh heh!). Ruckus is on the phone with Delaney when her tone of voice changes ever so slightly and he’s trying not to panic–what can possibly be wrong? There’s no way anyone suspects….unless they do. And then this whirlwind of a book picks up.

There are so many things that I absolutely love about book number two of this trilogy! First off, we actually get a little bit of Trystan’s perspective in this book. It isn’t completely from his perspective because the book isn’t first person, but it does follow him as a character in a few chapters! I don’t recall ever doing that with Ruckus in book one. So that’s pretty cool. Secondly, the writing is far better in this book! I griped a bit about it being slightly juvenile in book 1. Well, Chani must have found a new editor or something because the difference is night and day! I loved it! And third, the thickening of the plot is so intense that I am so incredibly invested now, I am recommending this book to everyone now!!!

So hopefully, you as a follower of my blog are interested by now as well. If so, you can win a copy of the book sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! This is a US/CAN giveaway and is open until July 26th.

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If you are independent and you don’t need no giveaways and just want to check the book out for yourself, you can do so on any of these fine platforms:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

Also check out the author while you’re at it. Chani is a really neat lady who has also written some other books and likes to do other cool things like go to aquariums, binge TV shows (me too!!), and draw.

All right my friends, that’s all I have for today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and get lots of reading done!

Book soundtrack: The Pretender by Foo Fighters

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On the 16th day of #blogmas …”The Last Jedi” BLEW MY MIND

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Here is my opinion about “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”: BEST STAR WARS MOVIE YET. Yes, I felt that it had its few flaws; its few corny moments. Overall though, I had way bigger moments of  practically flying out of my seat yelling “HOLY SH*T!!!” in shock, amazement, and pure badassery than anything else. Even my fiance, who is a HUGE fan (as in, one of those fans who you never want to play trivia with; one of those fans who has a storage unit full of collectibles) had moments of awe and wonder. Thinking about it now, I was having reservations about going to see it again, wondering if maybe it won’t be as exciting the second time around because I will know what’s coming but I don’t think that will be the case. I have a feeling the thrills and chills will still be there. I get the impression there will be plenty of “Easter eggs” (as Dan calls them) to find.

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And on an end note, we fantasy book readers need to discuss the beautiful creatures in this movie. Especially the arctic foxes, the racing creatures (I didn’t catch their names…my assignment is to look that up), and the porgs. Honestly I’m a bit indifferent about the porgs–they’re ok, but a bit overdone.

So if you wish to discuss the movie, please keep it generalized and spoiler-free or contact me privately and we can chat about it all day! I might have my fiance (Dan) write up a guest post because we’re so hyped about the new movie. Maybe after we go see it again. Have you seen it? Are you planning on seeing it? What do you/did you think?

Currently listening to: Pandora Classical Christmas – “Angels We Have Heard On High”

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Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

27426044Nyxia is the first in a trilogy about a boy named Emmett who is leaving Earth as one of ten recruits under the Babel Corporation. Each of the recruits is competing for a lifelong prize of money and care for themselves and their families. En route to the planet Eden, Emmett fights for his life and learn to manipulate a curious substance called Nyxia. As the days go on, however, more and more secrets about Babel Corp., about Nyxia, and about the other people on the ship are discovered and deciding how to deal with these secrets is becoming more difficult every day.

I was both excited and wary to read this one. I saw that Nyxia was a mix between Ender’s Game (Sci-Fi) and the Hunger Games (Dystopian/Fantasy). I loved both of those books, and I really enjoy dystopian/fantasy genres but sci-fi can go either way in my opinion. Well, in Nyxia’s case, the sci-fi aspect was actually one of the more interesting parts of the book. I thought the concept of Nyxia was interesting, the training programs and technologies were cool, and I liked the ship and the scoreboard.

What I didn’t like as much about the book was the absolute obsession with the scorekeeping and friends vs enemies. This was all reminiscent of The Hunger Games, as it was a tournament of ten young people against each other for a “prize,” but it was much more annoying (in my opinion) in terms of certain repetitions. It made the pacing feel so slow and cyclical.

I have high hopes, however, that the next two books in the series will get better. I think that the ideas and concepts will flesh out more because they have a lot of merit. I really like the idea of a corporation with a lot of secrets; a planet with natives whom we haven’t really met yet; future relationships (good or bad) between the recruits. So I definitey think there is potential in the series and I can’t wait for the next installment!

Book soundtrack: Bangarang by Skrillex

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“The Circle” by Dave Eggers

20890470Ok. Oh boy. Wow.

So. I finished The Circle on Wednesday (today is now late Friday/early Saturday) and I needed a little time to mull things over before writing about it. Typically, I read a book in 2-3 days, 5 at the most but reading this one took me twice as long and it wasn’t because of length (though it was a little on the long side) but because of content. The subject matter was tough for me. Here is my synopsis:

Mae Holland is a young twenty-something who is hired to work at the world’s most powerful internet company: The Circle (think Apple/Google/Facebook rolled into one). This company does everything with the ultimate goal of bringing every person into the network to “improve” products, social media, crime rates, leisure activities, health and wellness, etc., etc., etc. At first, being transparent and sharing information seem simple, but not everyone in Mae’s life agree and some risk their reputations or even stake their life on it. Will Mae back down and side with those she loves? Or will she stand up and do whatever it takes to see The Circle be complete?

So there you have it. In my opinion, this book could go in the horror genre. The idea of being watched and monitored all the time, and being required to vote and basically eat a certainly and fulfill a daily quota of social and health standards or what have you. There is a concept in the story called TruYouth where they propose implant chips in the bones of newborns to “prevent child abductions” but then obviously, the chip is permanent and then you are essentially tracked forever. The Circle wants to put cameras every to “track crime.” They want to put sensors in everything to “monitor product consumption and decrease waste.” Then your every move and stat is also public to every other person on the planet. What if someone doesn’t like that you decided not to finish your bowl of Cheerios? Or how you disciplined your child? Or how you accidentally ran a yellow light? Accidents happen. People have freedoms. But at the same time, we also tend to be critical of others. Mae, at one point, gets 43 frowns (and something like 26,000 smiles) and it eats away at her as to exactly WHO those few were who frowned at her. Honestly, this book seemed to me to be the prequel to every dystopian novel out there. This is how we end up destroying our society and ending up self-destructing. It just does not seem far-fetched to me.

As for the book itself, like I mentioned, I found it hard to read. I think the pacing was pretty difficult. There was a lot of mundaneness about Mae’s desk job and frowning and smiling and how many survey questions and this and that. I found Mae to be extremely frustrating, but I also found the contents of the book frustrating so I probably can’t totally blame Mae. The ending of the book was really “meh” for me. I had to read it twice to make sure I knew what was going on. So many things were extensively described and then all of a sudden….–plop–

Book soundtrack: “The Handler” by Muse

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