Category Archives: Ya Sci-fi

Review: The 100 by Kass Morgan

17332969The 100
(The Hundred, #1)
By: Kass Morgan
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Genre: YA Distopian
Rating:
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NO ONE HAS SET FOOT ON EARTH IN CENTURIES – UNTIL NOW.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents – considered expendable by society – are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life… or it could be a suicide mission.

Clark was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. Wells, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves – but will she ever forgive him? Reckless Bellamy fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And Glass managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.

 

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Review: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

20518838The Vault of Dreamers
By: Caragh M. O’Brien
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Published: Sept. 16, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi YA
Rating:
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The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

 
 
1thoughtsRosie was selected to take part in the Forge Show in order to get a good education. Something she wouldn’t have received had she stayed home. However, one night she decides to not take the mandatory sleeping pills and witnesses people coming in to take one of the other girls away in her sleep. The next morning the girl acts as if nothing happens. However, the next night, Rosie finds herself next on the list. The dean is up to something and Rosie has decided to figure out what that is.

Rosie was an interesting character. She was sort of all over the place to be honest. One minute she’s being careless and the next she’s totally in recon mode. I suppose it would be exactly what any 15 year old would do in her situation.

The fact that a good chunk of the scholars from Forge end up dying young or committing suicide was an interesting twist. Especially considering that Rosie starts having mental issues while at Forge. It makes you wonder what they do to them while they are under the sleeping pills power. When you do find out what’s going on, it’s a bit creepy. Not to mention, the sleeping pills that the attendees are required to take so that they get enough sleep to help their artistic minds added a whole new level to the story. It made you wonder, was Rosie really awake and witnessing this? Or was it all just a dream?

This was a good sci-fi thriller for young adults. However, it felt like it was missing something. I just wasn’t blown away by it like I thought I’d be. Rosie and other characters made some bad decisions that just seemed odd, the villain didn’t seem villainy enough, and I wasn’t that freaked out by the events that take place. Again, I’m not a 13 year old, so maybe if I were I’d have a totally different reaction to this one but it just needed a little more oomph to it. It was like it was on the edge of being a thriller but wasn’t quite there yet.
 
 
1favequote“I don’t believe in worry. It doesn’t change the outcome, but it make the now miserable, so I don’t do it.”
kRISTIN

Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

perfPerfected
By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: July 1, 2014
Genre: Dystopian YA
Rating:
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Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

 

 
1thoughtsElla is a genetically engineered “pet”. She was bred and trained in a kennel and then sold. Her new owners are given instruction on how to care for her. For instance, don’t give her you’re food, she has a strict diet and giving her food from your plate may make her sick. If she runs away, she must be in heat and therefor you should have her spayed so she won’t stray. Oh yeah, there were multiple times where I looked over at my dog with sad eyes. The only difference between a human pet and a dog is the human pet has to worry about her masters coming on to her.

We are with Ella on the day she is purchased. She’s chosen by a caring husband and wife to be their daughter’s friend. However, the image they portray is nothing like what you get behind closed doors. At first things seem okay. You know something is off since there is talk of a previous pet, a pet that they returned to the kennel because it was sick. Returning a pet to a kennel is not like taking your dog to the shelter. They don’t adopt them back out. Instead they take the returned pets to the red door in the back and have them euthanized. Yeah, this story was seriously screwed up.

Ella has no idea that her perfect little bubble of a world is about to burst. Tiny things start happening here and there. The author hints at what really happened to the other pet and the fate that awaits Ella. Even though there were no surprises in this story, it’s still shocking to read about the events that take place.

The author did a great job taking a slave type story and twisting it into this weird dystopian novel. It made me wonder what my dog would say if he could talk. Hopefully, he’d say I’m the best dog mom ever but after reading this, who knows. Maybe I’m an obnoxious helicopter “mom”. Maybe he hates that I call him “handsome”. That was all I could think about throughout this story since the similarities between human pets in the book and the pets of our day are almost identical. This is a great story. A little creepy, but still heavily enjoyable. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a dystopian that will not only creep you out but make you wonder at the same time.
 

 
1favequote“Powerful men tire of their toys easily. And the novelty of a pet doesn’t last forever. After a while even the prettiest things become ordinary.”
kRISTIN

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417Alienated
By: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Rating:
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Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

 

1thoughtsCara’s been selected to be one of the few chosen from the world to take part in the first ever L’eihr exchange program. A L’eihr (alien) will come down to earth and shadow a human, enroll in their school and learn their ways. When the time is up the roles will be reversed and the human will go to L’eihr and do the same. You can guess that the humans don’t take to kindly to the aliens coming to earth. It doesn’t take long until Cara’s receiving threats. Little does she know that the panic over the L’eihr’s being on earth may have some warrant.

This was a light sci-fi romance. The author does a great job creating a story and keeping the reader entranced from the start. I will admit that I had been in a book slump until I read Alienated. I was starting to think it was just me, but this book immediately lifted my mood. Sure the story was a teensy bit predictable. However, the author still managed to throw in some curve balls throughout the story that I didn’t see coming.

She also took the time to explain the difference between L’eihr’s and humans. For instance, L’eihr’s don’t really feel emotions. They don’t do physical contact and they don’t celebrate birthdays. There was a pretty big cultural difference for Aelyx when he arrived on earth. The author did a great job not over playing it but rather letting it just blend into the story.

I liked that Landers took the time to explain the L’eihr presence as well as why the L’eihr and humans have the same DNA and look the same. I’ll be honest, up until that point I was a little miffed that the L’eihr were pretty much human with nothing to really set them apart from humans. I’m not saying throw in a 3rd eye or anything but I wanted something. However, rest assured that the author thought about this and gave an explanation to the similarities.

I also like that she showed neither species being the enemy. Each side had their good points and bad points. You had Cara’s family who embraced Aelyx as if he were their own, while others were picketing outside their yard. Meanwhile, Aelyx’s friend/fellow exchange buddy was hell bent on causing damage to earth so that the peace treaty among the two planets would cease. So there were faults on both sides as well as those willing to make it work.

My only complaint was that there was no indication that the story was jumping forward in time. One minute Cara would be sitting in the kitchen eating cereal and the next thing you know she’s outside looking at a dragonfly. It also did this when changing POV’s between Aelyx and Cara. This really messed with me since I would have to get my bearings in the middle of reading. However, I did read an ARC copy and therefor this issue may have been resolved before being published.

This is an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the storyline. It’s a great story for YA, romance, sci-fi lovers alike.

 

1favequote“One by one, she greeted each leader, letting her fingers linger far, far too long, not understanding that she’d given them the human equivalent of an intimate embrace instead of a handshake. When she touched the young male, his lips twitched in an amused grin before he regained his mask of cool superiority.”

kRISTIN

Review: Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

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17289823Rewrite Redemption
By: J.H. Walker
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: January 25, 2013
Genre: Sci/Fi YA
Rating:
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She’s sixteen. He’s seventeen. They don’t know each other…at least not yet.

She has a secret and her whole life revolves around keeping it. Every few months and with little warning, she simply disappears, pulled into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified it will happen in front of someone, changing her life forever. So far, the only witnesses have been her parents, and that didn’t end well. She has no control over it and no idea why it happens to her.

She wants answers.

He has answers—at least he understands what’s going on. He has a secret, too. He’s part of an organization that goes back in time to rewrite reality. But he also has a problem. He broke the organization’s number-one rule by altering his own timeline. As punishment, he’s been blocked from time travel, which is most unfortunate. Because the changes he made to his timeline, accidentally resulted in disaster for his family. A disaster he’s now prevented from repairing. No one can travel beneath the organization’s radar except a Shadow. But they’re rare, so rare he’s never even met one.

Then he moves to her town.

 

1thoughtsA.J. travels back in time with little to no warning. She has no idea why/how she does it but it’s been happening since she was a baby. As a result of this phenomenon, her mother went crazy and killed herself and her father uses alcohol to get through the day. She goes through her days trying to remain invisible as much as possible. It isn’t until a new guy shows up at school that she begins to realize that she can go back in time and rewrite her future.

This was such an interesting concept. I’ve read time travel books before but nothing like this. There is a guild that’s sole purpose is to oversea the time travels and make sure that any threat to the world is taken out before an apocalypse can happen. Guys like Constantine go back in time and edit the past to make a better future. However, A.J. is a whole different thing. She time travels at will without the guilds approval or knowledge. She’s what they call a Shadow.

Due to one tiny alteration Constantine made in his past, his current life is hell and he no longer has his Editor abilities to fix it. His family is falling apart and it’s all his fault. When he comes across A.J. he comes up with a plan. Get to know the girl and have her help him go back in the past and fix his mistake. However, it becomes clear that she’s more than just a random Shadow.

Even though I really enjoyed the story, I did have some hang ups. There was of course the insta-love. These two go from not knowing each other to falling in love. I understand that it’s supposed to be this whole alien soul mates thing but I’d have liked the love to be a bit more slow building. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the mega info dump when Constantine tells Lex all about the Guild and what it all means. I felt a bit overwhelmed.

However, this was a whole new world for me. I’ve read time travel books before but never one like this that dealt with the actual person having a tweak in their DNA strand allowing them to time travel. I liked that we went back in time with A.J. and experienced the disorientation when she lands and has to figure out what to do next. Especially since she isn’t intending to time travel so she isn’t always prepared. I think my favorite part is when A.J. goes back in time twice and come across a Native American named, Hosa. I wish we’d have spent a little more time with his characters since I found him very fascinating.

This was a very interesting take on a time travel story. I liked that the author thought outside of the box with this one and brought new items to the table of time travel.

 

1favequote“I might have won the lottery but I hadn’t cashed in the ticket yet. And until you have the money in your hand, you don’t have the prize.”

 

 

 

author

auth

J.H. grew up in Central America. She now lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies with her photographer husband and many, many books. In addition to her never-ending study of human behavior, she’s a political junkie and a certified tree hugger. Rewrite Redemption is her debut novel.

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Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

11300302Alice in Zombieland
(White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)
By: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: Sept. 25, 2012
Genre: Paranormal YA
Rating:
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She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

 

1thoughtsThis is not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. The only thing that is the same is that the main character’s name is Alice, there is a rabbit shaped cloud that appears when there’s trouble and her best friend’s name is Kat. Other than that, I saw no other similarities.

Alice’s father used to be a paranoid drunk. He was always going off about these monsters who kill people. He wouldn’t allow anyone to go out after dark and would keep watch over the house while everyone was asleep. Alice used to think he was just nuts, until the night she talked her father into going out at night so that the family could watch her younger sister’s recital. And that was the night when she saw the monsters eating her father. That was the night she lost her family.

The characters in this story weren’t shallow like a lot of young adult books. Instead, they all show strength in the face of danger. Alice decides to hunt the zombies that are terrorizing her. She has to learn to not only fight but to fight in the spirit realm. You see, these zombies are not the reanimated flesh and bones that we’ve come to know. These zombies are spirits that feed on the spirits of the living. So the general public have no idea that they are out there.

I liked that the drama that takes place in this book wasn’t over exaggerated. You had the typical issues between cliques but that was about it. There also aren’t any love triangles taking place. So instead you get a paranormal packed adventure from start to finish. And Gena knows how to write a story. She kept the storyline going at a steady pace with spikes up suspense throughout.

Considering that this book’s cover and title make you think that this is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with flesh eating zombies, it was a bit of a let down. However, for being a paranormal young adult novel, it was pretty good. So don’t go into this book (like I did) expecting zombies or AiW because you won’t get it. Go into this expecting a young adult paranormal story and you shouldn’t have any problems.

 

1favequote“Truly living required risk.”

kRISTIN

Review: Hover by Melissa West

Hover BannerHoverHover
(The Taking, #2)
By: Melissa West
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: Aug. 13, 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi YA
Rating:
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On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth’s atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems…and no one can be trusted.

 

 

1thoughtsThis is a sequel to Gravity and you MUST read Gravity before reading this. You cannot just jump in and hope to catch up. It had been a while since I read Gravity and even I needed the refresher that the author gives when starting the book. It took me a little bit for me to get my bearings and to get back into the state of mind since Hover starts right where Gravity left off.

I don’t want to give too much away in my review but all I can say is that although this story isn’t as gruesome as the last, it still has a high level of suspense to it with a couple of shocking moments. Ari and Jackson are trying to beat the clock and keep a full blown war between the aliens and the humans from happening. New characters are introduced and are vital components to the story while we get glimpses from the secondary characters from the first book. So with everything that’s taking place, and the new characters that are thrown into the mix, there is a lot going on. I was never bored with the story of felt like the story lagged. The pacing of the story was brilliant.

I also like that we get a better look at Jackson who is still a mystery in this book. You start to peel back the layers that makes up his character. In the first book you think he’s this confident person, but it isn’t until you see him in his own element that you realize that it’s all just a mask that he wears. He’s really just a hurt, panicked, broken boy who’s been beaten down like a stray dog all of his life. So much is expected from him and so much is taken from him that he wears this mask to not only protect himself but protect the ones he loves.

The reason why I took away a star from this, and I may later change it when I reread a finished copy, is because the formatting was horrible. I was given an ARC by the publisher and words were missing or were off to the side of the page in a different paragraph. There were words that had overlapped each other leaving me to guess what it was supposed to say and if what I was reading was the same sentence or again, something that was from another paragraph in the story. And all of the “f” and “fi” in the entire book were missing. So for instance instead of “first”, I’d get “rst” or instead of effective I would read “eective”. I understand that this is an ARC and usually I let these mishaps slide under the radar because I know the book hasn’t been through the final wringer yet. However, the problems were so huge and disruptive to my reading that I couldn’t fully get into the story. Every sentence I was having to figure out what the author said. Maybe once the book is released I will revisit the book and will find myself more enveloped in the story, thus bringing this up to 5stars.

Will I continue with the series? Definitely. Melissa has a great voice when it comes to telling a story. She doesn’t add drama where drama isn’t needed just to keep the story interesting. However, be warned, she is a master at leaving you on the edge of your seat the entire time… even until the very last word.

 

1favequote“Then do me a favor. Try to imagine what it would be like to be petrified to think or act freely. Not just worries that you will disappoint, but literally afraid that you or someone you love would die if you ever thought or acted of your own accord. That has been Jackson’s life. So before you start judging him for not telling you who he is, maybe you should consider his motives and consider that perhaps, for someone like him, he put everything on the line for you too and you pushed him away.”

 

Previous reviews from The Taking
Gravity

kRISTIN
 

 

author
Melissa

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughters. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L’Engle.
She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

GRAVITY is her first novel.

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Review: Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller

Triangles
By: Kimberly Ann Miller
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Genre: YA
Rating:
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A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life–her father’s death years ago, her mother’s medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her–seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she’s gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they’re a happy couple… a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying “Happy Anniversary”… and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship’s doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she’s warned that these “alternate realities” could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

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Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder
(Lunar Chronicles, #1)
By: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: Jan. 3, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:
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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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Review: Echo by Alicia Wright Brewster

Echo
By: Alicia Wright Brewster
Publisher: Dragonfairy Press
Published: April 25, 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Rating:
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The countdown clock reads ten days until the end of the world. The citizens are organized. Everyone’s been notified and assigned a duty. The problem is . . . no one knows for sure how it will end.

Energy-hungry Mages are the most likely culprit. They travel toward a single location from every corner of the continent. Fueled by the two suns, each Mage holds the power of an element: air, earth, fire, metal, water, or ether. They harness their powers to draw energy from the most readily available resource: humans.

Ashara has been assigned to the Ethereal task force, made up of human ether manipulators and directed by Loken, a young man with whom she has a complicated past. Loken and Ashara bond over a common goal: to stop the Mages from occupying their home and gaining more energy than they can contain. But soon, they begin to suspect that the future of the world may depend on Ashara’s death.

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