Category Archives: Ya Sci-fi

Excerpt: The Colony by Kathleen Groger [giveaway]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00004]The Colony
(A Rasper Novel, #1)
By: Kathleen Groger
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: April 5, 2016
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Goodreads

Trust no one.

Never go out in the dark.

Always have a weapon.

Sixteen-year-old Val lives by these three rules etched on her arm. Her rules and her gun are the only things standing between her and assimilation by hordes of human-looking aliens she calls Raspers.

By day, Val gathers supplies. By night, she hides and wishes she could go back in time…before her family died…before the annihilation…before the Raspers began stalking her and demanding she join their collective.

But when the Raspers attack in broad daylight, the truth becomes startlingly clear.

They’re evolving.

A fellow survivor crashes into Val’s life. Adam’s full of charm and promises—like rumors of a safe haven—but there’s something wrong. He’s survived with no supplies, no weapons…no plans. Time is running out. With the formula for survival shifting around her, Val must decide how many rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.

 

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Review: Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch

tarnishedTarnished
(Perfected, #2)
By: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2015
Genre: Dystopian YA
Rating:

Goodreads

Freedom comes at a cost…

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure…and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one’s safe, least
of all the other pets. But she’s trapped, unable to get back
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she’s lucky, she’ll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives
of everyone she’s tried to save…

 

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Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

20640755 The Book of Ivy
By: Amy Engel
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Published: Nov. 11, 2014
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Rating:
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Goodreads

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

 

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Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

15839976Red Rising
(Red Rising Trilogy, #1)
By: Pierce Brown
Publisher: Del Rey
Published: Jan 28, 2014
Genre: Dystopian YA
Rating:
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Goodreads

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

 

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Review: Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

20320562Zeroboxer
By: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Flux
Published: April 8, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi YA
Rating:
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Goodreads

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

 

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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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Goodreads

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:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

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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Goodreads | Amazon

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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