Category Archives: Book Reviews

SciFi Book Review: More of Me

More of Me by Kathryn Evans

Synopsis:
Teva goes to school, studies for her exams, and spends time with her friends. To the rest of the world, she’s a normal teenager. But when she goes home, she’s anything but normal. Due to a genetic abnormality, Teva unwillingly clones herself every year. And lately, home has become a battleground. When boys are at stake, friends are lost, and lives are snatched away, Teva has a fight on her hands—a fight with herself. As her birthday rolls around, Teva is all too aware that time is running out. She knows that the next clone will soon seize everything she holds dear. Desperate to hang on to her life, Teva decides to find out more about her past . . . and uncovers lies that could either destroy her or set her free.

Review:
Teva lives in fear of her next birthday, when she loses the life she knows to live hidden away, never aging. Meanwhile, her younger clone is bitter, jealous and wants her boyfriend back. As her life begins to fall apart around her, she even begins to question her sanity.

More of Me is a standalone, science fiction novel for young adults. It starts out a bit confusing, as I tried to figure out who the clones all were and why they were called different names. Teva is written in a clever way that makes the reader question everything as does Teva. The plot is twisted and clever and certainly kept me guessing. The characters are engaging and the suspense built to an exciting finale. While the story wasn’t quite what I expected, it was a lot of fun.

SciFi Book Review: The Space Between the Stars

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Synopsis:
All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be.

Review:
Jamie wakes up after getting over a virus, to discover everyone gone. The virus had a very low survival rate. Jamie’s sanity is threatened when finally she discovers other survivors. And Jamie immediately holds onto the slim chance that her ex has survived.

This novel wasn’t quite what I expected. I thought it’d be a space opera either heavy on the romance or adventure. Instead, The Space Between the Stars is a thought-provoking, tense story. As survivors search for the familiar and try to get home to Earth. There is quite a bit of suspense, drama, and a bit of romance in this engaging read. And events build to a surprising and stirring finale.

Book Review: And Then There Were Four

And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin

Synopsis:
When a building collapses around five teenagers—and they just barely escape—they know something strange is going on. Little by little, the group pieces together a theory: Their parents are working together to kill them all. Is it true? And if so, how did their parents come together—and why? And, most importantly, how can the five of them work together to save themselves? With an unlikely group of heroes, sky-high stakes, and two budding romances, this gripping murder mystery will keep readers guessing until the last page.

Review:
Five very different teenagers are drawn together by a traumatic experience with a suspicious cause. They aren’t sure who messaged them all to the meeting where the all could have died. But one of their parents had the means of bringing the building down. As crazy as it sounds, the teens start with a theory; and pieces begin falling into place as they investigate.

And Then There Were Four is a fast-paced thrilling whodunit. The character development was exceptional – especially for the narrators. The narrative itself is a bit strange – with one speaking in first person past tense and another in second person present tense – every other chapter. I’m not sure why that distracting choice was made other than to make the two voices more distinct. Thankfully, I was able to get used to it and enjoy the story that proved to be heart-pounding suspense with several fun twists along the way.

SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hearts and Minds

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hearts and Minds by Dayton Ward

Synopsis:
2031: United States Air Force fighter jets shoot down an unidentified spacecraft and take its crew into custody. Soon, it’s learned that the ship is one of several dispatched across space by an alien species, the Eizand, to search for a new home before their own world becomes uninhabitable. Fearing extraterrestrial invasion, government and military agencies which for more than eighty years have operated in secret swing into action, charged with protecting humanity no matter the cost…

2386: Continuing their exploration of the Odyssean Pass, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise discover what they at first believe is a previously uncharted world, with a civilization still recovering from the effects of global nuclear war. An astonishing priority message from Starfleet Command warns that there’s more to this planet than meets the eye, and Picard soon realizes that the mysteries of this world may well weave through centuries of undisclosed human history…

Review:
As soon as the Enterprise reaches it’s latest area of unexplored space, Picard discovers that crucial information has been withheld from him but disclosed to a member of his crew. This betrayal mars contact with these new beings. But hundreds of years ago, these aliens came to Earth, and humans may have damaged relations beyond repair.

Hearts and Minds is the latest voyage of the Starship Enterprise. Though, I do miss the original Next Gen crew, I thoroughly enjoy this new lineup of a mixture of original and new crew members. They are diverse and engaging. This latest story is told in two eras, side by side. The pacing flows well. And suspense builds to a surprising and satisfying finale. Ward’s Star Trek novels are always a must-read, and this unique story is another fun and exciting read.

Graphic Novel Review: Nightwing Vol. 2: Back to Blüdhaven (Rebirth)

Nightwing Vol. 2: Back to Blüdhaven (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
Former Robin and retired superspy Dick Grayson has returned to Gotham and stepped back into his life as Nightwing–the blue-and-black clad vigilante known for going where others won’t. Fresh off a deep cover operation to infiltrate the Parliament of Owls, Nightwing must come to terms with secrets of his past that will forever change his destiny.

Review:
Dick is easing back into life in Blüdhaven and trying to get involved in the community as more than just Nightwing. But a support group turns out to be a shocking twist. And Dick finds a new love interest.

Volume 2 is better than the last installment. With a cast of colorful characters and a fun and exciting plot, this story arc was certainly memorable. Though, I’m not crazy about Dick’s new girlfriend (mostly because I want him either with Batgirl or Starfire), she is still an interesting character. There is plenty of humor as well as action, culminating in a surprising twist ending. I look forward to the next volume and hope to see most of these supporting characters return.

SciFi Book Review: The Quest to the Uncharted Lands

The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson

Synopsis:
Stella Glass dreams of exploring worlds beyond her home of Solace, but when her famous parents are sent on a historic mission to the Uncharted Lands, it’s simply too dangerous for her to join them. By order of the king, she is left behind.

Missing out on the excitement is one thing, but Stella is devastated at the thought of her parents flying into the unknown. So she takes matters into her own hands. Instead of staying with family as planned, she steals away and—right before takeoff—sneaks aboard the airship.

But Stella isn’t the only stowaway.

In the cargo bay is a boy who is also desperate to get to the Uncharted Lands. And someone else who’s determined to keep the ship from making it there at all.

Review:
Stella is a brave and smart young woman with a penchant for alchemy. Not only does she not want to be left behind on this adventure, but she wants to make sure her parents make it there safely. But she’s not the only one keeping watch over the airship. Cyrus is a secretive and mysterious boy with special abilities that make him particularly adept at circumventing the saboteur on board.

The Quest to the Uncharted Lands is the third standalone novel in the World of Solace. Each story has an incredible cast of characters, and this is no exception. This fast-paced adventure was exciting and full of suspense. The incredible and unique worldbuilding leads to fantastic and exciting stories, blending magic and science. Steampunk fans of all ages will enjoy these novels. Each standalone novel includes new characters and stories. You don’t need to read in any particular order, but you will want to read them all.

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Review:
Audrey is a brilliant young woman who’s brave and determined to ignore propriety and pursue her dream of studying forensics. But when she begins to investigate the victims of brutal murderer, Audrey begins to think she may know the killer.

Stalking Jack the Ripper is a gothic stand-alone thriller geared towards young adults. This dark mystery was gory and descriptive when it came to the Ripper’s victims. But Audrey is a believable young woman – curious yet sympathetic towards the victims. There are creepy, period photos that accompany each chapter. The infamous serial killer becomes a part of this whodunnit with a surprising and chilling climactic ending.

Graphic Novel Review: Assassin’s Creed: The Hawk Trilogy

Assassin’s Creed: The Hawk Trilogy

Synopsis:
HAWK: When Desmond Miles is called away on an urgent mission, he entrusts fellow Assassin Jonathan Hawk with the search for the Scepter of Isis – a powerful ancient artifact, lost in time.

EL CAKR: In the present day, Assassin Jonathan Hawk fights through a terrible setback to unmask a traitor in the Order’s ranks, whilst his ancestor El Cakr battles Templar agents to gain possession of the powerful Scepter of Aset in 13th century Egypt.

LEILA: In 14th century Egypt, the seasoned Assassin El Cakr seeks to return the mysterious Scepter of Aset to the Brotherhood… when it is stolen by a mysterious woman named Leila. Seven centuries later, El Cakr’s descendant Jonathan Hawk desperately tries to get his hands on the relic – leading to an ultimate showdown between the Assassins and the Templars. The grand finale of Assassin’s Creed’s Egyptian saga!

Review:
The Hawk Trilogy collects three previously published graphic novels: Hawk, El Cakr, & Leila. Each with the underlying Hawk character storyline. Hawk is an Assassin with a missing eye, that the Templars have confiscated. His DNA holds the secret to the missing scepter. As the two groups search for answers in the past, it’s a race to see who finds the artifact first.

This was an action-packed adventure with intriguing and colorful characters. The trilogy flowed well, as well as Hawk’s backstory. I thoroughly enjoyed this saga and was disappointed when it ended as the characters and their individual stories were fantastic. These Assassin’s Creed graphic novels are becoming a must-read for me.