SciFi Book Review: Invaded

Invaded by Melissa Landers

Synopsis:
Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life. The Way clearly needs humans’ help but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

Review:
Cara arrives on the alien planet and is, as expected, treated badly from students and adults. However, someone is going too far with sabotage. Meanwhile, Aelyx and his companions are in even more danger as they try to forge peace on Earth and form a necessary alliance. With Cara and Aelyx separated by light years, their calls are frustrating and infrequent, causing a strain in their relationship.

Invaded is the dramatic and emotional second installment in the Alienated series. With Cara on an alien planet, it throws a new dynamic into the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this stirring sequel. Full of intrigue, suspense, drama, and romance – this YA science fiction series is riveting. With a couple of surprising twists along the way, the excitement builds to a climactic finale. I look forward to more in this captivating series.

Book Review: Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi

Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Synopsis:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

Review:
Set in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Luke only had a bit of time with Obi Wan so he was barely able to begin studying to be a Jedi. The narrative is first person, from Luke’s point of view – giving fans a unique perspective of the character.

Heir to the Jedi is an exciting, original story that focuses solely on Luke and a couple new characters. There is quite a bit more flirty, humor between Luke and his female companion than I’m used to in the series. But it was a nice contrast to the adventure and thrilling suspense. In fact, one scene with brain-eating aliens felt more like I was reading something from the Alien series rather than Star Wars. As a fan of Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, I had high hopes for this novel. Full of intrigue, colorful characters, action, and a bit of romance – this latest installment doesn’t disappoint. And I absolutely loved that it was told from Luke’s perspective.

SciFiChick.com’s 10th Anniversary and Giveaway!

Wow! SciFiChick.com has been around for a decade now!
I’m so grateful for having such a fun outlet to share my geekiness for science fiction and fantasy books, tv, and movies. It has been another fun year of fantastic books and a couple new, favorite movies (Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier). There was a rough patch as well this past fall, when my dog Lois Lane (the love of my life) was diagnosed with cancer – oral melanoma. However, it was caught early and removed with surgery. She’s now cancer-free and acting like a new pup. She hopes to get back to her volunteer work as a therapy dog again soon. I feel truly blessed.

Thanks to all of you visitors! It’d be pretty pointless without fellow genre fans and readers.
And many thanks to the various publishers, authors, and media contacts who continue to send books and movies for review. You help to keep my passion/addiction alive and keep me buried in books.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’m offering up one of my extra copies of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton for a lucky winner.

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 27. I’ll draw a name on February 28, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreSciFiChick.com’s 10th Anniversary and Giveaway!

SciFi Book Review: Blackout

Blackout by Meredith McCardle

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Amanda Obermann (code name: Iris) has more on her mind than usual. As a member of a covert government organization called the Annum Guard, which travels through time to keep history on track, Iris has been getting some particularly stressful assignments. Plus, Jane Bonner, the Guard’s iron-fisted new leader, seems determined to make life as hard as possible. Thankfully, Iris has Abe (code name: Blue), her boyfriend and fellow Guardian, who listens to her vent—and helps her cope with her mentally ill mother’s increasingly erratic behavior.

When Guardians start to disappear on their assignments, Iris makes a terrifying discovery: a “blackout” squad is targeting anyone who gets in the way of a corrupt force that’s selling out both the Annum Guard’s missions and Guardian lives. Together, Iris and Blue must go undercover to untangle the Guard’s elaborate web of secrets and lies. But when Iris discovers that the terrible truth may involve her own father, a former Guardian undone by his own greed, she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to rescue her friends…and how dangerous the consequences will be for all of humanity.

Review:
Iris and her teammates are trying to adjust to a new leader and the upheaval of their team in the wake of the traumatic events in the last book. But when one of their teammates goes missing on assignment, Iris makes it her personal mission to discover the truth behind Blackout and where the missing agents are.

Blackout is the second installment in the Annum Guard series. With plenty of intrigue, teen angst, mystery, and suspense – this sequel is another exciting story that builds to an unpredictable outcome. The characters being named after colors is too confusing for me. I wish there were fewer of them or a cast of characters to keep them straight. The finale builds to a climactic conclusion with an incredible cliffhanger ending. The sequel can’t come soon enough, as I’m not sure how the author can straighten out how things left off.

Fantasy Book Review: When

When by Victoria Laurie

Synopsis:
Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually deathdates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching deathdate of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

Review:
Maddie has the unique ability to see everyone’s date of death, even from photographs. When Maddie and her best friend are targeted as possible murder suspects, her life spins out of control. Several clues do seem to point to her friend, who is then arrested. Her alcoholic mother is more of a dependent than a mother. And the whole school turns on Maddie, assuming she’s guilty, and taking bullying to a whole new level. The drama is heart-wrenching and riveting.

When (previously entitled Death Date) is a thrilling, standalone mystery. Full of suspense, intrigue, and drama – this novel was extremely hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating tale. I highly recommend it to mystery fans from teens to adults.

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