Category Archives: Book Reviews

SciFi Book Review: Light Years

Light Years by Kass Morgan

Synopsis:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain–but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy–even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong–he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret–she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team if they want to defend their world from a cunning enemy–and they might even fall in love in the process.

Review:
Vesper, Cormack, Arran, and Orelia are all very different young adults that are put on a team together at the Quatra Fleet Academy. Each have different reasons or motivations for being there. But when they can work together as a team, they’ll be able to prove themselves. And when the enemy arrives, this team may be the best to stop them.

Light Years is the first in a new Young Adult scifi series from the author of The 100. This is a character-driven story with plenty of drama, suspense, and romance. Orelia’s background is fascinating and full of mystery that I can’t wait to see unfold in future installments. It’s thrilling with plenty of surprises along the way. The story builds to an exciting, climactic ending with a cliffhanger that left me wanting more.

Fantasy Book Review: The Coincidence Makers

The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum

Synopsis:
What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it’s all part of a bigger plan? What if there’s no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don’t know determining our destiny? And what if they are even planning the fate of the world?

Enter the Coincidence Makers―Guy, Emily, and Eric―three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets―scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me…

When an assignment of the highest level is slipped under Guy’s door one night, he knows it will be the most difficult and dangerous coincidence he’s ever had to fulfill. But not even a coincidence maker can see how this assignment is about to change all their lives and teach them the true nature of fate, free will, and the real meaning of love.

Review:
Guy, Emily, and Eric are a group of new Coincidence Makers. They organize chance meetings and help inspire artists. Guy is given a new assignment that he may not be able to fulfill. Meanwhile, Emily tries to orchestrate her own coincidence, taking charge of her own life.

The Coincidence Makers is a unique and inspired story, unlike any story I have read before. While it jumps around a bit in time, it’s never hard to follow. In fact, it’s completely engrossing and hard to put down. With steady pacing and a story full of drama, suspense, and love – this fantasy will appeal to a wide audience. It’s a sweet and intricate tale. And there are several big twists that I didn’t see coming. This will definitely make my list of favorite books of the year.

Fantasy Book Review: Grump

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Synopsis:
Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed “Grump”) has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind.

At first, life aboveground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems. . . .

When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He’s bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He’ll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that’s enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed.

Review:
Borlen is a dwarf who doesn’t quite fit in. He gets sick anytime he goes too deep underground, and dreams of going to the surface. While he gets the nickname “Grump,” he really isn’t. He’s just misunderstood. Borlen is has a good heart and wants to do the right thing. But the queen is conniving. And while he tries to protect the spoiled Snow White, magic pulls him in different directions.

Grump is another fantastic, standalone installment in Shurtliff’s inspired, fairy tale series. The characters are vibrant and engaging. And the story is full of humor, magic, and heart. I love this series, and this latest installment is no exception. The world of the dwarves is unique and well-developed. And I enjoyed the familiar story told from one of the dwarf’s perspective. This sweet and funny story is great for all ages.

Book Review: Star Trek: Lost Scenes

Star Trek: Lost Scenes

This is a great coffee table book or gift for any Original Series fan. This book has 272, full-color pages dedicated to unique trivia and images. The book is packed with:

Behind the Scenes:

Deleted Scenes:

and Bloopers:

This is an impressive collection! It’s certainly hours of reading and a lot of fun.

Fantasy Book Review: The Door to the Lost

The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson

Synopsis:
There was no warning the day magic died in Talhaven. It happened with a giant explosion and the arrival of a skyship full of children, all with magic running through their veins and no memory of home.

Rook and Drift are two of those children, and ever since that day, they’ve been on the run, magical refugees in a world that doesn’t trust magic. Because magic doesn’t die right away–it decays, twists, and poisons all that it touches. And now it’s beginning to poison people.

Try as they might, Rook and Drift can’t remember anything about their lives before Talhaven. But it’s beginning to look like they’re the only ones who can save their adopted world . . . if that world doesn’t destroy them first.

Review:
Rook and Drift survive by selling use of their magical services. However, most people condemn anything magical as it has begun to kill their world. When a job goes wrong, Rook and Drift find themselves outside of the city and in dangerous land where magic is chaotic. And the friends have to find a way to stop a magical explosion from destroying their new world.

The Door to the Lost is a standalone middle reader fantasy. There is a fascinating backstory with a big mystery that is finally revealed at the end. There is plenty of danger, suspense, and drama. And the characters are engaging as well. This is an exciting fantasy story with individuals who have unique abilities. It’s unpredictable and well-paced. I hope to read more novels set in this captivating world.

SciFi Book Review: Sanctuary

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Synopsis:
As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

Review:
Kenzie lives with her parents aboard a prison in space. This prison contains teens with abilities that make them a danger to people on Earth. When the teens try a prison break, Kenzie is caught in the middle. But an even bigger danger looms as Sactuary is invaded by an unknown presence.

Sactuary is an impressive, YA science fiction debut. Kenzie is a relatable girl, who is conflicted between duty and this group of teens who she begins to sympathize with. The characters are diverse and complex. And the story is action-packed and full of suspense, mystery, and drama. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Super-powered teens meets an alien invasion – the plot alone is fantastic. Don’t miss this exciting, thriller.

SciFi Book Review: Record of a Spaceborn Few

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

Synopsis:
Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.

But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life—and is it worth saving at all?

A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an Archivist whose mission is to ensure no one’s story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.

Review:
The Exodus Fleet has a culture all its own. An alien records her stay, complete with commentary on unfamiliar traditions of this human culture. A young man from a planet decides to try something new and looks for work. And the stories of seemingly-regular people raised in the fleet. They all have unique stories. Each are intriguing. And as their lives begin to intertwine, the unfolding drama becomes chilling and emotional. This was a surprising science fiction novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn’t action packed, but hard to put down just the same. The novel makes you think and feel and is certainly inspired.

Fantasy Book Review: Wings of Fire: The Lost Continent

Wings of Fire: The Lost Continent, Book 11 by Tui T. Sutherland

Synopsis:
Blue the SilkWing is content. Life in his Hive is safe; he loves his family; he has enough to eat. And Pantala has been at peace for as long as he can remember — SilkWings and HiveWings live and work together in harmony, and because they stay vigilant, no one has seen a dangerous LeafWing in years.

Now that Blue’s sister, Luna, is undergoing her Metamorphosis, Blue knows things are going to change. Luna will have her wings and her silk, be assigned a partner and a work order, and move to another Hive. A few days later, Blue’s own wings and silk will come in.

But nothing could prepare Blue for what happens when Luna’s wings start to grow. Suddenly his world is turned upside down, throwing him into dangers he never knew existed. Pantala isn’t as peaceful as it seems, and Blue isn’t safe. Whether he’s ready or not, it’s time to adapt — and fight for his life.

Review:
Blue is a sweet and innocent young dragon. He’s facing a life of servitude, but doesn’t think there could be another way. But when Luna begins her metamorphosis to get her wings, something strange happens. And Blue must flee. But he meets an unlikely friend, and the two of them will risk everything to rescue Blue’s sister.

The Lost Continent is the 11th installment in the Wings of Fire series. Though, this is the start of a new prophecy and feels like another offshoot series. I was a bit surprised to see this novel set in a new land with 3 new species of dragons. Each time that Sutherland switches things up, she seems to outdo herself. This new land has a fascinating history all its own. And the characters never fail to impress. I love Blue and his new friends. And this latest story has a fun heist, with plenty of drama and suspense. Each installment confirms why this remains one of my favorite fantasy series. The next in this series can’t come soon enough, as we’re left with a cliffhanger.