The Companions – Book Review

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

Synopsis:
The consciousness of the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service of the living. For the wealthy, this means an opportunity to remain with their families long after their physical bodies have deteriorated. For the less fortunate, they are destined to be rented out to strangers as the intellectual property of the corporation that owns them. But one young woman, Lilac, is about to change everything…

What does it mean to be human? Can human consciousness be owned? Is defying death a gift or a prison? What if identity theft truly meant having all your thoughts, memories, and experiences stolen?

Review:
The Companions is a unique novel, as told from eight different characters over a course of time. We’re first introduced to Lilac who becomes a Companion for a young girl. She has all the memories and personality of who she was before, but limited to a robot body. But an act of rebellion steers can change the course of Companions forever.

This is an impressive debut. Each character was so unique and well-crafted that it was easy to jump into each scenario. And I got wrapped up in each narrative. This was an emotional roller coaster with plenty of suspense and heartache. I do wish some things were better explained, like why the companions artificial bodies deteriorated so fast and why there weren’t ways around that. And the ending felt a little disjointed and unfinished.
But overall, I really enjoyed this strange and tragic tale.

Received in March

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Amazon / 47 North:
Now, Then, and Everywhen by Rysa Walker

Del Rey:
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition by Rae Carson
The Fall of Shannara: The Last Druid by Terry Brooks
The Last Human by Zack Jordan
Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

Disney Hyperion:
Chasing Helicity Through the Storm by Ginger Zee
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Brightly Woven: The Graphic Novel by Alexandra Bracken

Harper Teen:
Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

Harper Voyager:
The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

Little, Brown:
Sword in the Stars by Cori McCarthy
Hawk by James Patterson

Macmillan Children / Feiwel and Friends:
The Challenger: Contender Book 2 by Taran Matharu
True or False by Cindy L Otis

Norton Young Readers:
Brightstorm A Sky Ship Adventure by Vashti Hardy

Saga:
Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang

Scholastic:
Wings of Fire: Legends: Dragonslayer by Tui T. Sutherland

Simon and Schuster Kids / Aladdin:
The Revenge of Magic: The Future King by James Riley

Subterranean Press:
Edited By by Ellen Datlow
Dispersion by Greg Egan
In the Shades of Men by Robert Jackson Bennett

Tor:
A Broken Queen by Sarah Kozloff
The Last Emperox by John Scalzi
Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott
The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

Viking:
A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

Titans: The Complete Second Season – Blu-Ray Review

Titans: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray + Digital)

Synopsis:
In season two, following the aftermath of their encounter with Trigon, Dick reforms the Titans. Under his supervision in their new home at Titans Tower, Rachel, Gar, and Jason Todd train together to hone their hero abilities and work together as a team. They are joined by Hank Hall and Dawn Granger aka Hawk and Dove and Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl. Although these original Titans attempt to transition into a regular life, when old enemies resurface, everyone must come together to take care of unfinished business. And as this family of old and new Titans – including Conner Kent and Rose Wilson – learn to co-exist, the arrival of Deathstroke brings to light the sins of the old Titans which threaten to tear this new Titans family apart once more.

Review:
Season 1 of Titans introduced all of the characters and gave us the main villain of Trigon. This season, the main villain is Deathstroke, the seemingly unkillable assassin. I enjoyed this season a lot more, and not just because the Deathstroke was more than just one-dimensional. There was a lot going on. It actually felt like more than 13 episodes. There was a lot of story told in the past, when we get to meet Aqualad, however briefly. And we learn about Dick’s sins of the past as they come back to haunt the current team of Titans. And we’re introduced to a couple of new Titans (who happen to be favorites of mine) – Rose and Conner, who both have some deep-seeded daddy issues.

The strength of this season is definitely the character development, as the story can be a little convoluted and hard to follow at times. There is definitely some adult content, though it could easily be cut out and not necessary to the story. As a team this new group of Titans have yet to really come together except for a couple scenes. I hope that season 3 will continue the strong character writing and give the team a foe that can handle them all teaming up. I’m enjoying the direction this team is going.

Book Giveaway: A Phoenix First Must Burn

Courtesy of Viking, I have a copy of A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends April 10. I’ll draw a name on April 11, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: A Phoenix First Must Burn

Book Giveaway: The Last Human

Courtesy of Del Rey, I have a copy of The Last Human by Zack Jordan for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends April 10. I’ll draw a name on April 11, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: The Last Human

Our Child of the Stars – Book Review

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

Synopsis:
Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.

This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.

Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town – and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.

And soon the whole world will be looking for him.

Review:
When Molly and Gene adopt a young alien boy, they have to live in constant fear of their secret getting out. The beginning may sound a lot like Superman’s origin story, but this little boy doesn’t look human and has unique abilities. And his existence is a hard secret to keep.

Our Child of the Stars is an exciting and emotional roller-coaster. The characters are engaging and the alien child is incredibly endearing. This is an impressive debut that surprised me. I didn’t want to put it down and actually finished in one day. The intensity builds as the government closes in on the Myers family. And some questions are finally answered about the aliens. I thoroughly enjoyed this charming and unassuming story.

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