Saga: Book One

22078240Saga: Book One by Brian K. Vaughan
Published
 : 2014
Version Read
 : ebook
Read More about it here.

2starWritten by Eisner Award-winning “Best Writer” BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Y: The Last Man, The Private Eye) and drawn by Harvey Award-winning “Best Artist” Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), SAGA is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel’s fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction over creation. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults that Entertainment Weekly called, “The kind of comic you get when truly talented superstar creators are given the freedom to produce their dream book.”

This was a bind up of the first 18 comics in the series. I picked it up from the library because I kept hearing how amazing it was and that if I only read one graphic novel it should be this one. Once again the story did not live up to the hype.

I was lost for almost the entirety of this book. I’m starting to think that maybe graphic novels are just not my kind of format for storytelling. I always have a hard time staying engaged in the story with all the pretty pictures catching my eye.

But the story in this one was something I would normal pick up. It was right up my alley, and yet something felt off about the whole thing. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and none of their decisions really made sense to me. The world building was choppy and I still don’t get the idea of how anything works in it.

Just not my cup of tea guys, sorry.

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Replica

28219385Replica by Lauren Oliver  
Published : 2016
Version Read
 : hardback
Read More about it here.

4starLyra

From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and bio-hazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.

Gemma

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learns terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

This was one of my most anticipated reads of last year but sadly I didn’t get to it until now. This book did not disappoint me, but there were several things that kept this from being a five star review.

I started with Lyra’s story and finished it before going on to Gemma’s. I had actually wanted to start with the “normal” girl, but I’m glad I made this mistake. While Lyra’s story was not as interesting to me as Gemma’s, it was the perfect one to start with.

I enjoyed reading about the world from someone who didn’t know anything about it. I thought the names that she called things were weird but if I didn’t know what something is called, I would probably name it something stupid too. I know that a lot of people had a problem with the fact that she was maybe too interested in the way that 72 looked and moved. I don’t know about you, but when I see a cute guy I can appreciate the way he looks, even if I’m in the middle of a very stressful event. Besides children are interested in the other sex, so it’s only natural that she would too. It took me a little too long to get into her story and that is my only complaint about Lyra.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gemma’s story the most. I don’t think that Lyra’s story gave too much away and I found myself being surprised by some of the twists and turns that Gemma took. I connected with her because I too am an overweight girl. There was one moment when Gemma thought “I’m not going to fit”, that made me smile. I have this thought all the time, almost daily. It’s something that none overweight people don’t consider. Whether you’re going to fit in that seat, or if you sit on it, will it break. This made Gemma so much more real to me.

I’m very interested in continuing this story and seeing where she goes with the story. I would recommend this to anyone who like Lauren Oliver, or who wants a great introduction to a could be adventure.

Winter

13206900Winter by Marissa Meyer
Published : 2015
Version Read
 : Hardback/Audiobook
Read More about it here.

3starPrincess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Finally finished this book. First I have to say that I thought this book was way too long. I went between listening to the audiobook and reading the hardback and it took me nearly a week to make it through the book. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a long time for a 800+ page book, but for me, I just wanted it to end by the last 200 pages. This was not one of my favorite books in the series.

Having said that, I did enjoy most of the book. My favorite characters are Cress and Throne and I was so happy with their storyline and ending. I didn’t care for Winter and Jacin though, I just didn’t feel connected to Winter as a character. She was overly dramatic and childish. I understand that’s part of her illness, but it could have been dialed back a little I guess.

In spite of the book feeling too long, it was a wonderful end to the series. I was a little confused by some of the characters choices on what they were going to do after the war, but that was a very minor problem I had. The whole plot came around full circle and there aren’t many questions that were left open.

I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but I can say that if you’ve read any of the previous books, you should go all the way and read this one too. It makes a great ending for the whole sha-bang.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

29236299Gemina by  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Published : 2016
Version Read
 : Hardback
Read More about it here.

4starMoving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Second book of 2017 and it did not disappoint. I never expected it too, but there were a couple things that I didn’t care for in this novel. The first is that it took me sooooo long to read it. I flew through Illuminae and expected to fly through this one too. I’m not sure if it was more story heavy with lots of camera footage than just emails and IM’s but it took me nearly twice as long to read. That’s not the author’s fault and usually a good thing that there was so much packed in.

The only other thing that bugged me was that some of the plot devices used in the fist book were used again here. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the reuse of them pulled me out of the story a couple times. It’s also what stopped this from being a 5 star read.

Those two things are the only negative things I have to say about this book. The whole story was wonderful and I have to say that I might like Hanna and Nik more than Kady and Ez. Don’t hate me for that. Nik’s backstory seemed to be so much more involved and developed than any of the other characters in the whole series. I love what my roommate would call his “Sass”.

I enjoyed how the book ended and cannot wait to read the last one. I need to know how they made it back to the Core and see how it ends for the crew. Hopefully there will be plenty of Nik, Hanna, Kady and Ez in the last one too. I’d recommend this to everyone who enjoyed the first book or love Space.

Illuminae

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published : 2015
Version Read
 : Ebook
Read More about it here.

4starThis morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

To be honest I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this book. The last “non traditional” novel I read was a huge disappointment to me. I didn’t know anything about this book when I picked it up except that it was about an invasion on a distant planet. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the decision to crack it open.

I really enjoyed this book and it took me two days to read through it. Considering I also had to work those two days, is really saying something. While it was a little hard to get into, maybe around the first 20% of the book it finally hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Might have even read it on the clock a little. Oops, sorry.

The only complaint that I have has nothing to do with the story or the characters. Since I read this in Ebook form it was a little hard to read some of the pages. I couldn’t get my e-reader to enlarge some of the graphics so I had to keep going and hope that the following pages would explain what I had missed. Maybe that’s not something anyone else had a problem with, I don’t know.

I think my favorite character was Ezra by far. He was funny, loyal and a great all around character. *Spoiler, if you don’t want to know skip to the next paragraph. You have been warned* When Aidan said that he had been dead for a majority of the book I literally screamed and wanted to throw my reader across the room. It’s been a long time since a book really caused that kind of emotion out of me.

I thought Kady was a fantastic character and really loved that she stayed true to herself throughout the whole book. I also love that she’s a coder/hacker. As a fellow computer nerd, I really related to her on that level, although she would far outshine me. I’m looking forward to seeing if / how her father made it in the next book. I really hope that he isn’t dead because she needs a family member around.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing the series with the next book soon. So glad I took the chance and picked it up.