The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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4stars

“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds #1
Good things about this book: Superpowers!!
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary solutions to easy problems, in my opinion.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It took me some time to get into the story and start really caring about the characters. It took me most than half of the book to see the light. But then I read the last chapters and was “wth did just happen?”. I also read the synopsis of the sequel and WHAAAT!! What is going on? I don’t understand. I feel that there is so much that was left untold but needed to be told. I expected more but I’m still giving it 4 stars instead of 3 because I admired the potential.

Ruby is a likeable character, not as clueless as I thought she would be about the outside life since she’s been living in a camp since she was 10. I remember being 10; I wouldn’t have recalled the name of songs, singers, movies, etc, 6 years since I last heard them. Surely not if I’ve been tortured at exploited in a camp. That left me puzzled, but my experiences aren’t universal so, what do I really know about what a 10-year-old might know and remember about the world? I’m giving Ruby the benefit of the doubt about that.

The details of this dystopian world (more like only the US, more likely) are enough to give us a panorama of what the hell went down when kids started dying and the ones not dying started developing superpowers. It was only too obvious that, instead of helping them understand and maybe use their powers for the better, the grownups were instantly drawn to the most violent solution: death or/and internment camps. I can’t say I was surprised. So obvious I just rolled my eyes and kept reading.

The other kids Ruby travels with have all deep history and detailed background. I loved how they weren’t just left there to assist the main character. They were part of the story as much as Ruby was. Liam, the heartthrob with a heart of gold, blue eyes and a smile that melts you. A rebel with a sense of guilt as big as a mansion. Chubs and his bad attitude and rudeness that were only the protective shield he “activated” because he cares about his friends. And little and sweet Zu; a tiny human being that has already being through things a kid should never endure in all their lives. Because nobody explained her about her powers and teach her how to control them. Things could’ve been so much easier, otherwise. I blame the adults, as usual.

As much as I read it almost without pausing because I was curious about how things were going to work out in the end, I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would have. But I definitely liked it and, after that hell of a rollercoaster of a last chapter, I need to know what it’s going to happen next. But the second book will have to wait. I have so many other books to read!

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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3stars

But the past is much less scary than the future, I know what’s already happened; I know how bad it was. I don’t know what’s coming, though.

Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Good things about this book: It’s set in space, there’s fanfic, fangirling and, I repeat, SPACE.
Bad things about this book: The last chapters felt a little bit random.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I stumbled upon this title, I was intrigued by the blurb and by the gorgeous cover. It was a sci-fi story set in space. Mysteries and space just make a great combo. I don’t exactly know nor remember what I was expecting to find, I just feel like I didn’t. It was enjoyable, and I read it fast and easily. Some stories aren’t for you, I guess.

I don’t know if I liked the way this book went down. I don’t dislike twists, surprises and sudden changes, but here something just felt off. I liked the pace of the book until I didn’t, not as I used to at the beginning. It was a calm book, with Romy being all by herself on The Infinity being its commander years after the death of her parents. There were things unsaid about the circumstances or their deaths; I liked waiting for the reveal, but the reveal? Wasn’t worth all the trepidation.

The mysterious J, commander of The Eternity, a ship sent to join her in the mission to inhabit Earth II, seemed like an alright guy but the fact that you didn’t know who he was, automatically made him sketchy. Sketchy until proven otherwise. Sometimes too much info is not good, but other times not enough info is also not good. I feel like knowing more about Romy, about the years she spent by herself, would’ve helped me connecting more with her. She did seem like a lonely girl, I just needed to empathize with her situation; I didn’t, I found her sometimes annoying. And her situation didn’t excuse her for how she sometimes behaved.

It was a solid 3.5 stars read (3 here because there are still no half stars). I don’t regret picking up this book and I will recommend it. I want to hear someone else’s pov and see if I missed something. I won’t give up on this author because the writing was very nice. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it either. And I thought I was going to love it.

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Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

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4stars

I hate this world. People are small. They’re ignorant, and they’re happy to stay that way. They make an effort to. They’ll spend time and energy finding ways not to learn things just to feel comfortable with their beliefs.

Title: Only Human
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Number of pages: 352 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The writing style is still original and it keep you reading.
Bad things about this book: I expected more than what I got.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. This is a great sci-fi series.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

The first two books of this series were a present (free books, yeah!), but this one, the conclusion, was bought with my hard-earned money, so it needed to be a great ending, it needed to be worth it. It was, in a way; it could’ve been better, but I know that when we’re talking about human beings being stupid, I’m going to hate a little what I’m reading. It happens all the time.

So, I loved this a tiny bit less than the other two books. Maybe I wanted more. Maybe I was expecting something BIGGER to happen, a twist of sorts. It didn’t. At the end of Waking Gods, our “heroes” got themselves teleported to the alien planet of the creatures who built Themis and all the other giants that invaded the Earth and killed hundreds of millions. At the beginning of Only Human, we learn that they’ve been living there for nine years. We had some files about their lives on the planet but not as many as I expected. Eva didn’t have many files from her time over there: we learned a little bit about her from Vincent. I know that’s because she didn’t want people to know about what she was doing, but I was sad not knowing more about her friendship with Ekim, and how she learned to speak the language so fast. I wish there was more. A little more of everything.

“People are denying even the most basic scientific facts because it makes them feel better about hurting each other. Do you realize how horrifying that is? We’re talking about human beings making a conscious effort, going out of their way, to be ignorant. Willfully stupid. They’re proud of it. They take pride in idiocy. There’s not even an attempt to rationalize things anymore.”

I get it, being scared makes you do stupid things, but what happened on Earth after the robots went away was beyond ridiculous. Why did people let that happen? Why did they think it was the most reasonable solution, hate each other more, kill each other, instead of re-build what was broken together, as a big community? It doesn’t make any sense, not to me. They let themselves be controlled by their fear and the result? Complete and absolute chaos! I couldn’t believe how the world changed after the invasion. I was appalled by the ignorance of the human race and how people just stood by and let those horrible things happen! But then I realized how REAL it was, how likely it was to happen here now, how it is happening now. And I just couldn’t keep my head from shaking in disbelief at how we really deserve a do-over, an alien invasion to put us in our place, to teach us a lesson in humanity, because at every chance we get, we make the same mistakes all over again. The hope for a better future is always there but somedays it’s just so hard to see it.

Still, I loved the “files” narration. I loved the characters and I loved to hate them when they were being unreasonable. And they were, a lot!!! Great trilogy by a great author that I will keep on my radar.

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Station Zero by Philip Reeve

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5stars

He was a face behind glass again, looking out at all the passing worlds. He felt calm for the first time in months.

Title: Station Zero
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Railhead #3
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Loved the story, the writing, the ending, everything.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Choo Choo of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I picked up the first book of this series, I did it mainly because of its cover and the synopsis was just too intriguing to ignore. Sentient trains riding from one planet to another? When I still think about it, it was pretty obvious to me that I was going to love this series. And I did, until the very end.

In this conclusion the empire is divided in two: the Prell part which is the racist part basically, and the Threnody part. Prell hates aliens and wants to close the new gates and stop the new aliens from coming through. He wants there to only be humans. Prell sucks. Threnody is the empress of the new reality of aliens coming back and forth to the human planets. But Threnody doesn’t have real power, she’s just a puppet, the image girl of the new present, nothing more. She needs to step up. Meanwhile, Zen is once again a wanted person and he’ll be facing many obstacles to find Nova and be with her again. And Nova? Let’s just say she’s been busy!

The Guardians have always been figures of mystery in my eyes; they have this weird names and weird appearance and they hate the new gates. They want to keep the humans blind to what really happened in the past with the railmaker so that they can keep them quiet and obedient. But that can’t be possible now with the gates open. I loved their meetings’ locations and the guardians we haven’t met in the previous books were a great addition. This story is original and so easy to get into and love.

I thought the ending was just the way I would’ve written it if I was as talented as Philip Reeve. I loved the importance given to certain character you’d thought were going to be left in the background. I was just glad things ended the way they ended. I was very satisfied; it’s weird being this happy about how a book ended, not wishing for a few ulterior chapters with more explanation.

Now I want to read more books by Philip Reeve. I found he has written some that sound really interesting. I don’t want my adventure with his writing to end.

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[ARC] Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

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5stars

We’re weapons. They made us this way.

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #2

Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, such an intriguing story!
Bad things about this book: That ending left me wanting the next book now!! (not a bad thing, I know)
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given to me by NetGalley

I didn’t expect anything to go the way it went. Everything caught me by surprise. I’m speechless after those last chapters, and I need the third and last book like right now because I don’t think I can’t wait a minute longer. I love sci-fi novels, and I love when sequels are as good as the first books, or even better. Color me shaken and excited. But mostly shaken!

I started the book barely remembering all the character’s names and personalities. It’s been a year after all. By the first quarter of the book I was all caught up on the characters and I would’ve killed anyone who wanted to hurt them (all but Isadora. Also, yay for lgbt representation! Do not kill them, please, Mr. Reintgen, PLEASE). By the end I was so messed up by everything that was happening that I almost forgot to pray the alien gods for their safety. It’s not a YA contemporary, lives can be lost, the characters, no matter how important, could die at any moment. I was eternally on edge.

There’s absolutely no way I can write about this book without telling too much, giving up too much information that I got later on the story. The last book ended with Emmett having to fight for his place in a launching pod that’d have taken him to Eden. This book starts right inside the pod with Emmett on his way to the planet’s surface. All the rivalry is put aside as they team up to mine Nyxia, partner up with the Adamites, and sense that things aren’t the way they appear to be. They never are, right?

Emmett is like a living lie detector. He senses when things aren’t right, reading the little tells everyone have when they are not being truthful. Morning is no less; she is truly a force of nature. In the first book I thought their romance was forced because it really was, but now I love them as a couple. They are adorable and care for each other deeply. As much as I didn’t like the way their relationship started, I love how it blossomed to the way we see in this book. They are meant to be together, and I will fight whoever hurt them! I want them safe with their friends on Earth. It’s my wish and I demand it to be granted!

Book series are great and all, but you need to wait months and months for the next book to be published, right? And it’s not only the human memory (mine) that is weak and will make me forget about all the characters, it’s also the fact that I will imagine multiple scenarios in my mind about how this will end, and I will be worried about all the characters’ well-being until the day I’ll read the third and last book. I know some characters won’t make it; they are too many, too easy to sacrifice. How can I live with the knowing that all my babies won’t be happy and safe surrounded by the people they love? A reader’s life is a hard life.

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Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

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5stars

“We can’t just sit on our asses and not live our lives while we’re trying to expose a corrupt government.”

Title: Not Your Sidekick
Author: C.B. Lee
Series: Sidekick Squad #1

Number of pages: 283 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the superheroes and villains reality.
Bad things about this book: Too short? No, it was fine as it was.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love superheroes. I think I have watched every single superhero movie at least once and I remember to have loved almost every one of them. I’m more a movie/show kind of girl, but I have enjoyed a few comic books in the past.

I loved the idea of solar flares messing up the planet and activating the meta gene creating meta humans with all types of superpowers. The solar flares reminded me of the fantastic four with a dystopian twist; the flares hitting the Earth changed life as we know it and chaos and death was upon humanity. A lot of years later, cities are full of diversity due to migration caused by radiation and the search for habitable cities.

Cities have also their own superheroes, each of them with secret identities, heroes names and sidejobs. Everyone waiting for powers to manifest so that they can apply to heroes accademy and be part of a group of people with abilities to save citizens in danger.

Jess has two superheroes parents and a superhero big sister but her powers hasn’t manifested and they say that after you turn seventeen, there’s almost zero possibility of the gene activating. Of course she is bummed, who wouldn’t be? So when the opportunity presents to start an internship in the secret lair of her city’s villains, the Mischiefs, she accepts kind like an act of rebellion. Her crush, Abby, also works there, so it’s also an opportunity to get to know her better and maybe ask her out.

But there’s more to the heroes and villains situation that the government doesn’t want the people to see. Villains are disappearing and nobody seems to care. Jess will find herself involved in something more than a simple internship: fights, hidden truths, conspiracy, thrilling mysteries to solve. I needed to know more.

What is going to happen? Are Jess, Abby, Bells, and Emma going to be okay? I hope so! I have so many questions and I’m curious about a lot of things.

I loved the world building and the writing captivated me. I read it as fast as I could. It was seriously unputdownable. Highly recommended if you’re into superheroes like myself!

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A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

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5stars

“Are we going for an anchor or a compass? A memory to ground you, or a spark to guide you forward?”

Title: A Closed and Common Orbit
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #2

Number of pages: 364 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how simply yet complex this book is written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, really nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes! 10000% yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I don’t know how to describe it. It’s calm, it’s important, it’s original, it’s innocent, it’s beautiful.
I don’t know how else to say how I feel about it. I was a passenger in the characters’ journey, a witness of their lives. Nothing happened that left me angry, baffled or annoyed. Everything fit perfectly together even though the story took place in the past during a 9-year gap, and in the future with lots of things not described while in action but after they happened. Yet you didn’t crave the information because with everything that you knew, you easily placed things in the right place. I loved this about the book: feelings were important but they weren’t forced into you with dramatic events, you developed them by knowing these characters and “living” with them during their everyday lives.

Sidra, previously known as Lovelace, the AI in the Wayfarer, is having a hard time adjusting to her new body. Everything is so limited; she doesn’t have eyes everywhere and doesn’t know everything. Pepper and Blue are taking care of her but there’s only so much they can do; Sidra needs to take care of herself and find a way to fit or else she’ll be dismantled and her friends arrested.

Alternating from Sidra’s chapters, we also have Pepper’s past life chapters in which we know where she came from and why she is so determined to help Sidra. Pepper’s story is sad but hopeful even when the hardness of life made hope impossible in young Pepper’s eyes. She is an enhanced human, created to serve, and made believe there is nothing outside the factory’s walls where she is kept alongside other girls to work as slaves.

Past and present seemed unconnected, almost two different books read at the same time. But they weren’t and when you see the connection, you start seeing the big design and you love every bit of it.

This is a story about family and friendship. A family you make for yourself. Sidra and Tak’s friendship was adorable. Tak is an Aeluon, a silver alien with scales as skin and cheeks that change color depending on feelings. Tak is also a shon meaning he changes gender once a month. This is never up for discussion; it was simply accepted as something that happened and people changed pronouns accordingly. This kind of diversity was refreshing and seeing Tak as both male and female and understanding more about their culture and habits, made me like Aeluons more than I already did after the first book.

All the aliens are weirdly fascinating. I hope I can see more of them in the next book! I just have to wait until the end of July. I can do it, right? Only a little patience.

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