Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

I wanted to save everyone. I wanted it so bad. Maybe it’s because no matter how much I try, I can’t shake the thought that they’re dying because of me. I fell on a hand and I brought the world to the brink of war.

Title: Waking Gods
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #2
Number of pages: 320 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I love the writing style and all the science!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

What a rollercoaster of a book. I was left shaken and with my jaw on the floor. So many things happened. So many twists I should have taken into consideration but instead didn’t so I was genuinely surprised. And shocked.

The first book ended with Rose literally coming back from the dead without her memories of working with Themis and her team of soldiers and scientists. This book starts nine years after that, with Rose feeling out of place and like a fake, and with Kara and Vincent still being the Themis pilots going on tours around the world. A new organization for the protection of Earth has been founded and it has the giant robot as sole protector of the planet. But the feared alien invasion, even if later than anticipated, decided to arrive and one after the other, bigger giant robots than Themis start appearing on Earth in highly populated cities. People in power don’t know what they want, they are scared, and scared people make mistakes. Things weren’t looking very good for humanity.

I still love the writing style of this book: the dialogues, the journal entries, and the mysterious man behind it all. It felt like a movie was playing inside my head while I was reading. No long descriptions, just the characters interacting among themselves or involved in some mission that could be fatal. Sometimes this kind of narration is refreshing.

The third and last book of this trilogy, Only Human, is on its way and I will receive it soon. I have already put it on my may tbr list so I will read it as soon as it gets here. I’m really curious about what is going to happen after than ending! I didn’t really see any of that coming. These books would make a really great mockumentary movie.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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5stars

I am the Reaper and death is my shadow.

Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Series: The Red Rising Saga #1
Number of pages: 382 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I love the world building and the writing style!
Bad things about this book: Nothing. Maybe the names, they were weird. Good weird, though. Funny weird.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I didn’t think this was going to be a genre I liked because I read people said it was like Hunger Games and I didn’t finish the first book. This was different. A page-turning marvel. Potential fulfilled, characters to love. I didn’t know I was really into it until I took my eyes away from the book after I started it and realized I was already halfway through it and many hours came and went unnoticed. I call it a success!

Darrow is a Red, living on Mars, in a society ruled by colors. Red being the lowest possible color, slaves, trapped in an illusion of life; and Gold being the overlords, perfect beings born to excel and rule all the lowest colors. Darrow, as a Red, has always been told that they are working non-stop so that the surface can be livable for future generations. Darrow doesn’t know that his life, and the lives of all the Reds, has been a lie. The surface is livable and is inhabited by all the other colors and is ruled by the Golds.

Driven by rage and a dream of someone he loved, Darrow is modified, carved, to be a full Gold, in order to infiltrate the Golds’ Institute and destroy them from within.

When I start a book I always think that the characters in it are invincible. I should never read a sci-fi book after some romance novels. I’m so used to expect a little drama and be heartbroken just for a few pages that when I read a sci-fi, I’m never ready to face the mortality of characters I have come to know and love. They are not invincible and I can’t believe I’m always taken by surprised by this. Heartbroken.

As much as I like Darrow, my heart belongs to that ugly handsome short psychopath called Sevro. What can I say? He howls and I cheer. It’s love. Sevro wasn’t much on page in this first book but, blame instagram and tumblr, I know he will be very important in the sequels. I live for it, for my Sevro being the weird Gold doing naughty stuff. I want to know him better, to love him more. I like Darrow, don’t think I don’t, and I like Virginia a lot, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

I will read the sequel next month because I usually don’t like binge-reading a series. I have done it and, as much as I enjoyed it, my brain was a mess after and I couldn’t put into words what was going on. I don’t want that to happen; I want to enjoy this series without overloading my brain. See you next month, Sevro! And Darrow as well!

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Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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5stars

“It only takes one pebble to start an avalanche.”

Title: Obsidio
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Number of pages: 615 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Amazing ending with amazing characters.
Bad things about this book: That it’s the end? Yes, that’s the only thing that’s making me sad.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

So I cried. I cried during those pages (if you’ve read the book, you know what pages I’m talking about!!), I was a mess. Then I rejoiced for other reasons. And finally I’m leaving these characters for good and I don’t know exactly how I feel. Am I happy? Of course. Sad? Certainly. Empty? A little bit. Did I love it? I MOST CERTAINLY DID ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? This was the perfect ending to a perfect series I thought I was going to have a hard time getting into because of its peculiar format.

This book follows the characters we’ve come to know and love in the previous books and a couple new characters essential to the case they are all building against those BeiTech goons. Kady and Ezra, Hanna and Nik, Asha and Rhys; all of them, along with people they trust and some maybe they shouldn’t have trusted, will join forces to put together the Illuminae Files and stop BeiTech from committing crimes against humanity. They are a nasty bunch!

Our footage opens on a tableau I like to call Portrait of a Bad Idea.

So many things happen and my beloved AIDAN is part of some of them. It is magnificent because it doesn’t have filters; it analyzes situations and opts for the best solution. Maybe not the human solution, but a solution nonetheless. It is the only one who can make hard choices and I’m glad it’s still there to help them make them. I was enchanted by how ADAIN acted with Kady. It amused me so much, AIDAN caring about someone so deeply it made decisions not entirely based on statistics, but maybe on a feeling so much similar to love.

I am clarity.
I am necessity.
I am inevitability.
But am I evil?

Of all the characters and the characters growth and development, I have to say that the thing I loved most about Obsidio was the bromance between Nik and Ezra. They were born to be besties and I want to imagine them having boys nights out (and maybe once in a while they will also invite Rhys). I feel like among the three boys, Nik is the one that got to my heart the most. He felt genuine and raw, a look that said he had nothing to lose but a heart that would do anything to save the ones he cared about. So much heart inside such a sassy boy: my feelings for him were sincere. Nik was such a surprise, from beginning to end.

“You know what they call me behind my back?”
Malikov shrugs.
“Lieutenant Babyface,” Mason growls.
Malikov laughs, smoke spilling from his nostrils. “You do have a certain cherubic quality about you, Flyboy. Just saying.”

It’s been a few days since I finished Obsidio and I still don’t know how to put into words how I feel and how this book made me feel. All I know is that once I started it I couldn’t put it down and once I finished it I had a big smile on my face and couldn’t stop giggling. I was satisfied with how things ended and nothing made me feel like I wasted my time reading it. This is a perfect young adult sci-fi series; yeah, even with teenagers being able to save planets and humanity while also finding a special someone to share romantic moments with. Not very plausible but a lot enjoyable and I wouldn’t have liked it in any other way.

Let’s wrap this up with the quote that, once I read it, broke my heart and made me feel feelings, so many feelings, feelings in the shape of big fat tears rolling down my face and stuff, those kind of feelings:

“Of all the things I have seen and the places I have been, you were the one who felt most like home.”

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Black Light Express by Philip Reeve

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5stars

He didn’t have a plan. He thought love and anger would be enough.

Title: Black Light Express
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: Railhead #2
Number of pages: 303 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s the perfect sequel of Railhead with everything you didn’t think you needed.
Bad things about this book: The twists!!! How many can my heart take? (Not really a bad thing, I just like things being easy even when they never are)
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a great sci-fi book and it’s worth a chance.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’m glad I waited this much to read the second book of the Railhead series because maybe now I won’t have to wait long for the third and last book. It’s already the end. It’s never easy.

Zen and Nova took the new gate to an unexplored part of the galaxy and will meet quite a few interest characters. Their love is pure and adorable, never too much, never forced, just right for the kind of book we’re reading. There’s nothing wrong about two people loving each other even if the rest of the world may think it’s unconventional, with Nova being a machine and all. Their adventures in the Web of Worlds was fantastic and there’s so much they found out, so much that can change everything and maybe by changing everything, they will have to make sacrifices. I’m never ready for sacrifices.

Threnody Noon, new Empress of the Great Network, along with newly unfrozen criminal Chandni Hansa, will be forced to escape the Network to save their lives and their journey will intersect with the one of Zen and Nova. There’s only a tiny detail: Threnody was deceived by Zen in Railhead; he’s at fault for the death of her uncle, the previous emperor. She doesn’t like him and she wants him to pay for what he’s done.

While they are escaping, they found themselves in Desdemor, where the new gate is, and they go through it with a new character, one that will be my favorite from the time they met him, until the end of the book: the interface of Mordaunt 90. This guardian in the form of a magnificent golden man stole my heart. I was torn because guardians aren’t really trustful but there was something in him that gave me hope.

This book didn’t lack twists; right from the beginning things started to go wrong, everything seemed to fall apart very easily and I was scared because, if that certain thing happened, nothing could stop other bad things to also happen, right? I was on edge all the time.

I was scared for the humans, for the other beings, for the golden guardian, for the motorik, and for the trains! This is my first time being scared for trains but in this book they’re as important as all the other characters. They have personalities; they are smart and essential to the success of the various missions. The Damask Rose is as caring and witty as ever and there’s also a new entry: the Ghost Wolf. A black wartrain with fire in its engine! Not real fire, it’s only very enthusiastic. The trains are great and they also have villain counterparts in this book and you can’t help being afraid. You care for them as much as you care for the main characters. I just hope they’ll have a happily ever after!

This series is amazing and this book is even better than the first. I loved it. A lot of wth moments, lots of gasps, lots of “now what?”. Can’t wait to see how it all ends!

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The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

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3stars

We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.

Title: The Martian Chronicles
Author: Ray Bradbury
Number of pages: 241 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s easy to read and it’s short and has lots of interesting elements.
Bad things about this book: All the stereotypes and obvious flaws because of them.
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a shot.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I don’t think I really liked this book. Yes, it’s very well written, it has many elements beyond its time, nice ideas for a dystopian sci-fi story, but it has flaws I can’t seem to tolerate. I think the fact that it’s so old, with its use of such antiquate views of the world, made the whole reading experience barely tolerable for me. It’s a book about a second America, built by Americans with typical American methods and American point of views, on Mars. They literary built cities and called them New New York, etc. Really, a clone country on a different planet with zero regret for what happened to the Martians. Sounds familiar, right?

It’s a book written in 1950, and it shows. A lot of themes were typical of America during those years and the futuristic elements were different from the ones I’m used to with more modern books. There’s the oxygen situation that’s not really an issue and that’s not really explained, and the fantasy parts like the rain that makes seeds from Earth grow to their maximum capacity in just one night. There are lots of interesting elements that fit well into the sci-fi narration but some others that were quite improbable. I know how the sci-fi genre plays a lot on the imagination just like the fantasy genre, but usually the elements are so well integrated and explained in the story that they do seem plausible; it doesn’t matter how crazy a thing is, if you give me a good explanation I can believe in anything.

While I did enjoy some chapters, there were a lot that were so hard to read I was tempted to skip them completely. Take the chapter with Walter, the allegedly last man on Mars; it was one of the creepiest chapters I’ve ever read. I was furious and disgusted and I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but guess what? It was one of the longest. Also the chapter with the man with the hot dog stand; oh my, how much I didn’t like that one. People do stupid things when they’re afraid, I can understand that, but this was on a whole new level of stupidity. Again, furious. That state of mind was a constant during my reading of this book and I don’t think that’s really how I was supposed to feel.

A while ago I read “The Left Hand of Darkness” by Ursula K. Le Guin and I fell in love with the characters and with the story. That is also a sci-fi written a lot of years ago and it also had tons of stereotypes typical of the time. While the Le Guin book didn’t get ruined but that flaw, this one lost lots of appeal to me because of them. I think this is mainly because there really aren’t recurring characters. There are different stories, from different characters, that take place during a long period of time. Not being able to connect with a character resulted in me seeing all the flaws that, with at least one strong character, would’ve been bearable.

Long story short, The Martian Chronicles had all the potential to be a sci-fi book I would’ve loved but then, in my opinion, it didn’t live up to its fame. That’s a pity, though; I truly wanted to love it.

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Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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5stars

I know all that is possible to know, and it’s increasingly unbearable.
Because I know next to nothing.

Title: Thunderhead
Author: Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of Scythe #2

Number of pages: 504 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s intriguing and it keeps you glued to the pages.
Bad things about this book: It’s not the last so we keep on suffering.
Do I recommend it? Yes, this series is becoming one of my favourites.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I knew it was going to be great but, did I know it was going to make my heart beat so fast because of anxiety? No. No, I didn’t. My poor heart is still beating like crazy and my brain is trying to come up with a lot of explanations and ways this story is going to end. So far I do not like any of the theories it has come up with. Please, let it be all flowers (artificially grown) and rainbows (created by the Thunderhead, of course). Nonetheless I loved it so much I will not stop recommending this series to everyone who will pay attention!

Each time I witness a cruel act by a corrupt scythe, I seed the clouds somewhere in the world, and bring a lamentation of rain. Because rain is the closest thing I have to tears.

Scythe ended with Citra becoming Scythe Anastasia and Rowan going rogue with the intention of ending all the corrupted scythes. Thunderhead starts with Rowan, as self-appointed Scythe Lucifer, punishing one of those scythes. Little did I know that, from that day on, things were going to get much more complicated than what my little brain could imagine. Anastasia and Marie are in danger; there’s a new character so important to the world that the Thunderhead makes complicated decisions to put him in the line of action; and Rowan finds himself in a weird and frustrating position. What is the fate of scythedom, and of the world, is something humans cannot predict, and maybe neither can the Thunderhead.

This book was one WTH after the other. Things that were already complicated seemed to get more so in just a few pages. I wanted to proceed but was afraid of reading and finding out I was not going to like what was written. I am heartbroken and that’s a fact, and now I’m curious to see how all the things that have started a chain of reaction will unravel in the third and last book. There’s just so much that can still go wrong and so much that maybe can put a stop to what has been angering the omnipresent Thunderhead. Humans just can’t behave and it’s infuriating.

How frustrating it is to have so much power, yet be so impotent to wield it when it counts.

It has come with no surprise whatsoever that the Thunderhead is, in the end, my favorite character. I don’t really know why I always find myself on the side of the artificial intelligent, be it good or bad. I just can’t help it. The intra-chapter bits of the Thunderhead were the parts I couldn’t wait to read because there was so much true in them and I loved the way it voiced its flawlessness and its choices. It sees it all but it can’t change human nature; it has done everything to ensure humans could live as immortals in a world made of commodities and everything they needed. Still, humans always find a way to ruin everything. It’s the sad truth.

The last book will be anxiously waited by yours truly and it will be read with my heart in my hand and a few tissues next to me, just in case. I’m sure I’ll need them.

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

“Generally speaking, people tend not to question what they’ve been told was true. Scientists are no different; they’ve just been told a lot more things.”

Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #1

Number of pages: 304 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The files, the interviews, make you part of the story from the very first page.
Bad things about this book: Can I say the cliffhanger? Maybe not, seeing as the second book is already published.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you love sci-fi books, there’s no way you’re not going to love this one.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I realized I almost always choose a book or by its cover or by its title. After I make that first choice, let’s say 8 out of 10 times, I’m lucky enough to find that the summary is a perfect mix of everything I enjoy in a book. After that nothing could stop me from buying it right away. That’s what happened with Sleeping Giants, with a tiny little difference: I received the first two books of the series as birthday presents back in November. Free books are the best!

Rose Franklin fell into a hole when she was ten, discovering a glowing giant hand, and her life didn’t change. It did chance almost two decades later when she found herself studying the hand again. She found a way to retrieve all the other pieces of this incredible giant all around the world, realizing it’s impossible humans made it. This discovery will change everything and everyone involved in the project. Why did they find the hand in the first place? Were the pieces put there for them to find when they were ready? What will happen now that they have the complete thing assembled? Is it a weapon?

“This, all that’s happening now, this is your bat mitzvah. You can play with atoms, you can sit with the grown-ups.”
“What does that mean for us?”
“That means you won’t be forgiven for childhood mistakes anymore.”

Told in the form of interviews and journal entries, this book takes you, with a lot of fast forwards, to the events involving the pieces of the statue, the assembling, the understanding of its commands, and the studying of its components. I found that the writing style made it easier to visualize what was going on. Usually the interviews told events already over, but lots were of conversations of planning ahead and insights of the project. Everything could be easily played inside your head like a movie, or maybe some sort of documentary. I got even more involved because it was like I was in the room with them, going through all the facts.

The characters were likeable and hateable; you form your opinions almost right away but that won’t mean you won’t have quite a few surprises along the way. Characters will have your cheer; others will have all the bad karma you can send their way. There are tons of twists, tons I’m telling you. I don’t think I have ever been so unprepared for things to happen. Are you kidding me? How was I supposed to be prepared for that epilogue? Nothing could have prepared me for that and, for it, I’m grateful. I love surprises!

I have now read the summary of Waking Gods and, what can I say, I need to read it as soon as possible. What the hell is going to happen?

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