Black Light Express by Philip Reeve



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!



The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury



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.


Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman



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.


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel



“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?


Warcross by Marie Lu



Every locked door has a key.
Every problem has a solution.

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Warcross #1
Number of pages: 368 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s intriguing and very well-written: you feel transported into the future.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I read this book was somewhat similar to Ready Player One, I knew I was already sold. It has similarities but it was its own creature with its own world and dynamics. One thing I loved a lot was that it took place in Tokyo; I love Japan and, even if I’ve been to Tokyo only twice, I always feel like going back to a familiar place. I’m all in for diverse characters and this book has them; characters from all around the world with different sexualities, all participating to the championship. It’s not difficult, right? It shouldn’t be.

Set in an unknown future, real world runs side by side with the virtual world; a world built by young genius Hideo Tanaka. Hideo Tanaka built glasses that can read your mind, helping you shape the virtual world making it almost impossible to discern it from the real world. When he introduced his invention, he put a game in it, Warcross, meant to help its users get used this new world. Little he knew that Warcross was going to become the number one game on Earth, having its own championship, black market gambling, and a lot more than that.

I found it all fascinating and scary. I, at the same time, can’t wait for that to become our future (just the nice part, obviously) but I’m also afraid it will be the beginning of the end, more than it feels right now. We all know that all that kind of power isn’t good in the hands of human beings. Humans are not the most worthy kind of beings. At all. What to do when things don’t go as they should be? What to do if users bet illegally on the game? Bounty hunters are called. Emika Chen is a bounty hunter and she is struggling, trying her best to pay her debts and her rent in New York. She has 16 dollars in her bank account and is willing to try whatever she can to live.

When you refuse to ask for help, it tells others that they also shouldn’t ask for help from you. That you look down on them for needing your help. That you like feeling superior to them.

One thing lead to another and she finds herself where she isn’t supposed to be, and she is being summoned to Tokyo, meeting her idol Hideo Tanaka, and being thrown into a job that is more than what it seemed at first. Emika is hired to infiltrate the game but she will find herself involved in much more than just a spy hunt. There were a lot of potential suspects. I’m one to suspect almost immediately; I like to point fingers and formulate my theories. I was 100% wrong about one thing, 100% right about another, and 0% expecting what happened in the end.

Death has a terrible habit of cutting through every careful line you’ve drawn between your present and your future.

Emika is a flawed character. She is not a damsel in distress, she doesn’t need to be rescued, she feels often insecure, she throws herself at things bigger than herself, she trusts her instincts, and she doesn’t stop until she solves the problem she is facing. She has been alone since her dad died and she is not used to be a teammate. She will have to learn to be one because she is going to be part of a Warcross team and at the same time she will have to be also a good liar because she has to do the job she was hired to do. I liked Emika a lot. She is a relatable character.

I loved everything that has to do with the virtual reality created by Hideo and I was, at times, quite smitten with him. He is a very intriguing character, hiding a hurtful past behind an ice wall, and having times with his walls down revealing how young he actually is. I was intrigued and, each time he introduced something new about the NeuroLink he created I drowned in each of his words. He charmed his way into my heart. I’m conflicted; he is young and has too much power in his hands. Is it safe? Doesn’t he need more than that? Something more real in the virtual world he created?

“Everything’s science fiction until someone makes it science fact.”

I now find myself waiting for the sequel with much more intensity. It’s harmful to be this impatient. It’s not that I don’t like to wait but when I’m anxious for the release of a book, spoilers happen. When I saw that Warcross was released I was interested; I didn’t buy it right away but waited a few weeks, then I didn’t read it when I got it. This way, I wasn’t extremely involved in the release process so I wasn’t subjected to the spoilers. Now my ears are up, paying maximum attention to news and that will lead to spoilers. I’m 150% sure of it. Let’s have a spoiler free waiting, ok? One can only hope!


[ARC] Artemis by Andy Weir



Attack of the Moon Woman Who Made Bad Life Decisions.

Title: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Expected publication: November 14th 2017
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Artemis is on the Moon!!!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, it has everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you loved The Martian you will love Artemis.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review – This review will contain many quotes but zero spoilers.

Artemis was so much fun to read and plenty interesting. I love a good sci-fi book and if the mc is funny but not in an overwhelming kind of way, then I’m hooked from the start. Guess what? I was hooked from the very first page! I fought to get an ARC because I loved The Martian; I couldn’t miss another book like that one, right? I was such a fool to let two whole months pass from receiving the ARC to finally reading it. Such a fool, shame on me!

“Oh, poor billionaire,” I said. “Maybe you should have some moors installed so you can pine on them.”

Now that I have read it, I can very much say that I loved it; loved the concept, the characters, the heist, the twists, and how easy was to read it without being a scientist. I recommend it more to science enthusiasts, though, because it has many terms that may confuse or bore most of the people I know so, if you’re not in awe of everything scientific, then maybe this book is not for you.

I had this bad habit of checking my bank account every day, as if compulsively looking at it would make it grow. But the banking software wasn’t interested in my dreams.

Jazz is a wonderful main character. She is fun, she is a rebel, and she is extremely relatable. She lives in the poorest part of Artemis. Did I mention that Artemis is the only city on the Moon? On the freaking Moon!! Can you believe how cool is it to live on the Moon with only 1/6th of the Earth’s gravity? I loved everything about Artemis; it seemed like magic but at the same time it all seemed so possible it was incredibly enchanting. I was dreaming with my eyes wide open.

“I’m sorry, but this isn’t my thing,” I said. “You’ll have to find someone else.”
“I’ll give you a million slugs.”

Let’s go back to Jazz: she is a Saudi-Arabian 25-year-old girl, she works as a porter, and she is a criminal. Not a dangerous one, though. She smuggles things from Earth to sell to a higher price to Artemisians. Let’s say you miss smoking and it’s forbidden to smoke in Artemis because it’s flammable, then what do you do? You call Jazz, place your order, she emails her friend on Earth and, tadah, you have your very expensive cigarettes and you can smoke on the Moon, hopefully without setting the whole city on fire killing everyone inside.

The city shined in the sunlight like a bunch of metallic boobs. What? I’m not a poet. They look like boobs.

Jazz needs money and she’s been presented with the perfect opportunity to gain enough money to live like a queen possibly for the rest of her life. She can’t turn it down even if it’s dangerous and she risks being deported to Earth where she hasn’t been since she was a little girl. She is not an Earthling anymore; she is a 100% Artemisian.

How dare you call me lazy! I’d come up with a scathing retort but, meh, I’m just not motivated.

The story doesn’t lack twists and many of them involve side characters. I knew things weren’t going to be as they seemed at first, but some twists got me totally unprepared. I love a story that doesn’t put drama just for the sake of it and the twists are well managed so that the story doesn’t drag pointless for too long. The story flows perfectly with all its obstacles. Jazz, her inner monologues, and her interactions with the side characters make this story captivating. Once you start reading, you won’t want to stop until the end.

“You are unmarried and have sex with many men.”
“Yes, I’m quite the harlot.” Her son, Isvan, had banged more dudes than I ever had. I resisted the urge to tell her.

I can’t and won’t say much about anything else. I found myself rooting for Jazz from the start and I wanted to see how her crazy self was going to manage all the crazy things she wanted to do to have a better future and to redeem herself from all the bad decisions she’s made in the past. This is a charming story and it’s told perfectly. I loved it and if you loved The Martian as much as I did, then pick this book as soon as it’s released and read it.


[ARC] Nyxia by Scott Reintgen



“Are you a bad person? Of course not. Does that mean you’ll always do the right thing? Of course not. No one’s perfect.”

Title: Nyxia
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #1
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Nyxia is a pretty amazing element.
Bad things about this book: Forced romance plotline, unnecessary.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from Netgalley*

Besides one forced and gratuitous flaw, I enjoyed this more than anticipated. I still like Longwei, a side character that spoke almost never, more than I liked Emmett, the main character. We’ll see in the next book if I change my mind.

There’s always this problem with YA sci-fi in which the author thinks it’s a must to insert a romance plotline even if it’s stretched and we can very much live on without it. I was afraid it was going to happen here and it happened unfortunately but not like I expected; it was worse. I’m not going to say more about it but luckily it didn’t spoil the book altogether. I just hope it’s not going to happen again. I’m not a teenager, I haven’t been one for over a decade, but I know for sure that if there is not romance in a YA sci-fi, it’s not a big deal if the book delivers what it promises. This was doing just that and then, it fell into the void of things unnecessary.

Letting that slip because I’m a nice and patient person, I found myself liking a lot of the elements of this book and loving so many more. The twists, the mysterious nyxia, the characters, and space. I love space so much! The whole book is about the journey of these teenagers from Earth to a faraway planet called Eden where they are going to mine nyxia while earning a ton of money.

“But they don’t tell you the pain comes with you. They don’t tell you that hurt travels at light-speed too.”

These teenagers weren’t chosen randomly; there are 10 of them, all poor and broken. They are the perfect candidates for this mission because they are desperate and willing to sacrifice their time and strength to give a better tomorrow to their beloved ones at home. They are forced to compete against each other to gain passage to Eden, the planet with Nyxia mines, an element that is going to change life as they know it.

These boys and girls are all from different parts of the world so they don’t speak the same language. After all the mission is run by Babel Corporation so it seemed right. They all have a mask that translates everything they say; they speak and the voice translated reaches the ears of all the others wearing identical masks. It’s an incredible idea! I loved it!

I loved it almost as much as I loved nyxia. This element was given to each of them in the form of a ring and, through mind communication, they could transform it into what they wanted. The limit, you guessed right, is your imagination. Nyxia consumes your energy because in a way it is a part of you and you have to be careful because, being an element that has a mind of its own, it can take over and destroy you from inside out.

“Well, the first guy on the ground isn’t always the one who loses the fight, Doc.”

I loved their challenges, their friendship, also the twists, and I loved how the characters were all so different. As I said, I loved Longwei: he speaks little to nothing, he doesn’t socialize, he is smart and strong, but he sometimes lets his mask slip and shows a little vulnerability, he looks his age. He’s been chosen so he has to have a hard past and maybe also a hard present, and I can’t wait to see what’s beneath the walls he’s built.

This book isn’t without flaws but it’s a nice one. This is a promising beginning to a series that I know will deliver what I’m expecting. It has what it takes to be great.