All Systems Red by Martha Wells

32758901._SY475_

5stars

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

Title: All Systems Red
Author: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #1
Number of pages: 144 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: An antisocial murder robot in love with tv shows. LOVE.
Bad things about this book: It might seem short, and it is, but it doesn’t feel like it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.”

I love the bookstagram community because it recommends me so many new books I wouldn’t have known otherwise. There’s an account I follow that loves sci-fi just as much as I do, but knows so many more books that I do. It’s so perfect! I now have a lot of new sci-fi books to read and love!

The Murderbot Diaries was one of those recs. I dived into it as soon as I knew how short the books were. I’ve been in a reading slump the whole month so a short, engaging novella, was just what I needed. And it was exactly that; funny, intriguing, with an incredibly relatable Murderbot main character, and a very well built plot, not short of twists, even if the story was a short one.

I pictured Murderbot as a female even if it was stated that it was genderless. I tried real hard to picture it as it was meant to be, but my mind kept conjuring a female robot who really fangirled about her tv shows. The brain is hard to command!

I can’t wait to read the other novellas of the series. They will follow Murderbot in its adventured and misadventures in space, and I read the plot of this novella will be important to the following stories. What’s not to love about Murderbot and these stories? If you love sci-fi, then yes, read these novellas!

firmablog

Advertisements

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

20190102_231300

5stars

“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Number of pages: 512 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was great and so very captivating.
Bad things about this book: Todd started being whiny but then he redeemed himself.
Do I recommend it? Always trust a Ness book!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’ve had this book since forever because I fell in love with Patrick Ness so I bought everything of his I could find. So why didn’t I read it sooner? That’s a question impossible to answer. Impossible because I really don’t know, I just let it gather dust with no reason.

I have to start saying that I wasn’t really sold at the beginning. I found Todd pretty annoying and I was having a hard time with how the words were purposely grammatically incorrect; it bothered me UNTIL I got sucked into the story.

I didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t certainly what I got! I felt all the feelings! All of them!!! I lost hope along Todd and Viola, I found it again, then lost it, the found it again, then lost it. It was a rollercoaster of a book, let me tell you!

I can’t wait to see how the movie turns out!

firmablog

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

IMG_20180925_074750_014

5stars

From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #3
Number of pages: 358 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s just beautiful, perfect, I loved it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
The story is simple, but at the same time very complex, because humans are complicated creatures. We have met different kind of aliens in the last two books, and we’ve met the humans living and working on alien planets; but this time we are seeing humans, focusing on a few, living in an all human community on the Fleet. The Exodus Fleet, the ship the humans built when they knew the Earth didn’t have much longer left to live, is a world unto itself with a very particular way of living that set them apart from the rest of the communities. It was very interesting seeing how they share resources, worked different jobs to maintain the balance in society and economy, all without using money.

CHARACTERS —
There are five main characters, each with a story to tell, each with chapters in their point of view: Tessa, Kip, Sawyer, Eyas, and Isabel. I liked all of them with their different lives and dreams. Loved the diversity, so natural. I won’t explain each character because I think it’ll spoil the story a little bit. They were all so authentic, with their everyday lives; some with a future still to be chosen, some thinking something is missing from their lives, others with a live well lived and with so much history to tell, and some willing to take a leap of faith to change their present to have a better future.

Perhaps none of us can truly explain death. Perhaps none of us should.

THOUGHTS —
As it was always described, these books are a spaceopera. A tale of lives lived in different environments, surrounded by different people, facing different challenges. Each one of these books has given me a sense of tranquility, without taking away a sense of surprise and awe when something didn’t go as planned. This story, with the sole alien character seeing things from her perspective, is meant to show you human beings evolved to an almost perfect and uncorrupted society. But things can’t be perfect all time, it’s just not possible. I loved how things were portrayed, I loved how easy I found myself cheering for the characters!

CONCLUSION —
Simply fantastic. There’s nothing more to add. Superb writing and storytelling. These books have been worth every second I spent reading them and thinking about them when they were over. I will carry them in my heart for eternity.

firmablog

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

20180809_181509

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.

firmablog

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

20180125_163902

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.

firmablog

[ARC] Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

20170825_154316

4stars

“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.

firmablog

[ARC] See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

dsc04544

5stars

Title: See You in the Cosmos
Author: Jack Cheng
Good things about this book: A lovely main character and a different kind of narration.
Bad things about this book: I can’t think of anything right now. I really enjoyed the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, buy it as soon as it comes out.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

When I requested this book I did it because it was about a kid in love with space. I love space but trust me I don’t love it as much as Alex does. That kid knows everything there is to know about rockets, planets and space in general. He even built his own rocket and is making recordings to send to outer space so that aliens can know in advance how is life on Earth.

Alex is only eleven years old but thirteen in responsibility years, or so he says and I believe him. He is one wise and mature young fellow. Smart and self sufficient, he takes care of his mother and his puppy named after his hero, Carl Sagan. He loves space so much he is going to New Mexico by himself to fly his rocket. He is going to put his Golden iPod inside with all the recordings he’s being doing. He is an adorable boy, really honest and straightforward. It’s only natural people want to help him and find themselves somehow involved in his adventures.

Alex is a special boy and he is very imaginative. You can’t help by love him and cheer for him to achieve whatever dream he wants to achieve. You need to know everything is going to be ok and when you start to understand his life isn’t without its complications you can’t help but be worried. I know I had wet eyes during a couple of parts and it was really hard holding back my tears. Alex deserves the world, or better, he deserves the universe and I was going to fight all the people putting obstacles in his way. I love you, Alex!

At first I didn’t know if the way this book is written was going to be of my liking. This book is written in recordings. Everything you read is part of the recordings Alex is planning to send to outer space. It was different, I can’t deny that, because you only knew what Alex told you, his side and interpretation of what he was experiencing but his voice was so pure that no matter how different it felt, it also felt right. After finishing the book I know I wouldn’t have wanted the story written in any other way.

A special story told by a special boy about what makes his life special. It was lovely and it made me happy. What’s better than that?

firmablog