Review: Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate

Alone Out HereAlone Out Here by Riley Redgate
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always feel like I need to provide a disclaimer when I write a 3-star review. I definitely feel like that is the case with Alone Out Here.

If you see 3-stars and think that I didn’t like this, let me assure you, that’s not the case. This is a good book and I can appreciate what Redgate created here.

I know there are a lot of Readers out there that are going to adore this thoughtful-YA SF tale.

In 2072, moments before a volcanic eruption that is predicted to be an extinction event hits, several teens on a tour of a high-tech spaceship, the Lazarus, are able to escape the planet just in time.

The world’s greatest minds have been working on this issue for a while. Knowing that someday their only chance of survival would be to flee Earth. The Lazarus was just a prototype for the vast fleet they were ultimately planning to build and utilize.

Leigh Chen, first-daughter of the United States, is one of the lucky few to be aboard the Lazarus as it launches.

As the reality of their situation sets in, the teens begin to take stock of what they have. With 53-individuals aboard the vessel, they are going to need to ration their supplies.

In addition to that, and really more importantly, they need to decide on a game plan. Where are they going? How will they run this ship? This wasn’t supposed to happen. There were supposed to be Adults on board, professionals, who knew what they were doing.

This was originally pitched to me as Lord of the Flies set in space and I would definitely agree with that comparison.

As the situation really begins to set in for the teens, tensions rise. Certain characters stand out as leaders, some driven it seems mostly by power, but some for other reasons. There’s definitely a lot of thought-provoking content included here.

I was constantly wondering how I would handle certain situations the teens were facing. Would I stand out as a leader, or try to remain more in the background? How would I handle the stress of losing literally everything all at once?

The tone of this novel is definitely heavy. I think with a lot of YA-SF stories, there’s quite a bit of humor and snarky dialogue woven throughout. That’s definitely not the case here. This is a serious story and in a sense, it felt a bit depressing for me.

There’s also not a ton happening. I mean there is, but it doesn’t feel like it. I would say it is more character-focused, but I had a hard time remembering any of the characters and couldn’t tell them apart most of the time.

They all seemed interchangeable to me, except Leigh.

I appreciate the themes explored and the thought that Redgate put into it, but besides trying to picture myself living through something like this, I was really never engaged by the narrative.

I never felt invested and frankly, I’m glad, because the ending may have disappointed me if I had been more invested in these characters.

Regardless of all of that, even though I wasn’t completely sold on this one, I know a lot of people will love it. So, don’t take my word for it. If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, pick it up and give it a go. You may love it!

Thank you to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to provide my feedback.

View all my reviews

Review: The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

The Paradox HotelThe Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

January Cole is head of security for the Paradox Hotel, a rest stop and playground for wealthy time travelers. Think of it as like a Four Seasons at the airport.

January has worked as a detective in the time travel space for years, traveling back to various time periods thwarting people from changing past, and therefore, future events.

Because of all the travel, January’s brain is starting to ‘skip’, a very serious repercussion of the job. It’s a major health concern and it’s getting worse. There are moments where it is hard for her to determine what is real and what is not.

There’s a lot going on at the hotel, as it is being switched from a government-run entity to a private one. Trillionaires begin popping up, anxious to make bids and secure the hotel for themselves and their interests.

January and the other employees of the hotel are anxious about what may become of their home. So, there’s that. Then there’s bad weather, people get stuck, and there’s a possible murder only January can see.

Oh, and let’s not forget the baby velociraptors that someone let loose. They’re wrecking absolute havoc!

The Paradox Hotel was a very fun read. It was interesting as heck and contained many aspects that I truly enjoyed.

January was a fantastic main character; she was snarky, multi-faceted and someone I truly enjoyed going along with.

She had suffered a personal loss that was continuing to effect her life and interactions with others. I liked the way that aspect of her life was used to build out her character.

I also really enjoyed the evolution of this story and the exploration of time, however, I will say I was confused roughly 60% of the time.

It had the tendency to be almost too rapid fire, switching settings, scenerios, characters, etc. Hart left me in the dust!

Overall, though it was more fun than frustrating. I really did enjoy my time with this book and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I have heard a lot of great things about The Warehouse, so definitely plan to check that one out.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion!

View all my reviews

Review: Black Tide by K.C. Jones

Black TideBlack Tide by K.C. Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beth is a bit of a hot mess and she’s the first one to admit it. She drinks a tad too much and has been known to flee in the face of responsibility; at least before.

Lately though, Beth has been turning things around. She’s been pet-sitting and feels like she is getting good at it. She’s even getting referred to new clients by happy patrons.

That’s how Beth ends up at a beach house on an empty stretch of the Oregon coast on the day the world ends.

She is staying with the best good dog, Jake, and all has been going well. She’s been spying a little bit on the man next door, but that’s to be expected, isn’t it?

He’s handsome, in a mysterious, scruffy sort of way. He seems lonely. Beth is all kinds of curious about this mystery man.

So, when she sees him drinking expensive champagne on his deck one evening, she heads over to introduce herself.

His name is Mike and he is a film producer. The two hit it off and spend the evening enjoying each other’s company in every way you can imagine.

That night, at Mike’s place, Beth doesn’t sleep well. Her drunken dreams are full of horrifying images that are still rattling around in her brain upon waking.

She finds Mike and Jake together on the beach. Apparently, Mike had gone to the dog’s rescue. Beth can’t believe she left Jake alone in the house next door overnight.

That’s what the booze can do; great decision-making, Beth.

Mike tells Beth all about the insane meteor shower he witnessed from the beach. There’s still evidence of the destruction it wrought. Plus, there’s the thing that he found.

The power is out, so they have no way of listening to any news. How wide spread was the event and what exactly was it?

They decide to drive up the beach and investigate where they believe one of the meteors actually struck. Maybe there will be someone around who knows more of what’s happening.

Black Tide is the most intense book I have read in a long time. Edge of your seat doesn’t even begin to describe it.

From that very first night, as the meteors start to fall, the tension begins. Driving down the beach the following day, they become stranded and the circumstances continue getting worse for the trio; yes, I am counting Jake.

The entire thing was a nail biter. I was yelling at the book, advising them what they should do: protect Jake at all costs!!

I love Sci-Fi Horror and I found this one to be incredibly fun. The concepts were unique, the character development was great and the build-up of intensity was fantastic.

It had such a claustrophobic feel. Oh My goodness, I am squirming even thinking about it!

I grew to really care for these characters. In particular, Beth and Jake. I felt like I was able to relate to Beth so much. It made the stakes feel a lot higher for me. I just wanted them to be safe.

I would definitely recommend this to any Horror Reader, but particularly to those who enjoy a lovely blend of Sci-Fi and Horror elements.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Black Tide releases on May 10, 2022.

Be sure to add it to your Spring TBR!!

View all my reviews

Review: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2)Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Aurora Burning is the second book in veteran writing duo, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s, The Aurora Cycle trilogy.

If you have read The Illuminae Files you are well aware that these authors are no strangers to writing hella compelling, action-packed, YA-science fiction stories.

In this installment, Squad 3-1-2 is back, this time on the run from both the authorities and baddies alike.

With an ancient evil force threatening to consume the entire galaxy, it is safe to say that our lovable band of heroes have a lot on their plate. They believe Auri could be the key to solving the problem, but they still need to figure out how.

They get the opportunity to head back to the Hadfield, the ship from Auri’s past, to try to figure out some of the mystery surrounding her; there’s a lot.

As always, they run into a wee bit of trouble on that mission.

Bigger trouble is on the horizon when Kal’s savage long-lost sister makes an appearance with an entire Slydrathi army at her back. Let’s just say, she’s not there for a charming family reunion.

This entire book is go-go-go, from the very beginning. I enjoyed learning more about all of the characters, as well as being introduced to new ones.

The stakes are getting higher and I seriously have no idea how this trilogy is going to be concluded. I am really glad that I held off on reading this one until Aurora’s End released.

I don’t know how I would have made it through otherwise. This one finishes on such an incredible cliffhanger, oh my goodness!

I’m hoping to finish up with the trilogy by the end of the year. Wrapping up 2021 in style!

View all my reviews

Rereading Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Squad 3-1-2 forever!

Reading Aurora Rising for the second time was such a treat. I think I am going to be rid of that pesky 4.5-stars rounded up thing we did the first time round.

It felt so incredibly good to be back with these characters and in this world.

I felt like I was able to relax more into the story this time, as I wasn’t flipping the pages a million miles per hour to see what was going to happen next.

Therefore, I was able to learn more about and become even more attached to this cast. Each character is unique and brings their own special blend of something good to the table.

My plan is to move directly on to the second book, Aurora Burning, and then straight on through to Aurora’s End.

My copy of Aurora’s End just arrived today and I am so excited to see how this is going to turn out. I literally have no predictions.

If you are a Scifi fan, if you loved the Illuminae Files, if you love stories set in space, if you love stories featuring a ragtag group of individuals fighting for survival, you should pick this up.

Heck, everyone should pick this up! It’s a great book, an action-packed story and a phenomenal start to a series.

Earlier

Now that the final book, Aurora’s End, has been released, I am rereading this, because I hope to actually binge the entire trilogy this month!

#goals

Let’s do this!!!

Original:

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Apparently, this is what it feels like to have your still beating heart ripped violently out of your chest?!

The year is 2380; our story begins on the eve of graduation at Aurora Academy. Traditionally, immediately following the graduation ceremony, squad leaders choose their teams and are given their first real assignments.

Tyler Jones, star pupil and known leader, cannot sleep.

Call it nerves, call it excitement for the future, whatever it is, sleep is not happening.

During the course of his restless night, he hears an SOS over the comm system and sets out to see if he can help.

He reasons, since he is incredible in almost every way, he will definitely be able to help.

When he comes across the starship emitting the SOS beacon, he finds hundreds of dead aboard, with just one survivor locked in cryogenic sleep state.

Fortunately, he is able to save her and bring her back to the Academy with him. But just who is this beautiful lone survivor?

Coming out of cryosleep, Aurora is shocked to find herself at an Academy for space cadets and not at Octavia Colony, her original destination.

As she struggles to clear her head and put the pieces of the puzzle together, she also discovers she has some sort of mysterious powers awakening.

Tyler is disappointed and confused upon returning to the Academy as well.

Due to his late night rescue mission, he missed graduation and as a consequence, the selection of teams.

As a new squad leader, what is he left with?

His sister, a loyal friend and a few other miscreants: Scarlett, Cat, Kal, Fin and Zila.

Thusly, Squad 312 is formed. The most lovable bunch of misfits the galaxy has ever seen!

The story follows all of their perspectives as they go on their first mission and learn more about Aurora, as well as her puzzling claims about the nonexistent Octavia Colony.

Guys, to say I am anxiously anticipating the next book would literally be the understatement of 2019.

I loved this story a ton. My only negative is that I found the numerous POVs a bit jarring at times. Other than that, nothing but love from me!

Squad 312 against the whole galaxy?

This author duo is hard to beat in my eyes. I hope they continue to collaborate for years to come!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail MaryProject Hail Mary by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Ryland Grace awakens from a coma, he discovers he is on a spaceship. He doesn’t know why, or how, in fact, he can’t even remember his own name.

Checking his surroundings, Ryland quickly determines he is alone; the other two crew members evidently not making it out of their comas. Well, shoot, not good.

Figuring he has nothing but time, Ryland sets about investigating his surroundings in the hopes he can determine his purpose for being where he is.

As his memories slowly return, he understands the importance, and improbability of his task. He’s on a solo mission to save Earth from an extinction-level event. So, no pressure.

I absolutely adored this story. I am one of the few people left on the planet who hasn’t read, The Martian yet and after reading this, I’m disappointed in myself.

This was incredibly well-written; fast-paced, clever and hilarious. I loved Ryland’s character so much. His analytical, yet humorous nature, truly made this story shine.

As a longtime Sci-Fi fan, I can honestly say, this is one of the best books I have read in the genre. Everything about it was gripping from start to finish.

The way Weir constructed the mystery of it all and then plotted the reveals, chef’s kiss!!!

I highly recommend this, even if you don’t tend to read Science-Fiction, I believe this story can be enjoyed by Readers of all genres.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It was a remarkable reading experience, one I will remember for a long time!!

View all my reviews

Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Story by James Luceno

Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One StoryCatalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Story by James Luceno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Catalyst: A Rogue One Story, while admittedly not my favorite, was still a good story. I can appreciate all the fine details it adds to the larger picture.

It’s probably my fault for picking this up directly after, Dark Disciple, which I absolutely loved!!!

This is a prequel novel to the Rogue One film.

Basically it follows Orson Krennic, part of Chancellor Palpatine’s Death Star Project, along with brilliant scientist, Galen Erso and his family.

This had a lot more technical details and political maneuverings than character work and drama, but as I said, it was still good.

I’m glad I read it as it provides a solid backdrop for the events of Rogue One, an immediate prequel to A New Hope; probably only necessary, or interesting, to hardcore fans.

View all my reviews

Review: The Phantom Menace (Star Wars Novelizations, #1) by Terry Brooks

The Phantom Menace (Star Wars: Novelizations, #1)The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

This is a fantastic novelization of one of my go-to flicks, The Phantom Menace. Terry Brooks did a phenomenal job bringing the action and political intrigue to the page!

Admittedly, I am slightly obsessed with the movie The Phantom Menace. Poke fun at me if you must.

I’ve watched the movie a zillion times, so I figured I should probably check out the novelization.

It was only then that I discovered it was adapted into book form by the renowned Fantasy author, Terry Brooks!?

If you’ve seen the movie, there will be no great surprises here, but as with most book/movie combos, you can find a lot more additional information in the book.

I feel like the book allows more space to build out some of my favorite characters in the entire universe, like Anakin and Qui-Gon.

I think if you are a fan of Star Wars, this is definitely worth a read; consider it supplemental to the movie.

I am definitely going to pick up the other novelizations in this prequel trilogy. Attack of the Clones was written by R.A. Salvatore, so I am actually really looking forward to starting that one soon!

View all my reviews

Review: Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rogue Protocol is the third book within The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.

I picked this series up on a whim last year and quickly fell in love with Murderbot and Martha Wells’ humorous writing style. It draws you in right away!

In this installment we rejoin Murderbot on its continued hunt for answers regarding its violent past.

It ends up on another mission, this time heading to a terraforming facility once run by the mysterious and sinister GrayCris Corporation.

More humans are involved; there mucky things up for our beloved Murderbot, yet again. It also needs to befriend, or intelligently influence, another AI. This time a tragically adorable, human-form companion robot named, Miki.

Miki’s entire personality was exploding with cute. I loved their interactions; so pure.

As usual, there was a lot of action, more betrayals and corporate cover-ups. It also ended much too quickly, although this one definitely crushed my heart a little bit there at the end. Not going to lie.

Why did I have to be listening to it before I had even had my first coffee of the day?

Sadness aside, I can’t quit Murderbot! I’m excited to continue on with their story.

View all my reviews

Review: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Artificial Condition, the second installment of The Murderbot Diaries, we reunite with everyone’s favorite Sec Unit, Murderbot.

Murderbot is curious about its past, having been involved in an incident at a mining facility, which left a lot of humans dead. It has only vague recollections of that time and has a strong need to know more.

Recently setting out on its own, with no ties to any human, it now has the time to seek answers.

Making a new acquaintance, an AI, who it calls ART, the two, when not binging media shows together, set to work preparing Murderbot for the next steps.

It alters itself a bit, in order to pass as a human, and accepts an assignment as a security consultant. Its new clients are a group of computer scientists, who had their work stolen from a previous employer.

They want to negotiate to get it back. This assignment will take Murderbot exactly where it wants to go.

Yet again, it struggles with, dare I say, emotions where its human charges are concerned. It is the most soft-hearted Security Unit in all the galaxy; although it can definitely slay when it needs to.

There’s corruption, there’s evil entities, there’s action, there’s humor and whole lot of heart.

I adored the interactions between Murderbot and ART. Just the sweetest moments.

If I wasn’t so terribly frightened of the possibilities for AI, I would want one myself.

Overall, this was a highly entertaining novella and I cannot wait to carry on with this series.

Martha Wells has an incredible style and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, fast-paced Science Fiction series!!

View all my reviews