Weather catastrophes are destroying the Earth and many countries are now underwater from severe storms and typhoons. Leaders band together to finance a voyage to Europa and eventually colonize it. After the failure and death of the astronauts from the previous mission, it’s been determined that a younger group may have a better chance at survival. 24 teenagers from around the globe are drafted to compete at the International Space Training Camp for a place on the team of six people that will be sent to Europa. From the moment I picked this novel up I was enthralled by the action and intrigued by the mystery and had a hard time putting it down!
Naomi is Iranian-American and a science genius. Before Earth’s self destruction she had dreams of going to NASA but now doesn’t want to leave her family behind. If she gets chosen as one of the final six, she’ll never see any of them again. Leo’s family and home were lost to a typhoon and this competition gives him a reason to be alive. His championship swimming skills were the reason he was chosen to be in the top 24 and he’s eager for the challenge in front of him. When strange things start happening he helps Naomi investigate the truth behind their mission.
This was such a fun novel! I loved that Naomi an Iranian-American was so smart and seemed to be the only one who was questioning what they were training for.. there were so many question marks. She had strength, but with a sick younger brother at home also had a reason to not want to go on this mission. Leo’s background may have been more sad, but I liked Naomi’s inner struggle. What’s right? Saving multiple people or only her own family?
Leo’s back story was certainly more sad. His entire family lost to a typhoon and he is left alone with the memories of their faces underwater. This mission gives him life and a reason to live, then meeting Naomi gives him a possible future. Their romance was the frosting on the cake for me. I liked the two of them together so much.
If you like science fiction that are quick to read then you need to put this one on your list. The second novel doesn’t come out until next year which was a big disappointment for me, but I will definitely be picking it up to see how their journey continues on and if all of their fears are realized. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“his book entertained me liked I hoped it would. This is an easy sci-fi book perfect for summer or when you need something easy to pick up. While parts were solid enough, I do think parts really suffered from the terrible, one dimensional adults and the story needed to be longer to bring more to Naomi and the actual space training. But I will say that the mystery was interesting, great male lead in Leo and a solid ending that I am interested in reading the sequel.” Metal Fantasm Reads
“Overall this was an okay book. I definitely had some issues with it but it didn’t take so much away from me enjoying it. I liked it enough that I am interested in reading the second book but I’m not sure how soon I will be reading it once its published.” AfictionReality
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, and hopefully hearing about what you’ve picked up off your shelf. So here goes!
First Sentence Read: “The legalized torture of socializing lined right up with premeditated murder when you added the requirement of fancy shoes.”
First Sentence Read: “Journal of Richard Fox , June 27 1937, Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary”
Connections in Death was a departure from Eve Dallas’ normal investigation this time, delving into gang culture. I rather liked it! Lady Rogue starts quick and never stops. I have a feeling I am going to really like this one! At least I hope so!
At the end of Ignite the Stars, our three heroes found their lives changed in ways that made them question all they’d known previously. Eclipse the Skies is the story of how Ia, Brinn, and Knives rediscover their reason to fight for their beliefs, even if it’s hard to see the path to enlightenment.
Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, lives for the day when she and her brother will come face to face, knowing only one of them will be left alive. Brinn embraces her heritage just as the world wants to demolish that same heritage. Knives finds out his father is not the ogre he thought just as he is about to lose the chance to make amends. Needless to say, Eclipse the Skies definitely takes a turn to the dark side, as our characters fight to overcome adversity.
I will admit, I did miss the more swashbuckling adventure the first novel set into play. It was a little harder for me to lose myself in this world without the interaction between these characters. They were separated through most of the book and all three of their storylines were pretty gloomy. The story picked back up when they started interacting with each other again and that’s when my enjoyment of the book ratcheted up.
This was a good sequel to Ignite the Stars, but beware, the pace is a little slower and the plot a little gloomier. My favorite character, Brinn, really took a turn to the dark side and I’m still recovering from that momentary panic that she wouldn’t return to the light. If you’re a fan of young adult and would like to give this sci-fi series a try, please read the books in order as this novel is a continuation of the previous plot. ❤️❤️❤️❣️
I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
Ada Von Hasenburg is on the run from the political machinations of the Royal Consortium and an arranged marriage into House Rockhurst. When she is captured by some bounty hunters she finds herself locked in a room with Marcus Loch, the Devil of Fornax. When an opportunity comes to escape they join forces and a rollicking fun space pirate adventure begins.
When a book is recommended by one of your favorite fantasy authors you just really can’t pass up the opportunity to read it can you? I love a great science fiction romance novel and this one had all of the characteristics of a great story.
Ada and Marcus were complete opposites. Ada came from one of their planets elite houses. Growing up privileged, yet struggled against playing a role against her will. Marcus joined their armed forces as a teen and was turned into a super soldier. They seemed an unlikely pair at the start of the novel but you soon saw that each gave the other person what had been missing in their lives up to that point a partner that would put the other first before all others.
The highlight of this novel is the antagonist or villain Richard Rockhurst, Ada’s erstwhile fiance who is a not so very nice guy. I really liked the history between Ada and Richard, a man who was actually a friend from childhood who turned into a very different man as an adult. That history added conflict to a much needed romance between Ada and Marcus. A common enemy for them to fight. Without that character the story would have been a little stale.
I thought this novel started out so great so quickly! I easily bought into the potential of the story and romance and eagerly read through each page. The middle of the novel did slow down but it would be really hard to keep that fast pace through the whole novel. Both characters needed to show growth and the story needed to slow down just a little to give them an emotional conflict to overcome. It did and they did and the pace sped back up for a quick ending.
Luckily this is the first novel in the series because I’m not ready to let this couple go yet and the political plot is just ramping up! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“Overall, I enjoyed this book but it’s not my favorite. So, will I pick up the next book in the series? Definitely! The next book is about Ada’s eldest sister Bianca and I really want to read her story.” Dreamy Addictions
“Overall, I had a really good time with Polaris Rising. Admittedly, the romance genre is still not something I can take in large doses, but I love throwing a book like this into my reading repertoire whenever I feel like I need a change. Like a rich, fluffy, decadent dessert, I can only read these types of novels once in a while, but whenever I do, it’s always oh so satisfying and delicious.” The Bibliosanctum
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
First Sentence: “Absolutely not. What an utterly harebrained idea, Annabelle.”
The Queen’s Gambit by Jessie Mihalik
First Sentence Read: “I lowered my spaceship’s cargo ramp and slipped in the night with the ease of long practice.”
I went for a mood changer with the switch from historical romance to romantic sci-fi. Bringing Down the Duke was so fabulous that I had to switch it up to try to carry that great book glow into the next novel. I haven’t gotten too far into The Queen’s Gambit to decide if this was the right choice. I’ll let you know!
Now that you know what I’m reading, feel free to catch me up! It’s Monday! What are you Reading?
As a book blogger it’s hard not to pay attention to the blogosphere drumroll of upcoming book releases. We all have our favorites authors and certainly whenever one of those authors releases a book I am ALL OVER IT. There are a few books that have May’19 release dates and I am eagerly rubbing my hands in anticipation…
We all have genre’s that we favor but I think a couple of these title’s may be on your own most anticipated list. If they aren’t? Well, sorry if I’ve added another book to your TBR!
MY MOST ANTICIPATED MAY’19 BOOKS ARE….
5) The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May14, 2019
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.
Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.
Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.
With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.
DEB’S THOUGHTS: I haven’t read a Christina Lauren novel in a few years, but this enemies to lovers tropes is one of my favorites! This is why it’s #5 and a must read for me.
4) Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling authors of the Illuminae Filescomes a new science fiction epic . . .
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder An alien warrior with anger-management issues A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
DEB’S THOUGHTS: I LOVED the Illuminae Files and want to see if Kaufman and Kristoff can repeat that amazing energy and excitement. Who’s going to join me?
3) The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
Release Date: May 7, 2019
From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
DEB’S THOUGHTS: I’ll admit to having mixed feelings for the Kiss Quotient. I didn’t love it, but am curious to see how Helen Hoang will handle the follow up.
Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!
A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.
It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.
With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.
Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end.
DEB’S THOUGHTS: I love the magical world of Caraval and am curious if this author can keep this magic flowing through the Finale.
#1 Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy
In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves…
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word.
We will die to keep it.
DEB’S THOUGHTS: Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite (in a very long list of favorites!) urban fantasy heroines. Her character growth over the lifetime of this series has been huge and her challenges just keep getting bigger. This is the next book I’m starting (yes, I got an ARC!) and I can’t wait to read how she will overcome her next challenge!
It’s been a few months since I’ve read a science fiction novel. The Terrans was recommended to me a long time ago by my sister who is seldom wrong when it comes to book recommendations. I like science fiction but have to really be in the mood because sometimes the book may be more technical than I’m comfortable with, but The Terrans was a great balance of sci-fi imagery, technology, and a Star Trek like “going where no man has gone before” adventure.
Jacaranda MacKenzie finds herself drawn back into service after retiring to her home in the Hawaiian islands. Having strong psychic tendencies, language skills, and proven psychic fighting techniques she is now on a mission as an Ambassador because her face was seen in psychic precognitive visions as being important in a future war. On their first mission they come upon an alien life form called the Salik who have human captives that her team must save. After reaching out telepathically to the humans leader Li’eth, she gathers that the Salik are not friendly aliens and in fact are only looking for their next meal. Humans are a tasty treat, and live humans are their preferred meal. Saving Li’eth and his team who are human, but not Terrans, is the first contact with another life force that the Terrans have ever had. They realize pretty quickly that both races have qualities that are needed on the other side and can make them allies in the war against the Salik.
Jackie’s a really unique lady! She’s a linguist, and her thought process on how to quickly learn V’Dan (Li’eth’s planet, language, and people) teach the V’Dan her own language and then also the cultural proprieties could’ve been really time consuming. Thank goodness she was telepathic and could skip a lot of steps! She knew how to speak to people without being offensive, yet still be warm and welcoming. Underneath all of these kind of technical aspects to her personality was also the fact that she was mostly Polynesian. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a science fiction book that had a Hawaiian main character? It really added a level of depth to her understanding of body language due to her hula dancing training. Her ancestors way of story telling with body movements. I really enjoyed her character alot.
Li’eth was also what you’d want your hero to look and act like. As the Captain of his ship he had a commanding presence. Like Jackie, he knew how to act with other cultures. He and Jackie had to interact with each other quite a bit as they were the two highest ranking people on the ship. She “downloaded” his language and had to do a Spock type mind meld to get that done relatively quick. The two of them talked telepathically and developed a bond that drew them together. It was natural that they started to have feelings for each other, however their titles made it a politically bad choice.
As you would imagine with finding a new race of human’s there was a lot of political talk about how to handle what, who and how far. Even with that jargon, I still really enjoyed the story. I think as I read further into this series Jackie and Li’eth may grow on me even more. He did well in her world, I’m looking forward to seeing how Jackie handles immersion into his alien culture.
If you like science fiction, I’d really recommend the Terrans. It’s a pretty soft immersion into this genre and is more story than techno jargon. The characters were developed well, and I really wanted to know more about them and follow their growth into the next book. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
For those of you who love swashbuckling action, you’ll LOVE Ignite the Stars! Ia Cocha is the scourge of the stars. Fighting against the Olympus Commonwealth, Ia is part terrorist, part Robin Hood. When the story starts she is trapped on a Tawny ship and is being taken captive. When it is found out that she is just a 17 year old girl and not an adult man, it’s determined that it would be better to bury her in an Academy of students in an unknown location than to put her on trial and kill her. That would look bad, I guess? When she gets to the Academy she is a prisoner of sorts, but able to roam free. She is kept from flying but her mind is always looking for an escape.
Brinn, Ia’s roommate, has a secret. One that she is desperate to keep, but Ia figures her out pretty quickly and blackmails her into doing something for her. Through the sharing of this secret Ia and Brinn develop a friendship of sorts. Brinn, who is kind of prickly because she doesn’t let herself get close to anyone, can let Ia close because she knows her secret. It is this friendship that drives the book. We learn that no one is who we think they are. Ia the terrorist actually has empathy and fights for the underdogs and Brinn the loner comes face to face with her heritage and embraces it. When it finally happens, these two are a powerful team.
There are a whole other cast of characters in this novel. Heroic figures and villainous ones fill the classrooms. Flight Master Knives, just out of school himself, is Ia’s jailer and love interest. Not as gruesome as that sounds, I swear! He has his own issues with the Olympus Commonwealth, most notably his father who is an Admiral and a not so nice character. This love connection between he and Ia is PG rated, but it does allow both of their characters to show another side.
I love a fast moving plot and Ignite the Stars was quick, emotional, and fun. It’s hard to believe this was Maura Milan’s debut novel. It seemed like every character had their own hidden battle they were fighting. I’ll admit that Brinn was probably my favorite character, but Ia was a close second. They were both underdogs, and I do like to root for the underdog. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined.” A Myriad of Books
“For all its shortcomings, Ignite the Stars was a decent, easy read. Knives and Brinn are strong deuteragonists, and Maura Milan has a good deal of fun with the supporting cast. As socially conscious YA, the story integrates a timely if heavy-handed political message on the refugee crisis. As a space opera…eh.” Serendipitous Reads