Tag Archive: sci-fi



Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an adventure!

Fledgling was the last book I read by Octavia E. Butler. I liked that it had a different take and more diversity than many other ‘vampire’ book. So I wanted to see more by this author.

This book takes the apocalyptic point of view from the beginning of the end. Our main character is the daughter of a preacher. She is black but the color of her skin is not the point. She is a teenager in a protected community that suddenly isn’t. As a teen, she sees things her own way, not like her parents or anyone else. So it is a story of growing up in social, physical, and psychological chaos.

I have to admit to loving the story. I did get tired of the God Seed of her making against the biblical verses of her father. But it was her experience so I accepted it as the character point of view not preaching to the reader. This blended with her bringing together a group of people wandering up the California highway and byways while protecting each other and defending their rights to live in this new world.

Though the story leaves the reader in a safe place, not a cliffhanger, I feel the need to read the next and see what happens now that they have settled. My e-library had this one but not the next so I requested they get it.

It must be nice for black readers to have stories that reflect them. I’m not black but I would love to see diversity more often. As much as I am loving seeing female authors writing strong female characters, let’s see more of the female experience in other races and experiences. Maybe our future generations of people will have books written from all points of view encouraging the reading experience by all society! I’d love to read more about women who are in their sixties and seventies and older! Let’s make sure everyone gets to see the world from characters like them!

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If you read the above you will notice I used the prompt word ‘social’ a couple times. I was going to do two separate posts but computer issues prevented it. So this is a combo of Review and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book kept me awake! I couldn’t stop reading. Meg Elison’s writing was engaging; the main character was believable and interesting. The plot was well thought out and much more plausible than zombie-apocalypse. It is a similar idea in that masses get sick and die, but no biters. It just sucks because a lot of people die. Mostly women and newborns. Again, it’s possible.

With that scenario, the story is told in many ways. There is a third-person point of view. Then the main character writes in her journal bringing it to first-person. Thrown in are chapters about other characters or even globally how others are dealing with a new world with very few women. And though I read this Kindle Unlimited version with Whispersynch to the Audible, I found myself READING as much as listening because even the fonts were different and interesting.

But without the narration by Angela Dawe, the book becomes less. Angela’s acting was flawless and added a lot to the story. I think this book is read best the way I did it as all the layers the author intended are there.

Though this was book one and you know there is more, there was no cliffhanger. You reach a natural somewhat comfortable ending. I was just excited to know there was more! I have already downloaded the Audible and Kindle Unlimited of book two. I can hardly wait to get to it!

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FledglingFledgling by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a different take on a vampire story. I listened to the Audio from my Library Overdrive system. There was nothing scary about the main character. There were some of her kind that were, but the author didn’t stay with them. This story goes with the main character who is a young vampire who has lost her memory.

I finished this audio a couple of days ago. I can’t remember the MCs name. I did like her and rooted for her. I liked her humans, too. But towards the end, I didn’t like it so much. The court scenes were kind of boring. And the worst part was that I wanted to see more of what happened after. I felt the story ended abruptly.

Still, I think I will remember the feelings this story gave me. For that, I upped my rating from three and a half to four stars.

I did like the writing, too. It’s worth the read.

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SmilodonSmilodon by Alan Nayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My husband seemed really excited about a book he was reading. He even brought it into the living room with his headset while I was watching some show. He doesn’t usually read during the day. He is usually on the computer during the day. So I asked him about the book. It sounded exciting. I was able to borrow it on Kindle.

He was right it was right. It was exciting.

Anyone who reads my reviews know I am on a mission to read mostly female authors with strong female characters. After all, I spent my first sixty years like most people, reading mostly male authors and male characters. This book didn’t fit my new goal. But my husband convinced me that is was intriguing. So I couldn’t resist.

I have to admit that the first few chapters were boring. It was male heavy. And the only females were eye-candy. The main female (secondary character) was the ranger in charge but was seldom given her due of being in charge.

Beyond those complaints, the Smilodon part of the story was exciting. Imagine a creature that big that takes over a park! I don’t want to give any spoilers. It is well worth the read, but maybe not at night. It was hard to sleep after!

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Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darn cliffhangers! I cannot wait until the library can get book two onto my Kindle Fire! That is the only reason I rated it four stars.

If you are a sci-fi fan like me, especially the kind that include space travel or new planets, you’ll love it, too. One of my friends recommended this to me and she is not wrong, this is my kind of book!

Ren is the main character. She has some personal issues but tries to stay professional. We aren’t sure what causes her to be the way she is. But we like her and follow her life on this planet. Other characters aren’t nearly as developed but don’t need to be. There are a couple of them that are not as nice or are too pushy but, hey, in any group of people there are going to be individuals who are not as accessible.

The science used in this book was fascinating. It all seems not only plausible but necessary if we are ever to explore other worlds.

What isn’t often explored in sci-fi are mental issues and how that could affect all on a new planet. And mental issues may not be there at the beginning when being processed towards being an astronaut but that doesn’t mean that issues won’t come about later to trigger individuals.

I love how issues like anxiety and depression and even hoarding are brought up. As we all know, the patient is the one that has to ask for help for help to be most effective. I seem to be making this sound clinical, it isn’t. It is exciting and kept me up reading far longer than I should. The excitement of a new planet and flora and fauna never seen before kept my interest until nearly sunrise a couple of nights.

I highly recommend this book. And as I said, I can’t wait for the next book to become available.

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Light from Other StarsLight from Other Stars by Erika Swyler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now this is what I’m talking about! This was such a good book I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next!

Even though the story goes back and forward in time I always knew whose point of view it was and when it was. A lot of books don’t make it very clear for those of us who ‘read’ through text-to-speech.

It starts out with the explosion of the Challenger. The main character was 11. Being an astronaut was her life long dream. I was 37. Like everyone else that year, my heart was broken. So to read of a child who shared my dreams and losses I was caught up, hook, line, sinker and all.

There is so much that happens in the book. I could only keep reading to keep the characters alive in my mind. I’m so sad the book is over. I want more! It was a nice ending and I had tears dripping from missing the book already.

I got the book from NetGalley. I am so glad I did. It was a good description that drew me to that book. It didn’t let me down. In fact, I would love to see a book two of this story. Even though it ended quite satisfactorily.

If you get the chance to read it, do so. I’m sure fellow sci-fi fans will love it!

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Pulse (Pulse Effex #1)Pulse by L.R. Burkard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What if a solar EMP hit and all electronics, even in cars and landline phones stopped working and it was in the middle of one of our coldest winters? Good plot premise.

Three teen girls from the same clique at school can’t get to each other or school. Written in their points of view in their journals, first person. And not too much teen romantic angst.

Sounds like my kind of book.

If it had stayed with the above status I would have loved it.

It was a political anti-everyone that isn’t them propaganda. Gun carrying prolifers–only ours, no one else’s counts. Judgemental as all get out.

I believe the best Christians are humble and caring for others. No matter whether they think or look like me or not. ‘We are all made in the image of God.’ ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The christians in this book represent a lot of people who pick and choose which verses to preach believing it makes them more holy.

Stepping off my soapbox now. There were plenty of different scenarios in how folks are dealing with this new world. In real life right now, we are going through a very cold snowy winter so a lot is believable.

Hunger is the first and biggest problem in this story as there are no stores or ways to get food. As abhorrent as a lot of the book is, the writing is good and I didn’t throw it across the room because there are all kinds of people in this world and this story is from one kind of view.

Which is why I felt shooting that many people, thinking they were in the right and others who were hungry were wrong… was wrong.

What would I do if I lived through the situation our main characters were in? Is there a way as we prepare for such as this that we try to share our abundance. As we prepare we have to remember that our case of food is kept in our car or home and the catastrophe is an earthquake, volcano, or fire and that case of food is destroyed. When we are prepared but but end up the hungry ones, how would we like to be treated? I have rarely missed a meal. I can’t imagine being that cold, tired, and hungry.

Regardless of politics, I’m glad I read it. I won’t bother with the rest of the series. There are a lot better sci-fi’s to see the post-apocalypse through a more open-minded prep and love.

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The Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien ChroniclesThe Alien Within: Book 2 of The Alien Chronicles by Robin Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I like this book better than the first one. There was a little more sanity and well thought out decisions made. Of course, there was a little teen angst but it seemed the major characters thought with true love and caring for the object of the love.

The author chose to go into the heads of the major characters to give the reader insight into their souls. I think I would have loved this book as a teen. I liked it a lot as an adult.

The ending came far too soon but at the appropriate time. I can’t wait to read the next book! I’d love to see the author take us to the cloud to meet the other aliens that were still in their own form and see how this Alien turned human affects their thoughts and ways of living.

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My Alien (The Alien Chronicles Book 1)My Alien by Robin Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I have rated this three stars, I still went and bought the next book. I have to stay true to me and my feelings.

The first part of this book is a lot like The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Ugh! what a horrid book that was. So as this alien takes over this teen girl it feels just like that!

Then this turned into a YA. Yes, with all that angst! UGH! times two!

By this point, I was ready to throw the book away. But I couldn’t get my other book to load up. So I continued reading. Somewhere around the three-quarters mark, I somehow cared for a couple of the characters.

I didn’t like the ending, a bit of a cliff-hanger. But curiosity got the better of me. I want to see what happens.

If you liked The Host, you might love this book, too. If you love teen angst, this is right up your alley,

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The Hierophant's Daughter (The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy, #1)The Hierophant’s Daughter by M.F. Sullivan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Confusion mixed with action. I kept reading past understanding what was going on. I blamed using text-to-speech as often I am not sure what is going on in books. I miss the cues of a new chapter and who it is dedicated to. Or misinterpret what is it all about. So I’ll own what I didn’t get.

If a book is confusing I often keep reading and the context will bring me up to date. Or I will give it up. This book had enough action that I thought I’d stick it through. I got into it enough to care about the main character but I just didn’t understand the rules of the game as the main character seemed confused about it all, too. For the confusion, I’m rating it one star.

I’m grateful to NetGalley to have the chance to read it. It just wasn’t for me.

Oh, hey, I think I’ll move this up to three stars. I just remembered how diverse the characters were, the main character grieving her wife was maybe what pulled me in and made me care.

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