Tag Archive: sci-fi



The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves (The Walking Dead #85-90)The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I had read the graphic novels first. Then I could have said how wonderful the scriptwriters had great ideas in changing things around a bit to make the series last longer. If you saw the bit when Carl recuperates from having his eye shot out, that is where this issue is. But things are more centered on Rick and trying to bring out his softer sides and explore the nearby areas.

When you have seen the show first, this seems weird, but I think I would have liked to see a little less insanity and a little more sadness about the losses he and his friends have experienced.

But either way, the story goes, it must be remembered this is a post-apocalyptic time, and survival is the key. It is impossible to know who are good guys or who are the bad as they all think they are the good guys. It is how we all think. But actions show the people for the camp they are in. That is why I love reading and watching these shows. I think Robert Kirkman and the scriptwriters reveal the humanity and give us all guidelines to remaining humane. I think these are good stories for our present world.

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Cidney Swanson has me under her spell. I love all her books. I feel so fortunate to be able to be an early reader for her. I am especially giddy when she writes about Mars. This latest series is called Shadow of Mars. This was book three. This one is so new it isn’t even listed on Amazon or GoodReads yet. When it is, I will copy from here the parts about her book and paste them there. Usually, it is the other way around. I write the review on GoodReads, then copy to Amazon, and then here on WordPress.

I want to put the picture up here, too. But I don’t know if that is even okay yet. So I’ll do the best I can with my words.

Just a quick blurb, since there isn’t one to grab out there, I’ll see if I can give you a bit of what has happened and what this book is about. Book one was So Dark the Sky, in which our main character Penny Wanjiru, a school teacher, finally gets the chance to go to Mars. But leaving her elderly grandmother makes the decision difficult. Book two was So Bright the Stars, in which Penny is on her way to Mars. This third book is So Still the Dawn, in which Penny is on Mars and wondering if she is going to get to stay.

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love and have loved science fiction, especially space travel. Cidney writes to my inner kid to teen. Especially in her Saving Mars series. But this series is aimed toward adults. Even though I would have read it as a youngster. I read too many of men getting to go to space. They were kids. They were adults. I wish there had been women in space novels who weren’t eye candy. Ms. Swanson makes you feel more that the adult in the book isn’t so much a wimpy woman crying for romance but an adult who happens to be a woman who is brilliant in her own way.

Another wonderful thing Cidney does in her books is dive deep into the character’s psychology. All those creeping thoughts we record early in life that make us feel unworthy or wrong for what good could happen. Cidney brings that forward and helps us to grow with the character. Go Cidney!

Okay, I don’t want to spell it out for you or give you spoilers. As soon as the book goes ‘live’, I will make sure you can go get it. I highly recommend it!


Per Linda:

Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please ping back or link to the daily prompt. To ping back, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Ping backs only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not ping back. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!


Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved book number one. But this one was even better. And I am not a gamer from the 80s. But my adult kids were. They met most of their friends in their games. I think they would like this. But then again, I remember enough of their games and terminology that this was serendipitous for me.

If you read the first book (or even saw the movie), you will remember that the story started fast and nearly left you breathless. This book started lots slower. Video/computer game nostalgia and reconnecting with the main characters keep that slower first part moving and interesting. But you will be left not sleeping and breathless by the end of this book.

Though I bought the Kindle version of the book and then the Audible to Whispersynch both versions. I just liked the way Wil Wheaton acted the story that I gave up reading and just listened.

I can’t wait to reread this. And wow! If there is going to be one, the movie will be even better than book number one! I hope you check it out!

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Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please ping back or link to the daily prompt. To ping back, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Ping backs only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not ping back. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!


The Brothers (Breeders, #4)The Brothers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Breeders series. I almost didn’t read it, but curiosity led me to see what happened to the characters. I have to admit that it was depressing. It is a dystopia, after all. I don’t know what I was expecting in that there are a few more books in the series. (sarcasm) The characters and their family and friends probably have a lot more hardships to go through.

I didn’t hate the book. It was just too depressing to continue. Even so, I will return this one to Kindle Unlimited and get the next one. I’ll catch up on other reading until I am ready to try the rest of the series.

Still, if you like dystopian stories, this series draws you in. By the way, this book didn’t have an Audible version, so I read it with text-to-speech.

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The Benders (Breeders, #3)The Benders by Katie French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book three and aiming to get the next book? I guess I liked it! I am growing to like the characters. Even if the world is dark and they keep finding themself in dangerous places being experimented on or enslaved and lots of running and hiding.

I’ve been listening to the book on Kindle Unlimited. In this case, Audible, narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer. I love how well she acts out the characters.

This is a dark dystopian series. Yeah, I don’t know why in the darkness of 2020 I choose to read these, but I guess it has kept me more optimistic than others as I know it could get worse. Let’s read these and prevent this from happening!

Now on to number four!

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The Believers (Breeders, #2)The Believers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished this book a couple of days ago. Snow, elections, NaNoWriMo, and other distractions got in the way of my review. Sorry.

This is the second book of the Breeder series. The story of the girl looking for her mother and aunt continues. It is far from an easy feat. But Riley and her boyfriend and her brother try to find a way to them.

The story kept me interested. Often I found it nauseating. I think that was the author’s intent. Still, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe it was the train accident effect? You can’t just let it go. You have to look. That is the very reason I just ordered the Kindle Unlimited version. I think the first and second are KU also. So what is there to lose? Find Aunty and Mom!

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The Breeders (Breeders, #1)The Breeders by Katie French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend and I discovered this book and decided to make it a book we both would read somewhat together. I got to it a few days ago and finished two days ago. And just a hint, I have already ordered book 2 of the series.

Now there are bad reviews for this book. I liked it. Not loved. Just liked. But enough to find out what happens next with the characters.

Yes, there are things that stop me while reading. One of the things is that it is written in the present tense. That is hard to pull off. And sometimes I don’t notice it. Other times the characters and plot put me back into the story.

Some have pointed out the problems of the characters being shallow or not living up to the situations they find themselves in. I can’t get that picky about it. I accept what the author has set them up to be and so I just hope for the best for them and try not to prejudge their behaviors. Though there is violence it isn’t gratuitous. It seems necessary for the moment.

This story is a bit different than other post-apocalyptic tales and is therefore fun to read without feeling the terror I felt in previous reads. I couldn’t put it down to sleep because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.

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Ice (1/2986 #3)Ice by Annelie Wendeberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This might not have been a good time for me to read this book or series. And especially as a bedtime read. This was incredibly dark and violent. There are actually trigger warnings on the blurb on the GoodReads page. But I don’t think it was triggery for me. Just too much for reading during an uncertain time.

If you are looking for an apocalyptic/dystopian series and can handle dark and violent, this may be for you.

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Fog by Annelie Wendeberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I found the first book in this series, Cut, so interesting I had to get started on Fog. This one was harder for me to deal with. Shooting children and or bad guys in the fog, nope. I know it is part of what needs to be done in that world, but I just couldn’t handle all of that. My dreams after were so upsetting. Still, I have already started reading the next book, Ice.

I feel in all the books I am missing bits and pieces of what I would have liked to know. The writing is immediate, keeping the reader engaged, even when they don’t want to be, so I overlook what questions I have in hopes of answers later.

I’d love to see what others think of this book and the series.



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So Bright the Stars (Shadow of Mars Book 2)So Bright the Stars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yay! Another well-done sci-fi/Mars book! I would have loved to read this as a teen but love just as much as a septuagenarian. This is the second book in this series. The main character is now on Mars and is trying to fit in with the society that is already there.

Cidney Swanson has researched well to keep the story believable. Without making the story drab. She digs deep into her characters to bring them to life. As I am reading/listening to text-to-speech I find Ms. Swanson has me questioning ‘would I have done that? thought that?’ and the answers are sometimes obvious to the reader but not so much the main character, Penney. Other times the reader is in as much dark as Penney is.

I can’t wait for book three! Meanwhile, I hope you all get a chance to read the first series of Mars, Saving Mars which is more for the young adult, and then this series for adults as the character is an adult. But I see nothing that should keep a younger person from reading anything by Cidney. Enjoy!

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