Tag Archive: Space


Review: Shafter


Shafter Shafter by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twelve year old Darlene would have LOVED this book. Yet at 64 I love it even deeper. As a kid, reading about Trina’s adventures on her home world while dreaming of space travel would have captured my heart, as that was my dream. As an older adult, I can see the fuller picture that includes the choices Trina and her sister, Katie, must make as they grow to become adults.

 

Feminism embraces these choices. The old world explorers knew some of these choices. Stay with the family you know or explore. Meeting new people and finding yourself in new family happens, our population wouldn’t be so large if that wasn’t the case. But then which dream to do you follow? Do you stay or do you go? Can you live without your loved ones? Would they want you to? All these questions are addressed within a tight, well-written story I didn’t want to leave.

 

You know those tales you leave with sadness, that make you read slower to savor your time with the characters but the plot won’t let you? Yeah, that’s what happened to me with this book. I am so glad to know Margaret McGaffey-Fisk! Maybe I can put peer pressure on her to make this a series? What an excellent read!

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Review: Space Junque


Space Junque
Space Junque by L.K. Rigel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Strong fem lead. Check. Space ships and shuttles. Check. Dystopian post apocalyptic world. Check. Adventure. Check. BUT… The story had holes and often lost me. Dare I even say, it bored me? Yet, I couldn’t resist looking to see if I have book two. Big mistake. I’ve started reading it. Actually, not only do I have the next book, I have the omnibus edition with all three books. So that is what I will be reading from next.

Space Junque has been on my to read shelf for so long I had forgotten it. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. It is unique in the genre. I’m hoping the next parts of the story are better.

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Review: Mars Rising


Mars Rising
Mars Rising by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO SAD! This is the end of the series. I could live in this series forever. I want to be Jess, or Harpreet. They are my favorite characters. Both are pilots who fly between Earth and Mars and globally on either. Oh, include the moon in that for Jess.

REAL science fiction. Real research involved in the science. These things are all possible and hopefully the space travel will be something we do.

Mars as a colony is grand! Its a believable world peopled according to what is possible in the beginnings of populating another planet.

Creepy things have taken over the political system of Earth. Such a marvelous planet to an outsider. Rain, oceans, breathable air. But recycling bodies? ‘Rebodying’. Ew. Although some of the science might be worth looking into for incurable diseases.

I know. You are looking at what I am saying and wondering what in the world I am talking about. Sorry. I should stick with reviewing. I try so hard not to make spoilers that I find relaying what the book is about nearly impossible. Meanwhile, these are the books I would have died to have to read when I was a kid. Still they hold up for me at 64. Though a little heavy in males, I find that the author has included all ages and sexes which is refreshing. And they learn from each other.

Okay, there is a bit of romance, but Jess isn’t all googly she holds on to herself and the couple completes each other intellectually and emotionally. That, too, is refreshing.

Cidney Swanson, also took a chance an included a sibling that has a disability. Jess’s brother, Ethan, seems to be a bit of a savant or has autism or Asberger’s Syndrome. She never labels his differences as such, just describes him with his assets and problems in ways that he is just human like all of us. Ms. Swanson is amazing in how she portrays this character.

In fact, the writing of these books is fantastic. I think I found an editing oops, but it was so minor that I can’t remember it at all. THAT’s how an author writes!

The series ended very well. I was glad to stick it out to the end. I didn’t have that incomplete feeling I often feel at the ends of books. Even still, I feel I will have to reread them all again and again! I recommend everyone who is a sci-fi buff to read them all. By the way, The first book, Saving Mars, is free right now. But for once I don’t feel bad about spending the money on the rest of the series. I think Ms. Swanson’s promotions of her books are very well done. Please, find these and enjoy them like I did–do.

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Doctor Who The Pirate Loop
Doctor Who The Pirate Loop by Simon Guerrier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What was I thinking? Me? Reading a paperback? These old eyes can’t handle that small font. I had to read it in short chunks, about 10 pages was all I could handle without my eyes hurting. But it was Doctor Who. My favorite Doctor. And I like Martha. So, since I knew the people I didn’t get lost like I might have without the visual aids in my brain. Also, this is a book full of dialogue to make the paragraphs short with lots of space between lines.

I only gave this book three stars. Not because of any great fault in the writing. But because there were things said and done that weren’t characteristic for the Doctor or Martha. Example: ‘Wosname’ is said often in Terry Pratchett books, but the Doctor doesn’t say this on the show. There were other bits like that that pulled me out of the program. For some reason I can’t remember the other examples.

Still it was a fun read and would be a great beach read. I think it would have been fun as an episode of the Doctor with David Tennant. And probably for those with good eyes this would be a quick read.

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Review: Vitality


Vitality
Vitality by M.A. George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want a light read that is fun and full of adventures? This series offers all that. As I said in my review of the previous book, this is a combination of sci-fi/fantasy/YA/Romance.

I love the characters and their talents. What I still have a problem with is that the main character only uses hers to get herself in trouble. She is immature for 118, she’s immature for 18. And the constant fainting is just annoying. At least the author has the character and her friends acknowledge this trait. What is even more annoying is that this is supposed to be a person that is a doctor and scientist. She has gone through all that schooling and has dealt with people going back to Churchill. She is long past teen tantrums. As for her taking chances, that might be less too with maturity. Not that she has any of the horrid aches and pains or fragileness of old age, but just an ability to foresee who she is putting at risk by her actions should be called to mind.

Even so, when you let all that go, this is a fun read. I loved all three books in the series, Proximity, Relativity and this one Vitality. I think even late grade school students would enjoy this. I would have read and enjoyed it had it been around for me in fifth or sixth grades. There is very little science, it is merely alluded to with space travel and other innovations. The talents these aliens possess are more what feels fantasy. Oh, and there is one human from Earth. How I wish he would have been more involved.

Oh, the romance! Not my thing. Have at it girls! In fact, that is why I don’t think guys will like this so much. Still, it was a nice book to escape into.

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Review: Relativity


Relativity
Relativity by M.A. George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What if there was a marriage of fantasy/sci-fi/romance/YA? What would it look like? Look no more. It’s here. Written from the aliens’ point of view, the ones in love, future King and Queen of a planet, not Earth. Earth is where the main characters lived in secret hiding from the bad guys from their own planet. But that was the last book, book 1. In this one, we get the space travel and battles. And love…

For me that was the part I didn’t like. The gooey-eyed lovy-doviness of it all. Though the main character is 118 years old she acts as a pouty, immature 16 year old. Luckily the man (alien) of her dreams is more mature. I’m so glad there is a lot more story around this young adult(?) fiction. Oh, and I hate when the main character is knocked unconscious and is weak and puny. Ugh! When I was a teen I would have read this and passed it to my romance-crazy friend. Heinlein this wasn’t. Still I assume that young girls who have stars in their eyes would like it.

Space travel and the fantasy parts of finding talents the characters didn’t know they had, that’s what I love!. In spite of what I didn’t like, I found that Ms. George writes a well and tells a unique tale. And I almost forgot to write this as I had already started reading book 3. It has hooked me in spite of myself!

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Review: Striking Mars


Striking Mars
Striking Mars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best sci-fi series I have ever read. Lots of space travel and well researched situations to keep the reader engaged. Check out my reviews on the previous four books to feel my glow. I am so excited that there is going to be yet one more book that I totally turned ‘Fan Girl’. As soon as I finished reading this book last night I wrote to the author to gush and beg for the next one. Gosh, I can’t wait to read six. It is supposed to be out this Spring, yet another reason I want Winter to LEAVE!

Once again, I am so impressed with the main character Jess and her autistic (?) hacker brother, Ethan. There is a lot of enjoying time on Mars through the family left there, time on Earth, and even time on the Moon. It was just so much fun!

Please do yourself a favor and grab the triology for $2.99 Then enjoy a great adventure. Then follow up with the science links that Ms. Swanson puts in the back of the book. It is worth every penny!

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The Saving Mars Series
The Saving Mars Series by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. Goodness. I love, love, love this series! Oh, how I wish this would have been around when I was a young adult. I think it would have been the motivation I needed to pursue being an astronaut, math skills be damned!

Don’t be afraid to read it if you are a little younger than a “young adult”. I think even as young as a 10 year old could read it as this is a fairly benign story. Still it is a great adventure with space travel and futuristic life on Mars and Earth. I’m 64. I can’t get enough of these books. There are older characters to relate to in the story, too.

Speaking of characters, as much as I love the girl from Mars, Jess, her brother, Eth, is even more fascinating. He is a highly functioning autistic person or maybe he has Asberger’s syndrome. The author never applies a label, which I find refreshing. Eth uses what he knows and plays the role he is assigned in the mission even through his own disabilities. But then the rest of the crews does the same thing. Each character has their own short-comings and strengths. That is why the series works so well.

As I have stated in the reviews of the first two books, I think guys would like this as much as the gals as there are characters they can relate to, and the action and adventure just keeps coming.

On this, the third book for me, I found it a little less action and more setting the stage for more to come. I can hardly wait for the next book, but I have to wait for my next paycheck as I have spent my allotment for books for this month. By the way, this three volume set is still $.99.

I think everyone, especially science fiction buffs will love this series. The author has done her homework and even gives websites for Mars fans to look up all they need to know about Mars and spaceflight. Enjoy!

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Review: Defying Mars


Defying Mars
Defying Mars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is so much fun, so exciting, that I read book 1 and this book 2 straight through. Then I was stranded without book 3. Yikes! As luck would have it the boxed set came on sale for $.99 so I picked it up and started to read the #3.

The first three are still on sale:

http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Mars-Books-1-3-ebook/dp/B00HC62PDK/ref=la_B005344OTQ_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387868613&sr=1-10

It is often the case that a sequel isn’t as good as the first book. In this case I think this one was even more exciting. I read until 4 in the morning just to see what would happen. The characters and worlds are well built and believable. In this book we get to know more about the support team and the depth of the antagonist.

So far in the series there are no cliffhangers. The reason to keep reading is that you care about the characters and worlds. Cidney Swanson’s writing style works for me. I had already read the Rippler series by her, and I think Saving Mars is even better.

Though this is considered Young Adult I think anyone could read it and have a great adventure. And it isn’t just for teen girls. I think guys of all ages would like this, too. All you need to be is a science fiction fan to love it!

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Review: Saving Mars


Saving Mars
Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my! I finished this book two days ago. Why haven’t I written a review yet? Because it was so good I couldn’t wait to read the next book. Oops! I have no self-control when it comes to good books!

If you love science fiction with a spot of fantasy thrown in this is the book for you.

It fit all my criteria for my recent reading goals. This had a strong main character, who happened to be female. This character was flawed as were the other folks that people this novel and its planets. This story is quite accessible to male readers, too. And though I tagged it as Young Adult, I think any age would love it. It may have a few concepts too strong for little ones, but even those could be conversation starters. I would say this is easily rated G. Not to mention this old lady LOVED it!

All that said… As I mentioned before, I have book two already started, but I worried. I didn’t have book three. Today I saw that the box set of the trilogy was $.99. Grabbed it! Hope it is still on sale tomorrow for the rest of you! Sorry I am so late to let you all know.

Now back to reading.

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