Posts Tagged 'space'

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

these broken stars

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  374

RAC:  Yes

Lilac is the famous daughter of a prestigious businessman who owns the amazing spaceship, Icarus, that she is currently traveling on.  Tarver is a decorated war hero also traveling on the luxury spaceship, but his experience is much different.  When he tries to speak to Lilac in public she makes it very clear that he is beneath her in every way, but shortly after their public altercation the ship is suddenly pulled out of hyperspace.  They both end up in the same escape pod and it’s Lilac’s quick mechanical skills that free their pod before the ship crashes.  They land on what appears to be an uninhabited planet.  In order to survive they must trek across the planet in search of food, people, or a means to communicate.  The two are very different and do not get along well at first, but over time they must come together for the goal of survival.  Eventually, they start to get close and wonder if they even want to leave their own private planet, but then mysterious things start happening.  They hear voices and see hallucinations, among other things.  What is this place and can it in fact hurt them?

This sci/fi adventure is very exciting with many twists in the plot.  The characters and setting are well developed and interesting, but the ending may confuse some readers.  The pacing seems uneven at times too, with parts moving slowly and then a lot happening at once.  Fans of this genre will enjoy, but most others will pass on this one.

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Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

salvage

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of pages:  520

RAC:  Yes

Ava is a young woman who was born on a merchant ship in deep space and has never set foot on a real planet before.  The only way of life she knows is on board this ship, which includes strict separation of women’s and men’s duties.  Women cook, clean, sew, and have babies while men train for jobs in areas such as business and engineering.  When a rumor comes down that Ava has been betrothed to a man on another ship she cannot help but hope it is the young man she met once when they were kids.  He even encouraged her to fix a broken device herself, which was something women are never allowed to do on her ship.  When the two ships come together Ava makes a very unfortunate mistake and her punishment is death, but she manages to escape to earth.  Is she strong enough to survive going “planetside” after a lifetime of never experiencing that kind of gravity?  Can she find her way in a world that assumes she knows basic skills she was denied on her ship such as learning to read?  Will she ever find a way to punish those on board her home ship who failed to stand up for her under unfortunate circumstances?

Fans of Glow, Across the Universe, and other space adventure stories will enjoy this very real and dangerous life that Ava is living.  The supporting characters are interesting and multi-faceted in a way that the reader can understand their point of view, but at the same time Ava is the heroine of this story.  Values, morals, and other societal laws are called into question as each planet and ship tends to make up their own, but all of these discussions can be applied to different cultures and countries on Earth.

Avalon by Mindee Arnett

avalon

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  418

RAC:  Yes

Jeth and his sister have been working for the evil crime lord, Hammer, ever since their parents were executed for treason and their uncle gambled away their parent’s beloved spaceship, Avalon.  Jeth and his friends work by stealing spaceships to give to Hammer that are then chopped up and sold for pieces.  They are hoping to save enough to buy Avalon back so they can escape for good.  On a routine job, a government official comes to Jeth and claims that his next job will include going to a dangerous part of space to retrieve a lost ship.  He wants Jeth to return the ship to him instead of Hammer and in return promises Jeth full ownership of Avalon as well as the truth about his parents.  Jeth is tempted, but Hammer is not someone people generally cross.  Can he trust this government official?  Does he have a choice?

This space adventure is full of action and twists and turns that keep the reader guessing.  Jeth’s crazy crew all have fun personalities that make them likable and interesting.  The villains are truly terrible people who do unbelievably terrible things.  The plot feels refreshing and unique, unlike some new series out there.  Recommended for fans of Glow, Salvage, and even the Michael Vey series.

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan

flame

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  326

RAC:  Yes

In the third installment of the Sky Chasers Series, everyone is on the New Horizon since the Empyrean was destroyed in the last book.  Anne Mathers is trying to promote peace, but she has both Waverly and Kieran under armed guard at all times since she doesn’t trust their motives.  Both of them are living with their mothers, but they seem a bit off and Waverly wonders what exactly has been done to them to make them so agreeable to everything the New Horizon suggests to them.  Meanwhile, Seth has landed on his own on the ship and has been on the run ever since.  His arm is badly damaged and is in danger of infection, but he just cannot bear to turn himself in.  Everyone on the ship is divided over the conditions they are living in.  Some believe the New Horizon did what they had to to ensure survival while others believe it wrong how they used murder and drugs to get everything they wanted for the Empyrean and the poor girls they violated.  Everyone does want to live peacefully, but can they overcome their past in order to move forward and work toward that goal?  Will Waverly and Kieran end up together just like everyone always planned?

The conclusion of this series is just as exciting as the rest with many close calls for Kieran and Seth especially.  Waverly and Kieran want to move on and promote a peaceful existence, but it is difficult to forget what they have been through and all of their shipmates who died in the process.  Anne Mathers is losing control of her ship, but for the first time Waverly starts to see who exactly created the evil persona she has become.  There are many surprises and the ending is far from predictable, which should intrigue fans.  Overall, it was a very satisfying ending to a fun and creative story.

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  309

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to Glow, Waverly and Kieran are still on the space vessel the Empyrean while trying to lead the other kids on board and plan an attack against The New Horizon for kidnapping their parents.  Kieran has self-appointed himself to the position of captain, which grates on some of the younger kids after what they went through with Seth.  Seth, meanwhile, is in the brig and feeling bad about what he has done.  One day he wakes up and the door to his cell is open.  He walks out, but cannot help feeling like it is a trap.   Kieran is still very afraid of Seth after what happened in the last book and tries to blame everything he can on the face that he escaped.  Seth did not have anything to do with the mysterious goings on on board, but then who did?  It seems unlikely any of these children would want to hurt their own ship or those on it.  Can Waverly assert her power as a leader on this ship?  Can Kieran hold onto his power without abuing it?

The only thing I did not like about this book was that it ended too quickly and there is an entire year before the next one comes out.  Glow was one of my favorite books of the year.  These young teens have to think on a whole new level now that they are in charge of a entire vessel and the pressure starts to get to all of them.  Facts start coming out about what happened before the New Horizon’s attack on the Empyrean and it is easy for readers to see how the characters got to this position, but you can’t help feel for these young people who have suffered so much because of decisions the leaders of these ships made.  It really makes you think about the decisions any leader of a nation has and how those decisions affect generations to come.  This book was full of action and adventure, but it goes quickly and will leave fans hungry for more.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  307

RAC Book:  Yes

Waverly and Kieran live on a giant space ship that houses a large community of people who have fled earth due to the inhospitable conditions.  Waverly and Kieran were actually born on this ship so they never knew earth.  The idea is that after many years they will be able to inhabit a planet called New Earth.  They are not the only ship who deserted earth, but the ship that took off before them left an entire year prior to their departure.  Therefore, they are shocked to see this other ship one day.  The captain assures everyone that everything is okay, but naturally everyone is on edge to see a ship after all this time.  Their suspicions are confirmed when soldiers from that ship attack their home and take all the female children hostage.  Waverly is taken to the new ship against her will and believes it is her job to protect the younger children.  Meanwhile, Kieran is left in a position of power on their home ship, but has difficulty getting others to follow his will.  Will they ever be reunited?  Can they ever sort out all of the lies to find the truth?

This story is simply captivating.  Once you begin it is almost impossible to stop.  There are so many things Waverly and Kieran do not know about the people who have been making all the decisions around them.  In most cases, people they either  trusted or hated end up have sympathetic sides as well as deplorable ones.  The situation is unique, yet the actions taken by the humans seem believable and understandable given the circumstances.  Fans of books with futuristic themes will love this book and will eagerly await the next installment.  Highly recommended.


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