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After Atlas by Emma Newman ARC {5 Stars}

After Atlas by Emma Newman ARC {5 Stars}

After Atlas by Emma Newman (Planetfall)
Published by Roc on November 8, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Sci-fi
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes...

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of AFTER ATLAS from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter (or three).

The Mountain of Kept Memory is a book that I considered for the Books on Dragonwings December box! It has a really cool world and blends fantasy and sci-fi in fascinating ways, but at 30% I was getting bored. So if you are in the mood for a heavy thinking book rich in details, check this one out.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Mountain of Kept Memory from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier {Just Hatched}

The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier on Nov. 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Genre-bender, Sci-fi
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In this gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Guy Gavriel Kay and Robin McKinley, a prince and a princess must work together to save their kingdom from outside invaders…and dangers within.

Long ago the Kieba, last goddess in the world, raised up her mountain in the drylands of Carastind. Ever since then she has dwelled and protected the world from unending plagues and danger…

Gulien Madalin, heir to the throne of Carastind, finds himself more interested in ancient history than the tedious business of government and watching his father rule. But Gulien suspects that his father has offended the Kieba so seriously that she has withdrawn her protection from the kingdom. Worse, he fears that Carastind’s enemies suspect this as well.

Then he learns that he is right. And invasion is imminent.

Meanwhile Gulien’s sister Oressa has focused on what’s important: avoiding the attention of her royal father while keeping track of all the secrets at court. But when she overhears news about the threatened invasion, she’s shocked to discover what her father plans to give away in order to buy peace.

But Carastind’s enemies will not agree to peace at any price. They intend to not only conquer the kingdom, but also cast down the Kieba and steal her power. Now, Gulien and Oressa must decide where their most important loyalties lie, and what price they are willing to pay to protect the Kieba, their home, and the world.

3 Stars

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A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers {5 Stars}

Becky Chambers has done a superb job in writing this unique, engaging, and entertaining sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (spoilers for Angry Planet after this!).  Set in the same rich, multispecies universe, the action picks up just after the end of the previous book and follows the development of Lovelace, the rebooted AI of the Wayfarer, who decides to leave the ship in a highly-illegal simulated body.  Her journey of self-discovery and growth (while trying to avoid detection) is paralleled by that of a young escaped clone, Jane 23, who must rebuild a shuttle in order to flee the planet where she was kept as part of a slave work force.

The struggles of both sentients for self-determination and freedom kept me turning pages even as the philsophy student in me delighted to have found one of those special science fiction series that characterize the best of this genre – raising questions about ethics and the definition of personhood while spinning a good yarn in a detailed, vast, and complex universe.  Brava!!

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers {5 Stars}

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Wayfarers #2)
Published by Harper Voyager on October 18, 2016
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 365 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who's determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for - and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates.

A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to Becky Chambers' beloved debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Chasing Shadows by K.N. Salustro {3 Stars}

Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro is the first in a planet-hopping science fiction series with flying cats, genetically-modified super soldiers, and a whole lot of energy guns! If you are looking for a sci-fi that has some elements not often seen in the genre while staying true to what is so fun about science fiction, this is a book to check out. Also female bounty hunter ;-).

Note: This is an expedited review, meaning I was paid to read the book and the author chose for this review to be published. See my review policy for details.

Chasing Shadows by K.N. Salustro {3 Stars}

Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro (The Star Hunters #1)
Published by Author on Feb. 24th, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi
Page Length: 244 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

"Stand and Protect."

These are the words Star Federation soldiers live by as they work to uphold peace across the galaxy. Founded at the start of the Andromedan War, the Star Federation obliterated its opponents and now stands as the guardian of the galaxy. Its power has gone largely unchallenged in the wake of the war, and its officers now busy themselves with minor troubles. Once in a while, however, a powerful force surfaces and demands more attention, be it a drug lord, pirate crew, or a bounty hunter worthy of the Alpha Classification.

Following the assassination of one of the Star Federation's officers, Fleet Commander Lance Ashburn goes on the hunt for the Alpha Class bounty hunter known as the Shadow. One of the best officers the Star Federation has ever seen, Commander Ashburn comes closer than anyone ever has to eliminating the Shadow, but upon meeting her, he discovers that much larger and more dangerous enemies roam the stars. Enemies that even hunters fear.

Determined to do his duty as a Star Federation officer, Commander Ashburn fights for the galaxy, but the price of enduring peace may be one that the Shadow is not willing to pay.

Tethered to her own demons, bounty hunter Lissa aka the Shadow has seen the harsher side of the Star Federation, and her priorities do not include carrying out the agenda of a fleet commander. When her past catches up with her, however, Lissa must either surrender herself, or make a stand. Working with and against Commander Ashburn, Lissa could push the galaxy into war... or save it.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man by J. D. Jordan {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Calamity has to be one of the most original books I have ever read.  Taking the western genre and combining it with aliens …. literally big green men …. and a re-telling of the backstory of Calamity Jane makes for a refreshing read.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Calamity from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man by J. D. Jordan {Just Hatched}

Calamity by J. D. Jordan
Published by Heliosphere Books on September 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Genre-bender, Sci-fi, Weird West
Page Length: 300 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

I’m sure you’ve heard of Calamity Jane, but this is not a novel about Calamity Jane.  At least not the Jane you may have read about. Calamity Jane is part of the legends of the Wild West, but long before she scouted with Custer or “Wild Bill” Hickok, she was a fifteen-year-old girl with a fiery temper.

Violence and tragedy turn young Jane’s world upside down and soon she finds herself riding with an alien gunslinger—the Green Man—through a landscape of revenge and betrayal.

Along the way, she learns how to shoot a six-gun and how to stand on her own, even when surrounded by Lakota warriors, and be respected. From space ships to guns that can shoot the wings off a butterfly a mile away, young Jane realizes that the universe is far bigger than the Wild West and that she can trust no one in it to save her but herself.

When the villainous Grays meddling in the wars between the Indians and the government stand in the way of the Green Man making his way home, Jane finds her desire for revenge may be less than her loyalty for the longrider. And in that realization, she becomes the hero the Wild West has long remembered.

So, forget what you know of how the West was won.  Forget the Indian Wars and Custer’s Last Stand.  Instead, learn the truth of what happened when a young girl met a longrider she called the Green Man . . .

3 Stars

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The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd eARC {4 Stars}

The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd is a new fantasy introducing readers to a world where airships sail the skies, humans live on mountains and Gublins haunt the ground. Amid all this, Tak just wants to figure out how to get away with following another royal ship as he avoids helping his father in the silk-weaving business. I love seeing a fantasy/steampunk setting that deftly weaves in actual science to make the setting more believable and intriguing. So many doors are opened when the atmosphere of the world is heavier than our own, including room for dragons and airships!

Note: This is an expedited review, meaning I was paid to read and review this book and the author chose for this review to be published. See my review policy for more information.

The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd eARC {4 Stars}

The Sailweaver's Son by Jeff Minerd
Published by Silver Leaf Books on Sept. 28th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, YA
Page Length: 306 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

In The Sailweaver’s Son, when fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.

Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. The King’s advisors declare the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of devious—and dangerous—underground creatures. To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must visit the Gublins and find out what they know. When the odd and beautiful wizard’s daughter asks Tak to venture to the underworld with her, he reluctantly agrees.

The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Reading Without Walls Blog Tour

Blog Tour Banner (1)

Secret Coders: Paths & Portals

Today it’s time for something a little bit different! Many of you know that I’m a graduate student (for one more year!) in computer science and biology. Therefore, when I was approached about joining in the Reading Without Walls blog tour, I couldn’t say no. I’ve been interested in Secret Coders for a while, but had never had the chance to read it. I’m really glad that I finally did, along with a couple more STEM comic books :D. If you have a kid in your life, I highly recommend these three great books!

Paths & Portals 1

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Fighters, Feared and Fallen by N. D. Richman {2.5 Stars}

Fighters, Feared and Fallen by N. D. Richman is a quick read filled with action and a spooky sci-fi future. While it is a third book, it doesn’t rely heavily on the previous two and so can be read on its own if you are interested in the time travel and boot camp story more than the previous events. While I had some reservations, I did find it a fun and easy read.

Note: This is an expedited review, meaning the author paid to have this review published. For more details, see my review policy.

Fighters, Feared and Fallen by N. D. Richman {2.5 Stars}

Fighters, Feared and Fallen by N. D. Richman (Boulton Quest #3)
Published by Author on June 14th, 2016
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 200 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Thomas is swept into Robert Cain’s web of terror
He's forced to fight in a child army
Against the most evil of people
And learns the first casualty of war is the truth

“If you can’t trust yourself, Thomas, who can you trust?”

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers {5 Stars}

In both history and science-fiction, I have always been drawn to discussions about what the life of an average person would be like.  While the shining knights of both Star Wars and Star Trek catch our eyes, I often wondered what it would be like to be the average Joe or Jane who simply has a routine job on a space ship or space station.  I think that’s why Firefly and Babylon 5 (and yes, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) had such loyal fan bases.  We want to experience vicariously not only the glitter of the space faring elite but also the day-to-day experiences of average Humans doing their jobs alongside alien races far, far from home.

If this sort of book interests you, do yourself a favor and not only get this book but pre-order the sequel that is scheduled for October!!  Trust me, when you finish The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, you’ll be glad you have the next volume reserved.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL, ANGRY PLANET from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers {5 Stars}

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Wayfarers #1)
Published by Harper Voyager on July 5th 2016 (rerelease)
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 443 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space—and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe—in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.

Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers ARC {4.5 Stars}

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers is a sci-fi that took me completely and utterly by surprise. I didn’t know much what to expect, but remembered that I thought it sounded good when I read the description. If a matriarchal futuristic society based on Indian cultural roots with a gunrunner turned princess trying to solve a murder mystery, stop a coup, and stay alive sounds good to you as well, don’t miss this! The comparisons on the back of the ARC discuss combining traits of Han Solo, Leia and Rey, and I whole-heartedly agree with that assessment :D.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Behind the Throne from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers ARC {4.5 Stars}

Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers (The Indranan Wars #1)
Published by Orbit on Aug. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Meet Hail: Captain. Gunrunner. Fugitive.

Quick, sarcastic, and lethal, Hailimi Bristol doesn't suffer fools gladly. She has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. That is, until two Trackers drag her back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir.

But trading her ship for a palace has more dangers than Hail could have anticipated. Caught in a web of plots and assassination attempts, Hail can't do the one thing she did twenty years ago: run away. She'll have to figure out who murdered her sisters if she wants to survive.

A gun smuggler inherits the throne in this Star Wars-style science fiction adventure from debut author K. B. Wagers. Full of action-packed space opera exploits and courtly conspiracy - not to mention an all-out galactic war - Behind the Throne will please fans of James S. A Corey, Becky Chambers and Lois McMaster Bujold, or anyone who wonders what would happen if a rogue like Han Solo were handed the keys to an empire . . .

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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