Sleeping Giants Review

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain NeuvelSleeping Giants
by Sylvain Neuvel (April 2016)

Rose is riding her new bike in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings, in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the bizarre artifact remains a mystery-its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected. But some can never stop searching for answers.

Pin for laterAdd to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Enjoyable
3 Stars - Recommended

Book Review

Whether you love Sleeping Giants or not will come down to how much you enjoy your science fiction filtered through interviews and written artifacts. The interview format makes for a lightning-fast read. The narrative skips from highlight to highlight, allowing a lot of story time to pass quickly. As parts of an alien robot are discovered, assembled and studied, the interviews are used as a Cliff Notes overview of significant events. The style leaves out tedious details and keeps the action moving without too much exposition.

The interview format also creates an emotional distance that keeps Sleeping Giants from being engaging. Every suspenseful moment is diluted by after-the-fact descriptions. Emotions are described (in analytic detail), not experienced. Heard only through their answers, which are often evasive or angry, characters are unsympathetic. The interviews cover complicated relationships between the investigative team, causing some sections to feel like melodramatic accounts of inter-office drama.

Sleeping Giants‘ interview format is both its strength and its weakness, and is likely to provoke polarizing extremes in its readers.

I received an advance copy of Sleeping Giants from the publisher for review.

Recommended for:
* Experimental format: through interviews
* Intriguing alien artifacts
* Interpersonal drama among science and military personnel

If you like Sleeping Giants, check out these book recommendations!

Advertisements

Ten Tales of Science Fiction Noir

Ten Tales of Science Fiction Noir

Science fiction and noir have been classic companions since Asimov and Phillip K. Dick, and the combo is still going strong. (Think Blade Runner.) If you’re in the mood for sharp shadows and dark secrets, tag along with a sci fi detective for a tale of mystery and intrigue.

Ten Tales of Science Fiction Noir:

1. Shovel Ready | Adam Sternbergh
2. The City and the City | China Mieville
3. Altered Carbon | Richard K. Morgan
4. The Disappeared | Kristine Kathryn Rusch
5. Caves of Steel | Isaac Asimov
6. Leviathan Wakes | James S.A. Corey
7. Gun, With Occasional Music | Jonathan Lethem
8. The Demolished Man | Alfred Bester
9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? | Philip K. Dick
10. The Prefect | Alistair Reynolds

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is If you’re in the Mood For.

Status

Top Ten Canon Couples

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Canon Couples

Alana & Marko, Saga Series by Brian K. Vaughan
They fell in love across a battle line, and that brutal war is nothing compared to what they’ll have to do to stay together and raise a forbidden child. They’re fierce, clueless, idealistic, naive and stubborn. I’m rooting for them against all odds.

Patroclus & Achilles, Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
You can’t find a love story more tragic than one out of a Greek epic, and Miller’s prose makes the world of the Iliad come to life. I knew how it would end, and fell in love anyway.

Rachel & Trent, The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison
My favorite series for character development over time, and nowhere is that better illustrated than through the eventual relationship of Rachel & Trent. They start as adversaries, then eventually friends and ultimately lovers. But it’s not hate turn to love. It’s personal growth, through a crazy series of hardships, that changed them both from what they were at the beginning. Their journey made them ready for love, and perfect for each other.

Amaranthe & Sicarius, Emperor’s Edge Series by Lindsay Buroker
Sicarius is a quiet, deadly assassin who everyone fears. Amaranthe is the goofy, slightly obsessive leader who dares to order him around anyway. She teaches him to smile and use his skills for a purpose. He stays at her side no matter what, and gives her the courage to take on the impossible. They’re just adorable.

Xena & Gabrielle, Xena: The Warrior Princess, TV show
They’re strong women in different ways, bring out the best in each other, and stay together to the end. What’s not to love? Plus, it proved awesome women could be surrounded by men without belittling or being threatened by them, and two women could find love without treating every man who came before as a place holder. Waaaay ahead of its time.

Darrow & Mustang, Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
NO BOOK 3 SPOILERS PLEASE!
He’s a damaged protagonist who needs her reminders to treat the people around him with kindness. She’s a privileged member of a brutal society blinded to some aspects of that society. They’re capable of violence and betrayal, and will break your heart again and again. But they complement each other so well that it makes me want for it to all work out in the end. (No guarantees.)

Lucius & Narcissa, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
My love of this canon couple is based on fanfiction and art as much as on JKR’s books, but whatever. Slytherin love all the way.

Finnikin & Evanjalin, Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
These two come together as refugees cast out of their kingdom, and have to reclaim a home for their people. But it’s seeing how they change and grow stronger together afterwards when they thought the hardships would be over that makes them one of my top canon couples.

Jamie & Claire, Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (& TV show)
Theirs is a real marriage, with moments of doubt, fear and violent disagreement. They function as equals, in a time when that would be shocking, and their relationship is a constant series of negotiations and rebalancing. For all its swoon-worthy origins, I’ve never seen a more realistic portrayal of marriage over the whole series.

Vin & Elend, The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Vin grows from a paranoid street kid to a confident warrior, and Elend from a political theory geek to a wise leader. They see potential in each other long before anyone else, and bond for who they are on the inside.

What I learned:
I like my ships:
* Partnerships between equals
* Long-term relationships > Happily ever afters
* Series couples > Standalone romances
* Fantasy > Science Fiction
* Books > Television

The Fantasy > SciFi preference is mostly a side effect of reading more long series in fantasy. My science fiction picks are usually standalones, and less likely to contain a pairing at all.

Who are your favorite canon couples?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is a freebie Valentine’s Day list.

Last Song Before Night Review

Book Review: Last Song Before NightLast Song Before Night
by Ilana C. Meyer (2015)

Long ago, poets were Seers with powerful magic. Then the enchantments of Eivar were lost. Now a song is only words and music, and no more.

But when a dark power threatens, two poets must restore enchantment to the land. The road to the Otherworld, where the enchantments reside, will imperil their lives and test the deepest desires of their hearts.

Pin for laterAdd to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended

Book Review

If you enjoy music, bards, and lyrical descriptions of the arts, then you’ll love this song-infused fantasy world.

Last Song Before Night takes a while to start moving, but the world is rich and interesting. It’s a book to take your time with. Flowing prose complements the story, creating the feel of music on the page. It’s a pleasurable escape to savor as you read, and the story pacing picks up a lot by the end. Overall, Last Song Before Night is a solid fantasy with a lyrical feel.

Recommended for:
* Music lovers
* Fantasy fans
* Lyrical prose

If you like Last Song Before Night, check out these book recommendations!

Status

If you like 5th Wave – 10 Tales of Alien Invasion

If you like 5th Wave - Ten Tales of Alien Invasion for Teens. Young adult book recommendations from Come Hither Books

As 5th Wave hits theaters, it’s the perfect time to stay up late with an action-packed story of alien invasion and conspiracy. Each of these young adult stories features aliens on Earth. Whether they are friend or foe, strangers or the boy next door, you can’t miss with one of these great science fiction stories.

If you like 5th Wave, try one of these extraterrestrial tales today.

Ten Tales of Alien Invasion for Teens:

1. We Are the Ants | Shaun David Hutchinson
2. Illuminae | Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
3. In the After | Demitria Lunetta
4. Ender’s Game | Orson Scott Card
5. The Knife of Never Letting Go | Patrick Ness
6. Shade’s Children | Garth Nix
7. Midnight City | J. Barton Mitchell
8. Rush | Eve Silver
9. Assault | Brian Falkner
10. I Am Number Four | Pittacus Lore

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is a freebie topic.

Top 5 Fantasy Releases – September 2015

Top Five Fantasy Releases for September 2015

September promises to be a good month for fantasy. With new series from Jim Butcher and N.K. Jemisin, plus several promising debuts, there’s plenty here to keep fantasy fans busy reading. Here are the top five most intriguing fantasy novels for adults this September. Don’t miss these great new releases!

Add The Fifth Season to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Fifth Season by N.K. JemisinThe Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun’s husband murders their son and kidnaps their daughter. The mighty empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years collapses. Worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent, a great red rift opens, spewing enough ash to darken the sky for centuries. Now Essun must pursue her family through a deadly, dying land. The world is falling apart, but Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
The Fifth Season comes out August 4 from Orbit.
By the author of the Dreamblood series!

Add The Aeronaut's Windlass to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim ButcherThe Aeronaut’s Windlass – Jim Butcher
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. He’s taken the side of Spire Albion in the cold war with Spire Aurora by attacking their cargo vessels. But when Predator is damaged, Grimm is offered a deal: join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for restoring Predator. But the conflict between Spires is merely the beginning. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for ten thousand years, has begun to stir.
The Aeronaut’s Windlass comes out September 29 from Roc.
By the author of The Dresden Files and The Codex Alera!

Add Sorcerer to the Crown to Goodreads or see more reviewsSorcerer to the Crown by Zen ChoSorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift sets him on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain and the world at large.
Debut author!

Add The Traitor Baru Cormorant to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonThe Traitor Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson
The Empire of Masks is coming. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate and join the Masquerade to learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up to set her people free.
Debut author!

Add Updraft to Goodreads or see more reviewsUpdraft by Fran WildeUpdraft – Fran Wilde
In a city high above the clouds, danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend. Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and trade at her mother’s side. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body demand she become one of them. To save her family from censure, Kirit must give up her dreams and train at the Spire. But the Spire hides secrets that could change her city forever.
Debut author!

Top 5 Science Fiction Releases – September 2015

Top Five Science Fiction Releases for September 2015

September promises some great scifi novels. Here are the top five new and recent science fiction books for adults this September. Don’t miss these great new releases!

Add Zer0es to Goodreads or see more reviewsZer0es by Chuck WendigZer0es – Chuck Wendig
Five hackers are detained by the U.S. government and forced to work as white-hat hackers to avoid federal prison. At a secret complex, the “Zeroes” will spend the next year as an elite cyber-espionage team. But the Zeroes uncover secrets to make the most dedicated conspiracy theorist’s head spin. Soon they’re not just serving time, they’re trying the ultimate hack: burrowing deep into the U.S. government from the inside, and hoping they’ll get out alive.
By the author of the Miriam Black series

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Drafter by Kim HarrisonThe Drafter – Kim Harrison
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her, Peri Reed is a renegade. She is a drafter, with a skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name on a list of corrupt operatives, she joins forces with a rogue soldier to piece together the truth about her final task.
By the author of the Hollows series!

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsSupersymmetry by David WaltonSupersymmetry – David Walton
Ryan Oronzi has developed a technology that makes soldiers nearly invincible. But the technology gives power to a quantum creature known as the varcolac, which begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and make him a pawn in its bid to control the world. The only people with a hope of defeating the varcolac are two young women, but defeating it may mean losing themselves.

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsLast Exodus by Paul TassiLast Exodus – Paul Tassi
The Earth lies in ruins after an extraterrestrial invasion, the land devastated by a war with no winners. The only people left alive have done horrific things to survive. Like Lucas. The search for his family is the one thing that drives him to outlive his dying planet. Instead, he finds hope: a working ship buried in a crater wall. To fly it, Lucas must join forces with an alien scientist and a merciless raider. They must find common ground, or die on a ruined Earth. Debut author!

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsLuna: New Moon by Ian McDonaldLuna: New Moon – Ian McDonald
As the leader of the Moon’s newest corporation, Adriana Corta has wrested control of the Helium-3 industry from Mackenzie Metal and earned her family’s new status. She’s made many enemies. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her enemies, and from each other.
Luna: New Moon comes out September 22 from Tor Books.

Leviathan Wakes Review

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. CoreyLeviathan Wakes (2011)
Expanse #1
by James S.A. Corey

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from Saturn’s rings to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew find a derelict ship, they find a secret they never wanted. Someone is willing to kill to cover up the truth, and war is brewing.

Detective Miller is looking for a missing girl. When the trail leads to Holden’s mystery ship, he realizes the girl may be the key to everything. Holden and Miller must thread the needle between Earth’s government, Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations. The odds are against them, but one small ship could change the fate of the universe.

Pin for laterAdd Leviathan Wakes to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Highly Recommended
5 Stars - Highly Recommended

Book Review

Leviathan Wakes is the perfect blend of science fiction, mystery, and horror. It starts out noir in a world of teeming spaceports and isolated outposts, then takes a turn into Lovecraftian horror as the plot races forward. The mystery delivers an obsessed detective on the trail of the case he can’t forget, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. The horror elements come late, but are chilling enough to satisfy.

Holden and Miller are viewpoint characters with polar opposite beliefs and conflicting morals. Their actions spring naturally from what they believe, and drive the plot. Rarely have I seen differing beliefs shown so clearly, with neither side cast as fully right or wrong.

If you love cross-genre reads or complex characters in conflict, you’ll love Leviathan Wakes. (And if you like to read the book before the TV show, The Expanse is coming to SyFy this December. Here’s hoping they get the balance right.)

Recommended for:
* Science fiction fans with a love of cross-genre elements
* Mystery or horror fans looking for something different
* Well-developed characters with complex moral beliefs

If you like Leviathan Wakes, check out these book recommendations!

Top 5 YA Science Fiction & Fantasy Releases – September 2015

Top 5 YA Picks - Science Fiction & Fantasy for September 2015

September promises some great YA genre novels. Here are the top five new and upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy novels for young adults. The list includes fantasy, science fiction and dystopian reads. Don’t miss these great YA new releases!

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
What if you aren’t the Chosen One? What if you’re Mikey? He just wants to graduate, go to prom and maybe work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone blows up the high school. Again. Sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here comes out October 6 from Harper Teen.
By the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsSix of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
In Ketterdam, anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
Six of Crows comes out September 29 from Henry Holt.
By the author of the Grisha Trilogy

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsCourt of Fives by Kate ElliottCourt of Fives – Kate Elliott
Jessamy acts like an upper-class Patron and dreams of the freedom of the Commoners. Away from her family, she trains for the Fives, an athletic competition that offers glory to the best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos. When Kal’s powerful uncle threatens to tear her family apart, she’ll risk royal vengeance to save them.
Court of Fives is out now from Little Brown Books.
YA debut by the author of the Spiritwalker trilogy

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsZeroes by Scott WesterfeldZeroes – Scott Westerfeld
Ethan has a way with words. But he’s not just a smooth talker. He says things he doesn’t consciously know. Now, the voice has lied and Ethan’s in trouble. He needs help from the last people who would want to help – his former friends, the self-named “zeros” who possess the same double-edged abilities.
Zeroes comes out September 29 from Simon Pulse.
By the author of Uglies and Leviathan

Add Lizard Radio to Goodreads or see more reviewsLizard Radio by Pat SchmatzLizard Radio – Pat Schmatz
Fifteen-year-old bender Kivali has had a rough time in a gender-rigid culture. Abandoned as a baby and raised by a nonconformist, she’s surrounded by uncertainty. What is she? Boy/girl? Human/lizard? Both/neither? Strange events at CropCamp raise questions Kivali has never had to consider. She has Lizard Radio, a trancelike state to harness the “knowings” inside her. Will it be enough?
Lizard Radio comes out September 8 from Candlewick Press.
By the author of Bluefish