Goldilocks by Laura Lam

GoodReads Summary:
The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.
Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.
The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.
The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.
But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .
GoldilocksReview:
Goldilocks was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a more adult version of The Final Six where people are sent into space (some authorized and some not) to find a new world for humanity. That’s sort of what happened. But this book was more of a thriller set in space than a search for a new world.
I really enjoyed this story. It’s told from the point of view of Naomi but written in a book as she’s telling her daughter what happened many years later. I thought that was an interesting way to tell the story.
I like Naomi. She’s a girl that has experienced loss, but still acknowledges the privileges she had growing up as a wealthy white female, except for the female part because in this story female’s rights are slowly being taken away. I thought the future world was realistic and terrifying. I liked seeing Naomi’s history and the things she experienced that turned her into the person she was in space.
Then there’s Val. I really liked her storyline. It was interesting and surprising. I could find myself agreeing with her more outlandish ideas, which was a little scary.
The rest of the crew was interesting too. Though I would have liked to learn more about them. I would have liked to see a little more friendship and comradery among these women.
Overall, this thriller was a wild ride. The science-fiction aspect of the story was interesting and horrifying. I liked the characters and the diversity among them. I definitely think this will be a hit for lovers of thrillers and lovers of science fiction.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Artemis by Andy Weir

GoodReads Summary:
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
ArtemisReview:
After reading and loving The Martian, I was really excited to pick up the other Andy Weir book I already owned. I’m glad I’ve finally read Weir’s books that I own because I loved them both.
We follow Jazz, who is a criminal. She’s smuggling things into her home on the moon when the opportunity of a lifetime arises. She can make a million slugs off one job, though it’s a rather dangerous one. Murphy’s Law is in full effect, even on the moon. Anything that could have gone wrong for Jazz, did. I loved Jazz as a character. We get her backstory in bits and pieces. There were emails from her pen pal on Earth and we learn a lot from him, which I really liked. I thought the emails were an interesting way to give us more information. Jazz was a real firecracker. She’s sassy, says what’s on her find, even if it’s vulgar and completely inappropriate. I totally loved it.
The plot of this book took a little while to get to. At first, we’re led to believe that the plot is going to center on Jazz doing this job and what will happen after she succeeds. But there ends up being so much more to the story. There are some murders, a bit of chloroform, and a whole lot of action.
Overall, I really loved this book. It was sassy and unapologetic about that sassiness. There was action and adventure, friendship and love, and of course, walking on the moon. I absolutely look forward to reading more of Andy Weir’s writing.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune

GoodReads Summary:
Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.
Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?
After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1)Review:
Huge thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I have to say that I 100% requested this book because of the cover and the comparison to Marissa Meyer’s Renegades series. I didn’t really have very high expectations going into this book. I think that’s because the summary of the book really doesn’t cover the awesomeness inside. It’s interesting because it does cover all the things that make this book wonderful, but it’s a case of the summary telling and the book showing these things that really makes the difference.
This book follows Nick, who is a queer boy in high school that has ADHD. I absolutely loved him right from the start. I have people very close to me in my life that have ADHD, so it was really interesting to see Nick’s experiences with it and get his thoughts and feelings. He manages to get in trouble in and out of school very often. Nick doesn’t have it easy, but he really tries so hard and I think that’s what I liked so much about him. He really makes the effort to do and be better. I thought the portrayal of his ADHD was really thoughtful. He also takes medication to help him, which I thought was a great addition. While Nick is the most cinnamon-y of all the cinnamon rolls out there, he was also quite oblivious. He really had a problem getting stuck in his head and hyper-focusing on his problems. So, I totally predicted the end of this book around the 50% mark, but I had the secret identities mixed around.
Nick’s friend group was the best. He is a misfit, as are his friends. Seth and Nick have been best friends since elementary school. Gibby joined them in middle school. She’s a lesbian and will literally kick your ass. I loved Gibby. She calls Nick out when he needs it, but is a loyal friend to Seth at the same time. Then there’s Jaz, Gibby’s girlfriend. She was last to the friend group, but no less loved. I really enjoyed getting the history of their friendships and their banter and interactions literally had me laughing out loud.
I laughed so hard during this book, but this author didn’t hesitate to turn it all around. I also balled my eyes out once or twice. Another really great part of the story was Nick’s dad. The relationship that these two have was nothing short of wonderful. But it’s also realistic. It’s hard to be a single dad and Nick’s dad was certainly not perfect. But it was clear how much he loved Nick and how hard he was trying. I can’t imagine trying to grieve the death of my wife while also still having a child to take care of. I loved how accepting his dad was, but also their open communication. They talked about Nick’s sexuality. They talked about his ADHD. His dad was there for him as much as he could be as a cop that had to work nights. Nick and his dad also made me laugh so much.
Overall, this book surpassed all expectations I had for it. The writing was fantastic. The characters were incredible and I love each of them so very much (even the villain). The world was really interesting (with a history I’m dying to know more of). And the book left of leaving me wanting so much more. I’m so glad this is a series, but so sad I will have to wait who knows how long for the next book. Please do yourself a favor and read this fabulously queer and heartwarming book.

Quotes:

“Sometimes, people do things just because they can. There doesn’t have to be a reason. It’s all chaos.”

“Nick knew the power of words. He knew that sometimes when they landed, they exploded with the force of a carelessly tossed grenade.”

“We’re teenagers. Everything is unnecessarily complicated. We’re told that we have to be a certain way, even if we know it’s wrong. We’re not taken seriously. Our ideas are cast aside as though they’re without merit. Sometimes we need to act out so that people pay attention to us. So that people know we mean what we say. That we’re capable. That we shouldn’t be dismissed.”

“They’re brave,” Mary said. “But we are too. Because while they’re out there, saving the world, we’re the ones they come home to. And it may not always be fair, and there are times when you know they’re in harm’s way, but they’ll always fight like the dickens to get back where they belong.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Martian by Andy Weir

GoodReads Summary:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
The MartianReview:
I absolutely loved this book. I bought it a few months ago after Antonia read it and loved it. But I couldn’t seem to pick it up until the Bookclub I’m in with a few local friends pick this one for March’s book. I read this book on the best day, it was warm and sunny so I got to sit outside and imagine myself on Mars.
Mark Watney was such a great character. He’s trapped on Mars after his crew left him behind thinking he didn’t survive after getting hit by a piece of equipment during a dust storm. The best part of this book was Mark. Despite facing what is likely imminent death he has such a positive attitude. He really excelled at focusing on one problem at a time. He has a really great mindset of “well I’ll worry about starving later because I won’t be able to worry about starving if I can’t solve problem x right now.” I think this was one of the best parts of the book.
Once we get to see what’s going on back at NASA the story really gains momentum. Things seem to move fast even though time isn’t actually moving fast, but we only get updates from Mark every few days. But the whole book was high stakes and full of excitement even if Mark made the situation seem funnier than it was.
Overall, this book was funny and exciting. Sometimes it felt like I was right there with him trying to work through the problems that he needed to solve for his survival. I loved everything about this story and I am beyond excited to read more books by this author.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Supernova by Marissa Meyer

GoodReads Summary:
The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian fighting to keep their identities secret. While the battle rages on between their alter egos and their allies, there is a darker threat shrouding Gatlon City.
The Renegades’ worst enemy is back among them, threatening to reclaim Gatlon City. Nova and Adrian must brave lies and betrayal to protect those they love. Their greatest fears are about to come to life, and unless they can bridge the divide between heroes and villains, they stand to lose everything. Including each other.
Intrigue and action will leave readers on edge until the final, shocking secrets are revealed.
Supernova (Renegades, #3)Review:
I have to start this by saying that I listened to the audiobook and somehow I managed to listen to all seventeen hours in less than two days. This may make it seem like I really loved the story, which isn’t completely true. I really enjoy the characters and the conflicts and the things going on, but I had issues. I was annoyed quite a bit but I was definitely gripped by the story.
Supernova was the finale book in the Renegades trilogy. It’s a series I was determined to finish this year (because 2020 is the year of finishing series I’ve gotten behind on.) Superficially, I had fun with this book but I spent most of the time yelling in my head “JUST TELL THE TRUTH ALREADY!” I thought this in the direction of several characters.
So, there’s Nova. She’s a complex character. I really loved her as a whole because of her inner struggle, between loyalty to the villain family that raised her or the heroes that she’s struggling not to agree with. This inner battle was honestly fascinating. Her journey was the only reason I kept going in this series, to see how her choices fell and her story ended.
Adrian was interesting too, but he just irritated me. He had a great life. Though it’s sad he lost his mother, he had two wonderful adoptive dads and brother. He had powers to draw things that come to life. But that wasn’t enough for him. He had something to prove. Enter his alter ego, who is a vigilante and plays outside the rules that his dads enforce for all Renegades. I just wanted him to tell his parents and Nova the whole book.
Between Nova’s secret identity and Adrian’s, I was just annoyed. I really hate the secret-keeping trope when if Nova had just told the truth the plot twist (which I should have seen coming but totally didn’t) would have come out earlier and maybe she could have become a hero sooner.
Overall, this story was action-packed and full of interesting and diverse characters. I loved all the supporting characters and their stories. I loved that Nova and Adrian were both morally gray. The audiobook was super well done and kept me engaged, but there were just too many moments that really annoyed me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Life Below by Alexandra Monir

GoodReads Summary:
As Naomi lifts off into space and away from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, she watches the world fade away, and along with it Leo, a Final Six contestant she grew close to during training. Leaving Earth behind is hard, but what’s ahead, on Europa, could be worse. The International Space Training Camp continues to hide the truth about what happened to the last group of astronauts who attempted a similar colonization but failed mysteriously. With one shot—at this mission and to Europa—Naomi is determined to find out if there is alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there.
Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others.
With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
The Life Below (The Final Six, #2)Review:
I loved this book. I really loved the first book, The Final Six, but honestly, I think I somehow loved this second installment even more. I really adore series that have books that just keep getting better. This seems like it’s definitely going to be one of those.
I loved everything about this book. The crew has officially left the Earth and things are getting real. We follow the crew through the perspective of Naomi and Leo, as we did in the first book. Traveling through outer space is fascinating, but sad for some of them. Naomi will likely never see her family again. There are some losses and they totally took me by surprise. I thought the author did such a good job of showing what happens to these characters rather than just telling us the events. Naomi feels alone now that Leo is not with her, but she does her job and manages to make friends. Leo, however, is doing whatever he needs to get back to her. I loved their love story more and more with every page. Getting to see them reunite what literally my favorite part.
Now, science fiction is one of my favorite genres. This book had some really excellent science parts. The crew is flying through space. They need to make a pit stop near Mars before continuing onto Europa. I thought the Mars bits were horrifying and fascinating. Then we get to get to Europa and things get even more horrifying and fascinating. I liked that the science was well explained so that I could understand it but not overly dumbed down for me. The creatures and their reactions, as well as the crew’s reactions, were all so realistic.
Overall, I feel like I’m not doing this book justice. So, if you’re a science fiction lover like me, please just go buy or borrow The Final Six so that you can read this incredible sequel.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

GoodReads Summary:
The last human in the universe is on the run from a godlike intelligence in this rip-roaring debut space opera.
Sarya is the civilized galaxy’s worst nightmare: a Human.
Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy.
Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.
And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth–that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is–impossibly–the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago.
That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.
Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship–with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands–Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth.
What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table–and a second chance for humanity?
The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut–a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.
The Last HumanReview:
Shout out of thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This review is going to be short (hopefully) because I just didn’t like this book. There was a lot of potentials for me to like it because we follow what is supposedly the last human being in the universe. As she hides her identity, we meet the Widow that adopted her. And then many other alien species as she goes off on adventures. My biggest problem with this book was that it focused on the wrong things. Instead of telling the reader anything about what these species look like aside from small things that we sort of have to put together to get the whole picture (giant spiders? Cyborgs? Tiny spiders?) the story focuses on their culture and things other than the physical details. This was interesting but left me confused in the moment. Character interactions we hard because I couldn’t really picture the characters, even the human. Because she’s hiding with a Widow mother but was she disguised? Or was she just looking human the whole time and no one knew what they looked like?
I just spent most of this book confused. There was a lot going on and so much of it that was just over my head. I don’t want to go into detail about everything that confused me, but there was more than just the characters. Technical things too that were important to the story were a bit muddled. I also didn’t like the main character. She had moments where I liked her but she complained so much and did all the wrong things. I just wanted someone to kill her and be done with it.
Overall, this was a miss for me. I definitely think there are others out there who will enjoy this, but it’s not for me. I did see a few reviews that also mentioned the lack of character descriptions bothering them as well.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

GoodReads Summary:
Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.
Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.
Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.
The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2)Review:
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me this eARC in exchange for an honest review. So, if you read my review for the first book you’ll remember that I said I was bored for the first chunk of it. That was definitely not the case with The Electric Heir. This book felt like almost nonstop action. There was so much going on that it was almost hard to follow at times.
We get two perspectives this time. One is Noam’s and the other is Dara’s. Dara is still my favorite and must be protected at all costs. I believe I mentioned in my review for the first book that I could really relate to him and that’s why I liked him so much. I too have struggled with alcohol and still do. So the parts with Dara trying to stay away from drinking even though he literally lived above a bar hit me hard. I know what he was feeling and I really just love him. I felt betrayed by Noam when he did, I was feeling all of the things right beside him. I think he has incredible growth in this book and I’ll love him forever.
Now, Noam. Honestly…I hated him. I was just as pissed as Dara was when I found out what he’d been doing with Lehrer. He was the kind of person that thinks he knows what he’s doing and because of that won’t take advice from those that actually know more than him. He really just made me mad over and over again. I felt bad for him at times because he didn’t deserve to be going through some of the things he had to deal with but he still really made me mad.
I loved that the rest of the friends from Level IV got involved in the craziness too. They are a great found family and I adored them.
As for the ending, I’m a bit disappointed. It seemed a little rushed to me. I liked the transcripts that summed up a bit of right after the big climax, but we get a sort of summary after that and I thought it could have been more. I don’t know if I missed it or what but I didn’t see anything about the big bad losing his power or dying and that’s very disappointing to me. I did see there were some legal ramifications. But they weren’t explained.
I really enjoyed that we got to see more of this version of America and hear a bit about how the other places (Texas) run things. It was something I’d hoped for in this sequel and I’m glad that I got it.
Overall, this was a quick read because so much is happening and it’s all very high stakes. But I’m left with so many questions about the end result of the villain. While I definitely liked this series and understand why so many love it, it wasn’t anything over the top for me.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Bonds of Brass by Emily Strutskie

GoodReads Summary:
A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.
Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.
But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?
Bonds of Brass (The Bloodright Trilogy #1)Review:
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Bonds of Brass was immediately interesting. I love stories that take place in schools, which this was essentially a school in space. There were many things I love about this book, the characters, the world-building, the secrets, the romance. I loved it all.
We follow Ettain as his whole world changes. He’s found out that his roommate, best friend, and crush is actually the heir to literally everything. A secret that’s been kept for years. He figures out that things aren’t going how their supposed to and rescues him. I loved and laughed during these pages. The pair manage to escape and find themselves on a planet outside of the empire that Gal is intended to inherit. Things were a little slow at times when they were in this other world. But they make friends with a local and she becomes a part of their little run-away crew. All of them are pilots, some more trained than others.
As I mentioned, there were lots of secrets. One in particular toward the end that I legitimately said “no fucking way” out loud and my husband definitely gave me the side-eye. I think the suspense and drama leading up to this secret was so well done.
Overall, I loved this. I loved all the piloting, all the antics, and banter. I love the different parts of the world, the action, and drama. But that ending was a killer. We’re left with a cliffhanger that may or may not has actually torn out a piece of my heart. A definite must-read for science fiction lovers. Also, a side note. I’ve read this is Star Wars related, but I’m not a big part of that fandom so I don’t know much about those connections, but not knowing didn’t make me enjoy this any less.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s 2019 Science Fiction Favorites

Hello, lovelies! Today I want  to  talk about  my favorite genre, Science Fiction. I’ve always loved sci-fi  movies, but this year I really discovered my love for all the different kinds of science fiction books. I read some really great ones and I’m excited to share them with you all.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Helig

Cress by Marissa Meyer

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Sal and Gabi  Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

The Disasters by M.K. England

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

This is How you Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

I’m always looking for more science fiction  favorites, so if you’re favorites aren’t on this list please leave a comment with some recommendations!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

Summary:
The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.
Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.
So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.
In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.
A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3)Review:
What to say about this conclusion, A Million Worlds With You, that I haven’t already said about the previous two books? I’m definitely going to repeat myself a bit, but that can’t really be helped.
I absolutely loved the different realities that we were shown. We saw quite a few new ones, but we also got to travel back to a few realities we’ve already been to. I thought that was really interesting. There were some scenes that were almost comical with the confusion of who was from which reality and whatnot. I really enjoyed the traveling and meeting new versions of the people I’ve gotten to know. I can’t go further into it but I liked that Marguerite gets called out for the things she’s done and it really makes her think about it.
Now, Marguerite really started to annoy me in the previous book and that continued until about halfway through this one. I don’t know that I could pinpoint when she started being less annoying, but I sort of liked her by the end of the book. I think it’s because she put everything on the line to save everyone she loves in all the different alternate realities. Regardless, I came to understand her more and, in the end, I liked her.
Overall, this series wasn’t one that blew me out of the water. It’s not a new all-time favorite, but I enjoyed the wild ride. This series was exciting and complex. It was past-paced without seeming rushed. There was adventure and love and friendship and family. I enjoyed the series overall and definitely would recommend it for anyone new to the science fiction genre.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Summary:
Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, traveling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird—the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul, and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap, blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.
When Paul’s soul is splintered into four pieces—pieces that are trapped within Pauls in other dimensions—Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn’t sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.
Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help. The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.
Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul—but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she’s found between worlds: their love for each other.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2)Review:
Ten Thousand Skies Above You gave me some of the things that I wanted more of in the first book, but it also gave me more of something I didn’t want. This book was a great sequel. I feel like it gave all the big reveals at the right times. Leaving the reader in suspense, but not for so long that it was frustrating. I think the story was complicated but compelling. There were so many different dynamics and questions that were brought up like the ethical and moral complications of inhabiting yourself from another reality and making choices for them. I thought it brought up some interesting conversations.
Marguerite was honestly a little annoying in this second book. She’s conflicted between the differences in the people she loves that she’s met in other realities. She’s not sure if the soul is consistent with every version that she meets. After meeting some less than nice versions of the man she loves, she’s unsure how to feel about the darkness she now knows lives in all the different versions of him. She’s also faced with some ethical complications that have arisen because of the choices she made while inhabiting another reality’s Marguerite. This provided interesting conversation about everything that they were trying to do. But despite these interesting problems there was a constant dialogue about whether she loved one boy or another. The dreaded love triangle. It’s here and it’s annoying.
Even though I didn’t enjoy the love triangle aspect, I did really like the two characters that are the cause of it. I love that they are friends with one another and are choosing not to let their feelings for Marguerite get in the way of their own relationship. I also really liked getting to learn more about their pasts.
My favorite thing about this book was the other universes we got to visit. They were all so different and some were just downright frightening. I enjoyed getting this view into the other kinds of worlds that could be out there and the effects that one choice could have on the world. I liked being able to meet all the different versions of the characters.
I thought the villain became way more complicated in this sequel. The person we thought was the big bad in the first book was actually working for someone else. It was really interesting because the reasoning behind their actions was out of love, even though their actions were not that great. I’m interested to see how things will play out in the final book.
Overall, this story was more complex than I was expecting. I think I liked this one more than the first and I’m excited to continue and see how the rest of the story will conclude. There were things I liked and others that I didn’t, but like I said in my review for the first book, this would be great for someone that is new to the science fiction genre or for those that like less science-y scifi.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

GoodReads Summary:
As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.
Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.
Review:
Much like the first book in this series, (Sleeping Giants, find my review here!) I have nothing but good things to say. I listened to this story as an audiobook from my wonderful library.
The narrators, there are several that read this book, did an incredible job making this book sound more like a performance than a story. They really brought the characters to life. I cannot say enough about how great the audiobook narration was done. This series is for sure one that I will recommend as part of my favorite audiobooks to listen to. They will be hard to knock out of first place.
The storyline was incredible, so interesting and creative. This book never has a dull moment. There wasn’t a single point where I lost interest or was in any way bored. There was so much action and drama and I just needed to know what was going to happen next. I was left guessing through the whole story. I had no clue what I was in for. Waking Gods is written just like the first book, as a series of interviews, personal journals recordings, radio broadcasts, and recorded speeches. I think this was such an excellent way to tell this story. The plot twist that we were left with at the end of Sleeping Giants was a big one and we get some answers and follow through when it comes to that, though this sequel takes place about ten years after the ending of the first book. We also get a few more big twists. Waking Gods essentially ripped my heart out and stomped on it, like five times, but I loved every second of it. I would say more than that but I don’t want to give any spoilers.
The characters are still fabulous. I love Rose and the drama that comes along with her. We’re basically seeing a totally different Rose in this sequel. I loved getting to know this new Rose and seeing her deal with the craziness that is going on around her. Kara and Vincent were still super entertaining. I love how far their relationship has come in the last ten years. They ended up exactly where I wanted them to be. I think my favorite part of Waking Gods was FINALLY getting to know more about our mysterious interviewer, though we still haven’t learned his name. We find out his backstory and how he got into the influential position that he’s in. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters better.
Overall, I loved Waking Gods. I loved every minute of my listening experience. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the third (and I think final) book in the series. With the way that the second book ended (yes, cliffhanger!) I am super anxious for the audiobook to be available from my library. I don’t want to have to wait for Only Human. I need to know what happens and I need to know now. I’ve come to care for these characters. I am invested in this story. Read it and you will be too.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Goodreads Summary: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.
Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer is one of my all time favorite books. I just read it again in honor of the movie coming out soon. (I’m beyond excited and dreading it at the same time.) I started it yesterday afternoon and finished it at about four this morning. Even though this was my fourth or fifth time reading it, I couldn’t put it down.
What drives me nuts about this book is how underrated it is. I’ve noticed that a lot of people disregard it because Meyer wrote it and they expect it to be like the Twilight series. It’s not. It is its own individual story that is NOTHING like the Twilight Series. There are no similarities besides the fact the main character is female. It barely even falls under the same genre. Yeah, they’re both young adult, but Twilight is paranormal and The Host is sci-fi. I’ve also noticed that many Twilight fans haven’t read it because it’s not Twilight. If you liked the Twilight series then you’ll probably like The Host. It’s still Stephenie Meyer writing it. No matter what you have to say about the storylines she comes up with, Meyer is a terrific writer. The problem is that so many people expect the cliché vampire love story from her. The Host is completely different.
Now that that rant is over, let me tell you why I love this book so much. First of all, the storyline is something I haven’t read a lot of books about. An alien race, called Souls, has spent millennia finding planets and stealing the bodies of the life forms from each planet. Souls cannot survive outside of a body. They are inserted into another body’s brain and they have that body’s memories and complete control over it. The consciousness of the body is no longer there. Now, Souls have almost completely taken over humans. Though there is the occasional human found hidden somewhere, Souls now make up most of the population. Melanie Stryder is caught by the Seekers, the Souls’ police. Wanderer is chosen to inhabit Melanie’s body. Earth is the ninth planet Wanderer (Wanda) has lived on. Since most Souls only live on two or three planets before settling, Wanda is like a celebrity among Souls and they believe she’s qualified to subdue Melanie and take her memories to find any other humans she might have been hiding with. But Melanie is strong and will do anything she can to protect her brother, Jamie, and the love of her life, Jared, and Melanie’s consciousness will not fade away. She can speak to Wanda and hide her memories from her. After awhile, from the few memories Melanie will give her, Wanda begins to love Jamie and Jared. Afraid the Seekers will find them, Melanie and Wanda set out to find them, following a map Melanie’s uncle had given her. Uncle Jeb and his hidden group of humans, including Jamie and Jared, find them and take them prisoner. Wanda isn’t trusted because she’s a Soul, but they don’t want to kill Melanie’s body. Slowly, with Jeb and Jamie’s help, Wanda becomes a part of their group. This story is basically about Wanda’s humanity. She’s not actually human, but when her actions are compared to human’s reactions, Wanda’s are more humane. She makes the people around her better, just by being herself.
Wanda is one of my favorite female characters because she’s so innately good. She’s kind and compassionate and no matter what happens to her she never loses that.
Ian is a human who falls in love with Wanda. He’s believed for so many years that all Souls are bad. He actually tries to kill Wanda at the beginning of the story. However, Ian isn’t a bad person. As soon as he realizes Wanda isn’t a threat to anyone, he’s on her side. He’s the first person, other than Jeb and Jamie, who trusts Wanda and he protects her throughout the entire book. I adore Ian. The entire time I was reading the book I’d just keep giggling or laughing and Amanda would look at me and I’d just say, “I love Ian so much!” She got sick of it pretty quickly.
The story sounds like it’s about a girl possessed by an alien. It’s not. It’s about an Alien possessing a girl. The entire book is from Wanda’s perspective. It’s cool seeing a book through the eyes of someone who is considered the “bad guy”. And, although the summary says there’s a love triangle, it’s more like a love square… with three bodies.
Overall, I recommend this book to pretty much everyone. I’ve gotten many people to read it over the years and all of them loved it. If this review convinced you to read it, please let me know what you thought. I love getting other people’s opinions.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!