Waiting on Wednesday…

New WoW
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on:
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night / Jen Campbell / Nov 2
Artemis / Andy Weir / November 14

 

I’m sure there are other exciting book releases this month but these are the two that I am interested in. I’ve actually already read Artemis but I wanted to mention it anyway. I’ll be picking up a physical copy at some point. I’m also interested in picking up The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night. I don’t know too much about it but I kind of want to keep it that way. These are two books I’m interested in so I thought I would share them with you guys today. What book are you anticipating? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Pippa

 

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4 Mini Reviews: Science Fiction

Title / A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet 
Author / Becky Chambers
Publication Date / 2014 (first published)
Star Rating / 
‘Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own’. (Part of the Goodreads synopsis). First off, if you are looking for an action packed, fast paced science-fiction book, this is not the book for you. However if you are looking for a character driven story with thoughtful commentary on life/existence than I think you will enjoy this book. For the most part I enjoyed this book, but I did not love it. I can’t really say why – it is an interesting book and I don’t mind slow pacing but something about it just didn’t quite work for me I guess. I did find the detail in this book a pleasure to read – we learn alot about the characters, as well as different cultures and species. The interactions between the characters are a pleasure to read about as well, however I felt that there was no real growth of the characters. Overall I enjoyed it but I wasn’t quite blown away. Currently I am thinking I will check out the sequel (I think it’s a companion novel) when it is released but we’ll see. 

 

 

Title / Fuzzy Nation 
Author / John Scalzi
Publication Date / 2011
Star Rating / ★★
This is a re-imagining (or at least inspired) of H. Beam Piper 1962 book Little Fuzzy, which I have not read. Jack Holloway works alone as an independent contractor, but when he finds a small furry biped in his home he must decide whether to save them from the encroaching corporation, ZaraCorps. I think this would make a great introduction to science fiction if you are trying to get into the genre, or a great place to start if you are new to Scalzi. The dialogue is witty and sharp, and the main character Jack Holloway is a smart, funny protagonist – I also love his dog. The world created is an interesting one and the fuzzies are not sickeningly sweet. It is a funny, moving, sad and clever story that is really enjoyable throughout. I am definitely interested to read the original to see where the inspiration came from. I highly recommend this book, as well as the author in general.

 

 

Title / The Martian
Author / Andy Weir
Publication Date / 2011 (first published)
Star Rating / 
After a dust storm nearly kills Mark Watney and forces his team to evacuate the planet – they think he is dead. He must now survive on his own in an unforgiving environment, with only damaged equipment to help him.  This is an extremely popular book, which was now been made into a film staring Matt Damon. I am in the minority of not loving this book. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoyed it but it didn’t blow me away. It was good, not great. Although there were funny moments, I didn’t find it hilarious and sometimes I found it dragged abit. The main issue that I had was that there was no suspense, no worry about how it all ends up – I knew right from the start how it was going to end, which kind of detracts a little from the enjoyment of the story. I did enjoy it though and I would recommend, especially if you are a science-fiction fan. The film was also pretty good.

 

 

Title / The Midwich Cuckoos
Author / John Wyndham
Publication Date / 1957 (first published)
Star Rating / 
In the sleepy town of Midwich, one day all of its inhabitants fall unconscious. When they wake seemingly unharmed, it is discover that all of the women are pregnant. I really enjoy Wyndham’s storytelling and writing, however the build up in this book is really quite slow considering it is quite a short book. It wasn’t too much of an issue for me but it is maybe something to be aware of going in. I found the concept an interesting one and the characters are well written. This book touches on many topics/issues but does it in a light way and in around 200 pages without bogging down the storyline. My one issue is the neglect of female characters, but this is probably partly due to the time period it was written in. Overall I highly recommend this book and the author.

 

See you next time

 

Pippa

 

Red Rising trilogy / Pierce Brown

Title / Red Rising, Golden Son and Morning Star
Author / Pierce Brown
Publication dates / 2014, 2015 and 2016
Pages / Overall – 1342
Star Rating / ★★★★★

 

Earlier this week I finished Morning Star and I wanted to do a kind of series review/thoughts. I thought I would do something a little different so here is a review in the form of five reasons you should read this trilogy.  Red Rising is set in the future on a terraformed Mars and takes place within a colour-coded society. Darrow, the protagonist, is a Red – the lowest caste and he discovers something that will shatter everything he thought he knew about his world. It is part science-fiction, part dystopian and part epic war tale. That is all I am going to tell in terms of a synopsis, because I think it is best if you go in not knowing a lot.
  1. The depth of characterisation is incredible. Not only is Darrow an unforgettable protagonist, but the amazing cast of supporting characters is just as well-written and developed as he is. All the characters have flaws and they make mistakes, but they are all also just very compelling to read about. The character arcs are so well done, and it is a pleasure to read about their journey.
  2. It is brutally enlightening – there are so many times Darrow, or other characters, question themselves and what consequences may happen after their actions. There is an indistinct line between good and evil. Darrow’s struggle with morality and his musings on philosophy are very compelling, and are just another reason to why you will devour this trilogy. They may be good people, but they have to make some hard decisions.
  3. Although there are similarities to other books, for example it is often compared to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins,  especially in book one – such comparisons don’t do the books justice. On the surface, yes there are some similarities, but look deeper and you will find a dark, gritty world with an amazing selection of characters that you will get completely lost in. Just dive into the somewhat trope-ridden world (on the surface) and you will see that Brown does it very well. I wasn’t bothered by it at all, and I promise you this trilogy is amazing.
  4. It gets better. The first book, is what most first book are, great but used to establish the setting, the characters and the plot. The second book violently smashes everything we thought we knew and just has so many plot twist that I ended up swearing a few times because I just couldn’t believe what was happening. I think the last book may be the best – I would have to reread them to say for certain but it was an amazing conclusion. If you have read book one but aren’t sure about continuing, definitely try book 2 – it gets better!
  5. The use of Roman mythology I really enjoyed. If you find mythology interesting and like books with it in, then I would definitely recommend it. The blend of Roman Gods and science fiction is unique and really entertaining.
So there you have it. I absolutely adore this trilogy and would highly recommend checking it out.
Have you read this trilogy? What did you think?
See you next time.
Pippa