Posts Tagged: Science-fiction

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers

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Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers
Blastaway
Melissa Landers
Genre: Adventure, Middle Grade, Sci-Fi
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
by Disney Hyperion

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Kyler Centaurus isn't your typical runaway. All he wanted was a quick trip to the legendary Fasti Sun Festival. Who wouldn't want to see new stars being born? Um, try Kyler's entire family. They couldn't care less about mind-blowing wonders of science.

When an accidental launch sequence ends with Kyler hurtling through space on the family cruiser, the thrill of freedom is cut short by two space pirates determined to steal his ship. Not happening!

Luckily, Kyler bumps into Fig, a savvy young Wanderer who makes a living by blowing up asteroids. She could really use a ride to Earth and Kyler could really use a hand with the pirates.

But when Kyler learns the truth about Fig's mission, the two must put aside their differences long enough to stop the threat of astronomical proportions racing towards Earth?
-A copy was provided by Disney-Hyperion for review-

While I never got the chance to read Alienated, I have read Lander’s romance novels so when I heard about Blastaway, I was immediately onboard. I expected something akin to Alienated (even though I hadn’t read it) and in my excitement, missed that Blastaway wasn’t YA. It is middle grade. I read middle grade so that didn’t really turn me off but this book wouldn’t really hit the mark for adult middle grade readers the way it would for middle grade middle grade readers – aka the intended demographic of the book.

Blastaway is incredibly cute and I love that it uses its sci-fic setting to draw attention to very real world issues in an accessible manner to younger readers. My biggest issue – keeping in mind that I was not the intended audience – was that a lot of the science was lax? There were many things that weren’t really thought out evolution-wise when it came to wanderers. This wouldn’t even have been a particularly difficult problem to fix, the book could have been set way way way into the future rather than just 500 years.

It also heavily relied on pop culture references from this century even though the book is set 500 years in the future. This is definitely me being nit-picky because I realize that having those references makes this futuristic world more accessible to younger readers but for me, it took away from the sci-fic experience. I wish that instead of trying to tone down this world, Landers explored it a bit more and tried to ground readers in it in other ways. 

The plot is also riddled with lucky coincidences that propels it forward without having to work around the struggles of being two runaway children on a ship on their own, trying to stop an evil plan to take over the universe and potentially harm both humans and wanderers. 

So, Blastaway is not a particularly dense book but I do love that it also explores familial relationships as well as friendships. Kyler struggles a lot with finding a place within his family. He constantly feels like an outcast and pre-teen hormones probably don’t make navigating those relationships easy. It’s definitely clear to the reader that his family loves him just the way he is but I loved watching him come to terms with that. I also loved his and Fig’s blooming friendship. They are both very stubborn people and I loved that even though they were quick to become friends, they also had their ups and downs. 

Overall, I feel like this book would be more appropriate for elementary school readers rather than middle school ones because this book feels younger than the ages of its characters. The kids who love adventures sans adults, love the running away from home stories (as I did at those ages) will gobble this book up.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Posted by on 10/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ blog tour stop for The Inevitable Victorian Thing! E.K. Johnston won my heart over last year with Exit, Pursued by a Bear and I’ve been a fan ever since! While I haven’t had the chance to read The Inevitable Victorian Thing yet, I am sure it will be amazing and I am sure I will be a FAN. Anyway! Today! We have the lovely E.K. Johnston over on the blog talking about her favorite victorian woman.

E.K. Johnston’s Favorite Victorian Woman

Okay, so my serious answer to this question is Ada Lovelace for a bunch of reasons that you can look up on tumblr.

But my actual answer is a little different.

The year is 1886. At Oxford, four students and one woman (who is a student in…

Giveaway: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Giveaway: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Posted by on 04/19/2017 • 15 Comments

Today we are partnering with the lovely people over at Little, Brown to bring you a fabulous giveaway for Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. Alert: THIS BOOK IS SET IN SPACE. <– important fact because all books set in space are always on my tbr since I’ve kind of been obsessed with space since I was a bb8 and wanted to do that astronaut as a career thing (now I am a lit major so that didn’t technically work out.)

About the Book About the Author

Claudia Gray is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author of the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and the forthcoming Bloodline. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a…

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

READ THIS BOOK!!!: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Posted by on 02/28/2017 • 5 Comments

I don’t know how to start this review, guysssssss. Empress of a Thousand Skies WAS AMAZING. LIKE I ACTUALLY CANNOT even formulate words even though its been almost a week since I read it. ITS GOT EVERYTHING. People on the run, royalty, secrets, betrayal and hints of romances. YES, MULTIPLE ROMANCES I THINK. I could be wrong.

Did you really like Illuminae? Read this fucking book and love it even more. Seriously. ITS THAT GOOD.

Reasons to Read Empress of a Thousand Skies

1. The world building. I love the complexity of the world. I love that the racial struggles IRL are addressed through racial struggles within the novel and I love the commentary that is made through these struggles. Empress of a Thousand Skies is and tries to reflect on our society…

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by on 09/19/2016 • 12 Comments

I have a weird thing about sequels that aren’t about the main characters from the first book but since Illuminae was the bomb.com, I was still pretty excited for Gemina. I didn’t love it as much as Illuminae but that’s also probably because I missed the sh██ out of Kady and Ezra. I MISSED THEM SO SO MUCH because they are so wonderful together and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS FOR THEM.

As a result of the mentioned weird thing I have, it took me a lot longer to warm up to Nik and Hanna but when I finally did, I was able to appreciate the fact that they were wonderfully well-rounded characters who were pretty darn easy to like. They are both funny and sarcastic like Kady…

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Vicarious by Paula Stokes

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 08/24/2016 • 6 Comments

If you read Paula Stokes’ guest post on the blog the other day, you’ll know that it is not secret that she is a talented writer but Vicarious blows that out of the water. Liars, Inc. was the last thriller she wrote and one I rated 4.5 stars because of how amazing it but Vicarious is EVEN better and kept me EVEN more at the edge of my seat and holy crap the climax of this novel almost killed me. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Vicarious

1. The main character. Stokes’ always writes great characters and this book is no exception. Winter is a complex character with a backstory that will make you want to shelter her from the world. Winter is BADASS but her past has left a…

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Posted by on 05/07/2015 • 3 Comments

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was really looking forward to the second book. I really enjoyed this one. Maybe a bit more than the first, though I can’t really remember my reading experience with the first one. In this one things are more complicated. Many secrets are discovered, and the stakes are higher. Not only are they on a ticking clock the moment they arrive, but there are other threats in Nil. The island seems more restless. It was nice to see some old characters, and to get to know new ones. I really liked the cast in this. This was an exciting read that is full of suspense and of course adventure. I loved discovering more of the island secrets along with everyone…

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Posted by on 12/01/2014 • 10 Comments

Having really enjoyed the first book, I couldn’t wait to read this one. I am a big sucker for companion novels too because I love getting to know other characters in the same world, and knowing that I will get a glimpse of characters from the previous book or books. I adored the two main characters in this one and thought that they both had really strong personalities. They were also very loyal to their people and even knowing that they both will very likely die, instead of taking the easy escape, they want to make things right on Avon. The writing is fabulous too. I could easily visualize the world and feel the tension. This was a very pleasing companion novel.

Jubilee Chase is tough as nails. She is…