Review: Phoenix

28686906 Phoenix
By: S. F. Said
Release Date: (Original) August 1, 2013; (US Release) October 11, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Award: Carnegie Medal Nominee (2014)
Rating:


Phoenix by S. F. Said is a book which, apparently, has been on my to-read shelf on Goodreads since its original release in 2013. I discovered it at the library, bright orange cover leaping off the shelf, as bright orange covers tend to do. I truly loved this book. Really. Honestly. It was a sit down after dinner and finish it in one go sort of a book, the sort you find only rarely. Surprisingly, this isn’t a book I’ve heard very much about. So, here I am, singing its praises from the proverbial rooftop.

But first, what exactly is this book about?

Review: Dark Run

26869965 Dark Run
By: Mike Brooks
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Saga Press
Series: Keiko #1
Rating:


Today’s review is of Dark Run by Mike Brooks, a fun science fiction novel I initially picked up at the library. It’s a quick book, one that’s fast paced and fun, which I finished in only a couple of sittings.

New Release: Gauntlet

31014644 Gauntlet
By: Holly Jennings
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Ace
Series: Arena #2
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Never have I seen a second novel in a series so completely outdo the first in nearly every way. I’ll be honest here. I probably wouldn’t have picked up Gauntlet by Holly Jennings if the publisher hadn’t sent me a digital copy. I found Arena, the first book in the series, disappointing. I could see the potential within the novel and desperately wanted to love it, but found it fell short of the mark. I was hesitant to start reading Gauntlet.

It is immediately obvious that author has grown as a writer. Gauntlet is an exciting, suspenseful, near future sci-fi that will have you rooting for Kali and Team Defiance all the way. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Because dear lord, people, that cliffhanger!

New Release: Waking Gods

30134847 Waking Gods
By: Sylvain Neuvel
Website: http://www.neuvel.net/
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: Themis Files #1
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


The second novel in the Themis Files series by Sylvain Nuevel, Waking Gods, is released today, April 4, 2017. This is a high octane, heart pounding, gut wrenching novel that has to be read immediately. I mean it. Go out there and find a copy. This isn’t just a good next installment in a series. This is a magnificent second book to a series that deserves to be read. Though it’s still early in 2017, I know this is one of, if not the, best book of 2017.

If you haven’t caught up with this series, or are interested in seeing what we thought about the first book in this series, check out what we thought of Sleeping Giants.

Review: Lock In

21418013 Lock In
By: John Scalzi
Website: http://whatever.scalzi.com/
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Lock In #1
Award: Locus Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2015); John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominee for Best Novel (2015); ALA Alex Award (2015); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2014)
Rating:


There is nothing better than a stay up till three am binge read. Lock In by John Scalzi was exactly that book. I picked it up late one evening and then read the entire thing. Because who needs sleep, really? This is a science fiction novel with strong mystery/thriller themes that is easy to read and perfect for people who want to delve into the sci-fi genre for the first time.

How good is this book? Well, I immediately went out and bought his newest novel, The Collapsing Empire, two days later. So, yeah. That good.

Throwback Thursday Review: Spacer and Rat

491204 Spacer and Rat
By: Margaret Bechard
Release Date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Award: Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2007)
Rating:


I recently picked up a copy of an old library book at a used book sale. It had a minimalistic, but interesting looking cover, an author I wasn’t familiar with, and title I’d never heard. So of course I picked it up immediately. Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard is a young adult science fiction novel that I am very happy I discovered by accident.

New Release: Pilot X

30221890 Pilot X
By: Tom Merritt
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Inkshares
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Pilot X is a new science fiction novel by Tom Merritt being released today, March 14, 2017. This is a fun, fast read, perfect for a lazy weekend. Which, incidentally, is exactly when I read this book.

So what did I think of it?

Review: Lady Mechanika Vol. 2: The Tablet of Destinies

29151467 Lady Mechanika Vol. 2: The Tablet of Destinies
By: Joe Benitez
Release Date: April 2016
Publisher: Benitez Productions
Series: The Tablet of Destinies #1-6
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


While I’ve read quite a number of manga over the years. It would make sense to think that I’ve devoured graphic novels at the same rate. Unfortunately, the number of manga vs. graphic novels read is wildly out of proportion, with graphic novels on the low side. One of the ways I’m remedying this is by reading Lady Mechanika, a graphic novel series set in a steampunk world with great characters and awesome artwork. This week we read Lady Mechanika Vol 2: The Tablet of Destinies by Joe Benitez.

Review: The Beast of Cretacea

24727083 The Beast of Cretacea
By: Todd Strasser
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating:


Sometimes you don’t ever hear about the best books. Not from a friend. Not from the internet. Not from the thousand and one subscriptions that hit your inbox daily. Sometimes you just have to stumble upon them. And that’s exactly how I discovered The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser. I found this one at the library, tucked into the regular circulation stacks when I was busy wondering when exactly the first book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater was going to be returned so I could finally begin that series. And then I saw this one, the spine a mix of color with a title that made the story sound ripe with adventure.

So I did what I always do. Picked up the book without so much as a glance at the synopsis on the inside flap and never looked back.

Review: Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse

28116143 Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse
By: Joe Benitez
Website: http://www.joebenitez.com/
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Publisher: Benitez Productions
Series: Lady Mechanika
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Lady Mechanika, Vol. 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez is a graphic novel series I wish I had picked up sooner. Of late I’ve read multiple stories promised strong female leads which just didn’t deliver, leaving me to spiral into despair that I’d never find a good female lead ever again. Then, behold! This beautifully illustrated graphic novel fell into my lap almost on accident.

But did it quell my unyielding search for a better than average female protagonist?