The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Goodbye, my friends, I have been killed by a book.

Continue reading

TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow

TimeRiders by Alex ScarrowTimeRiders by Alex Scarrow
Series: TimeRiders #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Borrowed
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Maddy should have died in a plane crash. Liam should have died at sea when the Titanic sank. Sal should have died in a tragic fire. But a mysterious man whisked them away to safety.

Maddy, Liam, and Sal quickly learn that time travel is no longer just a hope for the future; it is a dangerous reality. And they weren't just rescued from their terrible fates. . . they were recruited for the agency of TimeRiders created to protect the world from those seeking to alter the course of history for personal gain. By reliving the highly documented events in New York City on 9/11, they can closely monitor history for any deviations—large or small. When just such a change is detected, they are alerted that a threat is at hand unleashing the evil of the Nazis to wreak havoc with Earth's present and future. Can Maddy, Liam, and Sal fulfill their destinies as keepers of time to save the world from utter destruction?

TimeRiders combines two of my favourite things – time travel and history – and mashes them together in a fast paced story. I wasn’t expecting to love this book, because I think it’s aimed towards younger people, but I did really enjoy it.

Continue reading

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising Trilogy #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope. Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all al lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda. Break the chains. Live for more.

You know, for a book with such a high Goodreads rating and so many screaming fangirls, I honestly expected Red Rising to be better. I at least expected it to be good. Instead, I was almost sent to sleep by the tragically slow plot and the bland writing. Those two things along with an unremarkable main character (who tried so hard to be remarkable) made for an awful reading experience. Continue reading

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-JonesIllusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.

Illusive incorporates two of my favourite things: heists and superpowers. Since Illusive hasn’t been too hyped up, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. All I knew was that the book has been pitched as Ocean’s Eleven meets X-Men. And while I feel like the heist part was lacking just a little, it’s a pretty accurate pitch, in my opinion. Continue reading

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia GrayA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Parallel universes are one of my favourite subject matters, so when I saw that A Thousand Pieces of You was about a girl who could travel through different universes to catch a murderer, I was thrilled. That, along with the beautiful cover, is what made me request the book. And I am so glad that I did because A Thousand Pieces of You is bloody good!

Continue reading