This audiobook is a PERFECT way to re-read, but…

This audiobook is a PERFECT way to re-read, but…
Illuminae (audiobook)

Written by: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Published by: Listening Library
Release date: October 20th 2015
Runtime: 11hrs 41mins
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Buy: Audible
Add on: Goodreads


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My Thoughts

This review is incredibly late in coming, considering I listened to this audiobook back in October, but hey, better late than never!

There’s been a lot of buzz around the print edition of this book — for very good reason. Its format is beyond unique, and on top of that, the story is amazing, so I’d really urge you to check out my original Illuminae review if you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts about those things. But if you want to skip that, just suffice it to say, this is one of those books that completely lives up to the hype that surrounds it.

But what about the audiobook version? If you’ve already read the original book, you’re probably wondering how, exactly, they made an audiobook of it — the book isn’t written in normal linear narration.

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The Starbound series comes to an AMAZING finish.

The Starbound series comes to an AMAZING finish.
Their Fractured Light
Starbound #3

Written by: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: December 1st 2015
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Audiobook
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


** Some spoilers for previous books in this synopsis! **

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

My Thoughts

When you reach the conclusion to a beloved series, one you’ve followed for years, you always hope it will be great. You hope it will live up to expectations — you hope, you hope, and sometimes… your hopes become reality. This book is that reality. To me, Their Fractured Light was perfect.

For those who don’t know (who are you and why are you here?!), the Starbound trilogy is a series of space-opera companion novels, each focusing on a different couple in the same universe, who are all affected by closely-related outside forces, both those of a political and otherworldly nature… You get hints of a larger plot at work in These Broken Stars; you see things overlapping a bit more and starting to come together in This Shattered World; and finally, in Their Fractured Lightthe story finally comes full-circle, and it is pure awesomeness.

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A shippy, time-traveling adventure you don’t want to miss.

I received this book for free from Disney Hyperion. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A shippy, time-traveling adventure you don’t want to miss.
Passenger
Passenger #1

Written by: Alexandra Bracken
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: January 5th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Source: Publisher
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: The Darkest Minds, Never Fade


passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

MyThoughts_v2

If there are two things (well, technically three) whose combination can get me immediately interested in a book, they’re time travel and ships — both the nautical and relationship kind. 😉 So if you’re like me, and you think Passenger‘s synopsis sounds like something up your alley… you definitely need to pick up this book.

Beyond ships and time travel, though, what I need in a book is great characters, and I loved the characters in Passenger — they’re so believable, and so easy to relate to and empathize with. Etta, a violin prodigy, is whisked back in time against her will, and is told she has to find a certain powerful artifact . . . or else. Nicholas wants nothing more than a life at sea and freedom from his ‘family’, but he gets pulled into Etta’s search regardless. Continue reading

A star-crossed, timey-wimey romance (Mini Review)

I received this book for free from Sourcebooks. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A star-crossed, timey-wimey romance (Mini Review)
Until We Meet Again

Written by: Renee Collins
Published by: Sourcebooks
Release date: November 3rd 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: BookExpo America 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history… or risk losing Lawrence forever.

MyThoughts_v2

I find myself in a bit of an odd predicament with this book. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know they tend to be long-ish, but I just… I really don’t have that much to say about this one? 😱 I know, I know, holy crap Nikki is keeping it under 500 words, what’s going on?! Basically I just… Well, I quite enjoyed it, I had a couple issues, and… that’s that. But you probably want a bit more than that.😉 So here you go:

First off, I loved the romance. It was a bit insta-love-ish, but I have nothing against insta-love as a concept — it can work for me, provided it doesn’t feel forced or ridiculously unbelievable. In this case, it worked — present-day Cassandra and 1920s Lawrence had really great chemistry. They were both realistic characters, but the charming Lawrence was my favorite — what can I say, those 1920s guys… 😍 The pacing of their relationship did stretch the bounds of believability for me a little, but not in a bad way. I went into this book wanting a romance, and that’s what I got. It was sweet, and full of feels, and I definitely shipped it, so that aspect worked really well for me.

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ARC Review: THE SCORPION RULES by Erin Bow

I received this book for free from Margaret K. McElderry Books. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: THE SCORPION RULES by Erin Bow
The Scorpion Rules
Prisoners of Peace #1

Written by: Erin Bow
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release date: September 22nd 2015
Genres: Dystopian, LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Source: BookExpo America 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

MyThoughts_v2

The Scorpion Rules was… something. And when I say ‘something,’ I mean a few things.

  1. It has substance.
  2. It was absolutely not what I was expecting.
  3. It’s a little odd — in a good way.

This is one of those books where the blurb cannot go into the actual details of the story because holy freaking spoilers, Batman!!! That blurb (and I) cannot mention half of the awesome stuff that is present in this book because it would absolutely spoil huge elements of the plot.

That being said, I do want to talk about the three points above.

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ARC Review: WILLFUL MACHINES by Tim Floreen

I received this book for free from Simon Pulse. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: WILLFUL MACHINES by Tim Floreen
Willful Machines
Willful Machines #1

Written by: Tim Floreen
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: October 20th 2015
Genres: LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: ALA Annual 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

In this action-packed, high-octane debut, the closeted son of an ultra-conservative president must keep a budding romance secret from his father while protecting himself from a sentient computer program that's terrorizing the United States—and has zeroed in on him as its next target.

In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.

Charlotte's attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets.

But when attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he's Charlotte's next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte's plan too.

As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte's plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive... and what makes life worth living.

MyThoughts_v2

I have very mixed feelings about Willful Machines. On the one hand, there were parts that I loved and that I think were really, really strong; and on the other… there were parts that I definitely did not love. Unfortunately, the parts I loved were in the beginning, and the rest were at the end, so ultimately… I’m left feeling rather disappointed.

Most of my positive feelings stem from the fact that the first half (ish) of this book reads like a slightly-futuristic contemporary with a dash of sci-fi, which I adored. There were great characters, a great friendship, a super cute crush, and some ominous plot-related tension. The first half was really, solidly good.

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