Illuminae

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Audiobook Review

5_stars

 

 

 

 

“And while the irony holds some base appeal. There looms in my heart.
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The inescapable notion that has brought us all to this.
Protect. Prioritize.
Better I should kill them when I am done. Better I should kill them all.
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Am I not merciful?”

Okay I get it. I understand why this book won an Audie Award in 2016 for Multi-Voiced Performance. But it was more than just that. There were sound effects and just….spectacularness.

I have always believed that in order to get the full experience of the Illuminae Files you would have to read the physical book, see the physical pages. But I’ve changed my mind. In order to get a full experience of this book, you need to listen to the audiobook while reading it. I know, that’s a little excessive. But both versions have their own contribution to the story. The audiobook only increases my anticipation for the movie…that will come out when???

I am super excited to listen to the Gemina adaptation now. I obviously can’t wait until the Obsidio comes out, and will certainly re read the first two books again probably in February and March, because let’s be honest, I cannot get enough of these books. Let’s play desert island, yes, I would bring these books.

 

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Related Reviews:

01cb5-23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #1) *Book review

 

 

 

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Illuminae Files #2)

 

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Gemina

29236299Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The Illuminae Files #2

5 Stars

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

THIS BOOK WAS PERFECTION!!

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Gemina continues the epic story that Illuminae started. From Jump Station Heimdall we meet a whole new crew of ass-kicking and hacking characters to continue the prosecution against BeiTech.

The Story– I didn’t quite believe people when they told me Gemina was better than Illuminae. But OH. MY. GOSH. It truly was so much better. It did NOT suffer from that second book syndrome we know as “this sucks”. I don’t even need to say much about how awesome the story is, if you loved the first one, you will most definitely love this one, if not even more like I did (and obviously so many other people). I don’t know how the story was able to come up a notch, but it did and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!

The World Building– How do you expand the world on a space ship? Kaufman and Kristoff have introduced some elements that, frankly, scared the shit out of me. I’m not going to say what said element was, but let’s just say that my (irrational) fear of air vents has been rekindled. Yes. Freaking. Air. Vents.

Even though we the story is in a futuristic multiuniverse there are still some familiar attributes to be found in this book. Annoying double entendre pop songs that are way over played, culture (such as Russian), drug dealers, instant messaging. It’s all stuff that isn’t too crazy sci fi for the average person to get behind. So even if you aren’t really into sci fi, you can still enjoy the non stop action this book provides.

The Characters-Kady & Grant << Hanna & Nik << AIDEN.

I know, right? Yay for more Kady, Grant, & AIDEN!!! I am so glad that they did have a come back, at first I was slightly worried since we were on a completely different location in space.

Hanna-Such a bad ass! I love that even though she was all prim & proper spoiled could still live a little. She had a journal to draw out her feelings. Her dad had her in combat training. And above all else, she still had a little sense of adventure or a spark for the wild side. Despite all that, she still had her moments where she was a broken girl, and it was such a relief to see a hero still be able to feel despair, failure, and anger.

Nik-Can I have one please? I love that Nik is not who you expect him to be. His character has such excellent development from what Hanna’s preconceived opinion of him. There’s never a moment where I wasn’t cheering him on. I always have been a rooter for the underdog. & I am love a story with the most unlikely companions.

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NYXIA

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

ARC from Netgalley for an honest review

Publish Date: September 12, 2017

5 Stars


“Babel might have all the keys, but they don’t know what they’re keeping in the cage.” 

 

Before I get into this review, let me just say that I never read Ender’s Game, but I think I watched the flop-ish of a movie. Now while I found a few things that I didn’t particularly love about the book, it wasn’t anything that I fully disliked, they were just aspects that I just shrugged off.

Nyxia is a futuristic story about this guy named Emmett that gets recruited by a company called Babel into this space quest to a distant planet called Eden to mine for a substance called Nyxia. 9 other teens are also recruited on this mission as well. Turns out only 8 of them get to go and they must battle it out for the chance to make a lot of money and go to Eden.

The Story-What I liked most about Nyxia was that it wasn’t just about the challenges that the characters have to go through. Yes, a majority of the book is stock full of vivid accounts of the challenges, however, there is this underlying creepiness that Babel has form all the secrecy. First of all-Babel? I mean, in the Bible the story surrounding Babel is about how all the descendants of Noah started to overreach and build a tower to get to Heaven & God-at which point God was like, oh heck no let me scatter you and make you unable to understand each other. So that, and all the other biblical references in the beginning really set it up for the company to not be trustworthy. Do we ever find anything out? Not really, the men in charge openly admit that they aren’t just one wizard behind one curtain, there are many wizards behind many curtains. Quotes like this:

“But a quick glance shows that not all the kids around the table can see the writing on the wall. Translation: Walking away isn’t an option.”

just really set up the book to have a lot of twists and turns in the story, and boy are there a lot of twists and turns. (BTW, in case you don’t know “writing on the wall” is another biblical reference). Anyway, as soon as you start to think the book might plateau, BAM twist and then BAM turn. Literally, at 97% of the book another twist is thrown in.

The World Building-Let’s be real. They were on a spaceship, there wasn’t much world building. What little there was was in creation of Eden & the elements that go with it. The Adamites, the nyxia, the history behind previous travels was where any world building was. Here is one of the few things that bothered me comes in, but still was able to shrug it off. Here we are in the near distant future, Google apparently has been eaten up by this company Babel, but we are wearing these full masks for translating? There is already an ear budthat you can get that translates like 5 different languages from Waverly Labs and I would have expected a little more advancement than what was depicted in the story. 

I loved the complexity of nyxia and what it was capable of, and I can’t wait to read the next installment so that I can learn more about what it really is, what’s Babel up to, and what has really happened down on Eden. I really hope Reintgen really spends a little more time on the background than the day to day in the next book.

The Characters-Oh my little children. I wanted to scoop each of these kids up and hug them till their worries went away. Firstly, people can stop complaining, because, drum roll please, we have a narrator that is a POC. Emmett is a kid from a hoodrat neighborhood in Detroit. What I love about him is that he doesn’t let it define him. It’s where he’s from, but not who he is or where he is going. Aside from Emmett we have a smörgåsbord of ethnicity. Each character had their own history and skill to bring to the table. I really look forward to learn more about each character as their adventure continues on Eden.

The small bit of romance felt rather shallow. With the kids pitted against each other, it was hard to even imagine something romantic sparking, but I did appreciate all the camaraderie that was built. I did find the romance to be a little bit of a reach, because how does one chose one person over the rest of the kids scrambling to go when they really didn’t have much time to get to know each other. Still, they’re kids, they have hormones so and a limited variety of other people so…

Anyway, I loved it. It was exciting from start to finish. I felt connected with the characters and wanted rooted them on.

-Scrill

Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth


2 stars


This review is going to be fairly unexciting, as I have nothing really re-mark-able to say about this book. (ha, see what I did there? I know, I’m lame.)


Carve the Mark tells the story of rivaling nations on a single planet. From alternating POV’s of Cyra, a Shotet, and Akos, a Thuvheien, we see how are two enemies grow to accept the fates they were given by the Oracles.


So, lets tackled that Racism bit. I honestly don’t know what all the fuss is about. And maybe it’s because I give Roth the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t intentionally making it so. With that being said, I read this after I read somewhere that there were racial undertones and didn’t even notice. I honestly don’t think they’re that noticeable unless you’re looking for it. But if that’s the case you can find stereotyping or racial similarities in a lot of books, but the reality is, SOMEONES gotta be the bad guy, the lesser race, or the unfortunate soul. 


Okay, so now that the nasty stuff is out of the way, I am going to point one other thing about the book that made me cringe.


I absolutely hated that they called their smaller space ships ‘floaters’. Every single time I read it I thought of my brother coming over to me to look at his floaters. in. the. toilet. Yeah. I pictured a bunch of turds hovering around the sky carrying passengers. The comical part was that I also paired it with the bubbly noise for the little space ships in the Jetsons. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Scrill’s imagination.


So, the idea’s behind the book were great. From the current gifts that each person had, to the fates that they can try to change, to the culture created by each nation/planet. Unfortunately I found the story to be slow paced and pretty boring. Chapter 31 suddenly became very YA romance-y and I felt the chapter didn’t fit quite well with the rest of the book or the characters. In the end, I have zero desire to continue the series.

-Scrill

Illuminae

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

“I don’t know my limit, but I’m scared to reach it. I don’t know what will happen if I do.”

million stars

5_stars

I have to admit. I went into this book blind. There were enough people suggesting to me to read this book next (its my friend add question-and thanks to you guys for doing so) that I picked it up. I didn’t even read the synopsis. All I knew was what I saw – a book in the format of files, reports, etc. What I expected: boring with little world building. My final thoughts: I am not surprised Plan B Entertainment bought the film rights to this book….and I hope they put out an epic movie. Because that’s what this book was, it was epic.

The book starts off running. Yes, it’s a report documenting separate interviews with two teens, Kady and Ezra. What they tell you is this: their home was attacked and they escaped and they are now refugees on these ships that rescued thousands the day of the attack. The story doesn’t end there-duh because there’s still 500 pages left. 500 pages of pure mayhem, unexpected plot twists, and a roller coaster of emotions. I kid you not I would go one minute from squealing about the cuteness that is Kady and Ezra to biting my nails due to the AI that is AIDAN. 

Despite everything in this book being collected reports, files, documents. It flows like a regular story. I never found a moment that I was bored. Through reports on video surveillance, instant messages, military action reports, you get an entire world that is set entirely on a space ship(s).

The characters are amazing. Every key player in the book has personality and brings substance to the book. Even the AI, AIDEN, has his moments when he has his moments of deep, meaningful thoughts . As the book carries on you really get attached to the characters and your heart breaks as tragedy strikes each of them in different ways. Kady is such a bad ass. 

What I loved best was that you are kept on the edge of your seat the entire time. 600 pages seems daunting, but it reads like a 300 page book. There were several plot twists that leave you shell shocked and dying to find out what happens next. Sometimes sci-fi can get a little technical or a little too far fetched. But this is a grounded, page turner, that left residual images in my dreams. I am not sure 5 stars is enough.

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