Top 5 Tuesday: Science Fiction

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Bionic Book Worm

Today’s topic: Top 5 Science Fiction Books

Click on the book cover to be linked to my review or the book’s Goodreads page. This is my first ever TOP 5 TUESDAY. I love science fiction books, so it was so hard for me to narrow the list down. But here are a few of my favorites. 

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PACIFICA

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What are some of your favorite Science Fiction books?

 

ARC Review: Dark Energy by Robison Wells

Title: Dark Energy
By:  Robison Wells
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed 

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

25816859We are not alone.

Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest. Since then, nothing—or no one—has come out.

They have arrived.

If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site—because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything is a special project, it’s this.

And there’s no going back.

A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the new future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.


The Rants and Raves of Dark Energy

I LOVE novels about aliens, spaceships, or anything dealing with space. I had heard very little hype surrounding Dark Energy, so of course I was excited for a non-spoilery, non-hyped read of  Robison Wells’ newest book. Overall, Dark Energy is a very quick and well-paced read. I read it in one sitting and I really enjoyed the steady flow that Wells carries throughout the novel. From my understanding, the book is a standalone, so it has the basic bullet points of a good story: introduction of  a main character/conflict, the climax, and then the much anticipated resolution. 

First, I had a hard time connecting with the main character, Alice. She’s a rich teenager, with an expensive car,  who is forced to go to a boarding school in Minnesota, because her dad works for NASA and he’s on a special assignment in the Midwest where a gigantic spacecraft has crashed.  Alice is a “go-with-the-flow” type of girl. She does not have that much of a personality–she’s just blah (sorry, I don’t know how else to describe her…she’s just there and she’s making the most of her world that is now inhabited by aliens). She has a very dry sense of humor and reveals very little emotional responses to the people and hysteria that surrounds her. I’m a big fan of people with “dry” and “sarcastic” sense of humors, but overall I found Alice to be a typical stock character that was underdeveloped. 

Even though Alice’s voice and personality never clicked with me, the storyline  was definitely engaging and unpredictable. And without providing any spoilers for future readers, Wells’ aliens are definitely worth exploring in this book. The aliens may parallel human beings in numerous ways, but they also hold their own secrets and talents. The aliens and their background story made me question my own knowledge of the universe, and everything from human understanding, to science, to ancestry, and to historical events. I loved the path that Wells provides to his readers to help connect his characters to the aliens and the other conflicts that invade them. The aliens and the reasons behind their crash in Minnesota are definitely the key factors make Dark Energy an engaging read. 

Even though I found the main character, Alice, to be one-dimensional, I think the plot, the twists, and the well-constructed ending are well crafted and make the book a good contribution to the science fiction genre. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

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NOTE:          Even though this is an Advance Reader’s Copy (ARC), I borrowed this book from a fellow blogger. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher for a review. All statements and honest opinions are mine.

Book Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Title: Starflight
By:  Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Signed copy from Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

21793182Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…


MY REVIEW

Overall, I found this book hard to put down–it is definitely a great page-turner. I am always a sucker for any outlet that encompasses space adventure and criminal runaways seeking refuge among other misfits. Starflight is definitely a novel that can stand on its own as a gift to the sci-fi genre. As I read the story, I started making connections to popular culture, and I most definitely saw a reflection and integration of two of my favorite fandoms: Joss Whedon’s Firefly and John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club

Similar to the TV show Firefly, Landers has created a story revolving around a female protagonist, in this case Solara Brooks, who wants to create new beginnings in the intergalactic abyss. Solara unwillingly tags along with rich and charming Doran Spaulding, who finds himself in his own predicament. And to make the tension between these two greater, they both despise each other. Through grand scheming and fate, both characters find themselves aboard a spaceship with its own band of misfits. And not to give too much away, the characters aboard this spacecraft have a slight parallelism to the cast of The Breakfast Club: a princess, a thief, a basket case, a brain, an athlete, and a criminal (well, there might be more than one criminal…hahaha).  

The conflicts, twists, and the space pirates that litter Starflight‘s plot kept me on the edge of my seat. Some of the conflicts were predictable, but other times I was caught off guard and completely surprised. I mostly enjoyed the love/hate relationships that are described in the story, which provides a tolerable angst that is worthy of being developed and transformed into new friendships and companionship. If you like a slow burn romance, you will quite enjoy and be entertained by the tempers, banters, and selfless sacrifices of several characters in this story. 

MY RANTS AND RAVES

RANTS:          Some plot lines were predictable, but overall, the story is very unique and enjoyable. 

RAVES:          I love me a good space story, and Landers definitely provided a brilliant cast of misfits in a new and exciting setting of outer space. Plus, I enjoyed the development of friendship that is encountered throughout the whole novel. 

NOTE:          All statements and opinions are mine.

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER/RETAILER 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository