Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite SFF on your TBR

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is,
April 5th: Top SFF Books on Your TBR *Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic!*
–Talk about the science fiction and fantasy books you want to read ASAP!

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

As I always say, science fiction and fantasy are always my go to for reading and they always have great stories and characters

The Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

From the premise it sounds like cool new version of Sailor Moon meets Buffy with a prophecy element. I keep seeing it at bookstores, I always pick it up then out it down. I may actually will try to read the book.

A Gathering of Shadows/A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab

I read A Darker Shade of Magic earlier this year and loved it and I want to see how the story continues. I have heard nothing but good things about the series and the author so I hope it won’t disappoint.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

From what I was told it is a retelling of the movie Labyrinth, and I have heard some good things about it from the bookish community.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I was told since I was a fan of Firefly, this would be a book for me. I always like the ragtag group of people going around and kicking ass in space.

A Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This is a book that has been on my TBR for a long time and I know she has another book out but I feel that I need to read it. I heard a lot of good things about the book and I will be sure to read it when I have the time.

Those are the SFF books on my TBR. What SFF books are on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Starflight by Melissa Landers

Summary:

Life 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…

The Review:

This was another book on my TBR, mainly because it had at space pirates, and anything set in space is a must read for me, and I was pleasantly surprised about how much I liked the book.

First of all, the setting, I always like books set in space, mainly its just the Firefly fan in me, it reminded me of Firefly especially the bits of the outer realm being lawless and ruthless.

The character  also really liked. I like Soloara’s no-nonsense attitude throughout the book. She is very street smart and it works when she has to work with Doran. Doran is sort of the over privileged prince character who really has a heart of gold. While it does seem cliched, the character was framed a lot better, and it seemed like a fish out of water story with him having to evade arrest with the help of Solara.

I also liked some of the action the book had especially when the ship is going through space running from the Enforcers.

A negative that I kinda had with the book was sort of the pacing. While the plot picks up in the beginning of the book, it was the middle of the story is where I felt the story started to slow down, but it did have some great character moments between Solara and Doran, which actually made me care about their relationship when it starts to develop.

I also felt that some of the supporting characters could have some had development as well. Mainly the crew of the Banshee, which reminded me a lot of the crew of Serenity from Firefly. They each had a role of the ship and I would have liked to learn more about them.

I also thought the twist at the end was actually well done, and it was telegraphed throughout the book.

In the end I thought Starflight was a great read, especially if you are a fan of science fiction. I will be continuing the series hopefully soon.

Grade: 4/5

 

 

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review:

This is the second book of the Illuminae files, in which the first book, Illuminae was one of the best books I read last year, and this book did not disappoint, in fact I think this was an excellent sequel.

Gemina follows another person Hanna, in which she is one a different space station, so this one doesn’t really follow up with Kady’s story but she does play a role in this book. She is the captain’s daughter, and she is a great character. She reminded me a lot of Jyn Erso from Rogue One with a little bit of Katniss Everdeen. Even though she is basically a “princess” she really doesn’t act like it and when stuff goes down she is on the scene trying to get the job done.

Nik, as a member of a crime family is basically Han Solo. He deals drugs to the people at the space station and has a great backstory which really adds a lot to his character. Both Nik and Hanna are an amazing couple and you get a real good sense of their relationship, especially their IMs and chat logs.

The plot was also really well done. I like that the main antagonist was a strike team, and how Hanna and Nik had to take them out individually. The leader Faulk, was a really good villain which reminded me a lot of General Zod, who always cared about his troops and making sure that they are focused on the mission. I like the idea of having a take over, while the the virus was a good plot, I like that it had an actual antagonist that you also got to follow.

This book was also a lot more action packed than Illuminae. While Illuminae focused heavily on the political aspect, this one had a lot more action scenes, which was very easy to follow mainly due to seeing the security footage.

Like Illuminae, this book is also told through unconventional means, and what I liked about was that it puts you right in the middle of the action and it feels like you are actually there witnessing everything that is happening. This book also had a lot more security footage which made it little bit easier to follow the story. Also the illustrations was done by Marie Lu, and it looks awesome.

The ending twist was also amazing, seeing Kady again was great and having here work together with Hanna added a lot to both Illuminae and Gemina. Also the possibility of other universes also makes me excited about future books .

In the end, Gemina was an amazing sequel that really pushed on where the Illuminae files will go, It gave a us great new characters and a really well done plot. It makes you want to see where the story and the characters will go.

Grade: 5/5

Across the Universe by: Beth Revis

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship —tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

The Review:

This is another one, in my series of tackling my TBR list and it as on my list for years mainly because I am a fan of space and science fiction, and I do like settings in space. I can say I actually enjoyed reading this book.

First of all, the setting was great. Taking place mostly in a spaceship on its way to a distant planet in search for new life and new civilization. It reminded me a lot of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Even how the rules of the spaceship was also very intriguing, especially dealing with the “mating” process.

I also liked the characters. Amy who was awakened to early was pretty compelling. She was a good character in which to envision the world with. She was asking questions, and also learning about the rules of the ship. She was also one of the first people to realize that something else was going on in the ship.

Than there is Elder, who is basically training to be the Eldest, who is the suppose to be the future leader of the world. I like that he was also another POV character to follow because he was an also established character in that world. I think it was a very smart move to have duo POVS because it helped see the world through the eyes of two people, one of which who is new to the world and another character who exists in the world. It helped make the story a bit more clearer.

A majority of the book is a lot of background information about the trip through space to find the “New World” even if it is going to take years and years to do so. It was a better type of info dump, in which the story still had a progression while also giving us information about the world. My problem is that it took at least until half way through the story for any type of conflict to begin. While it was a good conflict, it felt very basic with a whodunit feel to it. But you also saw the twist coming.

In the end, I think Across the Universe was a very good starter book of the trilogy that does a good job introducing characters, and the world it is set in. While it had a basic plot, it was still an enjoyable read.

Grade: 3.5/5

Illuminae by: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Summary:

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.

The Review:

How did it take me so long to read this book?! I mean wow! I have seen this book around the blogging sites and Booktube for a while, and I never thought to pick it up.

This book has a weird unconventional narrative to it. It is told mostly through reports, dossiers, security footage, reports and not as an actual book. At first, this confused me because I thought for the first couple of pages I was reading a prologue or background, but than you find out that it is the entire book, and I was still surprised on how it still managed to tell a compelling story.

You the relationship of Ezra and Kady through a series of chats and IMs, and you get a sense of character through those means, and that is what made the book very interesting. Kady is a great protagonist, she is a go-getter and risk taker and is willing to do everything and everything to find out the truth. She reminded me a lot of June from the Legend Trilogy.

The book is also visually amazing. As someone that grew up and is still reading comics, I just loved all of the images the book presented. I say ship designs, propaganda posters, and other great illustration.

The plot centers around trying to find out the truth about what happened on the planet Kerenza, with Kady trying to figure out the truth. It reminded me a lot of Battlestar Galactica, in which this is more of a political story that just so happen to be set in space. The plot also never slowed down, which is a good thing, it was fantastically paced, and the book was on go mode from page one.

As a political story set in space you see a lot of the moral implications of what happened on the planet, and wondering if they should do a certain something. That’s where my comparison to Battlestar Galactica comes in.

I also felt that the world building was really good, and with its use of reports it gave me a sense of the world where it is set in and a lot of the background information that is needed to follow the story. While it does take a while to get through the format of the story, it was still a great story.

In the end, Illuminae was a very great book, that I can fully recommended to any fan of space operas. Its use of an unconventional story telling format can keep you engaged in the story for a long time, and I will be reading Gemina very soon.

Grade 5/5