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Welcome to Sci-Fi Kingdom

Welcome to the new home of the Sci-Fi Kingdom book review blog here at wordpress.com.

 

First of all I would like to thank all of the people who supported the original website. Unfortunately, as you now know, I have had to relocate the blog. I have also decided to make a number of changes to the original format of my reviews by changing the rating system to a much more streamlined and practical 5 star system, rather than the complex 10 star system, as outlined below:

Continue reading “Welcome to Sci-Fi Kingdom”

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Book Review)

The 5th Wave is a science fiction novel from writer Rick Yancey and is the first book in the 5th Wave trilogy to become a major motion picture, recently released in cinemas.

 

Wave 1 – An electromagnetic pulse that wipes out all of the planets power and electronic devices

Wave 2 – Destruction by tsunami

Wave 3 – Infection via birds

Wave 4 – Alien invasion

Wave 5 – We Fight Back!

 

The Rules:

1 – Don’t trust anyone

2 – To stay alive is to stay alone

 

Cassie Sullivan, a sixteen year old survivor of the first four waves of the alien invasion is possibly all that is left after she loses her family to this apocalyptic tragedy. She must remain alone if she wants to survive, because there is only one rule that can protect her now: trust no-one.

But when she meets Evan Walker everything changes. He saves her life, and she saves him by giving his life purpose and meaning. Together Cassie and Evan keep each other safe, and alive. But can she really trust him? Is he really who he claims to be?

Meanwhile, an army of uninfected children are being trained for the war.

 

Favourite Quotes:

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vosch (quoting Stalin): “A single death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.” (p128)

 

“We’re here, and then we’re gone, and it’s not about the time we’re here, but what we do with the time.” – Evan Walker, (p178)

 

The 5th Wave is a story full of courage and hope against the worst odds imaginable. Aliens have invaded Earth, their intention: to make our planet their home. But in order to do so, they must neutralise the human race.

The book begins at the end of the 4th wave and is a little confusing when it jumps back and forth between present day and the past, or between the viewpoint of one person and that of another. However, eventually we reach a period of cohesion and the story starts to make a bit more sense.

Unfortunately there are a few areas that to me don’t quite seem logical, though I am loath to discuss them here for fear of spoiling the story.

Despite those occasional little niggles that I am unable to comprehend I did enjoy this interestingly unique take on the invasion genre and give the book 4 out of 5 stars, but I’m not sure that the story actually reached any real conclusion. Maybe this was intentional in order for the author to release his story as a trilogy, but even separate novels should have some sort of cohesive end that fits the overall arc of the book.

Those interested can check out The 5th Wave on Amazon.co.uk here.

 

 

See also:

Book 2 – The Infinite Sea (review coming soon)

Book 3 – The Last Star (review coming soon)

The Solaris Saga by Janet McNulty (Book Reviews)

This review comprises the four novels in Janet McNulty’s space opera series, The Solaris Saga. You can read my full review of book one ‘Solaris Seethes’ via OnlineBookClub.org here.

 

…beware of spoilers… Continue reading “The Solaris Saga by Janet McNulty (Book Reviews)”

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)

Today’s book review is the science fiction novel Dark Matter written by Blake Crouch, the man who created the Wayward Pines series.

 

… warning may contain spoilers … Continue reading “Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book Review)”

The Race Through Space Trilogy: Books 1-3 – David Hawk (Book Review)

Book 1: The Race Through Space

David Hawk’s first book is an intriguing science fiction adventure novella, in which two 13-year-olds travel through wormholes to extra-terrestrial planets. Neil Webb and his best friend Marie have been tasked by Neil’s father, Stephen and fellow physicist Dr. William Lowell, to embark on a dangerous mission to rescue them from an uncharted planet. Teaming up with various intelligent alien beings whom they meet along the way, Neil and Marie soon find themselves thrust into the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Book 2: The Wave of Time

Neil and Marie have unexpectedly found themselves separated from their companions and guides after the events in book one. However, while resting on the alien planet Amphibios they stumble upon Neil’s grandfather, Grandpa Al. Together the three of them must find a way to reach Stephen and Dr. Lowell, preferably before Dr. Lowell succumbs to his wounds.

 

Book 3: The End of Time

The third novella in this Race Through Space trilogy concludes the adventures of Neil and Marie, on their mission to rescue Dr. Stephen Webb and Dr. William Lowell from the uncharted Alien planet. Before travelling to Varillam, to warn its inhabitants of a deadly threat to their existence.

 

Review:

I rather enjoyed meeting and learning about all of the different races of intelligent beings and various strange creatures that inhabit these alien planets, such as the Spaldings and the Wychu. The overall story is very fun and imaginative, and the pace is swift with simple and straightforward language, making these novellas perfect for young adults.

However, personally I dislike it when writers release separate short novellas as instalments of a larger series. This is because each book tends to end abruptly without conclusion, instead continuing the main plot through into the next instalment, and the next etc. The Race Through Space books employ this very system of separate short instalments, so please beware of this if you choose to read these books individually. The saving grace is that the three books have been brought together and released as a trilogy, which is what I have read and reviewed here.

One major issue that I have about this story is that since there are at least three different wormhole devices in existence – the one Dr. Stephen Webb and Dr. William Lowell use, Neil’s device and Grandpa Al’s device – why didn’t Stephen take a spare device with them on their journey, and leave just one device at home. Surely in reality this would have made the most sense, although I suppose if that were the case then the whole concept of this story falls apart, as then Neil wouldn’t have needed to come to his Dad’s rescue. Admittedly David included an explanation to this later on in book three, however I still feel that it would have benefitted Stephen to have carried a spare device.

There are also quite a high number of quality issues with regard to spelling and grammar within this book which is rather frustrating as its basic premise is highly enjoyable. I’m rating this at 3.5 out of 5 stars because while I enjoyed the main story arc, finding it amusing, fun and entertaining, there were a few issues and I maintain that this should have been released simply as one complete novel, rather than split into instalments and classed as a trilogy.

I received a complimentary copy of The Race Through Space Trilogy direct from author, David Hawk and have voluntarily chosen to write this review. Those interested can purchase a copy of The Race Through Space from Amazon.co.uk by clicking this link.

Hunger Games: Book 3 – Mockingjay (Book Review)

Katniss Everdeen’s defiance in the arena during the 74th Annual Hunger Games has had unexpected repercussions. She has inadvertently sparked a rebellion against the Capitol, which has in turn resulted in the destruction of her home District. While those in support of the war have rescued her from almost certain death in the Quarter Quell, her best friend Gale Hawthorne has saved the lives of her family.

Now sheltering in a secret underground bunker, hidden beneath the remains of District 13, Katniss must transform herself into the Mockingjay, spokesperson for the rebels and the revolution. Especially if she has any hope of rescuing Peeta, who has been captured and tortured by the Capitol.

But which side will win this atrocious war?

 

Mockingjay is the third, and thankfully final, novel in the Hunger Games trilogy from Suzanne Collins. I knew going into this trilogy that the books weren’t really to my taste, but the third novel is so dull and monotonous that I struggled to finish it.  Gone are the actual Hunger Games events which provoked the action and entertainment during the first two instalments of the series, instead we are subjected to a tedious rebellion in which rebel forces hide out underground and do very little to attack the Capitol. At 1 out of 5 stars this is a very slow paced and disappointing end to the Hunger Games trilogy.

 

Anyone genuinely interested in these novels can pick up a copy of Mockingjay from Amazon.co.uk here. Or alternatively, you can get all of the movies on DVD via this link.

 

See also:

Book 1: The Hunger Games

Book 2: Catching Fire

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Book Review)

Station Eleven is a science fiction post-apocalyptic survival story from Emily St. John Mandel. The premise is of a flu epidemic that rips through Toronto, Canada, very quickly and killing anyone who comes into contact with it.

The book begins with a riveting narrative (see sentence above) in which an actor named Arthur dies while performing a Shakespearian play onstage. It then follows Jeevan, a trainee paramedic and member of the audience as he discusses the flu epidemic via telephone call with his friend Hua, who works in a hospital. After that, the story becomes a jumble of different plotlines that drift back and forth and sideways, with no real direction or meaning.

There’s a Travelling Symphony composed of various actors and musicians, most of whom don’t even use real names, instead being called third cello, the clarinet, sixth guitarist etc. The book also narrates prior details of Arthur’s life before the flu epidemic, and brief accounts of his ex-wives and close friends during the early days of the outbreak. But things only begin to get interesting about 70% of the way through the book, and even then it’s just a temporary respite from the monotony.

Currently, I can’t quite remember what prompted me to read this book. I think I saw a review online, or a recommendation somewhere that piqued my interest. However, it wasn’t really worth bothering with. I persevered to the end, mostly just to see if the book improved or if the individual elements later came together to make proper sense. Sadly, this didn’t really happen, and there wasn’t any real conclusion as such. At 1 out of 5 stars I found the novel to be dull, disjointed and nonsensical. My advice, best avoided, however should anyone wish to check out Station Eleven you can find it on Amazon.co.uk here.

Supernatural: Bone Key (Book Review)

Bone Key is the third book in the series of TV Tie-in novels from the CW show Supernatural, and the second written by author Keith R.A. DeCandido. Once again we join the monster-hunting Winchester brothers, Sam and Dean, on another action packed adventure. Bone Key takes place during season 3, between episodes 8 (A Very Supernatural Christmas) and 9 (Malleus Maleficarum).

 

In this spooky tale, the boys travel to Key West, Florida, where some famous ghosts are terrorising tourists and murdering people. Can Sam and Dean figure out what’s causing the spirits to become supercharged, and save the day?

 

First of all, with numerous references to prior events, Bone Key isn’t suitable for anyone new to Supernatural, and those unaware of recent plot points which play major roles in the first three seasons of the TV show. Spoilers may ruin the suspense if you intend to watch the show at a later time.

However, for everyone else, this book has a creepy doll reminiscent of Chucky (Child’s Play) or Annabelle (The Conjuring) which I always find very unsettling, As well as famous ghosts, such as Ernest Hemingway and Harry Truman.

With lots of different characters, I found it a little difficult to keep track of everyone, and as far as story goes I’m not sure that it’s quite as strong as Keith’s earlier book, Nevermore. Thankfully though, this time around he manages to get Dean’s eye colour correct, and the characterisations of both Sam and Dean appear much more accurate.

It has a few adult themes that were somewhat questionable, such as the guy who attempts to sleep with numerous women, and unknowingly takes photos of them, just to get back at his ex.

Anyhow, at 3 out of 5 stars I found this book to be enjoyable, but not necessarily a story that appealed to my particular tastes. It had a slowish pace and didn’t have quite as much action as some of the other Supernatural books. If anyone wishes to check it out you can pick yourself up a copy of Bone Key from Amazon.co.uk here.

 

See also:

Supernatural: Nevermore

Supernatural: Witch’s Canyon