Exoskeleton: Book IV – Revenant by Shane Stadler (Book Review)

Revenant is the fourth novel in the Exoskeleton series by experimental physicist Shane Stadler, and it follows on directly from its predecessors.

Those not already familiar with this series, can find my reviews of books 1 through 3 here, via the following links:

Book I – Exoskeleton

Book II – Tympanum

Book III – Omniscient

…warning: potential spoilers ahead…

Continue reading “Exoskeleton: Book IV – Revenant by Shane Stadler (Book Review)”

Armada by Ernest Cline (Book Review)

Armada is written by Ernest Cline, who’s better known for his book, Ready Player One, a best-seller later adapted into a successful film.

This book though, is written in first-person perspective from the point-of-view of American high-school student Zack Lightman, and to a certain extent is a reasonably good young adult sci-fi story. Much more believable and realistic in comparison to Ready Player One.

However, there’s far too many unnecessary pop-culture references, some of which could be considered spoilers for those not familiar with the movies, games, books or TV shows etc. that they reference. Unlike with Ready Player One, I don’t feel that these pop-culture references add any depth or meaning to the story. In Armada they just seem to be thrown-in to show how much pop-culture knowledge is rattling around inside Ernest Cline’s head, and they quickly become tedious and extremely annoying.

I’m not the biggest gamer in the world, but I’m of a generation that can understand enough of what’s going on to follow the concepts. Also FYI I’m old enough to comprehend most of the pop-culture references, unlike a lot of this books likely target audience.

…warning: spoilers ahead…

Continue reading “Armada by Ernest Cline (Book Review)”

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Book Review)

Project Hail Mary is the third sci-fi novel from bestselling author Andy Weir. Most readers are probably aware of his great debut The Martian, but if not you can read my review of that book here. Continue reading “Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Book Review)”

Ringworld Series: Book 2 – The Ringworld Engineers (Book Review)

Ringworld Engineers, the sequel to Larry Niven’s classic science fiction novel, Ringworld continues the tale of Louis Wu, and the alien explorers. Twenty-three years after leaving the Ringworld behind them, Louis, Nessus’s ex-lover, Hindmost to the Pierson’s Puppeteer race and the catlike kzinti, travel back to the massive alien construction.

 

…beware of possible spoilers for those not familiar with book 1, Ringworld…

You can read my review of book one, Ringworld here via this link.

Continue reading “Ringworld Series: Book 2 – The Ringworld Engineers (Book Review)”

Ringworld Series: Book 1 – Ringworld by Larry Niven (Book Review)

On his 200th birthday Louis Wu meets a Pierson’s Puppeteer, a strange sentient species of alien being thought to have vanished from known space. The Puppeteer, Nessus wishes to recruit him for an exploration into the far reaches of space. These unlikely allies are joined by two others to form an unusual group of four, and together they travel to what is known as Ringworld; a star orbited by a massive ring. These four intrepid explorers must now visit the Ringworld, tasked by those who lead the Pierson’s Puppeteer race, with learning more about the unusual world and its occupants.

 

Told from Louis’s Wu’s human perspective, we explore the Ringworld along with these characters, learning more about it as they do. The book is classic science fiction full of adventure and hard science. I love these types of stories, with their detailed descriptions of spaceships, planets, alien beings and the physical science which allows it all to co-exist. Trepidation and excitement at new discoveries keep the reader immersed in this fascinating world.

I found the book to be well-written and engaging, with a good balance of science and story. Though it begins to drag a little in the middle, with the seemingly endless and repetitive motion of the characters as they fly over desolate landscapes, rarely landing or interacting with the Ringworld natives. The ridiculous quarrels between the explorers also annoyed me slightly, dragging the story out. Towards the end I noticed a few errors cropping up, which is unusual in professionally published paperbacks such as this, but since I’ve read plenty of books with a lot more issues, it didn’t put me off reading.

As is usually predictable with science fiction books, there are numerous alien beings and strange species with difficult to pronounce names, such as Halrloprillalar Hotrufan and Zignamuclickclick. However, at 4 out of 5 stars Ringworld is an enjoyable classic for those who love their sci-fi filled with hard science and adventure.

I now look forward to checking out book two, The Ringworld Engineers.

 

See also:

Book 2: The Ringworld Engineers

Book 3: The Ringworld Throne

Book 4: Ringworld’s Children

Exoskeleton: Book III – Omniscient by Shane Stadler (Book Review)

Omniscient is the third book in the Exoskeleton trilogy from experimental physicist Shane Stadler.

Those not already familiar can find my review of Exoskeleton here, and book 2, Tympanum here.

…warning: spoilers ahead…

Continue reading “Exoskeleton: Book III – Omniscient by Shane Stadler (Book Review)”

The 5th Wave: Book 3 – The Last Star (Book Review)

The Last Star is the third and final novel in Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave trilogy for young adults.

…warning: potential spoilers for those not already familiar with books 1 and 2…

Check out my review of book one, The 5th Wave here, or book two, The Infinite Sea via this link.

Continue reading “The 5th Wave: Book 3 – The Last Star (Book Review)”

Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 4 – Double Infinity (Book Review)

Double Infinity is the fourth science fiction novel in the hilarious Brent Bolster Investigations series by author Michael Campling, and it is reminiscent of writers such as Douglas Adams and Red Dwarf creators Rob Grant and Doug Naylor.

…warning: potential spoilers for those not previously familiar with the Brent Bolster series…

My review of book one, Dial G for Gravity can be found here.

Continue reading “Brent Bolster Investigations: Book 4 – Double Infinity (Book Review)”

The 5th Wave: Book 2 – The Infinite Sea (Book Review)

The Infinite Sea is the second novel in the 5th Wave trilogy from science fiction writer Rick Yancey.

 

***warning: this review may contain spoilers for those not already familiar with book 1, The 5th Wave***

Continue reading “The 5th Wave: Book 2 – The Infinite Sea (Book Review)”

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.

 

 

See also:

Book 2 – The Infinite Sea

Book 3 – The Last Star