Friday, October 11, 2013

Seeds of Earth - Review

Title: Seeds of Earth  
Author: Michael Cobley
Series: Humanity’s Fire #1  

Synopsis: “The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning.  With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth’s last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of earth, to different parts of the galaxy.  The human race would live on … somewhere.
          “150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race the scholarly Uvovo.  But there are secrets buried on Darien’s forest moon.  Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilization.  Unknown to its colonists, Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension.  And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?”

Review: I have made no secret of the fact that Science Fiction is my favorite genre.  It is also the genre about which I am the pickiest.  I like a certain type of Science Fiction.  Julie E. Czerneda, David Brin, and Elizabeth Bear are my favorites, and I’ve generally been really pleased with everything I’ve read from Orbit Publishing.  Strong characters and a well developed world are vital; the actual science is secondary to me.  If you tell a strong story with an emphasis on character and world building I won’t even notice if your science is a little weak or even unrealistic.  (I was an English literature major, science is not my strong suit.) 
          That said.  I liked Seeds of Earth.  I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.  Cobley obviously put a lot of thought into his world building, and character development.  I love the Uvovo and wish that I could go live with them for a time.  I love the back story of the three ships leaving earth, the “seeds of earth” and how the colonists on Darien hate AI tech because of the betrayal by their AI.  The worlds of Darien and its forest moon are complex and I love it.  However, I feel as if Cobley tried to do too much with Seeds of Earth.  There is too much crammed into this novel and it began to get a bit tedious.  The storyline jumps around between many different characters which got a bit confusing, and there are several different stories being told within this one novel.  It made my brain hurt and I had to keep taking reading breaks because I was getting jolted out of the story and had to think too hard to keep track of everything that was going on.
          Overall I recommend Seeds of Earth, and I will be reading the rest of the Humanity's Fire series, but be prepared because this isn’t a relaxing, lose yourself in another world kind of read.

Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978- 0316213981

If you like this book you may want to read:

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S. A. Corey

Survival (Species Imperative #1) Julie E. Czerneda

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Outside - Review

Title: The Outside
Author: Laura Bickle
Series: Sequel to The Hallowed Ones

Synopsis: “The world is not what it once was.  Two thirds of the population has been killed by a plague of vampires, and the survivors hide out in isolated territories – both protected and trapped by forces beyond their understanding. 
          Exiled from her Amish community and shunned for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival, Katie enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side.  Together they seek answers wherever they can find them – but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise, the threat of starvation.
          “And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night.  But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?
          “In this thrilling sequel to The Hallowed Ones, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves.  But what will she have to leave behind in return?”

Review:  First of all, if you haven’t read The Hallowed Ones stop reading this and go read my review of that one.  Then go read that book first.  I mean it.  Go now.
          Okay, is everyone who hasn't read The Hallowed Ones gone?  Good.  Here we go.   This book continues the story that was started in The Hallowed Ones.  Katie, Alex, Ginger and Horace (the horse) are struggling to survive after being cast out of the Amish Community that Katie called home.  I stayed up way past my bedtime to read this book.  I should have known better, but I love to read in bed before going to sleep and so I started reading The Outside about an hour before I absolutely had to go to sleep.  I finished 4 hours later.  It was 345am.  I was so very tired at work the next day.  I was grumpy, and I’m almost never grumpy.  Laura Bickle owes my boyfriend and my work peeps an apology.  The Outside was amazing.  I am an animal lover, to the extreme (I’ll post pics of my spoiled rotten cats for you sometime), and so when animals appear in the cast of characters for a novel I get nervous.  When authors cruelly kill off those fuzzy characters I get very upset and generally will avoid novels by those authors in the future, and so I got nervous when Katie and her crew came across the private “zoo” with the caged animals.  I know many people feel the same way I do about animals, so I will go ahead and say read The Outside.  There’s a crazy preacher man, undead bikers, and glow in the dark scientists, how awesome is all that? I was caught up in the spell of this story and could not put it down until I had reached the end, no matter how tired I was.  Read it, read it, read it!

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 978-0544000131

If you like this book you may want to read:

 Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (review coming soon) ISBN: 978-0373210893

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti ISBN: 978-0857686350

Upcoming Releases - October 2013

I love books.  I get excited about upcoming releases like other people, normal people, get excited about movie releases.  Here are the releases I am most anticipating this month.

Second book in the series, and I loved the first one.  See my review here.

Because Valdemar, that's why.

Who doesn't want to read a book with a cover like this?

Computers trying to kill humanity?  Yes please.

Steampunk awesomeness. 

I saved the best for last.  Mira Grant is my favorite author.  Go read Feed.