Photo Review – Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer


Renegades (Renegades #1)

by Marissa Meyer

Summary: Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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Renegades was a cool story about heroes and villains in a future where chaos reigned and many people had superpowers. The Renegades were members of an organization of superheroes also trying to keep the peace and govern the citizens. The main character, Nova, was a villain and part of her recent task was to join the Renegades as a spy since no one knew who she was or that she was in league with other villains.

The themes were comic book themes, but the book was a novel, which was what prompted me to pick it up. I’m just not a comic or graphic novel kind of person, but I enjoy the stories and themes. I really enjoyed Vicious by VE Schwab, so I felt like this was right up my alley.

I’m going through a phase where I think I might be too old for a lot of YA, maybe my tastes have changed, but sometimes I’ll grab a YA that makes me think maybe I’m not too old, I’m just picky. Either way, this story wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped and maybe it’s because it’s just me or it’s just the same old YA. I’m starting to think my love of the Lunar Chronicles by the same author is a fluke because I haven’t enjoyed anything else I’ve picked up by her as much.

Decide for yourself. It’s fun, I flew through it, and I’d probably read the rest of the series if they were out right now.


Star 3

Fox and Wit Challenge – A book about someone with a superpower

2019 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – a book about someone with a superpower

Photo Review – Artemis by Andy Weir



by Andy Weir

Summary: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Source: I purchased a paperback

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The Martian was one of the most unexpectedly awesome books I’d ever come across. I fully expected the book to be a drama, something like the movie Gravity, since it released when it seemed space dramas were all the rage. It shocked me, made me laugh, and had such a memorable protagonist. Because of its success, I knew that the author had quite the hill ahead of him and I was concerned that perhaps he’d be a one hit wonder in the book industry.

But the description of Artemis seemed pretty interesting. Artemis was set on a city on the moon in the future. The science behind the way the colony worked and even the economic of the whole thing seemed believable, as well as the underbelly and shifts in power. Despite my reservations, I went into Artemis fully expecting to at least enjoy it.

I did enjoy the book, but one thing was painfully obvious: Weir shouldn’t have written the main character as a female. He was really, really bad at the POV. I’m seriously not a super picky always-looking-for-offense kind of woman reader at all, but this was pretty bad and the whole thing could’ve been avoided by turning Jazz into a guy or consulting a couple of women before finalizing the book.

Jazz was supposed to be a woman in her mid 20s and I would’ve appreciated her being smart and funny and even sarcastic, but he wrote her like she was a 15 year old boy with the personality of Mark Watney from The Martian. I’m not actually convinced the author can write another kind of character, since the majority of The Martian was just Mark Watney. Artemis is filled with the same kind of characters, so much so that I’m not sure if Jazz was just selfish and doesn’t get to know anyone enough for the reader to actually get to know them, or if Weir just can’t write any different kinds of people in depth.

I knew what I had to do—I just didn’t like it. I’d have to blow the remaining two at the same time.
Please don’t quote that last sentence out of context.

“You may be used to taking shots in the face, but I’m not,” he said.
Okay, that was a good one.

“You’re totally going to bang that guy.”
“Oh, shut up!”

I turned my head inside the helmet, bit a nipple (try not to get excited), and sucked some water out.

“What’s in there, anyway?”
“Porn, mostly. Starring your mom.”

As annoying as the character building was, I enjoyed the overall plot. I appreciate the fact that Weir can write a book and fill it up with science and engineering and it’s not utterly boring or out of the grasp of the general public. I found myself eager to know more about how the place existed, how it was built, and how it functioned on a normal basis and Jazz was a fun narrator in that respect.

For that reason, I am giving this 3 stars. I’m confident that Weir can tell a good story with decent science, but I’m not at all confident that he can write anything else, especially characters.


Star 3

2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge – A book set in space

Fox and Wit Reading Challenge – A book set in the future

Wreck This Journal – Pages 172-173: Secret Message


Wreck This Journal
Pages 172-173

Hide a Secret Message Somewhere In This Book



Photo Review – Obsidio (The Illuminae Files_03) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Obsidio (The Illuminae Files _03)

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

SummaryKady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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I enjoyed the finale of Obsidio and I was happy to get the closure I needed for the whole story. I only gave Gemina 3 stars because it was so disappointing in comparison to Illuminae and I don’t think Obsidio was much better, but I gave it an extra star because it was interesting and it did conclude the story and involve the original characters and AIDAN a lot more.

Illuminae was the best book in the trilogy by a long shot, but if this is read as one long story with different POVs, then it’s still an amazing scifi trilogy that is worth reading. I think other people might like Gemina or Obsidio as much as or more than Illuminae, but the horror lover in me just really enjoyed the plot of Illuminae more than the traditional scifi adventure plot of the rest. The storytelling is unique for this entire trilogy and I highly recommend checking this series out and diving into a story that is told in so many ways. It was creative and full of so much adventure, love, action, horror, and mystery.

(2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge for Book Set on a Different Planet)


Star 4

Photo Review – Gemina (The Illuminae Files_02) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


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.

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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I really love Illuminae, so I knew it would be difficult to live up to that, but Gemina was actually disappointing. It was good, but it paled in comparison in so many ways and felt like your run of the mill adventurous sci-fi without the creepy factor that made Illuminae so amazing. The wormhole and alternate universes aspect was cool, but I just felt like this was very second-book syndrome.

The original characters were still present and their story is still relevant, though, so I did enjoy figuring out a little of what happened next.

Reread and Photo Review – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

SummaryThis 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.

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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2016 Review:

Illuminae was one of kind, an absolutely thrilling story told in a unique way and had a flawless execution.

I’ve heard a lot of praise for the book, but whenever I picked it up in the store and saw the way that it wasn’t a story in the traditional sense, with strange pages and transcripts and emails, I would put it back down. That style of storytelling has never worked well for me and I’ve always seen it as a great idea theoretically, but it sacrifices writing and details and would be better told as a movie if it’s not going to be a true story. It feels like a gimmick and it feels like a gimmick that stands in place of true storytelling.

Illuminae completely blew me away and shattered my preconceived notions. I’m so glad I finally just grabbed it and decided to read it. I went into it feeling very nervous about it, afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up or that it would be dull or hard to read. But as soon as I dove in, it was easy and thrilling.

I cannot gush enough about how amazing the story was. Now that I’m done, I think the weird format was what made the book even better. It didn’t feel like a gimmick. It didn’t feel like the authors used the tactic to avoid writing well. There was incredible writing throughout the book and some poetic and moving sections. It was heart pounding. Terrifying. Absolutely mind blowing.

The book was a brilliant science fiction tale of loss, love, horror, war.. it was everything. Parts of it reminded me of Event Horizon, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 28 Days Later, Starship Troopers… it’s rare that a science fiction YA novel really gets it right and Illuminae did it… and truly captured the essence of great science fiction.

It mainly featured Kady Grant, a teenager living on Kerenza who was pretty good wth computers. She broke up with her boyfriend and her planet was attacked by a giant corporation. Refugees were rescued by a scientific research vessel and a military vessel and were on the run from the corporate ship. The military ship did not come out of the rescue unscathed, leading to some problems with the ships being able to make a swift escape. It sounds cool, but it could’ve easily been an eye-roll inducing dystopian space novel and because of the writing and the layers of storytelling, it was so much more.

I did not expect the book to be so terrifying in some moments and I say that as a horror lover. The story was absolutely stunning and executed flawlessly. I can appreciate and savor each and every page.

Illuminae was smart, clever, adventurous, emotional, scary, and so much more. I highly recommend it. Do not let the strange format stop you from reading the book! It was brilliant!


2018 Thoughts:

I still feel the same way about Illuminae and I was super stoked to read the rest of the series now that I own them all.

I love the combination of horror, sci-fi, adventure, romance, and humor.

Photo Review – Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudini

Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)

By Ryan Graudin

Summary: There would be blood. Blood for blood. Blood to pay. An entire world of it.For the resistance in the Third Reich, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against Hitler’s army, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face to face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths and one question hangs over them all—how far can you go for the ones you love?

Source: I purchased a hardcover

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