Thursday, November 29, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review: Morning Star (Red Rising #3) By Pierce Brown

Morning Star By Pierce Brown
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: February 9th, 2016
Format: Audiobook narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.
Remember when I reviewed Golden Son last week and said "Pierce Brown straight up gutted me" with that book? HAHAHAHA! I WAS A FOOL! In the third book in his Red Rising series, Brown took me on a wide ride of emotions. For awhile in this book I was also REALLY mad at him for what he had done to these characters. He is straight up EVIL! So I have a lot of feelings about this third book, but I am also going to be really vague about them in this review, because otherwise I would be giving away a lot of massive spoilers.

Friday, November 23, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Review: The Last Star By Rick Yancey

The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Publisher: G.P Puntam & Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 24th, 2016
Format: Hardback

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.
This is one of those series that it's been some time since I read book two, that when I picked up this final book I forgot who all of these characters were. It also doesn't help that a lot of the characters, like Zombie, use code names or switch back and forth between their codenames, real names and their last names. Zombie is referred to as Zombie, Ben and Parrish in this novel, and at times I found it a little confusing and had to remind myself they were all the same person. Also, I felt like all the characters were way too dramatic in this book, unnecessarily so, and I didn't recall that to be huge in the first two novels. Was that just thrown in here because this is a YA series? So I hate to admit it, but compared to the first two books in the series this one was a let down.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Deanna Plays: All the Scifi Games I STILL Haven't played

Deanna Plays is a monthly feature on this blog where every third Thursday of the month I talk about something related to video games. Sometimes these are reviews of the games themselves, sometimes it's a list of books to read if you play X, and anything in between!

Okay, so...technically the third Thursday of the month was last week, but I forgot and it's my blog, so my rules, so I'm doing it this week. Since this month is still SciFi Month, I wanted to basically talk about my video game TBR, or TBP (To Be Played) ? Do we have a phrase for that in the gaming world? I don't know, but let's talk about all the games I haven't played because I spend all my time looking for all the question marks in The Witcher 3!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review: Golden Son (Red Rising #2) By Pierce Brown

Golden Son By Pierce Brown
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Format: Audiobook narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

My Rating: ★ 1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown's genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown's continuing status as one of fiction's most exciting new voices.
I read the first book in this series maybe a year or so ago, and you all know me I hem and hall when it comes to series. I just kind of forget about them! I also have this thing were I won't buy the second book in a series until I read the first one, because I don't want to end up not liking the series and be stuck with books I don't want. So that usually means I forget about a lot of series and never start other ones. However, for Red Rising, I saw that books two and three were part of an Audible 2-for-1 sale for members, so I am finally getting to this series much quicker. Pierce Brown has definitely trapped me in his web, and now there is no chance of me escaping. ALAS!

Monday, November 19, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us

The Abyss Surrounds Us By Emily Skrutskie
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: August 18th, 2016
Format: Kindle ebook

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea. 
The Abyss Surrounds Us is a book that I have been trying to get to for a long time. I thought it was a perfect book to read and review for #RRSciFiMonth. When it first came out, I remember a lot of bloggers talking it up and I did my normal, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get to it." thing and again this is another book that I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read! Why do I continue to not listen to my fellow book bloggers? You usually are right, especially my sci-fi buddies!

Friday, November 16, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu)
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Luke 
My Rating: ★ 1/2

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

ThreeBody Problem is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

This book is a hard one for me to review because I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. I also want to point out that a 3 1/2 star review isn't necessarily a bad review, it just means I liked parts of it but struggled with the rest. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Interview with J. Keller Ford - Author of the Chronicles of Fallhollow

I have a little something different planned for the blog today, to celebrate the release day of Bane of the Dragon King by J. Keller Ford, I have a short interview with her that I want to share with you all.

If you missed it last month, I reviewed an ARC of Bane of The Dragon King here on this blog. The book is the third and final installment of Ford's YA fantasy series The Chronicles Of Fallhollow published by Month9Books. It comes out today, so it's now available for you to all go out and get it! I have been lucky to read ARCs of the whole trilogy, so it's little bittersweet for me that I have to say goodbye to these characters whom I have come to love.


Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Fallhollow is at war. The sudden deaths of the only two heirs that could have saved it has plunged the entire land into chaos. Despite all the magic thrown at him, the Dragon King still lives. Hope for any sort of victory seems faint until Charlotte discovers a secret that could change the course of history.

Armed with the power to set things right, Charlotte embarks on a perilous journey with the sly and cunning Prince Izmayel Ascatar Venniver IV, Lord of the peaceful Edryd dragons. But her journey of peace is thwarted, and Hirth's most fearsome enemy plans to use Charlotte to destroy the kingdom and claim the universe as his own.

As Fallhollow and the Kingdom of Hirth descend into a battlefield of bloodshed and death, David, Trog, and the warriors of Hirth march toward war with an impossible plan to bring down the Dragon King, destroy his armies, and return the kingdom to its former glory. All they need is a little faith, a few extraordinary surprises, and a lot of magic of the most unexpected, generous kind.

This book is the final dramatic and magnificent conclusion to the Chronicles of Fallhollow trilogy.
Let's dive into the interview!

Monday, November 12, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Review: Star Wars Canto Bight

Star Wars:Canto Bight By Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson & John Jackson Miller
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Format: Hardback

My Rating: 

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Soon to be seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, welcome to the casino city of Canto Bight. A place where exotic aliens, captivating creatures, and other would-be high rollers are willing to risk everything to make their fortunes. Set across one fateful evening, these four interconnected stories explore the deception and danger of the lavish casino city

- An honest salesman meets a career criminal as a dream vacation turns into the worst nightmare imaginable, in a story by Saladin Ahmed.

- Dreams and schemes collide when a deal over a priceless bottle of wine becomes a struggle for survival, as told by Mira Grant.

- Old habits die hard when a servant is forced into a mad struggle for power among Canto Bight's elite, in a tale by Rae Carson

- A deadbeat gambler has one last chance to turn his luck around; all he has to do is survive one wild night, as told by John Jackson Miller.

In Canto Bight, one is free to revel in excess, untouched from the problems of a galaxy once again descending into chaos and war. Dreams can become reality, but the stakes have never been higher--for there is a darkness obscured by all the glamour and luxury.
I can't say that I was surprised when I came out of finishing Canto Bight and I felt really indifferent. I have found that as a reader I don't connect very well with short story collections. I felt similar with From A Certain Point of View, but since there are only four stories in this collection I thought I might enjoy it better. Alas, no such luck. I just found myself not interested in these stories. The writing wasn't bad or anything, I just didn't feel like I needed these side stories about characters I have never met. That might be a clue in to me as a reader and that's okay.

Since there are four stories in this collection, I am going to be dividing my review that way to talk about each individually. Let's get into it.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Comic Review: Star Wars, Vol.1 Skywalker Strikes

Star Wars Vol.1, Skywalker Strikes 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Format: Trade Volume

My Rating: 

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory so far--the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! Join Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they fight for freedom against the evil of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor! But when a Rebel assault goes very wrong, Han and Leia will have to think fast to make their escape--while Luke finds himself face-to-face with Darth Vader! In the explosive aftermath, a humbled Luke returns to Tatooine to learn more about his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Leia and Han undertake a vital--and dangerous--secret mission. But can they succeed without Luke? Plus: the menace of Boba Fett!

I've got another comic book review coming in hot today! Today i'm talking about Star Wars, Vol.1 Skywalker Strikes. This is the trade volume version that collects 1-6 of the single issue comics. This one is set in-between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Backs. You can tell because Luke is still wearing that ugly yellow jacket. Who told him that was a good look? No one in the Rebel Alliance told Luke how ugly that jacket was? Did they all just go, "Welp, he's a farmboy." Okay, I realize they probably had more pressing matters to attend to, but if you couldn't tell I hate that jacket. 😂

Thursday, November 8, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review: A Closed and Common Orbit By Becky Chambers

A Closed and Common Orbit By Becky Chambers
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: January 25th, 2017
Format: Audiobook narrated by Rachel Dulude

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who's determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for - and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates.

After so many of my other #RRSciFiMonth friends urged me about how great this book series is, last year I finally read the first book. So yes an entire year later I am coming back for more by FINALLY reading the second book in the wonderful Wayfarer series. What I like about this series is that I feel like you probably don't really need to read them in order. I think you get clued into more if you read the first book, but since this book focuses on Pepper and Lovelace and their current situation I think you could jump in here and figure out everything. I know the third book also focuses on different characters, and I kind of really like series like that because it allows you to enjoy something without being tied to a character you might not enjoy.

Monday, November 5, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Deanna Listens: Sci-Fi Audiodramas I love

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month...err sometimes when I remember to do it, I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. 

Since this month is #RRSciFiMonth I wanted to make my podcast feature specifically about scifi. I'm becoming a huge audiodrama fan when it comes to podcasts, so I'm calling out some great podcasts. Some of them I may have already talked about before, some of these I have legit only listened to one episode, but I like what I have heard thus far. 

Here it goes!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Audiobook Review: Mass Effect Andromeda Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough & K.C. Alexander

Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough & K.C. Alexander
Publishers: Blackstone Audio
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Format: Audiobook narrated by Fryda Wolff

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
With a new game: Mass Effect Andromeda, set for release in 2017, the launch of a new series of Mass Effect novels is timely. The new game will take the story in a dramatic new direction and is set in a new region of space, with a new and deadly enemy.Titan is publishing four unmissable Mass Effect novels. The novels will act as prequel and sequels to the events in the games and will become part of the overarching Mass Effect saga. These new stories, developed in close collaboration with the Bioware game team, weave directly into the action of the new game--and will reveal events kept secret over the course of game play--and will add to the canonical Mass Effect saga.

I want to start this review by saying that I think this book is a very niche book. It's definitely made for fans of the video game, and for fans of Mass Effect Andromeda that wanted more background on what happens before the game really starts. That being said, I don't think if you haven't played the games before you will be completely lost, but there are definitely some keys things that are missing that other readers already know about. For one, this books does a really bad job of describing what all the species look like. I didn't even pick up on this because as a huge fan of this video game I knew what the Salarians, Krogans, Turians, etc all look like so I didn't need them to be described. I think if you picked up this book without this knowledge you would be a little lost. You also kind of miss the political stuff and you will probably be wondering,"What the actual F is the genophage?!?" So I do truly believe this is a book that is really for fans of this video games series.

Friday, November 2, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Comic Review: Doctor Aphra By Kieron Gillen

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra By Kieron Gillen
Publishers: Marvel
Release Date: July 3rd, 2017
Format: e-comic

Source: Comixology
My Rating: 

GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Following her time in the clutches of Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra has barely escaped with her life. If he ever learns of her survival, he'll hunt her to the ends of the galaxy. But for now, it's time for a return to what she does best. With the droids 0-0-0 and BT-1 in tow, she's off in search of rare artifacts from the galactic center to the Outer Rim and everywhere in between. Aphra's got debts to pay after all. Just as long as she can stay one step ahead of the Empire, some Bounty Hunters and just about everyone else in the galaxy! COLLECTING: STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA 1-6
Starting off my #RRScifiMonth reviews with the most on brand review I can think of -- it's Star Wars and it's also a comic book! Today, I'm talking about Doctor Aphra.

Doctor Aphra has become a fan favorite among those that read the new Star Wars comics that Marvel has been putting out. She is briefly mentioned in From A Certain Point of View, but for the most part Aphra lives in the panels. This actually isn't the first appearance of her, this is just a series specifically about her. She also appears in the Darth Vader series, but if you didn't read her in the other series I don't think starting here is bad. You are basically introduced to the character and what she is about. You even get her very sad backstory. So I don't think you are missing anything if you want to jump right in here.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth: It's FINALLY Here! +Giveaway

IMAGE CREDIT: PHOTO by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash.
It's the best time of year! My fellow Americans might be thinking I really like Thanksgiving, but no this post is to talk about my excitement about the next installment of #RRSciFiMonth! YAY!!

Scifi Month is a fun event on the blogosphere that I have participating in since I started this blog. It's also where I have found a ton of bloggers that I adore to this day.

So what do I have in store for you this year?