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Science Fiction

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer and Doug Holgate

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer and Doug Holgate

Wires and Nerve is a continuation of Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series (which begins with the YA novel Cinder). Unlike the books in the original series, Wires and Nerve is written as a graphic novel with art done by Doug Holgate, and follows a minor character after the original series' end. Iko, Cinder's android friend, suddenly feels unneeded with her friends' new positions in life, and must find her own. Determined to still be a help to Cinder, Iko travels back to Earth to fight the wolf hybrids that went into hiding after the fall of their leader. The beasts are too strong, and the job is too dangerous for any human, but here Iko knows exactly what to do. Unfortunately, even Iko isn't indestructible.

Number of Pages: 
238

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

It was just another normal day in 2575 on the icy little planet (and illegal mining colony) Kerenza, and Kady and Ezra are faced with the run-of-the-mill tragedy of breaking up. Then the BeiTech Corporation decides to launch an attack, decimating the population and forcing the remaining survivors to escape to the few ships that answered their cry for help. Kady and Ezra find that it behooves them to get back on speaking terms as they discover that BeiTech's warship is in hot pursuit of their small fleet; that a horrific virus is beginning to infect the evacuees; and that their fleet's AI, damaged during the attack on Kerenza, has begun to develop an autonomy to deadly results. Told as a dossier through a series of emails, chat sessions, voice transcriptions, surveillance summaries, and imaginative word art, Illuminae is the first of a wonderfully terrifying, thrilling, and fascinating new series.

I was intrigued by the concept and format of the book--it is truly a work of art to behold--but felt a little overwhelmed at the beginning trying to understand what exactly was going on and trying to get into the flow of the novel. So I decided to check out the audio as well, listening to the book as I read along. This ended up being a terrific way to absorb everything--the audio features a full cast of readers with sound effects and occasional strains music, which really lends the plot an overall sense of urgency, and the text provides further context and atmophere for the variety of format and layout that you'd otherwise miss just experiencing the audio. I don't believe much would be lost in sticking solely to one or the other, but I know for sure I will continue this dual method when the second book, Gemina, comes out (October 18th!).

Number of Pages: 
599

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

Kendra Donovan is a young FBI agent just beginning her career. But when a mission goes bad and many members of her team are killed by a traitor, she's done following the rules. She refuses to accept that the US government would trust the man responsible to bring them intel and takes justice into her own hands. While tracking him down, Kendra makes a fall through time and ends up working in a castle until she can understand what has happened. Everything changes when a young woman shows up dead there too and Kendra must break the gender and class boundaries of the time to use her 21st century thinking to find a killer.

Number of Pages: 
498

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Oh man, where to start. At first I had a hard time getting into the story but then I thought it got going and had a lot of potential. I love a good apocalypse story and there was the potential of a boy-boy teen love story which you don't read every day. But then, it kind of all fell apart for me. The writing was good at times but then the repetitive style became incredibly tiresome. The main character never became all that likable to me. Then there is the actual story which kind of went nowhere in the end. This was not the book for me.

Number of Pages: 
388

The Midas Flesh, Volumes 1 & 2, by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline

The Midas Flesh, Volumes 1 & 2, by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline

How about a sci-fi twist to the Midas story? Once upon a time--long story-short--a king named Midas wished that everything he touched be turned to gold and inadvertently destroyed all life on Earth. Now, fast-forward waaaaay into the future, where a renegade space crew wants to defeat an evil empire and finds out that the universe's deadliest weapon might be hidden on a planet that has turned into solid gold. Will they get there in time before the bad guys find them?

This two-volume series by Ryan North--of Adventure Time, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Dinosaur Comics fame--is a terrific read for teens and adults. You get a lot of story for a short series. I particularly loved the small crew of Joey, Fatima, and Cooper (a dinosaur, of course) and the complexity of their relationships with one another. This is a unique space adventure currently available to read in your browser or download on your mobile device through Hoopla and soon-to-be available in book form from the library.

Number of Pages: 
256

Dust by Hugh Howey

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Dust by Hugh Howey

Dust is Book three in the Silo trilogy by Hugh Howey and finally we return to the original characters from book one. Or more specifically we return to Juliette who was once the sheriff and is now the mayor. Now we know that the world of the silos was engineered by politians in an effort to control who would survive an apocalypse. Instead of taking chances on who would survive they engineered the whole apocalypse and rigged it in the favor of the elite. Juliette has to convince the people in her silo that they are not alone in their tincan. She finds an excavator in the basement of the silo and uses it to tunnel through to the silo next door. Just in time as the silo in charge discovers her acts of subterfuge and decides to take out the whole silo.

I think the series wraps up nicely and I enjoyed the characters, but I think it could have been a bit shorter. It could be that mostly I lost patience with the extra stories and wanted to just concentrate on the Juliette storyline. Otherwise an entertaining read if you are in the mood for some sci-fi in the dystopian vein. Is there any other kind?

Number of Pages: 
457

Persona by Genevieve Valentine

Persona by Genevieve Valentine

Suyana Sapaki is a political Face, one of the assembly representatives in the government, known more for her public presence than her opinions. Daniel Park is a photographer, hoping to get some pictures of Suyana at a secret meeting that he can sell to the press. But when shots break out and Suyana's handler disappears, she's left with two bulletholes in her body, and just Daniel, a stranger, helping her run away from the scene.

Number of Pages: 
307

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti wants to fulfill her destiny to be the first ever of her tribe to be offered admittance to Oomza University, and against her tribe's wishes, she steals away to board the space ship that will take her to its planet. In doing so, Binti walks right into a war waged by Oomza University against the Meduse race. She must rely on her keen wit and the unique talents of her heritage if she wishes to reach her full potential...and make it off the ship alive.

I loved this novella by one of my favorite authors, Nnedi Okorafor. It is a thrilling read from start to finish with the wonderfully menacing Meduse and the mystery that Binti must unravel during her trip to the university. It was also super cool to read about a Namibian protagonist in a sci-fi/space opera setting, and it does a great job at blurring the line between adult and young adult literature. As always, Okorafor leads readers through tremendous, endlessly fascinating worlds, and I hope that this will not be the only time we visit this one.

Number of Pages: 
90

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

The final volume of the Zita trilogy, The Return of Zita the Spacegirl finds Zita a prisoner on the Dungeon planet. The evil Dungeon Lord is forcing her to help him find the last remaining jump crystal which will allow him to open a portal to Earth so his people can conquer it. Luckily, Zita has luck and good friends on her side and the last adventure is fantastic. Or is it her last adventure???

Number of Pages: 
222

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Stars Above is Meyer's most recent addition to her Lunar Chronicles series. It's a collection of short stories that each follow different characters from the series at different points in their lives. The tales range from before the first book in the series to after the last, so it makes most sense to read these after having finished the series. I loved this series, so it was fun to get more insight into the more minor characters and get a glimpse of how their stories continue after the books. It includes 9 stories, so each one is easy to read in one sitting.

Number of Pages: 
369