Showing posts with label science fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science fiction. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2017

[Review] A Million Worlds With You (Firebird #3) - Claudia Gray: Parallel Universes and Evil Twins




In A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU, Marguerite's evil parallel universe self is hell-bent on killing every version of Marguerite in every single universe she can so she can't sabotage the plans of Home Office.

What intrigued me: The conclusion to my favorite series of all time. It hurts.

Chasing through universes

A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU picks off right where the sequel left off. And I gotta say - that premise didn't do it for me. While Firebird is and will always remain my favorite book series, I wish it had been a duology. See, this whole Evil Twin coming to destroy the world storyline does feel a little over the top in my opinion and I just didn't enjoy it as much as the other books and found myself wishing for the story to get wrapped up more quickly. This is absolutely subjective.

The universes Gray shows us this time around are interesting, but not explored nearly as much as they could have! But because the premise is so reliant on the chasing part I was a little sad to see Marguerite spend very few time with the individual Pauls or even just in the universes. Where is the fluff! I feel like sometimes along the complicated plot lines and the excellent world building, the romance fluff got lost. Sure, we had Russia. But that was it? 

Arguably the most interesting parts of  A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU are those when Marguerite returns to previously visited universes. I really loved that in TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU already and I just can't get enough of checking in with the other scientists.  But regardless, A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU feels like a wild goose chase, jumping from universe to universe so fast and filled with barely plausible plot conveniences, I didn't like this nearly as much as the other books in the series.

Still grieving my husband

I have a confession to make: I don't think I ship Paul and Marguerite. I don't think I ever did. The problem is that both the reader and Marguerite get to know Paul on a deep emotional level in the Russia!Verse, where he is the Grand Duchess' protector Lieutenant Markov. And I never got over him. 
See, Lieutenant Markov shows the tender side of Paul, the romantic side - and in "real life" he's this grumpy smart-aleck who's angry all the time. The swooniness and the magic all poofed away with Lieutenant Markov's passing. A moment of silence. Anyway. I'm complaining on a high level here and this might not even ring true for you because you probably really loved Paul. I'm just a sad widow because my book husband was taken from me. 

But I'm so happy that we got another cuddly version of Paul with the sweet Father Paul from the Rome!Verse who has to choose between letting himself love Marguerite or staying celibate. Be still my beating heart! I'll definitely go back to TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU and reread the Rome!Verse parts with him, he's such a gentle flower that must be protected and made up a bit for the chronic lack of calm romantic fluff in this series. 

The Firebird books are excellent and just like the predecessors A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU presents an interestesting journey through the universes. It would've wanted more action and a compelling narrative from this than it actually delivered - it very much feels like an unnecessary sequel with a very disappointing and too convenient ending. However, if you've read one, you gotta read them all. I'm sad to say goodbye.




Rating:

★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

A few words to mourn the ending of this series: Despite A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU's lack of my favorite thing about this series, my darling Russia!Verse including my favorite Paul, I loved visiting these different worlds.

I surely wouldn't mind returning to the world of Firebird with a prequel about Conley and Josie's romance from the Home Office!Verse. So if Claudia's up for that, I'll be back.

The rest of the series reviewed
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU (1) | TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU (2)


Note: A thing that seriously worries and confuses me is that out of ALL the worlds and universes we visit, there isn't a single one where Marguerite/Paul/Theo are lgbt. There is only one universe where one of them is disabled - deaf, actually - though the time spent there is so short that you can barely call this representation. (Well then there's one where a character loses a leg but they don't appear on-screen after that so that doesn't count either.)

While there is an explanation for this lack of marginalizations/diversity in the books ~wishy washy we're meant to be together fate yada yada~, I think it wouldn't have been that hard to even just add -one- universe where they're lgbt. Out of all the decisions they have to make to lead to Marguerite and Paul's epic love 90% of the time, you can't try to tell me that there isn't a single universe where Paul ended up with Theo, or Marguerite decided she liked neither and is a lesbian or is bi and ended up with a girl. [Totally seeing her and Romola. Yes.] What do you guys think?



Additional Info

Published: November 1st 2016
Pages: 419
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Parallel Worlds
ISBN: 9780062279026

Synopsis:
"A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead."
(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read any books by Claudia Gray?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

[Review] Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson: Colonization and New Planets





In AURORA, a giant spaceship full of colonists is approaching the end of its 159-year-long journey to a new planet.

What intrigued me: I love reading about alien planets.

Extremely technical and difficult read

I picked up AURORA hoping for something in the vein of Scott Sigler's Generations trilogy, but was bitterly disappointed. AURORA is hard sci-fi, space opera even, that reads very clunky, difficult and facts-centric. The really interesting premise is pretty much negated through the way it's written. 

I especially struggled with the strange character voice that borders on extremely juvenile in a condecending way as the story begins being told through 12-year-old Freya's eyes. Mixed with terms and concepts that are impossible to understand if you don't have a degree in quantum physics. From detailed paragraphs and paragraphs about how the spaceship works to rambling passive narration, AURORA does everything it possibly can to derive from the plot. 

If you care about the mechanics of spaceships and their logistics, this will be a treat for you. For me, who's just looking for some fun space travel, this is a very clear miss. This story absolutely has no business at all being 500+ pages long. It drags, it's difficult to read and understand, and really just doesn't get to the point. It took me a ridiculous amount of time to even understand that the ship has a conscience and it's not just some more rambling directed at no one in particular. 

So, so, so much filler

AURORA is separated into seven parts that chronic a specific stage of the journey, centered on a handful of characters, but yet somehow written in omniscient perspective. It takes a ridiculous amount of time until the actual plot takes off. You could basically skip about 200 pages and have a great reading experience - AURORA has so much filler, so many unnecessary scenes, and so much rambling that you really really don't have to bother reading the whole thing. 

This is just a story that revels in the authors storytelling - this isn't about the characters who are mediocre cardboard cutouts at most, it's about the author showcasing their knowledge about space travel. Enhanced by off-screen comments from the sentient spaceship it's quite obvious that AURORA isn't about the characters. That's essentially what made it so hard for me to connect with this narrative and stay focused and interested in the story. AURORA really just is a pick for die-hard space opera fans.

Rating:

☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

AURORA is a hard miss for me. Strange writing paired with lots of filler and mechanics and logistics-centric narration is absolutely not what I was looking for. If you enjoy hard sci-fi and space opera, and love yourself some technical reads about spaceship mechanics and physics, this is your perfect pick.



Additional Info

Published: November 14th 2016
Pages: 560
Publisher: Heyne
Genre: Adult / Space & Other Planets
ISBN: 9783453317246

Synopsis:
"A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. 

Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, it is the work of a writer at the height of his powers. 

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago.

Now, we approach our new home.

AURORA.
"(Source: Goodreads)


Do you like hard Sci-Fi?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

[Review] A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) - Claudia Gray: Dimensional Travel and Parallel Universes





In A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, Marguerite is determined to hunt down Paul Markov, the man that killed her physicist father and subsequently fled into a parallel universe.

What intrigued me: Time travel books are my krypronite. This is only dimensional travel, but well - close enough.

YES to parallel worlds

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU teases with a killer premise. Parallel worlds. Science. Physics. Sci-Fi. Action.
And the strange thing is, it actually delivers. The first page hooked me and I was absolutely invested in the story. The world building is impeccable, the parallel worlds Marguerite and side kick and other love interest Theo travel to are both fascinating and shockingly plausible. 

Yep, this one is one of the dreaded YA read with a love triangle - but hear me out: Gray actually manages to make this one quite endurable because Marguerite never really develops more than brotherly feelings for one of them. I'm not going to tell which one, it would spoil all the fun. The romance we get though, is breathtaking.

Emotional punch to the gut

It's a literal punch to the gut. I was so invested in the romantic storyline that would, and sometimes wouldn't happen, depending on which parallel universe they were in. Gosh. I suffered with Marguerite, I swooned with her, I cried with her.

Gray has this wonderfully easy to read, clean writing style, but whenever we have a romantic scene, she bang out sentences that just make you look up and reevaluate your life. Or start ugly crying. Seriously, if you want swoon and all the feels, this is your pick. For the love of god, I lost my heart in the Russian parallel world. If you've already recognized it, Saint Basil's Cathedral is pictured on the cover. A huge chunk of the novel is spent in Moscow in a wonderfully Romanov-era storyline that WILL murder your feelings. 

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is really a spectacularly written, unpredictable book version of a box of chocolates. From high tech worlds, to regency worlds, to something inbetween, I promise you'll enjoy at least one of the fantastic worlds Claudia Gray has so incredibly carefully crafted. And hey, the time travel plot is also pretty neat. And the love interest.  Dear God, the love interest. Prepare to have your heart broken.

But one thing that I have to remark and that negates a lot of things I enjoyed about this book is that it features dubious consent/rape. And that is not addressed until book three. A character in this has sex with another character that is unable to consent. And this is not okay. And this is not okay if not addressed properly. I loved this book and consider this to be one of my favorites, but I must knock stars off this rating for this horrifying thing.


Rating:

★★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is the parallel world novel that I've been waiting for. If you love a good romance with a side of fast-paced action, pick this gem up.

Trigger warning for dubious consent/rape.



Additional Info

Published: November 4th 2014
Pages: 360
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Parallel Worlds
ISBN: 9780062278968

Synopsis:
"Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected."(Source: Goodreads)

Do you know some good books about parallel worlds?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

[Review] Ruby Red (Precious Stone #1) - Kerstin Gier: Dr. Who Has Nothing On This






In RUBY RED, Gwyneth discovers that she can travel in time. Together with Gideon, another shockingly good-looking time traveler, they monkey about in 18th century Europe and stumble into a very complicated feud that I'm pretty sure nobody will quite get until the second sequel.

What intrigued me: I love time travel!



Great characters

Gier had me from the first second on. Gwyneth, the main character is not only a time-traveler, but can also see ghosts. The thing I like about Gwen is that she's a typical 16-year-old. She's a bit shallow ("omg look my time-travelling partner is hot but has a horrible personality! ... he likes me? Well then holler, let's make out!!"), doesn't overthink stuff and basically has a lot to learn. I like that.

Gideon on the other hand, her extremely handsome companion with the impossibly green eyes and sexy romance-novel-cover-flowy-hair is just not for me. To me, they had absolutely no chemistry and I can not understand why anyone would like this dude. He's not only a cocky know-it-all, but also all over everything that moves. Also it's a bad case of insta-love in here and the second I notice that, I'm completely leaving the harbor, no shipping involved. Aside from the protagonists I think that Gier did a fantastic job with the side characters. I can't wait to find out more about James the Ghost, of course Saint Germain and Lucy Montrose + Paul De Villiers. They're all intriguing characters and I like how every single character in this novel has a backstory.

Too complicated?

When writing about time travel, authors usually make the mistake of making everything so complicated that your head hurts after about twenty seconds of trying to make a sense out of it. Gier does the exact same thing.

Inbetween chapters Gier tries to make it easier for the readers by inserting diagrams that show the family relations - but let's face it, if you need that kind of stuff, you clearly should invest more time into explaining your characters actually are. Also, yeah - if you're going to use a complicated diagram with lots of Latin words in it that nobody understands unless they've done massive research like you, the author, - explain that stuff. 

While I really had a fun time reading this, there were a few slumps. The continuity is a bit off and as a whole the novel doesn't really make much sense. I'm going to have to buy the second and possibly also third one to even understand what the hell is going on and that's just a big no-no.

Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

 If you just want to try out a series and see if you like it, this one is just no good, because you're forced to continue. Don't force me to do anything. I read for enjoyment. So no, if you have too much money, read it. If you're looking for a simple read, stay away from this.





Synopsis:
"Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.""
(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read RUBY RED?

Continue Reading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...