futuristic

More from Nalini Singh in “Wild Embrace”

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Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Berkley: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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After reading the fantastic Allegiance of Honor, I was ecstatic to get my hands on Singh’s new novella collection. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to revisit some of my favourite characters from the Psy-Changeling series in Allegiance, but I did miss the emphasis on romance. Happily, Wild Embrace addressed exactly what I was missing from the novel. Each novella included in this collection offers readers a peak into the world, as well as answers to some questions that have been plaguing fans throughout the series. While all of the novellas are great, my favouite ended up being Flirtation of Fate. (more…)

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Returning to a Favourite World with “Allegiance of Honor”

26089799Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Berkley: June 14, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Since my recent conversion to the cult of Nalini Singh a couple of years ago I have anxiously awaited each and every new addition to Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Throughout this series Singh has created a rich futuristic world that is full of all kinds of race tension, but also fabulous romances. I can’t think of another series that so well combines complex world building with fully developed romantic relationships. Nalini Singh, she is a master, and this is again proven with her newest book, Allegiance of Honor and its shift for the entire series. Allegiance propels the series into new territory while also giving readers a glimpse into the lives of so many of the beloved characters of the series. (more…)

Company Town and Blender Distractions

20447745Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Tor Books: May 17, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Full disclosure: I was going to focus on this review tonight, but I ended up spending about an hour on the phone waiting for customer service for my high-powered blender. And then a half-hour on the phone with customer service. Some of you may be familiar with this. I won’t name names until the issue is resolved. BUT. This is to let you know that my review may not be … as focused as it might have been otherwise.

Second pre-review note: Jaclyn reviewed this one earlier this week, read her take here. (Hint: she liked it more. She also thought more about the ideas the author explores in the novel).

Right. So I’m reviewing Company Town, which felt very Windswept by Adam Rakusa at the beginning, with a futuristic, unionized town that doesn’t quite fit into our world as we know it. This time, the union is a sex worker’s union – which reminds me, the whole book feels very Canadian. References to cultural things I became familiar with when I lived there, including a progressive attitude toward sex workers and a reference to a “cup” – which many Canadian women, probably a few American women (as in from the United States) will recognize. It’s also obviously set in Canada, but it’s the other details that make it so Canadian. (more…)

Questioning Humanity in “Company Town”

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Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Angry Robot: May 17, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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Company Town is a science fiction novel that checks all my boxes: great characters, a compelling plot, and complex ideas that aren’t bogged down by didacticism and explanations.

Hwa is a young woman living on an oil rig. On this self-contained ecosystem Hwa stands out. Hwa is one of the very few who does not have any augmentations that enhance her humanity. Hwa can’t fix herself with tech. As a result, Hwa constantly strives to be work harder than anyone else, a skill that lends itself well to her job: bodyguard to the prostitutes that work the rig. Hwa is dedicated to her job; however, when the Lynch corporation takes over the rig, the man in charge offers Hwa a new job as the bodyguard to Joel, the son and heir to the head of the Lynch empire. Why would a seemingly all-powerful corporate bigwig want Hwa, who cannot afford the most basic of upgrades, as bodyguard to his son? What does Hwa have that other bodyguards do not? Well, with technology comes certain vulnerabilities: (more…)

Spacey Adventure Ends on a Lackluster Note: “Their Fractured Light”

13138736Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Disney-Hyperion: December 1, 2015 
Genre: Science Fiction; Romance; Young Adult
Review Source: Free from library.

Liked the place, but the food was bad.
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Their Fractured Light is the third and final book in Kaufman and Spooner’s spacey Starbound trilogy. I’ve enjoyed both These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, but I have to admit to feeling a bit let down by Their Fractured Light.

Their Fractured Light picks up soon after the events in This Shattered World; however, readers are now following two new characters Sofia Quinn, teen con artist, and Gideon Marchant, computer hacker extraordinaire. Like the characters in the previous books, Sofia and Gideon are both fighting against LaRoux Industries. LaRoux Industries has a dastardly plan and both Sofia and Gideon are fighting back unbeknownst to the other. This is the big tension between Gideon and Sofia; neither know that they are essentially on the same side. Secrets. Unnecessarily complicating teen lives since forever. (more…)

Duel Review: “City of Light”

25420415City of Light by Keri Arthur
Signet: January 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free from publisher

We often agree in our assessment of books, as our reviews of  Tower of ThornsI Spy a Duke, and Uprooted show. This time, we disagreed. Stacey loved it; Jaclyn barely finished it. We all know reading experience is personal, a relationship forged between author and reader.

Read on to find out what we loved and what we didn’t. Hit the comments and let us know how you feel about it.

The Book…

In a world still recovering from a war between shifters and humans, Tiger is alone. As a déchet, a creature created by humans to balance the field against the shifters, she alone remains among her kind. Despised or hunted by all races: shifters, humans, and vampires, she hides in a destroyed bunker with the ghosts of her past. Until the night she leaves her bunker on a supplies-gathering mission and hears the cry of a child. Unable to ignore the cries and leave the child, Penny, for the vampires to eat, she unwittingly becomes entangled in an attempt to save other kidnapped children like Penny. Penny’s uncle Jonas, a full shifter, and a woman named Nuri, are investigating the disappearances of these children, and need Tiger’s specialized skills to succeed.

(more…)

Evil Corporations, Freedom, and Humor in “Windswept”

Windsweptwindswept by Adam Rakunas
Angry Robot: September 1st, 2015 (Science Fiction)*

Beach vacation
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Padma Mehta is a Union representative on a hardscrabble planet at the edge of the known universe. Her job is to recruit people who escape from passing spaceships owned by The Big Three corporations. (I’ll explore in more detail why they jump ship in a bit). She’s only 30-odd people from her huge bonus, which she plans to spend on a rum distillery that she will run after she retires. When she gets wind of a large number of refugees about to drop onto the surface from orbit, she makes plans to grab them and attach them to her region. Unfortunately, her plans go awry as she is opposed by her arch-nemesis and thwarted by her foolish con-man acquaintance. What ensues is a series of entertaining hijinks through cane fields, the sea, and sewage tunnels as she tries to keep her new employees safe. Everything seems to continually go wrong for Padma and her charges, and she keeps having to alter her plans and make concessions in order to keep everyone alive, including herself.

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Doesn’t Quite Succeed in Going “NOVA”

23398742NOVA by Margaret Fortune
DAW: June 2, 2015 (Science Fiction; Young Adult)

The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh)
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I like books set in space. I like YA. I like reading about aliens. NOVA had all these things but unfortunately it did not live up to its namesake. What started out as an intriguing and mysterious read:

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb (p. 10).

Turned out to be a lot disappointing. (more…)

The Terrans: Super Space Opera and First Contact

the terransThe Terrans by Jean Johnson
Penguin/Berkley/Signet: July 28th, 2015 (Science Fiction / Space Opera)*

Outstanding Adventure!
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Two hundred or so years in the future, the peoples of Earth have colonized the Moon and a few other planets in the solar system. Faster-than-light travel (in this universe, called Other-Than-Light, or OTL) has been around for approximately a decade. After yet another major conflict with massive loss of life, the nations united to become one Earth government, with a governmental structure much more focused on ethics and honesty than on … corruption, greed, etc.

In addition to this utopian civilization, some people have developed telekinesis, telepathy, and clairvoyance. The emphasis on ethical behavior for these people is much stronger than for others, although it is mandatory for all civil servants.

Within this environment, Jacaranda has been a high-ranking civil servant for years. With a military background, and psi abilities that surpass the vast majority of mentally gifted folks, she is in a unique position to become Ambassador to other races from other solar systems. In fact, she has been chosen by the government based on her presence in a number of prophetic visions, as have the other members of the First Contact team. Some clairvoyants have seen human-like aliens, some spider-influenced, and some even more horrific (sorry, spider people) aliens. All coming into contact at roughly this time, with the selected First Contact team playing the leading roles.

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The Seriously Awesome “Shards of Hope”

17159943Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Berkley: June 2, 2015 (Paranormal Romance)

Outstanding Adventure
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I’ve been putting off writing this review for awhile now, as I’m not really sure how to convey in intelligible writing how much I loved Shards of Hope. This book was seriously awesome and I think it just might be my favourite book in Singh’s Psy-Changeling series to date, and I can now say that with authority since after finishing this one, I went back and read each book in the series that I hadn’t read.

Shards of Hope is Aden’s story. Aden is the leader of the Arrows, the deadly, military arm of the Psy race. For years they were the personal assassins of Councilor Ming, and now that Silence has fallen, these men and women are now free to start new lives. Aden is at the forefront of this change. He wants something different for his family and he needs to model that for them, which is why he needs a partner. (more…)