Sci-Fi

The City We Became (Great Cities #1)

The City WE Became

The City We Became (Great Cities #1)

By: N.K. Jemisin

Blurb:

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

Review:

This was a very interesting concept, and it was incredibly creative. As someone not from New York City, the lead characters seemed to embody the boroughs very well. The evil in the book was so believable it made me sick. I’m interested in seeing the more sci-fi side of the antagonist explored.

The negative for me is I’m tired of New York City and their attitude that they are the best city ever. So much in popular media is set in New York and about New York that even though I’ve only visited once, I could recognize who the characters were supposed to be. I’m not sure if I could do that with any other city. Maybe L.A. It’s annoying, which could have been the point.

3.75/5

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)

Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)

By: Tamsyn Muir

Blurb:

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

Review:

I’ve wanted to get back into reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and this is a combination of both. It is about necromancers, which has never been my favorite, but it sounded interesting.

Gideon is a smart-mouthed swordswoman. No matter how much she’s been beaten down, she still gets back up. Her entire life, her house has been nothing but mean to her. They beat her, they all seem to loathe her openly, and the only other person there her age appears to have made it her mission to make Gideon’s life horrible. At the beginning of this book, the only thing Gideon wants is to escape.

Harrow is not a sympathetic character. She’s been Gideon’s chief tormentor, and even after some of her backstory is revealed, I don’t personally feel like it made up for what she’d done to Gideon. She’s mindlessly focused and full of her own ability and intelligence.

Almost every single character I even remotely liked in this book was killed. That seems to always happen with necromancer books. It was dark but not depressing until the end. I didn’t find the conclusion to the book satisfying, but it’s possible the next two books could change that. However, I’m not sure if I’ll push through to the next. I miss reading Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but my heart just isn’t in it.

3/5

Binti (Binti #1)

Binti

Binti (Binti #1)

By: Nnedi Okorafor

Blurb:

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself — but first she has to make it there, alive.

Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve read a sci-fi book. I’m pleased with my choice. Binti was a short story, but it was positive sci-fi. The world wasn’t perfect, but there was still hope. What’s even better, it ended on a positive note. I needed that right now.

Binti was the best in her village. She was smart and curious and brave. She ended up leaving to attend the most prestigious university in her universe. Things didn’t go as planned, but she was able to handle everything that was thrown at her.

The world that was created was interesting. I loved all the details that were included. I hope that in the next book, we see more of Binti’s family. The history of her village was fascinating.

This is the first book in a trilogy. None of the books seem to be very long, but if they continue in this vein, I’ll be very happy.

4/5

Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblee

Bumblebee (2018)

Director:

Travis Knight

Starring:

Hailee Steinfeld

Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

John Cena

Plot:

On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

Review:

I did not grow up watching Transformers, but it felt really clear that this movie was written by a fan. There seemed to be a lot of care and attention taken with the history and Transformers, but by far my favorite part was Charlie, Hailee Steinfeld. It was so clear she was written by a woman, Christina Hodson. When her mother’s boyfriend gave her a book telling her to smile, oh man, that was too real. I loved it.

Charlie has lost her father, but her mother has moved on, and Charlie feels further abandoned. She’s a brooding teenager and unable to see past her own hurt. That is until a VW Bug appears in her life and, oh yeah, turns out to be an alien.

The relationship between her and Bumblebee was super sweet. I loved that even though Memo, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., had a crush on her it barely progressed. There were much bigger things going on.

Bumblebee was a pretty awesome reboot to a franchise with some troubling issues, I’m curious to see what comes next.

4/5

Of Blood and Bone

Of Blood and Bone

Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One #2) By: Nora Roberts

Plot:

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

Review:

So, I wasn’t a fan of the last book, but it properly set my expectations so I knew what I was getting into with the second. Of Blood and Bone is still much darker than I’m used to with Nora Roberts, but there is a lot more light too.

Fallon is young, just 12 when it starts out, but her true training begins shortly after her 13th birthday. For two years she is taught and excels, and passes test after test, until she’s done. The entire book is getting to know her, her strengths and weaknesses. The world has already been created, and the setting feels mostly built, this book was about introducing us to The One.

She loves her family, she’s smart and analytical, but she doesn’t ignore her emotions. I liked that, I liked that going cold and logical wasn’t her goal, and while she could be passionate she wasn’t always hot-headed.

The side characters from the previous book weren’t ignored, we got glimpses into their lives. A lot has happened for them since we left, and thankfully, most of it was good. People are thriving. The world is different, but there is still a lot of darkness and unrest and basically anarchy in most places. It’s not a pretty place, but there are bubbles where it isn’t bad, yet.

If this was any other Nora Roberts book I would assume that Deacon is Fallon’s fated love, and it really does look like that will happen, but I can’t say I’m much of a fan of his. He’s fine, but their relationship is imbalanced. They’re both powerful, magically, though Fallen is definitely stronger. My problem is that he is a year older than Fallon and already has quite a bit of experience with sex. She doesn’t, which is fine, but I don’t want her to be this virginal prize for him. I’m not a fan of that trope.

We’ll see what happens. The book ends with a minor battle. Some people die, but no one you’re really attached too, but it means something to the characters. Deacon says some thoughtless things, but they seem to make up, and he goes off because he can’t be near her. Fallon is left with her family and to raise an army.

I am more excited for the next book than I am for this, but I’m also cautious because I’m afraid of what Roberts will do. We’ll see.

3.5/5