Sci-Fi

Future Shock

future shock

Future Shock (Future Shock #1) By: Elizabeth Briggs

Plot:

What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?

Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.

But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?

The first book in an unforgettable series about rewriting your destiny in the city of dreams.

Review:

Elena is a protective foster kid that’s about to age out of the system. She’s incredibly smart with an eidetic memory, but has a tendency to lash out violently while protecting weaker people. Stressed and running out of options when a big tech company offers her an undisclosed, but apparently massive sum of money, she accepts and ends up traveling to the future.

I liked Elena a lot. She was a teenager, so she had her annoying moments, but she was smart and well fleshed out. Her “romance” with Adam was weird, and Future Adam’s attempts at giving them a “moment” went into creepy territory. It didn’t make sense and I wasn’t a fan. The characters by themselves were fine, but the romance felt forced and way too fast, especially since she spent so much time not trusting him.

The other characters were less interesting, though, they grew on me by the end.

The ending…*sigh* I was not a fan. I like a happy ending, but I don’t require one. This one felt, rushed and anticlimactic and Elena who had been mostly smart up until that point just kept making stupid decisions. They all did, actually, except Adam. It was frustrating and left me unsure if I wanted to continue with the series.

I love time travel, I thought Elena was a great character, I also really enjoyed the future tech that was shown, but all of that wasn’t enough to overcome the parts of the book I disliked.

3/5

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Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower

attack of the 50 foot wallflower

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower By: Christian McKay Heidicker

Plot:

Phoebe Lane is a lightning rod for monsters.

She and her mom are forced to flee flesh-eating plants, radioactive ants, and blobs from outer space. They survive thanks to Phoebe’s dad—an invisible titan, whose giant eyes warn them where the next monster attack will take place.

All Phoebe wants is to stop running from motel to motel and start living a monster-free life in New York or Paris. But when her mom mysteriously vanishes, Phoebe is left to fend for herself in small-town Pennybrooke.

That’s when Phoebe starts to transform…

Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Cure for the Common Universe, returns with a book unlike any other, challenging perceived notions of beauty, identity, and what it means to be a monster.

Review:

I don’t watch B movies but they’re so a part of our lexicon that it would be impossible for you to not be aware of what they are. So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them as well, I did not feel lost or like I was missing something, though, I probably did.

Phoebe was not a particularly interesting person. She had an interesting backstory and parents, but her response to everything was to cry. She was world weary and in the beginning came off spoiled, but she also just wanted to find her mom, except when she was distracted. She was easily lied too, but then she was young, except, again, when she wasn’t.

I found the world more interesting than her character, until I realized it wasn’t going to change. I spent most of the time I was reading wishing she’d do something instead of just going about her life trying to stay below the radar. I felt constricted while reading, I just kept on waiting for her to force the world to stop being so horrible. She knew the way people were acting was bad, but she was not a hero, and not trying to change anything.

By far the most intriguing part of the story was Phoebe’s father, but you get no real explanation about him or his world or how hers came to be or much of anything. The ending was very underwhelming. I was hoping for answers or a happily ever after, but there were still questions unanswered and Phoebe’s life was back to what it had been originally, with a small change.

The cover on this book is phenomenal, and I thought the concept was fun, but I don’t feel like the book delivered. It was underwhelming.

3/5

Alien in the House

Alien in the House

Alien in the House (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #7) By: Gini Koch

Plot:

Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini have learned the ins and outs of Washington politics, not to mention how to prevail in intergalactic war and foil dangerous plots. But, in the aftermath of Operation Destruction, the Gower girls’ powers are burned out, the entire A-C population has been “outed” as the aliens living on Earth that they are, and, worst of all, ACE is nowhere to be found.

Then murder and mayhem are served up at an important dinner party at the American Centaurion Embassy, and when the dust settles Alpha Team and the Diplomatic Corps have more problems than just a dead Congressman.

Is there a single criminal mastermind—or multiple enemies—behind all the conspiracies that want Kitty dead and the A-Cs gone or co-opted to become the War Division?

The return of the best assassins in the business, the reappearance of two individuals long-presumed dead, Agent Malcolm Buchanan felled by something no one can identify or cure, and new technology that can block even the most powerful empath on Earth … all of this means the game’s officially afoot.

Then Vance Beaumont comes to Kitty with a wild theory that someone is systematically killing off the House of Representatives…

It’s up to Kitty and the rest of the gang to find out what’s really going on and why. But will they be able to stop the killer or killers before the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives become casualties? And will the replacement Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd District, who happens to be Jeff Martini, be the next to die?

Review:

First, I just want to say that I love the titles and the covers for these books. They’re always so perfect.

On to the review, I started this book two years ago, maybe? I got to 65% and for some reason stopped reading. I’m honestly not sure why, the book is fine, well within expectations of the series, so who knows. Jumping back in I did have a bit of confusion, the cast of characters is massive at this point, but they’re all so memorable that it didn’t take too long to remember what was going on.

What I love about this series is that Kitty is going to figure out what’s going on, no matter what. It is the ultimate wish fulfillment self-insert story. It’s like old sci-fi pulp fiction. Only instead of a dude getting to bang all the chicks and solve all the problems we’ve got a woman that gets to solve all the problems, boss everyone around, and bang her hot husband while all of her friends end up pairing up with hot smart people. It’s perfect.

There’s nothing too deep about this series, but it is complicated. There’s a mass of characters that almost always make an appearance and more are added each book. There’s multiple worlds, though, the this book only takes place on Earth. There are several government agencies and conspiracies and just a whole hell of a lot going on.

Like I said, though, Kitty and her crew will always figure it out in time and the core group of people will survive. It’s comforting junk food that I’m glad I returned too.

3.5/5

 

 

Dark in Death

Dark in Death

Dark in Death (In Death #46) By: J.D. Robb

Plot:

It was a stab in the dark.

On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.

Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.

The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.

Review:

I did not like the first half of this book, at all. Because one of the side characters, that until then I’d only had positive thoughts of, said a word that Trans people find offensive, I was immediately on my guard. There were hints that the deranged serial killer was going to be Trans or non-binary and it kept me on edge in a bad way. Based on what there was I did not trust Robb to write about the subject in a well-researched and thoughtful way.

Making matters worse a female novelist was a main character in the story. I have not had good experiences with that, especially when it feels like there is some tongue in cheek things said to the reader through that character. Which was the case here.

Like I said the first half of this book was not for me in any way. The second half had us back in familiar territory, though, and I preferred that. We had a fair amount of Peabody, which I loved. Roarke was great. Sadly, the first half ruined the book for me.

2/5

Secrets in Death

Secrets in Death

Secrets in Death (In Death #45) By: J.D. Robb

Plot:

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Review:

It took me forever to finish this book, my reading habit is still borked for some reason. There was nothing wrong with this, it was a normal In Death book, so don’t take that as a sign this one isn’t any good.

Eve witnesses the death of a Gossip Columnist and upon further digging discovers the woman was a narcissistic sociopath. It was an interesting story, wrapped up fairly quickly, easy enough to figure out who done it, but still entertaining.

I liked that we got to see more of the supporting characters than we have in the last few books, though, still not as much as I feel like there used to be. Eve is definitely growing as a character and didn’t dwell on some of the darker parts of the mystery as much as she would have in the past. Her and Rourke were on point during the story and we actually got a little bit of time with just him.

It was a nice, non-world shattering mystery and I enjoyed it.

4/5