Sci-Fi

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

 

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

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