Science Fiction Book

Armada By: Ernest Cline

Armada

Armada By: Ernest Cline

Plot:

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?
Review:

This book was ridiculous, right now I’m not sure if it was a good or bad ridiculous, though.

Even though the book started with Zack seeing an alien ship it seemed to take forever for anything to actually happen. There was a lot of explaining about the fact that his dad was dead and how that had impacted his entire life and Cline walked you through Zack’s levels of obsession over his father.

*Spoilers*

A lot of very farfetched things happened in the book, which is fine, sometimes that’s fun, but I think some things went too far overboard. The aliens in this book acted like video game aliens, which Zack realized but no one else seemed to pick up on. Well a couple other people but they hadn’t done anything about it which considering the whole world was in the balance seemed very irresponsible and stupid.

The ending was filled with needless death and while I was crying at the loss I was also pissed off. A lot of people made some very stupid decisions considering they had literally decades to think up solutions. Are we really that stupid as a species?

I think the icing on the cake of over the top ridiculous was when Zack’s mom gets pregnant after one bout of sex with her long dead husband. Seriously? That was unnecessary and more than a bit stupid.

The way the book ended it could very well lead to more books and the creation of a series but that’s exactly how Ready Player One ended and so far we’ve got nothing. The last thing I read was that Cline wanted to write something similar to Catcher in the Rye, but that could have been a joke. God I hope it was. Other places are saying he’s working on a sequel to RP1 so we’ll see what happens. He’s not a particularly fast writer so we have some time.

Anyway, I knew going in that this book wasn’t going to resonate with me like Ready Player One did, the plot just didn’t do it for me, but I loved RP1 so much that I wanted to like this one. All in all I felt like it was okay, but not something I have to own or would likely recommend to people. It’s an idea that’s been done before and I honestly don’t think Cline brought enough new to the table.

I look forward to more by Cline, but I’m keeping my excitement in check for now.

3/5

 

Touched By an Alien (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #1) By: Gina Koch

Touched By an Alien

Touched By an Alien (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #1) By: Gina Koch

Plot:

Marketing manager Katherine “Kitty” Katt had just finished a day on jury duty. When she stepped out of the Pueblo Caliente courthouse, all she was thinking about was the work she had to get caught up on. Then her attention was caught by a fight between a couple that looked like it was about to turn ugly. But ugly didn’t even begin to cover it when the “man” suddenly transformed into a huge, winged monster right out of a grade Z science fiction movie and went on a deadly killing spree. In hindsight, Kitty realized she probably should have panicked and run screaming the way everyone around her was doing. Instead she sprinted into action to take down the alien. In the middle of all the screeching and the ensuing chaos, a hunk in an Armani suit suddenly appeared beside her, introduced himself as Jeff Martini with “the agency,” and then insisted on leading her to a nearby limo to talk to his “boss.” And that was how Kitty’s new life among the aliens began…Touched by an Alien is the thrilling first installment of the Alien novels.

Review:

I think it’s pretty clear why I couldn’t resist this book. On the off chance that it’s not let me point you to the title. Touched By an Alien, the series titles seriously write themselves. Imagine it, “Touched by a Vampire” “Touched by a Werewolf” “Touched by a Pirate” I mean come on it’s perfectly ridiculously awesome.

Anyway, this was not a sci-fi erotic romance like I thought it was originally. It turned out being so much better than I thought it was going to be. The world created was interesting and very detailed, the characters were good, but not too good, and they were quirky. I was excited to see this was a series because although the story was complete at the end I’d like to spend more times with the characters.

A few negatives, Katt was too smart. She works in marketing but is able to figure out things that these aliens have worked their entire lives on and can’t. This is explained in several ways, her being a geek, her being the product of good genes, them being aliens and not looking at things the right way. It was plausible, I guess, but got to be a little farfetched.

A lot of stuff was explained in the book, how things work, why things work, why they’re done a certain way. These are often questions I wish were answered in books, but there was so much at times it was almost overload.

All in all this was a real delight to read made more so because I wasn’t expecting it with that title and book cover. I’m excited to see what happens next and happy to have stumbled across the series.

4/5