Book Review: An Unkindness of Ghosts

An Unkindness of Ghosts
By Rivers Solomon

My Editon:
Paperback, 349 pages
2017, Akashic Books
ISBN: 9781617755880

The HSS Matilda has been ferrying the last of mankind away from the Great Lighthouse in search of a safe haven – for centuries. Tensions have been rising among the residents of the upper and lower decks in a feud much like that of the Civil War. Aster, raised on Q deck by her aunt, is often harassed and abused by the guards, like all her fellow low-deck workers, despite the privileges working with The Surgeon has given her. As the living conditions for those in the lower decks worsen, Aster finds herself returning to her mother’s strange journals, which could give her insight into how to save the ship, but only if she’s willing to risk everything.

An Unkindness of Ghosts is the book that arrived in my (first!) October PageHabit box. I’d seen it as a suggestion on my Amazon feed the very day before my box arrived and in reading the description made a note to check out the book – I’m so happy this was the book I received. This is sci-fi that takes relevant social commentary and weaves it into the history of a colony possibly lost in space.

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Book Review: Retrograde

Retrograde
By Peter Cawdron

My Edition:
ARC Paperback, 243 pages
2017, HMH Books
ISBN: 9781328834553

Liz is a scientist living in the U.S. module of an international station on Mars when the group gets the shocking news that several nuclear bombs have been dropped on various major cities around the world. With limited information being sent to the station and no support from Earth, rumors begin to spread and distrust rises between the different modules. Allegiances are put to the test and Liz struggles to keep members of each module from shutting out everyone else. When supplies start disappearing and systems breaking down, everyone in the station must band together to figure out what is happening before their lives are put in peril.

I have mixed feelings about this book and find it hard to talk about.

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Book Review: Sea of Rust

Originally posted on Geek Girl Authority

Sea of Rust
By C. Robert Cargill

My Edition:
Hardcover, 365 pages
2017, Harper Voyager
ISBN: 9780062405838

The last humans have been wiped from the face of Earth and now only robots remain. During the war that eradicated mankind, several mainframes banded together with the consciousness of other robots to create their own armies with shared intelligence. These mainframes are known as OWIs – One World Intelligence – and now they run the world. Freebots are scarce, constantly hunted by OWIs and destroyed if they choose not to upload themselves. Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, scavenging parts from bots on the verge of madness and trying to avoid the notice of the OWIs, but a run in with another scavenger will change everything.

I think we all know I was beyond excited to receive a copy of this book, because what could a robot who loves to read love more than reading about robots?! (Say that five times fast.) I was nervous that I was hyping myself up for this, but the book didn’t disappoint.

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Book Review: The Punch Escrow

Originally posted on Geek Girl Authority

The Punch Escrow
By Tal M. Klein

My Edition:
Paperback, 356 pages
2017, Inkshares
ISBN: 9781942645580

Joel works as a salter – he teaches and tricks AI models to seem more human – and his wife works for International Transport on a top secret project related to teleportation. Her long hours and inability to speak to him about her job have put their marriage on rocky ground and it isn’t helped by Joel’s smart-ass sense of humor. But the two decide to go on a second honeymoon to reconnect. En route to meet his wife, Joel finds himself duplicated due to a teleportation error and is sucked into the battle between the organization that controls teleportation all across the globe and the members of a religious cult who seek to destroy it.

If you’re looking for a sci-fi novel about teleportation with a heavy dose of smartassery from the protagonist and a few deep questions to ask yourself about the future of our technology and the possibilities of teleportation, then I highly recommend this book.

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: Gemina

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I have purchased special editions of books or multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

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Book Review: Gemina

Gemina
By Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

My Edition:
Hardcover, 659 pages
2016, Knopf
ISBN: 9780553499155

Gemina’s plot overlaps some of Illuminae, but now we’re introduced to the residents of the Jump Station Heimdall and the difficulties they face as the Hypatia makes its way towards them, still fleeing BiTech Industries. Hanna is the station captain’s daughter and her dealings with Nik have been primarily to score dust for her and her friends. But BiTech Industries isn’t finished with their recent attack on Kerenza and now they’ve arrived at Heimdall to finish the cleanup and Hanna and Nik must team up to try to save their home and everyone in it.

I won’t say much about the plot here, as this book is relatively newer and I’m likely not the last person on Earth to have read Gemina (or Gemima as I keep writing and saying aloud), as I was with Illuminae.

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Book Review: Illuminae

Illuminae
By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My Edition:
Hardcover, 599 pages
2015, Knopf
ISBN: 9780553499117

When Kady and Ezra’s home planet is brutally attacked by a competitor in the mining industry, they are lucky to escape the planet alive when a nearby group of military ships responds to their distress call. The small fleet of three ships houses the refugees and they’re fleeing for their lives as one of the enemy ships pursues them. Any useful refugees are quickly conscripted as they try to outrun the enemy, but after a tragic incident, it becomes clear that all is not well in their fleet. Kady, expert hacker, works to find out the truth as Ezra trains to become a fighter pilot. The secrets they uncover are more deadly than the enemy ship that’s hot on their trail.

Ok, my blurb is shit, but there’s a lot going down in this book and it’s hard to sum up without spoiling anything – though why I even tried to sum up Illuminae is beyond me because even if you haven’t read this, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it and at least have some idea what it’s about. I should have just said, crazy shit goes down in space and is revealed to readers through found documents.

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Book Review: In Real Life

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In Real Life
By Cory Doctorow
Illustrated by Jen Wang

Not My Edition:
Paperback, 175 pages
2014, First Second
ISBN: 9781596436589

Blurb from Amazon: Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

I spotted this book when I was trying to find a comfy spot to settle into at the library, and I just read it right then and there.

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Book Review: The Martian

The Martian
By Andy Weir

My Edition:
Paperback, 387 pages
2014 (or 2011?), Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780553418026

I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mark Watney is accidentally abandoned on Mars during an emergency evacuation and thought to be dead for weeks. But Mark survived and is scratching out a living as the lone man on Mars based on his ingenuity and remaining resources. But can he survive long enough for those back on Earth to try to put together a rescue mission – will that mission even be possible?

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Book Review: Reach for Infinity

Reach for Infinity
Edited by Jonathan Strahan

My edition:
E-book, 352 pages (in paperback)
2014, Solaris
ISBN: 9781781082034
Publication date: May 27, 2014

3/5 stars

Let me start off by saying I received a free copy of the e-book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This book contains 14 short stories regarding humanity in space, reaching farther than the Earth and moon, struggling to create new communities and dealing with new technology.

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