Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month 2015: My Top 10 Science Fiction Novels of the Year

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This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2015, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

I feel this has to be a part of Sci-Fi Month every year: my favourite science fiction novels read this year. These are the ten novels that impressed me the most, listed in no particular order because I find it so difficult to order books… I just love them all too much. If you enjoyed any of these, let me know!

Steelheart & Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson Firefight

Both Steelheart and Firefight were extraordinary books. I have really enjoyed everything by Brandon Sanderson that I’ve read so far, but these two are written in a very different style to everything else, and are aimed at younger audiences. However, if you’re not a Young Adult fan, this series still comes really highly recommended – particularly if you like the superhero genre.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury & Tracer by Rob Boffard

Fahrenheit 451 Tracer

Reading Fahrenheit 451 meant making progress with my Definitive Science Fiction Reads challenge, created for Sci-Fi Month 2013. It is a haunting tale; the thought of a world where books are banned absolutely terrifies me, and many others I’m sure. Tracer was a Netgalley find, chosen for my post-The 100 needs. It is so action-packed and fast, and I can remember the opening scene really well as it was so vivid.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North & Armada by Ernest Cline

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Armada

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is a more ‘subtle’ science fiction book, in that whilst time travel (of a sort) is the central concept of the book, it actually takes a backseat. How Harry time travels/is reborn is less important than what he does with his many lives. It is definitely the sort of science fiction book that would appeal to those who do not consider themselves big fans of the genre. Armada, on the other hand, is definitely one that will appeal to a certain group of people: video game fans. The story of a teenager who gets caught up in an alien invasion that seems inspired by the online game he plays, it is Ernest Cline’s second novel. I couldn’t wait to read it after Ready Player One, and whilst I did not enjoy it much as his first novel, I still rated it five stars because it was just so fun.

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu & The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Time Salvager The Girl With All The Gifts

Time Salvager was one of those books that I had high expectations for, but it still managed to utterly blow me away. As I said in my review, it is the type of science fiction that I have been yearning for for a while. The Girl With All The Gifts is a very different type of book, but equally fantastic. A sort-of-zombie dystopian novel, unlike other books of the same ilk, the reader sees the zombies from a more ‘personal’ viewpoint.

Way Down Dark by James Smythe & Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Way Down Dark Catalyst

Way Down Dark was another wonderful Netgalley find, that I partly took a chance on just because of the cool cover. This felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the whole host of science fiction/dystopian Young Adult novels that have recently been released. Unfortunately as it has been labelled as ‘for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent, I fear this will put many people off the book who actively avoid those series or those similar. Ignore that! Catalyst is the final book in the Insignia series, and was a really great ending. It follows young teens training for the military, and somehow often feels simultaneously tense and light-hearted.

Have you read any of these, or are you planning to? What are your thoughts?

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Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: March 2015

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

A Darker Shade of Magic Firefight The Mime Order

 

Last month I read a total of three books: A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon.

Clearly, it was a pretty awful month for reading. And also for blogging… At least the two of the three books I managed to read were both amazing, and the other was still good! I’m back in university guilt mode: if I’m reading, I feel it should be something that will contribute towards my thesis, which is frustrating. That means I’ve spent most of my alone free time either watching TV shows or films, or playing video games.

 

Challenge progress:

  • I read three books towards the DC vs Marvel Challenge. They all counted, at least! April’s villain is Kang the Conqueror, time to select some books for him!
  • I have currently read seventeen books towards my Goodreads goal. If I keep this up, I’ll fall behind!

 

Currently reading:

Outlander

How was March for you?

Review

Review: Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson

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5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Oh Brandon Sanderson, you’ve done it again. After finally reading and absolutely loving Steelheart, I couldn’t wait to move onto Firefight, and luckily Gollancz were kind enough to send me a copy. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get round to it as quickly as I’d hoped, hence why this review is a little late, but wow was it worth the wait.

From the get go I was just as mesmerised by this book as I was by the first. With Sanderson’s fluid writing and magnificent story-telling, not to mention David’s absolutely awful and hilarious metaphors – and who else but Sanderson could get away with writing like that? – I was whisked back to Newcago with the Reckoners.

The majority of this story actually takes place in Manhattan, or Babylon Restored as it is called by this point, and I have to say, for a post-apocalyptic city, it sounded pretty beautiful. Apart from the whole murderous ruling Epic thing… In Babylon Restored, the water levels have risen so much that the skyscrapers poke out of the water like islands. Glowing fruit mysteriously grows all over the place, giving it an ethereal jungle vibe. The descriptions of the city were so vivid in my mind, like an urban Pandora.

There were some fun new additions to the team, Mizzy especially. One of the youngest Reckoners, excitable and clumsy, she tries hard to fit in with the rest of the group. I wasn’t sure about Exel, it felt a little like Sanderson was creating a character to fill the shoes of Cody, who was left back in Newcago. However, it wasn’t just some great new characters, but also new techology – the spyril in particular. A sort of water-powered jetpack, I could perfectly imagine David weaving his way through the concrete jungle of New York with it – although at times it did remind me a little of Super Mario Sunshine

With some fantastic new Epics, such as Obliteration and Regalia, and a really dark and shocking ending, Firefight is an absolute blast of a book and a definite recommendation whether you’re a Brandon Sanderson fan, or have never read any of his work (although in that case make sure you read Steelheart first!). I CANNOT WAIT for Calamity – and this time I actually have to…

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