Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

Beneath a Starless Sky by Debbie L Taylor

March 4, 2019 - 9:46 pm No Comments

Beneath a Starless Sky by Debbie L Taylor

Published by Meadow Publishing House Ltd on 14th November 2018

295 pages

If eye colouring determined what you would do in your life. What class would you be?

The lower class or Ambers lived to serve the Greys born into wealth. Not allowed to get romantically involved, any offspring were shunned by both sides. Having a mom who is Amber and a dad who is Grey, Max is not sure where he belongs, he spent his life working for the Government but wanting a better life for Ambers. Grace, his boss was an elite Grey, wanting to change the world but living in an unhappy marriage, she didn’t know how to. But thanks to a secret operation, they both see their chance.

To help tell the story, it alternates between Max and Grace. There was no confusion as each chapter is clearly marked. Telling the story that way enabled you to see both sides of the story. Max found it hard to make friends or even have a relationship, always on the defensive and enjoyed nothing more than to rub Grace up the wrong way. As you read his story, you soon realise what his life had been like growing up and you understand why he is like he is. On the opposite side, Grace’s life is not rosy as everyone believes, she was good at putting up a front, but slowly you can see her starting to crack.  

The story starts off a bit slow as there is a lot of information given to you, but this does help you understand the world Max and Grace live in. As the story continues the pace picks up and I found myself reading quicker just to find out what happens. There are a few drop jaw moments that helps tie up the story. However, I don’t think that this is the end of the story and I hope that there will be further books, as by the end of the story Max had grown on me. With a mixture of Sci-fi and Dystopian, this was an enjoyable read and to answer my question, my family and I would be Ambers.    

After Bees by BC Nyren

March 2, 2019 - 5:09 pm No Comments

After Bees by BC Nyren

Published on 28th July 2017

186 pages

It’s been mentioned that if we lose the humble bee, it will be the end of civilisation.

100 years after the last bee disappeared and society was split. Having women in charge and men as slaves, with plenty of food and very little crime, the population of The Settlement think they are doing well. But when a high standing woman is found murdered and her slaves have been abused, the Captain of the Guard Willow Pelletier thinks that there is something rotten going on.

Willow was a strong character, great in battles and would put fear into the majority of the population. But she also had a caring side to her, which showed when she took on 2 slaves that had been tortured and the way that she ran her household.

There was a significant contrast between The Settlement and the Hillfolk, showing just how more advanced in technology the Settlement was. The descriptive writing of the author brought the characters to life and the simplest tasks were detailed bring the scenes alive. Willow’s caring nature came to force when “Her heart clenched for her slave as she took in the sight of his beaten, bruised form, trying to see past the collage of abuse to the undoubtedly strong, proud man who he might have been before.”  And you recognise that lightbulb moment when she wants to change people’s attitude.

This was a quick enjoyable read, which I read in one sitting. I would love to know if Willow succeeds.  I am going to look out for more by this author

Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar

December 1, 2018 - 8:17 pm No Comments

Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar
Published by Tachyon Publications on 6th November 2018
290 pages

Living in Palestine is dangerous, even getting on a bus could get you blown up. A wall is being built to keep the Ugandans out, but there is a lot of unrest and the Ugandans want their land back.
Lior Tirosh is an author of detective novels that you normally see for sale at airports. Having moved to Berlin to escape the troubles, he has to return to Palestine to visit his sick father, but whilst there he finds out that his niece is missing. As soon as he starts his journey, he soon becomes a person of interest. Can he put what he writes into practice?
This is one book I will probably read again, as I am sure that I have missed something, which made the review quite hard to do. This book switches between 1st and 3rd person POV which I got into quickly as it was seamless, enabling the reader to follow Lior as he steps on the plane and the danger he is going home to and also following the watchers. One of my favourite characters was Special Agent Bloom, not from this world but a man of morals and always wanted to do what’s right.
This starts off as a mystery and whilst it was a slower pace, really held my interest as there was always something going on. The addition of the sci-fi element took the story in another direction and I did find myself re-reading parts so I could follow what was going on, although I was a bit confused at the end.
If you like alternative history than this is a good book to read as it does get you thinking what if with its mashup of genres it will attract a lot of readers.

In a Right State by Ben Ellis

October 22, 2018 - 9:21 pm No Comments

In a Right State by Ben Ellis
Published 29th June 2014
363 pages

2066 and the big corporations rule the country. Everyone’s data is analysed, and food is genetically modified. However certain residents are not happy, whether they are growing natural vegetables or having tech that will confuse satellites, they do what it takes to rebel against society.
The story opens with a body parts being auctioned to the highest bidders and you start to wonder what sort of world these people live in. Duncan an ex employer of Pharmara was not happy with how the country was going and in his own way rebelled by growing all-natural produce. Amy an employer of Pharmara, analysed data, good at her job but soon became disillusioned with the work. Whilst she did not know Duncan she knew his wife, they were thrown together when Duncan became a Person of Interest. On the run they end up at Shaded Vale, run by The Colonel, it was utopia compared to Wigthorn, living without being spied on and run by the filthy rich. The Colonel has a plan to shake up the country but need the help of Duncan, Amy and his daughter Poppy,
Amy and Duncan were as different as chalk and cheese. Amy lived by facts and patterns and was very tech savvy. Duncan at lot older, still missed the good old days. He shut himself away and only lived for his plants. Poppy was a strange girl living in her parent’s shadow, she reminded me of Violet from the Incredibles, very shy but very astute.
From the moment Duncan is in trouble you are taken on a cat and mouse adventure. The use of technology played a big part in the story and showed just how easy it was to abuse the system. The further I got into the book I did start to wonder who exactly the “good” guys as personal gain was a big issue. One character I despised straight away was Estelle, Poppy’s mom who was the biggest bitch I have read about in a while.
This was a fast-paced book as you follow the chase, but it was not all serious, there were a few comedy moments one in particular being the spray that changed your DNA, imagine a satellite seeing 3 sheep getting into a car and driving away. Whilst this is a fictional story there were parts that are realistic, and it does get you thinking what technology is in use today with our data being shared. If you enjoy dystopian with a technology twist, then this is a read for you. I hope that there is more to come and as I am interested in what happened next

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson

October 13, 2018 - 10:05 pm No Comments

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Gollancz on 26th July 2018
128 pages

As a 1st timer to this author’s work, I did not know what to expect. With its mixture of crime and technology I knew that it was something I would enjoy.
Davis is a real-life detective, working an unusual beat. He doesn’t have to catch a criminal but spends his time finding evidence. Him and his partner Chaz worked in New Clipperton, living each day in a snapshot. The government used them to walk in a certain day at a certain time to get incriminating evidence, so the real police can make the arrest.
As a police officer Davis was quite non-descript. He did is job every day without a word of complaint. That was until 1st May when he decided to make a difference. Chaz was the complete opposite, he had a temper and had the same level of enjoyment as a young boy pulling wings of flies. But as a partnership they worked well together.
The story was descriptive, and you could imagine Davis walking the beat, feeling more despondent. The addition of a serial killer gave it a thriller edge. The use of technology played a big part in the story and got me thinking, which days would I want to relive, what did I miss on that day.
As it was a novella it was a quick read and a good introduction to this author’s work. The author writes an ending that was unexpected, which took the story to a different direction.
Whilst it is a standalone I would love for the story to continue to find out what happened next.