Posts from the ‘science fiction’ Category

Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

This was an alternate history of the tale ending the Elizabethan reign in England. Combining supernatural occurances, with historical references, the plot revolves around Virginia Dare returning to England from the New World.  Bizarre weather occurances concern Queen Elizabeth and her court magician, Dr. Stephen Strange.  Assassination attempts, warfare, and chaos ensues as characters try to figure out a connection between the strange occurances.  Gaiman presents the Marvel characters in a unique light, 400+ years in the past.

I loved this book.  The combining of history, sci fi, and superhero action is a trifecta of reading bliss. Although I am not a huge Marvel reader, it was a great read, and I was able to figure out which superhero (or villain) the 1602 characters represented.  The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, DareDevil, and more are featured here.

Highly recommended if you have a basic knowledge of Marvel characters.  If not, try brushing up on the basics first, before tackling this otherwise tough read.

Reviewed by: Angie

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This was the final installment in the trilogy by Pfeffer.  This book returns to Miranda’s home nearly a year after the catastrophes resulting from the moon being knocked out of orbit took place.  Her diary records her story of surviving, first with just her brothers and mother, and then when her father and his new family and friends show up.  She falls in love with one of the strangers, and the story takes a romantic turn, with the apocalypse still going on around them.  More surprises occur; with a final, climactic tornado that threatens everything that they have fought for.

I was engrossed from the beginning of this book.  I very rarely finish a book in one sitting (except for graphic novels), but this was an exception.  I got caught up in the gamut of emotions that Miranda felt, and as I got closer to the end of the book, started to dread the end that I thought was going to occur.  I just did not want the book to end.  I had waited so long for this book.

Possible Spoilers:

SPOILER

SPACE

Although I knew that this book was not going to have a pat happy ending, I did not enjoy the way things wound up.  I felt disappointed; the book, although very well written and gripping otherwise, left me feeling angry.  I felt that Miranda’s actions did not fit the character, and that her previous spirited independence turned into characteristic “I am not anything without him” syndrome.

Disappointing ending to an otherwise great series.  Recommended, but only in order to finish up the series.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This apocalyptic novel takes place when a meteor hits the moon and knocks it out of orbit.  The excitement of Miranda and her classmates changes to horror as they realize that what was supposed to be a viewing for a special homework assignment turns into a life-changing event.  Tsunamis, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes ensue, and the summer turns into a bitter winter.  Every day life becomes a challenge as power goes out, food supplies run low, and disease runs rampant. 

I loved this book. Besides the descriptions of all the disasters that occur, the day to day struggles of this new world is fascinating on a socio-economic level.

This book was named one of the Best Books For Young Adults by the YALSA division of ALA in 2007.  To me, it is easy to see why.  I could not put this book down.

Highly recommended.  Also read the follow-up, The Dead and the Gone.  In April, the third book in the trilogy, This World We Live In, will be released. I cannot wait to get that book in my hands.

Review by: Angie

Ringworld by Larry Niven

“Hugo and Nebula Award winning writer Larry Niven writes his masterwork Ringworld, set in the ‘Known Space’ universe.  A trillion people live in a giant space craft that is created to simulate a planet, which is about to be destroyed.”  Summary provided by John, director of PPL.

Look for other books in the “Known Space” series:

  • Ringworld’s Children
  • The Ringworld Engineers
  • The Ringworld Throne
  • Protector
  • A Gift from Earth
  • The long arm of GIL Hamilton
  • Neutron Star
  • The Patchwork Girl
  • World of Ptavvs

Enders game by Orson Scott Card

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Ender’s Game is a great science fiction novel.  Ender Wiggin is recruited by the world government for “training” to fight the alien “buggers”.  This first novel in a long running series follows Ender as he engages in training simulations and interacts with the other recruits.  A very good read.

The rest of the series of Ender books currently published, or upcoming:*

  • Speaker for the Dead
  • Xenocide
  • Children of the Mind
  • Ender’s Shadow
  • Shadow of the Hegemon
  • Shadow Puppets
  • First Meetings (Short Stories)
  • Shadow of Giants
  • A War of Gifts: An Ender Story
  • Ender in Exile
  • Shadows in Flight (Upcoming)

*Source: Wikipedia (October 5, 2010)

I found that the series as a whole was fast paced and exciting.  I usually don’t like to read series books because I can’t stand the suspense of waiting in between book releases, but this series I had to swallow up as fast as I could.  Highly recommended for science fiction fans.

You can also check out the Ender’s comics/Graphic Novels.

Reviewed by: Angie