Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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The saga that began with breakout bestseller Illuminae continues aboard Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station commander’s pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station crew one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon, Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

(via Goodreads)

I really enjoyed this book, as much as Illuminae. I think it has a lot to do with the female leads in the stories. Not to say the men aren’t entertaining and relateable, but these books have such a strong female lead that is refreshing compared to some other YA novels I’ve been reading of late (I’m looking at you, Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares!).

Onto our main Image result for gemina hannah donnellycharacter Hannah Donnelly. The daughter of the Captain, she is thrust into saving her world from infiltrators and a wormhole with it’s own issues. I was very pleased she wasn’t a carbon copy of Kady  Grant (Illuminae). Where Kady was tech-savvy, Hannah has a physicality about her that makes her actions in the book believable.

Her counterpart, Nik Malikov, is an alleged gangster who is always in trouble. But as we expect, there is more to him than meets the eye. Gemina does a good job of unravelling his back story slowly. And I liked the outcome. It wasn’t a cop out, or frustrating.

Kaufman and Kristoff have built an amazing and intricate world for this series. Gemina and Illuminae, though focusing on different characters and ships, do tie in to one another.  And we can’t have a review without mentioning the original text layout, the art work, the dossiers. It makes a very large book a quick read. And it’s always fun to have to turn the book upside down to read the next line 🙂

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I recommend this to lovers of YA and Science Fiction. A well written ‘space opera’ and I am looking forward to Obsidio (what’s going to happen??!!).

4.5/5

The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

18509623You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

(via Goodreads)

Rin Chupeco’s Girl From The Well is a much better read than I expected. Based on the original myth that inspired The Ring, GFTW meshes well with the contemporary story line, without becoming another sequel.

Having said that, it wasn’t as scary as I wanted it to be. I wanted to be completely creeped out at the very least, but it didn’t happen. I ended up being more interested in the old Japanese legend the Bancho Sarayashiki.

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One thing that really bugged me about this book was the lack of proofreading – the author said Narrabeen was in Sydney, and Sydney was in Queensland. We’re talking 850km from Queensland to Narrabeen and another 50km-ish from Narrabeen to Sydney. How is that not picked up by the editor? Really frustrating for us down under!

I really enjoyed the way the narrative dropped in and out of lines on the page when Okiku was speaking. And the recollection of falling down the well found the words dropping. That was very cool.

3.5/5

Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano, John Ridgway, Alfredo Alcala

John Constantine 133017is an unconcerned, amoral occultist with a British working-class background.He’s an anti-hero who manages to come out on top through a combination of luck, trickery and genuine magic skill.V FOR VENDETTA illustrator David Lloyd provides painted artwork for the tale of an encounter with a strange woman who is the embodiment of the world’s horrors.This volume also features some of Constantine’s earliest adventures including his first victory in the long war with the demon Nergal.

(via Goodreads)

To me, John Constantine is the Generation X anti-hero. The chain-smoking, hard drinking, foul mouthed deuteragonist is one of my favourite characters in the DC universe.

There is something about an anti-hero that is so popular. It is often the character we can most relate to, the most layered, sometimes fun!

Constantine is all those things. He works the dark and light magic, and the end justifies the means. He walks in a world of darkness and pain, and as such, the stories are textured and reflective of that small part of humanity which is denied by most.

The stories are strong and the artwork is Miller-esque. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a darker story.

4.5/5

Nightlord: Sunset by Garon Whited

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

Eric didn’t ask to be a vampire. In fact, he didn’t even believe in them. Then he hooks up with a hot babe, wakes up with a hangover, and bites his tongue with his own fangs.

Which pretty much settles the question.

Now he’s trying to hold down his day job while learning the rules of the Undead — the most important being that bloodthirsty urges and predatory instincts are a real bitch.

Upside; Eric has the beautiful Sasha to teach him the ropes, including the magic he’ll need to survive.

Downside; they’re being hunted by members of the Church of Light, who are determined to rid the world of vampires.

(via Goodreads)

This was a nice surprise.

I saw the blurb and the length and I was slightly disheartened.

But what follows is a fluid, engaging narrative.

It’s conversational, imagined, and while at times can seem to jump in the narrative, overall it was a great story for lovers of the genre.

3.5/5

 

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2 is a spine15729539-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

(via Goodreads)

Hill’s NOS4A2 (or NOS4R2 if you live in the UK or AUS) is a 690+ story of Vic McQueen, a flawed and broken woman, suffering PTSD and struggling to be a good mum to her son, Wayne.

As a child, Vic found a link (or portal) to other places – and another world. During one of her trips she crosses paths with Charles Manx, a vampiric child killer, and her world is forever changed.

This narrative, despite its size, is a fast read. I found Vic a likeable heroine, real in her pain and passion. Charles Manx is a creepy villain and (unfortunately for the world) believable. Hill does very well in showing us Manx’s pure belief that he is doing good in the world. Manx’s sidekick Bing Partridge is visceral, he has a smell and air about him that is revolting. I am so glad there is no such thing as scratch and sniff novels!

The only disappointing thing about this book was part of the ending. I won’t spoil it, but I wish that part had ended differently. However, the story reminded me of classic Stephen King, which I later found it Hill is his son 🙂

4/5

May Wrap Up & June TBR

I read more than I thought I did in May, especially with a death in the family and a mini-reading slump. My ratings below:

  1. The Girl in 6E by A R Torre star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  2. Dark Moon by C W Holcomb star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  3. The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  4. Rogue Planet by Steven M Moore star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  6. For Fallon by Soraya Naomi star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  7. Half Bad by Sally Green star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  8. The Yearbook Committe by Sarah Ayoub star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  9. Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  11. Walking Dead vols 17 – 18 by Robert Kirkman star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  12. Cold Stone and Ivy by Leighton H Dickson star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  13. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  14. Red Rising by Pierce Brown star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592

My June TBR is heavy on! So much to get through this month but I am looking forward to it.

Walking Dead (Vols 1-108) by Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead Comics started in 2003, seven years before the TV series took the world by storm. The comics follow Rick Grimes, family man and ex-cop trying to survive the zombie apocalypse that sprung up while he was in a coma.

While the first season of TWD TV series was mostly true to the comics, by season two all best were off. Fun fact, there is no Daryl in the comic books.

Crazy right? Arguably the most popular character on the TV series didn’t get a look in, in the comics.

Early deaths abound in the comics, and hook ups are a big part of the earlier issues. To the point of annoyance IMHO. And some people who died early in the TV series, didn’t die in the comics.

 

With that said, it’s still an interesting read. I am enjoying the story. There are issues, just like the series that seem to be fillers. A constant ‘walking’ episode, with walkers… And some issues are mind blowing (issue 100, anyone?)

Overall, it’s a great read to see what they did differently, and what they remained true to. Luckily for the series, they had Robert Kirkman on board, so his constant influence over any story line that deviates from the series still feels right in TWD universe.

4.5/5