Showing posts with label Science Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science Fiction. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I Am Sleepless: Sim 299 by Johan Twiss

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own,

In some ways this book reminded me of the Ender’s series, because the hope of success in the war are children. However, that is where it deviates. The powers in charge have used human babies and injected them with something that often kills the baby. If they are lucky the serum works and they become one of many  species with specific gifts. Aiden is a freak among these freaks. He has two gifts. When they are in the pit practicing against each other he is suddenly able to meld his two gifts together. In this way he is able to anticipate his opponent’s moves and win.  This creates some enemies.  Each of these “gifts” comes with a defect. For Aiden the defect is he never sleeps. I loved that these species had identifiable characteristics. Aiden has the gift of a vibrant and a puzzler. He has green hair and gray skin. Most vibrunts are blind, but he is not. He also has the gift of a puzzler where he can figure complex things out.
They get the shakes and usually can’t sleep. Aiden is the youngest person to make it through most of the simulators. He is currently in sim 299. Three of his rivals end up with an invitation to that sim. They enter to seek revenge. They end up needing each other. Dixon is an agulator who can change the density of his body. Zana is a Mek. She is blue and although she is a dwarf, her engineering genius holds lots of promise. Unfortunately they usually sabotage their own work.  Aiden has two other friends  that help him . They all become like family.  But things are about to take a twisted turn. Someone doesn’t like what is happening and enters the game to shake things up.

It took me a little time to get the different type of characters straight and understand their gifts and defects. Once I understood it, I loved it. The world this author has created is beautiful.  It seems it is a simple world and then you realize how complex it is. The plot is fairly complex as well. There are a lot of hidden secrets. I loved the book so well that I bought the second book. I am really looking forward to reading it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wonderful Books for the Imagination

Can you See the Magic by Chris Stead  Artwork by Els Dirickx
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

In my opinion, children's books should not just tell a great story, but they should spark the imagination. This is by far my favorite children's book of the new year. I have shared it with several teachers and students at school. It was great fun watching them look around the room and see the owl in the wood grain on my door or the dragon that is on theirs. This book  is great for ALL ages.  I teach middle school and my students loved it. Chris Stead has taken the artwork created by Els Dirickx, and created a story where you must use your imagination to see the magic around you. In this story two young children convince their father to walk around the farm with them to see the magic. The father, like most adults tells them there is no such thing as magic. The children assure him there is. They look at rusty old cars, and burnt pieces of wood.  This has reignited my already big imagination. I have always seen the magic in things. I used to drive my mother crazy with statements like, “Look at the face in the tile mom, it’s an old man with a droopy hat.” Our imagination served us well when we were growing up on our farm. We spent hours looking at the clouds and other items for the magic in them. I am already a fan of Chris Stead’s books. He worked his own magic when he paired up with this artist who creates something she calls Arikai Reverse art. The word Arikai is made from the names of two of her grandchildren Ari and Kai.

To find out more about Chris' books go to:

To find out more about Els Dirickx's artwork go to:

Morty's Travels by Anderson Atlas
Genre: Children, Science Fiction, Adventure
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is a strange and fun adventure story. Morty likes to play pranks on his dad. One morning he goes outside to find a slug to put in his dad's shoe. Instead, he finds a strange flower. The pollen from it causes him to sneeze and he is transported to another planet. He meets some friendly adventures and even finds a pet. This would make a great bed-time story. The pictures are wonderful.
Find out more about Anderson's work at:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Youngtimer: Time Flies by G.G. Fulton

Genre: Middle Grades, Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
In this second book in the "Youngtimer: Adventures In Time" Series, best friend's Carly and Patti are happy to have the summer off from school, and are determined to make the most of it.
Carly's time machine is calling their names!
In between saving her "only" brother, Brad, from a difficult situation involving a 6'6", 275 pound linebacker, and a run in with the school drama queen, Carly and Patti are off on more great adventures as they carry out Carly's big plans: I Heart Grampa; Time Flies; Extra Extra Hunger; and De-Bully Lulu.
Come along for the ride to non-stop fun and adventure.
My Thoughts:

This is the second book in this series and it is just as enjoyable as the first. Carly, along with her best friend Patti set off on several adventures.  This time things don’t go quite as smoothly. This series is really enjoyable.  Adults and kids can both relate to the characters. They and their time travel are very believable. This is a series my students will definitely love to read. The adventure of time travel will be enough for some people. The idea of traveling back through time to witness parts of history make this even more worth the read. If you haven’t checked out this series yet then you had better get started, to see what you have been missing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Youngtimer: Adventures In Time by Glynnis Rogero

Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Carly is this super smart, nerdy girl who has been recommended to skip two grades.  She decides to do everything in her power to get lower grades so that she can stay at that school with her best friends Patti.  This is just one of the adventures Carly creates in this book.

When Carly's grandfather passes away he leaves her a mysterious letter and wooden box.  The instructions tell her not to open the box until she reads the letter.  She has always been her grandfather's favorite.  She even had a secret knock that allowed her, and her alone,  into his garage/workshop.  She places the box under her bed where it stays until her best friend Patti finds it and pulls it out. She has been asked by her grandfather to wait until she is eighteen to open it.  But, as Patti points out that is six years away. What her grandfather has left her is tucked away in a corner of his workshop. Carly can hardly believe he has left her a time machine.  Carly tries it out while her friend is there in case something goes wrong.  Then she talks her friend into going on a trip.  But, what happens when Carly uses the machine to try to fix a family problem and changes things?  The tension was taut enough I kept thinking, don't do that....what happens if...

Parts of this story reminded me of the movie "Back to the Future" where Marty has to be careful how he changes things because it could have dire consequences.  This is Carly's situation.  Will she make the problem she has at home better or worse?  This is a must read book.  It is full of humor and situations that my middle school students would definitely be able to identify.  I will definitely recommend this book to them.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Student Saturday: The Dark Zone by Dom Testa

Student Reviewer: Isaac
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Alexa, a crew member of Galahad has recovered from a coma after having her appendix removed. However, she’s had weird visions believed to see the future. As strange aliens that have little info about themselves make contact with Galahad everyone’s fate may be sealed.

It felt odd for me to try new things and that I knew nothing about it. Galahad’s crew members have similar feelings about the aliens. Readers who like thinking about the plot and questioning everything,  would like this part of the story. Each Galahad book has an original plot which still continues to baffle me.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Student Saturday: The Cassini Code by Dom Testa

Student Reviewer:  Isaac
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

The Galahad crew are on their way out of the solar system through the Kuiper Belt, a massive ring of several objects orbiting the sun. With thoughts an alien they contacted the Cassini might be helping humans fight Bhaktul disease. Many have started to decide to go against the idea of heading to the solar system Eos. The council members will have to make hard choices between right and wrong.

In the story, some crew members go against the protagonists. I’ve felt like this when some of my friends have been rude to me sometimes. I’d recommend this to readers who like drama and conflict.

Each book in the series has its own atmosphere and plot, another great book!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Student Saturday: The Web of Titan by Dom Testa

Student Reviewer:  Isaac
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

As Galahad and its crew pass by Saturn’s moon, Titan, they must pick up a pod meant to carry two passengers, a cat and someone else. The crew would be prepared for this considering the stowaway who almost killed them all months ago. But, when one is missing in the pod with no explanation and mysterious events occur, could it be possible someone, or something exists on Titan?

In several parts of the story, the crew have no idea what’s going on and feel confused. I also feel like this sometimes.  This issue of the series seems great for readers who like a feeling of mystery and unknowing. This is a great sequel that’s just as original and fascinating.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Student Saturday: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Student Reviewer: Isaac C.

Michael, like all teenagers spends most of his time on electronics. However, he spends time in the VirtNet, a virtual universe wehre many nuisances in life are removed and everything is better, or is it? He meets a girl who explians a man named Kaine and about being trapped here, and Killsims, of course Michael shrugs it off thinking she's a lunatic. But, when the VirtNet Security kidnaps him, telling how they've been hunting Kaine for so long, he's with their coding skils. However, the the VirtNet, there are many mysterious things Micahel has yet to see.

I felt in the place of Micahel sometimes when he was overwhelmed when things would out of hand. I'd recommend this for readers into the futuristic setting and brain teasing plots. This is a great book by one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Student Saturday: The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa

Student Reviewer: Isaac

In the not so far future, a comet known as Bhaktul passes by the sun, leaving the remnants of the tail to be passsed by Earth. Normally this is a beautiful event. However, a deadly condition coincidentally occurs, leaving many to speculate that an unknown particle located in the tail is what causes this condition to shatter the healthiest human. There is an escape thoug, a respectable scientist, Dr. Zimmer, plans to send 251, fifteen and sixteen year olds due to the diseas not affecting teens below the age of 17 or 18, on humanities life saver Galahad. However, one of Zimmer's colleagues and close friends disagrees, so events could be bound to happen as Galahad travels to two planets light-years away.

I felt in the place of many characters because I can easily relate to their problems and how they react.
I would recommend this to any sci-fi fans who love to be on the edge of their seat and is always thinking about the plot and what's going to happen next.  This is an amazing and fascinating sci-fi book. What can I say?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Release Day Blitz - Stolen Art by Ruth Silver

Title: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Romance
  Stolen Art Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.   Fans of Orphan Black, The X-Files, and Fringe will fall head over heels for STOLEN ART. Recommended: 15+


I rush back up the dark stairwell, shoving the key into the doorknob. It takes a minute for the lock to click and I push myself inside the apartment, securing every lock and deadbolt. I can’t stay here in Hutchinson, Kansas any longer. Pulling my phone from my purse, I text Weston. Tatiana is here. It’s not safe for me. I grab the few belongings that have any value to me, sentimental or otherwise, and shove it into my shoulder bag, including the stolen silver necklace. It has value and if I’m forced on the run, I’ll need money to survive. I know. What did Weston mean he knew Tatiana is at the bar? Had he seen her? Is he there? What do you mean, you know? I type into the phone. If he saw her, why didn’t he warn me? I can’t go down out the front door and it’s only a matter of time until she finds me just a few feet away. I grow restless waiting for an answer. The phone buzzes and displays an incoming call from Weston. "Wes, tell me you’re here." The only thing to do is hop in his car and drive into the night, far from Kansas. A female’s voice bubbles with laughter. "Oh he’s coming darling, but you should know he won’t get here in time. Amazing how easy it is to clone a phone number and steal his service. The advancements Stem Tech has made is encouraging." teaser stolen art2    

About the Author

Ruth Silver Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing multiple series under her name as well as the pen name Ravyn Rayne. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. Follow Ruth here Blog- Facebook- Twitter- Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here Blog- Facebook- Twitter- book series  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Universes Inside the Lighthouse by Pam Stucky

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

If you like time travel books then you will most assuredly enjoy this book.  This book is not traveling through time, but through different universes.  Emma and Charlie Neeson are twins who find themselves on Dogwinkle Island.  They really think they are going to have a boring time.  Then they learn about the Balky Point Lighthouse.  Inside is where they can jump from one universe to another.  Dr. Waldo is in charge of "The Hub".  Emma and Charlie travel with Ben and Eva an alien they have befriended.  This would be just another ordinary science fiction book if it was only about visiting other time periods. Instead the author has you visiting multiple universes.  The author threw in antagonist Vik.  The aliens are trying to find Vik because he is causing some major problems. He is trying to destroy the only way to travel between the universes.  He is spreading what they called "The Void".  It reminded me of "The Neverending Story" and the nothingness.  The characters were all well developed.  You have Charlie who is very outgoing and then his sister Emma who likes to hang back, she's somewhat introverted.  The story starts out at a great pace. The events begin to ramp up the tension within the story making it almost impossible to put down the book. You want to continue to read to the end of the book.  This is one that I know my science fiction loving students will really enjoy.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

Author bio:
Pam Stucky, a native of the Pacific Northwest, is the author of the Wishing Rock series (novels with recipes), starting with Letters from Wishing Rock, and the Pam on the Map travelogue series, books that take readers along on Pam's journeys and adventures around the world. The Universes Inside the Lighthouse, Pam's eighth book, is Pam's first foray into both YA and sci-fi. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Student Saturday: The Kill Order by James Dashner

Student Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

When I first started this, this was nothing like the other books in the series. I was disappointed – and intrigued. So, I read on. I found out about a whole lot of the story just from reading chapter 10.  I read that there was one girl in the book named Trina. I immediately thought of Trina from “Steps to Courage”, and funny thing, the main character/ Trina’s best friend is named Mark. Again, I thought of that same book. Just a connection.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Student Saturday: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Student Reviewer:  Elizabeth B.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

I enjoyed this book. This is the third book in the Maze Runner Series, and I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was a little upsetting because at the end there was no cure for a disease called the flare. While a group of them left the rest of the human race to die off while they went into a part of the world that they called paradise. I connected with the book because when Thomas was given the decision of killing his friend he did it, because that’s what his friend wanted I connected a bunch of books to this because they all witnessed a person dying; they each had different feelings with seeing the life leave their eyes.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Student Saturday: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Student Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

The Scorch Trials is book #2 in the Maze Runner Series. By the beginning of this book I learned why it had this title. After the maze test in book 1, Thomas and his friends thought they were done. A group called WICKED, funny, right? Was putting them through all of these tests. The Scorch Trials was another one of them I think this might have been the book – which out of every book that I’ve read, (which is a lot), that I definitely felt most connected/drawn/intimidated by. It was kind of funny – when Thomas was upset, so was I. I’m serious. In real life. No joke. When he was mad, I was angry. His emotions flew through me. When his heart was crushed, when I had to finally put the book down at nighttime, I was crushed. Then I woke up not really feeling well. But, reading the book with that, afterwards, hew as happy again. and so was I. The very next day, now, I am still recovering my shock from having all of the emotions from this book flow through me. Wow!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Student Saturday: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Student Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

I really enjoyed the first book in the Maze Runner series. It really grabbed me with all the imagination and creativity of the author’s writing. I connected with it because I already heard if you read another series – Divergent – then you would like this one. I liked when the book just started that the kid Thomas was in some kind of box. I liked another part because Thomas had no idea who he was, just that he had that name. I felt secure when reading this part because I could relate to him; I also had no idea who he was, just his name. I felt connected because I would learn who he was with him – rather than have him tell me about himself. I was definitely drawn to the book. When Thomas thought, I thought even harder. This book is kind of like the Hunger Games, just not as violent. I was like that because lots of people died. That was the saddening part for me. There also were a lot of questions with no answers so the book left me dying for more.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Student Saturday: Plague by Michael Grant

Sudent Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

I enjoyed this book a lot because of the description. I really liked it. It was extremely detailed. I connected with this to other books because this just was a start of a war. A cold endless war. This book was both saddening and a thriller.  I would recommend this to anyone who has, what I call an evil mind. Like if they enjoy thrillers that are very suspenseful and that they don’t care what happens good or bad.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time Square UFO by S.W. Lothian

Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Source:  I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
The effects of the Shift have caused havoc at Time Square. Time itself is in danger of imploding and Operation Slingshot has been activated to save the day. Team ELMR embark on their first mission to locate and rescue the first of the missing travellers.

Mission: ELMR-01
Date: 8-July-1947
Location: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America

Mission Brief: Readings indicate that the target traveller has possibly been captured by a brilliant, but eccentric, scientist who is investigating reports of extra-terrestrials that have crashed in the Roswell area.

Due to this, it is essential that the target is located and rescued before he unwittingly reveals our secret. If the secret of time-travel is revealed to such a random mind, then it could spell disaster and have a huge impact on the world.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book. this is the second book in the Time Square series. I this adventure ELMR is brought into the Roswell event. They have been sent through time to find Wilber Force who has been kidnapped. Sultan Peppercorn who had stolen the obelisk has frozen it hoping to shatter it. Instead he creates an ice age in Time Square. I was happy to read this book because the author had a "name a character" contest.  I submitted the name Leonard Paxton. Based on the description he had given us I looked for names with certain meanings. Leonard means "Brave Lion" and Paxton means "Peaceful".  Leonard is Sultan Peppercorn's  assistant.  He doesn't necessarily like what the Sultan does or how the Sultan treats him, but as he put it, the job pays his bills.  He is very loyal. This book also included a new problem. Those traveling through time might end up being miniaturized.  This happened to Razer Sharp. The other kids don't know why she was and they were not.  This is just one of many problems they will face.  You really need to read this book to find out what else can go wrong in Time Square.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Student Saturday: Hunger by Michael Grant

Student Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction

I liked the second book in the Gone series quite a lot. I thought it was pretty cool that there was a person with powers to heal. That always helps. Also, it was awesome when Caine and Sam, two brothers, FINALLY got along. I don’t know about you, but I always think that it is cool to get along, especially brothers that were REAL enemies. I am practically itching to read the whole series – and I am also so glad that they are no longer hungry. They have managed to find a way that the flesh-eating bugs will no longer be there. All is well in the FAZ…… for now!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and First Review of the New Year


Iggy Loomis: A Hagfish Called Shirley by Jennifer Allison
Genre: Elementary, Science Fiction
Source: I received a copy  to facilitate my review. The opinons expressed here are my own.

This is the second book in the new Iggy Loomis series by Jennifer Allison.  Iggy and his brother Daniel live next door to a family of aliens.  Allistair is Daniel's new best friend.  Unfortunately something happened while Daniel and his brother were visiting Allistair and now when Iggy gets upset or super excited, he turns into a bug or his buggy parts start to appear.  They have been able to control it most of the time.  Iggy is super excited because Allistair has a cool pet.  They go to see it and find out it is a hagfish.  This is not what most humans would have as a pet.  Unfortunately things in their life start to go really bad when Iggy drops Shirley the hagfish into the toilet and flushes it.  This is a fun book to read.  You keep wondering how they are going to get out of each situation without getting caught.  You keep wondering what Iggy is going to turn into next.  I would strongly suggest that you take this fun ride with Iggy and the gang and read this series now.  Start you new year off right with a great book.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Student Saturday: Gone by Michael Grant

I try to change up my reviewers.  However, I have some very prolific readers this year. They are the ones reading so much and so fast, then turning in several reviews at one time.  So for the next several weeks you will be seeing reviews by this student.

Student Reviewer: Elizabeth B.
Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction 

I really enjoyed Gone by Michael Grant. There was a kid named Sam Temple. In the book he was the kind of person who would jump into a burning building to save a little kid or help drive the bus when the bus driver had a heart attack. At his high school, on a regular day, all of a sudden everybody over the age of 14 started disappearing. The kids, all ages, had to fend for themselves. There were eventually traitors and bad guys, and a war between kids was unfolding.  All the kids took matters into their own hands, with no adults. Some kids wanted to be in control, some did not. I really liked this book because even with a huge headache, I still had an urge to keep reading. I could relate to this book because at one point in my life, I was actually thinking the same thing. What if there were no parents, no adults? Oh yeah, and to make matters worse, some of the kids magically have powers. Would you love to live there?