Book Review: The Gravity of Us

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Rating:  5 Stars
Series:  Standalone
Length: 314 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

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Book Review: Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Series: The Aurora Cycle, #1
Length: 473 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

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Graphic Novel Review #24 – Midas

Midas by Ryan North, Braden Lamb (Illustrator) & Shelli Paroline (Illustrator)
Rating: 3 Stars
Series:  Midas (The Midas Flesh Vol 1 & 2)
Length: 256 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Dang, King Midas

We’ve all heard of the Midas Touch. You know, the Greek myth about the man who did a number on himself by wishing everything he touched to turn to gold? Well, you haven’t heard everything.

Joey and her space crew have decided to return to Earth–a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold–to find out exactly what happened to this once thriving planet and see if they can use that knowledge against the evil empire that’s tracking them down. As luck would have it, they just landed the most powerful weapon in the universe: some ancient dead guy’s body.

The totally unpredictable first collection of Ryan North’s debut original print comic book series The Midas Touch, featuring art by illustration dynamos Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, will leave the reader reeling from start to gilded finish

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Book Review #158 – Thetis

Thetis by Greg Boose
Rating: 3 Stars
Series: The Deep Sky Saga, #2
Length: 258 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Thank You Diversion Publishing and NetGalley for giving a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Blind and broken, orphaned teenager Jonah Lincoln reluctantly boards a rescue ship bound for the planet Thetis, but not before it picks up a few more surprising and dangerous survivors from the massacre on the moon Achilles. After regaining his sight, Jonah sees the gated colony on Thetis is just as he feared–cloaked in mystery and under an oppressive rule with no one to trust–and that outside the walls, it’s even worse. Surrounded by terrifying new landscapes and creatures, Jonah and his friends fight to save the colony and restore order to the planet.

Just as Jonah grasps his near-impossible mission, the alien voices from Achilles return, pushing him to discover the truth about the Silver Foot Galaxy and his role in both its future and past. And when another ship arrives, it’s then Jonah knows he has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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Book Review #147 – Obsidio

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: The Illuminae Files, #3
Length: 615 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.

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Book Review #146 – Skyward

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: Skyward, #1
Length: 510 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

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Book Review #140 – Nyxia

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: The Nyxia Triad, #1
Length: 384 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

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Graphic Novel Review #12 – Open Earth

Open Earth by Sarah Mirk, Eva Cabrera (Artist), Claudia Aguirre (Artist)
Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 106 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis:
Rigo is a young woman of her time: specifically, the time just after the collapse of Earth. After living her whole life on a small space station orbiting the planet, the cultural norms and rules of her Californian parents are just history to her. In between work shifts at the station air farm, Rigo explores her own desires, developing openly polyamorous relationships with her friends and crewmates. When she starts to feel one of those relationships change, however, Rigo must balance her new feelings with the stability of her other relationships, as well as the hard-earned camaraderie of a small crew floating in the vastness of space. But, as the ship motto goes, “Honesty keeps us alive.”

A heartfelt, positive, and erotic look at one woman’s adventure in love and sex, as a new generation learns to make their own rules and follow their own hearts.

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Review #115 – Ignite the Stars

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Series: Untitled, #1
Length: 400 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis:
Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?

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Review #110 – Gemina

Gemina by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: The Illuminae Files, #2
Length: 680 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

Synopsis:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’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 residents 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.

Once again 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.

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