[Mini-Review] Nuanced and Thoughtful Sci-Fi YA: Ignite the Stars and A Conspiracy of Stars

I’ve been wanting to add more sci-fi to my repertoire for ages. So when after hosting the #EverlastingNoraPH blog tour, Marie Cruz offered to send me a care package with her book plus Maura Milan’s Ignite the Stars, I was all for it! Anyway, I’d been eyeing this YA space opera since it came out last year – not to mention I’d also resolved to read more science fiction in 2019 (I love fantasy, but a girl needs variety, you know?)

Following on the heels of this book was yet another sci-fi novel: A Conspiracy of Stars, by Olivia A. Cole. (Does that name sound familiar? It should. Her husband talked her out of buying a haunted house. Bless.) This is another sci-fi book that discussed themes of colonialism – this time from the point of view of a child of the colonizing species (a.k.a., humans), giving readers deeper insight into a popular trope.

Essentially, reading these two-books was a one-two punch of excellent, thought-provoking science fiction, and I’m gonna need everybody else to check them out!

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[Book Review + Giveaway] Mirage – Somaiya Daud // a lush Moroccan fantasy set in outer space

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Title: Mirage

Author: Somaiya Daud

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance

Rating:

RATING - Four Stars

Summary:

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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Mini-Reviews: 3 Teen Books I, A Non-Teen, Adored

I admit – I used to look down on teen books. I’ve always loved YA sci-fi and fantasy, but I used to think that contemporary teen books were beneath me. Of course, I’ve realized since then just how wrong I was (check out my review of From Twinkle, With Love and When Dimple Met Rishi, both contemporary teen romances), and I’m happy to say, I have a quite a few teen books on my TBR now! In fact, last month, I read three contemporary teen books, and I absolutely adored them!

Here’s what I thought of Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!

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[Book Review] Secondhand Origin Stories – Lee Blauersouth // part of the SHOSPH Blog Tour!

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Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

My Rating:

RATING - Five Stars

Summary:

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

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Book Review || The Voting Game – Peter Gulgowski (Part of The Voting Game PH Blog Tour + A Giveaway!)

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Title: The Voting Game

Author: Peter Gulgowski

Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian

My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

In the year 2084, Every Interaction Counts.

Darrius Young’s sixteenth birthday brings a harsh reality: It’s time to join the Voting Game. Playing is mandatory and each day may be his last.

In this bleak future’s society, citizens rate their interactions with one another. Highest scorers are members of an elite upper class. An average score means you can keep playing.

Fall below average? You are taken and killed by the government entity known only as The Bureau. Darrius has prepared his whole life for this challenge, knowing the reality he will soon face — especially after the death of his mother to the game.

But despite preparation, he’s losing — and not just the Game. Suddenly the people he loves are getting brutally downvoted and taken by the Bureau. It’s soon clear there’s a target on his back, drawn there by the Bureau itself. And Darrius has no idea why.

In a frantic race against time against a society that’s already sentenced him to death, can Darrius save himself and those around him before it’s too late?

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