Book Review: From a Certain Point of View

here Book Review: From a Certain Point of View | rachelbrittain.comBook: From a Certain Point of View

where to purchase Depakote Author: Various Authors

http://wekirtley.com/portfolio_category/print-media/ Genre: science fiction / short stories

Rating: 4.5/5

What it’s about: What if A New Hope was told entirely from the point of view of side characters. That’s the main premise of Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. From the loyal captain of the Tantive IV determined to keep Princess Leia Organa safe until his last breath to the force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn and everyone–both good and bad, both known and unknown–in between.

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Book Review: River of Teeth

Book: River of Teeth

Author: Sarah Gailey

Genre: sci-fi / alternate history

Rating: 4/5

What it’s about: In the early 1900s the United States Congress briefly considered importing hippos into the American South– this is the story of what might’ve happened if they followed through. Houndstooth is a hopper–basically a cowboy with a hippo–who, along with his merry band of friends and criminals, is planning an operation to take on a notorious gangster and hopefully get some revenge in the process. But with dangerous feral hippos prowling the swamps of the Mississippi, associates with old grudges and uncertain motives, and a whole lot of explosives there’s no way things can go that smoothly.

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Book Review: Annihilation

Book Review: Annihilation | rachelbrittain.comBook: Annihilation

Author: Jeff Vandermeer

Genre: sci-fi

Rating: 4/5

What it’s about: A biologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and an anthropologist set out on a mission to explore a mysterious region known as “Area X.” It may sound like the beginning of a joke, but in Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation the situation is real and all too dangerous. Faced with improbable situations and under the influence of hypnosis, the four women are aware that all is not as it seems. But as things progress and unease gives way to violence, the biologist begins to unravel the terrible secrets of Area X– or, at least, as much as any of it can be unraveled.

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Book Review: Warcross

Book: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: ya / science fiction

Rating: 5/5

What it’s about: Emika Chen is a bounty hunter living paycheck to paycheck. She tracks down people who’ve placed bets on the popular virtual reality game Warcross, and if she doesn’t catch a break soon she may be living on the streets. But then Emika accidentally hacks herself into the opening games of the international Warcross tournament. Next thing she knows, she on a plane to Tokyo by personal invitation of Hideo Tanaka, the elusive creative of Warcross himself. He wants her help to find a hacker messing with the Warcross code…but doing so puts her in the crosshairs and leads her to a plot that may destabilize the very foundations of Warcross and the world that is so obsessed with it.

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Book Review: Artemis

Book Review: Artemis | rachelbrittain.com

Book: Artemis

Author: Andy Weir

Genre: science fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

What it’s about: Jazz Bashara is a smuggler, using her connections to bring in contraband like cigars and pure ethanol to the lunar city of Artemis. But when she’s offered a job with a payout too good to refuse, she suddenly finds herself in way over her head. With the EVA guild on her tail, threats of deportation, a murderer on the loose–and after her–, and a conspiracy with the potential to topple the entire city, Jazz has to figure out some way to save it.

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Book Review: A Closed and Common Orbit

Book Review: A Closed and Common Orbit | rachelbrittain.comBook: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2)

Author: Becky Chambers

Genre: science fiction

Rating: 5/5

What it’s about: When Lovey’s programming was corrupted, the factory version of the AI known as Lovelace replaced her. The problem is Lovey’s plans to (illegally) obtain a nonorganic human-like body and pass as a sapient was already in progress when Lovelace came on the scene– which means Lovelace now finds herself in a body instead of a ship, trying to pass for human in a universe which views AIs as things. With the help of her friends Pepper and Blue, she finds a new home on Port Corial. It’s all very confusing and complicated for Lovelace (who renames herself Sidra), all the more so because her programming mandates that she cannot lie. And it’s difficult to understand why the former version of herself could’ve ever wanted this when most sapients–even her new  friend Tak–have trouble viewing her as anything other than her programming.

Told in alternating chapters between the present, where Sidra (with the help of Pepper, Blue, and her new friend Tak) struggles to come to terms with having a physical body and autonomy for the first time, and the past, where a young Pepper (then Jane 23) recently escaped from the factory where she was made and learns to survive in a world (and universe) she knows almost nothing about with the help of an AI named Owl.

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Book Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

source: amazon.com

Book: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Author: Becky Chambers

Genre: sci-fi

Rating: 5/5

What it’s about: Rosemary Harper is the newest member of the Wayfarer, an interspecies ship that specializes in hyperspace tunneling. She joins Sissix, the reptilian pilot, Dr. Chef, one of the last of his species and the ship’s chef and doctor, Kizzy and Jenks, the mechtechs, Corbin, the disagreeable algae grower, Ohan, the navigator, Lovey, the ship’s AI, and Ashby, the captain. Together, that motley bunch makes up the Wayfarer crew. They’re all in for a long mission after being offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to create a tunnel to the home planet of the newest members of the GC. But even though the crewmembers are all seasoned spacers, none of them are used to long hauls like this one, and as they travel closer and closer to Hedra Ka, the dangers of the mission begin to outweigh the odds that they’ll live to see payment.

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Book Review: Illuminae

Book: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genre: science fiction / YA

Rating: 4/5

What it’s about: Kady never expected breaking up with Ezra to be the high point of her day, but when their little planet is subsequently attacked by a megacorporation determined to destroy the illegal mining colony…well, it puts things into perspective. Rescued (but separated), Kady and Ezra are ushered onto ships in an evacuating fleet with enemy vessels in hot pursuit. To make matters worse, the fleet’s AI was critically damaged in the initial attack and might be going a bit crazy, and a horrifying plague is sweeping through the passengers and crew.
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Book Review: Lock In

Book: Lock In

Author: John Scalzi

Genre: science fiction

Rating: 4/5

What it’s about: Rookie FBI Agent Chris Shane has to deal with a grumpy partner, a career-changing case, and assassination attempts– and that’s just in the first week on the job! Chris Shane is no stranger to challenges, though, considering Shane is one of the nearly five million Americans who has been “Locked In”– that is, someone who is conscious but entirely unable to move or respond to outside stimuli. “Lock In” or Haden’s Syndrome is the rare but devastating side effect of a flu-like virus that sweeps the globe in the near future. Most recover, some die, but a select, unlucky few get Haden’s. But humans are nothing if not adaptive and develop solutions to the Haden problem: personal robotic bodies called “Threeps,” a virtual community that allows Hadens to live relatively normal lives, and Integrators, people who have special neural networks that allow them to host a Hadens consciousness briefly in their own body.

When Chris and fellow FBI agent Leslie Vann are called in to investigate a suspected murder that somehow involves Hadens things get tricky fast, because not only is the suspect a missing person, he’s also an Integrator– which means this case might be a lot more complicated than it first appears.

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