Skyward, Brandon Sanderson

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Bravery isn’t about what people call you, Spensa. It’s about who you know yourself to be

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. 

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5 / 5

I have loved everything I have ever read by Brandon Sanderson. I love some of them more than others (sorry Mistborn, but you’re at the bottom somewhere), and yet still my foolish self was reluctant to pick up Skyward because I’m not a big alien fan. I just don’t like books about aliens. Well, I was a fool. This book is a masterpiece and it didn’t have that many aliens in it anyway.

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Archenemies (Renegades #2), Marissa Meyer

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“Little Nightmare, I have faith in you. And when you succeed, we will rise again. We will all rise again”

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.

Read my review of the first book in this series: Renegades.

* * * 
3 / 5

WHERE WAS MY BIG EMOTIONAL REVEAL??? Nowhere. I was turning pages with vested interest, waiting for the dramatic, overwrought moment where the penny drops and Nova realises that Adrian is the Sentinel and Adrian realises that Nova is Nightmare. Alas. It’s got to be coming in the next book, right?

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[article] Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

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It’s a dog, not a book!

 

Top Ten Reads of 2019 So Far…

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-review post (sadly, I’m far too busy with getting my Master’s degree to write monthly roundups anymore), so I thought I’d do a quick overview of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Note, this isn’t just books published in 2019, it’s any book I’ve read this year.

I’ve read 66 books so far and counting, which is a reasonably big sample size. Reviews (if they’re posted yet) are linked by the titles, and I’ve given a few keyword teasers to let you know what kind of book it is. Brace yourselves for some epic literature!

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The Lost Puzzler, Eyal Kless

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“Only at Tarakan valley will you feel at peace”

In the City of Towers, once the heart of the fallen Tarakan empire, a historian searches for clues to explain the disappearance of Rafik, a young boy with extraordinary abilities – a Puzzler. Marked with strange tattoos and gifted with a miraculous connection to Tarakan technology, Rafik could open doors inside the ruins, uncovering treasures and secrets.

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5 / 5

It is rare that one book contains so much of the elements and ideas that I love to read about. The Lost Puzzler read like the author had looked into my brain and written this book for me: a speculative, futuristic world featuring ancient cities, people with tattoos and special powers, an unreliable narrator, a young man gifted with a peculiar power, and a hunt for a confusing, wild truth.

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Our Dark Stars, Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

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“You are Talia Starchaser. You fear nothing. You own the stars and the planets and the galaxies.”

Princess Talia Starchaser has it all. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to publicly betray her best friend, a companion mock she’s had since birth, setting events into motion that lead to the destruction of the humans, and the princess floating through space, a remnant of a time when humans ruled over droids.

One hundred years later, half-mock captain Will Perrault and his ragtag crew discover a device floating in space. Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive.

* * *
3 / 5

Our Dark Stars was a bit of a gamble for me. It isn’t immediately right up my reading alley: the cover features a woman in a pretty dress floating in space, the synopsis tells me her name is Princess Talia Starchaser, to the heavily hinted at ‘forbidden’ romance. But I gave it a shot (mostly because I’m an absolute sucker for the phrase ‘ragtag crew’) and it was definitely a fun read.

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The Secret Runners of New York, Matthew Reilly

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at the school where new girls go missing, I was the new girl

When Skye Rogers and her twin brother Red move to Manhattan, rumours of a coming global apocalypse are building. But this does not stop the young elite of New York from partying without a care. And then suddenly Skye is invited to join an exclusive gang known as the Secret Runners of New York.

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4 / 5

The Secret Runners of New York got weirder and crazier as the book went on until it reached the heights of weirdness and then ended in an absolute bloodbath. It was awesome.

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Defy the Worlds (Constellations #2), Claudia Gray

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Always sacrifice. Always duty. Always resignation. For a planet at war, Noemi sometimes thinks, Genesis seems to have forgotten how to fight

Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. On the run to avoid his depraved creator’s clutches, Abel believes he’s said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them…

Read my review of the first book in this series: Defy the Stars.

* * *
3 / 5

Defy the Worlds picks up from where Defy the Stars left off: Noemi Vidal returns to her world of Genesis, and rogue robot Abel has escaped the clutches of his creator Burton Mansfield and is on the run. They’ve said their heartfelt farewells, but the universe isn’t done with the two of them yet!

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Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

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“You aren’t a hero and I’m not beautiful and we probably won’t live happily ever after ” she said. “But we’re alive and together and we’re going to be all right.” 

The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.

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4 / 5

I read this book because of the film, which I have not yet seen. I did see the trailer with the moving cities and I thought to myself “dang, that’s a pretty cool idea” so I borrowed Mortal Engines from my local library. I debated in my head whether this was a three or four star read because on the one hand the tone and language of the book seemed relatively young but there was a lot of dead characters by the end, which seemed a little incongruous, the “villains” were archetypal, and the pacing seemed a little off. BUT, the whole concept was amazingly original, the characters were fun (even if Hester is strong and silent one page and sobbing the next), and I read the whole thing in a three hour stint.

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Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2), Scott Reintgen

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As the descent, begins I hold onto one truth: I am more than what they would make of me

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

* * * *
4 / 5

Read my review of the first book in the series here!

I was absolutely blown away when I read Reintgen’s debut novel, Nyxia, last year. Make no mistake, Nyxia Unleashed is a good, solid book in it’s own right, but it didn’t live up to how absolutely incredible Nyxia was. What I loved about the first book was how it was about being human, about being betrayed and being angry and loss and love and life. Nyxia was beautiful and passionate and tragically human. Nyxia Unleashed is about aliens and conspiracy plots.

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Reclaiming Shilo Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #2), Mary Weber

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“How do we lose our humanity? And how do we gain our humanity back?”

Trapped on the ice-planet of Delon, gamer girl Sofi and Ambassador Miguel have discovered that nothing is what it seems, including their friends. On a quest to rescue her brother, Shilo, a boy everyone believes is dead, they must now escape and warn Earth of Delon’s designs on humanity. Except the more they unearth of the planet and Sofi’s past, the more they feel themselves unraveling.

This is the second book in a series. Read my review of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow.

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2 / 5

I might not have been the biggest fan of the first book, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, but I did enjoy it, mostly because of the fist fights, car chases, and flying spaceships. So I decided to give the sequel a go, but unfortunately I wasn’t particularly impressed. It was the pure, sheer weirdness of this book that put me off.

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