Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | Review

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The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes


Illuminae has a massive overload of reviews, so my input won’t be something that someone hasn’t already stated, but I read it so why not review it.

Cons:
  • Format – The format of Illuminae while ambitious and entertaining, didn’t leave a considerable amount of potential to build an attachment to the characters or storyline. Since the entire novel is broken up into IM’s, articles, transcribed audio and video footage, data records, and recorded codes and information from A.I.D.A.N. While the storyline wasn’t difficult to follow, it just felt weird at times.
  • Characters – This can be reflected back to the format. Because of the way Illuminae is formatted it’s hard to be connected to the characters. Kady and Ezra were funny and their love was fun and heartfelt, but I just wasn’t invested in them.

SPOILER

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Random Friday #5

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Random Fridays  is a weekly meme hosted by Rebeca at “Books and Messy Buns”. Anyone can join, you just have to do the following:

  • Pick up the book you’re currently reading (or read last)
  • Go to this random number generator and insert the total amount of pages in your book
  • Generate a random number
  • Open your book in the page with number you got
  • Repeat step 2 and 3 but with the number of lines in that page
  • Your random sentence is the first sentence in the line with the number you got (it doesn’t matter if the sentence starts a few lines before)
  • Make a post in your own blog where you share your sentence and link back to my blog as the host
  • Share the link to your post in the comments’ section here for the book community to see :)

“Of course,” murmured Kell. – V.E. Schawb, A Gathering of Shadows
“If they did believe you, they’d like me all the better for it.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke | Review

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Thrilling tale of betrayal and revenge set against the nineteenth-century American frontier, the astonishing story of real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass
The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.


* People who’ve watched the movieThe Revenant,  will not be spoiled for the book because it’s very, very different. The concept is the same and the cinematography is very accurate of the setting of the book, however, that’s where the similarities end. Both are great (speaking as a Leo fan), but in their own way.

Being a history enthusiast, this book piqued my interest. Although written American history doesn’t date as far back as European, African or Asian history, it’s quite full. There’s a fascination toward American history because it’s extremely tragic and rich story. A time period rarely mentioned is the American frontier.

The American frontier was a special time. It highlighted a period of pure exploration, expansion and both friendly and hostile relationships between European men and Native Americans. The representation of The Revenant as a western is quite accurate because of the feel of the times and the novel.

Basically, Hugh Glass was a frontiersman and fur trapper: first European men to cross the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains in search of fur. They traded with Native Americans from whom they learned hunting and trapping skills. (Wikipedia). This wasn’t a very glamorous job. A large portion of the animal pelts collected were in highly populated Native American land – states like Montana, Missouri, South Dakota, etc. These states still have a high Native American population, but they weren’t the minorities in their land during this time. However, the European influence in America was felt by its indigenous people immensely. In consequence, there was tension between the Natives and European trappers and the job was dangerous. Weather and the Native Americans were a big threat to trappers and (according to the novel) it wasn’t unheard of for them to be abducted/invaded and scalped.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

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DIVERSITY SPOTLIGHT THURSDAY IS A WEEKLY MEME HOSTED BY Aimal @Bookshelves & Paperbacks. EVERY WEEK, YOU COME UP WITH ONE BOOK IN EACH OF THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES: A DIVERSE BOOK YOU HAVE READ AND ENJOYED, A DIVERSE BOOK ON YOUR TBR, AND ONE THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED. YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT POST FOR MORE INFORMATION.

A DIVERSE BOOK YOU HAVE READ AND ENJOYED

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Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

 A DIVERSE BOOK ON YOUR TBR

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The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

 

ONE THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED

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It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience.

Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

October 11, 2016

TV Tuesday | The Reanimation Files Series

 

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‘Ello, this is the TV Tuesday Meme! It’s quite simple, every Tuesday you’ll do these things:

Choose between these three:

  • Book-to-Movie/TV show adaptation  (have you seen it? If no, do you plan to?)
  • Book you think should be a movie/TV show  (Why?)
  • Movie/TV show that prompted you to read a book?

*Optional – put up the trailer

Lastly:

  • Link back to your post in the comments section (so I can stalk your post ;D)

Book you think should be a movie/TV show  (Why?)

The Reanimation Files is a series by A. J. Locke (click here for my review of book 1) that embodies the definition of properly written paranormal fiction. Paranormal fiction has decreased in popularity over the last two years, however, there was a time that there was a high demand for quality paranormal fiction, therefore high supply of them. Vampires, ghosts, UFOs (not aliens, though, that’d be getting into Science Fiction), psychics, wizards, etc. are all common elements of paranormal fiction and extremely easy to make cheesy. The Reanimation Files have the key qualities and features that showcases the “positive” side of paranormal fiction. There’s character development, quality plot, complexity, and an extremely  magnetic world we’re enveloped in.

Diversity is something television is lacking (except The Get Down on Netflix, which everyone should give a shot) and these novels are bursting through the seams with it. Our heroine is, Selene and she’s black (I think…) and her boyfriend is mixed (black and white, I think…), her ghostly friends range on color spectrum and it has a very nice mixture of colors. There’s also the lack of women of color in the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi world. I can list the amount of popular shows and movies that involved them on one hand – probably.

If you’ve watched and enjoyed Lost Girl (Canadian TV series) you’d love this series and it definitely deserves a chance at the silver screen.

The Monday Musts: #2

The Monday Musts is a weekly meme hosted by Jessica at Lovin’ Los Libros in which we talk about our must reads, must listens, and must sees of the week!

MUST READS

Three enticing novels!

 The Knife of Never Letting Go – older, but I read it this year and fell in love.

The Young Elites – great book

Shadowshaper – diverse and informative about colorism, gentrification and political issues  with a dosage of fantasy.

MUST LISTEN

I previously wrote a short post about the racial issues that are currently happening in the United States. Since there have been more incidents of police brutality and unprovoked killings of black people, along with the killing of police officers in retaliation, since that post I felt this song would be perfect. This song just embodies the black male mind, in my opinion.

MUST SEE

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I LOVE this show! I’ve watched it at least 40 times.

The Get Down doesn’t get a lot of love or recognition compared to other shows on Netflix, but  it’s amazing! The story takes place in the late 1970’s in the birth place of Hip Hop: Bronx, New York (It’s a borough so technically I wrote that wrong).

I gotta be honest, it took me forever to watch this show. I added it to my list on Netflix but kind of forgot about it. There was Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and so many other Netflix originals I was watching that I kept bypassing this one. However, once I finally watched it I was transfixed!

This series is so wonderfully done. It’s about a lot of things, love, loss, leadership, music, social issues (that are still happening today), race, politics, history, and anything else you can imagine.

 I recently began listening to hip hop/rap this year. I remember the days where it felt like I was the only black person alive (that I knew) that enthralled by it, but this year has been my awakening to this beautiful, poetic art form of expression. And I don’t mean “mainstrem” rap which is truly garbage,  (I know why I never listened to it) but the hip hop that sparks social change and speaks on truly important issues and struggles.

This show won’t be for everyone – it’s very musical and mostly centered around disco and hip hop (for season 1 at least) – but I think everyone should give it a try before counting it out. It’s also overflowing with diversity of black and Latina characters. The main cast members are:

Justice Smith (played in Paper Towns as Radar – isn’t he cute)

Shameik Moore (played in Dope lead character)

Jaden Smith

Jimmy Smits

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Herizen Guardiola
It’s such a fun show:

Set in the late 1970s, when New York was at the brink of bankruptcy and disco was dying out, the rise of hip-hop is told through the lives, art, music and dance of a group of young people in the South Bronx. Also includes elements of the 70’s: Star Wars, Kung Fu, etc.

 

The Snack Food Book Tag

My thanks go to the orang-utan librarian for tagging me in this cool tag sometime last decade, century, millennium? One of those. Check out her blog – it’s amazing!

Chocolate covered Pretzels- a book couple you never thought would work/get together 

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Umm, I really don’t know. I still don’t think they’ll work, but whatever (my review).

 

 

 

 

  1. pringlesPrungles (see what I did there? The names trademarked so I couldn’t use it) – an addictive book you can’t get enough of.

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This question is impossible to answer, but for the sake of answering, I’ll go with The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

 

 

 

trail-mixTrail mix- a book with a variety of characters

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I have to be a thief and steal the orang-utan librarians answer. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin is a melting pot of character varieties. If you can’t find someone in his novel to relate to then…good luck with life.

 

 

  1. fruit bowlsFruit bowls- An unpredictable character 

 

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This choice is self-explanatory. Adelina of The Young Elites by Marie Lu is obviously unpredictable and a bit bonkers, but I love her character.

 

 

 

 

 Nut  bar- Your go-to book         fruit-nut.ashx-1

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I’m usually quite predictable (unlike Adelina, hehe) when it comes to this answer – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – but I’m gonna switch it up and say Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. For me, it’s the black equivalent to Jane Eyre anyway. (my review – it’s super old, though)

 

 

 

popcornPopcorn- A character you can’t help but like

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I’m gonna keep this simple – Mark Watney on The Martian by Andy Weir (my review)

 

 

 

 

I’m not going to tag anyone because this is super old, but if you’d like to complete this, knock yourself out! I’d love to check it out too, so leave a comment linking to yours.

The Martian by Andy Weir | Review

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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.

But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.


Let me begin by commending the adaptation of this novel to the big screen! The Martian (movie) was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen – it was wonderfully done.

Now onto the review.

The Martian is a charming book.

Unlike some science fiction novels, The Martian has a great balance of humor to scientific mumbo jumbo. Although there is a great amount of science-talk and mathematical calculations  that can be distracting at first, it gets easier as the novel progresses.

Since it’s easy for a novel centered around a singular character alone on a desolate planet to be quite boring and dreadfully detailed (like A Princess of Mars), it really surprised me how entertaining this story was. However, if I’m being honest, this is largely due to Mark Watney, our protagonist, who is hilarious!

“I am smiling a great smile. The smile of a man who fucked with his car a didn’t break it.” – Mark Watney, The Martian

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