Red Rising

Darrow lives on Mars. He works with his fellow people, mining a substance known as helium-3 deep underground so that they can make the surface livable for future generations. 15839976.jpgHe’s a Red, the lowest class in a future society where people are bred to do certain tasks. Reds are the slaves that toil away underground to supply helium-3, Obsidians are the seven foot tall warriors solely meant for war, and Golds are the top of society, intelligent, strong and bred to lead. For as long as anyone in Darrow’s mine can remember, they were the pioneers of Mars, working hard so that in the future, people may live on the surface of Mars; however, Darrow soon finds out that people have lived on the surface for over 200 years. Betrayed by the society, Darrow enlists into the Sons of Ares, a terrorist cell, trying to stop the slavery of the Reds. He is then sent on a mission to infiltrate the Institute, a deadly school for the Golds, where Continue reading

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Heart of Iron

Poston A. (2018) Heart of Iron. Balzer + Bray

Ana doesn’t know where she comes from. She was found as a child drifting through space with a metal sentient robot named D09, and was brought in and raised by a group of space35181314.jpg pirates. Now years later, seventeen year old Ana is on the hunt for equipment that will fix D09’s terminal glitching, and she will do anything to get it. Ana has a lead, and it’s coordinates to a lost ship that could have the equipment needed. But Ana isn’t the only person looking for these coordinates. An Ironblood royalty, Robb, beats her to it and runs off with the coordinates. In a last ditch effort to save D09, Ana chases him, right into the heart of trouble. As the situation escalates, Ana and her family of space pirates are thrust into an swirling adventure that forces Ironblood and space pirate to Continue reading

The Rule of Three

Walters E. (2014). The Rule of Three. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).

The Rule of Three dictates that you can last three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. It’s a harsh, yet realistic survival rule that normal people don’t 17934467.jpghave to worry about on a day to day basis. Adam, the main character of this book, is a rule abiding student at his high-school working on a paper with his best friend Tom when the power goes off. What he and everybody else naturally thinks is a power-outage quickly escalates into a bigger problem as other people realize that not only are phones dead but cars as well. In his rush to get home and pick up his little brother and sister in his super old car that’s somehow still working, Adam realizes that anything at all with a computer in it is broken. As more and more other people realize this, chaos escalates as people rush to gather supplies and valuable items. Once Adam gets home he sees his neighbour Herb who quickly tells Adam to drive him to a store so he can buy chlorine tablets. Confused, Adam does so and it’s only until afterwards on their way home that Herb tells him the purpose of the chlorine tablets. Herb explains that Continue reading

Life As We Knew It

Pfeffer, S. (2006). Life As We Knew It. FL: Harcourt.

Told through Miranda’s journal entries, we follow her life as it changes from a regular, suburban experience to a dystopian tale once a meteor collides into the moon, altering lifeasweknewitits course and pushing it closer to earth. Volcanic ash hangs in the air blocking the sun, tsunamis are blanketing the coasts, and families are hoarding supplies. Miranda’s modern blended family is surviving in their sun room, huddled around a heater.

Pfeffer’s storytelling style is emotional. This isn’t an adventure packed ride, but an even more terrifyingly psychological one that touches on the human condition.

”I don’t even know why I’m writing this down, except that I feel fine and maybe tomorrow I’ll be dead. And if that happens, and someone should find my journal, I want them to know what happened.

We are a family. We love each other. We’ve been scared together and brave together. If this is how it ends, so be it.

Only, please, don’t let me be the last one to die.”

Continue reading

Every Day

Levithan D. (2012). Every Day. NY: Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Now a movie, the sci-fi concept behind this young adult love story is that there is a spirit who wakes up in a different body each day. One day the spirit wakes in the body of someone with a everydaygirlfriend. Upon meeting her and spending the most beautiful day together, he falls in love. Unfortunately she attributes his romantic nature to her boyfriend, not the spirit. He spends awhile waking up in different bodies, always going to her, finding her and attempting to convince her of what’s going on. You can imagine some of the funny conversations and disbelief on her part!

Every Day integrates interesting topics throughout as we see the spirit enter different bodies. This “what if” science fiction novel explores what it means to be genderless, without a body, and without a family.

Illuminae

Kaufman A. & Kristoff J. (2015). Illuminae. New York: Ember.

Illuminae is a stunning book about an illegal mining colony that gets attacked by a rival mining corporation. The plot is told in an unusual fashion, as the book does not contain 23395680.jpgthe normal word after word story. Instead it is mostly comprised of several chat rooms, emails, maps, interviews, transcripts, etc.  This style of telling the story makes a real impact and you feel like you’re right there experiencing these events with the characters. The story follows two main characters, Kady, onboard a science vessel called The Hypatia and Ezra, onboard an attack vessel called The Alexander. They’re just two of the thousands of refugees that escaped the attack. Now they’re part of a heavily damaged fleet that’s slowly limping towards safety, a wormhole station called Heimdall, with an attack vessel, The Lincoln, slowly closing in to mop up the mess. If they don’t think of something to get to the wormhole in time, The Lincoln will destroy the fleet, killing everyone. It feels like it couldn’t get any worse, except it could. From a faulty and somewhat lethal  Continue reading