Book Review: Recursion, by Blake Crouch

Recursion, by Blake Crouch

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Published by Crown on June 11, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: library

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Memory makes reality.

That’s what NYC cop Barry Sutton is learning, as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face to face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds, but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

At once a relentless pageturner and an intricate science-fiction puzzlebox about time, identity, and memory, Recursion is a thriller as only Blake Crouch could imagine it—and his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.

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Book Review: Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft, by Various

Future Visions, by Various

Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft by Various

Published by Microsoft & Melcher Media on November 17, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 224

Source: purchased

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Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft is an anthology of new short work from some of the greatest science fiction writers in the field. These visionary stories explore prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning, and much more. The authors used inside access to leading-edge work from Microsoft Research as inspiration, crafting pieces that predict the near-future of technology – and examine its complex relationship to our core humanity.

Future Visions features contributions from:

Elizabeth Bear
Greg Bear
David Brin
Nancy Kress
Ann Leckie
Jack McDevitt
Seanan McGuire
Robert J. Sawyer
…along with a short graphic novel by Blue Delliquanti and Michele Rosenthal, plus original illustrations by Joey Camacho.

These are some of today’s most visionary creators—and they’ve joined together to give us a preview of tomorrow.

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Book Review: The Game, by Terry Schott

The Game, by Terry Schott

The Game by Terry Schott

Published by Smashwords Edition on August 22, 2013

Series: The Game is Life, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 273

Source: purchased

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The Game…
A virtual reality simulation played by over a billion children around the world. The best players are celebrities, adored and worshiped by countless fans. Zack is a superstar among players.
His final play may change the world, forever…

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Mini Audiobook Reviews: Themis Files Trilogy

Mini Reviews_ Themis Files Trilogy Header

For this set of mini reviews, I’d like to talk about the Themis Files trilogy. Having heard some fabulous things about these books ever since the release of Sleeping Giants, I’ve been keen to check them out for myself. This science fiction series has a unique premise, as you can see from the blurb below.

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.
 
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Does this sound like your kind of book? Keep reading to see my thoughts!

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Book Review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Published by Simon & Schuster in June 2013 (originally published October 19, 1953)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 249

Source: purchased

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Sixty years after its publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

“Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.”

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

The sixtieth-anniversary edition commemorates Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Nelson Algren, Harold Bloom, Margaret Atwood, and others; rare manuscript pages and sketches from Ray Bradbury’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

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Audiobook Review: Armada, by Ernest Cline

Armada, by Ernest Cline

Armada by Ernest Cline

Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on July 14, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:49:19

Source: library

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Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

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Book Review: The Passengers, by John Marrs

The Passengers, by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs

Published by Berkley on August 27, 2019 (originally published April 1, 2019)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die”. 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”

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Book Review: Beyond the World, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

Beyond the World, by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

Beyond the World by T.J. & M.L. Wolf

Published by Amazon KDP on December 20, 2018

Series: The Survival Trilogy, #3

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, science fiction, suspense

Format & Length: paperback, 308

Source: author

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In 2020, a year after an out-of-this-world encounter in Chinatown, Una Waters ventures into Yosemite National Park with General Ashcroft, on their honeymoon. When a coded distress call pulls him unexpectedly away on duty, Una uncovers a UFO mystery and turns to compadre Jack Howser for help. Joined by friends from Explorers Club, their quest for answers leads to a string of unworldly campsites, ancient caves, living pterosaurs, and a military manhunt–all fueled by an Alien conspiracy that threatens the survival of humanity! Una comes to realize that Fear of the Unknown may be our greatest obstacle, and the fight to overcome it requires Transformation: a willingness to let go of the Lies we hold dear.

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Mini Reviews: Duology Sequels – Wildcard, by Marie Lu & Evermore, by Sara Holland

Mini Reviews: Duology Sequels

For this set of mini reviews, I want to talk about a couple duology sequels that I listened to the audiobooks for, specifically Wildcard, by Marie Lu and Evermore, by Sarah Holland. I had listened to the first books in both of these series and really enjoyed them, and after waiting to get my hands on these sequels was hoping they’d live up to their predecessors. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as we hope…

Ready to see the reviews?

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Book Review: Vox, by Christina Dalcher

Vox, by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Published by Berkley on August 21, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: library

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One of Entertainment Weekly’s and SheReads’ books to read after The Handmaid’s Tale
One of Good Morning America’s “Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer”

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

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