Review: The Martian

18007564The Martian by Andy Weir

Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


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 while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he 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 isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


Wow, what an exciting read!

I couldn’t put The Martian down. It kept me constantly wondering what would happen next, although by halfway through it got to be rather predictable when something bad was about to occur. Still, I was so looking forward to seeing what the bad thing would be! How grim.

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Review: The Engines of God

337048The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt

Series: The Academy
Genre: Science Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Two hundred years ago, humans made a stunning discovery in the far reaches of the solar system: a huge statue of an alien creature, with an inscription that defied all efforts at translation. Now, as faster-than-light drive opens the stars to exploration, humans are finding other relics of the race they call the Monument-Makers – each different, and each heartbreakingly beautiful. But except for a set of footprints on Jupiter’s moon Iapetus, there is no trace of the enigmatic race that has left them behind. Then a team of scientists working on a dead world discover an ominous new image of the Monument-Makers. Somehow it all fits with other lost civilizations, and possibly with Earth’s own future. And distant past. But Earth itself is on the brink of ecological disaster – there is no time to search for answers. Even to a question that may hold the key to survival for the entire human race… 


The Engines of God is very unique for a Sci-Fi book. The science element is very subtle, mostly limited to the ethical questions raised by the possibility of finding earth-like planets in other systems. Instead it focuses more on the “soft science” of archaeology. This concept of alien archaeology was fascinating to me, and I thought expertly executed.

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Hogwarts Tag

I know this may come as a bit of a shock, but I love Harry Potter. *GASP!!!*

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Like, seriously.

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Okay, so I played Pottermore consistently, every single day, for two years. I’m really into Harry Potter.

So when The Orangutan Librarian tagged me on this one I pretty much freaked out and left several all-caps comments in a row. My silent fangirling puts the gifs of the internet to shame. I mean, just LOOK at my grammar! It’s fallen all into disarray because I am so freaking exciting about the Hogwarts Tag.

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P.S. If anyone wants to pay my way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I would love you for the rest of eternity. Continue reading

Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter

32889533The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Maturity Level: 4-
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.


Well this was a cool book! As lame as that sounds, I genuinely mean that it was cool. I found the concept really intriguing, the story-telling devices gripping, and the writing fast-paced. The Marsh King’s Daughter really captured my attention and made me think, in addition to be entertaining as heck.

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Calendar Girls August: Best Historical Fiction

What are Flavia and Melanie trying to do to me?!?!?! How am I supposed to pick just ONE best historical fiction????????

Historical fiction. A fictional novel written in the actual past, containing real events, places, and people. The main character might be an actual person, or might be a made up person. It’s a cool genre because there is a lot of flexibility, but you still have to do your research and know your stuff.

I adore historical fiction. This love goes all the way back to my childhood and Laura Ingles Wilder. There’s just something so magical about reading a great novel where you also learn a little bit. Plus, and I’m just being honest here, the clothes! *swoon* I can’t even begin to count the number of historical fictions I’ve read just about Henry VIII, his wives, and his children. It’s probably my favorite genre, if I had to pick a favorite, because I’m a terrible person who picks favorites, get over it.

I’ve been thinking for weeks trying to decide between three of my favorites, which are all VERY different. In the end I am picking the one that I personally enjoy the most, even if it’s not necessarily the most representative of the genre.

So. Drumroll please. Continue reading

Real Neat Blog Award

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Thanks so much to Norkio at Diary of a Book Fiend for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog award! There’s something especially cool about being recognized for being “real neat”! I’ve always considered myself sort of neat, if I do say so myself.

If you haven’t visited Diary of a Book Fiend, head on over there and check her out. Her blogs very pretty, and has some interesting content besides. (Heads up, she will probably try to convince you to read Pillars of the Earth. You’ve been warned!)

Rules

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by your nominator(s)
  • Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award and give them some linky love
  • Notify the nominated folk
  • Ask the nominees 7 questions of your own

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Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

2728527The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Genre: Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 1
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways. 


What a nice book. Wow, that sound’s awful, calling a book nice, but that’s exactly what it was. And no less sweet for being rather predictable. It’s exactly the sort of book I could picture middle aged women around the country falling in love with. As a younger person I enjoyed the book, but would by no stretch use the word “love.” While the use of written letters as the only story telling device was enchanting and nostalgic, all the characters read like old women, even the men. Still, there was plenty to enjoy.

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