Starsight – Brandon Sanderson

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
Published November 26, 2019

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. 


Ok so… I have feelings. And they’re mostly good, which I’d say is a good thing. But, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that there were some parts of this book that I didn’t like. I feel like I had really high expectations for the book and did it live up to them? It’s about 50/50. I re-read Skyward just to prepare myself FULLY for Starsight. But anyway…let’s really dive into why I feel a bit conflicted on how much I truly loved it.

The beginning of the book picks off kind of where you’d assume Skyward left off. The DDF has studied M-BOT to help their technologies, they use Spensa and M-BOT to defeat the Krell which they know more about etc. But when an alien craft crash lands of Detritus and Spensa goes to check out what happens, she finds out the alien is also a cytonic and imprints her destination in Spensa’s mind, her destination being a Superiority ship called Starsight where she was going to learn to be a fighter pilot… I won’t go too much further into this, but I thought this was such great set-up for this book. And setting it up kind of like an Ocean’s 11/espionage type of mission was SO GREAT. Spensa’s mission being to learn exactly how the Superiority creates hyperdrives so the people of Detritus can GTFO. So I was HOOKED when I caught wind of this being like a spy/espionage type of book, those are my absolute favorites.

And then, it happened, it all just slowed down. To a pace that I hate to use the word, but it dragged. It did, just a bit. And I know there’s a lot of setup in terms of espionage/spy books and they’re a bit slower paced but I mean, there’s usually some suspense or a slip up here or there, but there was nothing, for a whole middle section of a book, other than Spensa training these alternate alien races how to be fighter pilots. It was mostly regurgitation from Skyward (I feel like an ass for writing all this but…it’s my F E E L I N G S. Please, Brandon Sanderson if you see this don’t hate me.)

But then, THEN, the catalyst to all of this was great. Once you hit that late middle/end section of the book. Boy, does it redeem itself. It was seriously hard for me to stop. I had to keep going because it was like getting back into the twists and turns and just overall amazingness of Skyward. I just got so invested into all the new characters, and everything going on it was so wonderful. Everything between M-BOT, Doomslug, Kitsen, Vapor, Cuna, Morriumur (yes, these are all new characters, and yes you’re going to love them) was so well done, it completely turned around my feelings for this book.

All that being said, I’m really hoping this third book gets back into the action because I’m not quite sure where this will go next. There’s a lot of just loose ends, which is great to keep going down but I’m interested to see what Brandon Sanderson has in store for Nowhere which I do believe is set for a Spring 2021 release.

4.25/5 Stars

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Published November 6, 2018

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. 

 


I’ve read a few Brandon Sanderson books, I do believe this is my 5th one, and my goodness. He always blows me away. When I first came back to reading about four years ago, I randomly picked up Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, and  I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on such good books like the one I had just read. Between the Reckoners trilogy, the first Mistborn book, and Skyward…this man can do no wrong. Seriously. I felt like I was in the middle of watching an epic Star Wars dogfight about 85% of this book, and all the other times, I was just so engaged and into the perseverance and uniqueness of Spensa that I couldn’t put it down.  His writing is so entrancing and it pulls you in like a siren’s song. I kick myself sometimes for devouring his work so quickly, but I just can’t put it down! 

Let’s start with Spensa, our main character. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy with a main character than I had with Spensa. She’s determined, strong, her tenacity and personality overall is just *chef’s kiss*. I felt like reading a book with a character like Spensa, makes me feel like I’m capable of doing anything. Which, as an almost thirty year old woman, I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it but Spensa for some reason makes it feel like that phrase is more attainable for whatever reason. She’s a wonderful main character and would recommend if anyone is looking for a strong female MC to pick this up because she makes this book worth it alone. 

Now, during this book, Spensa finds a ship wrecked in a cavern. This lovely being is M-BOT. He’s a ship with high tech and artificial intelligence which Spensa is NOT familiar with. And I ADORE this ship. And no spoilers but the end, I couldn’t handle it. He had such great character growth even for a silly little ship A.I. it was impeccable. I loved it. I love love love how much time and thought Sanderson puts into each and every one of his characters in his books.

The story is so great, wonderful pacing, a lot of just chipping away at the main plot but also keeping a good bit of mystery along the way. I think that was my favorite thing about it really. You had some really big moments, suspenseful ones like all the dogfighting etc, and then you had flight school, and M-BOT etc. which was still great paced but help keep you engaged the whole time. I loved how Brandon Sanderson revealed all the big reveals. It was great, and he left just enough to make you want to continue reading more into the series. 

This is going to be a 4 book series (so far) and I feel like this first book is just such a great foundation to be able to expand and continue with some great stuff so just like with From Blood and Ash, the sequel is my immediate next read 

On to “Starsight”!  

5/5 Stars

 

Blog Tour: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza + Giveaway

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empress-coverEmpress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Publication: February 7th 2017 by Razorbill

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

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Review:

This book was almost everything I wanted it to be and more.
I absolutely fell in love with the word building and the characters were amazing. I’d never read a “space opera”, as this was repeatedly described as, but I loved it. It was so exciting and fun and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was a little confusing at times but I didn’t mind.
I really liked the characters even though I never became emotionally invested in them.
The only reason I gave this book four stars is because the synopsis says Rhee and Aly “are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy” and that never really happens.
But other than that, I loved this book. Empress of a Thousand Skies has diverse characters, an awesome concept, and killer world building.

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Giveaway

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About Rhoda Belleza

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Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.

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Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

13206828Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published: February 4, 2014

In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

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The Lunar Chronicles has easily become one of my most favorite series ever. I could easily say Marissa Myer is an absolute genius in the way she constructed this whole series and how absolutely epic it is. Each character better than the last and each book more gripping and more exciting.

Cress has given me a new favorite character. Thorne is so awesome and hilarious and I love his wit and quick one-two punches he throws out there. I enjoyed Cress and Thorne’s growth and interaction with each other throughout the whole book.

I also loved the small looks into Luna and I loved the movement of the plot. Meyer has a way of just really sucking you in to her books with her amazing writing but more-so the consistency and fast pace of her plot lines. And I have to say I love the way she can over-arc all of these character time-lines and plots into each other.

Am I ashamed that the moment I finished Cress I dove right into Winter? OF COURSE NOT. The series literally has taken over my life a bit and I really don’t mind. It’s such a great series and I love the world building and seeing these awesome characters interact and grow and become this great group of misfit friends and companions.

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Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

51vpagsvayl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published: November 1, 2015

One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.

The year is 2375 and one of the mega-corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra’s planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all-consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy; and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realizes that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it’s too late

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Holy cow. This was so awesome!

I cannot even begin to explain how great of a reading experience this was. I absolutely loved this book and it was one of the greatest reading experiences I’ve ever had. Nothing like it.

I wasn’t expecting Illuminae to be as good as it was. I loved Kady and I thought she was an amazingly strong and stubborn character. And I was literally on the edge of my seat every time AIDAN did something well…a bit crazy. I was insanely impressed with how much emotion and how much excitement and great plot line you get from such a different format of a book.

I have to say I read 1/2 the book on it’s own and then 1/2 with the audiobook as a companion and I have to say, it was even more so phenomenal with the audiobook companioning the read. I wasn’t surprised at how quickly I read this but I was EXTREMELY surprised with how complex the plot got and how it kept a great flow throughout the book.

I think I connected more with the characters since a lot of the content was through personal IMs and personal comms as well as e-mails and audio/video surveillance  which I thought was a great and new way to get the reader to connect to characters in a very new and original way.

As for the plot, I thought it was great and I absolutely adored the plots constant twists and turns and consistently happening “Oh crap, what’s happening next, do I put the book down? No I cant!”

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