Tag Archives: space

Book Reviews
December 18, 2011 posted by Christina

Glow – Amy Kathleen Ryan

“A ship heading for New Earth is halfway through its incredible journey across the galaxy. On board, sixteen-year-olds Waverly and Kieran are part of the first generation born in space.

They are in love.

They believe their future is written in the stars.

They have never seen a stranger before…until the day they are wrenched apart and suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives.”


Behind the beautiful cover, Glow is a thrilling story told in alternating perspective between Waverly Marshall and Kieran Alden. Their lives on board the Empyrean spaceship had always been peaceful, with their biggest concern being when they should get married…until they faced an unprecedented attack from their sister ship the New Horizon.

In amongst the chaos of the attack the girls are separated from the boys and whisked away to the New Horizon. With Waverly and Kieran apart they fight hard not just to stay alive but to find a way back to each other.

Before starting this book I’d heard many comparisons thrown around, everything from The Hunger Games to Across the Universe, and though I can see where there might be similarities, Glow does stand on its own.

I had fairly mixed feelings about Glow, by the end, I did really enjoy it, it definitely hooks you in once you become familiar with the setting and characters but the turn of events especially with how they affected some characters left me unsure as to how I felt about them.

I was surprised by how strongly religion is used in Glow and though at times it came across as quite preachy especially from characters like Anne Mather and Kieran, it’s contrasted by Waverly and other members of the Empyrean. It would’ve been better if there more characters in the middle rather than characters who were totally with the religion or totally against it because it tends to force the reader to pick a side as well.

During their time apart Waverly and Kieran each had dark and difficult experiences that have left lasting impressions, some more horrifying than others.  Each character proved their strength, both mentally and physically but by the end, I found Waverly to be more likeable than Kieran because his transformation into the ship’s more or less spiritual leader made him seem very different to the boy he was in the beginning and made you lose that initial connection with him.

Seth was another character I had a hard time connecting with just because it was hard to figure out if we’re meant to sympathize with him or not. The same goes with Anne Mather, I wanted to believe her reasoning for her choices but some of her actions made me unsure.

It was clear that Amy Kathleen Ryan wasn’t afraid to push her characters to their limit and it’ll be interesting to see those repercussions and how they’ll affect their relationships with one another in the next book.

For the sci-fi fans this book definitely gives an awesome insight into what living in space would be like. Perhaps not with as much detail as Across the Universe, but still covers things quite well.

Though I didn’t love it, Glow was definitely enjoyable and worth a read.

Pages: 307
Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Challenge: n/a
Rating: : ★★★½☆

Teaser Quote: “It was true, Kieran realized later that night, alone in the darkness, hungry and aching, and missing Waverly. He was very afraid.”

Book of the Month
January 6, 2011 posted by Christina

Across the Universe – Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone–one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship–tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.”

Not to be confused with the song by the Beatles, Across the Universe is the debut novel by author Beth Revis. Combing elements of sci-fi, dystopia, romance and murder mystery and sticking them within the confines of the spaceship, Godspeed – 2011’s most anticipated releases start off with a bang.

The story is told alternating between the perspectives of sixteen year old Elder – who is next in line as the leader of the ship, and Amy – who till now was part of the cargo having been cryogenically frozen 250 years ago, to be woken up when the ship landed. Only thing is, she’s been woken up 50 years too soon by someone attempting to kill her….and she was only first on their list.

Amy is unlike anyone Elder has ever seen before – literally. Since the ship has been working with the same gene pool for 250 years everyone has become mono ethnic. So when Amy is violently woken up in all her red haired, fair skinned glory, Elder’s world is turned on its head.

But don’t think that the love story is a done deal. Amy is freaked out by her situation. Not only will she have to live out the rest of her days as an outcast on ship that makes a poor imitation of the Earth she knew, but she’ll also probably outlive her parents who are still frozen below.

Elder has his own set of problems, as the next in charge his mentor and current leader, Eldest has taught him very little about the ship and it’s many secrets. As he tries to uncover the truth about the ship and who is killing the frozens, he discovers just who he can trust and a lot more than he bargained for.

Usually a dystopia or sci-fi (in this case, a mix) can be a bit disorientating to read since there’s so much concept and world building that you need to grasp but Revis lets the world form completely seamlessly. The dual perspectives worked perfectly with a brilliantly plotted storyline that had so many twists and turns, weaving in the issues of free will, corruption and control, all of which made it feel haunting and disturbing in all the right places.

Our main characters are both strong and fierce, I loved that their emotions were completely real, especially Amy who does not automatically adjust to her new surroundings. She struggles with her fear, anger and confusion as well as with the four walls now containing her, which is exactly how anyone would feel. Though I found it a little creepy that she always referred to her father as Daddy, I still really liked her.

For Elder, up until now he’s felt more like a child than a future leader and really grows throughout the book, becoming what he was born to be. I loved that they weren’t in an all consuming love at first sight (well, maybe Elder was…;) ) relationship which would’ve made it feel fake. They have a lot of potential together and I really want to see what happens next.

It’s an epic dystopian sci fi that’ll make you very thankful your feet are planted firmly on Earth. It’s evocative and haunting but basically, it’s a frexing awesome book.

Pages: 398
Publication Date: January 2011
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating: : ★★★★½

Teaser Quote: “And the whoosh! The flash freeze filled the tiny chamber. I was in ice. I was ice. I am ice.

But if I’m ice, how am I conscious?… I can’t be awake for three hundred and one years. I’ll never survive that.”

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue – Hugh Howey
Book Reviews
February 20, 2010 posted by Katie

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue – Hugh Howey

When Molly gets kicked out of the Naval Academy, she loses more than just another home, she loses the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cloe. A dull future seems to await, until a marvellous discovery changes everything.

Her father’s old starship, missing for a decade, turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others.

What starts off as a simple quest to reconnect with her past, ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover becomes one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways – the crew of the starship Parsona.

Ever looked up into the sky at night and imagined yourself flying around the stars off on some other-worldly adventure? Well, this is Molly’s reality. Or will be. Molly is a navy cadet. And don’t be fooled into thinking the Navy is what we understand the Navy to be. Yes they drive ships, but not the standard H.M.A.S. vessels of today’s waters. Molly and her fellow classmates are learning to pilot starships. Sure they are still in training but running a full visual simulator is darn close to the real thing, right down to the G-force experienced.

But in a standard-procedure simulator test, something seems to go wrong. For Molly and her pilot Cole fail and fail miserably. And as much as they try to convince their superiors otherwise, no-one believes them. For Molly and Cole’s simulator was tampered with. Every procedure runs fine, except the ability to arm and fire weapons. Without weapons, they have almost a no-chance at survival. Cole suspects sabotage. With both of them for examination, it will be Molly that the blame is laid at. Particular since Cole was technically ‘killed’ early into the simulator run and it is so much easier to blame the girl.

For Molly, this means expulsion. No more training, and no more hope of becoming a Naval officer. Resigned to a life at a normal high school, everything suddenly seems less for Molly. If loss of her only home, her connection to her past and her best friend that she can’t stop thinking about wasn’t enough, Molly is an outcast in her new school, merely because she is different. That is, until she gets an opportunity of a lifetime. Her father’s ship has been found. And as the legal owner, Molly is the only one who can go and collect it.

And a seemingly straightforward mission is the start of a whole new adventure that even Molly couldn’t begin to fathom…

Molly Fyde and the Parson Rescue is debut novel from Hugh Howey and the first in the Molly Fyde series. The thing that grabbed me from the first page of this novel was the believability in writing and character. The plot just flowed effortlessly, from describing the complexities of hyperspace, simulation flying and other world social structure to the simple dialogue between two best friends struggling to find what they mean to each other. There aren’t many authors who can get you completely lost in a story, but Howey was one of them. For me, I just wanted to know what would happen next, what the next twist in the story would be. As a credit to the author, I never saw the ending that was coming. It makes you easily want to read the next book in the series as soon as you can.

The characters of Molly and Cole were another highlight to the novel. Reading from Molly’s point of view as she struggled through countless personal and emotional challenges left me caring about what happened to her. The history and connection between Molly and Cole as a pair was believable, and the tension that built up added to the story, instead of taking away from it as so many teen-romances can be known to do. That being said, Molly does have her fair share of moments where I just wanted to knock some sense into her and tell her to get over the small dramatics that really seemed unnecessary.

All in all though, a highly engaging read that I would recommend for anyone who is or was a fan of space adventure.

Pages: 258

Publication Date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser quote: By the time they arrived at the Palan system, he must’ve had eighteen hours of uninterrupted rest. No bathroom breaks. No food. No flirting. Molly couldn’t understand how he contained himself. Even from the last.