Book Review: Game Over by James Patterson

Game Over (Daniel X #4) by James Patterson

Pirate Princess’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “When Daniel X discovers that a duo of evil extraterrestrials is plotting to control kids around the world through videogames, he’s determined to take them both out of commission. This pair of wicked game masters wants to destroy the human race by turning brainwashed videogamers into an unstoppable army of doom! They’re also running an endangered species hunting club on the side, and their next target is none other than Daniel. He’ll have no choice but to turn to the aliens’ rebellious son who needs help to stand up to his malicious parents. But can Daniel trust the progeny of this treacherous twosome? Or will it be “Game Over” for the alien hunter?”

Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 255 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

RATING ~ 5 ‘X’-TRAORDINARY STARS!

You think your jobs stinks? Try doing what Daniel X does.Without being paid.

Daniel X, the Alien Hunter, returns in the fourth book of the Daniel X book series. Being a teenage Alien Hunter isn’t easy. Especially when you’re hunting down aliens that hold the ranks 8 and 7 on The List of Outlaws on Terra Firma. What’s Terra Firma? Earth. In this book, Daniel’s adventure takes place in Tokyo, Japan.
This book is action packed, full of thrills, and awesome/funny comments. Want to read some of those awesome comments? Look at the ones below!

“Ahhh!” I yelled, falling to the floor in mock agony. (Well, not exactly “mock.” Those boxes were heavy.)

“I’m so sorry to trouble you, sir,” I said, extracting myself from the pile. “I’ll be on my way, but let me help you with these boxes first.”
The clerk looked momentarily confused, clearly not the cleverest creature to step off a UFO. A good tip to remember: politeness and civility throw a goon every time.

Seriously, I love the Daniel X series and I was not disappointed. Daniel’s a teenager, like me, so I can understand some of his ‘teen issues’. You know, the ones that aren’t caused by aliens trying to kill you while you’re trying to kill them.

This book was a bit shorter than others I’ve read so far this year, but it was totally worth it. As I said before, I ♥ Daniel X. The fact that he was hunting down two alien outlaws at once got me excited, because he hadn’t done that before in the previous three books.

As soon as I finished this book, I got the one that comes after it. There was only one part in the book where I didn’t know exactly how to react. I didn’t know if I should be upset, excited, or what. Want to know what that moment was? When he referred to Maximum Ride. O.0 With how the last book of that series ended, I felt a bit annoyed. But since I loved the first books in the series, I felt a bit excited too. What does that equal? Confused teenager emotions.

Anyways…….I LOVED THE ENDING! It was a bit sad…But it was awesome! 😀 If I add up everything about the book……5 stars. Duh!

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I recommend to James Patterson fans. If you’ve read at least the first Daniel X book, you can read this one too! But only after you’ve read the previous two books! If you’ve read the first Maximum Ride(Maximum Ride #1) book, you should enjoy this. ^-^

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Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

*TOP 10 OF 2012*

Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)

RATING 4 STARS

I read Legend right after reading The Grey Wolf Throne.  The two books complimented each other.  It was really interesting, because I really like Han in the other series.  Day is a similar character. He’s poor with a tormented past.  He’s on his own and will do anything to survive.  One difference is that Han seems to be a bit of an egoist while Day is still trying to act within his own moral code.  Day hasn’t killed anyone.

And that’s what spurs this book.  Although he’s caused the Republic lots of problems, he hasn’t killed anyone.  Then one night things go horribly wrong and he’s accused of killing June’s brother.  The story unfolds beautifully, not too fast, not too slow.  We learn what happened to June’s family and the clues her brother left for her.  June hunts Day with the intention of killing him.  She’s the Republic’s golden child.  She’s smart, cunning, and merciless.  She’s the youngest solider and the smartest.

I LOVED this book.  It was dark and intense, with reasons that resonated with the reader.  You were routing for June and then hoping she’d fail, because you are routing for Day, too. Their two worlds collide and the story is just awesome!  I can’t say enough about this book.  It wasn’t on my short list of books because I hate the cover.  Yeah, I’m a girl and it’s an ugly cover.  Anyway, Legend is in my top 10 books read in 2012.  So why’d I give it 4 stars?

Lemme explain.  There is only one reason why I didn’t give it 5 fricken fab stars – the formatting.  Printing things in bold, weird colors was a gimmick that this book did NOT need.  Instead of lending to the book, these issues made Legend difficult to read from major headaches and eyestrain.  Publisher of Legend, I have one thing to say to you: I hope you print the next book normal so I can read it.  I completely hated the publisher’s guts while I was reading this book.  Doing anything that makes it more difficult for a reader to read a book is STUPID.  You might as well be shooting Chinese stars out of the pages at my eyeballs.  Majorly annoyed about that.

To the author: Your book was so good, I endured the migraines to finish it.

4 star book review

If you liked DIVERGENT, SHATTER ME, or 7 REALMS SERIES then you’ll like this.  Weird cross over on that last one, but I stand by it.  Han and Day are both awesome.  <3 <3 <3

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Book Review: Valkyrie Rising by Eric C. Currie

Valkyrie Rising (Warriors Wings #2) by Eric C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: Two years after the initial invasion of Hayden’s World, the newly reinforced Hayden Militia is in a state of stalemate with the remaining enemy forces but neither side is content to leave things at that.

The alien alliance has dispatched their varsity to clean up the resistance on Hayden while the USF has officially activated Task Force V, the latest and most advanced combat ships built by humans.

In the end there are some things you decide in the skies, but some can only be settled in the mud.

Print Length: 255 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services

RATING – 4 STARS

This is the sequel to “On Silver Wings,” and from the author of “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” If you’ve read my reviews of those, you’ll know that I’m already a big fan.

With “Valkyrie Rising” we get the return of our protagonist. Sergeant Aida is back. But, this time she’s in her element as part of a larger force. And as readers, we’re no longer just focused on the conflict evolving on a lone world, but we’re also exposed to a much larger epic. So while keeping tabs on Aida, we’re also able to see the greater story unfold where she plays but a small role. It’s a great way to keep the comforting intimacy of the characters we know, while expanding the scope of the story into something bigger – bigger conflict, bigger stakes, bigger cast, bigger!

Somehow, Currie has managed to keep each book intense, and full of conflict – but still end on a really satisfying, fulfilling note. Instead of following the “Star Wars” formula (introduce the conflict, dark episode, vindication of the good guys), he’s made each book a complete story arc. Personally, I find that a much funner and more satisfying way to read a series.

Looking forward to the next book…

4 star book review

Recommended to Sci-Fi readers.

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Book Review: On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION “In the future, mankind has colonized other worlds, mined asteroid belts, and sent ships so far into the blackness of space that light from their drives won’t reach Earth for centuries. Through it all, life has been found in almost every system we visited and yet we’ve never encountered another intelligent species.

Until now. When the Colony on the planet known as Hayden’s World stops transmitting on their CASIMIR FTL system, a Solari Fleet Task Force is sent to investigate. When they arrive there are enough oddities in the situation that they in turn send in a special operations unit to contact the colonists and determine what happened. Only one of those operators survives to make planet fall. Sergeant Sorilla Aida finds herself against an alien force of unknown power and capability. Her only assets?

A depleted suit of power armor, her rifle, basic kit, and a few hundred Hayden born civilians looking to take back their home. Just what she was trained for.”

RATING 4 STARS

I picked this up after reading Currie’s “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” That was a great read, and I was anxious to see what else he’d done. I wasn’t disappointed.

As opposed to a lot of science fiction, here we’re given a great female protagonist. And instead of a utopian future and amazing tech, you’ll find a universe that you can easily relate to. Humanity is still the same. And so, when the protagonist is dropped into truly alien experiences, you’re along for a great ride.

The pace is quick. But character development and relationships aren’t sacrificed for plot. I wish my daughter read more action/adventure and sci-fi, because there are so few great female characters out there. Here’s one where the fact that the story centers on a female marine is simply taken for granted. It’s a non-issue, there’s no pandering, and the story tears along dragging the reader with it.

Since this isn’t a space epic, the scale is much more local – and it works. That alone would be a nice change of pace, but the fullness of the story and the great characters make it a 5-star book.

4 star book review

Recommended for Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes a solid cheap kindle book.

Grab On Silver Wings now on Amazon!  It’s only $3.99!

Thanks for reading my blog!  Can’t wait to post more awesome book reviews!

Book Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Redshirtsby John Scalzi

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship “Intrepid,” flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy belowdecks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what thestarship “Intrepid” really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives

Print Length: 318 pages
Age: Adult Sci-Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
Sold by: Macmillan

RATING: 2 STARS – WISHED IT WAS BETTER

I love John Scalzi… Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars, Old Man’s War, Ghost Brigade, and more are all awesome reads.

That said, I was incredibly disappointed by Redshirts. The idea was brilliant – and it starts out with great potential. But, it quickly drifts from being a great parody into murky meta territory.

Maybe I was the problem… I couldn’t quite follow when I was supposed to be taking the story seriously. Maybe there were some transitions in there that I missed. But, I think it’s more likely that I just can’t bring myself to appreciate what Scalzi was trying to do.

If you’re just discovering Scalzi, pick up any of his older works first. You won’t be disappointed. Once you’re a fan, maybe you’ll want to give Redshirts a chance. Go into it with an open mind, no preconceived notions, and see what you think. It’s original. It’s fresh. It just wasn’t for me.

Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, general adult fiction, and Scalzi fans.

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Book Review: Thaw by Bryan Dunn

sci-fi indie, kindle books, cheap kindle, contemporary fiction, 3 star book reviewsThaw by Bryan Dunn

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Arctic bush pilot Harry McNills is minding his own business and dreaming of retiring to the Caribbean–when two scientists from Cryolabs Corporation charter his plane for a scientific expedition. The beautiful young biologist Amy Tyler and her boss, the avaricious Hayden Lockwood, want to explore for freeze-tolerant organisms. Harry gets more than he bargained for when he falls for Amy and discovers an ancient terror entombed in an iceberg. A Navy team is assembled to exhume the remarkable find. But before the job is completed, something goes horribly wrong…and Harry and Amy find themselves trapped in a desperate struggle for survival.”

Print Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Bryan Dunn; 1 edition (February 28, 2011)
Recommended Age: Adult

REVIEW: 3 STARS-IT WAS OKAY

Thaw tries to take a very familiar premise and create an exciting, suspenseful, story – with mixed results. The idea of something dangerous and unknown being unwittingly freed from the ice has been done many times – from movies to television episodes to books (for example, Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child.) But unfortunately, Thaw never escapes the feeling of a B-movie.

The broad strokes are great. However, the details of the story continually break down the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief and get lost in the book. And, anyone reading books like thiswants to suspend disbelief. You want to take the author at face value and enjoy the ride. But, in Thaw, it’s often hard to do.

In the interest of avoiding spoilers, and letting readers enjoy what’s there, I’ll skip over providing examples of the flaws that jumped out at me. If you’re a critical reader, you’re going to stumble over them easily enough. But, if you love watching made for TV movies on the sy-fy channel, and can ignore some cheesiness in your suspenseful thrillers, then you’ll have a great time with this one.

three star books, ya books 3 stars

Recommended for Sci-fi readers, general fiction, and cheap kindle reads.

Grab Thaw now on AMAZON or B&N.

Book Review: The White Mountains by John Christopher

tripods, books for boys, teen books, sci-fi books, 5 star book reviewsThe White Mountains by John Christopher

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Long ago, the Tripods–huge, three-legged machines–descended upon Earth and took control. Now people unquestioningly accept the Tripods’ power. They have no control over their thoughts or their lives. But for a brief time in each person’s life–in childhood–he is not a slave. For Will, his time of freedom is about to end–unless he can escape to the White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists. The Tripods trilogy follows the adventures of Will and his cohorts, as they try to evade the Tripods and maintian their freedom and ultimately do battle against them. The prequel, When the Tripods Came, explains how the Tripods first invaded and gained control of the planet.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse; First Edition edition (April 1, 2003)

REVIEW-5 STARS NOT TO BE MISSED

I just got around to setting up a goodreads account (April ’11), and have mostly added books that I’ve read in the past year or two as a starting point for my shelves. But, I stumbled across this book and had to add a review…

I read this book well over 20 years ago. So, I can’t say anything about the typical stuff that I’d normally evaluate a book on – except for impact. After 20+ years, this story is still bouncing around my head. I don’t remember all the characters and plot details, but I remember how it made me feel. I remember the basic story. And, I know that I want to hand it to my kids as part of their introduction to science fiction. I’m tempted to go back and read it again, but I’d hate to ruin the good memories I’ve got from this series – in case that 20+ years has been harder on my memory than I thought. :o)

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Recommended for younger readers, especially boys.

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Book Review: Into the Black by Evan Currie

great indie book, cheap indie book, sci-fi 5 stars, into the black bookInto the Black by Evan Currie

DESCRIPTION: “Beyond the confines of our small world, far from the glow of our star, lies a galaxy and universe much larger and more varied than anyone on Earth can possibly imagine. For the new NAC spacecraft Odyssey and her crew, the unimaginable facets of this untouched world are about to become reality.

The Odyssey’s maiden voyage is an epic adventure destined to make history. Captain Eric Weston and his crew, pushing past the boundaries of security, encounter horrors, wonders, monsters, and people, all of which will test their resolve, challenge their abilities, and put in sharp relief what is necessary to be a hero.

A first-rate military science fiction epic that combines old-school space opera and modern storytelling, Into the Black: Odyssey One is a riveting, exhilarating adventure with vivid details, rich mythology, and relentless pacing that will leave you breathlessly awaiting book two.”

Print Length: 587 pages
Publisher: 47North; Remastered edition (March 27, 2012)
Recommended Age: Adult

REVIEW:5 STARS-NOT TO BE MISSED!

I’m a sucker. This isn’t Scalzi, or Haldeman. We’re not talking about a modern science-fiction classic. At least, I doubt it. But, Currie does write an incredibly fun story, echoing elements of Star Trek, and even Haldeman. He’s created a story that lets the reader easily escape into their imagination for a few hours, and I had a great time doing it.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who appreciated Currie’s work. Into The Black is a re-release, now published by Amazon under its own Sci-Fi imprint. As I understand it, minor revisions were made and substantial editing was done, bringing the book to its current level of polish. I didn’t have the opportunity to see it in its original form, but was inspired by this book to start picking up a few of Currie’s other works. I’ve yet to be disappointed.

BOOKS are better than icecream, 5 stars, awesome books

Recommended for Sci-Fi fans, general fiction, guys looking for awesome reads, and kindle fans wanting good cheap reads.  This was $2.99 on kindle at the time I purchased it.

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Book Review: The Dig by Michael Siemsen

the dig, contemporary fiction, sci-fi books, YA sci-fi, 3 star book reviewsThe Dig by Michael Siemsen

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “A mysterious woven metal artifact is found at a paleontological dig in Africa. Mystified experts, confounded by the impossible timeline they get from traditional dating methods, call upon a stubborn young man with a unique talent. Matthew Turner’s gift is also his curse: Whenever he touches an object, his awareness is flooded with the thoughts and feelings of those who touched it before him. It is a talent that many covet, some fear, and almost no one understands. Despite being exploited as a child and tormented by the unpleasant experiences imprinted on him from the various items he has “read,” Matthew agrees to travel from New York to the forests of Kenya. There, threatened by unknown enemies and helped by a beautiful but prickly ally who begins to understand his strange ability, he journeys back in geological time to make a discovery so shocking that it forces us to rewrite all human history.”

Print Length: 324 pages
Publisher: Fantome (January 17, 2011)
Recommended Age: Young Adult

REVIEW: 3 STARS-IT WAS OKAY

In The Dig, Siemsen manages to keep the reader engaged in two completely distinct stories. There’s a modern, paranormal, story that he uses to weave in a second, more science fiction, story that’s easily as compelling. It’s a great feat. And I found myself happily transitioning between the two worlds.

Likewise, he’s developed some great characters. A few reviewers have complained that they didn’t find anyone truly “likable.” But, I think the “problem” is actually a more three-dimensional protagonist. Unfortunately, the villain is a bit caricature-ish, which may undermine the more well developed characters. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to turning each page.

The disappointment didn’t hit until the end… Siemsen wrote two great stories and wove them together almost seamlessly. So, over the course of each chapter the anticipation of a great pay-off builds. You want to know where it’s all going! But, the great climax never arrives… In fact, it felt incredibly anti-climactic when it was all said and done. The best that can be said is that all the loose ends were neatly tied up.

Hopefully Siemsen brings his great style to another book, and the storytelling is paired with a more dramatic purpose.

three star books, ya books 3 stars

You may enjoy this book if you liked: Neanderthal

Recommended for guys, Sci-fi readers and YA book fans.

Grab THE DIG now on Amazon or B&N for $2.99!