Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: After absolutely falling head over heels in love with Illuminae , I didn’t think it could get any better. Hahaha joke is on you, this one is ███████ fantastic and I loved it even more than the first book.
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Chums, I was sucked into Gemina immediately. It builds on the action from Illuminae and starts with a court proceeding of sorts for BeiTech. The evidence provided are the documents provided by the Illuminae Group, and the briefing notes we read in Gemina are part of the official record. I thought this was such an innovative way to frame the story, and I love books that start at the end and watching how things got to that point. 

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Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

“People aren’t supposed to have lives in two eras. You know that, right?”

Friends, this book took me completely by surprise in the best of ways! I had been in a reading slump for 20 days and nothing that I picked up could hold my attention, but when I picked up Here and Now and Then it was like I had been waiting for this book. This is a genre-bending and unique tale of love, and I loved every heartbreaking second of it.

The story is so much more than just a science fiction story about a man stuck between two times: it’s about the love our main character feels for his family and being torn between two lives. Kin is from 2142 but was stranded during a mission in 1996. Despite there being strict rules about maintaining the timeline, he goes against them when it becomes obvious that he won’t be rescued. Eighteen years later he remembers nothing of his past life in 2142 but snippets he wrote down in a journal about time travel and the bureau he worked for, but nothing of the life he left behind. He has a wife and daughter and is happy. But rescue finally comes and it is time for him to leave the only life he knows – the one that should never have existed – for the one he left behind. But he will do anything to protect them, include leaving them without a word.

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Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder and James Lovegrove

It’s been almost sixteen years since Firefly was cancelled by FOX, and honestly I’m still not over it. As a person that lives in a reality where Serenity does not exist, I was more than eager to dive back into the black with the crew that started my love for space opera and ragtag crews. But I was also apprehensive: would the series hold up? For me this book was everything that I was looking for and I am so excited for the next books in the series!

Firefly: Big Damn Hero contextually happens in the middle of the short lived tv series, which means that some jobs and events from the eleven episodes are referenced, but the great thing is that a reader new to the Firefly franchise will not feel lost among references. Holder and Lovelace did an excellent job of including references for fans of the tv series without alienating an entirely new audience.

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A Murder of Crows (The Ravenscourt Tragedies #1) by Annie Kirke

Rumours are nasty things. They lurk in the shadows and feed off people’s worst instincts.

I love me some strong female characters, so when Dying Arts Press reached out to me to offer me a chance to read this YA fantasy I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book did not work for me: I found the characters flat, world-building confusing, and the plot to be predictable and, if I am being honest, a little troublesome.

Abigail is 13 years old and her father just mysteriously died. Part of the burial process of loved ones is known as the Resting, where the spirit can say their final goodbyes to loved ones before crossing over. Unfortunately something went wrong and her father’s soul wasn’t there, so they are left alone with their grief and questions without their chance to say goodbye. Within a couple of days, his estranged brother comes and invites the family (Abigail, her mother, and her brother) to stay with him at Ravenscourt for awhile. And then the mysteries really begin.

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Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: This is an addictive, fast-paced adventure that I didn’t expect to ███████ lurrrrrrve as much as I did.

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Greetings chum. I don’t even know how to adequately review such an amazingly unique reading experience. Illuminae is not your traditional book. It breaks conventional storytelling and is told in multi-media format: the book is the compilation of emails, instant message conversations, redacted memos, and more as if you are reading a confidential dossier.

“It’s not the bullets that kill you. It’s moments like these. One piece at a time.”

The year is 2575 and this morning Kady Grant broke up with her boyfriend, Ezra Miller. Hours later their tiny planet of Kerenza, which is an illegal mining colony, was attacked by a mega-corporation. Bad day, I’d say.

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