Tarnished time travel – All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts

Tom lives in a golden world of amazing technology and father is a genius who just invented time travel. Tom is lazy and does not apply himself, but finds himself on the time travel team – then after the love of his life abandons him, he takes her place and goes back in time. He finds himself in an alternate future – in the world we know. Now it’s up to him to return humanity to the future that we always dreamed of…

Gosh! Time Travel books, eh? So confusing!! This book wasn’t too bad though, and any internal mysteries were cleared up at the end. It was clever – but lacking enough warmth or character connection for me to be emotionally invested in what was happening. It became more like a puzzle than a story; I wanted the intellectual satisfaction of knowing the solution, but was not emotionally involved. Which is perhaps why I’m not very good at puzzles.

I’m a bit annoyed that I’m hooked by Brian Guthrie’s RISE

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The mysterious queen summons a scribe to her, and entrusts her with a task. To find out the story of what happened to four of her friends, many years ago, to solve a current problem. The scribe travels between the friends: Micaela, whose Father’s interference into their planet’s water system got him killed, Sujith, the visitor from another disk who found himself embroiled in the action, and Quentin, well-meaning, but the most intractable of all. With dragons, coding, controlling governments, time-travel and more this is a vast world that we start to discover.

I’ve actually read this one and a half times. The first time was online, as Brian Guthrie, who stayed with us once, told me about it. I was suspicious, as I usually am with self-published books, but I had a look. And I got hooked. It was an extremely annoying way to read: tiny thin paragraphs on busy pages that I had to click through often – and yet I was hooked. I finally tore myself away before the end because it was too annoying to read like that – and the way it was, I had no way to see how much longer it was going to be – but when the book came out, I thought I’d give it another try.

Ferocious and fast paced but a bit claustrophobic – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Book Reviews, teen book reviews, Uncategorized


Darrow, once a Red destined for a life mining Mars now transformed by rebels Sons of Ares into a ruling gold beat the training school in the last book, and is now in the middle of Gold society. But plots and factions stir constantly, and Darrow soon finds himself losing – until he wrests power and influence through unconventional methods. With enemies, schemes, greed and jealousy on every side Darrow feels he can trust no one and continues his campaign of violence, facing the monarch and everyone in his lonely quest for justice.

Oh my goodness! I’ve been waiting to read this ever since I finished Red Rising (my teenage sister read it too – here’s her review). And what a whirlwind it was! I can’t believe how much action and drama was packed into just one book! Though this is very much the same as the first instalment, I felt a bit that the reflection and character development was tacked onto the very full plot, which basically had a LOT of ground to cover. I came out at the end feeling as though I’d been on a really intense rollercoaster and needed a bit of time to settle. But it’s exciting, compelling and a worthy next step along the road for our hero.

A thoughtful dream – Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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Rose Franklin’s course was set when she was riding her new bike and falls down a hole – only to be caught by a gigantic metal hand. Seventeen years later she is part of the team working tirelessly to discover the secret of the hand. Conspiracy, secrets and suspicion abound, with an unnamed interviewer analysing everything and everything that’s happening, with potentially huge ramifications for the earth and beyond…

Remembering this book feels like remembering a dream. It seems disjointed, strangely distant, seen through a strange lens. But thinking on it, I think this is kind of the point. This is a fairly classic plot; ancient alien tech found hidden on earth, approached from a different angle. Here we are not drawn into action, battles or heroics but invited to consider the real impact; individual and corporate, of this kind of discovery on the human race. The narrative style enabled this; but also held the reader at arms length, not allowing us to become fully involved with the characters.

This book read like a TV series – and I loved it! The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended

Escaping secrets and horrors of her past, human Rosemary joins the crew of the Wayfarer, punching holes through space. But she’s not the only one with a secret or a back story – from the Captain’s illicit love affair with another species, the slug-like cook’s mourning for his species to the technician’s love for an AI system every crew member’s life is complex and unique. As we journey through space each crew member faces challenges and decisions that shake them to their core, exploring modes of relationship, love and friendship all the way.

From the title of this book I somehow expected it to be thoughtful and literary – but instead was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of a book that read mostly like a novel of Firefly! The structure is almost episodic as we focus on the different characters stories and various incidents. We’re given worlds with new species, customs and cultures to explore, and our own bizarre but wonderful cast of characters to enjoy it with. Parts of the story were a bit too sex focussed for my liking so I may not re-read for that reason – but as a whole relationships and love and the different forms thereof were a theme, so it wasn’t completely gratuitous at least.

Boggling mystery, technology and secrets in The Forever Watch by David Ramirez

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Writing Thoughts

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Massive spaceship Noah is making it’s way with the remnants of humanity from the ruined earth towards Canaan. But after breeding duty, what should have been several painless months knocked out cold, Hana is left with a sense of loss, which together with her huge mistrustful boyfriend Barrens who has come across bodies disgustingly savaged persuades her to dig behind the surface of the society she has lived in her whole life. The secrets they uncover change everything and throw the Noah into chaos.

There was so much to this book. It took twists and turns that I totally didn’t expect, and thinking back on it is quite difficult. Where to start? It was longer, more complex and less comprehensible than I thought it would be. I was interested but not drawn into the world, wanted to learn the secrets but wasn’t that fussed when I did and wanted to get alongside the characters but felt held at a distance.