#SixforSunday, Bookish Discuussions, spoiler free

S4S – Characters who I think could be great friends

Six for Sunday
Another Sunday has arrived and with it, another Six for Sunday Prompt! Thank you to Steph at A Little But A Lot for coming up with these prompts each week. This weeks prompt is “Characters you’d love to be friends with” but I did something similar back in June (here) and my answers haven’t really changed that much so this week I’ve decided to do something a little different and instead this week I’m going to pair up characters that I think would make brilliant friends with each other (who aren’t already).

Ari (from Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capettea) and Mia (from the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff)
This would probably be a fairly volatile friendship at times I think but I’d like to imagine that they would be good for each other. I also have a bad feeling that Mia would get Ari addicted to smoking and the idea of Ari letting Mia hold Excalibur or aboard her ship is kind of terrifying. I think they would defintley understand each other with all that destiny stuff going on.

Paige Turner (from The Bookshop Girl by Chole Coles) and Izzy O’Neil (from The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven)
Like Ari and Mia this could either be an amazing friendship or go terribly, horribly on but hopefully on a much lower level than mass murder and chain-smoking. I think Izzy is a little older than Paige so I feel there could defintley be some big sister vibes going on here and that (with time) Paige would enjoy having advice from her “big sister” but that Izzy would also appreciate the seemingly sage, (if not sometimes a little wacky) council from the bookshop girl.

Tyler (from Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and JayKristoff) and Far McCarthy (from Invictus by Ryan Graudin). 
I feel like these two hanging out would just always end up dissolving into both of them getting drunk and ranting about their respective teams. Tyler: “Finn has spent the entire two days replying to everything I say with ‘that’s what she said’ I’m losing my goddamn mind!” Far: “Have you ever woken up with a hungry red panda on your face?”

Bridget Jones (from the Bridget Jones books by Helen Fielding) and Betsy Taylor (from the Undead Series by Mary Janice Davidson. 
I would genuinely read/watch the hell out of this friendship because of what a force of nature they would be. I think the blood-drinking might be a little weird for Bridget to start with and she would definitely refer to Betsy and Sinclair as a smug married couple but after a while (and possibly witnessing an argument or two) they would totally be as thick as thieves. Betsy probably keeps offering to turn Bridget who doesn’t want to be turned until she’s her target weight and she’s actually doing really well because they just drink smoothies and go shopping all day (good exercise) but you can bet Sinclair is making sure Bridget is eating a good meal when the girls are back from said shopping excursion that almost certainly ended up with one of them getting into an argument about shoes and then some immortal enemy trying to off Betsy but Bridget absolutely ended up accidentally saving her life and now they’re best BEST friends. (This feels like strange a strange kind of fanfiction but now I really want to write it).

Issac (From the Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman) and Jace (from the Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare). 
The Angsty boys club has arrived. I actually imagine this being slightly older Jace so maybe between The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices and Jace who is, at this point, a mostly reformed, sarcastic, beautiful, angsty boy would absolutely take Issac under his wing. A couple of months out of the town and away from the other founding families as well as the Gray would do wonders for Issac in the right company and I think that time could be well spent in the New York Institute. Jace could teach him some awesome moves as well as understanding when it comes to family abuse and drama as well as liking someone who you ‘should’n’t/isn’t good for you etc. I’m telling you, friends for life and think of super Issac coming back to town, kicking butt and breaking hearts. *Contented Sigh*

Rhysand (from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas) and Celaena Sardothien (from Throne of Glass, also by SJM) 
Another hilarious partnering. I think these would be another pair that would end up drunkenly ranting at each other as well as Celaena training with Cas and Az, giving Rhysand pointers with Feyre, flirting with Amren and getting into arm wrestles. Rowan would probably be crappy and overprotective but Rhsyand would totally woo him too and they would be best buds as well.

Okay so turns out that what I meant by, “great friends” means that I just friend-ship them I think and now, as quite often seems to happen I’m overcome with the need to expand on these ideas with fanfiction. I hope you’ve enjoyed my, slightly strange partnering and promise we’ll be back to the normal scheduled  Six for Sunday prompts next week! (Also my spoiler-free Darkdawn review is coming Tuesday!).

 

Monthly Wrap up, Uncategorized

March Wrap Up

I don’t usually do wrap-ups but as this month I didn’t manage to find the space for a monthly TBR post I decided to try one. Most of the books I’ve read this month have been reviewed here already so I won’t go into huge detail but just thought it would be nice to have it all in one place, in addition, I also wanted to include not just books but other forms of media I’ve enjoyed too. I’m not sure yet if this will be an every month occurrence yet or just a one-off for March but let me know if you enjoy it and we’ll see where it goes!

Books

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab XXXX (Spoiler free review here)
A brand new reprinting of V.E Schawb’s debut novel, The Near Witch is an absolute gem. It’s dark and spooky with the perfect amount of angst and a little romance. This debut, although not as polished as her later works it still very decidedly hers though and well worth a read even if you’ve read it before as this new version, in addition to being absolutely gorgeous also features an extra short story “Ash born boy” which was fantastic and well deserving of a XXXXX rating all of it’s own.

Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by Jame Lovegrove XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
This was such a fun book to read, a fantastic tie in to the original TV series and although it certainly is an enjoyable book to read without any prior knowledge of the show its crowning glory is the brilliant way James has managed to really capture the whole feeling of the show and it’s world as well as it’s characters as well as giving us a deeper look into those characters in a way we weren’t able to get through the media of television but translates easily to the written word. A must for Firefly fans especially is Jayne Cobb is your favourite. I also did a Q&A with James which you can check out here.

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
The only words to do this justice are ones I’ve already used in my full review…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES. Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world. This is an absolute whirlwind of a book and despite the King Arthur type story, or even the reincarnation of King Arthur, Once and Future not only manages to feel new and unique, it feels damn well revolutionary. There is SO much fantastic rep to be found here and I honestly love it so damn much.

Currently reading: Summer Bird Blue By Dawn Akemi Bowman (Review to come soon!)
I’m SO close to finishing this book right now! I wasn’t sure how I would feel jumping from sci-fi into contemporary which isn’t my favourite of genres but Akemi has excelled once again, as with Starfish it explores complicated feelings and relationships and how her characters deal with those, in the case of Summer Bird Blue, Rumi loses her sister and is consumed by not only the sadness that we often associate with grief but also the anger and resentment we feel as well. A spectacular, moving story that I know is going to continue to break my heart.

Films

The Conjuring 2
The start of a slippery slope deciding to try out a horror film as I don’t ever really watch them at home but thought heck why not. This was actually really great. It had some great twists and a nice variety of different scares with the story actually being really interesting and making me really want to watch the third one now.

Don’t Knock Twice
Second horror film after the first one went so well, the trailer was pretty damn creepy and this one definitely had some moments and I actually screamed once but honestly, there was just too much talking for my liking and I did nod off a little once or twice.

The Lego Movie 2
My four year old has recently become obsessed with the first lego movie and it’s accompanying video game so we took a trip to the cinema together to check out the second film and it was fantastic, I really liked the first one and this sequel did not disappoint. It made fun of itself, there were some genuinely sad moments, some great twists and in the vein of the big twist/reveal at the end of the first one we got another great reveal that had been hinted at throughout the film and was done really well. I also have to say that I’m in love with the soundtrack and downloaded it the moment I got home, the catchy song is fantastic as is a slightly different version of “everything is awesome” towards the end of the film and the song that plays over the credits is just gold. Definitely, want to see this again.

Passengers
On my Sci-fi kick and when trying to decide on a film to watch this one really seemed interesting and was one we both hadn’t seen before and decided to try out. Really glad we did, I wasn’t sure what direction it would take and it definitely surprised me. Not to mention there was an android I got attached to. This film really went to places I wouldn’t have guessed and ended up being pretty thought-provoking and harrowing in places while also being sweet as well as having a good amount of action when the need called for it. Will be watching this one again as well.

TV Shows

Star Trek Discovery – Season 2 episodes 7-9
I have absolutely loved getting to see young, slightly crazy, hot Spock with a beard these past few episodes and it’s been super interesting finding out what really happened to him, not to mention we got to see parts that directly connect to the very first episode of the original series. Also I can’t help it but every episode I have to tell Chris (the husband) how much I just adore Captain Pike, he’s just so wholesome while also being a little damaged by his past and he’s just such a perfect character and Anson Mount has done an amazing job at portraying him, he’s an absolute gem.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different post from me, I enjoyed writing it and recapping my month. Where there any particular stories that you loved this month? Tell me all about them!

 

 

book reviews, spoiler free

Once and Future

36233085Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Rating: XXXXX

Published: March 26th by Rock the Boat

“So tell me, forty second King Arthur, do you believe your fate is to unite humankind?”

“My fate…” Ari gasped, “…is mine.”

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

So this is the part where I usually quite calmly talk about how I discovered this book (I was stalking the Rock the Boat Twitter feed for news about Aurora Rising arcs) what interested me about and made me want to read it (all of the things) and occasionally how and where I received it from (drooling over it via Twitter, thank you so much to the lovely people at Rock the Boat for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review) but honestly I just want to yell SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

I’m genuinely not sure where to start with this review because as I suspected this is a book I really want to scream and shout about. The characters are all so unique and different with different strengths and beautifully tragic flaws. On the back of my arc copy one of the things this book is likened to is Mass Effect (my favourite game series) and I can totally get behind that because Ari and her ‘knights’ feel like an amazing, dysfunctional family in much the same way as the crew of the Normandy in that they all have their own goals and most of the time those goals line up but not always and that can make things messy, especially when you know each other but you’re not really sure you know them enough to trust them as much as you should. The differing interactions between the characters here feel just the right kinds of tense and it really gives weight to those moments.

I hate to say it so bluntly but this book is hot. Honestly, there are some fantastic moments that pretty much took my breath away but without being crude or even bordering on erotica. I love that pretty much everyone is a little “thirsty” because honestly they’re all beautiful and fairly confident with their sexualities and there isn’t much of any pussyfooting around these moments apart from one AMAZING almost kiss that blew me away. I’m obviously not saying that everyone needs to be like this in their day to day lives but there is certainly something very liberating and refreshing about how comfortable these kind of moments we see in this book are.

While on the topic of sexuality one of my favourite things about this book is how diverse it is, the main character is pansexual and as someone who is pan themselves I cannot explain how pleased I am and how much it means to me to see this kind of rep as we’re often just lumped into gay/straight/bisexual and it’s exhausting, we’ve been totally spoiled with Ari, she’s such an interesting, complex bad-ass and I’m honestly pretty much in love with her myself. Not only do we have a wide range of sexualities it’s also not made a huge deal out of and it isn’t used as any kind of plot point, they just are because that’s how real life works. This book is chock full of amazing characters that are gay, pan, straight, disabled, fluid, cis, non-binary, black, aromantic, mixed heritage, lanky, muscley and curvy and it really makes me yearn for something like this kind of acceptance for all – just without the evil mega-corporation, please.

I immensely enjoyed that Once and Future is not only a kind of parallel of sorts to the King Arthur tale but it also manages to completely turn it on its head and look at from different perspectives. I know the story of Arthur, Merlin, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table is something that has been done and done and done again but honestly, you will never find another story like this, it feels so fresh and unique, not just because of the gender twist but the heart of the story just feels so very new.

The plot is an absolute ride, although I do think there are certainly some pacing issues and moments where I found myself thinking, “huh…what…how did we get here? How did this happen? Did I miss something?” as well as feeling like there were a few plot holes here and there but having spoken to Amy and Cori, I’m told there were A LOT of copy edits due to the ARCs needing to be done and sent out so early so I’m really looking forward to having another read through when my finished copy arrives today (if it hasn’t already because I’m writing to you from the not so distant past) because even WITH the small issues I had I loved this book to the stars and back so I can only imagine how I’ll feel about the complete finished product.

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Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world.

Once and Future is out RIGHT NOW and just in case you hadn’t already preordered it or ordered it today then may I just say again…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES.

 

 

 

#SixforSunday

S4S – An ode to Sci-Fi

I always thought my favourite genre was fantasy because I liked sword fights, court intrigue and magic but after reading Once and Future I now know I can have my cake and eat it as over the past few years I’ve realised I actually really like space ships and new planets, moons and stars, I like rag tag crews flying their (usually) crappy ships through the black just trying to get by and getting dragged into the wrong fight for the right reasons or vice versa, sometimes both. I love rouge A.I’s, I love cyborgs and sentient machines and advanced technology. I love Science Fiction for so many reasons and today I’ll give you six.

Science Fiction:
noun
noun: science fiction; noun: SF; modifier noun: science-fiction
Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

1. SPACE. This point kind of covers a lot of ground, space means the potential for unexplored moons and planets, unearthing ancient civilisations and finding new ones, it means somewhere for our characters to hide because DAMN space is beyond even the concept of vast and then there’s the technology required to even live and travel in space which is often a lot of fun and then there are the consequences of it as well, be that the time it takes to travel anywhere or characters perhaps being confined in close quarters to each other meaning we get a great chance for interaction where it would have been a case of simply walking away if they were somewhere that didn’t need an airlock? Oh there’s also the fact that space will almost certainly try to kill you if you mess with it too. there are just so many interesting factors brought in when dealing with space and I am nowhere near articulate enough to explain them all but I hope this makes at least a little sense.
2. THE FUTURE! Although space isn’t always a given for science fiction time is often a factor, ether travelling through it or the fact that time is needed for certain technological advances and or changes therefore almost always putting us into the future. I can’t imagine there are a lot of people out there who haven’t imagined what the future will look like in one way or another even in the simplest of terms and so this is always such a fun part, looking at the way things have changed and sometimes imagining why things have come to be as they are. A good amount of science fiction based in the future, especially the dystopian variety I think also causes us to reexamine the way we do things and what impact our actions and even day to day lives can have on our own future.  Science fiction is at it’s heart, about where we’re going and how we get there.

3. NEW TECHNOLOGY! There is a never-ending of new technology in most science fiction, some of it wonderous, some of it terrible and some of it is overlooked as an everyday occurrence. I’m not especially technologically minded myself and even I find myself inspired by the new creations we see in Science Fiction. Did you know that American inventor Simon Lake was first inspired by undersea travel and exploration ever since reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and years later his company built the Argonaut which was the first submarine to operate successfully in the open ocean! OR when Martin Cooper, head of research and development at Motorola credited the communicator design from Star Trek as inspiration for his first design of the first mobile phone back in in the early 1970’s, Cooper was quoted as saying “that was not fantasy to us, that was an objective.” Not to mention influences on Atomic power, the rocket, helicopters, face time and many many more. Also just last month I had to google to find out if artificial gravity was actually a real thing…

4. TACKING BIG ISSUES! No matter when or where Science Fiction is set, often the issues that are at the heart of things can be directly tied to events that affect us in the here and now, Divergent explores early on, the repercussions of things such as stereotyping and shoe horning people into different categories and corrupt governments, much later going as far as to hold peoples genetics against each other and considering them lesser citizens for circumstances of birth which draws a frightening parallel to extreme racism and more (check out the ebook Divergent thinking for loads of great essays about this entire series) and then we have books like Enders Game which although they feature a ten-year-old main character and can easily be enjoyed as a fast paced, action packed, space fighty kind of book it is so multi-layered that it can also act as a scary close look at the ethics and accountability of modern warfare. These are two just two tiny examples, if you look closely there are a huge amount of Science Ficiton Stories out there that are no afraid to tackle big issues, even if they are disguised as an insectoid alien race.

5. ALL OF THE DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS! Who would win in a fight, Han Solo or Captain Mal Renyolds? Could Spock beat Data at 3D Chess? Would a star destoyer or the Star Ship Enterprise win in a space battle? Is a lightsaber even possible? One of my favourite things about Science Ficiton are the discussions and debates!! I have spent COUNTLESS hours watching videos like the “Becasue Science” ones on the nerdist chanel, last week I watched one entitield “Are Alien Xenomorphs really no match for Darth Vader”, “How every Mass Effect Biotic Power works” and Could The Matrix actually be powered by human batteries?” and so on and so on. Then I go and talk about them to my friends and/or husband and some hilarious debates have come out of these, they’re fun and silly but also really get your head working.
6. NEW PROSPECTIVES! I love it when a “villains” story or prospective gets revealed and a story gets turned on it’s head, especially when the big bad is perhaps a seemingly crazy A.I or an alien race that just wants to survive, or maybe the Duplo pieces just want to be friends and play together!? (Don’t even get me started on how much I liked the new Lego Movie). These kind of reveals and reversals are one of my favourite science fiction “troupes” I love anything that can turn a story on it’s head and even better if they create moral questions and dilemmas like these often do, Star Trek has a great track history of doing this and as their crews are usually very moral people I love the turn of events this often gives the story and again it makes you think, what would you do in that situation, given that choice? I know this is something that can be present in many genres but it’s my favourite when use in Science Fiction especially.

So that ended up being a lot more involved than I thought it would so I apologise for going on, know this. I love science fiction and although those six points may suggest I love the big epics that make you think, honestly I’m such trash for space opera novels with some moral dilemmas and some good ole fighting. I’m easily pleased and happy to admit as much. Some of my favourite science fiction novels are (obviously) The Illuminae Files, Once and Future (review coming Tuesday!), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World, Skyward, Adrift, Invictus and much much more including a huge list of Star Wars, Star Trek and Mass Effect tie-in novels I won’t go in to now. Do you have a favourite Science Fiction book? Let me know!
Note: I’m aware that Star Wars isn’t technically Sci-Fi but I’m including it anyway.
 
#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – LGBT Books I still need to read

Another Sunday, another Six for Sunday! This weeks prompt is LGBT books I still need to read, this will be a super easy one because there are LOADS and the six I’ve chosen below are just from the books I already own…As with my other posts of a similar vein this month, these are books that I consider to be LGBT because they feature LGBT characters and not necessarily because said books focus solely on the sexuality of the characters.

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A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
The moment I heard this had sassy, bi rep I brought it pretty much without question. I’m excited to get around to it and it’s sequel but it’s one of those books that I just haven’t managed to get around to yet.

Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta
This was on my TBR for this month but my review and blog tour schedule has been a lot more hectic than I had first anticipated and although I’m enjoying my current read, I’ve not been able to dedicate a lot of time to it. Once and Future has a pansexual main character who ends up wielding Excalibur and as someone who is pan and spent every waking moment as a kid pretending I was a badass lady night with a sword (apart from Xena phase be then Buffy ofc) and I am so ready for this, having to schedule my reads like a boring grown up with deadlines is killing me!

The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff
One of my besties has been on at me FOREVER to read these books and I agree, I really want to read them and I did start one but just couldn’t get into it at the time, it sounds completely on brand for me but I’ve just not had time or been in the right mood to get around to it yet. I’m determined to get around to them this year.

Carry on by Rainbow Rowell
So I’ve had Carry on for age after buying it and having Rainbow sign it at my very first “proper” book event. I finally got around to reading and really enjoying Fangirl and I know Carry on is definitely something I will enjoy but I think I’ve kept putting it off due to hype and just not being in the right mood to read it but with Wayward Sons coming out pretty soon I figure I better finally get around to it.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I’ve been hearing SUCH good things about this series and loved hearing Kelly speak on the space panel at YALC last year alongside Lauren James and Sasha Alsberg and I’ve been fascinated by her series ever since but to sound like a broken record, I’ve just not been able to get around to it yet. It’s also not helped by the fact that I’ve been avoiding starting any new series of books right now for fear of becoming hooked. Soon. I promise.

The Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E Schwab
Another book everyone has been telling me to read and another one that suffers from the same problems The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, I’ve not had the time, I’ve been too scared to start a new series AND I’ve not been quite in the right mood for it.

I’m very very aware of just how many great books I have to read right now and once I’m caught up on reviews of new the slew of new releases coming out over the coming months I’m diving straight in with one of the amazing books from this list, without a doubt. Are there any on this list you have yet to read but want to? Have you read some of these and enjoyed them? Let me know if you can think of any more great LGBT books I need to add to my TBR!

 

spoiler free, tbr thursday

TBR Thursday – February

After what feels like the longest January possible we have finally reached the first Thursday of February and that means it’s time for my monthly TBR (to be read) post! I was hoping to have a Sci-Fi filled February but alas I had forgotten that King of Scars was coming out and that I still hadn’t read some of the other books that are advised to be read beforehand, also my most anticipated contemporary for the year has just arrived ready for me to read in time for the blog tour let alone all of the other stuff happening. I will absolutely be reading a sci-fi book by the end of the month though, you’ll have to read on to find out which one!

A Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
I’ve been trying to get this finished since it came out and I’M STILL reading it. Well listening to it, I have just under seven hours to go. So close yet so far. It’s not that it’s bad it’s just SO long.

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
As mentioned above King of Scars is out now and I’ve read the Grisha Trilogy but I still hadn’t managed to get around to Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom! I’m rectifying that this month by finally reading these. I’ve even got the auido book for Six of Crows and enjoying listening to that to avoid listening to AQOAAD, not gonna lie.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I was lucky enough to recieve an early finished copy of this book from Ink Road books and I can’t wait to get stuck into it, I’m not a big contemporary reader but after reading Akemi’s first book, Starfish, she’s became an insta buy author for me.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
I enjoyed most of the Grisha books I’ve read so far (we don’t talk about soggy bread Mal) and I’m excited to read more in the same universe, I figured it would make the most sense to read this after finishing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. Also the sooner I read it the less likely I am to end up seeing spoilers I hope.

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
A female pansexual King Arthur. YES PLEASE. Those who know me will no doubt be aware of the fact I love kick ass girls with swords (I mean most weapons are fine but swords or daggers BIG yes) and to top it off she’s queer and Merlin is a gay teenager. This honestly sounds like the best thing and I genuinely can’t wait to get into it. It looks like I’m probably not going to get an ARC of Aurora Rising so I’m instead going to use Once and Future to kick start my incoming sci-fi binge.