book reviews

Nexus Review

43257123Nexus by Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg

Rating: XXXX

Published: May 7th 2019 (Kindle Version)
June 13th (Paperback version) by HQ Young Adult

“There was only one person who might have the power to free the galaxy from Nor’s rule – and yet completely unaware that the lives of millions now rested in her hands.”

From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Zenith comes the dazzling finale to the Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets expose an embattled galaxy to the ultimate nightmare. 

Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Andi Racella is suddenly a fugitive, ruthlessly hunted across the galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary. Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom to stop Nor. However as her crew fight to regain their freedom, Andi and her unlikely ally Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before. Only by saving their mortal enemy can they make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy, unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

Despite being a little disappointed in the first book, Zenith I had high hopes for its sequel, Nexus. I requested it via NetGalley a few weeks back and was pleased to be approved quickly so I could get to reading it during my sci-fi binge. Thank you so much to YA HQ for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Zenith had some great ideas and character outlines but fell short for me, it just seemed lacking in too many areas and I mourned that lost potential. Nexus, however, seems to have thrown off any shackles placed upon it by its predecessor and is a much better, interesting and enjoyable read. A warning that this review will probably be comparing the two works because the difference is so pleasingly apparent. I would say, despite this being a sequel you don’t absolutely need to read Zenith beforehand because it recaps the events that have unfolded previously although it does make it a little easier to know what’s happening from the get-go; that being said although this review will be spoiler free for Nexus there will be spoilers for Zenith.

Although I missed having the crew around for a larger part of this book than previously I think it actually really worked and I found Lira much more interesting in Nexus while she was away from Andi, the same goes for the Bloody Baroness herself who also was much improved. In Nexus, Andi is still very (understandably) focused on her friends devoutly it feels much more in the right place here and I think giving Andi a much more direct purpose she cared for really worked out well as well as giving her a legitimate reason that made sense as to why she’s so important in the fight against Nor. Her space pirate persona is, thankfully, much less overhyped this time around, even with there not being a huge amount of action involved and don’t even get me started on Dex becasue I actually liked him in Nexus which was a nice surprise, I think the events of Zenith really caused him to see what’s important and to grow a bit more of a spine without making him too overconfident to a fault. All the characters in-fact were much improved and although characters don’t have to be likeable for them to be good I think it is preferred that we understand their motives which we got in truckloads during Nexus and I couldn’t be happier about it.

There is a little romance in Nexus but it isn’t a huge plot point and I enjoyed it all the more because of that. Romantic scenes didn’t feel out of place or as flat or frustrating as it had done previously and I actually enjoyed them and the paring as a whole.

The writing was much improved which makes sense, whether it be a result of the collaborating authors working together better after already writing one book with each other or perhaps experience over time? I found there were a lot less clunky sentences and I didn’t find myself having to reread parts to make sense of them which I experienced in Zenith. Apart from a small part in the middle, the pacing was spot on and towards the end especially I found myself reading frantically, desperate to know what happened, there was some good tension building for sure. I really enjoyed the ending despite having worried that I was getting perilously close to the end of the book with no clue as to the outcome (a good thing, it just makes me anxious!).

Overall, Nexus was a good read and one I would be happy to recommend, I absolutely loved reading it and would say it’s definitely worth giving it a try even if Zenith fell short for you as you may be pleasantly surprised! Nexus is out now on Kindle and releases on paperback in the UK on June 13th.

(Extra note that isn’t at all relevant to the review at all but I’m meeting Sasha later this month and I’m SO excited!!)

 

Tags

Mass Effect Book tag

Marta from MsBookishCorner created this Mass Effect Book Tag and as I am well and truly into the Sci-Fi binge read and have got back into playing an almost unhealthy amount of Mass Effect again to celebrate I thought this would be an appropriate book tag to take part in! Briefing note: There are a couple of questions towards the end (8 and 10) that could be considered spoilers for the end of Mass Effect 3, obviously it’s a game about choice so they’re not things that will necessarily spoil your personal playthrough but just a heads up anyway.

1. Commander Shepard
Paragon: A main character that puts the needs of everyone else before their own

Iden Versio from Star Wars Battlefront: Inferno Squad is one of my favourite self sacrificing character and not in a conventional way. People die on her watch and she’s killed or led to the deaths of innocent people but she sees this as doing the right thing for the Empire and therefore for the greater good, she puts aside any reservations she has for that better future and even when circumstances change she keeps putting others needs before her own although in some way I do wonder how much of this is guilt.

Renegade: A main character that chooses to do bad things for “the greater good”

AIDAN from The Illuminae Files is my obvious choice for this, a self-aware A.I that makes the hard choices to protect others, even if his sense of the greater good is pretty warped you can see the almost good intent behind it.

2. Eden Prime: the book/book series that got you into reading

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling was a book I read when I started secondary school and was one of the first proper books I read for fun and absolutely threw myself into. I’d always liked and been good at reading but HP just opened up a whole new world to me and I’ve never really stopped since. Honourable mention for ACOTAR for getting me back into more regular reading years and years later as well.

3. Liara T’Soni: a book that taught you something new 

I learned a lot about ancient alchemical texts and the way they were documented thanks to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I liked that the book very much reminded me of what that first Twilight book could have been had it been better and perhaps aimed at a more adult audience. (Disclaimer: I enjoyed the original Twilight and there was nothing wrong with it being YA, I mentioned genre purely because DoW is an adult book).

4. Garrus Vakarian: a character that brought joy/life to an otherwise sad/too serious book

Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone books was the actual soul of those books and I genuinely don’t think I would have finished the series if it weren’t for her and I find her an important role for many reasons. She’s hilarious and asks the real questions, especially the sassy ones but is also just full of support and love, an absolute joy.

5. Virmire
Kaidan Alenko: a book that was boring in the beginning but ended up becoming good

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas as a long painful read for me. I didn’t think very much of Chaol by the time his book came around and he continued to grate on me throughout this story but then Yrene turns up and we get a tribe of people who fly giant birds etc as time goes on and the beginning and even the middle to an extent is a bit of a slog but I did end up very much enjoying the last third of the book even if I still don’t really like Chaol.

Ashley Williams: a book/book series that no matter how many times you’ve tried you just can’t get into it

The Witchlands books by Susan Dennard is usually my go-to answer for this, I read Truthwitch and Windwitch and had to love for any of the characters, their choices bothered me immensely and I could not seem to enjoy them despite trying with both books and a sample of Sightwitch from Netgalley. Coincidently I’m finding myself just this past week, considering trying Bloodwitch, the third in the series.

6. Joker: a book that made you laugh

The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner had me in absolute stitches almost the entire time I was reading it. As a parent, it was so utterly relatable and had me nodding along in between fits of giggles as well as really helping me to adjust to dealing with my sweet little baby becoming a toddler as it turns out toddlers are absolute gits sometimes.

7. Tali’Zorah vas Normandy: a character that grew throughout the book and ended up becoming an amazing character

Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas is the first character that comes to mind for this. I found her a little annoying, to begin with, and remember calling her a “whiny Katniss Everdeen” for a good chunk of the first half of the book but by the end of the book I was pretty much in love with her, her character changed so much but in ways that made sense as she was pushed to her limit and she just grows in so many different ways throughout the first book and the others and not always for good but I enjoyed her character arc throughout.

8. Mordin Solus and Thane Krios: a character that had a tragic death that you wish you could bring back to life

See now this is a difficult one, like with Mordin’s death (depending how you play and the choices you make) most of the deaths that have affected me in books have meant something and tend to have at least some kind of purpose to them so even when they’re tragic it’s for a reason.

Spoilers for Once and Future:

 

I would bring back Kay.

9. Reapers: a villain that you love

If I hadn’t already used him I would have said AIDAN from The Illuminae Files but I’m also not entirely sure I would call him a villain either. Instead, I pick Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments. He was clever, vindictive, charismatic, broken and had his weaknesses. He was truly a character I loved to hate but often found myself feeling sorry for when remembering everything he had been through.

10. The Ending
Destroy: a book/book series you wish you could make disappear

I don’t think I’ve ever hated a book or series so much I wanted it to disappear, just because I didn’t like something it doesn’t mean others won’t get joy out of it and then I remembered just how many hugely problematic, racist, homophobic and sexist books out there and I’d like to destroy all of them please.

Control: an author you wish you could control in order to change something about their book/book series

I would love to change the end to the Sookie Stackhouse books, think about how angry and disappointed all those entitled people are about Game of Thrones right now. That’s how I feel about the ending to the Sookie Stackhouse books (except I’m fully aware that how I feel about it matters little and it doesn’t actually give me a right to demand it be changed, I can however still be disappointed in it and no end has disappointed me more).

Synthesize: two authors you wish would co-write a book

I feel like I would love something by Becky Chambers and Lauren James. Becky’s amazing world building and Laurens suspenseful writing along with their mad science skills would be a dream collaboration for me!

That was a fun book tag and one of the more difficult ones I’ve done but also very nostalgic because it’s been a little while since I played the original trilogy all the way through and right now I just want to hop back onto the Normandy and see all my old friends. I hope you enjoyed this tag, I’ll tag a few people on Twitter as usual but if you want to take part that’s great too just leave me a link to your post in the comments or link back to me here in your own post so I can check it out!

book reviews, book talk, spoiler free

Aurora Rising

auroraAurora Rising by Amy Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Rating: XXXXX

Published: May 7th 2019 by Rock the Boat

“Squad 312. This pack of losers and discapline cases and sociopaths, these misfits that nobody in the whole of Aurora Academy wanted to get paired with.”

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Nobody panic.  

So if you’ve been reading my blog at all for the past year you’ll already be very well acquainted with this book and just how beyond excited I’ve been for its release. If you’re new here, welcome! Amie and Jay, the authors of Aurora Rising wrote a series of books called The Illuminae Files which are my favourite series of books, at the end of the last one they teased a new series of books in space with hot space elves. I have been excited ever since. We got a title, we got more details and we got art for each of the Squad members and Aurora herself and I have just been getting more and more excited. This is my most anticipated book release this year and I was lucky enough to get to read one of these gorgeous arc copies!

I went into this book rather unsure of how to feel, the first time I held it and realised I was about to actually read this book that I’d been so excited for I realised I felt some hesitation. I wanted to love it just as much as the books of the Illuminae files series and I was worried that it might end up feeling too samey or that it would be so different I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’m pleased to report I need not of worried. Aurora Rising absolutely holds its own, being written by Amie and Jay it still has that brilliant banter suffused with action and emotion that we see throughout their own books as well as the ones they’ve worked on together and thus it contains the same essence at its core that the Illuminae Files do while still being its own entity. Much like The Illuminae Files, Aurora Rising is also set in space but that my friends, is where the similarities end and we strap in for a whole different kind of ride.

Aurora Rising is told from seven different POV’s and that may sound like a lot but it’s done spectacularly and is, in my opinion, one of the many reasons it’s so very easy to absolutely fall head over heels in love with Squad 312. Each POV has its own distinct voice and quirks and I am still taken aback at just how easy it is to recognise each of them from that alone as I often have trouble keeping track of who’s who in books with even two or three POV’s on occasion so this was huge for me. The characters themselves are fantastic and not since the Mass Effect games have I felt such an attachment to fictional characters as I have to squad 312, my squad. Each character feels completely unique and detailed, full of habits and flaws,  intriguing backstory and overflowing with their individual personalities so vibrant and rich that honestly, I could talk about them all day.

27424908._SX540_.jpg

Tyler Jones: Alpha – All round golden boy, goodie two shoes, wielder of dimples, squad leader and Captain hotness. Tyler goes through some stuff, as do the rest of the crew but I loved how he changed and moulded with the circumstances as they occurred. A brilliant leader and certainly one I would follow. 

Scarlett Jones: Face – The cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm, Tyler’s slightly more charismatic, sweet talking, red-headed twin sister. Older twin sister don’t you forget!  Scarlett is an absolute queen and really holds the whole team together. She knows when to flash a smile, a simple nod or a kind word which isn’t unusual perhaps for a face, those who are considered the peacemakers and fast talkers of the Aurora Legion but Scarlett really has an innate gift for it. Not to mention she’s sassy, confident and is well aware of how hot she is.

Zila Madran: Brain – A sociopath scientist with a fondness for her disrupter and shooting her bunkmates. Zila is cool, calculating and doesn’t mince her words, she’s no-nonsense, smart as hell and absolutely brilliant. Like Tyler, Zila had a brilliant character arc that you can really see change as time goes on, her particular quirks were especially interesting and I just loved her so much.

Finian de Karren de Seel: Gearhead – A smart ass techwizz with the galaxies biggest chip on his shoulder. Fin is a member of a pale-skinned humanoid species called the Betraskan who have to wear dark contacts above ground to protect their eyes. Fin is fantastic, he’s incredibly funny, witty and clever, he’s bi/pansexual and disabled, needing to wear an exo-suit to help with his mobility which I think was done particularly well in that it was something that was just accepted and no one tried to ‘fix him’ but he also had realistic limits. I would almost certainly die for him.

Kallis Gilwraeth: Tank – Kal is a hot, angsty space elf known as a Syldrathi, some say he has anger management issues but as the team’s tank, responsible for all things fighty this might be a good thing? Right?? Kal is utterly swoon-worthy, managing to be angry and hostile as well as the sweetest bean in the universe. I love him to pieces.

Catherine Brannock: Ace – Cat, also known at the Aurora Legion Academy as Zero, is fast flying, no crap taking, tattooed, hot-headed and absolutely not into Tyler. Cat was a hard character at times, occasionally repetitive and the one I felt least invested in for quite a while which I think may have actually been on purpose, to be honest. She pulls some damn punches throughout the story though that really gave her an extra dimension and really endeared her to me.

Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley: Girl out of time – Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries Aurora feels not only out of her time but out of her depth as well, as one might when you awaken to find everyone you ever knew has almost certainly died over a hundred years ago. I found Aurora one the harder characters to get into, not so much as Cat who I initially didn’t like and although this wasn’t the exact case with Aurora who I did like from the get-go, it just took me a lot longer to click with her like I did all of the others. I think this has more to do with Aurora trying to find herself, which isn’t a bad thing, it just meant it took me a while to find her as well which I think, especially if intentional was an extra fantastic layer to her character.

Everyone changes throughout the story and watching everyone adapt is fantastic, you really get to know someone when you see how they make decisions in tough moments and Aurora Rising is no different despite being a work of fiction. It makes me so happy to see such diversity throughout the Squad too, I loved this book to pieces and I’ll get into the rest of it but my favourite part is definitely these band of misfits.

I briefly want to mention the romance elements to this book, I won’t go into huge detail because of spoilers and this review is getting to already be huge but I wanted to put a mention in any way. Romance isn’t a huge thing in Aurora Rising but it is present, there is a ton of cute flirty language and moments which I love and there are some emotions flying around as there often is in YA novels. There is some tension that I found a little annoying at times but found easy to get over but there is also a whole other kettle of fish going on that I found absolutely fantastic and I’m not always that into the romance side of things. I’ll go into more depth when I hopefully film my spoiler-filled book talk in the next couple of days but I just want to say there are some real, pure good moments that melted even my little cold black heart.

There’s not an enormous amount of world-building here but as it is some large amount of time in the future we do get a bit of an update on what he missed thanks to Aurora needing the information, it coming up in general conversation and some handy info pages before each chapter which all felt super organic and natural instead of an overload of info which I feel can sometimes happen in sci-fi. We didn’t have to go into huge amounts of detail for any of the future tech as most of it such as artificial gravity, mag-boots the uniglass systems the team uses etc are all pretty self-explanatory and make sense at a pretty simple level meaning I don’t need to try and wrap my head around crazy new technology to understand a scene, always a bonus.

I found the plot a little slow going at times but not hugely so although there are moments when there is little to no exact direction which again, I feel is on purpose and fits with the mood of the story at the time but it irked the ‘must have a plan for everything’ part of me, I’m not a great risk taker and certainly not good with leaps of faith but that’s more of a personal issue and no real mark against the plot itself. I liked how it all came together over time and that we had a lot of different aspects throughout, we got space fights, we got a crazy heist, bar fights, creepy beyond belief aliens, an entire space station that is basically a jacked up Mos Eisley, crazy awesome mind powers and so much more. For me, this book has.it.all.

Aurora Rising is a brilliant mish-mash of The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy (as claimed by Jay Kristoff himself) but also has (for me at least) huge Mass Effect undertones which has firmly placed this in my favourite book category.

This book is out for general release May 7th (TOMORROW!) and I honestly cannot recommend it higher. If you’re still not sure  you can check out the first chapter and a clip of the audiobook (with a fantastic cast!) right here now and take the Aurora Legion Academy test here to see which role you would play in your own squad, I’m an Alpha like Tyler which makes sense as I over plan, am a bit of a stickler for rules and am far too bossy for my own good. Let me know which you end up as?

 

 

 

 

 

spoiler free, tbr thursday

May TBR Thursday

So March took forever but April has absolutely flown by so incredibly fast! I am glad though because there are some brilliant books out this month and I’m planning to read a good few books I’ve been excited to read that have been on my TBR for far too long, I’ve been talking about it for months but…

MY SCI-FI BINGE HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!

Aurora Rising by Amy Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
One of my friends who received a copy of the Aurora Rising arc was kind enough to lend to me and you bet I’m already reading this and therefore I figured this was the absolute perfect time to begin my sci-fi binge I’ve been promising myself for ages. If you’ve been following my blog or any of my social media even slightly you’ll probably already know that this book is my most anticipated book this year, possibly even since I finished Obsido last year and discovered there would be a new co-authored series by Amy and Jay. I’m looking forward to some serious reading time over the next few days let me tell you.

LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff
I was so excited for this book when it came out and even won a copy at YALC last year but I’ve just not been able to quite fit it in. I’m such a mood reader and I just haven’t found myself in the right mood but I’m positive between Aurora Rising and Defy the Stars, alongside all these other awesome books I’ve been desperate to read that I’ll be at the perfect point to finally read this and prepare myself for the sequel coming in June.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Another book I acquired at YALC (I’ve just realised that almost all of the books on this lift I purchased, won or was gifted all of these books at YALC 2018, what are the odds?) I’ve heard amazing things about Becky Chambers and her books then I watched the sci-fi panel with Becky, Lauren James and Sasha Alsberg and knew I needed the Wayfarers books in my life and I’m excited to finally make a start on them this month.

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
I loved Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: Bloodline book and when I found that she had written her own original sci-fi series as well and there was a possible android romance kind of thing going on I was even more intrigued so brought it at YALC last year and I think it’s time.

Do you Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
So many people on my Twitter timeline that like similar books to me have adored Do you Dream of Terra-Two and it was already on my TBR but having just seen that Temi Oh will be at YALC this year on the day I can actually attend I figured now would be as good a time as any to read this book.

I think this list may be a little ambitious purely because if I enjoy the first one and time it right I will likely continue to read the rest of the Wayfarer series after The Long way to a Small Angry Planet which may affect how many of these I actually get to read. Also depending what shipping times are like I have also ordered Aurora Rising from GC Reads to ensure I receive the Memento novella so that will be read the moment it arrives as well, I’ve also got a convention coming up at the end of the month and a few bits to keep me busy so I feel like this TBR for the month is optimistic but we shall see!

 

 

book reviews, spoiler free

One Way – Spoiler Free Review

34326051.jpgOne Way by S.J Morden

Rating: XXXX

Published August 23rd 2018 by Gollancz

Eight Astronauts.

One Killer.

No Way Home.

ONE WAY opens at the dawn of a new era – one in which we’re ready to colonise Mars. But the contract to build the first ever Martian base has been won by the lowest bidder, so they need to cut a lot of corners. The first thing to go is the automatic construction… the next thing they’ll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they’ll sent up to build it, when there aren’t supposed to be any at all.

Frank – father, architect, murderer – is recruited for the mission with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. As his crew sets to work, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspects grows shorter, it’s up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it’s too late.

I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Following on with the theme of murder and mystery I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read One Way which features both of those things IN SPACE. Count me in!!

This was one of those books I absolutely devoured at every opportunity I could. There were shocks and twists around each turn and I enjoyed that you were never really sure who you could trust, this is one of my favourite things in any kind of murder mystery or “whodunnit” type story and although by the time we find out who the killer is I think I was a little underwhelmed as it seemed fairly obvious by that point and was certainly an option I had considered fairly early on. One way is, however still full of tense, suspenseful moments throughout.

We are introduced to Frank Kitterridge, our main character who is in prison for killing his sons drug dealer, he is a well described and somewhat relatable character considering he is a murderer and I feel we get a really in-depth look into his background and characteristics, we understand him very early on. When he takes a job that will send him to Mars with a group of other cons he ends up at a training camp and meets his team of other inmates there. This is one of my favourite chunks of the book, a part that would probably be nothing more than a training montage if it were a film was insightful and at times just as tense as some of the moments on Mars. We get a little background on some of the other prisoners and learn a few important things about them, their characteristics and what kind of role they will potentially play on Mars.

On Mars the situation is dire and there was a real sense of panic that came across in the pages that had me turning them frantically. There were times though when there was just driving happening or a lot of explaining of the tech stuff that I feel could have been used a little less, I understood some of it but I just ended up glossing over it because it just felt like it went on a little too long or was a little too wordy. The “techno babble” as it were may be fantastic for people who are interested in those fields or enjoy that kind of thing but it reminded me of food being described in G.R.R Martin books. I would much rather have had more information and development from the other characters who at times felt like walking stereotypes which is a shame as I would have liked to get to know some of them better, especially Zeus and Marcy.

Despite some of the little problems I had with the pacing and the fleshing out it was overall a really good book, as mentioned before the tense moments are done really well and its an interesting story that I’m glad I got a chance to read.

book reviews, book talk, spoiler free

Adrift – Spoiler Free Review

35959734Adrift by Rob Boffard

Published: June 5th 2018 by Orbit

Rating: XXXXX

“Sorry.” Stop saying sorry. She tries again, still failing to bring up the main menu. “It’s my first day.”

In the far reaches of space, a group of tourists board a small vessel for what will be the trip of a lifetime – in more ways than one…
They are embarking on a tour around Sigma Station – a remote mining facility and luxury hotel with stunning views of the Horsehead Nebula.


During the course of the trip, a mysterious ship with devastating advanced technology attacks the Station. Their pilot’s quick evasive action means that the tour group escape with their lives – but as the dust settles, they realize they may be the only survivors . . .

Adrift in outer space, out of contact with civilization, and on a vastly under-equipped ship, these passengers are out of their depth. Their chances of getting home are close to none, and with the threat of another attack looming they must act soon – or risk perishing in the endless void of space.

So I have a really bad habbit of spending a lot of time browsing Net Galley when I have other books to read and then something catches my eye and I need to have it, Adrift was one such book. I had just finished The Illuminae files and I was hungry for more SF, this was a little different to the hordes of YA I’ve been reading lately as it’s an adult book (with a lot of varried aged characters) but it peaked my interest and I requested it. A little while later my request was accepted and I dove right in and I’m so glad this book caught my eye.

This is such a well balanced book, the writing was interesting and engaging, chapters were perfect snappy beats with a few longer ones slotted in when neccesary and the language not only helped move events along, create tension and evoke emotion when needed but also helped world building elements to feel natural and organic.

The story itself is mysterious and is covered pretty well in the blurb above, I love a book where you don’t really know who you can trust and at some point you end up suspecting pretty much everyone and this is no exception. I like to learn things piece by piece and enjoy stepping back and looking back at the big picture at the end and thinking “oh yeah!”

There are multiple narrative points of view which I found really interesting as they were all very different from each other. We had Corey a ten year old boy, Hannah a teenager on her first day working as a tour guide, Jack, a hotel reviewer with some baggage, Lorinda an eldery widowed ex miner and the mysterious Roman. Each character has a distinctive voice and style to them making the POV swaps very easy and not jarring at all. In addtion to the events they witness on board we also get insightful glimpses into each ones backstory and things that have helped shaped who they are now and how they react and deal with situations. In some circumstances the past events would probbaly feel like filler but they helped to develop a bond and understaning with each character and I found them to be a great addtion.

Overall although the story is great I think its the characters that really made this for me. It was nice to see (as we seem to more often in SF – possibly why I love it so much) a couple of same sex relationships featured in a normal off hand way as well! Without going into spoiler territory I would like to say also that I was fairly happy with the ending, especially for a stand alone which I’m begining to love more and more. We do have a a small part that is missing however and although I assume this was done for effect I was a little confused and dissapointed at first and wrote it off as lazy writing, it doens’t detract from the over all enjoyment of the book and is something I’ve seen happen in films and the occasional book before, I just hadn’t anticpated it at the time.

Adrift by Rob Boffard is available today and well worth checking out if you love SF and like a little mystery/thriller. Thank you to Orion books and Net Galley for my digital advance copy.