Eyes of the Void Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

You know when you see the sequel for a much-loved book, and you have to drop everything to get straight to it? That was me when I received a copy of Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I adored the first in The Final Architects series and couldn’t wait to get back to the Vulture God and it’s crew. Here’s my full review.

Publisher: Tor | Date: 2022 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.

Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.

Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.

What Idris discovers there will change everything.

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The Necessity of Stars Review

The Necessity of Stars Review | E. Catherine Tobler

I looked back at the synopsis of The Necessity of Stars when I sat down to write this review, and I’m not certain what drew my attention to it. It’s a short book which explodes with a lot of important messages, but I can’t say for sure I understood everything.

Publisher: Neon Hemlock Press| Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Science-Fiction

Plot: Plagued by the creeping loss of her memory, diplomat Bréone Hemmerli continues to negotiate peace in an increasingly climate-devastated world, ensconced in the UN-owned estate Irislands alongside her longtime friend and companion Delphine.

The appearance of the alien Tura in the shadows of Bréone’s garden raises new questions about the world’s decline. Perhaps, together, Tura and Bréone will find a way forward… if only Bréone can remember it.

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The Reckoning Review

The Reckoning Review | Marisa Noelle

Having enjoyed the first two books, I was looking forward to the adventure continuing for Silver and friends. When given the chance to be part of the blog tour, it was my guarantee of reading the book before forgetting the previous events. Today, I’m sharing my review on The Reckoning.

Publisher: Question Mark Press | Date: 2021 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: Sinister visions of an evil entity with looming yellow eyes haunt Silver’s dreams, threatening to destroy the new world she and her friends have created. The terrifying omens push Silver to experiment with her abilities, but awaken a burgeoning thirst for more power.

As Silver walks a fine line between good and evil, her friends become wary of her intimidating abilities. She finds understanding in a sympathetic newcomer, but their deepening friendship drives an even deeper wedge between Silver and her suspicious friends.

Tragedy strikes during preparations for the final stand, bringing a terrible choice. Grief drives Silver toward reckless actions that may doom the final battle. Can she repair the relationships with her friends and control her powers before her vision becomes reality?

I received The Reckoning as part of a Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Reckoning Review

The Reckoning Review

I’ve enjoyed the adventures and the powers depicted in the first two books. I had issues with Silver’s character in book two, but she redeemed herself and I was intrigued about where the new threat was going to take things. I was looking forward to The Reckoning.

Characters

It’s an interesting choice when an author deliberately sends her main character on a negative development arc. Silver spends the first half of the book arrogant, selfish and so self-absorbed that I wanted someone (preferably a bulk) to shake some sense into her. I really went off her.

As the story and Silver’s development progresses, she comes full circle and you root for her again. I wish we could’ve seen more of the other characters and their abilities, rather than the narration fixating on Silver and Eli – especially as it’s impossible to connect to the latter because you know not to trust him.

I don’t cry. I don’t despair. I’m more accepting than I thought I’d be.

But I won’t give up either. I won’t. I can’t. It’s not who I am.

The Reckoning by Marisa Noelle

Writing

In true Noelle form, however, it comes together seamlessly.

Silver comes back to herself, the threat manifests, and our band of survivors have to come together to face impossible odds (again). The pacing takes a long time to build, with a large portion of the book being character-focused. Once events gain momentum, you don’t have time to figure out what’s going on: the danger is here and it’s real. It made the character development more pronounced, although the tension may have benefitted from longer to build.

The enemy was unclear. It wasn’t a person or a known threat. Formless and menacing, it’s hard to identify exactly what it was, which undermined it for me: a deranged, power-hungry maniac had more impact than something illusive.

Themes

The book was a lot of fun. As a young adult science-fiction novel, it touches on a lot of important themes, not least that no one is incorruptible and that relationships are complicated. There were times I identified with the messages, and times I sensed it was aimed at a younger audience. It was a good balance between the fate of the world, and personal problems.

Given the current climate, it’s easy to identify with the despair and helplessness of humanity trying to survive when the world turns against you. An invisible, deadly threat is something we can all relate to.

I enjoyed this book, and liked watching everything come together. Very mixed feelings on the ending (no spoilers) but it does make me intrigued where this will go next.

Final Thoughts

If you’re enjoying the series, or looking for a new YA science-fiction to binge, then The Unadjusteds books are entertaining reads. The Reckoning works for a late-teen audience reaching the point in their lives where they want to establish who they are. If that’s your thing, then a definite recommendation

Have you been reading The Unadjusteds series? Does this sound like your kind of book?

Also in the series:

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Shards of Earth Review

Shards of Earth Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

Having adored The Doors of Eden, there was no way I was turning down the chance to jump on this blog tour. There’s something about Tchaikovsky’s writing that works for me: the characters, the plot, the pacing – everything! Journey to the edges of space with my review on Shards of Earth.

Publisher: Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared – and Idris and his kind became obsolete

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

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The Doors of Eden Review

The Doors of Eden Review | Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky has been on my TBR wish-list for years. I couldn’t wait to dive into this! It’s complex; it’s epic; and enjoyable from start to finish. It contains a mystery, other worlds, space and end of time. What’s not to like? Here’s my The Doors of Eden review.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, click here.

Publisher: Pan Books | Date: 2020 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: Lee’s best friend went missing on Bodmin Moor, four years ago. She and Mal were chasing rumours of monsters when they found something all too real. Now Mal is back, but where has she been, and who is she working for?

When government physicist Kay Amal Khan is attacked, the security services investigate. This leads MI5’s Julian Sabreur deep into terrifying new territory, where he clashes with mysterious agents of an unknown power ­who may or may not be human. And Julian’s only clue is some grainy footage ­– showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.

Khan’s extradimensional research was purely theoretical, until she found cracks between our world and countless others. Parallel Earths where monsters live. These cracks are getting wider every day, so who knows what might creep through? Or what will happen when those walls finally come crashing down…

Waterstones | Bookshop.Org | The Book Depository | Amazon | Foyles

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Leviathan Review

Leviathan Review | James Byron Huggins

Anyone who knows me will know as soon as the word dragon is mentioned, I’m onboard. This book was half Jurassic Park, and half a mix of overwhelming science and philosophy that I scarcely remembered the plot was. Despite the confusion, it held my attention. Here’s my review on Leviathan.  

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchaseFind out more here.

Publisher: WildBlue Press | Date: 2019 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: In an epic novel that echoes the best of Beowulf, Jurassic Park, and The Abyss, this sci-fi/fantasy recounts a tale of an unholy alliance between science and nature– one that unleashes havoc beyond any and all imagining.

Waterstones | Bookshop.Org | The Book Depository | Amazon | Foyles

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Darksight Review

Darksight Review | DC Mallery

My attempt to get through my backlog of reviews continues today, as I’m finally sharing my review of Darksight.

*External links below are affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase

Publisher: Black Opal Books | Date: 2019 | Genre: Science Fiction | Buy it here*

Plot: Audra Carter, a popular deejay in Manhattan, won’t let mere blindness keep her from living life her way, sometimes even riding her bicycle through town, relying on keen hearing and uncanny instincts to guide her. Her father, Jenson Carter, a neuroscientist, has devoted his career to finding a cure for her particular form of blindness. He now believes he has. With Audra and several other test subjects, Jenson takes his research to the next level, only to face apparent failure. Jenson becomes alarmed by several bizarre deaths involving the test subjects. He fears his experiment was hijacked by former colleagues with a secret agenda, but the police blame him for the deaths.

Audra is kidnapped and forced to survive a series of terrifying ordeals designed to hone a new and dangerous kind of vision that the hijacked experiment unleashed: Darksight. As Jenson races to discover the truth and find his daughter, Audra struggles to survive increasingly-deadly challenges. Will Audra master her mysterious Darksight and defeat her captors to keep both her and her father alive?

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Osiris Review

Osiris Review | E.J Swift

Good morning! I’m tackling my physical bookshelf today – shock horror! Here’s my review on Osiris by E.J Swift

Publisher: Night Shade Books | Date: 2012 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: Nobody leaves Osiris. Osiris is a lost city. She has lost the world and world has lost her…

Rising high above the frigid waters, the ocean city of Osiris has been cut off from the land since the Great Storm fifty years ago. Most believe that Osiris is the last city on Earth, while others cling to the idea that life still survives somewhere beyond the merciless seas. But for all its inhabitants, Citizens and refugees alike, Osiris is the entire world, and it is a world divided.

Adelaide is the black-sheep granddaughter of the city’s Architect. A jaded socialite and family miscreant, she wants little to do with her powerful relatives, until her troubled twin brother disappears mysteriously. Convinced that he is still alive, she will stop at nothing to find him, even if it means uncovering long-buried secrets.

Vikram, a third-generation storm refugee quarantined with thousands of others in the city’s impoverished western sector, sees his own people dying of cold and starvation while the elite of Osiris ignore their plight. Determined to change things, he hopes to use Adelaide to bring about much-needed reforms, but who is using who?

As another brutal winter brings Osiris closer to riot and revolution, two very different people, each with their own agendas, will attempt to bridge the gap dividing the city, only to find a future far more complicated than either of them ever imagined.

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Tower of Mud and Straw Review

Tower of Mud and Straw Review | Yaroslav Barsukov

I said I was going to get more reviews done on time this year and check this out – right on time!! Welcome back for another book review, this time on Tower of Mud and Straw by Yaroslav Barsukov.

Publisher: Metaphorosis Publishing | Date: 2021 | Genre: Science Fiction

Plot: The queen ruined his life. He would do anything to reclaim it… or so he thought.

Minister Shea Ashcroft refuses the queen’s order to gas a crowd of protesters. After riots cripple the capital, he’s banished to the border to oversee the construction of the biggest anti-airship tower in history. The use of otherworldly technology makes the tower volatile and dangerous; Shea has to fight the local hierarchy to ensure the construction succeeds—and to reclaim his own life.

He must survive an assassination attempt, find love, confront the place in his memory he’d rather erase, encounter an ancient legend, travel to the origin of a species—and through it all, stay true to his own principles.

Climbing back to the top is a slippery slope, and somewhere along the way, one is bound to fall.

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The Commander Review

The Commander Review | Kevin Groh

Welcome to 2021! I’m kicking off the year with a book review. More specifically, I’m sharing my review on The Commander by Kevin Groh.

Publisher: Self-published | Date: 2021 | Genre: Science fiction

Plot: The young privileged son Carter Sanders, who grew up on the human colony Utopia Beta, is drafted for military service. Together with new comrades, he learns to be a soldier in the following two years.
In the military base Osilon he learns close combat, the handling of weapons, new technologies and strategic basics.

Utopia is a militarily organized and corporate planet at war with another species. Between huge skyscrapers, muddy mines and the slums of the lower cities, the reality is completely different from what Carter knows.

During his training, he has to deal with hostilities, friendship, and love and learns more about himself. Mean instructors, difficult lessons, dangerous training missions, and an unexpected battle turn the thoughtful young man into a deadly fighter whose name becomes a legend even before his training ends.

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