Tag Archives: sci-fi

Starter Villain book cover featuring a photorealistic image of a cat in a suit and tie.

Starter Villain

I’m a huge fan of John Scalzi. I’ve enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read. Lately, it seems like I alternate between reading a new release of his with something older (that I haven’t read before).

Most recently, this was The Android’s Dream, followed by Starter Villain which is not even a new release, but pre-release! I feel so special to read this before everyone else, and I do not mean that sarcastically or facetiously. My only regret is that Starter Villain will soon be an audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, and there is no better combo than Scalzi + Wheaton.

This book is fun, witty, and down-right LOL funny at points. Starter Villain definitely lands in the quirky category for me. Those of you that prefer your science fiction to be super super serious might not enjoy this one as much as I did! I mean , c’mon, there’s cat in a business suit on the cover!

The downside? Starter Villain is apparently a stand-alone novel, so we won’t be getting more stories about Charlie. Perhaps the cats (or the dolphins?) could get a spin-off? I really enjoyed the world building here and I was disappointed to have it end. This one is a bit on the shorter side, and pacing wise, I felt the very beginning dragged a bit and the end was rushed.

If you like sci-fi, Scalzi, or just want to read something really unique and entertaining, I highly recommend picking up Starter Villain when it comes out later this year.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Publishing Group for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.

A World of Women book cover

A World of Women

First off, when I requested this book from NetGalley, I didn’t realize it was originally published in 1913.

I found the (newly added?) introduction to the book to be terrible. That should have a been a clue! Regardless, I skimmed and skipped over the intro and started reading.

This novel has a great premise – a plague that seems to affect only/mostly men, and is always deadly. It seems as though it could be highly relevant today, and an interesting read.

No! The dialogue is horrible. Also, the characters are horrible too. I didn’t connect with any character, and quite honestly, didn’t care what happened to them.

I enjoyed a brief section where the well-off daughters go on a binge trying on fancy clothes they have no use for, but that was about it.

There are some interesting concepts buried in here, but none fully developed. What happens when there is only 1 man for every 100 women? What becomes of marriage? Monogamy? Industry? Touched on, but there is such potential in developing this story along any of those plot lines.

Now, since it was written in over 100 years ago, maybe this is to be expected, but this novel presents a very sexist view point. The women that are most like men, or have “masculine” inclinations are implied to be best suited to the new world.

Also, SPOILERS ahead:

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Project Hail Mary

Project Hail Mary, a book review

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a science fiction, saving-the-world-and-humanity, epic adventure. Ryland Grace is not your typical astronaut, he’s a junior high school science teacher!

This is the third book I’ve read from Weir. Like The Martian, this book is engaging, witty, and just overall fun to read. It’s full of science and has a very interesting plot. I won’t go into details about that, I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

After I read Artemis, I was very disappointed. I was hoping for another superbly entertaining science lesson, set in space. That’s not what Artemis is, and perhaps it’s my own fault for being disappointed by expecting it to be that.

However, for Project Hail Mary, Weir returns to the formula that made The Martian a success. That doesn’t mean it’s formulaic though! I found it very compelling, and while I did see some plot twists coming, that’s ok. It presents a view of humanity and life that I found inspiring.

Weir fills Project Hail Mary with interesting, flawed, dynamic characters, and it’s fun to see how they go about saving humanity. I think this would make a great movie, with Wil Wheaton as Ryland.

I will say I may never think of spiders in the same way again. Also, I wonder what life is out there in the Cosmos that we just haven’t discovered yet? Because clearly, we can’t be alone in this huge vastness of the universe all by ourselves, can we? Unless we really are just all plugged into the Matrix.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.