Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

School's Out -- Forever
Patterson, James
2 stars = Meh
Review:

After the amazing complexity of The Angel Experiment, James Patterson’s School’s Out-Forever, is a slightly less-complex sequel in which the teens must navigate the muddy waters of public school while trying to stay out of the grasp of their previous captors. It features one large new addition to the story, an imposter among the group. Who could this imposter be? What is their purpose? There is only one way to find out, read the book. I enjoyed this book less than The Angel Experiment, primarily because it can get confusing at times in its complexity, but I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book.
Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Awards:
The Angel Experiment
Patterson, James
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson is an amazing young-adult science-fiction series which follows the journey of six individuals who were given wings and other bird-like abilities by a genetics experiment. In the first novel, The Angel Experiment, the six have escaped the laboratory where they were held prisoner and are trying to remain free while being hunted by human-wolf hybrids that the experimenters have also sent to hunt them. I enjoyed the complexity of The Angel Experiment and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed movies like Wolverine.
Grade: 11.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
1984
Orwell, George
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

1984 by George Orwell is a phenomenal piece of dystopian literature that comments on the role of government and what freedom really is. The book follows the story of a lower ranking party member named Winston Smith who begins to defy the ideals of Ingsoc or "English Socialism" and the thought police. 1984 imagines what the world would have been like if the Axis powers in World War II had won/ if the war had never ended. I highly suggest this book be read along with Brave New World by Aldous Huxley because the juxtaposition between the two is fascinating. I recommend any reader who enjoys dystopian, philosophical, political, historical, or science fiction to read this book as it encapsulates all of those genres.

Reviewer's Name: Rowan K.
Awards:
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds
Sanderson, Brandon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I devoured this book (a set of three novellas) in three days and really enjoyed it. Brandon Sanderson is such a creative author, and here's yet another book of his that doesn't fail to impress. It tells the story of Stephen Leeds, who creates hallucinatory "aspects" with certain specialties to help him compartmentalize his knowledge to learn things and master abilities. He uses their help to solve mysteries as a way to give himself a purpose. Stephen's cases were intriguing to follow, and his aspects were really fun characters to get to know and get invested in. Stephen himself felt rather flat at the beginning, but as I read further, I realized that was an intentional decision. Because of his aspects, his personality is contained in all of them, so without them, he's sort of empty. It was awesome to watch him grow in this.

The only reason I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 is because, as a set of novellas, the first two don't relate very much to the third, or to each other. I wish he had found a way to tie the cases into the finale more than he did. Otherwise, a great read, especially for a quiet weekend at home. I would definitely recommend!
Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I've read this book so many times, and I always love it. It tells the story of the child prodigy Ender Wiggin, who starts the book at only six years old. In a dystopian world that's in the midst of a war with the alien Buggers, Ender and other highly gifted children are taken to Battle School to prepare them to fight in the Third Invasion, when Earth plans to invade the Buggers and hopefully beat them once and for all. Ender is smart, creative, and compassionate, while also sometimes being cruel in moments he needs to protect himself. He's such a well-developed and dynamic character, and I can always find myself relating to him, whether it's as a gifted child, as he questions who he is, as he grows up, or as he misses home and the way things used to be. It's easy to feel for him, from outrage at the officers to treating him unfairly to warmth in your heart when he builds relationships despite his forced isolation. He faces the trials of Battle School, but he also faces the trials of childhood and growing up. The book tackles themes of lies, control, isolation, free will, family, childhood, compassion, enemies, and prejudice in ways that are always very well-done. It balances action and shocking twists with character development and philosophy into a narrative that flows beautifully and keeps you engrossed from the first page to the last. Everything about it is exceptional, and I don't think I could ever get tired of it. I would recommend to anyone, any gender, any age, because it is certainly very near the top of the best books I've ever read.
(note: there is a small amount of language)

Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
Cinder
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book Cinder by Marissa Meyer follows Cinder, a cyborg in New Beijing. Cinder is a mechanic in the futuristic city of New Beijing. She lives with her adopted mother Lihn Adri and her two adopted sisters Peony and Peral. One day, while she is in the market square, the Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth, comes to visit her about his droid. The droid Nainsi had key information about the lost princess, Selene, of Luna. With the new disease Letumosis spreading rapidly around the globe, a cure needs to be found immediately.

The futuristic retelling of the classic tale Cinderella was truly amazing. There were lots of hints at the original story that were incorporated into the plot consistently. Marissa Meyer even includes the ball at the end of the book with her own twist on the tale. All in all, the book was truly amazing and very engaging.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
The Maze Runner
Dashner, James
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book The Maze Runner by James Dashner follows Thomas. Thomas awakens in a box remembering nothing but his name. Before he knows it, other teenagers, all boys, open the box and greet them. He soon finds out that they have been living in the place they call the Glade for about two years. Not one of them remembers anything but their name. Every day, a few chosen go out into the endless maze and run it trying to figure a way out. However, in the evening, the gate closes, and if you don’t make it back in time, the Grievers that only come out at night in the maze will eat you alive.

James Dashner engages the reader in the first few chapters of the book and the characters are relatable and funny. He takes his first three books in the series and connects them very well. Fair warning, if you chose to read this series, the third book, The Death Cure, is very sad, but all in all, I would totally recommend reading the series.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
The Selection
Cass, Kiera
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book The Selection by Keira Cass follows the protagonist America Singer. As Prince Maxon of Illea comes of age to pick a wife, all the eligible girls of the Kingdom submit a form to the palace. Then Prince Maxon chooses 32 of the thousands upon thousands of girls to come to the palace and meet with him. Their society is ranked by numbers, one being royal and eight being the untouchables. America is a five, part of the entertaining class, and Maxon has taken interest in her.

The Selection is a very sweet love story that quickly turns more and more enticing as the book progresses. It gives the reader a feel of a utopian future and a medieval past. Each of her characters has a different past and personality giving the book a lot of different perspectives. All in all, the book is very sweet and an amazing read.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
Darkest Minds
Bracken, Alexandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken follows the protagonist Ruby. When the disease the IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration) plagued the United States, rarely any of the children survived. If they did survive, they develop superpowers. There are five levels of power that they can develop. Green gives the person enhanced intelligence, Blue is telekinesis, Yellow is electrokinesis, Orange is telepathic mind control and Red is pyrokinesis. If they show signs of having one of these powers they are shipped off to a containment camp until they are able to find a cure for the disease.

Alexandra Bracken creates characters that are funny and relatable. She also places the story in real towns around the United States that you can look up to help imagine the places where the story is set. I had a very fun time doing this and would recommend doing this as you read the book.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
The Martian
Weir, Andy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I read the Martian because I love space. I love that Andy Weir tried to be really realistic with this novel. Even though nobody has been to Mars yet, his story of how they got there is pretty realistic. Also, I enjoyed Mark’s sense of humor in the book! If you like space, this book is for you! I would highly recommend this book, it’s a really good read.
grade: 11th

Reviewer's Name: Emani
The Martian
Weir, Andy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Martian, by Andy Weir, is a near-future realistic fiction novel. The base plot is Mark Watney, a botanist, is a part of the Ares 3 Mission, the NASA Mars Program. During an emergency take off, Mark is inadvertently left behind and assumed dead. However, this is not the case. Now Mark must find a way to survive alone on Mars, a planet trying to constantly kill him. Will he survive and make it back home? Read to find out. Even if you have seen the movie, read the book. The movie is very good at staying true to the book, but the book will still blow you away. *There is some adult language, so I would recommend this book for teens and adults.*

Reviewer's Name: Torin
1984
Orwell, George
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

1984 by George Orwell is about a London where thought, speech, press is no longer free because it is all controlled by Big Brother and his Party. Every movement, gestor, spoke word is closely monitored by telescreens, hidden microphones, and cameras then reported to the Party. If you are found guilty of action or thought against the Party, you disappear. The Party controls everything. The protagonist, Winston Smith, a Party member who doubts the Party. The author does a fantastic job describing a place without freedom and the anxiety of living in it. Orwell makes the world come to life and makes you feel like it could happen. Personally, I feel like I could connect to the protagonist and the world. This book was quite unpredictable but easy to follow. All in all, It's a fantastic read, and I would recommend it with a 5 out of 5 stars.
Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Lucia S.
Awards:
The Wild Robot
Brown, Peter
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Wild Robot is about a robot who is stranded on an island after a hurricane wiped out the boat that was bringing 500 robots to work. At first, the robot is viewed as a monster and is avoided. As she continues to try and figure out how to survive on the island, the robot accidently squishes a family of geese, but one baby goose survives. Realizing that the robot squished the baby's family, she adopts the baby so that he can survive. Because she had no idea how to take care of a goose, she asks for help. All of the animals pitch in to help and throughout the journey, the animals realize that she is not a monster and the become friends.
I loved this book. It drew me in within the first 2 chapters. It did get a little boring in some parts, but other than that it was an awesome book. I would rate it about a 9/10.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Paper Girls, Volume 1
Vaughan, Brian K.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The first volume of Paper Girls introduces the four main characters, middle school girls in the 80s that deliver newspapers. The story begins with Erin, the new paper girl, and follows her as she meets the other three girls. After finding a mysterious capsule, they discover that the world seems to be ending when the sky changes and monsters appear in the sky. They cannot find any other person from their small town and eventually discover that many of the town's citizens simply vanished. The graphic novel follows the girls as they navigate this doomsday situation and their discourse over who they should trust. It begins in the 80s offering middle school characters reminiscent of many movies from the 80s, while setting up a mystery and the supernatural backdrop the rest of the story sets out to explore. Vaughan indicates that something large or even sinister might be behind the previous events, creating a compelling and unique mystery. Along with the incredible storytelling, the art in the novel is phenomenal, but the coloring really makes the book standout and is immensely pleasing to look at. Paper Girls is definitely one of my all time favorite series, and the first volume introduces the unique world of Paper Girls and its characters incredibly well. Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Julia
Plague
Grant, Michael
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In the fourth book in the Gone series, Plague, Michael Grant spins an amazing tale of fear and danger as the Darkness once again threatens Perdido Beach and those still alive must do anything in their power to stop it. The horrors of Lies are gone but, the children’s newfound solidarity is challenged when they are threatened by a plague and carnivorous insects that challenge even the most powerful of the mutants. These blights leave no one unscathed and the reader is again immersed in a frightening and chaotic world where nothing is certain. Plague is guaranteed to satisfy science fiction readers and anyone who enjoyed the first three books is guaranteed to love this one.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Lies
Grant, Michael
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Lies, the third book in the Gone series by Michael Grant is another riveting story. Filled with mystery, intrigue, and Drake, the tentacle-wielding psychopath who is back for vengeance. The anti-mutant sentiment has grown, and full-scale violence is not far behind. Now only the wits of Sam, Astrid and their loyal friends can keep the children in the FAYZ alive and unharmed. But this will be no easy feat, lies spread by those who claim to be prophets have filled the ears of many and the zealots are capable of anything and they threat they pose is greater than all others. Lies is an amazing combination of the best parts of the first and second books in the series and puts a sense of dread in the reader as if they were living through the terror of the FAYZ. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first two books, this novel follows the same great storytelling style.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Hunger
Grant, Michael
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In Hunger, the second volume of Michael Grant’s Gone series, the bleakness of the FAYZ sets in as anti-mutant sentiment rises and conflict seems inevitable. Hunger runs rampant through Perdido Beach and famine is not far away. However, these problems fade into the background when an evil voice begins to speak to some of the children, trying to persuade them to do various tasks. This novel does not sugarcoat the difficulties of survival and the resulting story is a supernatural version of Lord of the Flies which snares the reader in an amazingly complex and mysterious universe. I found myself imagining that I was a character in the events and could picture many of the fantastical elements of the story with great detail, as if I had seen them firsthand. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first novel in the series, Gone, and who enjoys survival novels like Hatchet.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Gone
Grant, Michael
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Sci-fi novel Gone by Michael Grant is an amazing story of ingenuity and intrigue wrapped up into a young adult novel that combines the best elements of classic fantasy and science fiction. It follows the children in Perdido Beach California when everyone over the age of 15 vanishes and those that remain are trapped inside an opaque dome that surrounds the town. To make matters worse, some of the children start to develop superpowers and not everyone gets along. The children must work together to survive what is coming next… and they are definitely not ready for it. Gone is the perfect book for anyone who enjoys science fiction and who enjoys survival stories like Hatchet.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Awards:
Dune
Herbert, Frank
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I chose to read Dune in anticipation of the coming movie, and as a much appreciated suggestion from my father. Dune follows the adventures of a young boy Paul as he enters manhood. He fights to keep the planet of Arrakis, and then goes on to fight for the title of emperor. It addresses a group of people, the Fremen and their religion of turning Arrakis, the desert planet, into a beautiful land through terraformation. This book draws you in and keeps you hooked, telling a story of becoming a man, while also making it a book worthy of praise, always surprising you with one twist or another.

Reviewer's Name: Sam W.
The Selection
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Selection by Kiera Cass, is the first book in The Selection series. I have read this book multiple times for it is one of my favorite stories. With intriguing twists, the story carries you through the story of America and her journey into the unknown. While this story has many parts that have you on the edge of your seat, I also found myself feeling scared, angry, happy, sad, and many more emotions. With an interesting love triangle, the romance parts are what keep you drawn in. A book has never stood out to me in the way this story has.

Reviewer's Name: Kate

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