Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

Ready Player One
Cline, Ernest
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I don’t know where to start with this review because there are a lot of different elements of the novel to discuss. The reason why I rate Ready Player One four out of five stars instead of five out of five is the overwhelming amount of 80's references mentioned in literally every line that honestly only further bored the audience. The references to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Dungeons & Dragons and more were tolerable because they were iconic - something an individual born 20 years later still understands. Then, Cline writes paragraphs on Atari consoles and Black Tiger or Joust games which just isn’t relate-able for the majority of the audience the novel is targeting (which is why I assume the director replaced the Joust scene with a car race in the movie). But the dominant issue with Cline’s writing is not even necessarily the amount of references but the fact that he explains every single one. At some points, I thought about how I might’ve read a Wikipedia article for the same informational effect. There are plenty of plot twists to contribute to a surprising manner regarding both the characters and the video game - I was never bored with the plot. Ready Player One is one of the many futuristic dystopian sci-fi novels everyone in this generation reads - which is why the 80's references bothered me. I don’t think this is the type of novel most adults born in the 60's or 70's are going to read, yet Cline tries to appeal to them anyway.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Isabella W.
Awards:
Jurassic Park
Crichton, Michael
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

One of the most classic science fiction novels ever written, Jurassic Park is a tense, action filled, and groundbreaking book that won't let you go! The novel takes place on a tropical island, where a man has invented a technique to extract dinosaur DNA from mosquitoes, and is then able to breed living dinosaurs. However, something goes terribly wrong, and the characters then have to escape the island with giant dinosaurs after them. The novel is incredible, and it displays the dinosaurs perfectly. The characters are all fleshed out and seem like real people, and the couple sub-plots are exciting and do not seem tedious at all. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an action story, a sci-fi novel, or a good book in general.

Reviewer's Name: Peter C.
School's Out - Forever
Patterson, James
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Where the story was left off in volume 1, Max and the flock finally escape the lab. Angel informs them of their parents, and another lab in New York where they can find more information. They work their way there, constantly running into erasers, and struggles along the way. Even when they make it there, they must survive the busy streets as it becomes a scavenger hunt, for the mysteries along the way.

Reviewer's Name: Mona H
Awards:
The Gunslinger
King, Stephen
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

While Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have had their moments as fantasy epics, I believe that The Gunslinger, and indeed, the whole series, deserves to be placed right next to Tolkien's masterpieces as one of the greatest fantasy books/series of all time. Taking place in a medieval world that is somewhat similar to the Old West, but exists in a parallel time frame to our own, we follow the journey of Roland of Gilead as he travels across this universe in search of the nexus of the universe--The Dark Tower. The novel is filled with adventure, intrigue, suspense, humor, and action that keeps you reading, no matter what. While not a traditional horror novel like King is known for, it is still a worthy addition to the King collection. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great fantasy book series to read, or any Stephen King fan.

Reviewer's Name: Peter C
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1)
Patterson, James
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Max has been caring for everyone, the flock, since the person who was like a father to them disappeared. Each one of them contains a special ability, including wings. They don't know what had happened, only that they had been in the lab for too long until their father figure helped them escape. But when creatures called erasers take their youngest, Angel, back to where they were created, they have to rescue her, along with trial and error.

Reviewer's Name: Mona H
Crossed
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is the second time I read Crossed and after I finished I took to
Goodreads to see some other reviews. What I saw most of were individuals
saying that Crossed was not as action packed as Matched and that the audience
was waiting for the majority of the book for something to happen; for Cassia
to see Xander, to leave the Society, to start searching for Ky, to know what
happened to the Anomalies, to get to the Rising... I was eager too for all of
those things to happen but I did not find the book boring but rather
suspenseful. If the book were boring then the new characters Cassia and Ky
met might be uninteresting but I found myself fretting over Eli, annoyed with
Indie, heartbroken alongside Hunter, and sympathizing with Vick. I did not
think the different groups traveling through the canyon called the Carving
was agonizing in any way except positively - I just wanted to get to the part
where Cassia and Ky met up already but I was also satisfied with the other
events such as the deaths, learning about the tablets, the outing with
Xander, and more. When some others said Crossed was not action packed I think
they meant there was a lack of the Society’s interaction, no one was being
monitored or reprimanded for an Infraction but honestly I was relieved and
not frustrated with that at all. There were still plenty of plot twists
throughout the novel that made up for the lack of the Society and I was
curious about all of them. In fact, because of all the conflict and
unfairness the Society put the characters through in Matched I did not want
the Society in this book at all and was curious to figure out what was beyond
the borders of the Outer Provinces. One thing I will say is that this is one
of those stereotypical dystopian books with a love triangle but the book
begins to give some closure as we see which boy Cassia is leaning towards
permanently. Cassia’s goal besides locating Ky is to locate the Rising (the
name of the rebellion against the Society) but everything is rushed. Her next
task is given to her immediately, none of the major leaders are met, and any
information about the Rising is hardly given at all. The author spends the
entirety of the book in the Carving and the last three pages are introducing
the rebellion. Because of the anticlimactic ending, I rate this book 4/5
stars. I am planning to reread Reached because the lack of a satisfying
ending only made me want to know what happens next more

Reviewer's Name: Isabella W.
The Stand
King, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

After a super virus wipes out almost 90% of the entire global population, only a handful of survivors remain. That is where The Stand takes place; an America devoid of almost all human life, as the survivors attempt to rebuild their society, all while battling the sadistic Walkin' Dude who is out to destroy them. The novel is long, epic, and deep. It is, however, over 1,000 pages; however, give it time, and you will truly enjoy this journey. I would recommend this book to fans of epics like Lord of the Rings, Stephen King fans, or anyone looking for a good read.

Reviewer's Name: Peter C
Awards:
Meg

Meg

Alten, Steve
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

While Jaws may have terrified readers with it's suspense, Meg follows in Peter Benchley's footsteps for only a few steps-and then veers off in a completely different direction. This is a novel all about a small group of scientists trying to kill a gigantic megalodon shark after it escapes from it's hovel in the Marianas Trench. It also has a pinch of scientific mumbo-jumbo and horror to draw all sorts of different readers and to keep you hooked. The characters are diverse, likable, and fleshed-out, and the main antagonist, the 60 foot long megalodon shark, is so entertaining to read about. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action, suspense, or sharks!

Reviewer's Name: Peter C
Awards:
Liu, Majorie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I chose this book because comics are a type of novel that I find interest in. This is a fantasy book that takes place where monsters and humans are divided after a war, and monsters who are caught by humans on the other side are used to be sold and experimented on. The main character, Maika, goes on the other side in search for hope of her mother. This is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys comics.

Reviewer's Name: Mona H
1984
Orwell, George
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

1984, written by renowned author George Orwell, a pseudonym for Eric Arthur Blair, follows the protagonist Winston Smith set in what Smith believes to be the 80s in London. In fact, Smith is not sure of anything anymore, definitely not the exact year or what happened to his family or who the mysterious dictator called Big Brother is or who his state is at war with. Eurasia, right? No, must’ve been Eastasia... All Smith knows are the mottos of each of the ministries that form the government in Oceania, where London is. WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. He is told what to think, what to say, and what to do for nearly every part of his life. His government banks on strict organization and dire consequences for disobeying the rules. 1984 is an interesting read that set the bar for dystopian novels, defining inefficient governments from real life examples.
The novel is more realistic being inspired by Orwell’s hatred for totalitarianism and the events of World War II. I recommend 1984 to anyone curious about examining different types of societies, their standards and how those effect the population. The novel is fairly political and examines rebellion, although not as face paced as typical young adult reads. 1984 allows for an in depth examination of the character’s internal conflicts, Winston is one of the more detailed and complex protagonists because there are many parts where he cannot he sympathized with due to his lesser characteristics. The setting is clearly presented in a more world-building way than just giving out straight information. I was especially pleased, surprised, curious, and angry throughout the progression of the story.
Overall, I did enjoy this book more than most others, but the fact that Winston does not form any significant relationships until the second part and is the primary person talking, I was relatively bored during the middle chapters.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Isabella W.
Awards:
Brave New World
Huxley, Aldous
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Among one of the first Dystopian genre novels ever published, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World questions the extent at which technology could potentially control society. Set approximately 632 years after the creation of the Model - T, a World State now controls society with the intent on eradicating personal thinking and individual creativity. With a new system called the Bokanovsky process, the World State utilizes the idea of Henry Ford’s assembly line to produce thousands of nearly identical embryos that will grow up to work for the State. All embryos are conditioned to be in one of the 5 castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon; with Alphas destined to control the World State and Epsilons to perform menial labor. When Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, and John decide that something is wrong within this “perfect” society, they take it into their own hands to expose the World State and stop this flawed Utopia. Huxley’s novel, written in only 4 months, is phenomenal because it challenges the ideals of the limits to which technology can override nature. With the novel being published in 1932, Huxley questions practices that were uncommon and unrealistic back then, but are slowly becoming a reality now as our society leans more and more towards technological innovations. I recommend this novel to high school readers, especially those interested in the Dystopian genre, since this is a perfect example of a Dystopian Utopia.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Joe T.
Awards:
Red Queen
Aveyard, Victoria
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In this dystopian novel, Reds (those with red blood) live like peasants and servants to the god-like Silvers (those with silver blood), who live in luxury and royalty, possessing mind bending powers that make them superior. While the Reds slave away, Silvers feast. Mare, a Red, finds herself right in the middle of it all when she is surprisingly allowed to work in a Silver palace. In a freak accident, Mare finds out something about herself… she possesses one of the many god-like powers, like the Silvers.
And not just any power, a power that has never been seen before. She is betrothed to marry a Silver Prince and forced into a Silver life. She embarks on a quest to find out who she really is. This book, I think, deserves a 4 out of 5. The plot was amazing, but several things kept it from a full score.
First of all, the author’s attempt at creating a heartfelt and loving romance failed miserably, leaving me gagging from the sappiness of it all. On that note, I felt like the main character, Mare, was too dependable on her lover. However, I did like the overall plot and outcome, and I didn’t regret reading this book.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
The Mark of the Dragonfly
Johnson, Jaleigh
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Piper lives in a dystopian planet far away. Almost every night, meteors shower down in her hometown, sometimes destroying homes and lives. The selfish King Aron turns a blind eye to their suffering. But when Piper finds a lost girl who can’t remember a thing about her past life, the adventure begins. The lost girl, Anna, has the mark of the dragonfly on her; an elite tattoo, only given to the most high class and honor worthy citizens, granting them the King’s protection. Piper and Anna embark on a quest to find out who Anna is, and return her to her home and family… if she has one. I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars, because I thought the plot was great, but it was just poorly written. Also, some of the ‘twists’ were predictable, the main character (Piper) made some really stupid decisions, and the romance between Piper and another character was sappy and cliche. Overall, it was a pretty good book, and I don’t regret reading it.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T
Awards:
Never Let Me Go
Ishiguro, Kazuo
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Kathy isn’t a normal kid, and neither are any of her friends. They were all cloned, and someday, their vital organs will be harvested until they die. But for now, they will grow up in a secluded boarding school nestled in a corner of England, called Hailshem. Hailshem is idyllic: creativity is nurtured, friends are everywhere, and there are supported teachers. Kathy retells her experiences as she looks back on her life in preparation for her organ donations. And…. that’s basically it. It sounds like a really interesting concept for a book, but the author completely butchered it! His writing drags on and on, and completely bored me to death. If he had written it better, or if someone rewrites it, the book would be fascinating. But the writing style is so dreadfully dull. I warn you-- do not read this book! You will seriously regret it if you do!
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Cinder
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is an amazing book to read! It is a sci-fi, action filled, parody of the classic Cinderella fairy-tale. This is the first book of the Lunar Chronicles. Please read the books in order!!! This book will keep you on your toes! There’s a cliffhanger at the end (so make sure you get next book Scarlet before you finish Cinder). Cinder is one of the best books I have ever read!

Reviewer Grade 8.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
Book Review: Time Riders Day of the Predator
Scarrow, Alex
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Day of the Predator, by Alex Scarrow takes place in 2001 in an archway in New York. The main characters are Time Riders, people who watch over time and make sure it doesn’t become corrupt. The story start when someone who would write a report in 2026 that would eventually begin time travel is assassinated in 2015. The Time Riders head to 2015 to try to stop the assassination before it can happen. The setting is in Texas where they land in a laboratory that is testing zero-point energy. The entire class the writer was in and the Time Riders are caught in an explosion caused by tachyons, particles that move faster than light. Instead of killing them, the explosion sends them 65 million years ago, 250,000 years before the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs happened. There a super intelligent undocumented species of reptiles (not dinosaurs) discovers them and silently begins to hunt them. They don’t make their appearance until later in the book. This species is intelligent enough to think and successfully manages to kill off the humans, except the Time Riders and the two humans that they could save who managed to warp back to 2001 in time. But when they get there, there is another problem. Actions packed and interesting, Alex Scarrow makes his book seem like a possible future for humans in another reality.

Reviewer's Name: Nathanael G.
Book Review: Mitosis
Sanderson, Brandon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The novella “Mitosis” by Brandon Sanderson is not about mitosis, but is about an Epic who can create multiple copies of himself. The more he makes the less individual intelligences they have. When there is a lot of them they all speak with one voice and work as one intelligence. This novella is technically book 1.5 in the Steelheart Series. It has about 57 pages and happens shortly after Book 1. An Epic is a normal human who has been given powers and turns into a tyrant. Epics feel darkness in their powers and often succumb to it and start killing innocent people and other Epics. There are different levels of Epics from normal one to High epics. Normal Epics can be killed by conventional means, in ways that normal people can die. High Epics can’t be killed by conventional means and often the only way to kill one of them is to use their weakness against them. Some Epics can fight the darkness and these Epics tend to be Gifters, Epics who are able to give some of their power to other people. They aren’t using their power for themselves and that gives them some relief. Steelheart was one of the most powerful High Epic who was invincible. He could could fire powerful bursts of energy from his hands and he could also fly. He was the ruler of Newcago and could only be killed by someone who wasn’t afraid of him. He had a habit of killing people with their own weapon. The only reason he died was because the main character, David, put a detonator inside the gun Steelheart was going to fire at him and the bomb blew up. If David had detonated the bomb it would not have hurt Steelheart at all. Since Steelheart detonated the bomb and he wasn’t afraid of himself, the bomb killed him. Shortly after Steelheart’s, David and the Reckoners, a group who have dedicated themselves to fighting the Epics before he joined them, are left to watch over Newcago while their leader and founder Jonathan Phaedrus, or Prof, is away. Mitosis sneaks into the city looking for “Steel Slayer”, as David is called by the city. He threatens to kill one person every five minutes until he shows up. When he does, Mitosis tries to kill him and the Reckoners have to fight him.

Reviewer's Name: Nathanael G.
Book Review:Maze Runner
Dashner, James
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a fascinating book. It places the reader in a semi- dystopian world. The time for this story takes place in the late 2200s (Maybe. Dates tend to come in this format 231.5.4 or May 4, 231.). As a disease ravages the world outside turning people into savages, the main character, a 16 year old boy named Thomas wakes up in a swinging box having no recollection of his life before that point. He remembers nothing except his name. Half an hour later, the box opens and Thomas meets the Gladers (as they call themselves because they live on a glade). All of them are male. They are all surrounded by towering walls and giant gates that shut whenever it gets dark. The giant gates lead to a seemingly impossible maze with moving walls and creatures that threaten to hurt them. These creatures are called Grievers and they are hideous bulbous creatures with concealed blades and needles. Whenever someone gets caught by one of the Grievers, they are Stung, which has a lot more meaning than getting stung. When someone is stung, they experience horrible pain and occasionally go mad. The Gladers have people they call Runners who go into the Maze every day to find new passageways. They receive food and water and antidote for Stung victims at the same times every day. Someone new arrives once a month and they are always male. All that changes when someone new arrives two days after Thomas and she is female. Then supplies and antidotes stop arriving.

Reviewer's Name: Nathanael G.
Book Review: How Few Remain
Turtledove, Harry
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

How Few Remain is a alternate history novel by Harry Turtledove. In his book, it depicts an alternate universe where the south wins the American Civil War, and the Confederate States of America is now its own independent country. What I enjoyed about this novel is the many different characters and how they view the other country. In every page you can just see the tension that will eventually snap between the two powers. People from the North and the South always spewing insults at each other. Each character that comes into play are very interesting and all seem like they have their own backstory. My favorite character in the story would be Abraham Lincoln. Just because you get to see what his life is like and how the country views the man who lost the civil war. The book is also just the first part of a series which goes through the period of World War I and World War II and how the North and South react to that. I believe there are two things that make this book standout, its characters, and its lore. For those two reasons alone I will have to recommend this book. Or the entire series, what ever is your cup of tea.

Reviewer's Name: Christopher K.
Uglies
Westerfeld, Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The novel “Uglies” by Scott Westerfield is an adventure into the future. In this futuristic society, everyone is “ugly” until they turn 16. When they turn 16, they get surgery to become pretty and go live in the pretty world. The story is focused on a girl named Tally. She has been anticipating the day of her 16th birthday ever since her brother went to the world of pretties. But Tally wasn’t the best ugly out there. She broke some rules before her 16th and might have to face consequences for her actions. This includes losing the privilege of becoming pretty. Everyone in her world wants to become pretty, but she happens to meet a friend who doesn’t want to change. She and this girl are the last ones to turn 16. I recommend this novel to people who enjoy scientific fiction and adventures. This book sucked me right in. There are 3 more in the sequel and I ended up buying and reading all of them!
Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Reaghan D.

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