Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

Steelheart
Sanderson, Brandon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

With this book full of action and suspense, Brandon Sanderson incorporates sci-fi with drama and it comes together like a peanut butter jelly sandwich with milk. In a world of superhuman beings called Epics, David, an orphan living in Chicago, tries to survive where Epics roam rampant. Steelheart, the tyrant, controls all Epics and every part of the city; water, light, and law enforcement. The only part that isn’t controlled is the Reckoners who try to take out every Epic while being anonymous and secret. David, inspired by the Reckoners, soon finds himself part of the battle against the Epics. With this action-packed thriller, will David and the Reckoners take back Chicago or will the Epics be victorious?

Reviewer Age: 15

Reviewer's Name: Aiden F
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Fahrenheit 451 is a classic book that most people have heard the title of. With a similar style to Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, Fahrenheit 451 takes the reader into a future where books are outlawed and the people of this alternate future are basically mindless robots. The people of this future have an intake of mindless media that even surpasses that of us currently. The main character is a firefighter but different from what we are used to. These firefighters fight with fire, burning houses and books if they are found since they are against the law. But soon after meeting a girl who does not conform to this society’s media consumption, the main character begins to rebel and go against the norm. Fahrenheit 451 is a spooky prediction of what the future will hold and after reading it, I can already see us as a society heading on this path. A truly incredible read, Fahrenheit 451 is a novel that cannot be missed.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K
Hunger
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant has written another thriller with Hunger. Continuing the story of Gone, everyone is still trapped inside of the FAYZ. However, a new enemy has filled the minds of every person: hunger. As they search for a solution to their hunger, Sam, Astrid, and the others must still resist Caine and the rest of his crew as well as a powerful being known as the Darkness.
Michael Grant keeps you in suspense throughout the entire novel and will leave you hungry for more. I highly recommend this book for any high school aged reader.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Gone
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Michael Grant has renewed a classic for the next generation of readers. Gone has a very similar structure to Lord of the Flies but has enhanced the story in many ways. Gone presents added science fiction elements to the story that will draw in many readers and provides conflict that will force you to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, some readers may find some elements of the story slightly disturbing. Therefore, I recommend this book for high school aged readers and up.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I originally purchased Fahrenheit 451 because it was an option on a summer reading assignment; the book seemed interesting based on the description but it wasn’t a book I would normally pick up. Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a world where firefighters no longer put on fires but burn books. Guy Montag is one of these firefighters though he has never really considered why he became firefighter or why books are burned. On his usual way home Guy meets Clarisse, a young neighbor, who is curious about why thing are how they are.
Clarisse asks Guy why he became firefighter and if he has read a book. While at first Guy finds Clarisse’s curiosity foolish, he begins to realize he had been a the fool all along. This book has been eye opening, I have never thought about the subtle censoring in books, and the way many things are mindless, pointless, and short. While with many books are so action packed you can’t put them down, this is not the case with Fahrenheit 451. With this book I was able to slow down, imagining everything detail, and just think about the theme. This book is a classic for a reason, the message is meaningful. The events that created the setting of Fahrenheit 451 seemed a little too relatable, and it really got me thinking about censoring in our society. This on the shorter side and it is definitely worth your time.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie W
Sidekicked
Anderson, John David
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Andrew Bean is a normal kid on the outside but on the inside he is the Sensationalist, a sidekick with super senses. Andrew joins a superhero organization called H.E.R.O this affiliation trains people with superpowers so they can be sidekicks for superheros and someday supers themselves. His hero, The Titan used to be the best (and coolest) superhero but after an unfortunate accident while fighting a notorious criminal called The Dealer he disappeared. This left the sensationalist with no hero to help him when he needs it most especially when the Dealer returns seeking revenge on The Titan. In the middle of this all he still has to be careful not to blow his cover, even to his parents.

Reviewer's Name: Vincent D
The City of Ember
DuPrau, Jeanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The City of Ember is a fictional book in which the author explains a dystopian society. In this society young people are given their jobs that they must do for the rest of their lives. The city is also falling apart because they are running out of supplies like food and are running out of an energy source. Their "government" system is corrupt making it impossible for change to easily happen. The main characters, Lina and Doon, are determined to find life outside of their enclosed city so they embark on a journey. On this journey they face many struggles but eventually make it out with hopes of a better life.

I would recommend this book. "The City of Ember" is a fun, easy book to read. I read it the first time because I was in battle of the books. I couldn't relate to the characters. It wasn't predictable and it was a good book.

Reviewer's Name: Oriana O
United As One
Lore, Pittacus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The final battle is upon the Loric. They have prepared for this their entire lives and the time has finally come. However, will all that they have done be enough to defeat Setrakus Ra. Pittacus Lore has written a thrilling conclusion to this blockbuster series. This action packed adventure is wonderful and a great read. I highly recommend this book to all middle and high school aged readers.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Scarlet
Meyer, Marissa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"Scarlet" is the second book of Marissa Meyer's series, "The Lunar Chronicles". We left off with new information on Cinder's true identity and her trapped in jail. With gifts from Dr. Erland Cinder must pull a daring escape from prison, using her wits and new allies to push her towards her next goal.
Meanwhile, Scarlet has been waiting weeks for information on her grandmother's disappearance. When nothing turns up, she is forced to turn to more sketchy sources.
Marissa Meyer expertly weaves the two view points to keep the series moving in the dashing book known as "Scarlet".
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Adia R
A Storm of Swords
Martin, George R. R.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If things hadn’t already turned dark in Westeros, they certainly do in A Storm of Swords. The complicated political situation in the end of A Clash of Kings gets even more complicated as this third book dives into complex armies, weddings, wars, and so much more. George R. R. Martin’s writing may be dense, but I have never encountered a fantastical world as deeply developed as his. A Storm of Swords is jam-packed with intrigue and excitement, and it left me wanting more. I would recommend this book even if you have already seen the show; reading the books adds a whole new dimension to the characters, the plot, and the world.

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J
The Fate of Ten
Lore, Pittacus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Mogadorians have invaded. Earth is falling under Setrakus Ra's rule. However, new hope has arisen for the Loric, new Garde have arisen. Now the new Garde must choose whether they will fight with the Loric or if they will fall to the Mogadorians. The epic saga continues with another exciting adventure. Pittacus Lore continues to twist the plot in new and exciting ways that will keep you engaged. I highly recommend this page-turner to any middle or high school aged reader.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Storm of Lightning
Evans, Richard Paul
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In the Michael Vey series, book four, Storm of Lightning, the resistance movement against the Elgen has been compromised. Micheal must prevent the Elgen from taking over the small island nation of Tuvalu. Hatch, the antagonist, is working to take over the world and wants to use Tuvalu as his base of operations. Since the island has no army and only a few police to defend themselves the island people are nearly helpless. Hatch plans on using his fleet of battleships to initiate a naval invasion of Tuvalu and quickly rid the island of the police force that is protecting it. Michael and his friends work on a plan to stop the naval invasion and destroy the boats before they make landfall. This book has some easily predictable moments, but is still very interesting and fun to read. My favorite part is when Michael and his friends nearly fail to accomplish one of the important parts of a plan they had made together, I would highly recommend this book and series to anyone who is into science fiction and fantasy because this book combines the two very well. However, make sure to read the first 3 books in the series first so this book is easier to follow and understand.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Alexander M
Hunt for Jade Dragon
Evans, Richard Paul
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The 4th book of the Michael Vey series begins with Michael and his friends returning to a secret base. The reason they have returned is because they are preparing to go find and rescue a girl named Jade Dragon. She had been captured by the antagonist Dr. Hatch. The reason she was held captive is she is considered a genius and is able to solve problems the Elgen have had for many years. The part of this book I liked the most was when one of the plans that Michael and his friends come up with goes well. This is unexpected because most of the time his plans go very wrong. This book was not very predictable, which I enjoyed. There is no part of this book I would say I didn’t enjoy. This book is definitely worth reading and is slightly better than the 3rd book in this series. Overall this entire series is worth reading because the further into the series you go the better the books get.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Alexander M
Battle of the Ampere
Evans, Richard Paul
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In the book, Battle of the Ampere, Michael, the protagonist, finds himself attempting to rescue his friends as he is the only one not being held captive by the Elgen. This book is good but predictable at times. Hatch, the antagonist, has captured the Elgen fleet and is beginning his quest for world domination.The part I liked the most was when Michael’s plan fails and he comes up with a new and better plan. The thing I liked the least is how predictable it is. This book is one of seven books in this series, and it was not the best in the series. However, this book is still worth reading and the entire series is definitely worth reading and very good.

Reviewer Grade:9

Reviewer's Name: Alexander M
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

With this dystopian society reversing positions in society, firefighters burn books and light houses on fire. Montag, a veteran firefighter, soon meets a girl who changes his mind about life, books, and his job. Soon, this mystery girl disappears and Montag soon sets out on a risky adventure to solve the mystery of his lost friend. With him betraying society, reading intriguing literature, and meeting new friends, the society is out to find Montag. Will he escape into the unknown world or will he be caught with his fate unknown? This book is an adventure worth reading!

Reviewer Grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: Aiden F
Red Queen
Aveyard, Victoria
2 stars = Meh
Review:

"Red Queen" is the first book in a series by Victoria Aveyard. I chose it at a friends suggestion.

The setting is a dystopian world where the color of your blood determines a lot about you. Reds are the common-folk, with nothing extraordinary about them. To make matters even worse, if a red doesn't have a job by 18, they are drafted into the ongoing war.
Silvers, however, live in the lap of luxury. They are cruel, biased, and power hungry. Plus, they have advantages over the reds. Silvers have extraordinary abilities like mind reading, controlling fire, and more. They use these powers to keep the reds in check.
Mare is a red, 17, and about to be drafted for pick-pocketing instead of getting a job. In a strange turn of events, she is saved from that cruel fate by a mysterious boy, and hired to be a servant to the royal family. Her first day on the job, however, things go array. Turns out, not all reds are powerless, and Mare is only the beginning.

To be honest, I didn't enjoy this book as much as most. The concept is fantastic, but the execution... not so much. Victoria Aveyard spends a lot of time in her subplots- a love square (not a love triangle, a love square). It might have been alright, except this is the ONLY subplot she uses. Romance is overused in this book, in my opinion. Then again, I'm not one for romance. So I would still suggest you try it, if only to step out of your reading comfort zone.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Adia R.
The Girl From Everywhere
Heilig, Heidi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In "The Girl From Everywhere," sixteen-year-old Nix and her father lead a crew of time travelers abroad their ship, the Temptation, in a quest to find a way to save Nix's late mother. I really enjoyed this book -- I was hooked from page one. I think what really pulls you in is the complexity of the time travel -- in this story, they use maps of places during specific time periods to reach where they want to go. It's such an interesting concept that I hadn't seen before this story. I also really liked the crew -- they were all very diverse with interesting backgrounds and personalities. If I had one complaint, it's that Nix's love interest, Kashmir, is sort of your typical YA love interest -- suave, charming, sometimes abrasive, a little arrogant. Maybe it's just because this is a really common archetype in YA, but I found his character a little irritating. Nevertheless, this is an incredible story that is definitely worth checking it.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
Mortal Engines
Reeve, Philip
2 stars = Meh
Review:

In "Mortal Engines", the first book in the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve, Earth is now a dystopian world where cities have become huge, mobile machines that compete for resources. London is the biggest of them all, capturing and destroying smaller cities for personal gain. A young archivist in training (and Londoner) Tom Natsworthy looks up to the leaders of London, particularly a man known as Valentine. But when a mysterious girl sneaks into the city and tries to kill Valentine, things go horribly wrong -- and both Tom and the girl are banished -- and they must find their way back.

This story had great ideas, but slightly poor execution. The overall plot started off really interesting, but as time went on, I felt like so much of it became filler content -- events seemed to just randomly happen for the sake of filling the time until we got to something important. There were also a lot of POVs to keep track of -- and it felt like there were just way too many cooks in the kitchen. In addition, the characters were really hard to root for. Tom complained often (almost to the point of whining). Hester had good moments, but was often too closed off to show a lot of emotion, which hindered character development. These characters could've been more interesting, but their flaws really kept them from developing.

What kept me reading was the world-building. The world in this book is expansive and complex, unlike any I have read about in a long time. It is utterly unique and intriguing, which made me keep reading, despite what I didn't like.

Although there is a movie adaptation of this book, I would recommend reading the book first. Because the book has more time to explain things, it allows for a better understanding of some of the confusing components of the story (in my opinion).

Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
The Revenge of Seven
Lore, Pittacus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Pittacus Lore has hit another home run with The Revenge of Seven. As more secrets of the Garde’s past are revealed, the fight with the Mogadorians continues. Invasion is fast approaching and the Loric are desperate to survive. The Revenge of Seven is another action packed page turner that you won’t be able to put down. Full of plot twists, adventure, and humor, I highly recommend this book for all middle and high school readers.

Reviewer's Name: John B
Gone
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Gone is the first book of the Gone series. The basis of the story is that everyone 16 and over suddenly disappears and the kids remaining are sealed into a small town. These kids overtime start to develop superpowers and the story goes from there. I really enjoyed this book series because it made me think about what I would do in this situation. I originally found this book because of the name and it just stood out from the others. I would recommend this book for 12 and up.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Rob A.

Pages