Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

This Savage Song
Victoria Schwab
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw, shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly, smile and bite and drink you dry. Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal, sing you a song and steal your soul. Monsters, monsters, big and small, they're gonna come and eat you all." This poem/song describes the monsters that inhabit the city of Verity in this futuristic, distopian world. "This Savage Song" is an excellent book for readers who love a good mystery and slight thriller. In a world gone completely rotten, monsters have risen up from people's sins. The two main characters, Kate Harker and August Flynn are on opposite sides of a war where no one truly wins. Kate wants to be as ruthless as her tyrannical father, while August just wants to be human, when he's really not. A study of humanity and one's willingness to survive, Victoria Schwab's "This Savage Song" is sure to engage any reader.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K.
Awards:
Illusionarium
Dixon, Heather
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In an alternative version of 1800s England, Jonathan and his scientist father are tasked with ending a deadly disease that has swept the land and infected thousands -- including the Queen herself. Their research is aided by a strange substance known as fantillium -- which allows the user to create anything before their eyes -- but when Jonathan discovers a world beyond theirs, fueled by fantillium, things take a turn for the worse....
This book hooked me from the start. I was instantly pulled into this interesting world and couldn't put it down for two hundred pages.
Unfortunately, around the two hundred page mark was when it began to slightly lose my interest. The plot began to take a slightly weird turn that I didn't know if I liked. Thankfully, things picked up from there. The characters were complex and well crafted -- I especially thought Lockwood (an anti-hero-like character in the book) was the most interesting. The world-building was fantastic and multi-layered. I would recommend this book to fans of "Harry Potter" for its imaginative magical world. An excellent read.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
1984
Orwell, George
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

1984 is a timeless classic about a dystopian future where war is constant and you are constantly watched and carefully studied by an ominous force called the Thought Police. Everyone is expected to completely devote themselves to The Party (the ruling government) and believe everything they say. If the Thought Police detects the slightest amount of dissonance in a citizen, they disappear and, according to The Party, cease to exist - and never existed. One party member, Winston Smith, has been rebelling against the Party in thought only for years. Now, he finally gets enough courage to stand up for what's right. Will Winston be able to stop the tyrannical rule of The Party or will it all be in vain? Find out in 1984!

Reviewer's Name: Mckenna R.
The Shade of the Moon
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Shade of the Moon is the final book in the series Life as we Knew it. This story fallows the perspective of the youngest brother living in a secure location until something bad happens. This book is sad at some parts but you kind of have to read it to complete the series. You have to read the first three books of the series before you read this one. Again some parts are sad but it rapped up the story well in the end. Would recommend if you have read the other books.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H.
This World We Live in
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This world we live in is the third book in the life as we Knew it series. This one fallows the story of Miranda and her family surviving off what food they get each week. It all changes when more people show up at town. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the entire series up to this point the books will not make sense if you haven’t read this far. Parts of the book are sad but overall I would say it was a good book. With all that happens in this book you will have to read the next and final book to satisfy you. 8/10 I would recommend.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H.
The Dead and the Gone
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is the second book in the Life as we Knew it series. In this book it fallows the story of Alex and his family trying to survive this apocalyptic world in a big city, New York City. Read this book before you go on to the next it is very important that you do. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read the first book the author did a fantastic job of writing this book. I wouldn’t read this book if you are younger because it may be a little more graphic. I enjoyed reading this book and the ones after it. Would recommend

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H.
Awards:
Book Review: Life as We Knew it
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Life as we Knew it is a book about an asteroid hitting the moon and knocking it closer to the earth. Miranda and her family must survive this catastrophe together. I really enjoyed this book I would recommend this book to people who like dystopian books. I would really recommend this book to anyone I can, it is a series though. In the series there are four total books. Definitely a must read.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H.
Curtsies & Conspiracies
Carriger, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

As Sophronia Temminnick goes into her second year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality she is learning more and more ways to kill with weapons, poisons, and over tea. To infiltrate a hive of vampires. And to subdue you by simply looking at you. For this is no normal finishing academy, it is a school that is training her to be a spy. With 10 boys from Bunson's (school for evil geniuses in training) on board. Being friends with two boys Lord Mercy and Soap the sootie will be much harder than you will expect, considering that they are both fighting for her. As an unexpected trip to London appears out of nowhere what will Sophrnoia have to do to uncover the truth and save her friends?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Plague Land
Scarrow, Alex
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Plague Land is a new disease that is trying to wipe out life on earth. Over in England a family has to try and learn ways to outsmart and escape this disease. This book is very fast paced and a little gruesome. I really did enjoy this book. If you are fascinated with disease then I would highly recommend this book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Awards:
Strange Fire
Wallach, Tommy
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the book Strange Fire it went over a story of two brothers who are fighting over different causes years after most humans died off. When I first started reading the book I was a little confused about the plot but as I kept reading I started understanding the plot of the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read it. I would even read the book again when I am just looking for a good book to read.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Blood for Blood
Graudin, Ryan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Axis Tour may be over, however Yael's journey is far from over. Blood for Blood starts right after Yael shot Hitler only to realize it was a skin shifter portraying Hitler. As Yael escapes SS men she can’t help but wonder how many skin shifters exist. Unsure who is real and who is a skin shifter she doesn’t know who to trust. Yael doesn’t even know if operation Valkyrie worked.
Luka witnessed Adele Wolfe shoot Hitler, or so he thought. The girl he thought was Adele Wolfe over the course of the Axis Tour was someone entirely different. In search of the true identity of inmate 121358ΔX Luka chases after her, whoever she may be.
Who is inmate 121358ΔX? How many other skin shifters exist? After a daring race around the world, and Hitler appearing dead, will the world fall apart?
Blood for Blood focuses so much on the relationships and development of the characters. Blood for Blood made me feel the characters emotions. The development of Yael over the series is incredible. At the beginning of this book Yael couldn’t face her history, but in the end of the book she conquers her fear and the past. I really enjoyed seeing different side of Luka and Felix. For example the feelings of Felix as he underwent interrogation. The ending was unexpected but fitting to the series. I highly recommend this book and series. I already want to read it again. If you have read Wolf by Wolf then you need to read Blood for Blood, it is totally worth reading.
Reviewer Grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie W.
Uglies
Westerfeld, Scott
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In the distant future, a distopian world is thriving. When kids turn 16, they can endure the operation, a surgical procedure that fixes every physical flaw and turns them from 'ugly' to 'pretty'. Society has brainwashed people into thinking that any imperfection is ugly, so it separates uglies from pretties. Tally is about to turn 16, and can't wait. She meets Shay, another 15 year old, but Shay is less eager. She claims that there is a hidden society outside of the city, deep in the wilderness, called the Smoke. Shay leaves Tally riddled directions to this place, and disappears. Tally is then recruited to hunt down Shay, betray her and the Smoke, and then turn pretty herself. With nothing but her appearance on the line, Tally follows Shay's riddle and infiltrates the Smoke. After a few weeks, she becomes acclimated with the lifestyle, and begins to feel trusted. She loves it there, and decides to destroy the pendant that Special Circumstances gave her, which she would activate when the time came. So, this book was pretty good. I loved the hidden backstories and dystopian futures, but other than that...? The people/characters I found to be unrealistic and not very smart. Some of the mistakes and choices Tally made had me slapping my face. And then there was the problem of her being willing to rat out hundreds of people at the Smoke for a chance to look 'pretty'.

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

The book "Fairest" by Marissa Meyer is actually a prequel to "The Lunar Chronicles," but (to me) is meant to be read AFTER reading the main four books. This book is all about Queen Levana, the main antagonist of "The Lunar Chronicles." The story shows the reader all the reasons why she is the way she is, and shows us the events that happened to start the series. "Fairest" is about The Evil Queen, who brought the most grief to the "princesses" of the first four books.

Overall, the book is a very good read after reading the main four books. Reading the book before may be confusing. The characterization of Queen Levana is truly amazing, as more often than not, antagonists are not given enough character, and are not explained well. Some aspects of the story are predictable if you have already read the series, but not all scenes are. This book answers many questions about Queen Levana, and is definitely worth the read.

*Do note that "Fairest" was published before "Winter" and that you can read all of the side books in whatever order you like.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Paige P.
Winter
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

As a continuation and last book from "The Lunar Chronicles," "Winter" by Marissa Meyer is truly just as good as the past three books in the series.
This book is another re-imagining of the old fairy tale Snow White, but is written in such a way that it is barely recognize that aspect unless you knew before. Winter, the protagonist of this story, is a lunar who refuses to use her naturally gifted powers, and it is slowly driving her crazy. Many consider her to be the most beautiful lunar there is. As the crazy daughter of the queen, she allowed to live. Well, that's as long as nobody likes her more than the queen.

Overall, the story is very well written, and a great last book. The books answers many unsolved mysteries, and ties up everything nicely. The characters are once again very well characterized, and the ending is as enjoyable as an ending to get. All chapters continue to move the plot, and there aren't too many extra ideas. Truly a great end to "The Lunar Chronicles," which is worth the read.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Paige P.
Cress
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book "Cress" by Marissa Meyer is a big twist of the fairy tale "Rapunzel," where the character Cress Moon Darnel is introduced in a remote satellite that she has lived in for many years of her life. Cress has not left for years, and kept herself sane by programming her own voice into an AI. When she is contacted by Cinder and her crew, she sees not just hope, but also a very attractive pilot named Carswell Thorne. This encounter with Linh Cinder begins Cress' journey to Earth, and her pursuit of saving the other Lunars of the world.

This book is a great read for those who enjoy fantasy, science fiction, action, and well balanced romance. The book, just like its predecessors, is excellently written. The amount of characters have increased significantly since the first book in "The Lunar Chronicles," yet each character from before has grown, and the new characters are just as in-depth. The conflicts are rising, and the stakes are growing higher and higher. As the book pushes the protagonists to the main antagonist, the plot and characters never weaken. Overall, the book was relatively unpredictable, and had many turns that just added to the story. Like in the other books, all of the characters had relatable traits and conflicts, which continued to make the story better.
"Cress" is truly one of the best books for characters and creativity, and continuing "The Lunar Chronicles."

Reviewer Grade: 11

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

"Cinder" is a twist of the old fairy tale "Cinderella," where the main character, Cinder, has a step-mother, two sisters, and cyborg parts attached to her body (much to the citizens of New Bejing's disgust). Cinder is a mechanic who does work for her step-mother along with her companion Iko, and she has dreams of leaving her step-mother's home, though she stays for her sister Peony.

Cinder meets the prince of New Beijing, Prince Kaito. She finds that Kai is a very attractive person, just as everyone in the city says, but also finds her attention turned toward unfortunate event after unfortunate event. Her world changes when her sister contracts the deadly disease, letumosis.

Overall, this book is truly a wonderful book for both romance and action. While the plot is a twist of the story "Cinderella," Marissa Meyer does an excellent job of making the idea extremely unique to the point that the book hardly seems like a twist of Cinderella. The amount of action; internal and external conflicts; and in-depth relationships are written in an exciting way that makes every chapter worth reading. Since this is the first book in "The Lunar Chronicles," "Cinder" sets up the main conflicts and first main characters for the rest of the series exceptionally well. While the main protagonists are very likable and relatable, the main antagonist is truly twisted and very well written with the knowledge that is given in the first book. The book was rarely predictable, and is an amazing piece of fiction.

This book, along with the rest of the series, is one of the best books for both great characters and a unique story idea.
Reviewer Grade: 11

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

The Martian is a stunningly captivating sci-fi book set in the near future. The main character, Mark Watney, is stranded on Mars and must fight for his survival. I picked this book because I love science fiction, and this is by far the best science fiction book I have ever read. The most impressive aspect of The Martian is its scientific realism; every little detail is rooted in real science. I cannot believe the amount of research and fact-checking that must have gone into writing this book. I think this book would be appealing to people who like science, as well as people who just like a good fiction read.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Hunger Games has a futuristic setting were there are 12 districts in Panem, the only civilization left in the world. The Hunger Games was a punishment for the districts who rebelled against the Capital, in the Hunger Games people 12-18 are chosen to fight to the death is a arena literally big enough for a whole natural habitat. Our main character Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl who lives in district 12. Her sister was chosen to participate in the Hunger Games, but Katniss took her place as a tribute. How will she survive against other people chosen to partake in the Hunger Games, an a few mutants every hear and there.

Reviewer's Name: Brendan M.
The Martian
Weir, Andy
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Martian was a great book, and I loved it! This book is about a man (Mark) that goes to Mars. when a sand storm hit the HAB hard Mark and his crew decide it is to dangerous to stay or the MAV will tip. When the crew make it to the MAV they realize that mark is not with them. They want to find him but it is just not safe. Mark is stuck on Mars with no means of contacting Earth. Can he survive?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Wolf by Wolf
Graudin, Ryan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wolf by Wolf takes place in an alternate reality where the United States never fought in World War II, and Hitler was left undefeated. The book focuses on a jewish girl named Yael. She had been experimented on while in a internment camp. As a result of being experimented on she can change her appearance . Years after her escape she plans to kill Hitler. Looking and acting as Adele Wolfe Yael enters a race known as the Axis Tour. The Axis Tour was cross continental motorcycle race, with rough terrain, and many other challenges. Yael hopes to win the Axis Tour and have the chance to dance with Hitler. This dance could be her chance to kill Hitler. Will Yael survive the challenges of the Axis Tour? Will she win the Axis Tour? Most importantly, doe shse kill Hitler? All of these questions are answer in Wolf by Wolf.

I was recommended this book by friends so many times I had to read it. Ryan Graudin developed Yael's background slowly, revealing more about her throughout the book. Just when you think you know Yael you discover more of her past, and learn about a new "wolf". While I did enjoy the slow development of Yael's background I disliked the beginning of the book. The Axis Tour didn't start until until a few chapters into the book. Which made the book boring at first. However once the Axis Tour portion of the book began the plot became more interesting and complex. While the book focuses on Yael I also enjoyed Felix Wolfe, and Luka Lowe. Yael's relationships with both Luka and Felix make the book more realistic and the plot more complicated.Once the book reached its climax I couldn't put it down. I had to know how it ended. If you are interested in a book with a balance of good characters and action this perfect for you. If your read this book I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie W.

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