When Kit escapes the boredom of space settlement Oasis-7 for a more exciting life, he leaves behind his brother, Jay, and sets him on a journey of his own to try and regain what he lost.
Imprisoned renegade, Sola, serves her time on a nameless moon under the shadow of giant planet Tian. When her friends disappear due to a mysterious illness, secrets begin to unravel, and the true and terrifying nature of the moon is revealed.
There is only one choice. Escape. At all costs.
Events are set in motion that can never be undone. Can you ever truly go back from where you came? If you return, what is the cost?
Dripping with the Gothic atmosphere of Bladerunner and Alien, lovers of dark science fiction, suspense stories and horror will happily sink their teeth into Biosphere: Hazard.
Here are a few things you can expect from :
A gripping science fiction;
Gritty, gritty, grit;
breakneck pace; and
On to the full review…
Biosphere is a fast paced, action packed sci-fi short that is a page turning and thrilling read.
To say that this book is just over 100 pages Cole does an incredible job at making you forget its a short. Cole makes every word count and has you continually wanting to read the next page.
Cole sets up a really cool world in Biosphere: Hazard, these regimented futuristic settlements run by droids are really exciting to read about. Despite the page count of this boo you still learn quite a lot about the world and truly feel for each of the characters and their situations. This book had a really unique feel to it, and you just keep wanting more! To the point that I kinda want a full length novel of this book, with a bit more detail and history that full length novel affords a writer.
Now, I am a bit of a sucker for a good brothers storyline so I really enjoyed the plot of this sci-fi tale, add in the injections of gore and horror it is literally a perfect book for the season. I liked the character in this book and could understand the motivations of many of them considering the world they live in!
And whole planet prisons…well who doesn’t love that idea!
While this is a short review this is a supper fun read, it is season appropriate and it genuinely is a crazy, fast paced and fun read!
As you are now aware I rate on a buy the hardback, buy the paperback, buy eBook or library rental/wait for a sale scale. This is a BUY THE EBOOK ranked book for me.
Shit! Why is the introduction to a post so stupidly hard. I mean all it is really is Hi, I’m about to talk a load of shit. Keep reading! **Thumbs up** But, noo, it can never be that easy, we have Wassupppp? Howdy? Hey? Whaagwan? Alright? And my personal fave How’s it Hanging? but me being the child I am I can’t help but mutter ‘a little to the left’ and proceed to chuckle like a child. I know, judge me. I deserve it.
So I am currently sat feeling like a badass listening to ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath and wanted to do a monthly wrap up that wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s. I’m still going to tell you all what I have read, and will definitely link the reviews to the books I have read and reviewed BUT I’m going to do it as a ‘Book of the Month’. So, out of all the books I have read this month I’m going to proclaim one BOOK OF THE MONTH!
Say Book of the Month more…
This might not be that original but, and yes I am still claiming this, I’m new 😀 So this bordered on an epiphany for me.
WHAT HAVE I READ THIS MONTH?
This month I stuck to Sci-Fi books after Book Twitter set my TBR roaring with new book recommendations. I would also like to thank, again, everyone who contributed to said Twitter thread and I can confirm I am a huge fan of the genre! Your work is done.
So to this months reads…
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
My Rating: 3
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Not Yet Reviewed – I will. At some point. Promise
I liked this book, it was a quick, fun and an easy read but at the same time didn’t grab me like other books I have read recently, but i’m thinking YA maybe a thing of the past for me. Not all but yanno…tastes change.
Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
My Rating: 3.5
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Not Yet Reviewed – I will. At some point.
As with book one I liked this book as something quick and fun, not to deep and really easy to get through. I liked this more than book one because the plot developed more.
I don’t think I stated in my review why this isn’t a five, not sure why, but this didn’t make it to a five simply because I have a preference for moderate world-building where as this is heavy in the world building. Again, not an issue as it is brilliantly done, it is just a preference point. Though, thinking on it, that definitely doesn’t warrant a full star deduction. I’m going to change it. Wooo, Yay Jeremy 4.5 Stars!
This is my first book by Django Wexler and I am liking his writing style, his action sequences are brilliantly violent and gory, and i’m expecting good things!
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
N/A – Still Reading
Review: Got to read the book first, yanno.
My Thoughts (so far):
I am REALLY enjoying this book! If I ever find the time this week to read it I will finish it soon! I’m still fairly early on and John, the main character not the author, has just landed at Beta Pyxis III and is training with his new team, but even so I am loving this book! I have laughed, a lot.
Ok, so the bit of the post you actually wanted to read…
As you can see I have read, and are reading, some absolute gems of the Sci-Fi world this month but only one can take ‘Book of the Month’ title!
It has been a tough one, at first I was all about Stormblood, then thought of Golden Son, then back to Stormblood, then back to Golden Son. This went on for a while.
Alas, I settled on…
After much thought Stormblood took the title of BOOK OF THE MONTH and for so many reasons. While Stormblood rated half a star lower than Golden Son I felt it outdid Golden Son because it is the first book of its series, whereas Golden Son was the second book and so I had the love of Red Rising to amp up the love even more. Stormblood was an outstanding start and is a book I am STILL talking about, and STILL thinking about! After releasing that it was an easier decision!
Well, that’s it. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment if you have read and loved/hated any of my reads this month. Also, let me know what your favourite read was this month.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Red Rising thrilled readers and announced the presence of a talented new author. Golden Son changed the game and took the story of Darrow to the next level. Now comes the exhilarating conclusion to the Red Rising Trilogy: Morning Star.
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.
This is going to be a fairly short review, or at least I think it will be but I can talk for England so you never know. But back to it, what was I saying? Ahh yes, this is going to be shorter review because I am just saying the same bloodydamn things I have said previously.
So, lets get to it ey.
“Helmets up. Let’s burn.”
In Morning Star the journey continues, Pierce Brown forges on, causing me to lose out on much needed sleep, be in a constant state of distress and ignore all other aspects of life.
I have said it before, but I will say it again, I find these types of books really hard to write a review for. They are such a ride, you barely seem to have a minute to comprehend what you have just been a part of.
”Life’s not just a matter of breathing, it’s a matter of being.”
This book has so much, and stays true to its previous themes of loyalty, friendship, family and fighting the oppressive regime that is their life. Pierce Brown continues to show us that he is a brilliant storyteller, with so much emotion and yes heartache. He has managed to continuously raise the stakes with each book, while remaining totally unpredictable and all the while we grow to love the characters even more.
I did like however that Pierce doesn’t keep all his characters the same. In Morning Star we see them make some questionable decisions and see how they and those around them further develop. Sometimes that development doesn’t go the way you want it to but these are all consequences of the events that have come about.
”And if we fall, others will take our place, because we are the tide. And we are rising.”
Pierce’s writing continues to bestow upon us his brilliantly provocative, sharp and precise storytelling. It disturbs and it enrages, it is joyous and it is hilarious. He gives us everything.
“I am not alone.
I am not his victim.
So let him do his worst.
I am the Reaper.I know how to suffer.
I know the darkness.
This is not how it ends.”
I was totally satisfied with this conclusion. It is hard to explain how epic and amazing this book is without going into spoilers because it, in many cases for me, was the individual events and battles both large and small that really wow’d me. Pierce does justice to all his characters in life and in death. His characters have to work to get their end results and they have to work bloodydamn hard, it is these moments that shine to me!
”Everything is cracked, everything is stained except the fragile moments that hang crystalline in time and make life worth living.”
You will not be disappointed by this series! I know I wasn’t!
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.
A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.
He must live for more.
”They go with the wind, chasing power. But they don’t realize power doesn’t shift. Power is resolute. It is the mountain, not the wind. To shift so easily is to lose trust. And trust is what has kept me alive. Trust in my friends, and their trust in me.”
My first thought to you. READ THIS TRILOGY.
If you are reading this you may have read Red Rising, or you may not have and you are looking for some potential to seal the deal, nudge you over the edge and get you to pick up Red Rising from your TBR. So, again READ THIS TRILOGY. It is amazing.
Anywho, moving on…
So, I’m writing this review having read the third book already and I can safely say that this is an amazing five star read and my favourite book of the trilogy! It was phenomenal! And because of that I will no doubt really struggle to review this book! It is one of the books that you cannot stop reading, there is no time to stop and breath! You are so utterly caught up in the whirlwind that is the book and its characters that you don’t stop until its complete and even then it’s barely for a minute because you pick up the next book.
“Through the thorns to the stars,”
Pierce. Pierce. Pierce. What a storyteller you are. It is always great to see that a writer is versatile, and truly talented and Pierce is, without a doubt. He continues to wow with his ability to show the beauty of the world while also demonstrating the cut-throat savagery that fills it. However, he also manages to really break you. Golden Son is filled with harsh betrayals, unwanted revelations and gut-wrenching moments. Pierce shows he is not limited to one tone and excels in making us feel so much for past events, new motivations and more twists and turns.
“Hic sunt leones. Here be lions.”
I felt sorrow, disgust, happiness, shame and so much more. The writing of this trilogy is brilliant.
Golden Son is so different to Red Rising, and in a good way, the plot intensifies and escalates greatly! It is no longer a just a game, or at least it isn’t to some, things are in motion that simply cannot be stopped. One just has to go with it and hope for the best. Darrow faces so much, with the list of those he can trust diminishing and his enemies endlessly increasing this is a fast paced and utterly scintillating follow up to Red Rising.
Golden Son is filled with epic and bloody battles, amazing revelations and beautiful moments.I enjoyed everything about this book.
“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”
We also get to see more of the world that Darrow and his friends live in, for better and for worse, and it is fully mesmerising.
Pierce continues to grow and develop his characters, and I only grew to love them or in some cases hate them even more, though Pierce does not limit you to one end of the spectrum! No. He gives us such a depth to his characters that not all can be loved or hated. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and things they hold dear to them, ideals that guid them in their decisions both in favour of Darrow and against him.
We also see some new characters in this instalment, and I LOVED them! Ragnar. Oh, Ragnar. What a character. I found myself utterly attached to him, among others. And Sevro continuous in all of his awesomeness!
“I’m Gold, bitch. What’d you expect? Warm milk and cookies just because I’m pocket sized?”
I really recommend these books, they are appropriate for both readers new to the Sci-Fi genre and those who have loved it fora time. The writing is sharp and exciting, the world is altogether compelling and the characters are outright incredible.
“Rise so high, in mud you lie.”
OTHER QUOTES I LOVED…
”We were scrawny, innocent things then. How could such a frail girl as she have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up?”
“But this is why I was made. To dive into hell.”
”Thoughts like his belong to the age I am trying to destroy.”
”It takes only one truth to bring a kingdom of lies crashing down.”
“He has to play my game!” Sevro says. “Shithead isn’t getting out till he plays nice. I’ll give him a riddle instead. “What do I have in my pocket?”
“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”
Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.
Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.
But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.
Ender’s Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the first in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.
“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”
I can safely say that all the praise this book gets is well deserved!
I always a little bit nervous when reading works of an author I have not read before, and even more so when said books are so widely loved. Not in the sense id be worried about rating it low, because that doesn’t overly bother me, it is that your expectations are set so high that they can often be the ruin of the book. It works both ways, I have watched films and read books that’s have been slated and loved them because I had such low expectations. Thankfully, those who have praised this book are people who I respect the opinions of and having cracking taste!
It usually takes me a good chunk of time to fall into the rhythm of a new authors writing, especially when in first person. I have nothing against first person, it’s just that for some unknown reason it takes me longer to get into the grove of the writing. However, this was not an issue at all with this book, I fell into it almost too easily.
I have described writing before using words such as clean, simple and sharp. Though, never have I read writing quite so sharp. Pierce does not over embellish his writing, it is straight and to the point, while not seeming inferior or of a lesser standard. There is a quick feeling to his prose, they are swift and effective. That’s not to say there isn’t description there most definitely is, it just felt less prevalent.
There is something surreal about Pierce’s writing. At first I thought it more magical, when Darrow was describing the beauties of nature he sees or cities but I realised it was actually a part of Darrow. It emphasises the point that he believed his world was baron and red and that it would never be more, that he would never be more. It was incredibly immersive and truly brought out Darrow’s character more and more.
I found Darrow easy to love, I liked him from the start and that didn’t change. It was very interesting to see the two sides of Darrow, not in a two faced way but we as the reader see a truer version of him whereas the other characters of the book see the image he puts forth. There is a duel at one point, one of the opponents says ‘to yield’ while Darrow shouts ‘to the death’ and it just clicked how differently the rest of the characters see him to how we see him. I was really cleverly done, I don’t doubt other books do it to some degree but I really saw it in this.
“Yielding,” Pax says impatiently. “To the death,” I correct. Really it doesn’t matter. I’m just screwing with them at this point. All I have to do is give the signal. “To yielding,” Mustang confirms.”
I felt like I was able to resonate with some of the initial emotions that Darrow experiences. I live in a tiny town, so when I moved to the city for university it was a big shift in gear. I remember I was walking from my university accommodation once and I saw a tractor rolling through Leeds and I nearly peed I was that excited, it is so strange to go from a place you know near everyone and where everyone but the grumps smile at you to a city of drones. A place where you are the strange one for smiling at the person walking past you!
“In Lykos, I would have been jostled by men I’d grown up with, run across girls I’d chased and wrestled with as a child. Here, other Colors slam into me and offer not even a faint apology. This is a city, and I do not like it. I feel alone.”
Pierce also gave us so many other great characters, Sevro was brilliant! Some had past dealings that would make you think them oily and sneaky, others you would pity and some you hated. Pierce makes you feel every brutal emotions for these characters and more.
“Sevro snorts. “What do you think I’ve been doing this whole time, you silky turd? Wanking off in the bushes?”
The descriptions in this book are beautifully done, the forest, the baron slums Darrow lived in, the busy cities full of Colours, are all so vivid and creative. I said earlier that Pierces writing, through the eyes of Darrow, seemed surreal and often magical and it does but Pierce also managed to show us an utterly savage world one win which life is not fair, it is not equal and you do not win. The story gradually gets darker and darker, while still holding tight the dream that this all begun for.
“On Mars there is not much gravity. So you have to pull the feet to break the neck. They let the loved ones do it.”
This book is so fast paced, and it is utterly relentless. I didn’t feel like there was a single point I could put this book down the wheels of the game just kept on churning! Which is probably why I was up until the ass crack of dawn reading this book. So, if you starter reading this book do so early and make sure you have the day free because you will not want to stop.
It is a brilliant start to the series and I cannot wait to read the next book, which is already downloaded on my kindle and ready to be read once I have posted this review!
Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.
But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.
A vibrant and talented new voice in SFF: alien technology, addictive upgrades, a soldier determined to protect his family, and a thief who is prepared to burn the world down . . .
I wrote down so many little jottings while reading this book, and all were good things. So, here it goes, time to cobble them all together into a semi-cohesive review.
This is my first review of a science fiction book, while I read two books prior to this they were of the same series and where young adult books. While I don’t have an issue with young adult, and enjoy reading them, they are light in nature but often more surface level, if that’s an appropriate descriptions. Anywho, I wanted my first review to be of an adult sci-fi and what a first review to begin with. Stormblood was incredible.
The fact that this is Szal’s debut make it even more so. This book does not feel as though it was written by someone who hasn’t been writing for years.
I’m not going to pretend I know anything about the genre, but what you can find from this review is my thoughts on why I enjoyed this book.
I always find writing and publishing a review a little nerve wracking. It is with reviewers, as it is with authors, you let a little of yourself show in you writing, in the way you interpret a book. No review is unbiased, what we take from a book is subject to what we have lived and felt. What we have longed for, what we miss and what we have experienced.
So, while I am utterly new to this genre I’d like to think my review still counts.
Let’s do this.
Stormblood is such a fascinating and captivating story, and so well thought out. I can’t tell you any references or similar books/authors to who this book’s tastes will suit but I can tell you it is so much more than what the synopsis suggests. I really didn’t expect this to have such a deep and profound emphasis on many of the topics it does, some being siblings/family, drug abuse, poverty, trauma, brotherhood and camaraderie.
”People compare overcoming addiction to climbing a mountain, but that assumes there’s a peak to climb towards. Stormtech was more like swimming in an endless, churning sea. You never truly beat it. You just found temporary ways not to drown.”
It’s no secret that I don’t often like flashbacks, though to be honest the last few I have encountered I haven’t minded at all sooooo maybe I’m changing on that front. Annyyyway, where I usually dislike flashbacks I actually really enjoyed those I came across in stormblood. It was a nice way of answering the readers questions but what I enjoyed the most was the little insights into these culture rich memories. I got to experience the different places in the world Szal created through them being the home of a fellow reaper or the location of a current battle.
Szal’s writing is sharp and evocative. I genuinely felt gutted every time Vakov thought of the way things had turned out, each time it sunk in what his situation was. The highlight of this read though, has to be Vakov’s relationships. I cannot express how much I enjoyed watching them develop and grow. No relationship is the same, and all elicit such a level of emotion from the reader.
”But I’ve found friends to occasionally be like magnets: opposing forces attract.
Szal has created a thrilling world, one which you truly experience everything. It is so rich in detail, that you can picture each street and bar they visit, and Vakov and Grim visit a good few of those, they like their drink. There is a massive amount of detailing in this book, and not only in relation to the world building but in Vakov’s interactions, in his thought and feelings and in the tech that is used, especially his armour.
I really enjoyed the grittiness of this world, and when I say gritty I mean it has such a raw and real feel to it. The tone, in a way, reminded me of the film ’End of Watch’ in that it has a strong emphasis on the friendship of it’s characters through the difficult times they face.
”No matter how hard someone tries to knock you down, having someone to lean against, someone who’s got your back, makes it possible to stand up again.”
While the list of characters you meet in this story are on the lower side, which is by no means a criticism, they are all brilliantly compelling. I found Vakov to be really well developed, I loved his story and personality. I especially liked his own emotional confusion, whether his decisions were his own and how things could have been different.
Szal did brilliantly in writing this book, I was filled with dread at times. When I met other members of Vakovs team through flashback I was genuinely worried for them. Would one of these reapers he had lived and fought with fall victim next to his present-day situations or his past. He had lost so much, given so much already.
As well, I enjoyed the reversal of character development, whether you call it that or not, it is how I see it. At the start we find out one of Vakov’s old reaper brothers has become the victim of his current shitstorm, and at the start you don’t really care that he died. Yeah, it’s shit for vakov but you yourself don’t care about the character but through vakov’s flashbacks I found myself caring more and more. Seeing this chap with his team and how he was I grew more and more saddened at his loss. It was a nice spin on charcter development.
”Home isn’t where you’re born, Vakov. It’s where you feel calm and peace, even in a storm.”
Ohhh and the Mass Effect references in this really tickled my fancy. I love the little inserts such as a character being called Saren and a race not so dissimilar to the krogans.
***A quick note, the quotes in this are from a Netgalley ARC and may have changed in the publishing of this book***