Favorite SciFi Books: The First Half Of 2019

Remember when I picked my favorite fantasy books that came out the first half of this year?

Okay so this is exactly the same but with SciFi lol, I know, I know, I’m a creative genius. So this only includes books that I’d read up until June, so some may have come out earlier but I didn’t read them cause I was lazy or whatever, who knows.

These aren’t in any particular order than rating, and sometimes I enjoy a book that has a lower rating, idk, my rating system is very complicated. [ie: I don’t really know what I’m doing]

Clicking on the headline will take you to my review, and I’ve included GoodReads links!

6. The Chosen: Contender #1

 

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GoodReads:
Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

 

5. The Crying Machine

 

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GodReads:
A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence.

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists.

A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear.

An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him.

A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control.

And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…

 

 

4. The Red Labyrinth

 

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GoodReads:
The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalver’s isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a mysterious killer named Dex lurks in its corridors, terrorizing anyone in his path. 

But when Zadie’s best friend vanishes into the labyrinth-and everyone mysteriously forgets he exists- completing the maze becomes her only hope of saving him. In desperation, Zadie bribes the only person who knows the safe path through-Dex-into forming a tenuous alliance. 

Navigating a deadly garden, a lethal blood-filled hourglass, and other traps-with an untrustworthy murderer for her guide-Zadie’s one wrong step from certain death. But with time running out before her friend (and secret crush) is lost forever, Zadie must reach the exit and find him. If Dex and the labyrinth don’t kill her first.

 

3. The Disappeared

 

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GoodReads:
What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?

In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much – and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara’s father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced with something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

 

2. The Fever King

 

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GoodReads:
In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.
The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.
Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

 

1. Off Planet

 

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GoodReads:
In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

 

 

What are some of your scifi faves of 2019 so far? Anything you recommend?

The Crying Machine eARC Review

Hey guys, I know, two reviews in a row. I have a good reason though! This book’s publish birthday is tomorrow AND I have BESpring19 posts to do cause the other hosts were on point with their prompts and I wanna do so many.


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GoodReads Blurb: 

A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence.

The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists.

A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear.

An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him.

A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control.

And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn…

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant after the first chapter, wondering what I’d gotten myself into but I kept on and the other chapters were still a bit ‘hmm’ for me until about 30 pages in and then it all just clicked, Chivers had me hooked.

The premise was already right up my alley, Sci-Fi/Dystopia and I’m always a sucker for books about AI (or movies or anything else lol).

Clementine is a nugget and I want to protect her with all my heart and hiss at anyone who gets near her.

But, not to go crazy and mention a whole bunch of names that will mean nothing to you all, let’s start small.

The story switches between three characters, each chapter is told in the first person and no two chapters in a row are from the same perspective/character. The characters are Silas, Levi, and Clementine who I’ve already mentioned. It’s fun to have the perspective go from one of the ‘good guys’ to the corrupt minister and I really enjoyed that. The story is set in Jerusalem and I like that the reason it is, is because the Mechanicals/Machines have taken over Europe and the US. This means that the people coming to Jerusalem from those people are mostly refugees and that’s a pretty interesting take. As this is set in the future, Jerusalem’s history is mentioned but nothing is in depth on it, which is pretty good for this particular book, I applaud Chivers on balancing that well enough. He doesn’t try to write about what he doesn’t know as far as setting the book in a different country goes and that’s always a nice and refreshing thing, and his own take remains in our futuristic world he’s built.

I would have enjoyed more of his world building for this dystopia setting and that was probably my biggest let down in this novel. But this is more character driven and not only that but the plot doesn’t need you to know more than what he gives.

Overall this book really touched on humanity, showing an AI hybrid what it means to be human, and along the way perhaps a few others learn the meaning too [such as our ambitious criminal] and though there is talk about religion it’s not to shove it in your face, it’s part of the ties to the past and I really LOVED that there is a religion based off worshipping machines, and not to mention God is referred to with she/her in this so, I’m already like ‘damn straight’ lol.

The minor characters were interesting as well and I can say Yusuf and Amos were my favorites in that regard but I won’t give away too many details.

Really loved this and was so satisfied when I finished, it was an unexpected favorite for me.

Time for the breakdown.

Pros:
– Future with intricate levels of technology incorporated into humans.
– Insightful, makes you think about what humanity means in the world this book is set
– Clementine is a wonderful nugget
– Religion is interesting in this day and age but it doesn’t shove it in your face constantly
– Character depth in small and unexpected ways
– You get to see the point of view of the bad guy, pretty fun
– Jerusalem is the place where people flee, and I love that mechanicals are not fond of it, machines do not love sand, and Europe and the US are paying for the advanced technology that US brought upon the world

Cons:
– First few chapters are a little awkward
– At first, the setting isn’t what it seems, it’s not so sci-fi and dystopia that you can clearly read that the first couple of chapters. [Personally, I liked that after I got over the little hump]
– Sometimes you just didn’t want to switch POVs so much
– Not enough background information which may affect someone’s enjoyment of the book.

[***I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.***]