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 Fever King eARC Review

[Note: I bought this on Kindle the day it came out and then got approved for the eARC on NetGalley the next day, so I’m using my Kindle version for the review, but, I’ll be posting this for NetGalley too so I’ve labelled it as an eARC Review. I received this book via the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for my completely honest review of the novel.]


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GoodReads Blurb: 

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.

First off I love this idea of magic being a virus, that it’s not supposed to be a gift but yet still we have witchings.

Also, while magic is a good part and we have witchings which are the centre of a Holocaust scaled genocide in the US, Lee also gives us a good hard look at immigrants dealing with a country where the virus is an even more common fear for them, and so they go to another country, Carolinia to escape the horrors of Atlantia. And it is a beautifully tragic parallel to today’s world and its problem with immigration. People just wanting to find a place to call home where they can feel safe. Not to mention I just felt the political games were well done and my favorite part of the book.

There’s a dystopia really when you look at it as a world where we have failed to keep others safe, and that the immigrants are suffering and there’s a deadly virus that means magic can kill you.

Noam is half Latino half Jewish, and bisexual. I love that he talks about his ex-girlfriend while also acknowledging he has feelings for men. [Won’t disclose who as I’d hate to ruin the story for you all!]

Lee really brings a very teenage-like presence to all the teenage characters which sometimes authors can forget to do she also writes some tragic scenes and they are beautiful and Victoria Lee likes to tear out your emotions and dangle them above your head. Not to mention, and this is super important to me, but all of Noam’s actions have a consequence for better or worse, there’s no question about what happened to him because he did XYZ and I freakin’ LOVE that.

I love the little flashes of Calix information and I wish there would have been more if anything I would say maybe the pacing felt off at times because at moments I would pause and think so much as happened in so little time or so little has happened and yet I feel like I read 200 pages. That combined with the fact that it wasn’t always clear how much time had passed made pacing one of like the two issues for me. So pacing and I wish there would have been more of Noam and his crush interacting, it felt like we didn’t have a lot of time with them and so their feelings are sometimes a bit hard for me to believe. Those are probably my only complaints.

So let’s break it down into my usual Pros & Cons!

Pros:

– Great diversity and not just with Noam but overall!
– Dystopia feel which is such a direct parallel to our own problems, it’s scary but I love it. She dishes out some truths.
– Calix Lehrer is amazing and I love the peeks at his past.
– Noam’s power is pretty cool
– Magic is a virus, but witchings exist, both concepts are awesome
– Ames (Carter Ames) was my favorite minor characterCons:
– Not enough of Noam and his LI to always make the depth of their feelings believable (you learn that about a year has passed but that isn’t stated which is why I complained about pacing)
– I’m being greedy but I wanted more of those Calix snippets
– Pacing is off and not always clear
– Would have loved more of a look at what it was like for the immigrants, perhaps we will get that in the next book though.
– Dara wasn’t always easy to be sympathetic for at first but I applaud how she handled this.
– And apparently, like most books in 2019 The Fever King just wants to crush your soul and stomp on your feels.Content Warning: Hint of rape/sexual assault, though not gone into detail. Loss of family members and violent deaths. This is a more in-depth content warning from Lee herself.

I really can’t wait to read the next book and I can’t wait to see more of Noam!