Saga, vol. 1 + The Many Selves of Katherine North + Dark Matter + Waking Gods // Mini Reviews (sci-fi edition)

I’ve apparently been on a bit of a sci-fi kick lately, which doesn’t happen to me very often. After reading and not liking Ender’s Game back in 2014, I realized that I just don’t really like science fiction. (At least not in book form. I’ll watch movies about space travel and lab experiments all day long.) It’s been a few years, though, so I’m trying to give the genre another chance.

 

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Saga, Vol. 1 // Brian K. Vaughan (writer) & Fiona Staples (artist)

This is not something that I would have ever picked up by myself. I read it because I read so many positive reviews. You can hardly get through a Top Ten Tuesday or any kind of graphic novel review without seeing this on someone’s list. So I had to give it a shot.

Short Synopsis: Star-crossed lovers must protect their newborn as they escape from planets at war with each other.

Format: paperback (graphic novel)

Overall Feeling: still unsure.
This book is so incredibly unique. It’s actually the perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy. The overall premise sounds like another Romeo/Juliet trope, but that’s not true at all. You cannot expect anything that happens in this book. Every page brings something new. As I say in my Goodreads review: It was funny at times, shocking at times, and intense most of the times.

I really appreciate the boldness and newness of this book. Did I love it? I don’t think so…yet. I think my feet are barely wet with this series; I need to read more before I know for certain.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


 

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The Many Selves of Katherine North // Emma Geen

This was an impulse buy. I saw the fox on the cover on audible, read the blurb, and decided it was pretty much meant for me. It has less than 100 reviews on Goodreads, so I didn’t have much expectation going in, but it sounded exactly like something I would like.

Short Synopsis: Girl works as a phenomenaut (someone who projects their consciousness into the bodies of other animals for scientific study), but begins to become suspicious of the company she works for.

Format: audiobook (11 h, 5 m)

Overall Feeling: confusion and guilt.
I really wanted to like this book. But it did not work out for me. I was confused through 90% of it. It is full of flashbacks and a messy timeline, which was difficult to keep straight on audiobook. I came away with a lackluster feeling and thinking that I must have missed some details. I want to rate it higher because it seems like it’s not on a lot of people’s radar, but it just fell short for me. I’m thinking I’ll read it again sometime to see if it goes better the second time around.

But please don’t think it’s a bad book. It was good; I think it was solely it’s me, not you. Please read it and come back and set me straight.

Rating: 3/5 stars


 

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Dark Mater // Blake Crouch

I totally picked this up because I liked the cover and saw a few good reviews. I don’t think I read the synopsis going in. I bought the auidobook shortly after it came out, but then I lost all desire to read it until this month, more than six months later.

Short Synopsis: Science professor caught in an alternate reality must travel through the multiverse to get back to his family.

Format: audiobook (10 h, 8 m)

Overall Feeling: Not bad, but not great.
It’s kind of obvious that this book was written to be a film. And I think it might make a better film. The book was alright, but there wasn’t a lot of great substance. The plot was interesting and made it hard to put down, and there were some really good lines, but the writing was often patchy and had overtones of male chauvinism. There was one line that said something like, “If I leaned a little bit closer, we would do it right now. There’s not a doubt in my mind,” and I seriously thought about just stopping there. The narrator’s voice also really annoyed me whenever he did other characters.

That said, it was an exciting, shocking, and pretty action-packed story.

Rating: 3/5 stars


 
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Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) // Sylvain Neuvel

I felt pretty ambivalent about the first book in this series, Sleeping Giants. I felt that the scope was too big because it jumped ahead in time a lot. I heard a lot of good things about the audio, so I decided to go that route with this book to see how it compared to a physical copy.

Short Synopsis: Nine years after the events of Sleeping Giants, more alien robots begin to invade the planet.

Format: audiobook (9 h, 2 m)

Overall Feeling: super impressed.
I enjoyed this book much more than the first. Part of that might have been the format change. The audiobook was amazing. If you’re interested in these, definitely go with the audio. It’s narrated by a full cast and really makes the story more dynamic. I’m not going to say much more about it since it’s a sequel, but yeah. I really liked this one.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

–Emily
currently listening to: Sleep on the Floor by The Lumineers

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Have you read any of these? If so, tell me what you thought!
Also, tell me how you feel about science fiction. Do you love or hate it?

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