REVIEW: Aurora Rising – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (ARC)

30075662 (1)Title: Aurora Rising (Aurora Rising #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I’m loving all the great sci-fi/space books coming out recently in the YA genre, and this was no exception. I will admit I was nervous going into this. Not only was there a tremendous amount of hype for this, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only person out there that did not like The Illuminae Files. Thankfully, Aurora Rising quickly squashed my worries and had me hooked from the first paragraph. 

“Um, excuse me.” Finian raises his hand, looking at Pixieboy. “But between me and Red over there, I think the squad already has its sarcasm quota filled.”

From the very beginning, this book was full of nonstop action. I mean, literally, from page one. The authors really killed it with those opening pages and it’s hard not to find yourself hooked from there. Amie and Jay did such a great job with the writing, to no one’s surprise. They’ve created an amazing ensemble of characters, each with their own distinct personalities. Having multiple POVs can be tricky, but I think they did a fantastic job making sure it would be easy to tell each character apart. My only issue was there were a couple of characters whose viewpoints I didn’t enjoy: Zila’s and Cat’s. I couldn’t connect with Zila because she was so quiet and only had a handful of pages written from her POV (because of her personality, I get it). And as for Cat, I’m sorry to say I just didn’t like her, which made me really not care too much about some of the events at the end of the book.

“Then again, I’m two hundred and thirty-seven years old myself. On a ship full of aliens. With whom I just robbed a space station. Nothing is impossible. But something is very, very wrong.”

Besides the action, the story was also full of excellent banter and just enough mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat. The entire time I was reading I couldn’t help but think this would make a really great movie. Aurora Rising was a fun, entertaining book perfect for fans of the YA sci-fi genre!

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Mirage – ARC Review

Mirage (1)

Welcome to my stop on the Mirage book tour! Thank you to Aimee at Aimee, Always for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Mirage coverTitle: Mirage (Mirage #1)
Author: Somaiya Daud
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

“Hope might have set fire to all things, but out of those ashes the resistance to the Vath would rise. I would make sure of it.”

Mirage was everything I had hoped it would be. With dynamic characters, beautiful writing, and an important message, I was completely captivated from the beginning and there wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy. This is such a wonderful debut novel and I can’t wait for more from this author. 

Mirage is Moroccan-inspired sci-fi story that reads like a fantasy. The elements of the two genres blend seamlessly together. From the lush writing to the vivid descriptions, Somaiya Daud has created an intriguing world that I couldn’t get enough of. It was so easy to sit down and become immersed in the story I was reading. 

 “Whatever Maram thought she could do to me, I could endure. I would endure and survive. I wouldn’t let her break me. No matter how hard she tried.”

The characters in Mirage were very well-developed and interesting. Amani was a wonderful protagonist with admiring inner strength and values. Maram is a complex character, with many different layers to her. She was so fascinating and I was surprised to find myself really liking her. The author gave her character a lot of depth which made the story so much more exciting. I loved watching how the interactions between Maram and Amani changed over time, and the reluctant friendship that began to develop. In regards to the romance; it did feel a little fast, but I didn’t mind it that much since it was subtle and there was so many other wonderful things happening in the story. 

Mirage was a pleasant surprise, and I’m still in awe that this is Somaiya Daud’s debut. Her writing, world-building, plot, and characters all came together perfectly to create an intricate, engaging story. I would definitely recommend giving this book a read as soon as it releases!

★ ★ ★ ★ ½


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Somaiya Daud author photoSomaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment.

Follow Somaiya:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

One finished copy of Mirage (US only).

 ✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
August 20 | Aimee, Always
August 20| The Hermit Librarian
August 20 | NovelKnight

August 21 | Reader Voracious
August 21 | Books and Ladders

August 22 | Bellibone
August 22 | Tale Out Loud
August 22 | A Gingerly Review

August 23 | legenbooksdary
August 23 | That Bookshelf Bitch
August 23 | Paws and Paperbacks

August 24 | Bookcheshirecat
August 24 | Hardcover Haven
August 24 | Sarah June Blog

Week Two:
August 27 | Polish & Paperbacks
August 27 | The Backwards Bookshelf
August 27 | Flipping Through the Pages

August 28 | fictionologyst
August 28 | Unputdownable Books
August 28 | Bookevin

August 29 | whatthelog
August 29 | Rattle the Stars

August 30 | Through Prose Tinted Pages
August 30 | Amidst the Pages

#ARCstravaganza: Nyxia Unleashed – Scott Reintgen

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.


About the Book

35424762Title: Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Release: July 17, 2018

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces — Babel and the Adamites — with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?


If you guys haven’t read Nyxia yet, I totally recommend it if you like science fiction books! I loved it and I’m really excited to read the sequel!

REVIEW: Nyxia – Scott Reintgen (ARC)

27426044.jpgTitle: Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Rating: ★★★½

ARC received through NetGalley.

I’m always looking for more science fiction novels set in space and the synopsis for Nyxia sounded so intriguing. From the first chapter I was completely pulled into the story and had trouble putting it down. The competition between our main character, Emmett, and all the other recruits vying for a spot to go to Eden was full of tension and kept the plot moving at a fast pace. All the characters are diverse, complex, and interesting. I loved the way Scott Reintgen portrayed all the different ways relationships could evolve from that kind of environment: friends, enemies, allies, rivals, and everything in between. 

My only complaint would be that I had been expecting them to arrive to the new planet, Eden, but now I will be looking forward to reading the next book in the series to continue the adventure. Nyxia is an action-filled, science fiction book that will have you turning page after page!

REVIEW: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

23395680Title: Iluminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★★

Well, I did it. I made it through this. This book had a lot of potential for me, but sadly it fell short. Had it not been written the way it did I probably would have really like it, but unfortunately I have never been a fan of epistolary novels and Illuminae was no exception.

I’m a huge fan of science fiction/space opera books so no one is more disappointed than me that I didn’t like this as much as I wished I did. While I don’t mind the inclusion of documents in stories, I don’t enjoy reading entire books comprised of only documents. It was too hard in the beginning to get used to the format and to try to figure out the plot and what was happening. I also never really connected with any of the characters, which was a shame, because I think if it had been written differently I would have really liked Kady. She seemed strong, brave, and intelligent and I would have liked to have read parts of the story told from her perspective. The storyline, while confusing at first, got easier to follow and more interesting as the book went on, but I still couldn’t get over the formatting. I wish the book had been written with the documentation bits interspersed between chapters of standard narration. It would have been easier to read and follow, I would have been able to connect with and care about the characters more, and I the book would have been a bigger hit with me.