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9.1/10
Review: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld et al.
Fiction , Reviews / July 16, 2017

Title: Zeroes Author: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti, Genre: Young Adult Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: September 27, 2016 Format: Kindle / Audio Pages: 576 Narrator: Amber Benson Read Date: 09 July 2017 Told from separate viewpoints, teens Scam, Crash, Flicker, Anonymous, Bellwether, and Kelsie, all born in the year 2000 and living in Cambria, California, have superhuman abilities that give them interesting but not heroic lives until they must work as a community to respond to a high stakes crisis. Mix strange, difficult to control powers in with adolescent angst about fitting in, and an action packed plot and you have the basic recipe for a good novel.  Add in adult bad guys, less than great parents, and a whole lot of bad decisions and you’ve got Zeroes. Westerfeld, Biancotti and Canagan have created an ensemble cast of teenagers that have powers that seem more a burden than a gift.  There is Crash who can destroy modern technology but sees no positive purpose to it.  Anonymous is literally forgettable and faces an extreme form of adolescent loneliness because his power is that no one remembers anything about him.  Physically blind, Flicker can jump into others to see, but…

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9.1/10
Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Fiction , Reviews / April 2, 2017

Title: Rebel of the Sands Author: Alwyn Hamilton Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Publisher: Viking Childrens Books Release Date: March 8, 2016 Format: Kindle Pages: 320 Source: purchased Read Date: 07 February 2017 “Amani is desperate to leave the dead-end town of Dustwalk, and she’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to help her escape. But after she meets Jin, the mysterious rebel running from the Sultan’s army, she unlocks the powerful truth about the desert nation of Miraji…and herself”– In her excellent debut fantasy novel, Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton sets us in a depressed desert village of miners and rough characters.  A wild blend of outlaw western and Middle-eastern based mythos with a dash of political intrigue, Rebel of the Sands engaged from the opening chapter to the closing pages, with a blend of well-drawn characters, magic, adventure, and a fast-paced, twisting plot. Amani, the narrator, is an orphan raised by an aunt and uncle who want nothing to do with her except marry her off, or in the case of the uncle, marry her.  Determined to leave, Amani disguises herself as a boy and attempts to win money in a shooting competition.  She ends up competing with a…

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8.5/10
Review: The Diabolic by S J Kincaid
ARCs , Fiction , Reviews / February 7, 2017

Title: The Diabolic Author: S. J. Kincaid Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: November 1, 2016 Format: ARC E-book Pages: 416 Source: Publisher Read Date: 02 January 2017 Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager and the galaxy’s most deadly weapon, who masquerades as Sidonia, a senator’s daughter, and becomes a hostage of the galactic court. Mash up I, Claudius with The Terminator and you’ll have a decent idea of the plot of The Diabolic. Set in a universe where religion has displaced the science that led to intergalactic colonization. No longer are advances made and the aging ships and technology are no longer replaceable. Kincaid’s novel presents a highly stratified society, with noble houses and wealthy families living decadence lives while controlling the Excesses (working population). Echoes of the Roman Empire abound. An understanding that their world is falling apart (literally and figuratively) because the religious zealots and those who use the religion to further strengthen their own position refuse to allow learning and science lead some to rebel. Thrown into this subtle, political game is Nemesis, a Diabolic. The rulers and powerful citizens created Diabolics, physically advanced humans bred and raised to protect and…