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 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 her parent is concerned because she refuses to…

Review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Title: Never Let Me Go Author: Kazuo Ishiguro Genre: Fiction Publisher: Vintage Books Release Date: 2006 Format: Kindle & Audiobook Pages: 288 Source: Purchased A reunion with two childhood friends draws Kathy and her companions on a nostalgic odyssey into their lives at Hailsham, an isolated private school in the English countryside, and a confrontation with the truth about their childhoods. Ishiguro, a master of subtle and understated prose, has another excellent novel in Never Let Me Go. The narrator, Kathy tells the story of her friendship with Ruth and Tommy, from their earliest days at their private boarding school to adulthood, through its ups and downs, until only Kathy is left. While many come to the novel knowing what makes these characters special, even those without prior knowledge should figure it out with little difficulty, early on. While never stating things explicitly, the clues are in plain sight, even if Ishiguro never tackles the topic head-on. What is the true focus and brilliance of Ishiguro’s novel isn’t the what, but rather, the how. The reader follows these three characters, raised to this purpose that unnerves contemporary audiences. In a masterful play on top of the dramatic irony, shocks us…

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 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 bond with their owner at…