Binti Book Review – Sci-fi

Binti (Binti, #1)Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every now and again, I find a rare gem in a book. Binti is one of these books. This is a short read (90 pages), but it’s long enough to pull you into a unique world of sand and desert, Astrolabes and ancient Edans, and living creatures serving as ships. The various sects of people; Khoush, Himba, and Meduse are equally fascinating.

Sixteen-year-old Binti is a math genius—a girl who chooses to break long traditions by being the first Himba to leave her ancestral land and travel through space to a prestigious University—Oomza Uni. When the ship is attacked en-route, Binti finds that the ancient “Edan” (mysterious metal device) she’d found in the desert of her homeland, has powers she knows nothing about, and it becomes her protector from the Meduse attackers. The Meduse are large jellyfish like creatures that are blue and translucent. They have a stinger and blast out large plumes of gas to help them breathe (Love this so much). One of the Meduse, Okwu, tells Binti “I wish I could just kill you.” But her ancient Edan is keeping the Meduse at bay. A standoff begins, and Binti finds herself trying to broker peace between the Meduse and Oomza Uni before the ship arrives at the university and a bloodbath ensues. But the sacrifice she will make will change her in a way she never expects, and soon she finds herself on a journey that will transform her life.

The next book “Binti Home” is equally as wonderful. Can’t wait to see how Nnedi Okorafor continues this creative series. If you’re not a sci-fi fan, these books might change your mind.

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Top Ten All-Time Favorite Young Adult Fantasy & Sci-fi

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today will be the first time I’ve participated. This weeks theme is Top Ten All-time Favorite book in a genre. I chose Young Adult, though technically, not all of these fall under the umbrella of YA. But since I also write YA, I find that all of these still fit nicely into the category. So let’s get to it. These are my favorite Top Ten Fantasy & Sci-fi

Because…

1) Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson

 Because Sanderson gives us an amazing form of magic never seen before in a fantasy. Characters drink different metals that they “burn” to give them super-human abilities. An epic book series that I could talk about for hours. Oh—and did I mention that one of the main characters, Vin, is a girl that can kick some serious butt.

2) The Giver – Lois Lowry

Because in a world where everything seems perfect, it’s anything but. This is dystopian at its finest.

3) The Hobbit – J.R.R Tolkien

Because if you can’t quite handle the full Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit will give you a taste without tying you down to the three book fantasy.

4) Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Because Ray Bradbury was the genius that gave us our first glance into a world without books.

 

5) The Maze Runner – James Dashner

Because this is the first time we’ve seen a dystopian world of mazes, monsters, zombies, and a world on the brink of distinction that ends with one saying “Good that.”

6) Wool – Hugh Howey

Because a society living in a silo because the outside world is uninhabitable is an irresistible setting.

7) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Because completely ridiculous, slapstick sci-fi that makes you laugh, is worth the read alone. And also, because a pessimistic robot with a dry sense of humor is funnier than you think.

8) The Host – Stephanie Myer

Because an alien invasion is even cooler when an alien-inhabited human is captured by real humans that live in caves, and a love triangle ensues.

9) Pathfinder – Orson Scott Card

Because a seemingly medieval world where a boy sees the paths (think traces of light) of every living thing that ever walked the face of planet Garden, has a strange connection to a ship carrying sleeping colonists headed for a new planet. Get ready for time manipulation that challenges all the time travel basics in the wrapper of a medieval sci-fi fantasy.

10) Theft of Swords – Michael J. Sullivan

Because two, dark and handsome mercenaries that take you with them into a world of kingdoms, wizards, and dragons, is everything you want in a great fantasy.

I’d love to see your favorites in the comments BECAUSE…there might be a book I need to read! (seriously though, leave a comment)

Book Review – The Word Exchange

The Word ExchangeThe Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book takes the reader into a world where a virtually paperless society becomes so dependent on electronic devices that people begin to forget words, and language begins fading into the background. People are constantly connected to their personal device, called a Meme that “senses” what one needs — when you’re hungry, when you might need a cab, etc. Thus, the decline of people’s ability to actually use and recall words, and an increase in dependence on their device for even the most basic tasks. This ultimately leads to dependence on The Word Exchange. Now, instead of committing words to memory, one can simply depend on their Meme to look up the definition on The Word Exchange for a small price. Ultimately, the devices and the humans become biologically merged, and a virus that destroys people’s speech ensues. The word flu.

The idea is very creative. This, I love. However, the book is not easy to read. First, there’s the use of big words that I often had to look up. Of course, the irony of this also was not lost on me — it solidified one of the main points of the book – that we are losing valuable language skills. That’s why I found it odd that the author chose to have most of her characters use the F-word, one of the most absurd and offensive words of the English language.

The other issue I had with this book was the overabundance of research facts; i.e. references to German philosopher Hegel, the history of pneumatic tubes. There was just too much of it throughout the book, and did nothing to move the plot along.

And finally, it was the lack of page-turning conflict and too many unlikable characters that left this book flat for me. The sense of danger was hung before the reader like a dangling carrot, but it never materialized. The main character, Anana often felt she was being followed, but nothing much ever came of it except for once when she fell down some steps. My favorite part of the book, was the mysterious Creatorium that Anana discovers in the basement of her workplace. It was creepy, strange, ominous. But, even here, she gets by a large guard by saying she has to go meet her boyfriend.

So, this is what my three-star rating means. I liked the book, because the story was creative, and I could tell a lot of work went into it. Alena Graedon is no doubt a talented writer. There just wasn’t enough there for me to become emotionally involved with the characters or their lives.

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Ender’s Game Review

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first thing you need to know about Orson Scott Card is that you cannot understand the mind of Orson Scott Card. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. You’ll know what I mean if you read the book.

Ender’s Game is about Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Earth has been through two world wars with an alien race called the “buggers”. They are now preparing for the war to end all wars. Take out the “buggers” before they take care of Earth. In order to prepare for this final battle, an international fleet (I.F.) battle school has been created to train young children to command their fleet of space war ships. These children must have super intelligence, with some aggressive tendencies. The children are chosen by making them wear monitors on the back of their necks in order to determine if they exhibit the leadership qualities needed for battle school. Ender has had a monitor since he was three. Continue reading