STARS ABOVE – because THE LUNAR CHRONICLES can’t end!


 Holy glob glob!!  There’s a new book coming out in THE LUNAR CHRONICLES series.

I am sooo doing a happy dance.  I didn’t want this series to end, and even though the author wrapped up the story in this nice, beautiful package we came to know and love as WINTER, I want to know more. This has got to be my favorite series. I didn’t think I would fall in love with it when I first started reading CINDER, but this easily surpassed Cassandra Claire’s Mortal Instrument series.

STARS ABOVE will be the ultimate ‘fill in’ book.  According to the blurb on Goodreads:

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Click here to read the full blurb.

Guess where I’m going to be on Feb. 2?  2 1/2 week is right around the corner. Agggghhh. Such torture!!

Will you be reading???  Leave me a note in the comments.

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology – A delightful Fantasy/Sci-Fi Read


borderlands cover I was approached recently by Curiosity Quills Press to see if I would like to review a copy of The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, but I do love fantasy and this anthology promised to deliver a little bit of both, so I thought, what the heck and asked for them to send it on.   I’m glad I did as all the stories are really good and there is something between these covers for all sci-fi/fantasy fans.  Here’s a bit about the book:

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology

Genre(s): Anthology, Action & Adventure, Alternative History, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 11, 2014

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

Description: When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.  Read more here.

MY REVIEW

It is difficult for me to pinpoint which story I liked the most. Each one was written very well and were quite entertaining, and I enjoyed them all.

There is a common theme that runs through this anthology, and each one of the authors tweaked their characters and their settings around that theme.  It actually seems like each of the stories play off of each other in an odd way, almost as if one can’t exist without the other. I do think some of the stories could have been expanded. Some felt flat. Some ended abruptly. A few left me thinking “huh?”, but overall, it was a good anthology.

Some of my favorite stories were:

Remembering Emily by Sarah Wolf.  I love the author’s voice and descriptions. Beautiful imagery here and the story is vibrant.

Stolen Orchid by Matthew Cox is one of the coolest cyberpunk stories I’ve ever read and it also played with my emotions.

The Austenation by Mara Valdarran was pure brilliance though I do think there could have been a bit more conflict. Jane Austen fans…you’re going to LOVE this one.

Escape by Patrick Burdine gave me the creepy willies.  Seriously, don’t read this right before you go to bed.   Not a good idea.

Halfway by Jay Wilburn. Ok, so this story freaked me out. There are clowns and peculiar lighting and odd people. There’s an Edward Scissorhands feel to the story, and it left me feeling numb. Well-written and freaky creepy.

Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Jason A. Anderson. A great story of one woman’s decision to defy the mob and help a little girl find her mom. Fast moving with an enjoyable, satisfying ending.

These are only 6 out of 20 amazing and unique stories.  While I liked some better than others, I am sure everyone who loves these genres will find something to enjoy.

I give four stars to this anthology.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

Star-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-Up

Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

YA 101: Welcome to “Cyberpunk”


HA ha, what a name.  Cyberpunk.  I can’t help it.  When I read this word I picture stereotypical, bad-A, rapping, thugish teenage robots.  Wall-E gone punk.  Tank tops, pants around the butt.  Tattoos engraved on metal arms.

Then I shake my head and think, ‘You’re such a moron, Jen.”  Everyone knows that cyberpunk is a post-modern science fiction genre that focuses on high-tech and a breakdown in society.  Characters often have alienation issues, they’ve been compromised somehow in their lives.  They live on the edge of dystopian societies where technology advances rapidly.  Many times the technology is invasive, taking over human form.

Protagonists are often highly intelligent misfits, anti-social and outside the law and/or government in some way.  Rebels.  They feel misunderstood and often manipulated.  There are usually forced-manipulations:  events that happen to the protagonist that were out of his or her control.   Think Katnis in the Hunger Games – forced to fight and possibly die to keep society in control.  Advanced technology against the scourge of the earth, kept in their place by those in power with technology.

The theme is anti-utopian, the world dystopic, but the setting goes beyond that.  It makes the reader ask questions and search for answers.

Samples of some really good YA Cyberpunk include: