Tag: sci fi

Release Day Review: The Hive

Authors: Barry Lyga & Morgan Baden
Published: Today, September 3, 2019
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 26-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Cassie McKinney has always believed in the Hive.

Social media used to be out of control, after all. People were torn apart by trolls and doxxers. Even hackers – like Cassie’s dad – were powerless against it.

But then the Hive came. A better way to sanction people for what they do online. Cause trouble, get too many “condemns,” and a crowd can come after you, teach you a lesson in real life. It’s safer, fairer and perfectly legal.

Entering her senior year of high school, filled with grief over an unexpected loss, Cassie is primed to lash out. Egged on by new friends, she makes an edgy joke online. Cassie doubts anyone will notice. But the Hive notices everything. And as her viral comment whips an entire country into a frenzy, the Hive demands retribution. One moment Cassie is anonymous; the next, she’s infamous. And running for her life.

With nowhere to turn, she must learn to rely on herself – and a group of Hive outcasts who may not be reliable – as she slowly uncovers the truth about the machine behind the Hive.

New York Times bestselling authors Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden have teamed up for the first time to create a novel that’s gripping, terrifying and more relevant every day, based on a story proposal by Jennifer Beals and Tom Jacobson.

Jessica’s Review:

Social media is everywhere and just about everyone is a part of it.  Imagine we are in a United States where you are required to be on social media once you reach 13 years old and anything you say can have consequences (Likes, Dislikes, Condemns). The more Condemns you receive the greater your chances are to have Hive Justice carried out against you by anyone and everyone in a serious way.  And the police cannot stop the mob mentality because it is all legal. 

Although The Hive started a bit slow for me (the introduction to Hive, BLINQ, and Cassie being in high school) it was all necessary to the buildup of the joke that Cassie made that cause her to go viral. BLINQ is a government owned social media that connects all forms of social media together. My opinion is that BLINQ is a bit like ‘Twitter on crack’. Cassie is an angry girl experiencing some grief and she transfers to a new school her senior year.  The beginning is a bit like Mean Girls and some typical high school drama of Cassie trying to figure out where to fit in. 

Once Cassie’s joke goes viral the novel really starts moving and doesn’t stop until the end.  I could not put the novel down and read it in just a few days.  It’s hard to fathom that people want to go out and find Cassie and hurt her (or worse) because of a tasteless joke.  It is definitely a mob mentality/vigilante justice. Forget the fact that she is just a kid, people just want to do what they can do without legal repercussions, not even knowing the whole situation. They just want to kill because they can. 

There are some political overtones to the novel. Normally, I cannot stand that in novels, but with this particular subject matter, the politics are necessary.  The Hive is also be a coming of age type novel as Cassie grew on me showing her growth and maturity she reaches as the novel progresses.  The Hive is definitely relevant to our society today.  So much is done online now that it seems more important than ‘real life’.  Maybe real life is actually our online life…. The Hive definitely shows how anything we say or do has consequences (both positive and negative). We really should think about what we are about to say or do. 

I was personally hoping for a different ending, something that shows how truly evil and damaging the Hive and BLINQ are to this society. Being this is a young adult novel, maybe that was the case for the ending we received.

The Hive is a novel everyone 14+ should read ( I say 14+ as there is foul language used throughout the novel, mainly the ‘f-word’).  The Hive will leave you thinking about social media and where we are heading with it.  How much do YOU share online, and could something you say or do cause you to receive a ‘Hive Alert’?

Many thanks to the publisher KCP Loft for sending me an arc copy. It was a pleasure to read and review.    

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Blog Tour: Confessions of a Traveler: The Observations of Alien 597

Today I am part of the blog tour for Confessions of a Traveler: The Observations of Alien 597 by Clara Molina. I share my review of this short story.

Short Story Description:

Grotesque insect looking beasts, which burst out of your chest, and have acid for blood. Grey and short aliens with big eyes, who want to take over your mind, and they do horrible experiments with instruments that go up your anus. They’ve come to take over the world, and make you into a zombie or dinner. If they ever land in full view, they would either be worshiped and a new religion would form, or murdered immediately, and their ship parts sold to the highest bidder. Alien 597 read her report about aliens that humans had encountered. 

A short story about an alien visiting Earth.

Author: Clara Molina
Published: June 7, 2019
18 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: August 20, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is a cute, fun short story about Alien 597 traveling to Earth and sharing her observations and discoveries.  If only we humans knew about the aliens among us and what their thoughts are!  I would love to see this concept expanded upon and Alien 597 traveling to certain parts of the USA  (Las Vegas and Disney World for starters!) and then the rest of the world if she dared…. Maybe she could answer that question that we all wonder about the pyramids.  Did aliens actually build them? And yes, we do find out what aliens actually look like!

Well done Molina for a short story that entertains and leaves you wanting more! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Clara L Molina writes Science Fiction books most of the time, dabbles in comic drawings occasionally, and writes to laugh at herself all the time.  She has a computer science degree, but has been a lifelong writer. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, and enjoys fresh air and days where her hair is not frizzy.

Contact Clara:
Website
Twitter @BoxaEl

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Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Author: Octavia E. Butler
Published: June 1976
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

Jessica’s Review:

I came across Kindred when I was looking for books for First Line Friday, and this one has a doozy:

I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.

That first line, the book description, and the fact that it is the first science fiction written by a black woman piqued my interest in Kindred. My library also offered it in audiobook format:  SCORE! The only thing I was worried about was when I borrowed it was the age of the book. Written 30+ years ago, some sci-fi books do not ‘age well’ and become dated quickly.  This did not end up being an issue for me as I felt this could take place now. You guys know by now that I am selective with sci-fi and even more selective with fantasy. And did you say TIME TRAVEL!?!?!?!    That is the kind of sci-fi and fantasy I can read! 

Kindred blew me away.  This novel will be in my top reads of the year.  I was intrigued the whole time listening to the audiobook and had no idea how it was going to end.  It twisted in ways that I did not expect and then that shocker of an ending: OMG, I would have never expected that! This needs to become a limited series that stays true to the novel.  Octavia Butler wowed me with Kindred, this is a novel everyone needs to read!

If you are looking for answers to why or how Dana time travels, you will be disappointed.  Kindred does not explain the time travel, but the strength of the novel is on the time, location and people of the antebellum time period. Butler must have heavily researched for the novel.   Dana interprets the how and why her time traveling happens, hoping she is correct in her thoughts.

Since Kindred takes us back in time, we get a clear picture how slavery was from the view of the African American.  Yes, the ‘N word’ is used a great deal in this novel, but that was how people spoke in antebellum times.  Parts of the novel will be difficult for some to read. This is a novel that will have you thinking about it long after you have finished reading it.

Kindred is very highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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