Cloud Cuckoo Land
Author: Anthony Doehr
Published: September 28, 2021
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
When everything is lost, it’s our stories that survive.
How do we weather the end of things? Cloud Cuckoo Land brings together an unforgettable cast of dreamers and outsiders from past, present and future to offer a vision of survival against all odds.
An orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy with a love for animals risk everything on opposite sides of a city wall to protect the people they love.
An impoverished, idealistic kid seeks revenge on a world that’s crumbling around him. Can he go through with it when a gentle old man stands between him and his plans?
Unknown, Sometime in the Future:
With her tiny community in peril, Konstance is the last hope for the human race. To find a way forward, she must look to the oldest stories of all for guidance.
Bound together by a single ancient text, these tales interweave to form a tapestry of solace and resilience and a celebration of storytelling itself.
This is definitely an interesting book. You really don’t know what’s going on until the story resolves itself at the end. I was drawn in by the prospect of a lost manuscript but I stayed for the complicated multiple timelines. Unfortunately, not all of them were resolved sufficiently for me, but the big picture was revealed and I was happy overall. The lost story of Cloud Cuckoo Land was an interesting common thread throughout time. My favorite was the spaceship Argos and Konstance’s constant curiosity and search for the truth. This is one of those books that I can’t talk much about because:
A. I don’t want to give anything away.
B. It really is complicated.
This is a great mixture of history, sci-fi, and fantasy! I would recommend this book!
Do You Dream of Terra-Two?
Author: Temi Oh
Published: March 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
When an Earth-like planet is discovered, a team of six teens, along with three veteran astronauts, embark on a twenty-year trip to set up a planet for human colonization—but find that space is more deadly than they ever could have imagined.
Have you ever hoped you could leave everything behind?
Have you ever dreamt of a better world?
Can a dream sustain a lifetime?
A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.
And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.
It will take the team twenty-three years to reach Terra-Two. Twenty-three years locked in close quarters. Twenty-three years with no one to rely on but each other. Twenty-three years with no rescue possible, should something go wrong.
And something always goes wrong.
I really liked this book! Once I started and seeing that most of the characters were teens, I rolled my eyes and expected an obnoxious, drama filled snooze fest. I was wrong! These teens were forced into adulthood and maturity in order to win a place on Terra-Two. The best thing about this story was the sense of adventure and wonder. It captured some of the best qualities of humanity. It felt very Lost in Space even though the Damocles was tracked every step of the way. This book definitely scratched the sci-fi itch, without being so ridiculously scientific that I didn’t understand everything. I think this is actually a great book for teens and adults! Even those who don’t gravitate towards sci-fi will enjoy it!
Author: Rachel Barenbaum
Published: April 5, 2022
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.
Three brilliant women.
Two life-changing mistakes.
One chance to reset the future.
In 1986, renowned nuclear scientist, Anna Berkova, is sleeping in her bed in the Soviet Union when Chernobyl’s reactor melts down. It’s the exact moment she tears through time—and it’s an accident. When she opens her eyes, she’s landed in 1992 only to discover Molly, her estranged daughter, shot in the chest. Molly, with her dying breath, begs Anna to go back in time and stop the disaster, to save Molly’s daughter Raisa, and put their family’s future on a better path.
In ‘60s Philadelphia, Molly is coming of age as an adopted refusenik. Her family is full of secrets and a past they won’t share. She finds solace in comic books, drawing her own series, Atomic Anna, and she’s determined to make it as an artist. When she meets the volatile, charismatic Viktor, their romance sets her life on a very different course.
In the ‘80s, Raisa, is a lonely teen and math prodigy, until a quiet, handsome boy moves in across the street and an odd old woman shows up claiming to be her biological grandmother. As Raisa finds new issues of Atomic Anna in unexpected places, she notices each comic challenges her to solve equations leading to one impossible conclusion: time travel. And she finally understands what she has to do.
As these remarkable women work together to prevent the greatest nuclear disaster of the 20th century, they grapple with the power their discoveries hold. Just because you can change the past, does it mean you should?
This book gave me anxiety! I’m a historian and a traditional one at that! And when someone, anyone starts messing with time, I get all clenchy inside! And in this book, everyone treats time with no respect!! Just going back in time, willy-nilly, not caring about the effects! Sooner, later, trying fix stuff from the last trip … it was just exhausting. The story itself was ok, and the characters were likable. The people that I felt were so underappreciated were Yulia and Lazar. They adopted their friend’s child without complaint and she turned into a brat! Molly and Anna kinda ruined the book for me. They’re the type of women who do what they want without a single thought about how their actions affect anyone else. I greatly dislike people like that. And the lesson, I just didn’t get it. The resolution was murky and unsatisfying. I’m glad I read this book … but I doubt I’ll ever read it again.