Tag: Science FIction

A Double Review of Wildcard

Wildcard (Warcross series #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Published: September 18, 2018
343 pages

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Wildcard, the second in the Warcross duology.We both read the first in the series earlier this year and loved it! And I am NOT a gamer: This story is so much more than gaming!  We both highly anticipated Wildcard, and were so happy when it was released in September. 

Our reviews for Warcross are here:

Book Description:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
Kim’s Review:

I’m so excited to finally read this book!!! Jessica and I have been waiting for this sequel for months! Warcross blew my mind and Wildcard followed very closely! I’ll admit that I wish I had re-read Warcross before reading Wildcard, but Lu added a lot of extra detail, in order to remind us of what happened in Warcross. It did start out a little slow while I was trying to get back into the story and remember all the details. But once I caught back up, stuff began happenin’! Lu managed to create a world-wide conspiracy surrounding Hideo without losing the personal scope.

Then in Wildcard, she shrinks the conspiracy without giving up the consequences to humanity. She has easily become a favorite author and her storytelling ability is unquestioned. Emika was just as relatable and likable. Where in Warcross, she was a badass in the virtual world, in Wildcard, she became a badass in real life! While there is all the awesomeness of the world of Warcross, there is more stuff happening in the real world. I’m still questioning the practicality of the gaming system and how it’s controlled by the individual players. If my unpractical brain was going over it, then I’m sure there were many more practical people who were going nuts over it.

But I officially want to be a Warcross player, and Wildcard has confirmed that. This is a great duology for teens; it combines gaming and adventure and action and conspiracies and great characters. I think this is the perfect series to help get kids into reading. I would absolutely recommend this book and this whole series to pretty much everybody, especially those who don’t like reading.

Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: October 29-November 9, 2018
Jessica’s Review:

You do not have to be a gamer to enjoy Warcross and now Wildcard: I am not a gamer and I highly enjoyed this duology by Marie Lu.  There is so much more to this story than the game! If these books were all about the game, I would not have read them. It’s the real life situations that happen and what might happen that kept me reading.  Wildcard picks up shortly after Warcross ended and Emika’s story continues. There is now an extremely high bounty on her head and the only way she can survive is…Zero!?!?  Who exactly is Zero and can she trust him?  And what about her feelings for Hideo despite what he has done? 

And the twist: It is hard to be more than vague in this review without giving spoilers. This is a complete story that Lu wrote well and had all wrapped up with a bow by the end.  I really enjoyed this series and I have to say: I LOVE these covers, they are gorgeous!

This series is recommended!

I’m so excited to share a picture of my signed copy of Wildcard! My friend Suleika attended an author signing in Hawaii and got this for me:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

A Double Review of The Dispatcher

Today Kim and I both review The Dispatcher by John Scalzi. We both listened to the Audible version which is masterfully narrated by Zachary Quinto. It is a short book, the narration is 2 hours and 18 minutes.  Needless to say both Kim and I loved The Dispatcher!

Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Published: October 4, 2016
Audible: 2 hours 18 minutes

Book Description from Goodreads:

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

Zachary Quinto: Best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes – brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.

Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Kim’s Review:

This was a short, simple mystery, with a doozy of a twist! I had never heard of anything like the dispatchers before. If a person is murdered, then 9 times out of 10, they’ll end up alive and well in their bed at home. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but I love it! And I’m totally crushing on Tony Valdez . . . it helps that he has Zachary Quinto’s voice. ? I liked that it was a short listen; the author didn’t detail every little thing in every room, conversations weren’t repeated, and the mystery was easily solved with some good, old detective work. It’s simple, enjoyable, and easy. I really enjoyed this audiobook!

Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Listened To: March 16-18, 2018
Jessica’s Review:

The Dispatcher has an interesting premise to it: If you die at the hands some someone else, 999 times out of 1000 you come back to life.  If you die of natural causes you do not come back to life.  It is a mystery why this started happening, but we do learn about the first person that this happened to.  The Dispatcher is short at just 2 hours 18 minutes long.  And it covers a lot in that short time period!  I listened to the Audible version which was narrated by Zachary Quinto and I couldn’t help but picture him as Tony Valdez as the story progressed.

Tony is a Dispatcher, one who helps to bring people back. In other words, he murders them.  We see several examples of Tony doing his job, which he has done for eight years.  One of his dispatcher friends disappears and it is a race to find out what happened to him.

This is a novella that will make you think about many things: who could become a Dispatcher and how do they handle their job when there is that one chance out of 1000 that the person will not come back? What does someone experience when they die and then come back? There are also theological, ethical, and moral issues that surround this story and the novella brings those up as well.

I liked Tony’s character and hope that Scalzi will expand on him and write more. If this ever comes to life on film I hope they cast Quinto in the Tony Valdez role!

The Dispatcher is highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Atlas Died


Author:  Michelle Onouorah
310 Pages in Kindle

Published: July 29, 2015
Dates Read: July 29th- August 29th, 2015

My Rating: 4 Stars


Book Summary from Amazon:

USA circa 2628. The only thing unchanged? Those three letters.

There are no states.
There is no freedom.
Lobbyists make all the laws.

And a government of the people, by the people, and for the people died many, many years ago.

The nation is now split in two: wealthy Atlas residents and impoverished Commons workers. The middle class, an endangered species, accounts for less than 1% of the already-shrunken population. Ravaged by stagnant wages, exorbitant taxation and limited education, Commoners, the majority of USA citizens, struggle to survive. The political and civil inequity has transformed “the land of the free” to “the home of the miserable” and destinies are no longer self-determined. The very values the nation once held dear have languished for centuries in history books no one has taken the time to read.

No one except Decker Channing.

A 32-year-old police officer, Decker has silently witnessed systematic oppression his entire life and knows it is the antithesis of what the founding fathers stood for. When a life or death situation forces him to make a split decision, Decker realizes he can no longer remain silent. Unwilling to watch his country descend into further tyranny, he rallies the men and women around him to rise up and take a stand. Drawing strength from the ideals of the abandoned Constitution, he and a mysterious dark eyed woman fight to restore the USA to what it once stood for: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But in order to do this, one thing becomes clear.

Atlas must die.

***Please note this story is 70% action and 30% romance, told from the hero’s POV. This story would primarily appeal to readers who like action, dystopia, politics, and a thriller element alongside romantic themes.***

**Please also note that there are instances of profanity, mild violence, and unapologetic themes of religion, politics and spirituality within this work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.**

My review in 2015:

I am a huge fan of Michelle Onouorah! This is her newest novel. And this is another good one written by her. This dystopian novel really makes you think about where our country may be going, and not for the better……

This book really made me think and I teared up a little towards the end.

I can’t wait to read more from this author!