Tag: sci fi

Book Review: Memory Lane by Sara Shepherd and Ellen Goodlett

Memory Lane
Sara Shepard
Ellen Goodlett
To Be Published: See review
Unknown Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 10-13, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Alex Bryant is pissed at her mother, but what else is new? She’s spent most of her life picking up after her charismatic but scatterbrained mom, Cassie, who is always on some new get-cash-quick scheme. This latest one—a scientific study in memory implantation, with Alex as a fellow test subject—is sure to be a total flop. That is, unless the memory study answers Alex’s questions: who is her father, and where is he now?

When the experiment actually works and flashes of Cassie’s memories while pregnant with Alex appear in her mind, Alex thinks it just might have been worth it. But soon, calamity strikes when the memories reveal a decades-old murder that present-Cassie swears never happened. Discovering the truth someone tried to keep buried in the past sends Alex and Cassie on the run from a threat they never saw coming: their own minds.

Jessica’s Review:

Please Note: I am not even sure how many pages Memory Lane is as it is a kindle copy and doesn’t list the page numbers; Amazon and Goodreads also do not have the number of pages listed. There is also some confusion as to the publication date. Both Netgalley (where I received my arc) and Goodreads have the publication date as January 13, 2021 while Amazon shows the publication date of December 21, 2021. Personally, I am more inclined to go with the release date on Amazon, so I received a very advanced copy of Memory Lane. Needless to say, my thoughts reflect the current arc I read and not any future versions which might have changes. There are also two covers showing, and I know which one I prefer!

Memory Lane is a serialized novel of 8 episodes/chapters in one short novel. It centers around mother and daughter Cassie and Alex. They are at odds, but Cassie convinces Alex to go on this latest experiment to earn money. Alex accepts and it is actually a memory transfer. Cassie’s chosen memories are implanted in Alex and then they go on a road trip which triggers Cassie’s memories in Alex’s head. But soon other memories begin to flash for Alex, including ones that Cassie has no memory of. Soon Alex does not know who to trust.

This is a very quick read that keeps going the whole time! The ending was quite unexpected, and I hope there is a continuation of this serialized novel. I really enjoyed reading this one.

Many thanks to the publisher Serial Box for granting me an arc to read and review via NetGalley.

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Illustrated Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Illustrated Animal Farm
George Orwell

Joy Batchelor
John Halas
Novel was originally published August 17, 1945

Illustrated Edition published January 1, 2015
115 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned –a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.

Halas & Batchelor studio’s classic and controversial 1954 animation of Animal Farm, George Orwell’s chilling fable of idealism betrayed, was the first ever British animated feature film. This landmark illustrated edition of Orwell’s novel was first published alongside it, and features the original line drawings by the film’s animators, Joy Batchelor and John Halas.

Kim’s Review:

This is easily one of my all-time favorite books. I was a senior in high school when I first read it. I was taking Economics and it was assigned reading. I was a little skeptical, but once I started reading, I was hooked. I remember that I was at a basketball game, but I tuned it all out and finished Animal Farm before the game ended. It blew my mind! We also had to do a project along with the reading and I chose to draw a picture of Boxer dragging rocks up to the windmill . . . and I drew it! Ok I traced Boxer, but I drew everything else and made an A! I was devastated to learn that it was not required reading in my Economics class that I taught during my first year in Hawaii. Why is Orwell not require reading anywhere?

Part of why I decided to re-read it is because of the current political climate here in America. I know that we’re adamant about keeping politics out of Jessica’s Reading Room, so obviously I won’t go into anything specific. But I will make the statement that I believe everyone, every single person, should be required to read Animal Farm and 1984 in high school and in college. The story is simple and reminds me more of a fairy tale than anything else. The metaphors are relatively clear, at least they should be if the reader paid attention in history class. The lessons are also easily understood. I find it amazing that Orwell was able to create such a story with these characters and get his message across so well. It’s a great book and if you haven’t read it, then you should!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Goddess in the Machine
Series: Goddess in the Machine #1
Author: Lora Beth Johnson

Published: June 30, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: September 27-October 12, 2020

Book Description:

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Jessica’s Review:

It is rare that I read a sci-fi novel, but the book description sounded intriguing to me, so I decided to read (well listen) to it: And Goddess in the Machine is a LONG one coming in at a 15 hour narration!  

I was really only interested in Andra’s unique situation, and  Zhade’s storyline did not interest me at all.  I could care less that he is the bastard son and his whole situation.  Part of my problem with Zhade’s perspective in the novel is the linguistics of the people in the year 3102.  It is easy to ‘catch on’ with the way they speak; it just did not work for me.  I think I benefited listening to the audiobook because of this versus having actually read the book. I think if I had tried to read it that I might have DNF’d it.   I give props to Johnson for coming up with an ‘updated English language’ as this must have taken some time and effort to come up with.  This is also her first novel, so bravo for doing something different language wise.

I did not really like Zhade with him using Andra for his own benefit.  Though I do like how his name is pronounced in the audiobook.  I did really like Andra (her name is short for Andromeda.)  She is an average, normal teenager thrown into the most unexpected and unusual situation and having to try and struggle to survive in a new world and time with everything unfamiliar. 

There are twists that come up throughout the novel that I would have never seen coming in 1000 years. As the ending of the novel creeps closer, we get more twists which was setting up for the second novel, which I need NOW!  My husband heard a little of the audiobook as we were driving one day and he ended up reading and enjoying Goddess himself, though he did figure out the twists that I didn’t. That could be that he is more of a sci-fi reader/ watcher.  He is not a reviewer but he said he would have given it 4 stars.

For a novel that is outside of my ‘comfort zone’ 4 stars is a very strong review from me!  I would recommend this one to those who enjoy sci-fi and maybe those not so into sci-fi. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK