Book Review: MiNRS by Kevin Sylvester
Series: MiNRS #1
Author: Kevin Sylvester
Published: September 22, 2015
Reviewed By: Cristina
A boy and his friends must find a way to survive in the mining tunnels after their new space colony is attacked in this gritty action-adventure novel, which School Library Journal called “a solid survival story.”
In space. Underground. And out of time.
Christopher Nichols and his family live on a new planet, Perses, as colonists of Melming Mining’s Great Mission to save the earth. Dozens of families like Christopher’s have relocated, too, like his best friend Elena Rosales.
A communications blackout with Earth hits, and all of Perses is on its own for three months. It’s okay, though, because the colonists have prepared, stockpiling food and resources to survive. But they never prepared for an attack.
Landers, as the attackers are called, obliterate the colony to steal the metal and raw ore. Now in a race against time, Christopher, along with a small group of survivors, are forced into the maze of mining tunnels. The kids run. They hide. But can they survive?
It all started when Melman Mining figured out how to mine small planetoids in the solar system. Earth is almost out of mineral resources, and Perses, a small planet on the outer edges of our solar system, is full of precious minerals. Christopher is 12 years old, and along with his classmates and friends, is part of the first colony on Perses. Everything is going well–until the colony is attacked. Not aliens. Other humans. Christopher and a few of his friends are the only survivors of the initial attack. Can they survive in the mining tunnels long enough for help to arrive? Or will they have to defend the only home they’ve ever known on their own?
Kevin Sylvester has written one thrilling science-fiction adventure with MINRS. It is NOT a book for squeamish young readers. There isn’t a “happy ending.” There isn’t any gore, but there are injuries, and death, and an intense setting that might be too much for younger readers. He also did the research for the scientific parts of the story which makes it feel all the more real. The character development is good, and the twists in the story are hard to see coming. This is the first book in a trilogy, so the cliff-hanger ending is perfect. If your reader loves non-stop action and intrigue, this is a great series for them. Just be prepared–you may want to check out the entire trilogy at once. Oh, and maybe have some tissues on hand. There are some very tender moments between the kids amid all the action.
Audiobook Review: Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston
Author: Bryan Johnston
Published: June 21, 2022
Audiobook: 9 hours 34 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 8-12, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Death Makes Great TV. Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie―a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big―agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the Death Warrant . Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment. After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last. She could be a star, if only she lives that long.
I really enjoyed this audiobook! I can almost see that this would be the direction that reality tv would go. Set about 50ish years in the future with main stream references to movies and actors that are famous now which would be considered ‘old’ in the future. With references to certain actors (Tom Hardy) and more. In the future we have the super popular television show Death Warrant. This is where someone has signed up with their consent to be killed on television. When they die, the ‘volunteer tribute’ has assigned a benefactor that gets a portion of the revenue of the show. The more people that tune in, the more money the benefactor receives.
We learn all about Frankie, whom I liked and I wanted her to somehow beat Death Warrant. We learn about her reasonings as well. I had decided about 41% in where this was going and I was partially right, but then… OMG, I was still blown away by the twists! I suspected just about everyone at some point!
I was not surprised to find out that the author, worked in television for 30 years. He definitely took what he knew and wrote a great book with surprises too! There is also some dark humor that I enjoyed in addition to the ‘Old Hollywood’ references.
The narrators are Justine Eyre and Holly Palance. I believe I have listened to Eyre before and she really brought Frankie to life for me! Both narrators did a great job. This is one I would want to listen/ read again now knowing how it ends!
Many thanks to the publisher for making Death Warrant available on NetGalley with ‘listen now’ availability. Because of that I was able to listen to and enjoy a book I had not heard of until I saw it there!
Book Review: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doehr
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!