Radiate by C.A. Higgins (Some spoilers)

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In the follow-up to Lightless and Supernova, C. A. Higgins again fuses science fiction, suspense, and drama to tell the story of a most unlikely heroine: Ananke, once a military spacecraft, now a sentient artificial intelligence. Ananke may have the powers of a god, but she is consumed by a very human longing: to know her creators.

Now Ananke is on a quest to find companionship, understanding, and even love. She is accompanied by Althea, the engineer who created her, and whom she sees as her mother. And she is in search of her father, Matthew, the programmer whose code gave her the spark of life.

But Matthew is on a strange quest of his own, traveling the galaxy alongside Ivan, with whom he shares a deeply painful history. Ananke and her parents are racing toward an inevitable collision, with consequences as violent as the birth of the solar system itself and as devastating as the discovery of love.

 

Radiate was a great and satisfying conclusion to the Lightless trilogy. I loved how each book focused on different important characters. The construction was really well thought out and executed. Lightless sets up the story and is linear. Supernova and Radiate move back and forth in time, (fits the theory of time travel) and does it in a really organized way.

In Radiate each Part starts with Ananke and Althea’s POV, then the chapters focus on Ivan and Mattie through flashbacks to set up some history and the development of their friendship while also showing us their present story. It’s all spelled out so there is no way to get confused when what scene takes place. I do have one critique and though it didn’t ruin the book it does really annoyed me. I really wished we got to see a flashback of how Ivan and Mattie found out about the Ananke and why they decided to go investigate her. I thought we would get one towards the end where it would have fit in perfectly.

Most of Radiate focuses on what Mattie and Ivan were up to for the time period of Supernova, which they were only mentioned in. Both men are dealing with and learning to face the consequences of their actions. I also felt Ivan’s PTSD was handled really well. His time in captivity and Ida Stays still haunts him.

Like I said, Ananke and Althea don’t appear much in this book, but I feel that that’s ok because their scenes would have been very redundant. We already know what havoc Ananke has been up to, so now we got to see the consequences of her actions.

I also want to give a shout out to the cover designs. I love the faces with the stars and how each book has one of Ananke’s parents. Ivan, Althea, then Mattie. (At least that is who I think they represent.)

I am very glad I decided to read them all at once so that the details were fresh in my mind. It was like binge watching an awesome sci-fi mini-series.

Radiate4.5 out of 5 Con Men
Lightless Trilogy4.5 out of 5 A.I. Spaceships.

Favorite quotes below:

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 24: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 24: Books with Sensory Reading Memories (where I was, what time of year it was, who I was with, what I was eating, etc.)

This is an interesting topic but there are only so many places I can list without it being repetitive. Mostly I read either during my commute, or at my grandma’s house on the weekend; and if it’s an audiobook I am either commuting, cleaning, or drawing/coloring. I feel this is going to be a short list of books that stand out the most, and it’s categorize by location or activity.

 

Grandma’s house:
I have read countless books at grandma’s house but these are two that really stand out to me.

1. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsle.
Ironically I was reading this in August and I remember sitting in my grandmother’s yard on a beautiful day. I was crying as I was reading the end.

2) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
I remember going to read in one of the bedrooms because my family was so loud that I couldn’t concentrate. There is world building and politics involved and I was just like, “SHHHHH!”
It has been over ten years since I read this and would love to reread it.

Coloring in my Johanna Basford 16 month planner:

3) The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, Narrated by B.J. Harrison; 52 hours; February 11-April 24, 2018
Most of those hours were spent coloring.

4&5) The Tell-Tale Heart & The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, Narrated by B.J. Harrison. Each story is 15 minutes. Great when you want to be creative but are on limited time. Listening to these stories is like a set timer.

Cleaning:
Sometimes you need to kill two birds with one stone.

6) Catalyst: A Rogue One Story, by James Luceno, Narrated by Jonathan Davi; 11 hours 15 minutes.

7) Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story, by Jewel, Narrated by Jewel; 10h 21m.

8) Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Marc Thompson (Narrator); 17 hours.

In my bed:

9) Morning Star, by Pierce Brown.
The night before the book signing I was 50 pages away from finishing. I read 100 pages on Sunday and another 100 pages on Monday. By Monday night my right eye was blood shot.

10) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin, Narrated by Rosamund Pike; 11h 35m.
Sometimes I just want to lie in bed and do nothing but relive a lovable classic story.

Wolf’s Mate (Wind Dragons MC No.5) by Chantal Fernando

Wolf’s Mate (Wind Dragons MC No.5) by Chantal Fernando

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I don’t feel like uploading a new photo so here’s the one from NYCC 2016. You can see the cover middle row, far left.

Vinnie – or Wolf, as he’s known now that he’s no longer a prospect but a full-fledged member of the Wind Dragons MC- has always been a man of his word. So when Talon, the leader of a rival MC, calls in a favor, Vinnie must respond, even if his fellow Wind Dragons aren’t too keen on it. Little does Wolf know that the “favor” is babysitting Talon’s cousin Shayla, who’s know to be a spoiled princess whose daddy embezzled his way into the slammer.

But when he meets this damsel in distress she’s far from spoiled- in fact, Shayla’s pretty amazing. But her security is crap, and Talon’s guys don’t know what they are doing. It’s up to Wolf to take matters into his own hands, and not even his brothers at the WDMC can help with this one. Shayla’s all his-if he can keep her alive.

For starters this is not a genre I typically read. I picked it up at NYCC 2016 not knowing it was part of a series and thinking it was about werewolves.

Spoiler alert – it’s not about werewolves.

Anyway, I am waiting on my order Radiate, the third book in the Lightless trilogy, to come in. As I do that I am reading some other books from my NYCC 2016 pile.

What I liked about Wolf’s Mate was that it was a really fast read. It took me three days. It’s like reading fan fiction. It’s amusing. Also, you don’t have to read the previous five books to be caught up. This can stand on its own.

Once I read the book jacket and realized it was not about werewolves, but a bad boy romance novel (think the tamest version of Sons of Anarchy meets erotic fan fiction), I knew what I was getting into. So it was exactly as I expected. The storyline follows a typical formula and is a bit silly and not very deep with lots of typical tropes.

But that’s fine. If I am going to eat fast food at least I know I am not eating a healthy meal.

Somethings really made me roll my eyes, but you have to look past it when this book is just meant to be fluff. For example, like not using condoms with someone you just met – so idiotic. And if you really never wanted kids – get a vasectomy.

Oh, and one more thing. He’s called Vinnie by his MC family. His name Wolf is mentioned once or twice! False advertising!

Anyway…this book served it’s purpose as a quick filler while I am waiting for another book.

3 out of 5 Motorcycles.

Supernova by C.A. Higgins (with some spoilers)

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C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.

Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.

Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.

Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.

Supernova picks up right where Lightless left off. I’m glad I went right into it after reading Lightless because there are lots of details to remember. (My review for Lightless.)

Some spoilers below:

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

 

1) Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

My favorite short stories in this collection are:

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 10: TTT Throwback

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

July 10: TTT Throwback (pick a topic we’ve done in the past that you missed out on, or loved so much you’d like to do again!)

I have been so busy that I didn’t have time to keep up with TTT and so this is perfect for me to do a couple of lists that I really wanted to do.

Throwback to May 22: Best Character Names


1)Victra au Julii, Red Rising trilogy.
I think Victra is a cool futuristic twist on the beautiful name Victoria. And the character is bad ass.

2)Rhiannon, Another Day by David Levithan.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” is an iconic and beautiful song. I only wish that the song had been mentioned in the story. Rhiannon is not a common name, so was she named after the song?

3)Padmé, Star Wars.
It’s so pretty to say over and over, and I love symbolism. It means lotus which is earthy and very fitting since she’s in a forbidden relationship with a sky-walker.

4)Mara Jade, Star Wars (Legends).
I think it’s a fun name to say because it rolls off the tongue well. And as a red head she looks good in green.  I could do a whole list of Star Wars names that I love. Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Venress, Thrawn, Sabine Wren…  Ok. Moving on.

5)Hermione, Harry Potter.
An unusual and strong name for an an unusual and strong girl. Thought I admit, if it weren’t for the films I would be saying it wrong.

6)Ysabeau, All Souls Trilogy.
This is another name that until I listened to the audiobook I was pronouncing it wrong. I was saying Yas-a-beau, but it’s a French variation of the name Isabelle. When pronounced correctly it’s very pretty and uncommon.
Ironically, Ysabeau says in the first book that names are very important, so of course I had to include her on this list.

6)Edmund Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo.
I loved the way the narrator (B.J. Harrison) said this name on the audiobook.

7)Sherlock Holmes
That is a one of a kind name and I like saying the sarcastic phrase, “No shit, Sherlock.”
What kind of name is Sherlock anyway? So I googled it.
“Sherlock is actually an English surname, which was used by Doyle as his character’s first name. The name translates from Old English roots scir, meaning ‘bright’, and locc, meaning ‘lock of hair’.

Doyle had originally named his character Sherrinford Holmes, his last name a homage to the great Oliver Wendell Holmes. But in the three weeks of writing his first short story featuring the detective, A Study in Scarlet, Doyle changed his first name to Sherlock, after an unidentified player he played cricket against. ”

Well, there you go!

Throwback to June 25: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish
1) Shopaholic. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, and Shopaholic Ties the Knot. I once planned to read past book 3 but I am no longer that interested in what happens next (I guess it kind of jumped the shark for me) and I don’t really read that genre anymore.

2) Dorothy Must Die. I gave the first book 2 stars so … forget the rest. I thought it should have been a standalone anyway.

3) The Beautiful Creatures spin off series: Dangerous Creatures. I mildly enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures books but not enough to keep going. I got closure from the first set of books and don’t need to open that door again.

The same reasons apply to..

4) The Dark Artifices. I liked The Mortal Instruments, liked The Infernal Devices a whole lot more, but I am done with this universe. The only exception is The Bane Chronicles. I already have it on my TBR pile and Magnus is a favorite character.

Book Review with Spoilers! Lightless by C.A. Higgins

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(I know there are other books in that photo but I am too lazy to upload a new one.)

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.

I picked this up at NYCC 2016 and my copy is signed by the author.

I very much enjoyed this sci-fi story. The characters really got to me and made me think. It was hard to side with anyone. There are no clear heroes. Everyone has a dark side so it was like picking the lesser of evils. I felt like a detective.

The computer science and laws of physics goes way over my head but (SPOILERS!!) Continue reading