Tag «Aliens»

Fresh Fridays: Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle Prendergast

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

The Nahx Invasions Series

Other books in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Zero Repeat Forever (from Goodreads):

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…

breakdown

Series: The Nahx Invasions
Author: Gabrielle Prendergast
# of Books: 1+ (Zero Repeat Forever)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Book 2, is to be published
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Aliens, Post-Apocalypse
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: August 29, 2017 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC | Thank you Simon & Schuster Books Canada!

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I found out about this novel thanks to a Netgalley email and immediately requested it. I’ve only read a few novels about an alien invasion so it’s a genre I want to explore more.

What I Liked:

–It’s Set in Canada!–

I don’t read enough books set in my home country so I was really excited that it explored someplace I’m familiar with. I mean, it sucked to see it being invaded and subsequently destroyed but I guess it was nice to have a setting that isn’t the norm for the genre.

–The Getting to Know You’re Enemy Aspect–

I always enjoy stories when enemies become something more. Whether it’s a relationship that becomes platonic or romantic, I like seeing characters evolve and learn from interactions with people they normally wouldn’t. It provides such a great opportunity for character development and this one definitely had those moments

–The Diversity of the Cast–

This story hits all the marks in terms of diversity. You’ve got characters of various ethnicities, races and sexual orientation and it feels natural. It doesn’t feel like Prendergast is checking off boxes simply to meet the mark. It adds to the story in a way very positive way.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Very Slow Plot–

One reason I haven’t read many alien invasion/post-apocalypse is that I find the plots to be terribly slow. These characters are just going through the motions, trying to survive and understand what is happening. The focus is almost too much on establishing the setting and not enough on the action.

This novel did have its moments of action–Raven and company have to evade the Nahx at various points but they seemed tiny in comparison to the grand scheme of things.

Also, Raven and Eighth don’t meet well into the 50% mark. I wanted that interaction earlier in the novel.

Some intrigue with regards to why the Nahx were invading or who they were–besides learning how to kill them–would have gone a long way to keep me interested.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

The last 20 pages or so were very interesting and set up nicely for a sequel. I’m on the fence about whether or not I will pick it up; it really just depends on what the synopsis for the next one is.

My Rating: 2/5

Zero Repeat Forever 2/5| Book 2 TBP

overall

The best way I can describe this novel is the like movie Arrival (2016). It has this slower, mundane pacing to it where the characters go through the motions but not a whole lot is happening at one time. Readers who like the gradual build and don’t mind the slower pace will enjoy this. Action seekers should look elsewhere

Read if You Like: slower stories, invasion stories
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance
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Series Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Alienated (from Goodreads):
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

breakdown

Series: Alienated
Author: Melissa Landers
# of Books: 2 (Alienated, Invaded)

There is a FREE bridging e-novella between the two books: Until Midnight

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes (though more may be written in the future)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction, Aliens, Humour
Heat Rating: getting warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Source & Format: public library–hardcopies

thoughts

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this series; I think I was doing my 6 degrees of book recommendations on Goodreads–you know, where you look up one book and in the corner you see this other cover that captures your attention and so on and so forth… Regardless, I found this book and saw that my local library had copies so I said why not? The only YA alien romance novel/series that I have read to date is Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux Series which I enjoyed quite a bit. So when she says “with the right mix of sizzling romance, action, and suspense, ALIENATED is easily my favorite alien book to date” well, I was going to pay attention and pick it up–so mission accomplished marketing department 😉

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started to read Alienated. I suppose I expected the cliches of an antagonistic love affair and high school drama–and that is there for sure but it also had a splash of humour which was what I loved the most!

I loved Aelyx’s cynical attitude about things and how he would describe everyday Earth things as if they were the craziest thing he had ever seen. Cara was also really funny and sensible–which I find rare in a YA heroine these days. Together they had a really great connection and their banter back and forth was a lot of fun to read!

And while there was some high school drama, it balanced well with the romance and the larger-scheme plot lines that were happening. Like Armentrout said in her review, it really was the perfect mix of everything you like in a YA novel which makes it such a treat to read!

I read the novella, Until Midnight, right before Invaded. It definitely isn’t necessary but it bridges the physical time gap between the two books. Plus, it’s a FREE eBook so really it’s almost silly not to read the 5 chapters of the short story!

Invaded took me longer to get into. I think part of the reason is the circumstances of the plot (which is hard to elaborate on when you write spoiler-free reviews!) but suffice it to say, given the situations Aelyx and Cara find themselves in, I expected it to begin on the slower side of things. So while I appreciated the character development in the first half of the book, I enjoyed the faster pace of the last half a lot more.

This series is listed as completed–Landers is writing a new book for 2016–but she said on her website page that more books are contingent upon book sales of Invaded. While I am completely satisfied with the way things ended, I would be open to reading more books in this series–or at the very least a follow-up novella.

My Rating: 4/5

overall

This series was a fun, light-hearted read that I found to be refreshing! While it won’t be gracing the top of any of my favourites list, I enjoyed reading it a lot. It was a great blend of everything I like in a YA romance read: great chemistry, funny leads and interesting plot situations.

Read if You Like: hate-to-love romances, aliens, humour
Avoid if You: dislike “forbidden” romances, are expecting a true Science Fiction focus, dislike “fluffier” YA

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Series Review: Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Author
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout (Other pen names: J. Lynn)
# of Books: 5 (Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin, Opposition)

There is a prequel novella called Shadows.

There is also a New Adult novel set in the same world that slightly crosses-over into the series in Origin but is completely unrelated to this series called Obsession.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: warm for a Young Adult read (some may not find it appropriate for younger teens)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I discovered Ms. Armentrout after finding her Covenant Series but at the time it was not available for purchase in Canada. However, these books were at my library so I decided to read them instead.

A Young Adult series that deals with aliens wasn’t something I had come across at the time I started to read these books (I later read the Lorien Legacies but they are two completely different types of series). It was a change from the vampire and fallen angel romance stories I had been reading so I found it was super refreshing in that sense.

One of the reasons I really found it refreshing is because of Katy. I really liked her as a heroine. She was funny and quirky in a non-irritating way. She was also independent and didn’t need a man to define her–which in and of itself is a nice break from the usual Young Adult paranormal heroines. I also really liked Daemon–he is definitely swoon-worthy in every way. After reading Ms. Armentrout’s other works I have to give her props because she writes great heroes <3 Overall I felt like they were a good pair for each other.

Obsidian to me followed the typical Young Adult story in terms of the romance but the plot had an interesting spin to it. This science fiction spin carries on through the rest of the books and I really enjoy that aspect of it. And the characters really make the story as well. Onyx was a good follow up to its predecessor.

Opal was a rocky read for me. Having loved Katy in the first two books, she really grated my nerves in this book. I felt like the strong, independent girl we were introduced to lost a bit of herself because of Daemon and I really didn’t like that. I also found the plot slow and not overly interesting. This book read much more like the second book in a trilogy where it was needed to bridge the plot for the final climax of the series. It ended on a good note so I was really excited to read Origin.

Origin to me picked back up on the charm of the first two books and I enjoyed reading it much more than Opal. Katy redeemed herself in my eyes and I like where this series is heading into its last book Opposition.

I just have two important notes:

1) It’s important to note that Armentrout is an adult writer so the sexual content in this book is spicier than most young adult novels. I wouldn’t recommend younger teens reading it because of the content. This isn’t to say we get full out descriptions like in adult novels but it is more descriptive than the occasional make out session in other novels. From my understanding, Obsessions, a New Adult spin-off, has much more spice to it (though I have yet to read it).

2) Shadows is a prequel novella in the sense that it takes place before the first book in the series. However, it isn’t necessary to read and I would actually recommend that you read it after you read the first novel, Obsidian. I think it gives away too much about the mystery we get in Obsidian and it’s a nice way to wrap everything you learn in the first book together.

UPDATED (October 21/14): Opposition was everything I wanted for a finale for this series. I thought we would get a little more physical action scenes but we didn’t; and that isn’t a bad thing either. Everything was well done and fans of the series will like how everything wraps up.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a young adult paranormal romance but are tired of fallen angels and vampires, this is the series for you. It is geared for older young adults in terms of the romance but has action, humour and swoon-worthy heroes. The characters are always entertaining and the plot follows some interesting twists along the way. Overall, a great read.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental Series #1) and Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Obsidian (from Goodreads):

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Science Fiction Series, Top Series #17
Series: Lorien Legacies or I am Number Four Series
Author: Pittacus Lore (Fun Fact: This is actually the name of a character in the book!)
# of Books: 7 (I am Number Four; The Power of Six, The Rise of Nine, The Fall of Five, The Revenge of Seven; Fate of Ten; United as One)

There is an entire set of novellas that provide background info and other stories. The complete list can be found here Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Aliens, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person (I am Number Four); Multiple (Power of Six onwards)
Publication Dates: August 2010 – June 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

Like most people, I only read I am Number Four because it was about to be released as a movie. I tried my best to finish before the movie but I wasn’t able to read it fast enough before it was out of the theatres. I still haven’t seen the movie but once I find a copy of it, you’ll be the first to read my review on it!

I know the movie bombed at the box office and this book isn’t particularly a hit with readers either. And that’s a damn shame because the rest of the series is far superior and so fantastic that lots of people who probably would enjoy reading it probably dropped it after reading I am Number Four.

I am Number Four isn’t anything special. It’s actually pretty mediocre and follows the typical Young Adult Science Fiction plot line: boy is in hiding, discovers his special powers and falls in love with a human girl. It’s very formulaic. It also doesn’t help that Four/John isn’t the easiest person to like. He’s kinda whinny and has a bit of righteous attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. But I loved Sam (his sidekick) and I loved the concept of the story. And by the end of the book, we get a bigger and better plotline that makes reading the next book so awesome.

The Power of Six was absolutely fantastic! After I finished reading the book, I even said so to myself. I really really enjoyed it. There is a lot more action and more about the purpose of John & company is revealed. I think it helps that we get a few more characters to read about so you don’t get John-overload. It was just a lot of fun to read about and had everything I love in a good series novel.

The Rise of Nine picks up right where The Power of Six leaves us (and thank goodness for that!) and it keeps going with the faster-pace action and has lots of twists and turns. It was hard to put this one down as well.

The Fall of Five is much slower than The Rise of Nine action wise in the middle of the book but I also devoured it. This was more a book about plot development but I never found it dull because of the multiple perspectives and the twists always had me thinking. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see where the next two books go in the series because the building up of the story has been fantastic in the last two novels. The wait until August is probably going to kill me 😛

As for the novellas, I’ve only read one or two. You don’t really need them to appreciate the world and I find that Pittacus Lore is good at reiterating the little facts about each character as you go between the books so things are always fresh on your mind. But they do make for a good way to pass the time while waiting for the next novel 😉

updates

–October 9, 2014– Book 5: Revenge of Seven

Words cannot describe how excited I was to read to read the Revenge of Seven. August has become synonymous with the release of these novels to me so I was absolutely dying to get my copy from the library. While Revenge of Seven wasn’t what I was entirely expected (I thought we were going to get a certain character’s perspective but we didn’t) I loved every minute of it. This book was really about building up to the final climax so I found it wasn’t focused on the physical action so much, though don’t get me wrong there was plenty of action just not as much as previous books. I really loved how everything is coming together and I can’t wait to read the final novel!

–November 19, 2015– Book 6: Fate of Ten

I was probably halfway through Fate of Ten when I realized that it was NOT the final book of the series. That irked me a little because I had opted to pay a late fine at the library in order to finish it thinking I was getting the grande finale.

Despite that, this book was good. Again, not as action packed as the previous novels though it does increase as you reach the end. It helps link up all of your questions and has some interesting developments that have me on edge to see how everything is going to wrap up. Solid book overall.

–August 22, 2016– Book 7: United as One

I loved and hated every moment of this book. Loved it because it was everything I wanted the ending to be but hated it because I am seriously going to miss this cast of characters!

I thought this book started slow–then again, it’s been so long since I read the previous novel. Everything started to come back to me the further I got and I found myself once again drawn into the struggles of these characters.

I really, really liked this ending! The journey is finally at a close and what a wild adventure it has been!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

I am Number Four 3/5 | The Power of Six 4/5 | The Rise of Nine 5/5  |  The Fall of Five 5/5  |  The Revenge of Seven 4/5  |  The Fate of Ten 4/5  |  United as One 5/5

overall

Don’t judge the series by I am Number Four. I like to think of I am Number Four as one big prequel novella for the rest of the series. Those who love science fiction and stories with lots of kickass action, you will enjoy the rest of the faster paced books in the series! So while it is important to read I am Number Four, don’t let it dissuade you from reading The Power of Six. But if you don’t enjoy The Power of Six, then you won’t like the rest of the series because that is what the rest of the series is like.

Read if You Like: slower starts, world-building, aliens, YA Science Fiction
Avoid if You: want more romance, dislike science fiction

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Synopsis for I am Number Four (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding.

The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

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