#RRSciFiMonth: Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams

Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow this year, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction! From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it is intended to help science fiction lovers share their love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.

Fatal AllianceGenre: Science Fiction, Gaming

Series: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Publisher: LucasBooks (July 2010 )

Author Information: Twitter | Website



Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Narrator: Marc Thompson | Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Random House Audio (July 20, 2010) | Whispersync Ready: No

Fatal Alliance is a tie-in/lore novel based mainly on Bioware’s MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). This is also the first Star Wars novel that I have read. I consider myself more of a casual fan who mainly enjoys the movies, comics, and games, but I wanted to give the novels a try. As I said on my review of Patrick Weekes’ The Masked Empire, I refuse to let books based on video games off the hook simply for the fact that they’re based on a such a visual medium. There’s an idea that I shouldn’t expect much out of them, but I don’t accept that. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect tie-ins to be more than just a thinly written book meant to make a cash grab, especially considering how thoughtful many games. Why shouldn’t they have book counterparts on equal footing?

This book follows a group of characters from both the Republic and the Empire as they seek to gain control of the remains of a mysterious ship that has the coordinates to resources that could greatly aid either side, or at least, they assume that’s what’s in store for them. They’re unable to verify this before purchase due to the Hutts having control of the remains. However, neither side actually intends to purchase the prize, which results in a mini-heist of sorts. Unlikely alliances are formed as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the destroyed ship.

Williams went out of his way to make sure you knew this was a gaming novel. This book is written with slant toward people familiar with the games or Star Wars in general as most tie-in media is. There’s not much description of the characters or surroundings because the book assumes most readers have played the game and can picture the setting and characters based on what they know about the settings and how the various races typically look, which can be a turn off for someone who may be only slightly familiar with the Star Wars universe. Williams also managed to fit in a shout out to all the classes you can play in SWTOR in this book in the most obvious of ways. There’s not anything wrong with that, but the execution felt cheesy. If you’ve ever played SWTOR, you could easily pick up on the classes these characters represented, but Williams took it a step further by stating outright what classes these characters represent. Example: Moxla was a trooper, and that was easy enough to understand from what we learned about her. There wasn’t really any need to spell it out to the readers, even those who may only be familiar with the movies and/or other Star Wars media. However, we had to have a Captain Obvious moment where another character makes sure to point out that she’s a trooper. We understand she’s a trooper, really. That happened with many characters. I found myself thinking, “I understand he’s a smuggler. I understand he’s a Jedi knight. Why are you stating such obvious facts?”

First, I’d like to talk about a narration well done. Marc Thompson does an exceptional job narrating this story, giving all the characters such distinct voices. And trust me, this book has many characters who speak, so to be able to nail different voices for all of them takes talent. I might have enjoyed his narration more than I enjoyed the story. A few caveats on this audiobook. It is full production, which means there is music and sound effects. From time to time, and this is a complaint I have for most full production audiobooks, the din in the background can drown out the narrator’s voice. Ifound it particularly distracting when Thompson was speaking over a character that was speaking Huttese to simulate translating. That was distracting. Another thing is that the quality was inconsistent. I don’t know if this was an issue with my player or if it’s an issue with the audiobook, but there were parts that were just weak quality.

This book asked me to suspend much of my beliefs as far as the plot was concerned. I never really felt the basis of the plot was a strong one. Plots like these stand up in video games because players have to infer much of the details or what’s going on in the background. Often the players are much more imaginative than the writers in this respect. It gets trickier ro explain this plot “on paper” because then the writers are tasked with fleshing out the story with more detail, and sometimes, that can leave readers thinking that maybe they didn’t think through this plot enough, which is partly the case here. There were many ways that a plot like this could’ve gone that would’ve made it more believable, but it wasn’t so bad that I gave up on it. As far as stories go, this one did keep me engaged. It actually turned out better than I was expecting. And admittedly, I did get a kick out of characters from the game being introduced into the story, such as Satele Shan and Watcher Three. The new characters Williams’ introduced weren’t terribly rounded, but they were likable enough that I cared about what happened to them… well, most of them. Also, I enjoyed most of the action sequences and could see them playing out epically in my head.

This was an interesting trek through the Star Wars universe, and despite some complaints mainly with the weak  (very weak and also partially stupid) plot, I’m actually looking forward to reading more novels to fill in the gaps of this universe because it’s all in good fun. Also, Jet Nebula and Clunker are the MVPs of this novel.

Story: 679d6-new3stars | Performance: 227a6-4-5stars | Overall: 66235-new3-5stars

#RRSciFiMonth: The Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow this year, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction! From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it is intended to help science fiction lovers share their love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.

descenderDescender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

Genre: Science fiction

Publisher: Image Comics (September 2015)

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

A sudden attack by giant robots and their equally sudden disappearances leaves humanity with only one decision: all robots must be destroyed. On a remote mining planet, one robot survives the culling. His name is Tim-21 and he was designed to be a companion for a young boy. As it turns out, Tim is not alone in his robotic status, but more importantly, his programming is very similar to the harvesters that attacked a decade earlier. This makes Dr. Quon, his designer, a very wanted man.

A robot boy who wants to be real. Robot genocide at the hands of humans who fear them. Rebel factions. Bounty hunters. Political intrigue and betrayal. All of these things are fairly common stories in the realm of robot science fiction, but Lemire’s writing and Nguyen’s stark yet powerful art breathe new life into this tale and leave me wanting more as Tim tries to understand who he is and how he fits into the puzzle.


But most of all, Tim just wants to find his family and, though he knows he is a robot, he displays all of the emotional moments needed to endear him to us.

The mystery behind the harvesters looms over the story, but so too does a strange dream that Tim has when he is momentarily deactivated, revealing him to be the potential saviour of all of the robots who have perished before him. But Philip K. Dick has already asked the question of whether or not androids dream, so what is it that Tim truly experienced?


#RRSciFiMonth Book Review: Starhawk by Jack McDevitt

Sci-Fi MonthSci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow this year, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction! From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it is intended to help science fiction lovers share their love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.

082c3-starhawkStarhawk by Jack McDevitt

Genre: Science Fiction
Series: The Academy #7
Publisher: Ace (November 2013)
Author Info: jackmcdevitt.com

I have never read a Jack McDevitt novel before, much less the Academy series where I would have met Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins, the main character of said series. This is a prequel to that series and thereby a good jumping point to get into the series. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly compelling one, though there are many things that the book does right.

First off, it should be noted that Priscilla shares the spotlight in this book, with her mentor, Jake Loomis, getting point of view chapters of his own and he struggles with the tragedy of the book’s opening mission, and his future with space flight. The future of spaceflight itself is a prominent theme, as there is very little funding available to maintain the level of exploration needed, much less to rescue those who get stranded out there. The latter is another prominent theme as it becomes the only way for Hutch, a fresh off of certification pilot, to get out into space in this cash strapped industry.

This is not a high action book. In fact, it feels very realistic to me, offering us lots of solitude and boredom on the space flights. Even during the tense situations of the rescues, there’s a sense of “hurry up and wait” because not all space travel is about laser battles and explosions. We’re also just on the cusp of FTL travel here, with humanity only just poking its nose into the universe and hoping for a response. There is evidence of Something Out There, with repeated mention of the monument on Iapetus, which I assume is important to future novels. But there’s also the underlying concern of what we are doing in our attempt to reach further into space and colonize other worlds. Are we destroying life elsewhere for the sake of our own expansion? But this too is an issue that burns slowly in the story, even with occasional moments of opposition. Some protestors take to terrorism, while others simply choose to bite their tongues to avoid the hassle, and ultimately, the answer to the question of “is terraforming destroying life on other planets” is “maybe, but probably not for a long time.” This pedantic approach to the storytelling might bore some, but I found it appealing in its realism.

I assume that a lot of the relationships and even names, such as “Starhawk” and “Hutch” are common in the future books. Here we learn their lackluster origins and slag through the tepid friendships and romances that occur separately between Jake and Priscilla. Priscilla’s relationship with Cal in particular is poorly written. I hope that he plays a significant role in her future life but for now, I am as uninterested in their romance as she seemed to be at first, and am even more disappointed in the inexplicable switch in her approval of him, which went from “meh” to a lazily written “I’m not sure when I started to care blah blah blah…” While I can appreciate the slowness of the rest of the storytelling, the characters themselves, as well as their relationships, are utterly dull and unappealing. This is where the book ultimately fails to make me want to know more.

And finally, a pet peeve: It’s 200 years in the future, but of course the cast is default white and they get descriptions about flowing hair and sparkling eyes etc. Then McDevitt tosses in some background people of colour who get descriptions like “African-American” or “Asian.” This is level one diversity Jack. Thanks for trying, but can you please refer to GRRM’s handy chart of shades for describing PoC characters.

Be sure to check out Mogsy’s far more positive review of the book here!

#RRSciFiMonth Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace + Giveaway!

Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow this year, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction! From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it is intended to help science fiction lovers share their love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.

***Be sure to check out the end of this post for details on our GIVEAWAY of Invasive Species!***

A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Invasive SpeciesInvasive Species by Joseph Wallace

Genre: Science Fiction, Suspense, Horror

Series: Book 1

Publisher: Berkley (12/3/13)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nature is scary. Books that remind us of this fact are always enlightening, and that’s what I loved about Invasive Species. When your story involves science and ecological elements—and especially when your focus is on nasty, icky bugs—even a novel in the Suspense/Thriller category can easily read like a Horror.

From the book’s description alone though, it was hard to tell what it would be about. All we know is that an unknown breed of predator has emerged, and humans are its favorite prey. This new enemy is faster, stronger, and far deadlier than anything we’ve seen before. Right away, my brain started working on constructing this hypothetical creature, and I couldn’t help it—films like Predator, Alien, and other movies featuring science fiction’s most terrifying killing machines immediately sprang to mind. After all, we’ve seen these types of plots so many times before; it’s difficult to imagine that a threat of this nature could be anything other than a malevolent, extraterrestrial monster.

Turns out, I was totally wrong. The “monsters” in Invasive Species turn out to be wasps. Sure, they may be wasps on steroids, having evolved to be become larger, smarter, and more poisonous than the norm. But still…just wasps. Does it make this book any less scary, though? Nope. Actually, it just made me feel even more creeped out and unsettled. If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you know what I’m talking about. Wasps are pure evil.

Certainly, if you’re an entomophobe, you’re going to have a really tough time with this book. While it’s a science fiction story that also gets a bit far-fetched here and there, the premise has just enough science in it to make you squirm. Our protagonist Trey Gilliard is a modern explorer of sorts, literally taking the road less traveled. His life’s work is all about heading into the least known regions of the planet. There are still areas on earth relatively untouched by humanity, and some of these are in the deep jungles of Africa. You don’t have to suspend reality too much to believe that a new species could evolve separate in such a place, unknown to the rest of the world. It’s here where Trey first encounters his first “thief”, a new kind of parasitoid wasp. The locals call them that because of the way they steal your mind, your body, and your life. They’re also referred to as “slavemakers” because of the way adult wasps can attach their stingers to hosts and take over their bodies.

Invasive Species Slavemakers

The thieves are deadlier than regular wasps for many reasons, but first and foremost it is because they have developed an intricate hive mind, allowing them to communicate long distances and also to recognize and “remember” those who have done them harm. Primates are also their preferred host, including human beings. They breed by injecting their larvae into the abdomens of their unsuspecting prey, and neurotoxins in their venom also scramble and befuddle their victims’ minds, making them unaware that they are pregnant with a baby wasp until it is too late. That’s some messed up, creepy stuff.

The thieves are also great at survival. Deforestation and hunting practices have diminished their natural habitat and available hosts, but instead of dying out, they’ve become even more opportunistic, hitching rides on cars, boats, and planes in order to spread to the rest of the world. In the United States where it’s an election year, their presence eventually sparks a political storm.

Remember my review earlier this year of Bat out of Hell, a so-called “eco-thriller”? That one didn’t work out so well for me. And well, after reading Invasive Species, I realized this is how I wished that book had turned out! Invasive Species is a far better book because author Joseph Wallace did the right thing and focused on the disaster at multiple levels. He focused on the individual victims. He also focused on the threat of the thieves themselves. He emphasized the way these insect invaders fueled the fear and panic, ratcheting up the suspense to a fever pitch. The book is also a frightening reminder of just how fragile we are when science and technology fails us, and how quickly a civilization can come apart at the seams without the proper infrastructure and resources to maintain it.

I won’t spoil the ending, because you’ll just have to read this for yourself to see how the conflict resolves. However, I will say Invasive Species finishes on a bittersweet, melancholy note. After the roller coaster ride this story gave me, I thought it was ominously appropriate. For a book I knew next to nothing about when I first started it, I ended up really enjoying myself. Gripping, suspenseful, and delightfully chilling, this is a novel that will really get under your skin! A fine blend of drama and action for fans of sci-fi thrillers and horror. The follow-up titled Slavemakers is actually on the horizon, due out later this winter, and I’m looking forward to picking it up now more than ever.

4 stars

* * *


Invasive Species

 With Slavemakers due out next week, there’s no better time than the present to check out Invasive Species to see how it all began. The publisher has very generously offered The BiblioSanctum an opportunity to host a giveaway for one print copy of Invasive Species. This giveaway is open to US addresses only.  To enter, all you have to do is send an email to bibliosanctum@gmail.com with your Name and valid Mailing Address using the subject line “INVASIVE SPECIES” by 11:59pm Eastern time on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Only one entry per household, please. Entrants must be 18 or older. The winner will be randomly selected when the giveaway ends and then be notified by email. All information will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner and sending them their prize. Once the giveaway ends all entry emails will be deleted.

So what are you waiting for? Enter to win! Good luck!

#RRSciFiMonth 5 Books I Read in 2015 That Deserve More Attention

Sci-Fi Month

2015 saw a number of big science fiction releases, but here are five books that might have flown under radars!

Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper (Pyr: March 3, 2015)

The first book of a planned duology, Edge of Dark also takes place in the future of the same timeline as Brenda Cooper’s Ruby’s Song series,  which made me very happy because I loved The Diamond Deep when I read it a couple years ago. I certainly didn’t expect to like it so much, but was surprised at how addictive the story was. (Read my full review…)

Edge of Dark

What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living.  And yet, that life thrived?  It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun.  What if it didn’t share your moral compass in any way?

The Glittering Edge duology describes the clash of forces when an advanced society that has filled a solar system with flesh and blood life meets the near-AI’s that it banished long ago.  This is a story of love for the wild and natural life on a colony planet, complex adventure set in powerful space stations, and the desire to live completely whether you are made of flesh and bone or silicon and carbon fiber.

In Edge of Dark, meet ranger Charlie Windar and his adopted wild predator, and explore their home on a planet that has been raped and restored more than once.  Meet Nona Hall, child of power and privilege from the greatest station in the system, the Diamond Deep.  Meet Nona’s best friend, a young woman named Chrystal who awakens in a robotic body….

Evensong by John Love (Night Shade Books: January 6, 2015)

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t think this would be my type of book, but after I finished Evensong, the emotional impact it had on me was something I just couldn’t ignore. The ending touched something deep inside me, and as the dust settled, I was left with a numbness, a melancholy that even now I find hard to explain. (Read my full review…)

EvensongThe future is a dangerous place. Keeping the world stable and peaceful when competing corporate interests and nation-states battle for power, wealth, and prestige has only gotten harder over the years. But that’s the United Nations’ job. So the UN has changed along with the rest of the world. When the UN’s “soft” diplomacy fails, it has harder options. Quiet, scalpel-like options: The Dead—biologically enhanced secret operatives created by the UN to solve the problems no one else can.

Anwar Abbas is one of The Dead. When the Controller-General of the UN asks him to perform a simple bodyguard mission, he’s insulted and resentful: mere bodyguard work is a waste of his unique abilities. But he takes the job, because to refuse it would be unthinkable.

Anwar is asked to protect Olivia del Sarto, the host of an important upcoming UN conference. Olivia is head of the world’s fastest-growing church, but in her rise to power she has made enemies: shadowy enemies with apparently limitless resources.

Anwar is one of the deadliest people on earth, but her enemies have something which kills people like him. And they’ve sent it for her. It’s out there, unstoppable and untraceable, getting closer as the conference approaches.

As he and Olivia ignite a torrid affair, Anwar must uncover the conspiracy that threatens to destroy her, the UN, and even The Dead.

Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Saga Press: October 27, 2015)

Frankly, I’m surprised this book hasn’t gotten more attention, since the author has written several well-received books before this one. Our Lady of the Ice is a very different kind of sci-fi novel.  Infused with hard-boiled noir vibes, it features wonderful characters and takes place in one of the most mind-blowingly unique settings I’ve ever seen.  I found this book simply irresistible. (Read my full review…)

Our Lady of the IceHope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:

Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.

Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.

Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.

Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.

But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, factions will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…

Cash Crash Jubilee by Eli K. P. William (Talos: May 5, 2015)

Cash Crash Jubilee is utterly fascinating, from cover to cover. The premise is disconcerting, with details that sometimes bordered on the absurd, but it did make me think. I love a book that gets my brain juices flowing, and I found myself so completely absorbed in the sights and sounds of William’s dystopic Tokyo. It’s a trove of insanity and wonder, all in one place. (Read my full review…)

Cash Crash JubileeIn a near future Tokyo, every action—from blinking to sexual intercourse—is intellectual property owned by corporations that charge licensing fees. A BodyBank computer system implanted in each citizen records their movements from moment to moment, and connects them to the audio-visual overlay of the ImmaNet, so that every inch of this cyber-dystopian metropolis crawls with information and shifting cinematic promotainment.

Amon Kenzaki works as a Liquidator for the Global Action Transaction Authority. His job is to capture bankrupt citizens, remove their BodyBank, and banish them to BankDeath Camps where they are forever cut off from the action-transaction economy. Amon always plays by the rules and is steadily climbing the Liquidation Ministry ladder.

With his savings accumulating and another promotion coming, everything seems to be going well, until he is asked to cash crash a charismatic politician and model citizen, and soon after is charged for an incredibly expensive action called “jubilee” that he is sure he never performed. To restore balance to his account, Amon must unravel the secret of jubilee, but quickly finds himself asking dangerous questions about the system to which he’s devoted his life, and the costly investigation only drags him closer and closer to the pit of bankruptcy.

In book one of the Jubilee Cycle, Cash Crash Jubilee, debut novelist Eli K. P. William wields the incisive power of speculative fiction to show how, in a world of corporate finance run amok, one man will do everything for the sake of truth and justice

First Light by Linda Nagata (Saga Press: June 30, 2015)

First Light is the excellent, smart, and action-packed introduction to The Red series, originally indie-published but then re-released by a major publisher – because it is JUST. THAT. GOOD. This book gets my recommendation, especially for fans of military science fiction. It’s been getting all kinds of attention lately, but I say it could always use more! (Read my full review…)

The Red First Light

Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.

Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad members are linked wirelessly 24/7 to themselves and a central intelligence that guides them via drone relay—and unbeknownst to Shelley and his team, they are being recorded for a reality TV show.

When an airstrike almost destroys their outpost, a plot begins to unravel that’s worthy of Crichton and Clancy’s best. The conflict soon involves rogue defense contractors, corrupt US politicians, and homegrown terrorists who possess nuclear bombs. Soon Shelley must accept that the helpful warnings in his head could be AI. But what is the cost of serving its agenda?

#RRSciFiMonth Book Review: Superposition by David Walton

Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow this year, created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction! From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it is intended to help science fiction lovers share their love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.

A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

SuperpositionSuperposition by David Walton

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 1 of Superposition

Publisher: Pyr (4/7/15)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with hard sci-fi. To clarify, I am mostly talking about science fiction with heavy emphasis on science and technology. If an author can ease me gently into a story like this, it is certainly possible for me to become absorbed and enjoy myself. On the other hand, overwhelm me with techno-babble and science that I don’t understand, and you will see my eyes glazing over faster than a donut on a conveyor belt at Krispy Kreme.

Happily, Superposition turned out to fall in the former category. Of course, I did experience a momentary spike of panic when I realized how heavily the story relies on the various theories in quantum physics (let’s just say my area of study and interest is Biology; I’m a Life Sciences kinda gal, and I did everything that was humanly possible to get out of taking any Physics courses in university) but somehow this book made me feel completely comfortable. David Walton is an author I’ve known of for a while, but have never read until now, and I have to say I’m beyond impressed with the way he made quantum physics easy to understand, even for a “physics phobe” like me. Also, he managed to make it entertaining!

This novel opens with the words “Up-spin” below the first chapter heading, with the narrator Jacob Kelley telling a story about how everything in his life changed the night Brian Vanderhall, an old friend he hasn’t seen in years, shows up at his house babbling about aliens and quantum intelligences, and then proceeds to pull a gun at Jacob’s wife Elena. Brian shoots, but the bullet somehow passes through Elena, leaving her unharmed while punching a hole through the wall behind her. In a rage, Jacob chases Brian out of his house.

But then there are also the even-numbered “Down-spin” chapters. These chapters follow Jacob in a courtroom setting, and we discover that he is on trial for the murder of Brian Vanderhall, who was apparently found dead the same night he visited the Kelley residence, just hours after he shot at Elena. The reader is made to understand that a long time has passed between the Up-spin and Down-spin chapters, and that something significant must have occurred after Brian was chased out of Jacob’s house, which then lead to Jacob’s arrest and prosecution. Did Jacob really kill his old friend or not?

You might be surprised by the answers. I know I was. The truth is weirder than you can imagine, but it will also become much clearer as the story unfolds, told between these two alternating timelines. So, in one thread, we have the “past” where Jacob trying to figure out why Brian came to his house and how he was able to shoot at and not harm Elena, as well as the “present” thread which essentially is a riveting courtroom drama. The trial scenes were actually my favorite, because they captured the tensions of the setting so well, and even injected a bit of humor.

The fact you have a genuinely interesting and entertaining storyline along with all the science is what makes Superposition such a great book. It’s a murder mystery with a quantum physics twist, one that truly excited me, and I’ll be honest here, before this book came along, I would have been hard pressed to imagine myself using the words “excited” and “quantum physics” in the same sentence. Sure, there were some explanations in this that were so complicated that they nearly made me go cross-eyed, but those moments were few and far between. Walton made learning about the topic fun and accessible, using language and other methods that were easy to understand without dumbing things down, and gave the reader enough to follow the story without overcomplicating things.

All in all, I’m really glad I read this novel because I enjoyed it a lot, and yes, that includes all the science-y parts—a good thing, since it was so integral to the plot…the plot that I don’t want to say anything more about, because the more left to secrecy the better. I was utterly addicted to the story, a tightly written tale with a pace that never let up. The use of quantum physics in this murder mystery was simply ingenious, and I’m amazed at Walton’s talent and ability to establish such a fascinating premise. Even if you’re wary about hard sci-fi, I strongly encourage you to give this one a chance; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

4 stars

#RRSciFiMonth Waiting on Wednesday 11/25/15

Sci-Fi Month

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that lets us feature upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on!

Mogsy’s Pick:

Time Siege by Wesley Chu: July 12, 2016 (Tor Books)

For my final sci-fi themed Waiting on Wednesday of the month, I am wrapping things up with this follow-up to Time Salvager,  which was a great book and I’m super excited to check out the sequel! It’s funny though, because I think the cover actually looks a bit “fantasy-ish” (am I the only one?) Regardless, the art is gorgeous, and I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens to James and the gang.

Time SiegeHaving been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.

Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland­­the perfect hiding place for a fugitive ex­chronman to hide from the authorities.

James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.

James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.”

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