Tag Archives: Sci. Fi.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (review by Mrs. Cranston)

RobopocalypseRobopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Robopocalypse (available as an ebook through OverDrive), humans have finally done it. By creating a super-intelligent robot named Archos, we have, in its words, “made mankind obsolete.” In one horrifying moment (Zero Hour), Archos turns our technology against us, using cars, smart-weapons, even cell phones as tools of the robot uprising. Told from alternating perspectives before and after Zero Hour, this fast-paced book describes how a few brave humans resist Archos’ quest to cleanse the world of humanity. Readers who like a little philosophy thrown in with their apocalypse will adore this book. Sure there are be-tentacled super-robots ripping open buildings to extract humans like sardines from a can, but there are also humanoid robots meditating on what it means to be “alive.” Robopocalypse’s oral history structure as well as the scale and pace of its global disaster will draw comparisons to World War Z. However, while World War Z’s protagonists had to outmaneuver zombies (gross yes, but relatively slow and definitely brain-dead), Robopocalypse’s characters must outsmart a vastly superior intelligence whose army is global and instantaneous and in your iPad! In fact, the challenge is so compelling and Archos so daunting that the resolution is a bit unconvincing…still there are more books in the series, so we’ll see what happens next! Overall, a great read. – Mrs. Cranston, Harker librarian

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Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (review by Karen T. ’16)

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a futuristic world on the brink of an alien invasion, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is accepted into the prestigious Battle School, an orbiting military school dedicated to training soldiers and leaders for the impending third alien invasion. As Ender accelerates through his studies, he encounters both friends and enemies, all of whom leave indelible marks on Ender’s life. Although the plot tends toward repetitive monotony towards the middle of the book, the vivid characterization of the protagonist and the logic behind his brilliant tactics save the story from becoming insipid. While those who eschew the details of politics and technology may find this novel dull, Ender’s Game will captivate fans of science fiction or military novels due to its complex characters and tactics, as well as its detailed writing style. – Karen T. ’16

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The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (review by Evani R. ’17)

The Martian ChroniclesThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Martian Chronicles is a collection of connected short stories about man and Martians. Bradbury paints a picture of a Mars ruined by human colonists. Although no one character travels the entire length of the book, the eerie, fascinating stories have imaginative settings. Stories are suspenseful and tackle human topics of jealousy, selfishness, racism, and actual events of the past. Throughout the book, we find out that the four expeditions for human occupation are due to the imminent atomic war on Earth. Bradbury writes his tales with lyrical beauty that culminate in an unforgettable ending . The Martian Chronicles is a great collection for both science fiction fans as well as general readers. – Evani R. ‘17

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Altered by Jennifer Rush (review by Sophia S. ’15)

Altered (Altered, #1)Altered by Jennifer Rush
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The plot of a romance between genetically enhanced, mentally and physically, super-human boy and a girl whose memories have been altered without her knowledge vs. the secret organization that experiments medically on human subjects has so much potential, but this book simply does not measure up. I understand what the author is trying to accomplish in the scenes where characters discover hidden truths about their lives, truths that impact their views of their place in the world, but as a reader, I am unaffected. This book also is unsuccessful in the romance department. The subtleties between the protagonists are so understated and nuanced as to be negligible. The style is similar yet inferior to Lauren Kate’s writing. All in all, not recommend except for fans devoted to supernatural romance. – Sophia S. ‘15

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Unwind by Neal Shusterman (review by Nikita R. ’16)

Unwind (Unwind, #1)Unwind by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine a world where teenagers are at a constant risk to be “unwound,” or have their body parts harvested to be donated later, by their parents. This sociological dystopia can be viewed in Neal Shusterman’s novel Unwind, a must-read. Poignant and illustrative, the story not only fully draws the readers into a grippingly heart-rending world but also raises questions about many current societal controversies, for instance abortion. Told from the viewpoints of three different desperate teenagers, Unwind is an engaging tale about a fight to survive while questioning existence itself. The first book in the Unwind Trilogy, Unwind is especially recommended for readers who appreciate powerful, complex characters, but will be relished by people of any age. – Nikita R. ’16

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