The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Armada #scifi #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Last month I talked about reading Armada, so this month I’ll post about finishing it. But first…

I finished my reading challenge for the year and might even add to it before January 1st, but we’ll have to see. Since I’ve neglected my YouTube channel for the last few month, and update on what I read and how my challenge went is in the works.

On a completely separate note, I started a new blog series on music and writing over at A Small Gang of Authors. Give it a look, if you are interested.

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Toi has
completed her goal of reading
50 books in
2017!
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Title: Armada

Series: NA

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Pages: 368

Reading Level: Teen-Adult

Content: PG-13 (some language, violence, bullying, war, combat, espionage, genocide)

This is a fun story. It’s not the most clever sci-fi story ever written, but coming from the man who gave us Ready Player One, it’s still pretty cool.

The story of Zach Lightman is literally one we’ve heard before, but the changes and twist are still fun to watch unfold. Perhaps you’ve heard of Luke Skywalker, (cough, cough) Wade Watts, heck even Daniel LaRusso aka Daniel Son- well then, in a way, you’ve met Zach Lightman already.

In Ready Player One, Cline showed readers a world where virtual reality was the only reality that mattered. In Armada, he shows how conspiracy theories and art (i.e. science fiction) is a true reflection of reality. By comparison, instead of being trapped in the Matrix, our characters are living in Zion, the last human city, getting ready to learn that the Matrix exists. They’ll have a few brief moments to decide if Zion is worth fighting for or concede to be consumed by the program…

A little dramatic I know, but that’s kind of how this book is. Plus, I’m pretty sure it makes reference to every science fiction book, movie, and TV show to ever be Tweeted about. It’s not an original idea, but the execution is great and the characters are entertaining.

The beginning is slow but humorous and then the sh** hits the fan. There are secrets being kept from all sides and a mystery that only a few are willing to pursue. It’s a good story, but somewhat predictable. Still, I liked every minute of it. I let myself get caught up in all the characters, however brief their stories might have been, ‘cause some didn’t make it very long, and I think that made all the difference.

The ending was a bit unsettling for me. If there’s going to be a follow-up, I think it’s a fantastic ending, if not, I feel it leaves too many unanswered questions; it harkens back to the ending of Childhood’s End (see not so original, but still good). In any case, it’s still a satisfying ending, if not also sad, in some ways.

Recommended to fans of science fiction and video games. For this one, I fear that people who are not into at least one, but probably both of these criteria, may not enjoy or even “get” this book.

I give this book a 4.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Fairest #scifi #fairytale

Sorry for being late this month. I forgot to schedule my post. For those of you in the US, be safe out there today. If you’re at home, please enjoy this hop.

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 256
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

After reading Cress, I wasted no time jumping into this long-awaited backstory into the life of the Wicked Queen, aka Levana. I can barely find the right words to describe how much I enjoyed this book. I’m so afraid of giving away spoilers that I’m purposefully making this a short review.

I will say that, dang is this woman’s life messed up. She is all kinds of damaged, from an early age, and she just spirals into, what I consider, insanity. What she does, what is done to her, what the what…. I just can’t. This is such a sad, and brutal, and terrifying story. You want to feel bad for Levana, but she won’t let you. Her crazy out does any wrong done to her and any sympathy she didn’t ask for.

I absolutely love this villain. I so want her to lose so I can feel bad for her and be completely satisfied all at once… See, just reading her story has made me a little crazy.

Totally recommended to fans of this series, fans of psychological sci-fan, and dark fairy tale retellings.

I give this book a 5.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Armada #scifi #videogame

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

So, not only am I late this month but I’m coming up short. I’ve read several books in the month of October and liked most of them, but I haven’t sat down to review any of them. I’m currently reading Armada, the second book by Ernest Cline. So far the story is really good, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it overall. I’m definitely interested in where the story is going.

I’m 96% finished with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but I still have about six books left to read on my personal ‘to read’ challenge. Guess I’ll have to hunker down over the next two months.

Even though I’m disappointed that I missed this post, properly, at least it’s not the only one. I missed my usual Reading Challenge and Wip Update,  my movie review, and more. Hopefully, I’ll be back on track next month with a proper book review and my regular blog schedule (though, I may have to change some things).

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀


Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Bookreview: Strength #fantasy #book

This is a special post I do once a month to highlight a book I reviewed some time ago, but never actually featured on my blog. Because this is an author blog and not a book blog, I don’t always feature all the books I read. Like all good and dedicated fans of the written word, I do my part and leave reviews on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com, and sometimes other places, but don’t always bring attention to what I’m reading, unless you follow me on YouTube… hint, hint, wink wink 😉 In any case, please enjoy this review of a book I read at some point in my life.

~

I realize this should be a WIP and or Reading Challenge Update, but… life happens. I’ll have it next Friday. Promise :D.

~

Goodreads

Title: Strength

Series: Mark of Nexus #1

Author: Carrie Butler

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Pages: 389

Reading Level: Teen Adult

Content: R (violence, brutality, sensuality, sexual content, dark and mature themes, adult situations, suspense)

If only my college experience had been so interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were times when I didn’t know exactly where it was going, but it all came together in the end. At no point during reading it was I ever bored, but there were times when I had to really think about what was going on in the story, and I appreciated that. I like that this author made me think as well as entertain me.

This is a new adult story, very realistic and a bit steamy in places, but that’s what college is for. There’s nothing shocking in this story, but is very mature and sophisticated. The heroine isn’t a ditz who doesn’t know how pretty she is, but despite that, when she meets a man who looks like a god, she does drool a bit. Who wouldn’t?

Out of character for me, I fell hard for the strong, brooding, and dark Wallace. Not sure why, but who cares. We soon learn that there’s more to him than his brooding and there’s no doubt that he’s the type of dangerous that you want on your side, perhaps cuddling up with you at night… I digress.

Wallace’s family, not so alluring at first, but I won’t go into that.

Back to the heroine, Rena. I like her. She’s practical and smart. She’s more scared of going to church than she is facing a possible homicidal maniac, but she has her reasons. She also has a great group of friends. I want to say more about this but I don’t know how without giving away something.

This is thrilling from beginning to end. The slow parts add an edge of suspense to an already intense story and the action is amazing to the point where my superhero geek mind was definitely blown. Yes, there is a romance in this story, but it is second to the actual story and action. Got the next two books already.

Recommended to adult readers (teens with parental agreement) who like urban fantasy.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Cress #scifi #fairytale

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 560
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, war, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

I honestly didn’t see the girl trapped on a satellite turning into a Rapunzel retelling, but it totally works. I love how the author embeds plot points from the original fairytale into this futuristic saga in ways that actually make perfect sense. I won’t geek out about it too much because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but if you like the Rapunzel story, you’ll appreciate this installment of the Lunar Chronicles where Thorne kind of plays the role of the prince.

Before I say more about what I liked in this book, I’ll mention that there wasn’t enough Wolf and Scarlet interaction for me. I understand why they aren’t focused on too much and appreciate where the story is going. I will also admit that I’ve been on the fence a bit about whether or not I really ‘get’ Cinder as the great hero and this story really helped me to appreciate her more. I already liked her, but I just had trouble seeing her as a hero, knowing that the character struggles with that notion herself, makes her feel more real.

I also found that this installment made me appreciate Emperor Kai more. As I read the story, I was pleasantly tasked with reminding myself that these are young, teenage, characters trying to save the world. Too often, for my taste, YA stories make me wish the characters were older. I felt it was a mark of superb storytelling and character development that allowed me to accept the, few and far between, teenage angst because I realized that the story needed light tones from time to time.

Being a sucker for “the one” tales, I really enjoyed how Cinder began to hone her Lunar gifts and complement them with her cyborg advancements. I appreciated the uniqueness of her character and role she plays in bringing light to issues of stereotyping, superstition, and discrimination. I also love that Iko got more involved (can’t wait to read her graphic novel).

Recommended to teen and adult fans of fairytale retellings, cyborg or machine tales, and a good fantasy and sci-fi mash-up.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

Get a print copy with free international shipping at this link: Book Depository.

If you’re up for it, I could really use some support for my Thunderclap campaign, which promotes my 10 Kindle book sale and 5 paperback giveaway.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords