Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades.jpg

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Published November 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Netgalley* e-book; 556 pages
Young Adult/Fantasy
Also By This Author: The Lunar Chronicles Series (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, Stars Above), Heartless
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When a book makes me cry during the prologue, I know I’m in for a fantastic read! I tend to rate books based on the emotional impact they have on me, and I have given books an extra star rating before just because they’ve managed to make me cry. The prologue to Renegades connected me instantly with the antihero, Nova, and I can honestly say she is one of the most interesting characters I’ve encountered in a book before. She is fierce, intelligent, and confident, and even though she’s intimidating to her enemies, I would love to be friends with her in real life.

Nova is an Anarchist, a group of exiled rebels who have been living in abandoned subway tunnels ever since the Renegades defeated them ten years before the novel takes place. The Renegades are Gatlon City’s beloved superheroes, leaders, politicians…basically they do everything and are loved by everyone, except the Anarchists. Nova hates The Renegades, and would like nothing more than to shatter their perfect image that the city idolizes. Adrian is a Renegade legacy, and he is good (honestly, he’s such a pure character, like a perfectly compassionate All-American brainiac with glasses–too many adjectives?). It’s no surprise that Nova feels conflicted about her mission the more time she spends with Adrian.

When I finished Renegades, I had SO MANY QUESTIONS. It’s one of those books that stays on your mind for a few days afterwards while you unpack and analyze everything. This book ends on a major cliffhanger that seriously had me questioning one character’s entire point of view (not really a spoiler, but I felt like one character was revealed to be an unreliable narrator, which of course had me as a reader feeling betrayed!). The sequel (and conclusion) to Renegades had already been announced before I started reading this book, so a cliffhanger wasn’t a huge surprise for me, but the actual cliffhanger was shocking and I did not see it coming. I’m definitely excited to read the finale later this year!

Read This Book If…

…you are a fan of The Hunger Gamesor other dystopian novels that feature a fierce female main character (seriously, Nova is awesome).
…you love superhero movies!
…you enjoy reading books from the POV of a villain or antihero.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own!
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The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

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The Time Traveller embarks on an astonishing journey into the future. His Time Machine transports him to a far-distant but dying world where humanity is divided into two classes: the graceful, idle Eloi who inhabit the idyllic surface of the world, and the Morlocks, ugly nocturnal creatures who live and work underground. In The Time Machine, Wells created one of the first and finest science fiction stories: a social allegory that is both vivid and perturbing.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Published 1895 by William Heinemann
Format: paperback; 118 pages
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: War of the WorldsThe Invisible Man
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I remember watching what was quite possibly my first ever live-action sci-fi movie. However, for years afterwards I could not remember the title, or the basic plot, or even the actors; I could only remember one scene that involved a beautiful, misfortunate lady in a red dress and a man determined to save her life. For years I longed to find this movie and watch it again. It bothered me like an itch I just couldn’t scratch, and I started to believe that I had dreamed the whole thing up.

Then one day, somehow, I stumbled across the movie The Time Machine. I probably picked it up for one of two reasons: Guy Pierce was on the cover, and it was about time travel. But then I watched it, and my heart filled up with excitement because at long last I had been reunited with THE movie!

Since then I have watched and re-watched The Time Machine multiple times, and I credit it as the movie that sparked my love for all-things time travel. But, until only recently, I had never actually read the novella that the movie is based on. H.G. Wells is often regarded as the father of Science Fiction, and The Time Machine is what originally brought him critical acclaim at the end of the 19th century. It was one of the first stories of its kind, and it propagated sub-genres of science fiction that remain wildly popular today.

The Time Machine is told through the narrator, known only as The Time Traveler. In the same manner Jules Verne, another pioneer of science fiction, introduced Phineas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, H.G. Wells introduces The Time Traveler and his time machine by presenting them to a group of intelligent and skeptical peers. The majority of the novella is told as a recounting of The Time Traveler’s journey to the very distant future, when the human species has devolved into two opposing and rival species. The Eloi, which represents the consequences of mankind’s political and cultural aspirations, is a frail and indistinct group that has few interests or emotions in general. Their way of life is free from burden, work, or even relationships. The Morlock tribe, on the other hand, symbolizes the savage and industrial sides of mankind. They are completely nocturnal and reside underground, surfacing only at night to hunt.

The suspense in The Time Machine is incredibly thick and mystical. Even though, through Wells’s use of foreshadow, you know what is going to happen, you can’t help but become caught up in The Time Traveler’s journey to and escape from the future. The imagery of dying Earth and the fall of humanity is both fascinating and worrisome. When coupled with H. G. Wells’s technical voice, it’s easy to pretend you’re reading a memoir and not merely a science fiction novella.

Read This Book If…

…you appreciate both classics and science fiction.
…you are looking for a book that can be read in one sitting.
…you have a healthy imagination and sense of curiosity.
…you love stories about time travel and dystopian societies.

You May Also Enjoy…

Around the World in Eighty DaysjourneyThe Martian Chronicles

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

 

Final Musings

The Time Machine

Does anybody else love the movie The Time Machine? Fun fact: it is directed by H. G. Well’s great-grandson.

Armada by Ernest Cline

armada

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

Armada by Ernest Cline
Published July 14, 2015 by Crown Publishing
Format: Audiobook narrated by Will Wheaton; 11 hr. 49 min.
Science Fiction/Young Adult
Also By This Author: Ready Player One
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts

I love when I find books for my husband to read and he ends up enjoying them as much or even a little bit more than I do. We’ve been waiting for what has felt like months for Ready Player One to become available at the library, but I saw that Armada wasn’t checked out so I grabbed it and both my husband and I had a hard time putting it down.

If you aren’t familiar with Ernest Cline, let me preface this review by saying his books read like the ultimate geeky daydream. Zach’s adventure is Tron meets Ender’s Game meets Star Wars. If you’re a fan of any of those classic sci-fi stories, you are bound to love Armada. In fact, Armada is what I wish Ender’s Game had been (there were parts of Ender’s Game that I loved, and other parts that I equally despised, so the book as a whole was only “meh” for me).

But the most enjoyable part of Armada, to me, wasn’t the endless amounts of geeky pop-culture references that audiobook narrator Will Wheaton did such as good job at imitating. Instead, I found myself getting choked up at the deep familial relationships that honestly took me by surprise. Ernest Cline didn’t hesitate to include beautiful themes of reconciliation and reunion in between his allusions to Captain Pickard and Luke Skywalker.

There are some unpredictable twists and turns, and an ending that will leave you hanging on until the very last page. I’m all the more excited to read Ready Player One now that I’ve read Ernest Cline’s sophomore novel.

“If there was a bright center to the universe, I was on the planet it was farthest from. Please pass the blue milk, Aunt Beru.”

Read This Book If…

…you’re a geek. If you aren’t, you will not get most of the references or allusions and will therefore most likely not enjoy Armada very much.
…you’re an adult who enjoys Young Adult books.
…you’re not tired of dystopian, Armageddon doomsday (with aliens) settings.
…you want a book that will make you laugh and then unexpectedly tear up in the same paragraph.

Final Musings

This book has solidified my fairly recent love and appreciation for audiobooks. Will Wheaton does a phenomenal performance that will really make you feel like you’re watching a movie or, more appropriately, playing an immersive video game. I’d recommend checking out the audiobook from your library instead of reading Armada the old-fashioned way :)