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REVIEW: 'Caliban's War' (The Expanse #2) by James S.A. Corey and the fetishisation of women... in space!

‘Caliban’s War’ and the fetishisation of women… in space!

‘Caliban’s War’ and the fetishisation of women… in space!Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)
three-starsWritten by James S.A. Corey
Published by Orbit (Hachette)
Published on June 26th 2012
Pages: 595
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We are not alone.

On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

In the vast wilderness of space, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante have been keeping the peace for the Outer Planets Alliance. When they agree to help a scientist search war-torn Ganymede for a missing child, the future of humanity rests on whether a single ship can prevent an alien invasion that may have already begun . . .

Caliban's War is a breakneck science fiction adventure following the critically acclaimed Leviathan Wakes.

The Expanse, part two. More space, more aliens, more missing girls… Let’s go!

three-stars

‘Flame in the Mist,’ very little fantasy, very much instalove

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase what is discussed. I will receive a small commission from the sale.

‘Flame in the Mist,’ very little fantasy, very much instaloveFlame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
three-starsWritten by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on May 16th 2017
Pages: 393

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

A Mulan-inspired book written by a woman of colour? Flame in the Mist was an instant read for me!

three-stars
BOOK REVIEW: 'Alex and Eliza' by Melissa de la Cruz, or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of Hamilton: An American Musical

‘Alex and Eliza,’ or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of Hamilton

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase what is discussed. I will receive a small commission from the sale.

‘Alex and Eliza,’ or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of HamiltonAlex and Eliza
zero-starsWritten by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical fiction
Pages: 368
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Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Have you ever seen something that you know was only created to use something else’s fame to make easy money? Because that’s exactly what Melissa de la Cruz’s Alex and Eliza is all about.

zero-stars
REVIEW: 'Leviathan Wakes' (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

‘Leviathan Wakes’ by James S.A. Corey

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase what is discussed. I will receive a small commission from the sale.

‘Leviathan Wakes’ by James S.A. CoreyLeviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1)
three-starsWritten by James S.A. Corey
Published by Orbit
Published on June 2nd 2011
Pages: 561
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Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

It’s hard to review Leviathan Wakes on its plot alone, since I’d already watched season 1 and half of season 2 of the show, and they cover the entirety of the first book. I can’t talk in terms of plot twists or anything like that, since the storyline is similar and I knew what to expect at every step of the line.

three-stars

‘Rebel of the Sands,’ fast pace and islamophobia

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‘Rebel of the Sands,’ fast pace and islamophobiaRebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)
three-starsWritten by Alwyn Hamilton
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
Published on March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 314
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She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

With her first novel, Alwyn Hamilton sends us to a fantastic land of deserts and demons, magic and rebellion. Rebel of the Sands is one of those very rare books I couldn’t put down until I reached the last page… but that probably needed some work on the mythology and a good sensitivity reader.

three-stars
REVIEW: 'Still Star-Crossed' by Melinda Taub, a tale of bad fanfiction and misogyny

‘Still Star-Crossed,’ a tale of bad fanfiction and misogyny

‘Still Star-Crossed,’ a tale of bad fanfiction and misogynyStill Star-Crossed
zero-starsWritten by Melinda Taub
Published by Delacorte Press
Published on July 9th 2013
Genres: Historical fiction, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352

Discover what happened after the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet, as mysterious figures in Verona are determined to reignite the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.

In fair Verona, enemies still walk the streets.
Two news hearts. Same two families.
The fight to the altar is about to happen.
All. Over. Again.

This homage to the classic Shakespearean tale of Romeo and Juliet will have readers pining for a star-crossed love of their very own.

I read Still Star-Crossed after the show of the same name started airing, in part because I fell in love with Benvolio and Rosaline and wanted more, and in part because I wanted to know what happens next. But let me tell you, where the show grabbed my heart after one episode, the book was an utter disappointment.

zero-stars
REVIEW: 'Noteworthy' by Riley redgate

‘Noteworthy’ by Riley Redgate

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase what is discussed. I will receive a small commission from the sale.

‘Noteworthy’ by Riley RedgateNoteworthy
five-starsWritten by Riley Redgate
Published by Amulet Books
Published on May 2nd 2017
Genres: LGBT+, Own voices, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.
Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped ... revered ... all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Redgate’s debut novel is an epic tale of when Mulan meets Pitch Perfect that kept me awake until 3am and smiling for even longer.

five-stars
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