Gideon the Ninth

One day eighteen years ago, Gideon’s mother had tumbled down the middle of the shaft in a dragchute and a battered hazard suite, like some moth drifting slowly down into the dark. The suit had been out of power for a couple of minutes. The woman landed brain-dead. All the battery power had been sucked away by a bio-container plugged into the suit, the kind you’d care a transplant limb in, and inside that container was Gideon, only a day old.

This was obviously mysterious as hell.


Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)

You must understand how I felt then, how the surveyor must have felt: We > were scientists, trained to observe natural phenomena and the results of > human activity. We had not been trained to encounter what appeared to be the > uncanny. In unusual situations there can be a comfort in the presence of > even someone you think might be your enemy. Now we had come close to the > edges of something unprecedented, and less than a week into our mission we > had lost not just the linguist at the border but our anthropologist and our > psychologist.

Now that is a fascinating sort of book. It’s essentially a slice of life mixed with cosmic horror. The entire story follows an expedition into the mysterious, alien Area X. There’s not really any overarching plot, other than exploring and perhaps surviving… and maybe if you’re really really lucky, coming back without going mad.


Six Wakes

In a nutshell, Six Wakes is a closed room murder mystery in SPACE! With clones! What that gives us is an absolutely wonderful variation on the tropes. Because of cloning technology, you can very well have a murder mystery where the cast wake up to the gruesome (zero gee) murder of … the entire cast. And because it’s a generation ship in deep space, you very well know that one of the cast absolutely has to have been the muderer… Unless it was more than one.

My favorite parts of the worldbuilding all really revolve around technology of cloning and how that can change the world in fascinating ways. For example, it’s not uncommon for attendees at certain parties to end murdered. They’ll wake up in the morning, restored from a backup the day before with little more than a feeling of ‘that must have been one hell of a party’ plus some potential embarrassment and go about their lives.


Project Hail Mary

Oh that’s a wonderful book. If your read and enjoyed The Martian , you’ll almost certainly love Project Hail Mary . The sense of humor mixed with scientific/engineering problem solving is the main strength in both. Great fun.

It’s got a wonderful sense of humor:


Mexican Gothic

The reviews of Mexican Gothic are … divided to say the least. There’s more than a handfull of glowing five star reviews and a smaller but still significant number that just didn’t get what the fuss was about. Halfway through… I totally get it.

I think the main problem is the absolute tonal shift that happens about halfway through the book.


Tales of Nezura: Book 1: The Zevolra

The skeleton that was polishing with a brush stopped and waved.

“Hello! You must be Maximilian! Your uncle here is delighted to be hosting you.” The teeth on the skull curved up. “The name’s Conner, in case you were wondering.”

“They can talk?” I whispered to my uncle.


The Midnight Library

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the > shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you > could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… > Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your > regrets?

Well that’s a surprisingly wonderful story. It’s something of a mix of It’s a Wonderful Life and Borges' The Library of Babel. Nora Seed finds herself in a dark place, between life and death–and that place just happens to look to her like a library. A library with a book for every life she could have lived, every choice she could have made.


Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega #6)

The Mercyverse books (both Mercy Thompason and Alpha & Omega) are one of the few series of books I’ll come back to every few years for a complete reread, or in this case, a re-listen. Something that’s made all the better when you get to the end and there are new books to add to the old favorites!

On the upside, it’s a crazy ride with a whole heap of more backstory for and reason to like Leah (some reviewers say it changed her backstory, but I think it fits), more information about witches, both white and black, and a few new crazy magical beings on the block (Bigfoot! Bigfeet? And that’s not even the crazy one…). It’s a crazy world and a crazy plot and it manages to keep going all the way through.


A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

Shall I tell you a story? A new and terrible one? A ghost story? Are you > ready? Shall I begin? Once upon a time there were four girls. One was > pretty. One was clever. One charming, and one…one was mysterious. But they > were all damaged, you see. Something not right about the lot of them.

That was not at all what I expected. Granted, I didn’t expect much. I’ve had this book on my to read list for years and decided to finally try it without looking at anything but the cover. Instead, we got a slow building paranormal boarding school / historic urban fantasy set in around the turn of the 20th century with a portal fantasy turned surprisingly dark.


Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 (Attack on Titan #1)

Off we go! I’ve heard good things about Attack on Titan, but other than some pictures of gruesome looking skinless giants, I’m not really sure what I’m in for. It should be fun!

In a nutshell, it appears that the world was overrun by semi intelligent, naked, sexless humanoid (I personally think it would be all the more terrifying if they had genetalia, but for ratings and the mystery, I see why they don’t) Titans, ranging from twice as tall as a person to far far larger. What’s left of humanity (that we know of) is contained in a small(ish) city with a 50m wall. Good enough–untl an EVEN BIGGER TITAN APPEARS: