Thursday, November 16, 2017

All Rights Reserved ~ Gregory Scott Katsoulis review [@HarlequinTeen ]

All Rights Reserved (Word$ #1)
Harlequin Teen
August 29, 2017
400 pages
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In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks ("Sorry" is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She's been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can't begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she's unable to afford.

But when Speth's friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family's crippling debt, she can't express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech - rather than say anything at all - she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth's unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

All Rights Reserved is a book that will make you think, if not about what you say, then about your ability to say it. Or the different movements and gestures you make throughout the say.

In Speth Jime's world it is absolutely astounding how many things, how many little aspects of daily life have been monetized. Nearly everything - every word or gesture is trademarked, ads are everywhere and everything from buzzing someone's apartment to medical procedures requires agreeing to Terms of Service.- is a transaction. It's not a fair economy either.

People like Speth and her family have to pay for every word they say, trying to live a life while avoiding Collection.

Ordinarily, I want background on dystopian worlds, to know how things devolved from what we know now - or can foresee - and what the characters are experiencing. It was one hundred percent for the better, though, that we don't get that in All Rights Reserved. The story is told by Speth, which is necessary given that she doesn't speak, and to her the world is what it is. Those in Speth's world don't have a US history class that teaches them about freedom of speech, so they can't wonder, let alone know how things got so bad.

Having the characters not aware of how different their world is from ours, really allows readers to experience their world and lives. We don't get that objective view point saying, "Well this is wrong," or, "Here's how this came to be," Instead you get things from Speth's view point. And it's that much more rewarding and exciting as her knowledge and view evolve and grow.

I am really eager to see what the sequel Access Restricted holds for Speth and the others and if we get more of that background information.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@kris10writes @torteen]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

PACIFICA by Kristen Simmons

Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.

published March 06th by Tor Teen

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


I love pirates - at least the fictional ones - and really love tough, female pirates. I am especially intrigued by how Pacifica seems to be a mix of pirates, politics, family, friendship and maybe romance.

With both the inclusion of pirates and a presidents's son, 'oil nation,' I am very curious to see where and when Pacifica is set. (And how that affects gender roles and stereotypes, how Marin was raised and what's expected of her,  if it makes life for her as a pirate different from an ordinary young woman, etc.)

(Plus, I loved Article 5 and the the world and characters Kristen Simmons created there.)

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Artemis ~ Andy Weir (earc) review [@andyweirauthor @CrownPublishing]

Crown Publishing Group
November 14, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

If humans ever had to colonize the moon - or simply really wanted to - I think Andy Weir might be able to tell us what to do.  His imagining of Artemis, the first city on the moon actually makes sense and, at least seems like, it could work.

This book gives me answers to questions I didn't even know to ask. (But I am sure someone reading it would have.) So, while I couldn't have known to questions those elments of how living on the moon works, knowing how makes it that much

There were definitely bits I did not understand - though Jazz or other characters explained them, somewhat - but it didn't really matter. It all makes sense once it's done and as a part of the bigger picture.

I love that Jazz is a (sort of) criminal who grew up on the moon, who needs money, and who is incredibly smart and resourceful.If The Martian's Mark Watney was a, "nerdy MacGvyer in space," then Jazz is a slightly less nerdy, but probably just as smart one with fancier tolls. And welding abilities. (Though duct tape does still come into play. ) 

It is especially rewarding the way Jazz's history, her friendships or alliances, those she's had failings out with and people who have given her trouble all play a role in what happens to Jazz. And what she needs to do. The mix of personal relationships, past mistakes, Jazz's desire for more money and a more comfortable life, the politics of Artemis and the lovely, lovely science make for sch a great, captivating and exciting read. Jazz runs into problems, thanks to her unique location, that I never anticipated and it made me both anxious and curious as to how she would solve them.

Jazz is smart, she's funny, she holds grudges, she isn't fantastic with friendships, and (as she admits) she makes bad life decisions  but it all makes her a fantastic character. Even as she's doing some things you might not want her to do, you're amazed at how she thinks to accomplish them . . . and you want it to work. Despite yourself, you want her to succeed.

I love Andy Weir, his funny, maybe even sardonic, characters, the problems they run into and the inventive, brilliant solutions they devise. His science fiction can feel more like science fact and I want more, more, more.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, November 13, 2017

Doctor Who: Myths & Legends ~ Richard Dinnick (earc) review [@richarddinnick @bbcdoctorwho]

Adrian Salmon, illustrator
Doctor Who: Myths and Legends
BBC Books/Penguin Group UK
September 12, 2017 (International)/June 29, 2017 (UK)
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.

Earlier this year when a hurricane knocked the power out for several days and I realized how many more stars you could see*. Looking at all of those stars, it was hard not to wonder what could be on or around them.  Doctor Who: Myths and Legends presents some possibility.

Some of the myths and legends re-imagined to involve Time Lords were ones I was familiar with:  including Medusa, King Midas; and those I was not: stories with the Argonauts, the Cumaean Sibyl. Interestingly, I think I more enjoyed those stories where they myth was already known to me. I liked seeing how the author changed things up, where Doctor Who characters and/or ideas were inserted into these well known tales.

The more you know of Doctor Who, the different Doctors and all of the different alien planets and species they've encountered, the more you will recognize in Myths and Legends. These are not all sttories where the Doctor comes in, obvious in who they are and saves the day. Some give us more insight into Gallifrey, its past and attempts to extend its reach.l while others show us how certain beings go to be where they were when viewers encountered them (like, say, a Soviet sub in 1983).

Some of the stories did fall a bit short for me, seeming to not really resolve themselves or have satisfactory endings. (Though it could have been that I was unfamiliar with what Doctor Who episode/character/story they were involved in .) Others though, were fun, imaginative and did a great job both re-imagining the myths and legends we already know and including Whovian characters, lore, facts and ideas.

This collection is likely more enjoyable for Doctor Who fans  (and more so the more of it you've retrained) but fans of re-imaginings and science fiction may also find it a fun read, as well.

*This needs to be a thing everywhere

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley
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