Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Set in the near future in Nigeria, Rosewater shows us a world where not much has changed. There are still the rough edges, violence, greed, poverty and prejudices. There are also aliens. Well, an alien. In 2012, a giant alien lifeform, known as “Wormwood,” landed in London and began moving through the Earth’s crust. America went "dark”, and in Nigeria a giant alien biodome popped up in 2055. It occasionally radiates healing rays that are also capable of raising the dead. A city, Rosewater, has grown up around the dome. The story unfolds in three separate timelines that can get a bit confusing. It's told throughout in the first person by Kaaro. He's a psychic, a former thief who now works for a secret arm of the government. He can read minds, replay past events, and even manipulate people. Kaaro and few others like him can connect to the xenosphere - a psychic link to what appears to be the...
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The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest is amazing. While the first book in the series, The Three-Body Problem, explains the history of how contact was made with the Trisolarians and their intentions, The Dark Forest details how humanity is trying to prepare for an unknowable future and what extent will we go to for survival. Let me just say, some of the ideas in this story, while being brilliant, are also scary. Sometimes simple solutions are the best answers. But, when dealing with time and space the answers can take decades, or even centuries to show themselves. There is a mix of old and new characters in this installment. Da Shi, a planetary defense officer, has returned. He is cunning, with street smarts that a lot of the more intellectual characters lack. However, our main character, Luo Ji, is new. He is an astronomer and sociologist who is tasked with becoming part of a UN project known as The Wallfacer Project. He is lazy and somewhat self-absorbed,...
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Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder is fun ride. Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” Right now he’s focused on chasing an expensive spaceship, Venetia’s Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This mission has led Fergus to Cernee, a space colony where Gilger has his home base. Fergus has a plan and a secret method of taking control of Venetia’s Sword, shared with him by the shipbuilders. But things go wrong for Fergus right from the start, when he almost gets killed in a cable car explosion in the space colony. Fergus allies with Gilger’s enemies, who have their own issues with the power-hungry boss, and puts his plan into play, but there are complications … including some mysterious aliens with their own agenda. Finder is more or less a heist story, just with some added complications and a sci-fi background. It's a...
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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem is hard science fiction, in that there's a lot of science involved. I don't know where I originally heard about it, probably some "best of sci-fi translations" list, but it's won a fair number of awards and is thoroughly enjoyable. It's also hard to talk about without giving away spoilers. But should I worry about that when the blurb itself, not the one above but the official blurb, gives it away too? Do you like spoilers? Do you hate them? They don't bother me and I honestly sometimes search for them, but I know not everyone feels that way. The story starts off during China's Cultural Revolution. Ye Wenjie's father is killed by the Red Guard and she is shipped off, eventually landing s eventually shipped off to a remote mountaintop where a government-sponsored group is secretly exploring the possibility of electronic communication with aliens. Flash forward to the present. Wang Miao, a nanotechnology researcher, has begun...
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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time was a re-read for me, but I read it first back when I was like 10 or so and remembered absolutely nothing about it. I've been seeing the commercials for the new Disney movie too, but they're not really a good representation of the book. Meg is a smart kid, but has trouble fitting in at school. Everyone thinks Charles Wallace, her little brother is dumb, but really he knows so much more than anyone. Calvin is a popular kid in school who never feels like he fits in, but he fakes "normal" well enough. The three of them go on a mission to save Meg's dad, a scientist who went missing, with the help of a trio of beings, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which. This is a middle school book that deals with physics and religion, belief and identity, but it does so lightly. It's a fantasy/sci-fi story and the three kids have been thrust into...
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