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Review: Ender’s Game

ender's gameEnder’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Publisher: Tor Books

Ratings: 4.5 stars

Source: Purchased

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

I’m probably one of the few people that did not read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card as a teenager. I saw the trailer for the movie that is coming out later this year and just knew I had to read the book before I saw the movie and boy am I happy I did. This was one of those books that as soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to hunt down all the other books in the series and read those books too.

This book was simply incredible and I’m still quite shock I have never picked up this book before. Ender is a delightful and interesting character to follow. I was really surprise to learn that he was only 6 years old at the beginning of the book and he was expected to save the world. Talk about putting pressure on children. It was also shocking to see how mature he was for his age and how quickly he was forced to grow up at the Battle School.

This book had everything you would ever want in a great book. It had incredible characters from Ender to Bean to Petra as well as Peter and Valentine back on earth. I love reading about the camaraderie and friendship that developed between the characters. The plot is interesting and it keeps you on your toes. I was completely caught off guard by what happened in the end.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a book I would highly recommend for all. It has wonderful and well developed characters, adventure, politics, conflict, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. I absolutely can’t wait for the movie to come out.

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Review: Prey

Prey by Michael Crichton

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Ratings:

Source: Borrowed

From the cover:

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles — micro-robots — has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.

Every attempt to destroy it has failed.

And we are the prey.

I love reading mystery books and I’m shocked at myself that I haven’t read Jurassic Park or anything by Michael Crichton for that matter. To put it simply, Prey by Michael Crichton was an interesting book in a completely illogical kind of way.

To really enjoy Prey, you have to throw reason and logic out of the window. The premise behind the book is quite farfetched and unreasonable and if you try to think too hard about it and attempt to make sense of it then you probably won’t like it. I did like how some of the scientific things that were mentioned in the book rang a bell and made me think ‘hey I learned about this in microbiology’ and ‘hey that sounds familiar.’ It’s always nice to know that my dental education is going to good use!

One of the other things that I really enjoyed about this book was that the narrator, Jack, reminded me so much of my friend. I can’t even pinpoint why or what it is about the character that made me think of him, but after I finished reading this book I told my friend he had to read it because he’s in it.

Prey is one of those books that you read just to pass the time. It’s a fast read and I’ll admit that once I started it I wanted to finish it immediately, but then after I finished it, I quickly forgot it and moved on to the next book without really thinking about it.

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Review: The Demi-Monde: Winter

The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees

Publisher: William Morrow

Ratings:

Source: Publisher

Synopsis:

The Demi-Monde is the most advanced simulation ever devised. Thirty million people ruled by history’s cruelest tyrants, locked in eternal civil conflict. The intention: to create the closest thing to Hell, and prepare soldiers for the nightmarish environment of war.

But something has gone badly wrong. Reinhard Heydrich or at least a simulacrum resembling the Nazi monster has kidnapped the President’s daughter from the Real-World and concealed her within the Demi-Monde, making it impossible for the program to be switched off. This achieved, he has cut off all contact with reality.

It falls to Ella Thomas, a young jazz singer, to infiltrate Heydrich’s virtual domain and rescue the missing girl. But once inside she will discover that everything in the Demi-Monde is not as it seems, and that the Real-World may be in more danger than everyone outside realizes.

The Demi-Monde by Rod Rees, part Matrix, part Hunger Games, pure entertainment and fun. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little intimidated by this book when it first landed on my doorstep. Sitting at a little under 600 pages, I was definitely worried that I wouldn’t be able to get through this book. Of course, after a few chapters in, I was hooked and my worries about not finishing it quickly vanished.

I’m not a huge sci-fi nut and I don’t read a ton of it, but every now and then, a book just happens to catch my eye and makes me want to read it. I thought the creation of the Demi-Monde and the idea behind it was unique and different. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before and I really enjoyed the dystopian world that Rees created. The plot was exciting and thrilling and kept me flipping the pages well into the night.

My only complaint for the book would be the characters. You know I love my characters and I love seeing how a character develops throughout the course of a book so I was definitely disappointed by the characters presented in Demi-Monde. I don’t think there was one character in this book that I was particularly fond of by the end of the book. The president’s daughter, Norma, was snobby and pretentious throughout the book; Ella didn’t seem to change at all in the book; and Trixie Dashwood turned into a killing machine that reminded me much of Gale in Mockinjay of the Hunger Games Trilogy.

Although I’m not completely in love with the characters, I  did enjoy the book enough to want to read the rest of the saga. The book ended on quite a cliffhanger, so I’m eager for the next book to see what happens to our characters. If you’re looking for a thrilling science fiction, historical fiction, steampunk, then you may just want to pick up Demi-Monde by Rod Rees. The plot moves along quite nicely and despite its bulky size, I never thought the book dragged or anything.

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