Scion of Conquered Earth (2016)

By: Michael J. Allen

A nameless teenager struggles to survive in an apocalyptic version of Earth where great, murderous machines and cannibalistic caravans of the Mad Max variety are out to get him at every turn. He ends up escaping on a run-down spaceship and takes off into the stars for an adventure across the star systems.

There were a lot of good parts about this novel. I liked the main character. I thought he was believable and well-crafted. And the chapters written in the P.O.V. of the AI were fascinating. I believe Allen did a great job showcasing the brainpower of a supercomputer, while still making it understandable for a human reader.

That being said, this book read like two completely different novels. One followed the Earth-bound nameless hero facing a plethora of unsavory acts to survive. The second followed a semi-seasoned pilot in his plight to save slaves and get money. It was quite jarring to transition between the two, especially as the chapter detailing him getting on the ship wasn’t clear in the first place. Things that should’ve been explained were glossed over, and difficult terminology was thrown around as though it was all commonplace.

This was a more difficult read, and a little hard to swallow, but overall an enjoyable book. Check it out if you either like Mad Max or Star Trek. It has elements of both.

Ultraviolet (2013)

By: R. J. Anderson

One minute, Allison was arguing with Tori, and the next, Tori disintegrated into nothing. Allison goes into shock and is subsequently placed in a mental institution for a psychotic break. There, she has to discern if she’s, indeed, mentally unstable, or if there’s another explanation for what happened to Tori.

I loved this book. It was unlike anything else I’d read. Somehow both a sci-fi, mystery, and romance all wrapped into one, it checks a tone of boxes, without falling on clichés. If you’re looking for a decent sci-fi and some neat abilities, check out this book.

Quicksilver (2013)

By: R. J. Anderson

The sequel to Ultraviolet follows Tori, the girl that Allison supposedly murdered. This time around, however, Tori finds out that she’s being hunted. The alien object that disintegrated her before, and brought her into space, could come back for her at any time. It’s a race against the clock to figure out a way to seal herself off from the people trying to destroy her.

I’m not a huge fan of book sequels changing P.O.V.s from the protagonist. However, I gave this book a chance. I have to say, it was just as good as its predecessor. The world was artfully created. It’s a highly accessible sci-fi. Definitely read it.

2018 Reading List

The last time I’d been looking for a book to read, and I was browsing the shelves of my local library, I found myself looking for a book I’d read but couldn’t remember the title of. It was frustrating, perusing the shelves to find that book. Made even more so by the fact that I nearly checked out a book I’d hated, simply because I couldn’t remember the titles.

So, last year, I decided to keep track of all the books I’d read, and then whether I’d enjoyed them. I started a list in a journal I had sitting around, and even went so far as to start writing reviews.

Most, if not all, of these are YA novels, because I tried this new thing where I went in alphabetical order at my library and just picked up books I thought looked interesting. This was following a dry-spell of reading that stemmed from my irritation of YA books all having the same plots and tropes.

I found some awesome books, and some authors that I will follow forever. Click on the titles for author info and a short synopsis/review.

  1. Phantom of the Opera
  2. Outlander
  3. Enclave
  4. Paper Towns
  5. Outpost
  6. Horde
  7. Famous Last Words
  8. The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life
  9. The Keeper’s Tattoo
  10. Haters
  11. Ultraviolet
  12. Quicksilver
  13. Avalon
  14. Polaris
  15. The Gathering
  16. The Masked Truth
  17. The Pearl Savage
  18. The Savage Blood
  19. The Savage Principle
  20. The Island
  21. Scion of Conquered Earth
  22. The Boys Start the War
  23. The Boys Return
  24. Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven
  25. Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins
  26. Harley Merlin and the Stolen Magicals
  27. Harley Merlin and the First Ritual