9 Sci-Fi Book Recommendations

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Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing a post that I had so much fun writing. Down below, there are 9 Sci-Fi book recommendations divided in categories according to prominent elements of the story. The list goes from the stories that have the most in common with our reality to the ones that have the least in common. 

Without further ado, here are 9 Sci-Fi books that I loved that I would totally recommend!

SUPERHEROES

Secondhand Origin Stories coverSecondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth

I feel like superheroe books are the perfect way to start reading sci-fi because people are usually familiarized with superheroes thanks to the blockbuster movies. A superhero book I love is Secondhand Origin Stories, a character driven book full of secrets and mysteries and complicated family dynamics, a corrupt goverment agency, discussions about technology and ethics, as well as discussions about systematic racism, racial profiling and incarceration of black people. If you love superheroes and you want a very diverse (in terms of race, sexual orientation and disability), thought-provoking Sci-Fi book, you’ll probably enjoy this!

not-your-sidekickNot Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee 

Another book about Superheroes, but this one is fun and it shows the silly parts of being a superhero, things that go from hilarious problems with the superhero suits to the spectacule that is the whole superhero life and how fake it can be. This book is set in an interesting post-apocalyptic world and it includes amazing conversations about gender and sexual orientation. If you want a Sci-Fi book with villains that are not so evil and heroes that are not so good, this is for you!

TIME TRAVEL 

InvictusInvictus by Ryan Graudin 

If you haven’t read many time travel books, I think this a great place to start. This book is entertaining and while it explains the technical side of time travel, it does it in a way that’s  understandable and interesting and it doesn’t go into too much details and it doens’t get too complicated. This book has amazing and diverse characters and fascinating dynamics between them and an ending that’s both surprising and bittersweet. If you want to give time travel books a chance, I would recommend this one!

SET ON EARTH

Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 

Sleeping Giants is a book that takes place entirely on earth and for the most part only involves humans, even if there’s a giant robot and most of the book is about finding out more about it. This is one of those books where you slowly discover along side the characters something that changes everything. The best part about this book is that it addresses important discussions related to science, politics and power and how they are all connected. If you are looking for a Sci-Fi book that it’s thought-provoking, full of unlikeable yet compelling characters and told in a interesting format, this is for you.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily SkrutskieThe Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie 

Another book that takes place entirely on Earth, but a futuristic, full of changes version of Earth. Well, really it takes place on the sea but, you know, it’s planet Earth.  This book has sea monsters and pirates and from the beginning it throws you right in the middle of a very complex and intricate situation and it’s entirely up to you to catch up as soon as you can with the state of the world. In that sense, it can be a little harder to get into especially if you are someone that doens’t read that much Sci-fi or Fantasy. I’ll give this book extra points for having an amazing f/f relationship between a pirate and a trainer of sea monsters.

SET IN SPACE + ALIENS

bintiBinti by Nnedi Okorafor 

This is such a short book but it packs a big punch. The amount of worldbuilding that Okorafor managed to include in this book is outstanding and the overall message of acceptence of other cultures and being willing to communicate with other than are different from us is so powerful. This is a very introspective book and fouses a lot on character development. If you want a Sci-Fi book that has fantastic worldbuilding and an amazing main character that reflects and changes a lot thoughout the story, this is perfect for you!

The long way to a small angry planetA Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

This is a captivating and thought-provoking story. One of the strenghts of this book is that diversity is at the forefront of the story and it’s included in an interesting and thoughtful way; there’s different species, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, body types, cultures, religions and so much more that are represented. If you like quiet books that are character driven, beautifully written and tackle important themes, this is a great choice for you.

MADE UP UNIVERSE

Mirage-Cover

Mirage by Somaiya Daud 

If you are a Fantasy reader that wants to get into Sci- Fi, this is a great book to do that since it has a fantasy feel to it thanks to the fact that it takes place in a made up universe. Mirage is perfect for fans of slow character driven stories set in a rich and unique worlds inspired by a non-western culture (in this case,Moroccan inspired). This book is also great for fans of captivating and complex female characters with complicated relationships with each other. If you want more in depth thoughts, check out my full review.

A Spark of White Fire

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Another great book for Fantasy readers to get into Sci-Fi, this also takes place in a made up universe, where there’s royalty and gods and goddesses from Indian lore. A Spark of With Fire has political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships, tension and heartbreak. If any of that sounds like something you’d like, give this book a chance!

What are some Sci Fi books you would recommend it? Have you read any of the book on this list and did you like them?
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Underrated 2018 Releases (less than 400 ratings on Goodreads)

Underrated 2018 releases 2

Hi everyone! This is a post I have thinking about writing for a while and I’m so excited to finally be posting it. This is joining a few post I wrote during 2018 about underrated books: Underrated LGBTQIA+ BooksUnderrated Diverse Romance Books and Underrated YA Books. On this list, you’ll find books that were released in 2018 that I read and LOVED and that have less than 400 ratings on Goodreads. Hopefully some of you will read them and sprend the word about how amazing they are!

Secondhand Origin Stories cover

Secondhand Origin Story by  Lee Blauersouth – 29 ratings on goodreads

Opal wants to join the superhero team, the Sentinel, to get a platform to tell the truth about the injustices of the the government agency that regulates superpowered people. But when Opal arrives to the Sentinels, just after a supervillain attacks their home, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart.

Why read it: A group of teens fights against a corrupt, racist and ableist system, and this book manages to address those issues in an intelligent and sensitive way. It has complex characters, complicated family dynamics and so many secrets and mysteries. There’s black, lesbian, asexual and  gender queer (#ownvoices) rep. Full review. 

The Pros of Cons

The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar & Michelle Schusterman – 345 ratings on Goodreads 

Three girls meet when they are in the same hotel for 3 different cons: a Percussion convention, a fandoms convention and a taxidermy convention. Each one has her own toubles and doubts, but they help each other through them. 

Why read it: It has a really cool setting and premise and also the female friendship is amazing, these 3 girls help each other through heartbreak, friendship problems & family drama. They are supportive, understanding and wonderful to each other. I almost cried happy tears because there friendship was so heartwarming. It has lesbian rep, non binary rep and mexican rep.

Analee in Real Life

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes – 166 ratings on Goodreads

Since her mother passed away, Analee spends her time role playing in an online game where she meets a boy she likes. In real life, a popular boy asks her to be his fake girlfriend and he starts to coax her out of her comfort zone. Meanwhile, her family life gets complicated. 

Why read it: There’s a fake relationship that it’s really entertaining because the characters have so much chemestry. The real focus of the book is family, Analee’s relationship with her father, stepmother and stepsister develop in such a beautiful way.  There’s Cuban, fat and social anxiety rep.

the queen of ieflariaThe Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin – 297 ratings on Goodreads

Princess Esofi was betrothed to Crown Prince Albion, but he dies before the wedding. Esofi is offered a new betrothal to the new Crown Princess Adale, in exchange for help with the dragon problem. But Adale has no plans of taking the throne, leaving Esofi with more to battle than fire-breathing beasts.

Why read it: It has complex, flawed and compelling characters, an amazing f/f romance that warmed my heart, an interesting magic system and DRAGONS! Full review. 

What 2018 releases do you think are underrated? Have you read any of the books on this list? Are you planning on reading any of them? 

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My Favorite Books of 2018 So Far

My Favorite Books of 2018 so far

Since it’s almost the end of June and that means we are almost half way thorugh the year, I wanted to do a post to highlight my favorite books I have read so far in 2018.

Some interesting information about the books:

  • 6 out of the 8 books were written by new to me authors
  • 3 out of the 8 books were written by debut authors
  • 7 out of the 8 are female authors and 1 author is non-binary.
  • 3  out of the 8 books are 2018 releases, 3 are 2017 releases, 1 is a 2014 release and 1 is a 2007 release. Overall, they are all recent books.
  • In terms of genres, there’s science fiction,  fantasy, contemporary, non fiction and literary fiction. Also, there are adult and young adult books.

The Books

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • Genre: Adult, Fiction
  • Why I loved it?: The main reason I loved this book was Evelyn Hugo, she is a morally gray character that unapologetically does terrible things in order to achive what she wants in life, she sacrifices parts of herlself to succeed, but at the same time she loves deeply and she is undeniably loyal to those she loves. She is calculating, cruel, ambitious, smart, hard working, persistent and so much more. She is such a complex character that I couldn’t help but be fascianted by her and as much as she is an unlikable character I was rooting for her. Evelyn Hugo is a cuban-american bisexual woman and the representation is something more that I loved about this book. Then there is the love story, which is so beautiful, sad and complicated, and you can’t help but want them to be together. Also, this a very thought provoking book with its depiction of the roles and spaces that women were allowed to have in Hollywood in the past and also the way homophobia impacted peoples lives in such a huge way, even in a more ‘liberal’ industry.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour 
  • Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: I tent to love quiet books especially when they deal with delicate subjects like grief in a honest and powerful way, which is the case with this book. I loved the estructure in which the story was told, alternating between present and past. During the entire book there was this sense that a big reveal was coming in the storyline that took place in the past, but when it finally happened it was something I wasn’t expecting and that it actually shocked me a lot and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Meanwhile in the present, the awkward situation between the main character and her best friend – that are trying to reconnect and forgive what happened in the past, while trying to address all the hurt and the pain-  was really uncomfortable to read about but it was so well done. There was so much loneliness, hurt and grief in both timelines and the way Nina Lacour wrote about those things is so beautiful and so heartbreaking, I found myself crying in certain parts of this book, which I don’t do often.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Poetry
  • Why I loved it?: I loved this book because it explores powerful themes: the main character struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. I loved the way it handdled the idea of trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so. Also, I loved this book because it’s written in verse and that allowed me to feel a bigger connection to the powerful emotions that the main character was experiencing and trying to express. Also, the #ownvoices latinx representation is another reason I loved this book.
Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: The  main characters, the complex family dynamics and the fascinating world in which this is set made me love this book. But the main reason why I fell in love with this, it’s how diverse it is and the fact that it addresses important subjects: the main characters are all queer, including a non binary main character. Also, one of the main characters is a black girl and there’s conversations throughout the book about systematic racism and especially about racial profiling and incarceration of black people. Additionally, there are deaf characters and there are characters that use ASL to communicate, and while there’s ableism portrait in this book, it’s called out and talked about on page. The deaf representation is #ownvoices and that’s another thing I loved about this book. 

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Why I loved it?: I have been in a fantasy slump for a while and this  book made me feel consumed by a world and characters in a way that hadn’t happened in some time. That’s one of the reasons this is one of my favorite books of the year so far, it managed to enthrall me and it made me feel inmersed in a world full of political intrigued, deceitful characters, unexpected turns and so much cruelty from the very beginning.  Another thing I really liked about it is that I was so inmerssed in it that it kept me on the edge of my sit, I was so worried for all the characters throughout the book. Also, it gave me a new couple to root for, which always makes me enjoy a fantasy book more.
The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende
  • Genre: Non fiction
  • Why I loved it?: Isabel Allende’s writing never fails to captivate me, and when I’m reading her autobiographical books, she manages to make me feel like she is talking directly to me and telling me her story, and she tells it with so much honesty and candor, that it’s imposible not to be fascinating by it. That’s the main reason why I loved this book, but I also loved the structure she uses to tell her story – a letter written for her dead daughter, Paula – because it gives this book a nostalgic and sad tone that made me connect with the story even more and feel touched by it.
The Diviners by Libba Bray 
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Why I loved it?: The main reason why I loved this book is that it is this atmospheric book with a creepy vibe and some scary scenes, which is not something  I have found in the fantasy book I have read before, so to me this book represents a type of fantasy that it’s new to me and it intrigues me. Also, fantasy is my favorite genre and I love a good mystery, so  finding a book that mixes both of fantasy and mystery was very surprising and enjoyable. Another reason why I loved this book was the characters, they were all captivating and so different from each other and I kept waiting to see how their stories would intertwined.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Genre: Adult, Literary Fiction
  • Why I loved it?: At the beginning, I wasn’t enjoying this because the main character, Eleanor, was very peculiar (which isn’t a bad thing in itself), but she was judgemental, rude and infuriating. Nonetheless, I completely loved the huge character development she went through, I loved the other characters she met throughout the book and how they changed her and made her see things in a different way. Raymond was a wonderful character: understanding, supportive and empathetic. The subject of depression was delicately handdled and there was a positive representation of therapy. In terms of the plot, there was a mystery surrounding her past that I thought I had figured out early on, but I had not and the twist at the end was really surpising. At the end, I found this to be a really heartwarming book.
Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What are some of your favorite books of 2018 so far? Let me know in the comments! 

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Book Review: Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (Blog Tour)

Superhero Origins tour banner (large)

Hi guys! I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book called Secondhand Origin Stories, which is a diverse book that involves sensitive issues, such as systemic racism and ableism.  I loved the book, here’s my review:

Secondhand Origin Stories cover.png

Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Publishing Date: 15 March 2018

Genres: Science Fiction, YA

Pages: 364

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

Goodreads | Amazon 

This book drops you right in the middle of a world where superheroes, villains and people with habilities exist, there’s especial goverment agencies and police units that regulate them and there’s corruption and injustice surrounding them. You have to learn about this world as you read, you see how everything works through the chracters’ perspectives and that’s how you learn about it. For me this worked really well, it didn’t take me too long to feel like I understood at least the basics of how the world worked and, after a little bit, I was able to keep up with the story without problem.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was intriguing from the start, there were secrets and mysteries around the four main characters and they didn’t know the answers either and they were trying to figure things out and that sucked me into the story inmediately, because I wanted to know what was going on.

As I said before, there’s four main characters, which were my favorite aspect of this book. I fell in love very quickly with three of those characters: Isaac, Yael and Jamie. They were the children of the superheroes and they were really complex characters,  a genius scientist, an non-binary aspiring superhero and a character that is both vulnerable and so strong. From the pov of these three characters, the reader gets to see the dynamics of the superhero team and how it is not only a team but a family. That element is crucial to the story, because the complicated family dynamics, which I found fascinating to read about, promt a lot of the events that move the plot along.

Then there’s the fourth main character, Opal, which took me a little longer to love. Opal is an outsider to the team, to the family and she very much felt like an outsider to the story for at least the first half of the book. During that first half, I prefered to read from the other 3 perspectives, because from them I could learn more about all the secrets that were being kept. Later on, when the circumstances made it so that all four characters have to be together in a more full time basis, that’s when I fell in love with Opal as well. She is a nice, smart, compasionate, down to earth character with a strong moral sense.

Secondhand Origin Stories is definitely a character driven book much more than a plot driven one. The main problems that the characters are trying to solve are corruption and injustice in such a large scale that one book is not enough to confront all the different characters that  play a part in that. This book, as the first in the series, manages to: make the characters aware of the problems, makes them decide to do something about it and makes sure that the team is as strong as it can be. It’s defintely a book that’s setting things up, but it’s not boring or slow, there’s so many things happening all the time. There’s one main storyline, that’s really interesting,  about technology and the ethical use of it, that’s one of the first issues that the characters have to confront and it has a direct relation to the corruption and injustice that they are trying to change.

I think it’s important to mention that this is a really diverse book. The main characters are all queer, including a non binary main character.  Also, one of the main characters is a black girl and there’s conversations throughout the book about systematic racism and especially about racial profiling and incarceration of black people. Additionally, there are deaf characters and there are characters that use ASL to communicate, and while there’s ableism portrait in this book, it’s called out and talked about on page.

Rating: 4,5 stars 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Blauersouth

After about a decade of drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the world’s most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.

If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff.

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

23 April (Monday)

24 April (Tuesday)

25 April (Wednesday)

26 April (Thursday)

27 April (Friday)