Review of “Gemina” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 659
Published: 2016, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 wormholes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

MY REVIEW

The second book in the Illuminae Files was similar in story, which was great and so unexpected and action-filled in the end, but it took me a little longer to finish it. The main reason was because I found it a little boring that it was more like a normal book than Illuminae. Meaning that there were many many “Surveillance footage summaries”. In the first book there were a few, and it was clear that it was a summary of a video, but in this, most of the video summaries were written like it was a normal book, the perspective of the video reviewer was gone and that made it feel like a normal book when the cool thing about it was just that it was written with chat logs, radio communication logs, data drawn from the AI and so on.

However, it is still a great story, and especially at the end (like with Illuminae) with all that unexpectedness. Another fun thing about this book (and Illuminae as well) is that they have crossed out all the swearwords, so you have to guess them when you are reading. Kinda hard sometimes to be honest.

Before I finished it, I was actually thinking of giving it a 3 or maybe a 3.5. But the ending totally brings it up to a final score of 4.

Review of ” Let’s Get Invisible!” – by R. L. Stine

Title: Let’s Get Invisible!
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #6
Genre: Horror
Pages: 160
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 2 out of 5 light bulbs

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

On Max’s birthday, he finds a kind of magic mirror in the attic. It can make make him become invisible. So Max and his friends start playing “now you see me, now you don’t.” Until Max realizes that he’s losing control. Staying invisible a little too long. Having a harder and harder time coming back. Getting invisible is turning into a very dangerous game. The next time Max gets invisible, will it be…forever?

MY REVIEW

Maybe I have read too many Goosebumps in a row now, so this will be the last for a while. But I honestly didn’t really enjoy this one. It is a cool story, getting invisible and trying to be responsible about it and what follows. However, the story is flat and repetitive. They go invisible, they bully each other, feel bad, and do it all over again. The kids previously in the series have been surprisingly smart for 12-year olds but these I truly hated. All of them were bullies and even if the main character had doubts, he was a wuss and never said no.

So I only give this Goosebump story a 2, it was an okay read, but definitely not more than that. The flat story and the awful characters dragged it down.

Review of “Monster Blood” by R. L. Stine

Title: Monster Blood
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #3
Genre: Horror
Pages: 144
Published: 1992, Scholastic
My Grade: 2.5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

While staying with his weird great-aunt Kathryn, Evan visits a funky old store and buys a dusty can of monster blood. It’s fun to play with at first, and Evan’s dog, Trigger, likes it so much, he eats some!
But then Evan notices something weird about the green, slimy stuff. It seems to be growing.
And growing.
And growing.
And all that growing has given the monster blood a monstrous appetite…

MY REVIEW

This Goosebumps story was not as good as the previous ones. Might be because I wasn’t really in the mood to read this type of book now? Or maybe because the plot was not as intriguing as the other ones?

After 3 read books, I can now state that Stine is clearly a dog person. There is a dog in almost every story so far. And horrible things always seem to happen to them. Sad.

Short review today (might be because I have already finished 60% in the next Goosebumps book, or because I have worked non-stop for the past week). But not much else is needed. These books are becoming more and more predictable the more of them you read.

Review of “Stay out of the Basement” by R. L. Stine

Title: Stay Out of the Basement
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #2
Genre: Horror
Pages: 144
Published: 1992, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 sylvari

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, he says. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they… meet… some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plant like tendencies.

MY REVIEW

Such a short and easy read, but still very much enjoyable. It is scary, but not too scary that I will get nightmares as a 26-year old. I might have had them when I was younger. I don’t think I haev green thumbs, but I have always loved plants and planting stuff and I have always preferred green plants to flowers, so this was a fun book.

The best thing about these books? (I assume all of them end similarly, that’s how I remember it anyways) The last page of each book is a goosebump-y cliffhanger. It is awesome! This is not a book I want everyone to read, so therefore I don’t give it a 4, but these 2-3 hours was time definitely not wasted.

Review of “Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 599
Published: 2015, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 wormholes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

MY REVIEW

Hmm, this was truly an interesting book. I have never read anything like it before. Not just because I haven’t read too many sci-fi books, but it was different and especially in one way: the way it was written! This whole story is told through chat logs, retrieved documents and other transcripts of sorts. Cool way to write, sure, but what’s even better is how it is justified in the end! I have to admit that I found it kind of hard in the beginning to understand what was happening. It was also hard to see the environments, but honestly, after a while I could see it all! My favorite parts of the book was when data was retrieved from the AI AIDAN and how that AI thought and acted. Fascinating.

The book was 600 pages long, but the story was rather short. I don’t have too much to compare with when it comes to sci-fi since I haven’t read too many books in that genre, so my grade is fully based on my gut feeling, and that was at first a 3, but at the end I changed it to a 4, which means a recommendation. It is a very cool book, not one of the best ones I’ve ever read, but it was original and for that it deserves a strong 4!

 

Review of “Welcome to Dead House” by R. L. Stine

Title: Welcome to Dead House
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #1
Genre: Horror
Pages: 126
Published: 1992, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 ghosts

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Amanda and Josh think the old house they have just moved into is weird. Spooky. Possibly haunted. And the town of Dark Falls is pretty strange, too. — But their parents don’t believe them. You’ll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends. — So Amanda and Josh do. But these creepy new friends are not exactly what their parents had in mind.

Because they want to be friends…

… Forever.

MY REVIEW

When I was a kid, I loved Stine’s Goosebumps. I read a few books, watched the TV series every now and then when visiting a friend who had the right TV channel. I loved horror back then. I enjoyed horror movies and Stephen King eventually became my newest favorite author. But that was many years ago, and now when I am reading a big hardcover book (Illuminae by Amie Kaufman) which I unfortunately can’t bring everywhere, I am for the first time ever, reading two books at the same time. I decided that I would read easy books on the side so I wouldn’t get confused or don’t understand as well. So far everything’s good. But I will try to stick to one book again after I am done with Gemina (the second book in the Illuminae Files series which is also a hardcover). But for now, I will read a few Goosebumps on the side.

So, I have to say that even though I hate horror now as an adult, and don’t find this book particuarly scary, it truly must have been for a ten year old kid! It is kind of gory. But also very well-written. Easy language to understand for a young one, but still very well written that an adult could enjoy it.

I give it a 3 because it was enjoyable and short and easy to read.

Review of “The Crown of Ptolemy” by Rick Riordan

Title: The Crown of Ptolemy
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 63
Published: 2015, Disney-Hyperion
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 hats

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In their first encounter, demigod Percy Jackson and magician Carter Kane had to battle a giant crocodile on Long Island. A month later, Annabeth Chase ran into Carter’s sister, Sadie, on the A train to Rockaway, where the pair fought a god named Serapis. Now trouble is brewing again, this time on Governor’s Island. An ancient Egyptian magician named Setne has come back from the dead and is experimenting with Egyptian and Greek magic, trying to become a god himself. He’s so powerful and tricky that all four-Percy, Annabeth, Carter, and Sadie-have to team up against him. But their usual weapons and spells aren’t going to cut it this time. Will the heroes be taken down by a wannabe god who looks like Elvis, or will they rise to the challenge?

MY REVIEW

As a small side-project right now, this was a fun story seen from Percy Jackson’s point of view. This is the third crossover story between Percy Jackson (Greek demigod) and Carter Kane (Egyptian magician) and it is very much like the first two (which I read a long time ago) and also very much like the main Percy Jackson series. Riordan writes with a lot of humor and after have read more “serious” books lately, it felt a little bit childish. But I am still a huge fan of Rick Riordan!

I give this book a 3.5 because it was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t go as far as to encourage everyone to read it. Sure, it is a short story, so if you have an hour to spare somewhere and if you are a big fan of Riordan’s world full of ancient mythology, definitely have a go at it, you won’t be dissapointed!