Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
I thought this book was just so well written and paced. The dual timelines gave us much needed context as to who Ryland was the how dire the mission was, which added a layer of urgency and upped the stakes significantly. Having Ryland slowly regain his memories was an ingenious was for the reader to learn about the Alphagae and just how catastrophic this could be.
Ryland was an interesting character for sure. Right from the start when he wakes up and has no idea who or where he is and to see him calculate that he was in space really drew me in to the plot. The way that his character evolved throughout the plot and to see him come to terms with the fact that he was going to die out here and then have that hopefulness return was heart wrenching for sure! The twist at the end where he said no shocked me for sure and to see how he had to accept the fact that he was a coward yet still go ahead with everything really showed his growth.
I loved the fact that Rocky was always just a friend to Ryland. There was no double crossing of any sort and they didn’t stab each other in the back or sabotage the mission in any way. They were simply working together, sharing their expertise to save their worlds. I had this feeling like there would be that twist throughout the course of the plot but I am soooo glad that it didn’t happen and they maintained their friendship. Rocky was the perfect contrast to Adrian and I really enjoyed the comradery between them.
Everything about this book had me on the edge of my seat. I in no way was able to predict what was going to happen next and at every turn I was surprised with how Ryland was able to figure out what to do. All of the science talk really went over my head but it was written in a way that was pretty easy to understand and didn’t slow down the pacing. This book kind of hit a little close to home and feels like it could plausibly happen in this generation so it provokes a lot of conversation about our planet and how we’re affecting it!
Binti – I really enjoyed this first book of the series. We are established in the world pretty quickly and we are learning about space and the other lifeforms as Binti is. I thought she was a little naïve at first but as the story progressed we see her undergo a pretty big emotional upheaval, especially after the massacre she witnesses on the Big Fish. A lot of the mathematical equations and treeing went right over my head but I was still able to comprehend what was happening and enjoy the story as a whole. ⭐️4/5 stars
Binti: Home – This installment of the series was a little chaotic. I could definitely relate to Binti and her feelings of homesickness and the need to go back home and reestablish her sense of self. I like that we see more of the relationship between her and Okwu and the introduction of Mwinyi definitely added more depth and complexity to the story line. Binti just seemed a little frantic and not in control of herself a lot in this book. I think all of the events that have happened have definitely caught up to her and she breaks down a lot in this book. ⭐️3/5 stars
Binti: The Night Masquerade – This installment was a again kind of too chaotic for me. We see a lot of the repercussions from the previous books come into play here and we are given a lot of answers to questions that have been put forth throughout the story line. There is a pretty steady buildup of tension throughout the course of the story line but the ending was a tad anticlimactic. I had no doubts that Binti would be okay and then travelling to Saturn after interpreting the messages her edan was sending her only for a recommendation for the Oozma Uni. I guess I can appreciate how it has come full circle but I was expecting something different. ⭐️3/5 stars
The Weight of the Stars revolves around Ryann who is used to taking new kids at her school under her wing and helping them out. So when her teacher asks her to try and get through to Alexandria she takes on the challenge. Since Ryann is kind of a space nerd she recognises who Alexandria is, the daughter of an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the galaxy.
Ryann is a joy I absolutely love her. The way she takes care of her brother and his kid and how she just accepts all her friends for who they are and vice versa. She really has had a lot happen to her in her life and regardless she still gets up everyday and makes an effort to show up for those around her.
The way Alexandria came across for the majority of the book was very broody and angry. I can understand how her life would have been a struggle growing up knowing her mother chose to leave her and never see her again. But I think she definitely evolves over the course of the storyline and we see her soften and become more calm and sure of herself. After being offered what she thought was her dream and realising that it’s actually not for her at that time I felt showed how much just her friendship with Ryann and the others altered her perspective.
I think all of the characters in the book were distinct and diverse. I think it covers a range of very heavy topics that a lot of kids in high school have to deal with that is very relevant in todays society. I love the fact that each of them has their own personal journey they are undertaking and how each of them will drop whatever they are doing to help each other out.
I loved the build up of intensity to the storyline. It starts off quite innocuous and kind of innocent and it really morphs into this poignant tale of friendship and heartache. The scene after Tomas spills to everyone what happened at SCOUT and James runs off with Ryann chasing him was honestly so moving. I teared up multiple times throughout and left this book feeling impacted by what I just read.
Aurora Burning continues pretty much straight after Aurora Rising finishes off. Tyler and the rest of Squad 312 are trying to figure out their next move, find out what the weapon is that the Eshvaren left and save the universe.
For me it’s not so much about their main goal, which is to inevitably save the universe but the little adventures they find themselves in on the way. I love seeing our rag tag crew come together and become more comfortable around each other. Figuring out how they each fit in the squad and seeing the bonds they create with each other is wonderful to read.
Grief is definitely explored a lot more in this book, especially as Tyler and Scarlett come to terms with what happened to Cat. Having her reappear later in the plot to torment Tyler and for him to let her go was a touching moment.
I am so happy we get more of an in depth history about Ziva in this book. What happened to her parents and how she was able to save herself. Her perspective was so completely different from the others it was like a breath of fresh air in the plot. She really opened up a lot more in this book and we see her form more of a connection with her squad mates.
Kal is still one of my favourites. I am so glad we also got to find out more about his family and what he has had to endure during his life. Especially with the introduction of his sister and the integral way she is thrust into the storyline. It was a little obvious to me who his father was going to be, kind of predictable and the ensuing argument was frustrating. But his relationship with Aurora is so pure and precious and I can’t help but be enraptured by him.
Aurora, though I am glad she is able to control her power and is able to understand how it works, I think the change in her is too drastic and it kind of pulled me out of the story. Walking straight up to the Starslayer completely sure she was going to succeed was a tad arrogant to me and I wish she wouldn’t have been so quick to write Kal off, they might have been able to come up with a better plan.
Overall there so many shocking twists and turns and moments that broke my heart. Some of the choices the characters make didn’t really sit right with me and I wish they would of went about things differently but it definitely raised the stakes and kept me engaged in the storyline. I am left with soooo many questions still and honestly I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen next!
⭐️4.5/5 stars I am still trying to process my feelings after that ending….
Middlegame is a stand alone fantasy stand alone book which involves alchemy and a pair of twins names Roger and Dodger.
In terms of the character I actually enjoy Rodger and Dodger, especially when they first discovered each other and developed that initial connection. The way that their lives differ and the amount of adversity they both had to overcome during adolescence and teen years was interesting to read and did ultimately keep me engaged in the story. They are quite honest with each other and even though they have such a complex and close connection they still make mistakes and hurt each others feelings yet they never fully give up on each other.
Reed and Leigh even though they are quite integral to the overall plot I didn’t really develop any kind of emotional connection to them. I wasn’t really interested in their plot line with the other alchemists and what Reed was ultimately trying to prove. I think with Leigh there was potential for me to like her even though she is this very unlikeable character because ultimately she was just being what she was created to be. I just wish we would of learnt more about her and what she was doing in the lab. Maybe witnessing why she was so frightening to anyone who comes across her, rather than just the reaction people have around her.
I will say the pacing was quite fast and the countdown of the timeframe is what initially kept me invested and eager to read on. I just felt like a lot of the alchemy jargon mixed with the all of the talk about the impossible city just went right over my head. Theres a whole lot of complex language and equations and things that didn’t really make sense to me and I felt like the majority of the book I was just treading water trying to keep up with what was going on.
I think overall it was just a little too repetitive for me as well. We see Roger and Dodger come together and forced apart multiple times throughout the course of the storyline and nothing was really revealed until right at the end. By that time I was just kind of reading to finish the book, I wasn’t all that invested in what what going to happen to them.