Rengades (Book Review)

Renegades

Stars- 5/5

Summary – The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone … except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.(Goodreads)

Thoughts – I absolutely loved Renegades! It took me less than a day to read it. I couldn’t put it down, just like I couldn’t put down any of The Lunar Chronicles books or how Heartless was impossible to stop reading. That’s what I love about Marissa Meyer’s books — they pull you in and they won’t let you out until you’ve devoured the entire story.
This month, I was lucky enough to meet Marissa Meyer and see her in a panel with Cassandra Clare which was amazing! She was super nice and I got Cinder and Heartless signed. I wrote a review on YALLfest so go check that out!
My favorite character in Renegades would have to be Nova. She was strong and though her abilities weren’t showy, they were silent and powerful. On the other hand, my least favorite character was Ingrid, she was just horrible to the other Anarchists.
I highly suggest this to anyone that likes superheroes or anyone that enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s other books.

Age – 12+

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Review – Rick and morty season 3 episode 3

Still image from TV show Rick and Morty

Review by: wrackon

Rick and Morty season 3 episode 3 “Pickle Rick” is one I have been anticipating for a while. The concept of Rick turning into a pickle and having to make his way back home struck me as a very intriguing concept. In this episode, Rick turns himself into a pickle in order to get out of having to go to family therapy. When Morty discovers a timer on a needle that appears to be the serum that turns Rick back into a human he tries to play it off as something unrelated. Beth then takes the needle, puts it in her purse and leaves to go to the family therapy with Summer and Morty. Right after they leave, a cat comes into the garage, knocking Rick into the driveway. After this, heavy rain starts pouring and carries Rick into the sewers. There he manages to kill a cockroach and uses its brain control its limbs. Using the cockroach he builds a trap that decapitates a rat and attaches its limbs to his body giving him arms and legs. From there he fights through all the sewer rats and manages to escape the sewer unscathed only to find out he escaped into an armed facility. When the guards don’t let him escape, he kills them one by one until the head of the facility decides to let a mercenary named “Jaguar” out of his cell to kill Rick. After a shootout between Jaguar and Rick takes place and it appears that Rick won, the head of the facility calls in a escape helicopter only to find that it is piloted by Jaguar with Rick in the back. Rick then takes a puff of a cigarette and flicks it onto the ground that is covered in kerosene with a fuse that leads back to explosives blowing up the building. Jaguar and Rick part ways as Rick flies the helicopter to the therapy session where his family is and barges in in the middle of their conversation about Rick. After the therapy session with a spot on analysis on the family’s problems Beth gives Rick the anti-pickle serum and the episode ends shortly after.

Overview:

This episode I think is one of the best yet. It has a very interesting concept and was a funny episode all throughout. It was cool getting to watch Rick go through the process of finding his way to attach limbs to his pickle body and to escape the sewers and the armed guards to make it back to Beth and to get the anti-pickle Serum. Overall this was a cool idea for an episode with many comedic moments and is easily my favorite of the season so far. This episode is one that I have long awaited and it did not disappoint.

Rating: 9.3/10

What Goes Up (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

When Eddie Toivonen applies to NASA’s Interworlds Agency tryouts with hundreds of the country’s smartest teens, he is trying to get an escape from his troubled past. With a criminal father, people don’t always trust him so he needs to work extra hard to not mess up. The tryouts for the spot in NASA include a variety of challenges that touch on different skills which would help in the field. If you fail a challenge you get disqualified. Eddie has strange test results so the director doesn’t know what to make of him.

Rosa Hayashi is the daughter of brilliant scientists and she is constantly trying to live up to their expectations. Rosa knew she would have no problem getting into the program, she has been training for this her whole life, but it is harder than she thinks and soon finds that out.

After some of the tests are over and there are about forty people left in the running Eddie and Rosa are at the top. This puts a target on their backs because some people are so desperate they would do anything for this job…and they do. Four guys pull the fire alarm in their dorm building and as Rosa is going down the stairs they try to throw her over but Eddie comes just in time to save her. The authorities get three of the boys and throw them out but they aren’t aware of the fourth so he stays, still determined on being the winner.

When the challenges are complete there are four finalists, Eddie, Rosa, Trevor, and Brad. They each get an apartment on campus and meet their trainer, Reg. Their training includes learning teamwork and learning to fly a space shuttle. These training sessions are useful but dangerous, one includes a bomb.

They aren’t near ready to be in the field yet but when the two other teams are sent out to investigate something in space, they might have to go. The systems had picked up a flutter in the gravity out in space, which means something is moving toward the Earth and NASA starts to worry. Soon after, they detect something coming toward their landing pad, and it’s a spaceship. When aliens step out the scientists don’t realize just how much trouble they are in.

I liked What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy because it was witty and exciting. This book left me guessing until the end and it was so interesting I couldn’t put it down.

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

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Review by: coolkid73

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope is the fourth chronological movie in the Star Wars series. It was the first movie made, released in 1977. When it came out it was just titled Star Wars. Episodes V and VI were released afterwards, but did not have the Episode V or Episode VI in the titles. Episodes I, II, and III were released as a prequel trilogy, which causes this movie and the others to be re-releases with the titles we know them as today. Now, back to this movie.

Darth Vader has kidnapped Princess Leia in an attempt to regain the plans to the Death Star. She hides the plans in the memory of a droid known as R2-D2. He and his friend C3-PO escape and land on the planet Tattoine, where they are rescued by Luke Skywalker. After revealing Princess Leia’s message, R2-D2, Luke, C3-PO, and Obi-Wan Kenobi seek Han Solo and his co-pilot Chewbaca to fly them to the planet Alderaan, only to find out it has been destroyed. The wind up on the Death Star where Han and Luke leave to search for Leia. They manage to rescue her, but can they escape? The only way to find out is to watch this movie yourself.

This movie is filled with action and I recommend it to any action movie lovers out there.

Empress of a Thousand Skies (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an of Kalu is the only surviving heir of the Ta’an dynasty. The rest of her family was killed when the current Crown Regent, Seotra, exploded their ship. Rhiannon, or Rhee, only has days left until her sixteenth birthday and coronation when her own teacher attempts to assassinate her. She is saved by a Fontisian boy only a few years older than herself and they go on the run. Even though they get away the news still states she was killed because Seotra wants to keep his power and declare war. Rhee decides that she needs to end Seotra and his reign, so they travel to Tinoppa where he will be attending her “funeral.” She comes extremely close to killing him but she finds out a shocking truth that sets her on a different adventure.

Alyosha Myraz, UniForce soldier and star of The Revolutionary Boys has the misfortune of being with the wrong person at the wrong time. His co-star on the show is actually a spy for the United Planets, an organization that tries to keep peace between the planets. His mission was to get information on the UniForce, which he strayed from until he got a message that there might be an attempt on the princess’s life. Alyosha finds out he can’t  go back to an UniForce base anyway because a video was put out of him saying that he was going to kill the princess. Only he and his co-star know he never actually said this- someone messed with audio from the show to frame him. Alyosha is now the most wanted person in the universe and while on the run he meets someone he thought to be dead.

I liked Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza because it was fun with cliffhangers every chapter. I recommend this book because it is not like anything I have read before and it was very interesting.

Only You Can Save Mankind

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Review by: notverygeneric

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett is a book where Johnny Maxwell, a gamer, gets involved with the aliens who he was trying to kill in a game.  Suddenly, they tell him that they don’t want to be killed.  Then, he starts going into the game in his dreams, and eventually his friends join him in his quest to save the aliens.  He also has to deal with a mutiny on the ship and they ship cereal (super-civilization-sized boxes), milk, and chicken nuggets to the alien fleet.  They make it onto the ship and the fleet eventually leaves the game-playing map.  The gang had figured out that the same thing was happening in other discs, and it’s hard to find the fleet and fight them.  On the way, they had discovered that the ship was imagined, so before they left the map (humans can’t), Johnny imagined there were escape pods.  They found them- with the paint still wet.

Enjoy watching Johnny and his friends try and save the aliens from destruction!  His posse includes:

  • Wobbler, a person who is VERY good at hacking and bad at game design.
  • Yo-less, called so because he never says “Yo”
  • Kirsty, a girl who’s really good at the game

So read Only You Can Save Mankind and watch this not-so-daring trio try to save the ScreeWee Empire!

2001: A Space Odyssey

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So, I’ve been going on a classic literature binge, and I found this book. 2001: A Space Odyssey was written by Arthur C. Clarke.

Two astronauts, three hibernating passengers, and an AI named HAL are headed for Saturn on an exploratory mission.  Strange discoveries on the moon change the mission plan a little. And if being the only three sentient beings awake for millions of miles wasn’t enough danger, something is systematically sabotaging their ship.

The plot has probably been copied by about a thousand people because it’s just. that. good. The suspense grows with every chapter until you can’t look away.

Clarke’s word choice is absolutely stellar. (Yes, I meant to do that.) The images he conjures are loaded with detail and stick with you for hours.

Clarke even (spoiler, highlight to read) and I wasn’t even a little mad. That in itself should tell you this author is fantastic.

My only major problem was with the exposition. A full third of the book is irrelevant to the plot. The first fourth or so could have been compressed into a few pages. Some of the descriptions later on in the exposition section are gorgeous and give the reader a much better idea of society and technological advancement on Earth, but the rest of it… nah.

Blocks of indigestible scientific gibberish are randomly shoehorned throughout the main plot-relevant section. I could understand it, and the reasoning behind the technology was pretty cool, but it was  jammed into the middle of a perfectly good plot-driven chapter.  Scientific information only propels a plot when there’s real in-universe importance attached to that information.

Another pet peeve of mine was the characters. Actually, the non-characters. They were pretty flat. Granted, 2001 is a short book and there isn’t much room for character development in the middle of the plot. Clarke did make an effort in several spots to paint his main characters’ lives, but they’re still cardboard with a bit of throwaway character development to make them look 3-D. This book is all about the story, so the characters are pretty much window dressing anyway, but I was slightly annoyed by the lack of backstory.

Okay, it’s fair to say this isn’t the 2001 I was born into.  In the words of someone else: “God bless you, old sci-fi, you had such high hopes for us.” We obviously aren’t sending manned missions to Saturn, or putting humans in cryosleep until we need them. But no matter what year it is set in, (2001, 2023, 2323…) this book is timeless.

Yes, I know a full two-thirds of this review so far was my quibbles with this book. Well, READ THE BOOK ANYWAY. Even if you don’t like the ‘drops exposition on you like a ton of bricks’ aspect, this book is well worth reading despite that. It brings up deep questions logically, within the boundaries of the story. The suspense is masterfully written. The settings are vivid, and the plot is amazingly original (keeping in mind the publication date of 1968, it’s likely that anything written later with a similar plot drew at least some inspiration from 2001). There’s an ending that hits you like a ton of bricks and leaves you thinking about it days later. Basically, all the ingredients of a book that lingers. 2001 stays in your mind. You remember HAL every time you hear the letters AI. You hear the words “My God, it’s full of stars!” in the back of your mind, and stare blankly at the nearest wall as you struggle to comprehend the vastness and implacability of the universe.

(Well, 2001 might not do that to you, but that’s what it did to me.)

This book fully deserves its place as a classic of science fiction. I have no regrets about reading it, and the problems with the writing are vastly outweighed by its good points. 4 and 1/2 stars.