Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of January 6, 2014

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

AlmostGirlThe Almost Girl” by Amalie Howard

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. But coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

GoldenAgeDreams of the Golden Age” by Carrie Vaughan

Like every teen, Anna has secrets. Unlike every teen, Anna has a telepath for a father and Commerce City’s most powerful businessperson for a mother. She’s also the granddaughter of the city’s two most famous superheroes, the former leaders of the legendary Olympiad, and the company car drops her off at the gate of her exclusive high school every morning. Privacy is one luxury she doesn’t have.

Hiding her burgeoning superpowers from her parents is hard enough; how’s she supposed to keep them from finding out that her friends have powers, too? Or that she and the others are meeting late at night, honing their skills and dreaming of becoming Commerce City’s next great team of masked vigilantes?

Like every mother, Celia worries about her daughter. Unlike every mother, Celia has the means to send Anna to the best schools and keep a close watch on her, every second of every day. At least Celia doesn’t have to worry about Anna becoming a target for every gang with masks and an agenda, like Celia was at Anna’s age.

As far as Celia knows, Anna isn’t anything other than a normal teen. Still, just in case, Celia has secretly awarded scholarships at Anna’s private high school to the descendants of the city’s other superpowered humans. Maybe, just maybe, these teens could one day fill the gap left by the dissolution of The Olympiad….in Carrie Vaughn’s Dreams of the Golden Age.

StartersEnders” by Lissa Price

The riveting conclusion to the sci-fi thriller STARTERS!

Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael — teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations — Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life — but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too…and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?

No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her.

FugitiveXFugitive X” by Gregg Rosenblum

From the creators of Homeland and the Final Destination films comes Fugitive X, the chilling sequel to Revolution 19.

After the robot revolution, people who escaped capture by the bots made their homes in secret freeposts in the wilderness outside bot-controlled Cities. Siblings Nick, Kevin, and Cass never would have dreamed of venturing into the Cities. But when their parents were kidnapped, they had no choice but to follow them.

Not everything went as planned, and the siblings find themselves fleeing the City without their parents. And then the three are separated, and for the first time they are on their own. Cass is brought in for reprogramming by the bots; Nick joins up with rebel soldiers; and Kevin meets the man who is responsible for the robot technology — and their only chance at defeating the robots once and for all. As the three fight to take down the bots, they also must prepare for a looming war between bots and humans that will decide the fate of the human world forever.

IndependentIndependent Study (The Testing, Book 2)” by Joelle Charbonneau

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies…a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas — and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her — and her loved ones — in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

FullSeaOn Such a Full Sea” by Chang-rae Lee

On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee’s elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in.

In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class — descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China — find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.

In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.

Zom-BZom-B Gladiator” by Darren Shan

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, B Smith has decided to live — and to fight for good as long as possible. However, London is overridden with the brain-eating undead and swarming with human mercenaries whose sense of right and wrong dissolved when society did. When they lay a trap, B is captured. And it’ll take dozens of battles–and the fight of a lifetime — to escape.

Filled with gripping, bloody action sequences, the sixth book in Darren Shan’s horrifying Zom-B series promises the fright — and the fight — of your life.

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