Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week of October 13, 2014

By David Wharton | 6 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!

BlackStars“The Black Stars” by Dan Krokos

Mason Stark has a problem with minding his own business. This worked to his advantage when he helped bring peace between humans and the alien Tremist. He’s now considered an intergalactic hero, but that hasn’t made school any easier. With his new reputation, any bully with something to prove wants to fight him.

With the new peace treaty on shaky ground, Mason is called upon to infiltrate the Tremist school for soldiers. Mason’s bound to find trouble, especially now that he has the power to channel electricity through his Tremist gloves, but when his new classmates begin to disappear under mysterious circumstances, trouble might find him first. The Tremist are working on a secret project, but what Mason discovers goes beyond that, to an ancient, powerful enemy.

With that very enemy threatening to invade, Mason must call on his friends, both human and Tremist, to fight. They call him a hero, and now that’s what he must be — even if it requires the ultimate sacrifice.

In this stellar follow-up to The Planet Thieves, Dan Krokos imbues The Black Stars with all the tension and action that made his first middle-grade novel such a gripping tale.

BZRKApoc“BZRK Apocalypse” by Michael Grant

The Matrix meets Inner Space in this third book in the BZRK trilogy from New York Times best-selling author Michael Grant.

The staggering conclusion to the BZRK trilogy, from the author of GONE. The members of BZRK are preparing for their final stand. Noah and Sadie have seen death, and it holds no fear for them. Madness does, though. And losing each other.

But they will not sit back, the only witnesses to an invisible apocalypse. The world is being destroyed from the inside out. It’s time for them to fight to the last, in the streets and in the nano. This is a story with both thrills and heart, packed with the author’s trademark jaw-dropping set pieces and pace.

Join them.

HistoryFuture“Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future” by A.S. King

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last — a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities — but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions — and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying: A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do anything to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

IRL“In Real Life” by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

Strike“Strike: The SYLO Chronicles #3” by D.J. MacHale

#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale is back with the third book in the SYLO Chronicles. Once again, Tucker Pierce and friends must fight for their lives against the better-equipped SYLO. All bets are off in Strike — with twists so big readers will never see them coming — while the action and pulse-pounding suspense remain as high as ever. Fans will be sure to devour this incredibly satisfying conclusion.

 
 
Surrogate“Surrogate” by David Bernstein

Rebecca Hardwick wants nothing more than to start a family with her husband. But when a series of tragedies occur, she is left unable to have children by natural means.

Jane Nurelle is in an abusive relationship filled with beatings, drinking and drugs. But when she learns of her pregnancy, she is determined to turn her life around, even if it means resorting to violence.

Through an unlikely series of events, these two women come face-to-face with a notable scientist who has perfected a way for couples to have biologically matched children through the process of human cloning. But his service comes at a price…and the women share more in common than they ever thought possible.

Surrogate is an unforgettable tale of life, love, revenge and maternal instinct.

Terminals“The Terminals” by Royce Scott Buckingham

In The Terminals, Royce Buckingham tells the riveting story of a covert team of young, terminally ill teens who spend their last year alive running dangerous missions as super-spies for an organization that may not be all it seems.

When 19 year-old Cam Cody is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he expects to spend the rest of his shortened life in an adjustable bed. Then one night, a mysterious man offers Cam one chance to join a covert unit of young ‘terminals.’ They are like him, only they spend the last year of their lives executing exciting and dangerous missions to make the world a better place.

With nothing to lose, Cam is in.

A helicopter flies Cam to a secret tropical location, where he’s tossed out with a parachute and an instruction manual. After a rough landing, he meets his nine teammates. The other terminals don’t seem sick; Zara is beautiful, Donnie is an amazing athlete, and Calliope sings like a bird. He soon learns that they’re enhanced with an experimental super steroid TS-8, which suppresses their illnesses’ symptoms and heightens their physical and mental abilities. It’s also fatal if taken for more than a year.

Cam joins this extreme spy team, and they begin pulling dangerous operations in multiple countries. As his teammates fall around him, he starts to receive cryptic messages from a haggard survivor of last year’s class hiding in the forest. She reveals that the program isn’t what it seems, leading Cam to question whether any of them are really sick at all.

Undivided“UnDivided” by Neal Shusterman

Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad — which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

WDeadDescent“The Walking Dead: Descent” by Jay Bonansinga

Written by Jay Bonansinga, based on the original series created by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead: Descent follows the events of The Fall of the Governor, and Lilly Caul’s struggles to rebuild Woodbury after the Governor’s shocking demise.

Out of the ashes of its dark past, Woodbury, Georgia, becomes an oasis of safety amidst the plague of the walking dead — a town reborn in the wake of its former tyrannical leader, Philip Blake, aka The Governor.

Blake’s legacy of madness haunts every nook and cranny of this little walled community, but Lilly Caul and a small ragtag band of survivors are determined to overcome their traumatic past… despite the fact that a super-herd is closing in on them.

This vast stampede of zombies, driven by inexorable hunger and aimed directly at Woodbury, becomes their first true test. But Lilly and company refuse to succumb, and in a stunning counteroffensive, the beleaguered townspeople save themselves by joining forces with a mysterious religious sect fresh from the wilderness.

Led by an enigmatic preacher named Jeremiah, this rogue church group seems tailor made for Woodbury and Lilly’s dream of a democratic, family-friendly future. The two factions meld into one, the town prospers, and everything seems hopeful for the first time since the plague broke out.

But things — especially in the world of the walking dead — are often not what they seem. Jeremiah and his followers harbor a dark secret, the evidence of which very gradually begins to unravel.

Along with a popular TV show also based on Kirkman’s AMC comic books, The Walking Dead franchise is just getting better and better with Bonansinga’s newest novel. In a stunning and horrifying finale, the world for Lilly and her close friends is turned upside down, and it is solely up to Lilly Caul to cleanse the town once and for all of its poisonous fate.

These novels continue to be a great companion for fans of the television series and graphic novels!

WarDogs“War Dogs” by Greg Bear

From a master of science fiction comes an epic interstellar tale of war.

They came in peace, bearing gifts.

The Gurus were a highly advanced species who brought amazingly useful and sophisticated technology to the human race. There was, of course, a catch. They warned of a far more malevolent life form, beings who have hounded the Gurus across the cosmos.

The media have taken to calling them the Antagonists — or Antags — and they have already established a beachhead on Mars.

For all they have done for us, the Gurus now need our help.

Enter Master Sergeant Michael Venn, a veteran Skyrine who is dropped onto the Red Planet with his band of brothers on a mission to turn back the Antag tide.

But the Skyrines will face impossible odds just to survive — let alone make it home alive.

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