Book Review: Insynnium

In this mysterious novel by Tim Cole, one of the main characters, Max, is able to time travel after taking a new sleeping aid pill. His time traveling lasts 1 full year and has no consequences in the present time. As we travel through the book and Max's past, we find that there is an even bigger conspiracy at play here. Duncan and Pierre hide their involvement in the creation of Insynnium, Max's mom Grace and Duncan hide their relationship, Max and his wife Rachel struggle through rocky times, and new age technology is cropping up in the Middle East. How does all of this connect to Max and Insynnium? Only time will tell!

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Book Review: V World

In this sci-fi by Nick Berry, Alex Binary is one of millions of humans living in the virtual (V) world. Years ago, the humans in the real (R) world decided to forsake their world and transferred all their consciousnesses to the V worlds, where they will live out the remainder of their lives as well as the future of humanity. This V world is perfect in every way; grass cut exactly one-and-a-half inches, houses all the same, no death, no sickness, no hunger. That is, until what seems to be a glitch changes everything in Alex's V world, and it begins to turn on itself, killing all who live within it. Luckily for Alex, she is guided out of the V world and into the R world by an A.I. Turns out the various V Worlds are under attack from a psychopathic A.I. in the R world, where he wants to destroy all of humans. Will Alex, now in a human body with all of its imperfections, be able to overcome this faction of A.I.s and save her world before it's too late?

Book Review: Lingering

In this novel, Melissa Simonson takes us on a crazy sci-fi ride not so distant from our present world. In this book, a genius man and his quirky sidekick girlfriend take on the task of creating a way for people to talk to their loved ones after death, and so is born Lingering. This is where our main character Ben falls into their clutches. He recently lost his fiance Clarissa, and he would do just about anything to get a piece of her back. At first, it starts off as relatively harmless texting back and forth, as Ben talks to a computerized mimicry of the girl he loved. But then Lingering takes this a step further, and they are able to create a a copy of Carissa's voice, so now Ben is able to talk with her on the phone, whenever he wants. He can vent to her, get advice on what to buy his little cousin for her birthday, can even reminisce with her on times past... But will Lingering take it even further than that? Will Ben have the willpower to stop this facade before it becomes too crazy? Will he ever be able to cope with her death if her voice is always at his fingertips?

Book Review: Barriers

60 years into the future, and the Earth has been tormented by the sun for the last 40 years. Something caused it to destabilize at that time, and since then has been bombarding the Earth with powerful solar flares, baking the land and killing off its inhabitants. Luckily, a scientist was able to create a Barrier system, which now protects certain cities from the sun's harmful rays. Unfortunately, those Barriers come at a steep price, and do not cover even close to the entire world. In order to supposedly fund the Barriers and their upkeep, the government has strict regulations on who is able to be a Barrier resident, meaning that residents over the age of 12 have to be able to earn a meaningful income. Nathan is on a mission to fight these terms of living.

Book Review: Inevitable Ascension

Two friends, scorned by society more times than they can count team up to make a living hunting exotic animals and selling them on the blackmarket. Violina is our heroic protagonist, and Lux is the quirky and humorous sidekick--though I'm sure she'd claim equality. After one of their business deals goes awry, Violina liberates an ancient artifact and carries it around with her... Then, after everything seems to settle into place, finally, for the girls, they are thrust into a crazy, era-jumping adventure where the fate of the world is in their hands. Will they be able to avoid the butterfly effect of their time travel? Or do they need to make some changes for the betterment of their world?

Book Review: Catching Hell Part One

In this novel, best friends Aryu and Johan embark on a journey of revenge. They have sworn to destroy the mechanical army that devastated their village of Tan Torna Qu-ay, leaving only them--and their childhood enemy Esgona--the last living remnants of the peaceful village. Technology has been long-gone from this corner of the world, after destroying mankind twice, but now it seems that it is back, and more destructive than ever. Even worse, it seems to be led by a man with wings... Someone akin to Aryu. The friends split ways, Johan (and Esgona, unfortunately) to travel with various refugees to a different part of the world; one that is rumored to have the advanced weaponry necessary to fight off the mechanical army. Aryu travels with Nixon, the phoenix tasked by God to kill the bearer of the fabled sword Shi Kaze--the one currently in Aryu's protection--to find Crystal, the oldest and most powerful human alive. She is an Embracer, one who controls the Power, which broke the world once before. With all of these questions and various forms of power and hatred, what will become of Johan and Aryu's world? Can they beat the mechanical army back? And why is it here in the first place?

Science Fiction and Mental Health:The Lost Opportunity by Mike Schlossberg

Below is a Guest Post by author Mike Schlossberg. I recently read his book Redemption (#1 in the Spades Trilogy), and my 5 Star review can be found here. In his post, Schlossberg talks about interweaving Science Fiction and Mental Health, and how it is vastly lacking in the YA Sci-Fi community.

Book Review: Redemption

Lord of the Flies X Star Trek with a dash of mental health awareness. Ash and his crew of struggling teenagers must find the pieces of and create the vaccine for Spades, a fatal disease that will kill off the human race in 3 weeks. Will they be able to reconcile with each other (and their own selves) in time to save the world?

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