Spoiler-Free Review : The Martian by Andy Weir
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.
This book has been raved about for months, so when I saw a copy of it in The Works for only £3.00, I had to get it. Since then it's basically been on every single monthly TBR, but I've never read it. Last month I suddenly felt in the mood for it so I picked it and instantly I was hooked. I wasn't just hooked, I was obsessed. I finished the last 200 (ish) pages at the start of this month and I knew that I would just have to write a review for it. Well, every time I tried to sit down and write it, I just didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to describe what I though of this book and what it did to me. Today I'm going to have a go at writing my review.
Mark Watney was the first man to walk on Mars, but after an incident, which made the crew believe he was dead, he is now also stranded there. It now looks like Mark Watney will also be the first person to die on Mars. Mark has to face the problems of new landscape, treacherous journeys as well as struggle for food and technical failures.
Despite his possibly deadly situation, Mark still has his humour, which shines throughout the book. I kept having to stop reading because I was laughing that hard that I couldn't keep hold of the book. I may actually do a blog post of some of my favourite quotes from this book as there are some really great ones. Let me know below or on my Instagram (@sprinkle_of_books) whether you would like me to do that.
Another thing that this book proved was that astronauts are bloody smart. The things they need to know is endless. For nearly every problem Mark had been trained (or sat least had the knowledge) how to fix it. To me it was really impressive and just shows that not everybody can be an astronaut.
This book is completely packed full of scientific language and I will admit about 3/4 of it went straight over my head. Despite my lack of knowing what was going on through these parts, nothing was lost from the story and it didn't make me love it any less.
Even if your knew to the sci-fi world (this was my first ever sci-fi book!), I am sure that you will immediately fall in love with this book like me and wish for more from these characters. And if you don't fall immediately in love with this book then please carry on reading as it does get a lot better, when other characters are introduced.
As I absolutely loved this book, I have no choice but to give this book 4.75/5-5/5 and it's now in my top 5 books of the year!
BUY THE BOOK
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18007564-the-martian?ac=1&from_search=1
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Martian-Andy-Weir/9781785031137
Author Q&A with Karri Thompson!
Karri Thompson, a.k.a. sci-fi freak, football fanatic, and rock-concert junkie, grew up in California, enjoying San Diego's awesome weather and beautiful beaches. She attended SDSU where she earned her BA in English, MA in education, and high-school teaching credential. She's a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher in her home town. When she's not writing, editing, cooking amazing meals for her family, or nerding out at Comic-Con, she's probably watching reality T.V.
1) What inspired you to write your book? (From @book_lande on Instagram)
KT : Hi @book_lande. There are lots of things that inspired me to write the Van Winkle Project series. One has to do with the fact that there are a lot of people I would have liked to have met whose lives were tragically cut short, making that impossible, or they lived before I was even born, also making that impossible. One person I would have loved to have met was James Dean. If we could only clone him, right? Of course, there would be plenty of ethical issues involved, and it's currently impossible to clone a human, so it would never happen. But that thought, helped inspire these books.
2) Are there any aspects of your own personality in the main characters? (From @booksandskittles on Instagram)
KT : Hi, @booksandskittles. I think I do have a lot in common with Cassie when it comes to personality. She is dependable, honest, and has a love for learning. I'm like that, too. She is also very brave. I consider myself a brave person, but I think she has more courage that I do. I could only hope that if I was being attacked and shot at that I'd be able to react as quickly as Cassie did.
3) If you could pick one song, what song would summarise the whole book? (")
KT : I would have to pick "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragon - not that Cassie is literally radioactive, but there is something about her that makes her different from everyone else and gives her power over others in the year 3025. She awoke in the future, so these lyrics fit : "I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones. Enough to make my system blow. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive. Whoa, oh, oh, oh , oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive." And this line fits, especially when it comes to what's going to happen in the third book in this series, "I raise my flag and dye my clothes, It's a revolution, I suppose. We're painted red to fit in."
4) If you hadn't become an author, what would you have done instead?
KT : I'm also a high school English teacher, so if I wasn't a writer, I'd probably just be teaching. But if I wasn't a teacher, I'd want to play a role in the publishing business, maybe an editor. Definitely not a literacy agent. I would feel terrible every time I rejected a manuscript.
5) At what age did you decide you wanted to become an author? How did you know that was what you definitely wanted to do/be?
KT : I've always loved writing fiction. As a kid, I used to write short stories all the time. When I was majoring in English as SDSU, I took a class called "The Writing of Fiction." For one of the assignments, I wrote a short story, and the professor actually called me at home on a Saturday to tell me that he just read my story and loved it. That's when I decided that some day when I had the time, I'd write a novel.
6) If you only had 5 words, how would you describe Ascendancy?
KT : Unique, unpredictable, exciting, disturbing, emotional.
7) Who are some of your favourite authors?
KT : Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, and J.R.R. Tolkein
8) What are the best and worst things about writing?
KT : For me, the best thing about writing is getting to meet and talk to people who have read my books. When I talk to a reader about one of my characters, it's like we're talking about someone we both know. It's great to have that kind of connection. The worst thing about writing is receiving a rejection. I know it's going to keep happening during my career, and when they do, they never make me give up, but it sucks. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but it's hard not to.
9) Do you think of writing as your job or more like a hobby?
KT : I definitely think of writing as my job, since I have to be disciplined in terms of meeting deadlines fro manuscripts, edits, etc.. and even though my publisher has an amazing publicity team, I still need to market myself and my books. I do have my job as an English teacher, but as much as I love my students and teaching, I hope that someday writing will be my only job.
10) Has there ever been a time that you doubted ever getting your work out there? Did you ever think about giving up?
KT : I think that at one time or another in the beginning, every writer has thought about giving up. The first manuscript I wrote (an adult sci-fi in third person) was rejected by every agent I sent it to. I was ready to give up, but instead I decided to put it on the back burner and write another novel, this time a YA titled AMATEUR ANGEL. With this novel, I signed with an agent, and she sold it to a publisher. Then I went back to my adult sci-fi and rewrote it as a YA and in first person. My agent pitched it, and it was sold to Entangled Teen in a three-book deal. That book is Mirror X! So never give up!
11) What is your best advice for aspiring authors?
KT : My best advice is not to give up when (not if) you receive a rejection from an agent or a publisher. This business is so subjective. Everyone has had rejections - many of them. In addition, keep continuing to hone your craft by attending writers' conference or online workshops. I still do many of these. You should also join a critique group.
Mirror X (#1 Van Winkle Series)
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18652641-mirror-x?from_search=true&search_version=service
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Mirror-X-Karri-Thompson/9781500552992
Ascendancy (#2 Van Winkle Series)
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27396930-ascendancy?from_search=true&search_version=service
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Ascendancy-Karri-Thompson/9781682810248
Thief Of Lies Excerpt Blitz!
I was asked to participate in the Thief Of Lies Excerpt Blitz Tour and I couldn't say no after reading the synopsis of this book. Below you will find an excerpt of the book as well as purchase links and a bit about the fabulous author, Brenda Drake.
Title : Thief Of Lies (Library Jumpers #1)
Release Date : 1/5/16
Author : Brenda Drake
About The Author :
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother's animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda's not writing or doing the social media thing, she's haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and nit at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
Website - http://www.brenda-drake.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/brendadrake
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BrendaLeeDrake
Book Cover : (IT'S BEAUTIFUL!)
ABOUT THE BOOK :
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels - magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures of traveling across the gateway books - rescue them from a demonic hound.
Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.
I pressed the screen, and it went dark. "How do we know he's not being forced to say this?"
"The password, May Agnes guide you," Lei replied. "She's the patron saint of Asile." Agnes? That was the silver woman's name that formed from my globe. Did the saints have something to do with the Chiavi?
I faced Ricardo. "How did you know I was here?"
"The werehounds tracked your scent from Katy...excuse me, your nana...gave us."
"Can you pack help us save Couve?" Arik asked him.
"They will, but Gia must go with me." He noticed the protest forming on my lips. "Merlin said no exceptions. I'm to gte you to shelter."
From the corridor came yells, scuffles and the continual wail of the warning siren.
"I can't go with you," I said. "I have to fight with them."
"She can't fight with us," Lei said, glancing at the door. "She almost killed Kale."
I turned to Sinead. "You know what I can do."
Sinead gave me a pity smile. "Yes, but you have no control over it. Let Ricardo take you to your father and friends."
I thought of Kale lying motionless, near death, and I hated that she was right. As much as I wanted to stay,, I might be more hindrance than help. I caved. "Okay,2 I said, defeated. Lei flew out of the room with the Laniars on her heels.
Sinead hugged me, 5hen rushed after them. Arik moved over to me and cupped my face gently in his hands. His eyes held the intensity that always drew me to him.
I swallowed my breath in anticipation. All the sounds around us went silent.
He bent and lightly brushed my lips with a kiss. His lips were soft and oh, so tender. Butterflies swooped and curled inside me, and it felt like the ground disappeared from beneath my feet. He pulled back a little and said, "Regardless of the fact that you're a royal pain in the arse, I fancy you. Listen to Ricardo and don't do anything rash."
He gave me another kiss and rushed out of the door. My heart twisted in my chest as he disappeared. I touched my mouth and exhaled. He liked me. It was against the laws, but he told me he fancied me. Maybe we had no future, but me had now.
"What a sweet display," Ricardo said, dragging me out of my haze. "I'm not one for rules or laws, but I's be careful there. The punishment would be much worse for him than you."
"Why?" I stared at the door as if I'd see Arik there.
"He's a leader. He knows better." Ricardo headed to the window. "Are you ready to fly?"
"Did you say fly?"
Amazon - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake/dp/1633752216/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450373005&sr=8-1&keywords=Library+Jumpers+brenda+drake
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/brenda+drake?_requestid=263477
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thief-of-lies/id1000566034?mt=11
Amazon.co.uk - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake/dp/1633752216/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450373417&sr=1-1&keywords=brenda+drake
Amazon.ca - http://www.amazon.ca/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450373496&sr=8-1&keywords=brenda+drake
Books-A-Million - http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Thief-Lies/Brenda-Drake/9781633752214?id=6503736567060
The Book Depository - http://www.bookdepository.com/Thief-of-Lies-Brend-Drake/9781633752214
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17669243-thief-of-lies
Spoiler-Free Review : My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (Graphic Novel) by Ted Anderson and Katie Cook
Illustrators : Tony Fleecs and Andy Price
Based on the hit movie, join the girls as they get settled into Canterlot High. Plus, Sunset Shimmer tries to find the true meaning of the holidays as rumors circulate around the school. Collects the 2013 Annual and the 2014 Holiday Special.
*Received a copy from the author/publisher via NetGalley in trade for an honest review*
This graphic novel showcases two different stories.
The first one features an interview by Sunset for the 5 girls (Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Rariety.) The girls are asked questions focusing on the beginning of their friendship and school. It talk about how they met and how they created this life-long friendship between them. Throughout the story you can clearly see the bond between the girls growing as they each remember their eventful pasts.
The second one is about the festive season. The girls catch ear that Sunset has never experienced a proper Christmas and she is missing her family at home. All 5 girls decide they must do something about this and bring Sunset a Christmas to remember. They each decide to host a sleepover at their own houses. However, the girls secrets from the sleepovers end up travelling around the school. Is it Sunset?
I have to admit that I'm not exactly a My Little Pony fan and have only watched the first few episodes of the TV show. Despite this, I still know the characters well enough to understand this graphic novel and each character showcases their personality so clearly that even for people who don't know a thing about My Little Pony they can still get a grasp on the different characters. Anyway, I recently said that I wanted to venture into the graphic novel world as I've previously only read one graphic novel (Crystal Cadets #1), so when I saw this on NetGalley I immediately requested it as I knew it would be super easy to get into and overall just a fun read.
Overall I really enjoyed both stories, but my favourite was the second one. It seemed more mature and there was an actual mystery for the reader to solve. Some parts were easily guessable, but others not and that kept me on my toes. In the end the culprit is revealed and I am not ashamed to admit that I was completely and utterly wrong. Despite this I enjoyed the journey immensely and don't regret it for a single second.
I really enjoyed the art style and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too girly. I know that there are lots of male My Little Pony fans out there, but I have always assumed that the main audience for the cartoon etc is for girls, but the art style proved me wrong. I have included some screenshots of the art/illustrations for you all to look at.
I loved the art style a lot and it definitely added a lot to the story.
As I absolutely loved both the stories and the art, I'm going to have to give this graphic novel 4/5
I really recommend this to anyone who just wants a fun read.
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