Posted in Books

A YA Reader’s Guide to Space Opera 👽

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

Would you look at that…for once, I actually have a post that isn’t a meme, an update, or a book tag…

I’ve been planning for this one a little bit, and I’m excited to get into it! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know how much I love sci-fi. So for this post, I decided to go semi-in-depth on my favorite subgenre of science fiction and dole out some recommendations of mine.

Let’s begin, shall we?

So first off, what is space opera anyway?

Steam Community :: :: Obi-wan has taught you well.

In all forms of media, space opera is a subgenre of science fiction. It tends to focus less on the heavy science/physics of the universe it’s in, and more on aspects such as plot and characters. There’s often adventures at a breakneck pace, intergalactic war or conflict, strange planets/other locations, and drama between a set of characters. A lot of space opera media that I’ve consumed tends to throw in a ragtag bunch of characters with nothing in common together, and then throws them into an adventure of epic proportions. (Commonly referred to in many of my posts and reviews as “[chaotic] space misfits.”) More often than not, there’s some light elements of fantasy, sometimes as placeholders to explain the workings of the universe. And, as you probably can figure out, it’s usually set in space or on a distant planet.

Star Wars is often used as the quintessential example of a space opera–dogfights in space, romance, strange worlds, and (amazing) lightsaber duels. (What more could you possibly want?) Although it’s probably not *the original* space opera, it’s influenced a huge chunk of space opera/sci-fi media for the last 40-ish years. Guardians of the Galaxy is another widely-known example of space opera, and from= the world of literature, Dune and Foundation are some of the most well-loved space opera classics.

I'm Mary Poppins, y'all! (gif) | Guardians of the galaxy, Marvel cinematic,  Marvel cinematic universe

Sci-fi has only become my favorite book genre in the past…six or seven years; for a while, I was mostly drawn to fantasy, but after reading Tony DiTerlizzi’s Search for WondLa trilogy, there was no going back. And I was raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, so it was bound to happen eventually. There’s a multitude of reasons why I’m drawn to it. Even though fantasy has virtually no limits as far as making up universes goes, there’s just something about about flying through the vast reaches of space and traveling to strange worlds that has always appealed to me. And as someone who’s been something of an outcast for the better part of my life, I’m drawn like a magnet to any kind of found-family tropes. Now, I know full well that it’s not exclusive to space opera, but everything from Star Wars to Aurora Rising has a cast of strange and distinct characters that come to see themselves as a family, and I’ve always loved the theme of finding your tribe of weirdos.

So now, if you say “space opera,” there’s a good chance that I’ll immediately want to read it. (Doesn’t mean I’ll love it–there’s good and bad books in every genre, of course–but I’ll certainly read it.)

Pin on Art

Now, I’ve compiled a list of some YA space opera recommendations! Each one is tailored to different types of readers/tastes, because I firmly believe there’s something for everybody, even if sci-fi isn’t normally your thing. So let’s get to it, shall we?

🪐YA SPACE OPERA RECS🪐

For readers who like character-driven books…

Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

Heart of Iron duology–Ashley Poston

A retelling of the story of Anastasia, this unique duology boasts a diverse and lovable cast of characters, royal intrigue, creepy androids, and some really cool spaceships.

For readers who like fairytale retellings…

Amazon.com: Once & Future (9780316449274): McCarthy, Cori, Capetta, Amy  Rose: Books

Once & Future–A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy

A retelling of Arthurian legend where the reincarnation of King Arthur is a pansexual woman of color and a spell gone wrong made Merlin age backwards…into an awkward, voice-cracky teenager. Super diverse, super feminist, and super fun!

For readers who love a good found-family story…

Aurora Rising - (Aurora Cycle) By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Paperback) :  Target

Aurora Cycle–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

In short, this is what happens when you put Captain America in a spaceship with his sister, his ex, a whole bunch of random students from the bottom of his class, and a girl with a glowing eye that may or may not start an intergalactic war. Hands down, my favorite series of all time.

For readers who love a little romance…

Amazon.com: Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars (1)) (9780316394031): Gray,  Claudia: Books

The Constellation trilogy–Claudia Gray

The worldbuilding and the imagery are beautiful in all three books, but it’s really the unlikely relationship between Noemi and Abel that shines in this one. [🥺 intensifies]

For readers who like plots with high-stakes competitions…

Amazon.com: Crownchasers (9780062845160): Coffindaffer, Rebecca: Books

Crownchasers–Rebecca Coffindaffer

(Would you look at that…another pansexual protagonist!)

I had my expectations a *bit* too high for this one, but it was still a whole lot of fun! A lot of reviewers have pitched it as Aurora Rising meets The Hunger Games, and I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. I’m excited to see what Coffindaffer has up their sleeve for book 2.

For fans of steampunk…

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars–Rosiee Thor

This one has elements of both sci-fi and fantasy woven in–royal intrigue on other worlds, and lots of clockwork hearts! Plus, it’s a beautiful queer story; we have a wlw romance, as well as a beautiful aro-ace coming out scene for one of the main characters.

For readers who prefer standalones to series…

Amazon.com: Last of Her Name (9781338243369): Khoury, Jessica: Books

Last of Her Name–Jessica Khoury

Another space opera retelling of Anastasia, comin’ right up…

Last of Her Name is a truly beautiful novel, with intricate and detailed worldbuilding, tender romance, and no shortage of twists that I couldn’t see coming. I do wish we’d gotten a larger glimpse into this world, but it was still satisfying as one book.

For thriller fans…

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

The Illuminae Files–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Normally, I’d try to avoid putting two series from the same author(s) in a post like this, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are masters of sci-fi, so I kind of *had to.* Composed of interviews, emails, security footage, and more, this is truly a trilogy like no other.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK? What are your favorite space opera books? Do you have any space opera recs for us? Tell me in the comments!

Baby Yoda Soup Baby Yoda Tea GIF - BabyYodaSoup BabyYodaTea BabyYoda -  Discover & Share GIFs | Star wars nerd, Star wars yoda, Star wars

Today’s song:

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Top 5 Saturday

Top 5 Saturday (10/24/20)–Wishlist 📚

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday! This was originally started by Devouring Books, and it sounded like such a fun post to take part in. Today’s topic is books on my wishlist. I have a TERRIBLE habit of buying only one or two books from a series, mostly because I read so much at the library, so I have tons of lone sequels and threequels and such. So this list is mostly comprised of books I want to re-read, and that would complete a series I don’t fully own.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR OCTOBER: 

10/3/20—Intimidating Books

10/10/10—Feminist Themes

10/17/20—Animal on the Cover

10/24/20—Wishlist

10/31/20—Vampires 

Rules!

  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post
  • Tag 5 people

Let’s begin, shall we?

TOP 5 SATURDAY (10/24/20)–WISHLIST

Warcross, Marie Lu

Amazon.com: Warcross (9780399547966): Lu, Marie: Books

I have an autographed copy of book 2, but I got book 1 at the library. I think this was my first exposure to Marie Lu, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Also, WHO’S EXCITED THAT IT’S CONFIRMED THAT WE’RE GETTING A TV SERIES?

Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars Series #1) by Claudia Gray, Paperback |  Barnes & Noble®

[chanting] Sci-fi, sci-fi, SCI-FI, SCI-FI–

Legend, Marie Lu

Amazon.com: Legend (9780142422076): Lu, Marie: Books

Out of this series, I only have Champion and Rebel, so consider Prodigy on this list as well…

Gemina, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Gemina (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499155): Kaufman, Amie,  Kristoff, Jay: Books

Again, consider both this book and Obsidio on here. This was a 5-star trilogy all around; maybe I should re-read them, but it would take…a while…

Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo

Amazon.com: Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, 2)  (9781250044433): Bardugo, Leigh: Books

One word: Nikolai.

I TAG ANYONE WHO WANTS TO PARTICIPATE!

11 GIFs All Book Lovers Can Relate To | Edmonton Public Library

Today’s song:

I listened to this whole album earlier in the week, and it’s SO GOOD.

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Saturday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Tags, Books

Fictional Family Book Tag

Happy Friday, bibliophiles! Man, I’m so glad to have a few days off…

Brianna @ Brianna’s Books and Randomness tagged me (thanks so much!), but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find who created the tag. (If you know, please let me know!) I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, and the results were definitely interesting…

Rules:

  • Pick 8 books off your shelves (try to not pick just your favorites!)
  • Arrange them into a random order (randomizers are good for this).
  • In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see. Don’t mix up the names!
  • In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down.
  • Put the names in the right category.
  • Tag people (spread the love) copy and paste these rules in your post, or write them out yourself.

Let’s begin, shall we?

PARENT #1

The Final Six | Alexandra Monir

Leo–The Final Six (Alexandra Monir)

I guess I could go with this? I suppose his more devoted/determined qualities might make him a decent father? I guess?

PARENT #2

Amazon.com: Crier's War (9780062823946): Varela, Nina: Books

Queen Junn–Crier’s War (Nina Varela)

UMM…I REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THIS DEVELOPMENT…

SIBLING #1

Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) by Claudia Gray

Abel–Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2) (Claudia Gray)

Okay, things are definitely starting to look up. Abel would be such a wonderful sibling to have–he’s such a lovable character, and I think he’d be a super supportive sibling.

SIBLING #2

Amazon.com: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) (9780553499117): Amie Kaufman,  Jay Kristoff: Books

Kady–Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)

Okay, so this tag leaves a lot to be desired in the fictional parent category (shoutout to my actual parents for being the most amazing and supportive people), but KADY WOULD BE AN AMAZING SISTER. SHORT GIRLS UNITE!

And on that subject, WHO’S EXCITED FOR MEMENTO? I preordered it, I can’t wait to read it!

COUSIN

Amazon.com: The Poet X (9780062662804): Acevedo, Elizabeth: Books

Xiomara–The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo)

Xiomara would be such a cool cousin! I feel like we could have so much in common, with myself as an aspiring writer and her as a budding poet.

BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER

Amazon.com: Wild Blue Wonder (9780062563996): Sorosiak, Carlie: Books

Elliott–Wild Blue Wonder (Carlie Sorosiak)

It’s been a few years since I’ve read Wild Blue Wonder and I remember next to nothing about Elliott, so…uh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

BEST FRIEND

Amazon.com: Wildcard (Warcross) (9780399547997): Lu, Marie: Books

Zero–Wildcard (Warcross, #2) (Marie Lu)

Ooh…Zero might be an interesting best friend to have, but not exactly the most trustworthy one…

PET

Amazon.com: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's  Peculiar Children) (9781594746031): Riggs, Ransom: Books

Addison–Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

Addison Quotes | Peculiars Amino

AHAHAAAAAAA YES

I’m more of a cat person, but I wouldn’t say no to having Addison at my side.

I TAG:

Season 2 Cheers GIF by Pose FX - Find & Share on GIPHY

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (5/4/20)–Lost Stars

goodreads monday header.jpg

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and more importantly…MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

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I plan to re-watch one of the movies sometime tonight…not sure which one, but I’m doing it…

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I figured I needed a book fitting for Star Wars day, so I picked out one of the many Star Wars books on my TBR.

“This is where the fun begins…”

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (5/4/20)–LOST STARS by Claudia Gray

Amazon.com: Star Wars Lost Stars (9781368013789): Gray, Claudia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

 

So why do I want to read this? 

Star Wars Trailer GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Since we’ve gotten the fact that I’ll read almost anything Star Wars related out of the way, let’s talk about the other major selling point for me: Claudia Gray.

It’s difficult to go wrong with her riveting writing, really. I adored every minute of the Constellation trilogy (Defy the Stars, Defy the Worlds, Defy the Fates), A Thousand Pieces of Youand Leia: Princess of Alderaanso I doubt I’ll be disappointed in that department.

This book in particular was recommended to me by a friend in my high school’s book club, and a fellow Star Wars fan (as you might have suspected). According to him, it provides a really interesting insight into the Empire’s perspective of things–not quite Palpatine or Vader, but the workers on the Death Star. After so many years of focusing on the Rebel Alliance or the Resistance, it sounds fascinating to see things from the losing side’s perspective. Oh, and apparently there’s a good sprinkling of forbidden love. [rubs hands together] Oooh…

Ive Been Looking Forward To This Dooku GIF ...

 

Today’s song:

You all knew this was coming. You knew.

“Oh, it’s…beautiful…” 

 

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Thanks for (barely) tolerating all of my references! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and May the Fourth be With You!

thank you for reading sw.jpg.png

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/11/19)-Defy the Fates

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

And yes, that’s right…

IT’S HERE.

The conclusion to the Constellation trilogy is HERE! (*ahem* okay technically it came out in April but I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago)

And man, it’s STUNNING. A beautiful conclusion to an unforgettable series.

 

Before reading this review, though, I suggest you read my other reviews for the previous books in the trilogy, Defy the Stars (see 5/15/18) and Defy the Worlds (see 5/22/18), if you haven’t a) caught up with some of the books or b) haven’t read the series yet. (If the answer if ‘b’ for you, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING? READ. THIS. TRILOGY.)

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3)

After the disaster that left Noemi Vidal close to death, Abel’s final goal is to save the life of the one he loves. But it won’t be easy–the only way that she could be saved is to replace some of her body parts and organs with robotic material. And the one person in the galaxy that could pull off this procedure is the person who Abel has desperately been trying to run from: none other than Gillian Shearer, daughter of Burton Mansfield, his notorious creator. Shearer is his only chance, but her intentions are more than Abel can see–she wants Abel for herself, as a vessel for Mansfield’s now detached consciousness. Can Abel save Noemi–and himself–from a fate worse than death?

 

 

Defy the Fates was a satisfying, beautiful ending to a phenomal series. Though it wasn’t  quite on par with Defy the Worlds (basically The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy), Defy the Fates still retained the intricate writing, intriguing plot, and raw emotion that was so characteristic of the trilogy. The ending perfectly wrapped things up, and didn’t leave me wanting anything more, for what we had was just right. Thank you, Mrs. Gray, for this unforgettable gem of a trilogy. ❤️ Abel and Noemi forever!

Also…something about Abel on this cover–not the other ones, mind you, weird–looks a teensy bit like Dan Stevens. Dunno why, dunno how, it’s just this one cover. Gettin’ some David Haller vibes, guys…

 

Thank you so much for reading this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, take care of yourselves, keep on reading, and most of all…enjoy your summer!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (8/28/18)-A Thousand Pieces of You

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the last BRT of August 2018!

 

I read this book about a week or so ago, initially because it was by Clauida Gray. I’ve adored the Defy the Stars series so far (if you want to see my reviews for them, see 5/15/18 for Defy the Stars and 5/22/18 for Defy the Worlds), and I figured that I could do with a little more Gray to pass the time. That, and the plot seemed pretty interesting and fun. Though I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the Defy the Stars series, I certainly loved it-a wild ride rife with unexpected twists and turns.

Enjoy the review!

 

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A Thousand Pieces of You

 

Seventeen year old Marguerite Caine is the daughter of two reknowned physicists, who invented a device called the Firebird. Named after the creature from Russian folklore, the device allows a person to travel into and between infinite dimensions. But soon after their invention is completed, Paul Markov, one of Marguerite’s parent’s colleagues and best friends, kills her father, and escapes through the Firebird into parts unknown.

Shocked by Paul’s betrayal and reeling from the death of her father, Marguerite decides to venture into the farthest reaches of the universe to bring him to justice once and for all. But as she slips through dimesion after dimesion, she slowly realizes that the truth behind her father’s murder isn’t as obvious as it seems…

 

Like I said earlier, I didn’t enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You as much as I did Defy the Stars, but that does not mean that it wasn’t a good book. On my personal scale, I’d say it would land about a solid 8 (about 4 stars on my Goodreads). An intricately crafted, thrilling mystery with surprises around every conceivable corner. I’ll admit that I kind of gaped at my Kindle screen a couple times.

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SHOOKETH. Pretty shooketh.

This series (Firebird) is, from what I remember, a trilogy (but isn’t everything nowadays?). I haven’t gotten to any of the sequels, and I don’t know if I will, but I’ll have to turn to them the next time I’m in a book slump. I could use a little more fun, interdimensional murder mysteries in my life. I guess.

Whew, that was really specific.

 

Anyway, have a wonderful rest of your day, and keep on reading!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (5/22/18)-Defy the Worlds

Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

A few weeks ago, my mom took me to Barnes and Noble. We both meandered about the YA section, and in about thirty seconds flat, I saw this and immediately started cradling it like a baby. The rest of the time spent in the YA section went as follows:

“You sure you want that?”

“YUP.”

*My mom walks away to find something else*

*I briefly consider getting something else* nah I’m keeping this

I’m keeping this 

 

I read it after finishing my (then) current library book haul. And MAN, IT WAS ALMOST BETTER THAN BOOK ONE! (See 5/15/18-Defy the Stars) AAAAH! THE FEELS…

Enjoy the review!

 

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Defy the Worlds (Defy the Stars, #2)

After their previous adventures throughout the galaxy, Noemi and Abel are separated. Noemi has been rejected by her former crew and peers, and is an outcast from her planet. Abel struggles to escape his creator, Burton Mansfield, and believes he may never see Noemi again. But a sudden plague on Genesis and a ransom on their heads brings them back together, and soon, they are reunited, and now the fate of the galaxy lies in their hands. The clock is ticking, and it’s only a matter of time before they are captured…

 

 

(The following vine is a visual representation of me buying, reading, and finishing this book.)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA indeed.

OH MY GOD

No spoilers, but not only was this book twice as beautiful, action-packed, and just flat-out wonderful, the cliffhanger at the end was just…GAAAAH!

AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT OVER A YEAR FOR BOOK THREE TO COME OUT

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

 

I hope you tolerated my battery screams and enjoyed my review! Thank you for reading, see you soon!

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Uncategorized

Book Review Tuesday (5/15/18)-Defy the Stars

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

Before I begin, I apologize for posting nothing but BRTs for weeks. I’ve got some fan arts that I’ll probably post this weekend. I also saw Avengers: Infinity War over the weekend, and honestly? I have no tears left to cry. I thought of reviewing it, but I probably wouldn’t get through it without spoiling, like, everything. I know how horrible it feels to have things like that spoiled for me, so I’ll save you the pain. All I’ll say is that I emerged from the theater sobbing.

Now, for the weather.

I’m surprised that I didn’t post a review of this book earlier. I got it at the library a few months ago, and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT. And the sequel (Defy the Worlds) is just as good, if not better, and I’ll probably review it some time after this. Enjoy your review!

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Defy the Stars

Since the human race has colonized other planets, tensions have been growing higher and higher. Years ago, Earth would have been the home planet of Noemi Vidal. But now, she is a soldier fighting against Earth, for the planet Genesis. When a mission goes terribly wrong, Noemi becomes trapped on an abandoned enemy ship, the Daedalus. There, she discovers Abel, the most advanced mech ever created, who has been on this ship alone for over thirty years. Despite their previous allegiances, Noemi and Abel know that in order to save their homes, they must join forces. As they venture through the known universe, they discover things that make them question what they previously believed, and uncover secrets that could be fatal in the wrong hands…

 

AAAAAH!

I’m naturally a sucker for fast-paced, sci-fi adventures in space, but this exceeded all expectations. Not only was the world building and plot spectacular, but I LOOOVED the characters. Abel, especially. In this series so far, he’s probably the closest thing I have to a fictional crush. Not quite hot or anything, but he’s just kind of overall lovable, and every scene with him is heartwarming.

Also, I won’t spoil who, but there’s a character that reminds me of Professor Bruttenholm from Hellboy. Just sayin’.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my review, and have a great rest of your day!