Book Review: Heartlight — By T. A. Barron

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Heartlight — by T. A. Barron
Release Date: September 27, 1990
Page Count: 275
ISBN-13: 978-0399221804

Summary from Amazon

PCl (Pure Condensed Light) = FTL (Faster Than Light travel)

A butterfly’s wing, a silicon chip, and a new equation for light hold the key to humankind’s boldest dream–faster than light travel.

A distinguished astronomer and a sensitive young woman are hurled into a dazzling cross-galactic adventure when an unexpected discover links the explosive uncertainties of quantum physics with the still-untapped psychic powers of human kind.

PCL is a bold theoretical synthesis, launching a voyage through awesome wonders–and into unimaginable terrrors. For Dr. Miles Prancer, at the end of his career, has made a discovery too horrifying to share with humanity. He has found a black hole in the center of the Sun that gives our solar system less than three years to live!

My Review

I happened upon this book at my local library in the YA section. Although it was written quite some time ago, the book has a great storyline and is sure to please many fantasy and sci-fi fans of today. The book is not very long and was well worth the time that I spent reading it. The characters were unique and well developed. My favorite character was Kate, but I also enjoyed eading about Morpheus, Orpheus and Ariella. Throughout the story, the reader can really sympathize with the main character and all that she must endure during her journey. Kate is a very realistic character and I felt that her behavior and dialog was appropriate for someone her age. The other characters were all very interesting to read about and I was glad that the author included some alien characters in the story. I think that it’s often difficult for authors to create alien characters, but the author does a good job with this task. As an aside, when I was writing my first book (The Demon Rolmar) it was very difficult for me to invent alien worlds with societies that have unique languages, customs, etc. However, it is a lot of fun creating these worlds and determining how their inhabitants will behave.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the imagery. The author did a great job of describing different scenes in the book. Some of the beginning scenes of the story involving butterflies contained beautiful imagery. The author certainly has a knack for description. This book was quite moving and I felt that the author did a good job of pulling the reader into the story. T.A. Barron has a talent for crafting characters that the reader will care about and scenes that he or she will find poignant. I definitely recommend this book for anyone  that is looking for a great sci-fi read!

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Book Review: The Boy at the End of the World — by Greg van Eekhout

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The Boy at the End of the World — by Greg van Eekhout
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Page Count: 221

Summary from Amazon

This is what he knew:

His name was Fisher.

The world was dangerous.

And he was alone.

Fisher is the last boy on Earth – and things are not looking good for the human race. The carefully crafted survival dome where Fisher and dozens of other humans have been sleeping for millenia has been destroyed. Through a lucky accident, only Fisher survived.

The world Fisher wakes up in is a lot like ours – but it’s changed, too. After the human race wiped itself out, nature took over, and wild creatures evolved into barely familiar beasts. Fisher must face them all as they set off on a journey that seems hopeless – at first. Then Fisher uncovers evidence that there may be a second survival dome far to the west. What was once a struggle for one boy’s survival becomes a journey of hope.

With a broken robot and a friendly mammoth as his only companions, Fisher heads West. But something is watching them… something that wants to find the second survival dome just as badly as they do.

My Review

I really enjoyed reading this dystopian book. It was only 221 pages and proved to be a very quick read. I couldn’t put this book down because I was intrigued by the characters and the story line. The pace of the book was pretty fast and I liked this as well. I don’t think that there were any dull moments in the story at all.

My favorite character was Fisher. He was very brave throughout the entire story and by the end of the book he had matured quite a bit. Click, who served as Fisher’s guardian, was also a great character. I really liked how the author envisioned robots in the future. I thought that Click was the perfect blend of human and robotic traits. I thought that the Intelligence was also a very interesting robot. The author is very creative and the Intelligence is just one example of his creativity at work. I enjoy reading about robots and I was pleased with how they were depicted in this book. Protein was also a wonderful character who was very loyal and fun to read about.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. His use of imagery was very good and by the end of the story I cared a great deal about the characters. Some ideas about the nature of humanity were explored in the book, but not so much that it bogged down the story. All in all, this was a great story. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and thought provoking read.

Stygian Rift – By Jayra Almanzor

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Stygian Rift – By Jayra Almanzor
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Page Count: 318
ISBN-13: 978-0692269831

Summary from Amazon

What would you do if you woke up in hell and couldn’t remember a thing? Set in a dystopian society about 150 years from the 21st century…… Suddenly rousing in a place completely different from his world, seventeen-year-old Robert is greeted with accusations, bullying, and fear from the teenagers around him. Life isn’t easy in the new place, especially if it’s the direct opposite of how and where he was raised. However, there’s something more about the place that gives him the chills. Is it the fact that monsters and demons always get to massacre someone every night, and then leave when dawn comes? Or that he can’t recall what his surname is? Maybe it’s that the locals are always blaming him for what happened to Cleo, a girl whom Robert doesn’t even know. Determined to find out what happened, how he got there, and how to get out, Robert and his unreliable fox companion tries to persuade the most stubborn party of defeatists to help them on their crusade, or go off on their own. Filled with thrills, devotion, realism and originality, Stygian Rift is one unforgettable, emotional journey!

My Review

I really enjoyed reading this book. I was pleasantly surprised by the talent of such a young author. She was able to create a convincing dystopian world full of interesting characters and frightening monsters. I thought that her writing was very good, especially when describing the Chamber and its monsters. I had a very clear picture of how the Chamber appeared and the cells that it contained.

I also liked many of the characters in the book. My favorite character was Bo. I thought that he had very realistic reactions, thoughts and dialogue throughout the book. The devil inside of Bo’s head was also an interesting part of Miguel’s psyche. I liked the reactions that the imp would have to Bo’s thoughts and to what was happening around Bo. I also liked Miguel as well. I thought that it was interesting how the reader didn’t know if he would help Bo at first. This made the interactions between them more interesting. Anise was a character that I liked as well and I thought that the descriptions of all the monsters were all very good. I definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a great dystopian novel.