Humans have spread throughout the solar system which is ruled by the System government based on Earth. Ananke is a super secret System ship out on a trial run with a crew of three. Althea is the programmer primarily responsible for Ananke's unique computer software. She has a far greater attachment to the computer and Ananke than to her fellow crew mates. On their way to Pluto two intruders board the ship. One escapes and dumps a virus into the programming to frustrate their attempts to trace him. The other, Ivan, is held for questioning about their ties to a rebel terrorist Mallt-y-Nos.
Pierce Brown creates a dystopian future where mankind has populated the solar system and created a hierarchical caste system of colors. Strict rules and roles are assigned to each color, some of which are: Reds who provide the manual labor, Pinks who master the arts of pleasure, Blues who pilot the starships, Obsidians who fight the wars, Silvers who run the businesses, and Golds who rule society. Darrow is born into this society at the bottom of the totem pole as a Red who works in the mines of Mars. As a Helldiver he risks his life manning a drill in the dangerous helium-3 mines but he accepts his role without question. He knows that mankind has ruined the Earth and helium-3 is needed to terraform Mars to provide humanity with a new home. He is proud of his work and understands that the Reds are sacrificing themselves to save humanity. There is only one problem - it is all a lie....
Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, the police arm of the Halls of Law in the city of Elantra. She is always oversleeping, never finds time to do her laundry, and can't be bothered to style her hair. Kaylin is brash, impatient, ignorant, and almost suicidally tactless. Kaylin is very human. She is also covered in ancient writing that gives her enormous power to heal or destroy. Kaylin is the Chosen, though no one has ever explained who chose her or why.
Gen thought it was a good idea to brag about his thieving skills in a wine shop and declare he would prove himself by stealing the King's seal. Which he did. Unfortunately, agents of the King had heard his boasting and thus he finds himself in prison for a while. Then the Magus, chief advisor to the King of Sounis, offers him freedom if he steals an unspecified item from an unknown place. Again Gen says he can steal anything and joins the Magus in a small party heading to a mysterious destination.
Alastair Reynolds tells a tale that is much larger in scope than it first appears to be. It all starts innocently enough with the crew of the Rockhopper doing what they do best, mining comets in our solar system, also known as "pushing ice." Then something unexplainable happens. One of Saturn's moons, Janus, breaks out of orbit and assumes a trajectory toward Spica, a star 240 light years away. Not only that, it is accelerating as it heads out of the solar system...
When I first noticed this series I saw that the subject matter was a combination of a zombie apocalypse and super heroes and I knew this was not something that I would get into. Therefore I chose to ignore the series despite seeing many positive reviews for it. These books are also shorter than what I normally prefer so I had multiple reasons to pass this series up as the positive reviews continued to roll in. However, eventually I found myself looking for a change of pace so I decided to give it a try ore »and I am very glad I did. Peter Clines masterfully combines the two genres into an interesting, face-paced storyline with some surprising detail behind it. I listened to this series on audiobook and it felt like I was listening to a comic book filled with fun characters. I enjoyed every minute of it and eagerly await more.
Castillar Lupe dy Cazaril feels broken in both body and spirit. After fighting through several wars and then pulling an oar as a galley slave he's finally walking back to the last place he felt at "home". He's 35 going on 70 and his whole desire is a quiet comfortable place to hide. But the gods have need of a good man....
I picked up Reamde because the story involved an online game world where hackers target the players and it seemed like an interesting topic for a novel. That premise turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg and this tale veers in many different directions. The online game world of T'Rain is a multi-billion dollar MMO with millions of players and that success makes it an attractive target. A ransomware virus is created that holds a players virtual assets hostage and then all hell breaks loose, in game and out. The main characters wind up all over the globe as spies, terrorists, smugglers, and the Russian mafia all get entangled into the plot. Every step of the way Stephenson ups the ante and the plot almost seems to run out of control.
The future, as initially presented by author James S. A. Corey, finds mankind having achieved space travel within our solar system but with no means to reach further out to the stars. Unfortunately, having access to additional planets and resources does little to unite humanity and instead it gives us a new way to discriminate against each other. A tenuous peace barely exists between Earth, Mars and the residents of the outer planets, and it is within this fragile environment that the discovery of an ancient alien proto-molecule lights a spark that threatens to ignite the powder keg. It all feels very plausible and makes for some great story telling.
The Fold is an interesting sci-fi novel based on the theory of folding space in order to travel long distances quickly, hence the title. Unlike many other sci-fi books where folding space is used for space travel, this book takes place solely on earth and centers on a secret DARPA project where scientists have built the Albuquerque Door - a matched set of rings that allows anyone, or anything, to travel instantly between them. Clearly this is going to be mankind's greatest invention and it will change civilization forever; however, something about the door just doesn't add up.