Classic Sci-Fi Review: Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
by C.S. Lewis
4 out of 5 stars
Ransom is kidnapped and taken to another planet, where he escapes his kidnappers and must fend for himself on an alien world. Everything he encounters is entirely foreign and strange, from the water to the trees. The landscape is wild and inhospitable, and there are aliens who (he has been told) need a human sacrifice for some pagan ritual.

Malacandra is such a vibrant planet, with rich cultures and languages of its own. I love all the little details of the aliens and their society that make it feel like a real place. It’s utterly bizarre and wild, but with little flecks of familiarity that endear you to the alienness of it all.

The writing and story-telling are truly brilliant. The plot is exciting, and the writing draws the reader into each scene so that you are experiencing what Ransom is experiencing through every adventure. I love that there are a lot of philosophical questions and spiritual lessons in this book, but it never weighs down the plot or spoils the adventure.

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Book Review: Mothstorm

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

Mothstorm (Larklight, #3)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

A mysterious cloud is approaching the solar system from deep space, and of course only Arthur and Myrtle can solve the mystery and save the British Empire and the nine planets (along with some asteroids and dwarf planets). They are joined by our favorite old characters and a few new ones, as they travel between the planets to fight for Queen and country.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

It’s wonderful to see how the entire trilogy is wrapped up beautifully in this last book. The plot comes together really well to solve problems and answer questions that have been hanging since the first book. I love how each thread of the story resolves into this great ending!

I am amazed at how imaginative this fantasy world is. The aliens and their strange cultures are all so intricate and well-formed, right down to the diseases, commerce, and vegetation of each planet. I love that it is set in a steam-punk 1850s British Empire full of space travel that has expanded to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s such an interesting solar system, and each planet has it’s own history and people who live there.

The writing style is very humorous with that sort of dry humor that I love. I was delighted at how some of the characters are doing their best to have good manners and polite modesty in the middle of their outlandish adventures. We may be about to be blown to smithereens by space pirates, but let us not forget proper courtesy and decorum. The whole book is hilarious!

The characters are really varied and interesting. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I loved the character development for so many of them. They change and grow and learn from one another.

Myrtle has some excellent development as she learns that she is stronger and more resourceful than she thought. She does NOT faint every time something dangerous happens, as a properly-educated young lady should do. Instead she begins to take little steps towards saving herself, instead of waiting for a hero to rescue her as a demure young lady should do. And through those little steps she moves on to bigger steps, until finally she gains enough confidence in her own abilities to have the courage to jump into the fray and save everyone.

I only wish there were more books in this series!

Book Review: The Telling

The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Telling
by Ursula K. Le Guin

2 out of 5 stars


Sutty is an Observer visiting an alien planet to escape the political and religious unrest on Earth. But she arrives at a planet in the middle of their own religious upheaval where the old religions are illegal, and only small pockets of people in the countryside practice their beliefs in secret.

I DNF’d this book after page 63, because I was upset at the themes and attitudes behind the moral worldview of this book. Sutty is homosexual, and I didn’t like how that was approached and handled in this book. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: The Knights of Mars

Castle in the Stars by Alex Alice
Castle in the Stars: The Knights of Mars #3
by Alex Alice

5 out of 5 stars


Seraphin and his father are working to keep the secrets of aether out of the hands of the Prussians, and trying to track the whereabouts of the missing Bavarian king. Eventually, their search will lead them to the red planet, Mars.

I love this graphic novel from start to finish! The artwork is delicate yet bold, with beautiful colors, clear action, hilarious character expressions, gorgeous designs, and emotional scenes.

The story is full of suspense, adventure, and family! I loved the friendships, the family dynamics, and the history that made this a deep and emotional tale. Continue reading

Book Review: Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall

Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly
Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall (Alien Skill, #1)
by Rae Knightly (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars


Ben has no memory of when a “meteor” fell near his Grampa’s home while Ben was visiting there. There are government agents snooping around the crash site, and Ben’s Grampa is trying to keep Ben’s name out of it by hiding him away with his mother in the city. An alien named Mesmo is on the run from dangerous government agents, and tries to protect the innocent human witnesses from the “meteor” crash site. A mysterious shape-shifter tracks down Ben as a witness to the crash, and Ben and his mother are both in terrible danger.

I enjoyed the writing style in this book. It’s concise and clear, with a lot of emotional scenes between characters. The writer shows us the inner feelings of each character, and there is some powerful dialogue. The characters are deep and complex with authentic relationships. Continue reading

Book Review: SpaceKid iLK

Spacekid iLK by Andrew  Hammond
Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 
by Andrew Hammond 

4 out of 5 stars

iLK is a normal alien boy, flying around with his parents in a spaceship and invading planets. But when iLK’s father conquers Earth, he gets tired of being the supreme ruler of such a boring planet, and gives the job to iLK to teach him some responsibility. Earth is soon in danger, and it’s up to iLK to save the planet with the help of some friendly Earthlings!

I thought this book was hilarious! The writing is so clever and silly, and the plot is really imaginative. I loved the world-building with the aliens, and their culture of invasion and world domination. I especially enjoyed the complex family dynamics between iLK and his parents.
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Book Review: IGIST

IGIST by L.S. Larson
IGIST 
by L.S. Larson ,Yujin Jung (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Emi and her father live on Earth, where a plague is ravaging humanity, but Emi dreams of attending the elite IGIST school on the moon’s space station, where she could fulfill her wish of making scientific breakthroughs to cure the plague.

This book comes with an app, available for iOS in the App store. You can read the entire book on the app, where you can earn coins for reading each chapter, and spend your coins to purchase special character bios, photo filters and stickers, and earn badges as you follow the character’s stories. If you read on the app, the story is enhanced with graphics, videos, and illustrations that add to the reading experience.

I liked the main idea of the story, but the execution left me bored. The app is VERY cool! I loved the graphics and the badges and the special effects! But the writing is flat and awkward. The characters are one-dimensional, and I didn’t care about any of them.

I didn’t like the main character, Emi, very much, and it was painful reading stiff scenes where she is supposed to be making connections with other characters. She could be making friends, making enemies, or connecting with a mentor, but there is no emotional attachment. The characters are made of cardboard with painted faces. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Midas

Midas by Ryan North
Midas 
by Ryan North Shelli Paroline  (Illustrations)Braden Lamb (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Captain Joey and her space crew are approaching a hidden planet, known only in the ancient past as Earth. They have heard rumors that a weapon transformed the entire planet into gold, and they are searching for that weapon to protect their people against the dreaded Federation. But when the “weapon” turns out to be the perfectly preserved body of the legendary King Midas, can Joey and her friends still find a way to stop the power-crazed Federation general from enslaving their home planets?

This epic space saga covers a lot of ground, from the total destruction of several planets to long-forgotten mysteries of the ancient past, and Captain Joey and her intrepid crew are just the rebels to boldly adventure through it all and still find time for snarky one-liners and peppery dialogue. The plot is never dull, and does a good job of giving a lot of world-building information in small chunks that fit in with the action.

I was surprised at every turn in the plot, and I kept thinking, “There is no way they are gonna make it out of this one.” But somehow the team would pull through, only to be confronted by another impossible challenge! Continue reading