Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Review: 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

It's been almost 40 years since I received the best piece of advice a Dad could give his daughter though I didn't know it at the time. My Dad told me not to limit myself to the decisions he made. (I'm not sure why, but that day I wanted to be a loan manager just like him.) He said I could do whatever I wanted with my life. At the time I was disappointed and thought it to mean he didn't wan't me to be like him. Through the years, I've come to feel the meaning of his words and to live by them. I've owned a silver and blue flamed racing motorcycle, learned to program computers, written a book (then five more), sewed my own wedding dress and chosen to be a barely mediocre cook. If there are instructions, consider it done. If there aren't, it will take me a little longer.

It has taken reading the third instalment of the Young Explorer's Adventure Guide to put my finger on what I love so much about these collections.

These kids do.

They do mechanics. They do captaining starships. They do science. They also do compassion and friendship and bravery and anything else you can imagine.

And many, many of them have a parent like my own who made sure they grew up knowing that doing is a good thing.

The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide swells with limitless character, personality, charm and young explorer angst. For an adult reader, these stories encapsulate the real feelings we have inside when we're stuck being grown up. This alone makes this book a treasure for young readers.

I'm thrilled the 2017 edition meets the bar set by the first two editions. I was also very happy to see old friends from previous editions, Nia, Captain Dodger and Olivia, and get to know plenty of other young adventurers.

I continue to be a fan and recommend this book for everyone.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Review: Translucid by Zen DiPietro

What if you woke up knowing how to do your job, but not your own name? What if you had to rely on other people to tell you who you were? 

What if you thought they were wrong?

Emé Fallon is the security chief of Dragonfire Station, and does a damn good job of it. That’s where her competence ends. Outside of work, she has a wife she doesn’t know, a captain who seems to hate her, and a lot of questions that don’t add up.

Without a past, all she has is the present, and she’ll stop at nothing to ensure she has a future.


What if I used a word you don't often see describing SF?

What if I called Translucid 'sweet'?

I enjoyed DiPietro's approach to amnesia. In Translucid, we learn about Emé as she does so the plot develops around her discoveries. Hers in the only POV so we don't have the motives of others thrust upon her and she is free of any motivations carried over from prior to the accident which stole her memory.

Because of this, we meet the people of Dragonfire Station for the first time as Emé does. We quickly learn she is efficient, thorough and compassionate. I felt she is inherently good and she was able to remain honest to this trait as she began to fit the pieces of her life, both in her relationships and personal history, together.

I also loved DiPietro's attention to her world building and Dragonfire Station. Her descriptions are neither forced upon us nor forgotten and each little piece and large section cleanly mesh together and build on each other. She describes much of the station through the interaction of her characters with it and for me, this engagement effectively submerged me in station life.

It's also this attention to and sharing of detail that invested me in Emé and the people around her. Even the slightest mention of danger to Emé's wife had me worried and angry thinking "No, no, no, not happening to Wren."

Overall, a solid and well thought out SF. Translucid is a confident, relationship driven adventure and I'm very excited for Fragments, the follow up. Best of all, I've discovered an author I enjoy and I'm always grateful for an opportunity to be a fan.

I received my copy of Translucid from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.