{Book Talk} The Body Electric by Beth Revis

the body electricBeth Revis is back!! I can’t say how excited I was for this book, especially after loving loving her Across the Universe series. More science fiction!

Now, I’m really not a science fiction person. I think reading Beth’s first series was my first real introduction to it and since then I’ve watched Doctor Who and all, but I can’t say that I’ve fully immersed myself in the genre. I remember in university, I had to take a math class in my first year, so I took one that people called ‘Math for Music People’ … is there such thing as ‘Science Fiction for Non-Science Fiction People’?

I thought this book was a LOT of fun. Super creepy and suspenseful, though slightly predictable, but still a really good read. It was the perfect book for my first read of the year! And can I just say how awesome that cover is? So beautiful.

I loved the whole mystery about this book. I’ll admit it, I did see some things coming, but I had no idea what the outcome would be. I think I was mostly intrigued about reading the book after hearing people talk about exploding androids — I mean, what? Beth delivered on that part and there were some really cool scenese that I’m sure only Beth Revis could pull off!

I really enjoyed the characters, even if I wished they had had slightly more depth. The main character, Ella, was slightly flighty at times, but I could understand her panic, especially since the world she knew seemed to be crumbling around her. What was real? What wasn’t real? Who could she believe? The mind is such a powerful thing and man is so eager to replicate himself that it was so hard to figure out what was really going on! It kind of rang true with what’s going on in the world these days — everyone wants to clone everything and I’m sure somewhere someone is trying to make a computer that thinks.

Now that’s scary.

This book was everything that I was expecting and more. I loved the whole futuristic aspect of it and really felt that the world building was pretty amazing. There was one little shout out to Beth’s first series which had me fangirling as I read … and while it might not have been as good as Beth’s first series, it was still a pretty good standalone book.

Did you read that? This is a standalone book! That’s almost unthinkable in the YA world right now. I will admit that I was a little disappointed to see that this wasn’t part of a series, but it was quite refreshing to have a YA book end on an ending and not a cliffhanger.

The only things I wasn’t too fond of in the book was the romance — it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the romance, but it was slightly weird. Also, Ella’s love interest was just a bit one-dimensional, but I found that it didn’t deter from the enjoyment of the book at all.

I’m so excited to see what Beth comes up with next and reading this book has made me interested in rereading Across the Universe again because when it comes to accessible science fiction, Beth really knows what she’s doing. She knows how to write it and keep readers who might not be into the genre interested. She keeps me very interested!

Are you a Beth Revis fan? Have you read this one? 

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[Audiobook] Review: Life, The Universe, and Everything (THHGTTG, #3), by Douglas Adams

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life, the universe, and everythingTitle: Life, The Universe, and Everything
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #3
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour
Source: Borrowed

Length: 6 hours (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Douglas Adams
Published by: New MIllenium Audio

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The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.

They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!

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I knew this had to happen at some point. Eventually, there would be a book in this series that wouldn’t completely grab me like the rest. This was that book.

One thing I love about this series is the humour, and this book definitely has it, but it didn’t seem to come in spades like it did in the first two books. I think the one thing that I didn’t like with this installment was the fact that it wasn’t as light as the first two. I loved the idea of the characters just randomly traveling through the galaxy, but this book is more about the prevention of the destruction of the planet Krikkit.

The thing that I think was missing in this book was the character interaction with one another. Think of the last book and the whole spaceship-making-a-cup-of-tea bit. That part was hilarious. It was great to see Arthur completely out of his element in space, but with this book, he’s really not. It all just seemed too normal to me. Also, I wonder if maybe the whole plot of the book was just too confusing for me (which doesn’t seem to be the case with the craziness of the first two books), or maybe I could do with a reread of it.

The audio, though, was still amazing. Douglas Adams is not only a wonderful writer, but he can narrate his books quite well. I know some authors can’t do this, but Adams has the right pacing, the right inflection, and just the right everything. I can honestly say that I don’t think I would get the same effect of his books while reading them on the page. If you plan to read these books, I highly recommend listening to the audiobooks narrated by Adams – they are wonderful.

So this book might not have been one of the better ones for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t continue with the series. I’m eager to see how this trilogy in five parts ends!

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[Audiobook] Review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (THHGTTG, #2), by Douglas Adams

Image from APA (www.audiopub.org)

Image from APA (www.audiopub.org)

restaurant at the end of the universeTitle: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Series: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #2
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour
Source: Borrowed

Length: 6 hours (Unabridged)
Narrated by: Douglas Adams
Published by: New MIllenium Audio

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Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbabilityband desperately in search of a place to eat.

Among Arthur’s motley shipmates are Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and expert contributor to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee who’s gone native (her name is Trillian now); and Marvin, the moody android who suffers nothing and no one very gladly. Their destination? The ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.

Will they make it? The answer: hard to say. But bear in mind that the Hitchhiker’s Guide deleted the term “Future Perfect” from its pages, since it was discovered not to be!

“What’s such fun is how amusing the galaxy looks through Adams’ sardonically silly eyes.”

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I had never really intended to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, it just sort of happened. While I tried to read the first book over and over again, I never got into it, but when I popped in the audiobook narrated by the author, I was completely in love. A little worried that I wouldn’t understand this second book in the series since it had been so long since I listened to the first, I was quite happy to be able to slide right back into that world, into the hysterical mind of Douglas Adams.

“It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in “It’s a nice day,” or “You’re very tall,” or “So this is it, we’re going to die.”

His first theory was that if human beings didn’t keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.

After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this–“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, their brains start working.”

In all honesty, I have no idea what to say about this book. I laughed and laughed at some sections (mostly while listening in my car, which I’m sure was hilarious to other drivers) – mainly the ones that revolved around tea, from Arthur Dent trying to explain to a computer how to make a proper cup of tea, or to the increasingly loud Number Two asking Arthur and his comrades what they want to drink.

“Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don’t eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting “Gotcha”. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they hadn’t eaten it.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because if you’re dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won’t give up. They’ll get you in the end.”

I love how Adams pokes fun at certain things, with the whole book not making a whole lot of sense (seriously, these books can get weird!), but they’re still so accessible. For most of my listening, when I wasn’t busting a gut I probably had a furrowed brow as I wondered what in the galaxy was going on. Some sections were completely drawn out and ridiculous, other sections cut off abruptly, but the whole thing just works. When I finished, I knew that I would have to continue on listening to the rest of the story because I had to get to the bottom of it all!

I’m sure that there are still so many parts that will go over my head, but in the end, I found this book to be immensely enjoyable and I wish I had read (or listened to) it sooner. Can’t wait to continue on!

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