Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Review

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

By Robin Sloan

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Fantasy

3 out of 5 chickadees singing! I can see why so many people liked this book, but it has everything I’m not interested in. Lol. If I were a different person, I would have liked this book a lot more. Clay gets a job at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hours bookstore. He notices that the back of the store has a bunch of books that seem to be written in a different language, or a code. Mysterious patrons come in showing membership cards to return books and get new ones. Other than that, the business doesn’t get many customers. Clay becomes more and more curious about the bookstore. When Mr. Penumbra disappears, Clay has to call on the help of his technology genius friends to find out what’s really going on.

This book was part fantasy and part sci fi with a lot of talk about Google, coding, software, etc. I like very few fantasy books, rarely read sci fi, and don’t work in technology. There were a lot of aspects of this story I wasn’t interested in and some of them that I couldn’t fully understand. I love bookstores and I love mysteries, so I did want to know what was really going on at the store. I liked the idea of combining the ideas of ancient mysteries with current technologies. The book definitely had a creative plot.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in fantasy and technology. I think this book would be perfect for you. I feel like others could take it or leave it.

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Unremembered Book Review

Unremembered Book Review

Book Title: Unremembered

Author: Jessica Brody

Pages: 320

Genre: Sci Fi, YA, Suspense

Published: March 5, 2013 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

I’m surprised to see so many low ratings on Goodreads saying that this book is predictable and similar to many other teen sci fi books because I enjoyed the book and thought it had a great premise. HOWEVER, I don’t think I’ve ever read another teen sci fi book, so I really don’t have much to compare it to. 

I bought this book after hearing the author talk about it at a Fierce Reads book signing. I’m a mystery fan and this had an element of mystery to it. A girl finds herself in the middle of the ocean after a plane crash. She is the only survivor and is not on the plane manifest. She has lost all of her memories, including a lot of names for things- like a TV. No one claims her at the hospital or seems to know who she is, except a boy who claims they were in love and won’t leave her alone. And so the mystery begins…

The really good parts of this story were the premise, plot twists, and unveiling of the mystery. I didn’t feel a huge affinity for the main character and thought her relationship with the boy was cheesy and unremarkable (sometimes I ask myself if I’m getting too old for YA… But then a really good YA book changes my mind). I loved the plot twists, though, and how everything was not revealed all at once and the reader could try to guess at the character’s backstory. 

4/5 stars because the plot was fast-moving and kept me sucked into the story. The plot twists and premise made me want to buy the sequel for sure. OH and side note, there were 2 short stories related to the book at the end of my novel and one was FANTASTIC. Slightly twilight-zone-ish with the way it ended. The short story, “The Memory Coder” gets 5/5 stars.

***Link from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Tankborn Review & Book Signing!

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Published on 10/1/2011 by Lee & Low Books, Inc.

Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Pages: 384

I nearly didn’t finish this book, but I am oh so glad I stuck with it!

In this YA sci fi novel, author Karen Sandler tells the story of best friends Kayla and Mishalla- GENs (Genetically Engineered Nonhumans) who, upon their fifteenth birthday, are sent on their assignment. You see, when a GEN reaches that age, they leave their nurture mother and assume the role they were artificially created for- to be a thankless drudge to trueborns. Trueborns- the first class, elite of society, were born humans, whereas GENs were gestated in a tank; a blend of human and animal DNA resulting in neurological differences and a telling tattoo on their cheek. As if their physical disparities didn’t separate them enough, a strict caste system ensured that GENs, lowborns, and trueborns all kept to their respective roles and places.

Only, Kayla’s assignment as caretaker to a wealthy and influential trueborn ends up being challenging in more ways than one. Secrets, near-reset experiences, and a handsome grandson all serve to complicate matters. Then the children Mishalla is assigned to care for keep going missing, and danger and intrigue follow her as well. Will they be able to solve the mysteries surrounding their respective assignments, or will they be reset and realigned trying?

I loved, loved LOVED the world building in this novel! The concept of genetic engineering, the elaborate construction of an alternative society, the complex technology, the religious beliefs held by the main characters… it was great! Plus, it starred characters who weren’t the typical blonde haired, blue eyed heroines! So refreshing! Yay for diverse books!

On the flip side, I almost didn’t finish the book. Within the first thirty percent, the slang was confusing, the new world baffling, and the main character was swooning over a trueborn’s hunky shoulders (well, that was at three percent… talk about love at very first sight!). It was so difficult to get into, I would have given it up if hadn’t been for the fact that…

I met the author at a book signing at Barnes & Noble!! Check out the picture!

Awakening picture

We gushed about how important reading is to be a good writer, the fun bookish peeps she met at ALA, and the secrets a successful marriage (Sandler’s been married for thirty three years!). And LOOK! LOOK! The first book personally signed to us here at ChickLitChickadees! Whippee!

Awakening Signature

Even though it started out as probably a two, Tankborn finished as a solid four. A really good read! And Karen Sandler is a doll!

 

**Photo credit: Amazon.com**
 
***I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking on the link above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way. ***

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