Orbiting Jupiter

Author: Gary D. Schmidt. Summary: When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him: Joseph almost killed a teacher. He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain. He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her. What Jack doesn’t know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl. Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help. But the past can’t be shaken off. Even as new bonds form, old wounds reopen. The search for Jupiter demands more from Jack than he can imagine. (Published Summary). My Thoughts: A story of bad decisions and worst consequences, told through the straight-forward, simple voice of a boy. Or, more optimistically, a story of love and responsibility and overcoming prejudice. Joseph made a very bad choice or two – at the age of thirteen, with only an abusive father to support him – but his response is multiple levels above many real-life men in similar situations. The moment he finds out that he’s a father, his one goal becomes finding his baby daughter, to love and care for her. Jack, his foster brother, must find bravery in a…

Nyxia Unleashed
Young Adult / July 28, 2018

Nyxia #2. Author: Scott Reintgen. E-copy provided by publisher for review, through Netgalley. Summary: Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one. Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population. But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late? My Thoughts: Usually I’m all here for power couples, but in this case the main problem with the book is Emmett and Morning. In a book of complex characters and fleshed out friendships, it’s both strange and jarring to have such a flat romance – as if the author had everything all worked out and put together, and then went “Oh, but we need to put some sex in” (Spoiler alert: No. You…

Voiceless
Young Adult / July 26, 2018

Voiceless #1. Author: E.G. Wilson. E-copy provided by publisher for review, through Netgalley. Summary: Adelaide Te Ngawai was thirteen when Maunga Richards stole her voice. Addy is plunged into silence when a high school bully inflicts her with an incurable disease that leaves her unable to speak, write, or create. Vox Pox—a man-made malady that’s been terrorizing the city for months. Resilient, Addy fights to survive. To not be silenced. But then her brother, Theo, is infected as well. Desperate for any information that might help cure Theo, Addy follows Maunga into a newly developed virtual psychoreality simulator and discovers a conspiracy deeper than she’d ever imagined. How far will she go to save her brother? (Published Summary) My Thoughts: Yikes. Vox Pox, the artificial disease Addy is infected with right at the beginning, is a truly alarming illness. One touch of a needle, and Addy loses her voice, her creativity… and effectively, her life. She has no idea where to go from here or what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. Whether or not such a disease is realistic is beside the point of Voiceless, I think. Although it’s a sci-fi setting, the focus is…