Science Fiction

declarationIf you haven’t yet read Gemma Malley’s The Declaration, then you really must.

Pincent Pharma has developed and manufactured Longevity – a drug that holds the secret to eternal life. The price? Those who take the drug sign a declaration that forbids them from having children. No child can be born unless his or her parents ‘opt out’ of eternal life. Any child born to parents who have signed the declaration is considered to be ‘surplus’ and is taken to live in the Surplus Halls.

As a surplus, Anna does not even merit a surname. When Peter arrives at Grange Hall with news of the outside world, Anna’s life changes forever.

Anna and Peter’s story continues in The Resistance and concludes in The Legacy which is November’s ‘Book of the Month’.

In The Legacy,  a terrible virus is spreading throughout the world, and people are dying. Longevity is no longer working. How long can the authorities hide the truth from the public? Is the secret to eternal life lost forever?

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0.4 by Mike Lancaster

A quirky sci-fi story that is well worth a look.

Just when you think you’ve figured out what the title 0.4 means the story takes a new twist.

Things change forever for Kyle Straker on the day of the talent show on the village green. It is because of the bizarre sreies of events that begin on that day that he records his story on old audio tapes ‘in the hope that someone will listen and realise that … there are a few of us left who can remember the way things were – the way they were meant to be.’

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Blood Red Road by Moira Young

This story is set in a violent future world.

Despite being twins, born under a full moon at midwinter,Saba and Lugh are complete opposites. Saba, who tells the story, says of her brother, “He’s my light. I’m his shadow.” She cannot imagine life without him and that is why, when he is kidnapped and taken away by four men on horseback, she vows to find him wherever they have taken him.

Despite her determination to travel alone,Saba finds it impossible to leave her little sister, Emmi, behind.

Saba is tough and fearsome yet she inspires great loyalty in the people who get to know her. She tells the story in her own unique style.

The sequel is due out in 2012.

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice (Tris) Prior is about to sit the aptitude test which will determine which of the five factions she should join at the Choosing Ceremony. She must decide whether to stay with her family in Abnegation or join another faction and lose them forever.

Each faction values different qualities and perform a different function in society. Those who fail the initiation into their chosen faction become factionless and live in poverty, doing the work no one else wants to do.

Beatrice’s inconclusive test results and her surprising choice of faction put her life in danger. Can she pass the initiation? Will she live to discover what it means to be divergent?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to what promises to be an interesting series.

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder introduces us to Trella, a scrub. She lives and works in the overcrowded lower levels keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. She spends much of her time between work shifts exploring the pipes that run through all of Inside. If she is caught on the upper levels she runs the risk of being recycled by the Pop Cops. How much more danger would she be in if she were found helping Broken Man look for a gateway to Outside? And what exactly is Outside?

I like Trella as a character. She is a bit of a loner and finds it difficult to relate to others but she is feisty and resourceful, loyal and brave.

The story continues in Outside In.

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At the beginning of Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Amy watches as her parents are put into suspended animation for a space journey that is to last 300 years. Her father wants to give her the opportunity to choose for herself whether or not she comes with them as it means leaving everyone she knows – including her boyfriend – behind her for life on a new planet. (I’m not sure I’d have gone through with the freezing process after seeing it being done to others. It sounds terrible!)

Imagine how horrifying it is for Amy to discover when she wakes up that the ship is still fifty years from its destination and there is someone on board who is systematically killing the people who have been frozen alongside her.

The story is told by Amy and by Elder who is being trained by Eldest to be the future leader of the ship. It will be his job to protect the ship and the people on it. That means not just the people running the ship but also those in suspended animation whose special skills will be needed when the ship reaches its destination.

Just as in Inside Out, the main characters find that very little is as they believe it to be.

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Cassie, the heroine of Matched by Ally Condie, is exactly seventeen when she is matched with Xander at the Match Banquet. This is remarkable in itself as the odds of being Matched with someone from your own City are minute. Even more remarkable than that a mistake is made  and Cassie is given details about another boy.

But how is that possible? The Society does not make mistakes. Officials control every aspect of life – and death. Is something more sinister going on? Can Cassie truly make her own choices?

I’m looking forward to the sequel Crossed which is due out later this year.

This is a good sci-fi novel for those who enjoy a love story.

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Tomorrow: When the World Began by John Marsden, is the first in a series of novels set in Australia.

A group of teenagers go off exploring in an area aptly named Hell. When they return to their hometown of Wirrawee they discover their families are missing, the farm animals are dead or suffering from days of neglect and there is no power.

They soon learn that the local inhabitants have been captured by an invading army and are being held in the Showground where most had gone to celebrate Commemoration Day.

The story is told by Ellie who has been nominated by the others to keep a record of what has happened to them.

During several trips into town they make mistakes that nearly get them killed. Two of the teenagers are wounded, one very badly, and they have to make very difficult decisions. It helps that a number of them have farming backgrounds and are used to working on the land but that doesn’t prepare Ellie for hurting and even killing other human beings.

The series was a big hit in Australia. It will be interesting to see how much interest the film of the first book generates here.

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Looking for a sci-fi series that is exciting and scary in equal measure? Michael Grant’s  series is fantastic and horrific and full of shocks.

The series begins with Gone. Everyone over the age of fifteen simply disappears one day leaving the children alone to fend for themselves. By the time they realise that’s not as cool as it sounds things are already out of hand. Who will look after the babies and infants? What will they do when the food runs out? Who will tell them what to do?

Add to that the discovery that some of the children have developed supernatural abilities – some of them very dangerous – and there are new and terrifying creatures that threaten their very existence and you have the beginning of a series that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and won’t let you go.

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THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness

 Todd Hewitt lives in a world very different to ours.

First of all, everyone can hear everyone’s thoughts so naturally there are no secrets.

Secondly, there are no girls. They all died in the war against the evil aliens that once inhabited the planet but are now extinct.

Todd hates living with people’s thoughts all around him in a constant noise. Even animals have noise so there is no escape. But then he finds an empty space, a place with no noise and discovers he’s been living in a lie and now he’ll have to run!

I thought this was a great, original book and I can’t compare it to any other story.

A great new take on Science Fiction.

By Jonathan B.

 The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)
I read The Knife of Never Letting Go during the first week of the school holidays and couldn’t wait to buy the second part of what is to be a trilogy.

THE ASK AND THE ANSWER by Patrick Ness continues the story of Todd and Viola and is every bit as exciting and thought-provoking as the first book.

Don’t let the fact that these books are quite long put you off – you’ll soon be as desperate as I am to find out how this story will end.

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The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy)

 THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

Every year twenty-four teenagers are chosen by lottery to enter a TV show called The Hunger Games. A boy and a girl are chosen from each of the twelve districts to fight to the death for the chance to become famous. With no winner in the last thirty years from District 12 this year’s combatants need to fight hard.

Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place so she becomes the girl from District 12 and the boy is a baker named Peeta. Even though he falls for Katniss he still has to kill her as there can be only one winner – the survivor.

This book was recommended to me by a friend and is a good read.

With a sequel coming out you should read the first one and order the second.

By Jamie W.

mockingjayThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay is the third and final part of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. 

In the first novel, Katniss and Peeta are sent from District 12 to take part in The Hunger Games. Two children – one boy and one girl – are sent from each of the twelve districts to the Capitol to take part in the televised event. For the winner comes a new life in the winner’s village and food for the winning district for a year. However, this is a fight to the death, and the winner is the last child alive.

In Catching Fire, Peeta and Katniss must return to the Games with other past winners, to compete once again. It is clear that Katniss will not be forgiven for her act of defiance against the Capitol. If they are both to survive again they must win the people’s attention and affection which means keeping up the pretence that they are madly in love. Meanwhile there are rumours of rebellion against the Capitol.

In Mockingjay, mentally and physically scarred by recent events, Katniss returns briefly to District 12 which has been completely destroyed – except for the Victor’s Village. The rebel leaders, want Katniss to be their Mockingjay – a symbol of the rebellion – but, true to form, she agrees only on certain conditions – one of which is that she will be the one to kill President Snow.

I cannot recommend this trilogy highly enough. 

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Cure_This is an interesting twist to the Science v God debate. Thought-provoking.

THE CURE by Michael Coleman

It’s 274AD. That doesn’t mean Anno Domini it means After Darwin. Raul and his sister, Arym, live in a world where religion is nothing but stories.

Raul and Arym live in a nurture house run by the state. Arym understands the writings and loves the Blesseds but Raul has questions. Unfortunately Raul questions the new faith and that causes the house Guardian to send Raul and his sister to a sanatorium to be “cured”.  Raul hates this place too but discovers that monks once lived and died here. He finds a diary belonging to one of the monks and decides to find him even if it kills him. Eventually Raul finds the monk but things get complicated and end in tragedy.

By Jamie W.

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