This past month has been a reading smorgasbord. I’ve consumed a dash of pop science, a historical action-adventure, and a YA sci-fi. All made for good reading, and the historical novel is exceptional.
This is the second book I’ve read by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and it doesn’t disappoint. The material is assessable and often entertaining. This book is a collection of articles written for Natural History magazine. As such, some of the chapters are more entertaining and accessible than others. Still, it’s an excellent read for the layperson and contains the germs for many sci-fi stories.
Cornwell does a fantastic job with the protagonist Uhtred. He is a man of his times (878), a sometimes bloodthirsty warrior, yet a likable character. I don’t think this is easy to accomplish and well worth studying for any budding author. On top of that, the supporting characters, action, political intrigue, and revenge plot line are all great. Well worth the read.
Lee delivers a solid YA sci-fi in Exo. Many of the elements will be familiar to sci-fi aficionados, but that didn’t bother me too much. In fact, if you can get over the sense that you’ve read(or seen) this before, you will find this novel touching, at least I did. In the end, my main criticism is that it drags in the middle. I think that bit could be condensed. For the budding author, this is a worthy book to study, especially the beginning and the finale. The first chapter or two feature tons of whizbang action and introduce the reader to the sci-fi world in an effortless manner. A masterful job, in my opinion. The end, while not unpredictable, is surprisingly touching and carries with it the message that decisions have consequences without being preachy. I highly recommend reading this book for anyone interested in penning a YA sci-fi.