MixedNPRIs there a romance plot more audacious than the fake-dating scenario? ... In her debut novel Winter\'s Orbit, Everina Maxwell rockets this surefire premise into space ... While the novel\'s background is densely populated by supporting characters, they mostly feel underdeveloped ... The marriage between love story and space opera is strongest in the smaller, human moments ... The utilization of a heavily-foreshadowed technology for a poignant sequence of reverse-gaslighting. The intergalactic conspiracy to which Winter\'s Orbit builds is less gripping than Kiem and Jainan\'s rise to power couple. But when these sensitive boys figure out what actually makes their match work, that\'s when sparks fly.
PanDen of GeekIt doesn’t take long for Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two to reunite gunter-turned-billionaire Wade Owen Watts with a vintage video game that holds a clue to a virtual scavenger hunt that will forever change the future of the digital, escapist OASIS. But after winning this particular game, Parzival (Wade’s OASIS alter ego) finds that he automatically starts over. Because of an extra life, he is given the option of playing through the game again, even though there are no surprises, simply to rack up extra points and because he can. Reading Ready Player Two feels a lot like that ... Unlike the OASIS, the world of these books remains static and unchanging. Rather than extend that extra life through another run-through of the same game, Wade wisely lets it expire and takes his win. If only Cline had done the same.
PanDen of GeekWith no real context for why the book is finally seeing the light of day, it’s difficult to see the rushed timing as anything more than a cash grab. Over a decade after Bella Swan made her final choice, is it really worth resurrecting this book into a second life? ... Unfortunately, the answer is: only for the most diehard Twilight fans, and even then it’s a stretch ... because these star-crossed lovers are so inexorably drawn to each other, it’s especially difficult to make a retelling that doesn’t just copy-and-paste the same dialogue but swap the pronouns and proper nouns. Meyer does what she can within the constraints that she created fifteen years ago ... Even Twilight fans will be hard-pressed to find enough that’s new and compelling about this retelling.
Mary Robinette Kowal
PositiveTor.comA reader will likely empathize with Nicole’s impatience to get to the Moon already. The first third of the novel proceeds at a frustratingly slow pace, setting up the necessary conflict on Earth as well as the idiosyncracies of lunar living, albeit sometimes repetitively. It’s not until Nicole and her team are settled on the Moon, with a few hiccups, that the book’s action truly picks up ... Part of the story’s slow pace is due to Nicole herself, a vexing (in the best way) enigma of a protagonist ... The reward of reading, then, is sticking with Nicole until she unclenches enough to reveal the parts of herself that are not immediately apparent: the anorexia that lets her squeeze into gala gowns and exert control when so much agency is taken from her, that becomes unintentional self-sabotage just as the colony’s glitches shift from inconvenience to true danger. But as things get increasingly personal, Nicole also reveals another facet of herself, answering some questions of how she is so good with people, and it is spectacular.