Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recap Post on Randoms

Since there has not been a lot of interesting action around the library lately I thought I would specifically highlight a book again that I read this summer and really loved.

Yes, it is science fiction. Though it is not, in fact, a Star Wars book!

Here's the Goodreads blurb.

A science fiction superfan finds himself on his very own space adventure when he’s randomly selected to join an alien confederacy in this hilarious middle grade debut novel.

Zeke Reynolds comes from a long line of proud science fiction geeks. He knows his games, comics, movies, and TV shows like Captain Kirk knows the starship Enterprise. So it’s a dream come true when he learns the science fiction he loves so much is based on reality—and that he’s been selected to spend a year on a massive space station. To evaluate humanity’s worthiness, the Confederation of United Planets has hand picked three of Earth’s most talented young people—and then there’s Zeke. He’s the random.

Unfortunately, Zeke finds life in space more challenging than he’d hoped. When he saves his transport ship from a treacherous enemy attack, he’s labeled a war criminal. Now despised by the Confederation, rejected by his fellow humans, and pursued by a ruthless enemy, Zeke befriends the alien randoms: rejected by their own species, but loyal to each other. But their presence in the Confederation may not be so random after all, and as the danger increases, Zack’s knowledge of science fiction might be the only thing that can save himself, his friends, and Earth itself.

RandomsRandoms by David Liss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Probably the most geeky sci-fi book of ... just about any book I've ever read. Maybe even a four and a half. Four and three quarters?

Name a geekdom? It's probably mentioned. Bonus points for lots of Star Wars. Also Star Trek and Dr. Who. Those I recognized. After poking around I discovered there might be even more comic book references. I'm not up on my comics.
The characters. Each most definitely adds something different to the story. Humor. Strength. Compassion. Wit. Sarcasm.
The visual movie I played in my head. Weird (see the second quote) but fun!

A little on the long side. More than a little on the long side. I loved the detail but it will derail less involved readers.
Would someone who didn't already care about at least one of the geekdoms really "get" this book? It's hard for me to imagine since I most definitely do care about the geeky references contained therein.

Definite possibility for a middle school collection. The content so much didn't give me pause (there is some violence of the space battle kind, and just a bit of inter-species junior high romance) as the length. Would need to be a strong fifth grade reader to finish.

A few quotes from my advanced copy. Since it was on my Kindle I don't have proper page numbers.

[re dealing with a school bully] "In my defense, he had been standing in the part of the hallway where I was heading, and I like to look where I'm going, but still. I understood his point." (location 64)

"a giraffe in a business suit had entered the room" (location 308)

"What about the Force and Jedi powers? Are they real?" (location 365)

"Her eyes had a sadness in them, as though she had seen things in her travels she wished she could forget." (location 767)

"The word 'awesome' gets overused a lot--I, myself, have on occasion been a serious abuser--but this was awesome in the truest sense." (location 1169)

"We couldn't control what people thought of us. We could only change those things that were in our power." (location 3338)

And my favorite? "It's an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. This is a light saber." (location 4391)

I am a total idiot and tweeted then emailed the author, especially when I found out he was local. He was super nice about it. If I could have thought of some decent questions I'd have asked him for an blog interview! I never know what to say to authors beyond "I really liked your book." Duh.

I forgot the third Lockwood & Co on Monday's #IMWAYR. Which is crazy because I loved listening to it. More on that later.

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