Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Reviewed by Taylor (Library Patron)

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan is an intriguing, fast-paced, and discovery-filled middle grade novel. It uses the events of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne as a foundation, reimagining them and then exploring their implications over a century later. After an unspeakable tragedy, Ana and the rest of her freshman class are forced to make a run for it across the ocean, all while being stalked by their enemies. Their enemies are after something, and Ana isn’t sure what they want. I really enjoyed the discoveries Ana and her classmates make along the way and found the discussions of alt-tech to be interesting. Some may not enjoy the more technical descriptions, but I didn’t feel like they bogged the story down at all. It only took me a few days to read because I wanted to know what happened.

My only complaint is that it’s hard to imagine a group of high school freshman being capable of such feats. For example, they build two fully functional submarine torpedoes from parts they scavenged off other torpedoes. The students are essentially geniuses who attend a specialized school, but everything in the book still seemed like a lot for them to accomplish, especially since they only had a year or so of training at this point. However, I liked the story enough to suspend my disbelief. It was actually the first novel I’ve managed to finish reading in months. If you like ocean adventure, suspense, and sci-fi, this definitely one to pick up!

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC RIORDAN)

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

You probably remember author Andy Weir from his 2014 bestselling novel The Martian. Everything I liked about that book–adventure, plausible science, a great sense of humor–is back in spades in his newest work, Project Hail Mary. But I actually liked Project Hail Mary even better, because it has the extra element of a great friendship story.

I can’t tell you too much about the plot without giving away some serious spoilers, but the story opens with the main character, Ryland Grace, awakening alone inside a spaceship. This is a bit of a surprise, since (as last he can remember) Grace is a middle-school teacher with no interest in visiting space. As Grace adapts to his bizarre new circumstances, he slowly begins to remember what happened in his last several months on Earth, and how he ended up in a spaceship barreling toward the star Tau Ceti.

It is terribly fun to hitch a ride with Ryland Grace as he MacGyvers his way out of one problem after another, but the book gets really good when an unexpected friend joins Grace. That’s all I’m going to say, except that if you enjoyed The Martian, you’ll love Project Hail Mary.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC WEIR)

Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Quarantining at home means lots of extra time for rewatches of movies! My husband and I just finished watching (for me) and rewatching (for him) all the original and new Star Trek movies. One of the most pleasant surprises was the rediscovery of this entry, Star Trek: Beyond. After the negative critical and fan reaction to the previous entry, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Star Trek: Beyond wasn’t given a fair shake, as the story itself is compelling–after being unexpectedly attacked and crashing on an alien planet, the crew of the USS Enterprise is scattered and alone. With the help of resident alien Jaylah, they will learn where they are and who they are up against. The action sequences are fun, the writing by the delightful Simon Pegg always snaps and the acting is sound. Definitely worth another look!

Located in DVDs (DVD STAR TREK)

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Reviewed by Kate (Library Staff)

I love a good mystery, but often get tired of reading the same formula reworked for countless books. The Echo Wife was fresh, exciting, and I truly had no idea where the author was taking me most of the time.

This book is perfect for readers who want a woman-centric scifi, that’s a bit too realistic for comfort.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC GAILEY)

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Reviewed by Sonia S (Library Patron)

Imagine a world where the government limits you to have two children in order to ration the world’s last resources. This is the reality of the characters in Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix. The main character, Luke, is a third child; so in other words, he is illegal. Luke has to hide in his house and is unable to meet his relatives or even go to school for his own safety. One day, he sees a face peek through the window from one of his neighbors’ houses. He knows that nobody can be home because the two kids aren’t home and the parents left for the day; so Luke decides to go outside and investigate to see if they have a third child as well.

I had a lot of fun reading this book; so much so that I have read through the entire series and even read this book multiple times. Among the Hidden is a science fiction book that I could never put down. If you enjoy science fiction books with a lot of action, then you will really enjoy this book.

Located in Children’s Fiction and Paperbacks (J FiC/JPBK HADDIX)