Books shelved under “Space Opera”

93 reviews found

  1. Book cover for Fleet of Knives

    Fleet of Knives

    by Gareth L. Powell

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A little over a year ago, I curtailed my review of Embers of War because of my broken elbow. I have now returned, stronger than ever, to review this sequel, Fleet of Knives. I finished this book in a single day, taking a break only to make dinner and watch Mean Girls (because it was October 3). This book is like candy to me. It is an invigorating space opera that balances grand, epic…

  2. Book cover for Victory Conditions

    Victory Conditions

    by Elizabeth Moon

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Let’s pause for a moment and savour the feeling of completing a series. That’s not always an easy undertaking, especially when reading them entirely through the library! After five books, this series is ready for a conclusion. Elizabeth Moon delivers everything you might think you want—tension and build-up to a big, fancy space battle, and then a little resolution—but I’m not sure always delivers it how one would want. As always, this series has hovered…

  3. Book cover for Foundation and Earth

    Foundation and Earth

    by Isaac Asimov

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I simultaneously enjoyed and loathed reading Foundation and Earth. This might be the best Foundation novel yet also the worst. I know I called Foundation’s Edge the best, but this one surpasses it in terms of plot. Asimov does as amazing a job of ratcheting up the tension surrounding the search for Earth as he does a terrible job of avoiding the objectification of women. Moreover, when we look at this novel in the…

  4. Book cover for Foundation's Edge

    Foundation's Edge

    by Isaac Asimov

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This might be the best Foundation novel yet?

    Foundation’s Edge departs from the formula of the previous installments in the series: instead of related novellas, this is an actual, honest-to-goodness novel. It follows two, parallel stories: Golan Trevize is a Foundation council member who suspects the Second Foundation was not actually destroyed, and he strikes off (not exactly of his own accord) to investigate; meanwhile, Stor Gendibal is a Second Foundation council member who believes…

  5. Book cover for Black Sheep

    Black Sheep

    by Rachel Aukes

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I had finally caught up on my NetGalley reading, so I went on the hunt for more books to request, and Aethon Books was kind enough to grant my request for Black Sheep: A Space Opera Adventure. The description sounded very promising, and for the most part I would say that Rachel Aukes delivers on that promise. The protagonist is also disabled! Content note: the book contains ableist language, which I will discuss shortly…

  6. Book cover for The Quantum Garden

    The Quantum Garden

    by Derek Künsken

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel stories are tricky. The best ones give me a headache but not too much of a headache. I guess it’s the literary equivalent of the adrenaline rush one gets from momentarily being upside down on a roller coaster (which is definitely not for me): I want my brain to hurt as I contemplate 4-, 11-, or 22-dimensional spacetime … but I don’t want to get so confused that I feel the author could…

  7. Book cover for Shadow Captain

    Shadow Captain

    by Alastair Reynolds

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I love fierce sister duos. You know, the kind where the two sisters have complementary skills and get on each other’s nerves yet always have the other’s back? That kind.

    Yeah, Shadow Captain isn’t quite that kind of story.

    Adrana and (Ara)fura Ness have managed to dispatch the fearsome space pirate Bosa Sennen, taking her ship in the process. These young women are way out of their league, however, and now that they are in…

  8. Book cover for Second Foundation

    Second Foundation

    by Isaac Asimov

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Okay, so instead of five years passing between re-read books, I’ve only let a year elapse. That’s not too bad on the Ben Scale of Book Series Completion! My reception of Second Foundation is much more positive than my review of Foundation and Empire, in which I skewered Isaac Asimov’s writing style. Honestly, I found this book to be far more readable and even enjoyable at points!

    As with the previous book, this one…

  9. Book cover for Finder

    Finder

    by Suzanne Palmer

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It’s fashionable among a certain throwback segment of science fiction fans to claim that the entrance of so many new women writers to the field has somehow diminished the quality of stories being published. This, despite the fact that women have always been writing in science fiction from its inception. But whatever—all I have to say is I don’t know what SF they’re reading, because much of the best SF I have read in recent…

  10. Book cover for Embers of War

    Embers of War

    by Gareth L. Powell

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This review will be shorter than usual because I broke my elbow and have one hand in a cast.

    Trouble Dog is a sentient warship that developed a conscience after directly participating in a genocide that ended the last war between two human factions. Since then, she has joined up with the House of Reclamation, a kind of interstellar Red Cross, in an attempt to atone. The latest distress call she and her crew respond…

  11. Book cover for Space Opera

    Space Opera

    by Catherynne M. Valente

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    I stuck it out for 50 pages or so but was pretty sure 10 pages in that Space Opera isn’t for me.

    Surprised? Me too. This has everything I usually like in humorous, Douglas Adams–inspired science fiction: lengthy infodumps, absurd alien species, human characters so over the top they might as well be on Everest … but it just … didn’t work.

    Catherynne Valente’s prose just tries too hard for me. That’s not really a…

  12. Book cover for Revenger

    Revenger

    by Alastair Reynolds

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Not exactly what I was expecting from Alastair Reynolds (though I should probably know better) but maybe what I needed. It has been a hot 5.5 years since I read one of his books, and that is too long! I finished off the trilogy of main Revelation Space novels at the extreme tail-end of my enjoyment of high space opera. So it is fitting that, with Revenger, Reynolds introduces what might be a good…

  13. Book cover for Off Planet

    Off Planet

    by Aileen Erin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Kind of space-opera, kind of not? Off Planet intrigues me because it’s kind of about interstellar war, or at least the tricksy politics that can lead to an interstellar war, yet its main characters aren’t (with a few exceptions) soldiers or politicians. The protagonist is literally just trying to live her life, mind her own business, but others can’t have that. Aileen Erin crafts some fairly interesting and intense situations and brings a fair amount…

  14. Book cover for Saga, Vol. 9

    Saga, Vol. 9

    by Brian K. Vaughan

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Haha, so it seems like only yesterday I was talking about how Saga, Volume 8 was a refreshing respite from the dark, downer moments of his series.

    Oh boy.

    I get it, those 1-star and 2-star reviews from people throwing up their hands in the air and saying, “I just can’t even with this anymore.” That is a legitimate point of view and valid criticism of this book. Saga, Volume 9 takes any of the…

  15. Book cover for Saga, Vol. 8

    Saga, Vol. 8

    by Brian K. Vaughan

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Did … did good things just happen to our protagonists?

    Excuse me while I check if I’m actually reading Saga, Volume 8 and not some impostor. Because … because … GOOD THINGS HAPPENED, FOLX. I mean, yeah, shitty things happened too. Don’t get me wrong; there’s still conflict and loss here. But … good things! And Ghüs!! I missed Ghüs!!

    This volume opens with Alana and Prince Robot looking for medical help in … Abortion…

  16. Book cover for Stars Uncharted

    Stars Uncharted

    by S.K. Dunstall

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    You all might remember how I raved about the Linesman series of books two years ago (OMG, HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG ALREADY?). That series from sister act S.K. Dunstall literally reinvigorated my flagging love of space opera, no word of a lie. Go read my reviews for more on that.

    Stars Uncharted is a new offering in a new universe, and it too is brilliant in so many ways. Far more ensemble in…

  17. Book cover for Ignite the Stars

    Ignite the Stars

    by Maura Milan

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It is with no small amount of regret that I announce I have never been mistaken for a fearsome space pirate. On the other hand, that’s probably for the best. I’m not going to be sent to space army school like Ia Cōcha in Ignite the Stars. The result is an intense story from Maura Milan about divided loyalties and the necessity of questioning authority in the face of injustice.

    Ia is seventeen years…

  18. Book cover for Neptune's Brood

    Neptune's Brood

    by Charles Stross

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Space is big. Hugely, mind-bogglingly big. Travelling across the vast distances of space is daunting, especially if faster-than-light travel proves impossible. In Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross rejects the luxuries of hyperdrive or warp speed in favour of good, old-fashioned laser-based transmissions of data—and people, who are just another type of data, after all. In such a universe, debt and the tracking of it is of great importance.

    Krina Alizond-114 has travelled to the Dojima…

  19. Book cover for The Quantum Magician

    The Quantum Magician

    by Derek Künsken

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    For a while now, I’ve been eschewing posthumanism. Walking on the wild side of nanotechnology was starting to get too much like science fantasy for my tastes. The Quantum Magician is an exception that I’m happy I made: Derek Künsken’s story of a genetically engineered con artist is delightful, and it explores posthumanist ideas in a way that feels fresh. Although I wouldn’t say any of the characters (not even the protagonist) endeared themselves to…

  20. Book cover for Ethan of Athos

    Ethan of Athos

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    An interesting departure from Miles’ arc in the Vorkosigan universe, Ethan of Athos takes us to the outskirts of Lois McMaster Bujold’s fantastic future vision of a far-flung, loosely-connected group of human societies in space. The eponymous protagonist comes from a planet colonist by an extreme religious group comprising only men; they reproduce through artificial wombs, and Ethan is one of their reproduction specialists. With this set-up, Bujold not only reverses the “planet of a…

  21. Book cover for Gate Crashers

    Gate Crashers

    by Patrick S. Tomlinson

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Space … the final frontier. Our mission … to boldly go … and steal aliens’ shit…. Gate Crashers is a fun romp, as you might say. Patrick S. Tomlinson writes characters with a combination of humility and hilarity, people who might seem a little larger than life but still all-too-human. This is the Brooklyn Nine-Nine of space opera comedies.

    The human exploration vessel Magellan suspends its thirty light-year voyage when it encounters a mysterious device…

  22. Book cover for Foundation and Empire

    Foundation and Empire

    by Isaac Asimov

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Whoaaaaa, it has been five years since I reread Foundation! I didn’t realize how long it had been. I’ve had Foundation and Empire, and most of the other books, sitting in a pile in my old bedroom for a long time. For some reason, I had it in my head that Second Foundation, the one book I was missing, was the second book in the series (I wonder why); I was waiting…

  23. Book cover for Nyxia

    Nyxia

    by Scott Reintgen

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I want to start by listing a few critiques of Nyxia, any one of which I can understand would make you like the book less. Then I’ll explain why, despite these issues, I still loved this book so much.

    Warning: there is a spoiler in the very last paragraph of this review regarding the death of a character. The rest of the review is spoiler-free.

    First, this is absolutely a “set up” novel. The…

  24. Book cover for Command Decision

    Command Decision

    by Elizabeth Moon

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Oh wow, remember how I thought Engaging the Enemy was boring and plodding? Command Decision is the complete reverse of that. With this book, Elizabeth Moon revitalizes the Vatta’s War series. She advances the storyline considerably, for everyone involved. The result is a slick, faster-paced adventure that leaves the galaxy on the brink of hope—and war.

    As usual, spoilers for previous books but not this one.

    Command Decision opens not with Kylara Vatta but rather…

  25. Book cover for Terminal Alliance

    Terminal Alliance

    by Jim C. Hines

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Jim C. Hines has been on my radar for a long time, but I haven’t actually read any of his books until now! When I saw this on NetGalley, I was intrigued. I know Hines mostly as a fantasy writer, so I was curious to see how his science fiction would be. Turns out Hines’ Terminal Alliance reminds me a lot of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe.

    Side note: This book was published in…

  26. Book cover for Engaging the Enemy

    Engaging the Enemy

    by Elizabeth Moon

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I want to give this entire series 5 stars even though I probably won’t give any of its individual instalments that rating. Does that make sense? Vatta’s War is just such a fun and compelling space opera with a strong central character, and Elizabeth Moon is a great storyteller. I say this while simultaneously admitting that, even though I really, really enjoyed reading Engaging the Enemy, I don’t think it’s actually all that good…

  27. Book cover for The Ascendant Stars

    The Ascendant Stars

    by Michael Cobley

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Going to keep this review short because (a) I’m ridiculously behind on writing reviews and (2) I feel like I’ve said almost everything I can about this series in my reviews of the first book and the second book. The Ascendant Stars concludes the Humanity’s Fire trilogy (I know there’s a fourth book, but it appears to be a standalone), but if you’ve made it this far, then you know pretty much what to…

  28. Book cover for Exodus

    Exodus

    by Alex Lamb

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I received this from NetGalley and Gollancz in return for a review. It took me a little longer to finish reading it than a book, even one of this size, would, so I’m a little behind the curve here. I got distracted, you see, what with buying my first-ever house. Were it not for that, I would have devoured Exodus in a day or two, because it’s that good. It’s not quite the space opera…

  29. Book cover for The Diabolic

    The Diabolic

    by S.J. Kincaid

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was excited for this, but Lily’s review says it all: you’ve read this book before (and you’ve probably read better versions of this book). The Diabolic is a YA-targeted mash-up of the aging and stagnant interstellar empire, a fish-out-of-water story, gene-hacking on overdrive, and of course, a romance (why does there always have to be a romance). S.J. Kincaid’s writing is slick and compelling; I definitely felt the need to keep reading. In…

  30. Book cover for Cetaganda

    Cetaganda

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Returning to the Vorkosigan universe is always a delight. Miles in particular is such a lovely protagonist. Part mystery, part spy-thriller, all fun, Cetaganda just reminds me how much I adore Lois McMaster Bujold’s writing. Her space opera game is strong; her political intrigue is delicious.

    Cetaganda takes place relatively early in Miles’ personal chronology, when he is still a bratty young officer instead of a bratty more experienced right-hand man for Gregor. He…

  31. Book cover for Iron Sunrise

    Iron Sunrise

    by Charles Stross

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Reading Iron Sunrise has been a long time in coming, ever since I read Singularity Sky. I finally got around to ordering a copy and dug into it when I realized I needed a good science fiction read. As usual, Charles Stross delivers on all sorts of quixotic ideas that I love in my science fiction. I like the posthuman parts of Iron Sunrise even better than its predecessor, and its action scenes are…

  32. Book cover for The Rise of Endymion

    The Rise of Endymion

    by Dan Simmons

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Over seven years and four books later, I have finished the Hyperion Cantos. What a journey. I’d be lying if I said I remembered much about the first three books at this point (that’s why I write reviews). I kept putting off reading The Rise of Endymion; it has been sitting in my to-read pile since I bought the last three books from the used book store. But Dan Simmons’ science fiction is…

  33. Book cover for Alliance

    Alliance

    by S.K. Dunstall

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Oh my god give me all these books I want this entire series on my shelf right now. Alliance builds on the exciting promise made by S.K. Dunstall in Linesman to bring us a new space opera series that is bold both in its vision of interstellar politics and its cool SF technology. After a long time avoiding space opera (except to catch up on the good stuff I’ve missed) because of the overgrown…

  34. Book cover for Linesman

    Linesman

    by S.K. Dunstall

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Ah, it’s so nice when a book blows you away with how awesome it is. I was hoping I’d like Linesman, but I didn’t anticipate loving it so much. But sister act Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall have managed to create an original, exciting new entry in the space opera subgenre. If you like space opera, SF with a psychic twist, or whiny people getting their comeuppance, you should read this book. So let’s…

  35. Book cover for Excession

    Excession

    by Iain M. Banks

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Finally, the Culture novel I’ve been waiting to read since I started the series. Everyone told me not to start with Excession, so I didn’t—and honestly that was pretty good advice. I can see why people wouldn’t enjoy this novel, and even though I think I would have liked it with no previous Culture experience, reading other books has given me a deeper appreciation for what is happening here.

    Excession reminds me of children’s…

  36. Book cover for The Line of Polity

    The Line of Polity

    by Neal Asher

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Hi! Remember me? I’m that guy who drops into one of your favourite series without reading the first book, writes a lukewarm review, and then leaves! Because why should I have any sense of continuity or context before I go on about how the book was “confusing” or “didn’t explain any of its basic concepts??

    Actually, I’m not that guy. It’s true I didn’t read Gridlinked, and while I’m wishing I had, it’s not…

  37. Book cover for Marque and Reprisal

    Marque and Reprisal

    by Elizabeth Moon

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I couldn’t resist, guys. I liked Trading in Danger so much that I couldn’t wait any longer, so I got Marque and Reprisal when last I went to the library, and here I am reading it, almost two months to the day since I read the first book. Like I said on Twitter, Elizabeth Moon writes books that are like crack—except better, because it turns out that crack is actually very bad for you. The…

  38. Book cover for Trading in Danger

    Trading in Danger

    by Elizabeth Moon

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A very welcome change in pace after reading a couple of historical fiction novels and a non-fiction book about sex! Trading in Danger is strategy-filled space opera. Kylara Vatta, or Ky for short, is a young woman kicked out of military academy for being a little too trusting. Relegated to commanding an obsolete ship that is on its last voyage as part of her family’s massive trading empire, Ky senses the opportunity for profit ……

  39. Book cover for Aurora

    Aurora

    by Kim Stanley Robinson

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Art is one of humanity’s most constructive, creative impulses, yet we spend so much time chronicling our darker, more tragic moments. Science fiction in particular is fascinated by the paradox of our humanity: we strive for, and are capable of, great acts, but underneath it all we are still the product of millions of years of evolution and prone to acts of irrationality, tribalism, and prejudice. Kim Stanley Robinson continues this great tradition in Aurora

  40. Book cover for Saga, Vol. 5

    Saga, Vol. 5

    by Brian K. Vaughan

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This isn't a review so much as a disjointed collection of thoughts about Saga, Volume 5. I mean, the problem with these reviews is that it always boils down to more of the same. Buy Saga. Read it, in order. Do it!

    Whenever I read graphic novels, I try to talk about the art and artist, since these are obviously important parts of the medium. And it’s with great respect when I say…

  41. Book cover for Saga, Vol. 4

    Saga, Vol. 4

    by Brian K. Vaughan

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Alana and Marko have escaped danger for now, but they are still fugitives. Their unique child, Hazel, will be recognized for what she is no matter where they go. So they are living in disguise on a backwater planet called Gardenia, and it’s causing no end of tension. Alana tries to support her family through a superhero soap opera, while Marko takes care of Hazel. Life seems both easier and harder than it was before.…

  42. Book cover for Ancillary Mercy

    Ancillary Mercy

    by Ann Leckie

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It feels like just yesterday that Ann Leckie took the science fiction scene by storm with Ancillary Justice. I enjoyed her debut novel for what it was—a ripping good story set in a universe with just enough originality to make it fun and familiarity to make it conceivable. Now, suddenly, here we are at the conclusion of the trilogy with Ancillary Mercy. I'm all a-tingle!

    Breq has come a long way since she…

  43. Book cover for Winter's Dawn, Season's End

    Winter's Dawn, Season's End

    by Tony Lee

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Unlike the majority of the other reviews on Goodreads for this book, I did not receive this as a NetGalley preview, so I did read 400 pages of adventure following the Tenth Doctor and the mysterious adversary the Advocate. As with my recent experience with a tie-in novel, I don’t ordinarily go for tie-in graphic novels. This was, again, a Christmas present.

    I enjoyed Winter’s Dawn, Season’s End more than Engines of War. Maybe…

  44. Book cover for Doctor Who

    Doctor Who: Engines of War

    by George Mann

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Let’s begin with a disclaimer that I read this because my dad gave it to me as a Christmas gift. I don’t, generally, read media tie-in novels—or comics. Despite my abiding desire to continue Buffy or Farscape, I just can’t do it. I read—and greatly enjoyed—many of the Star Trek novels when I was a child. Nevertheless, I find that the actors bring something to their portrayal of a character that not even the…

  45. Book cover for Spindrift

    Spindrift

    by Allen M. Steele

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Does every science-fiction writer have to write a Big Dumb Object novel? (TVTropes) Is it some kind of rite of passage? That’s basically what Spindrift is, or at least what it starts out as. Later it becomes a novel about first contact and an attempt to evoke that kind of humble, “we are not alone” sensation other such stories play with. Perhaps what sets it apart from similar novels is Steele’s smart decision to set…

  46. Book cover for Ancillary Sword

    Ancillary Sword

    by Ann Leckie

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Ancillary Sword picks up almost immediately after Ancillary Justice ends. Breq, kind of forcibly adopted into the house of tyrant Anander Mianaai, is sent by said tyrant to Athoek Station. Anander wants Breq to look for signs of the other Anander’s influence in the system; Breq just wants to protect the surviving family member of a lieutenant she once knew when she was Justice of Toren.

    The specifics aren’t really important here, and you…

  47. Book cover for The Vor Game

    The Vor Game

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So, I enjoyed The Warrior’s Apprentice, and The Mountains of Mourning made me cry. How I would react to The Vor Game was anyone’s guess, but I knew that this last story in the Young Miles omnibus would not disappoint me.

    Indeed, with this book, Lois McMaster Bujold hits it out of the park. I totally get why this won the Hugo Award in 1991. It is bold and brash but has a deeper…

  48. Book cover for Zoe's Tale

    Zoe's Tale

    by John Scalzi

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The Last Colony was the triumphant conclusion to the trilogy of John Perry and Jane Sagan vs. the Universe. Reluctant leaders of the new Roanoke colony, John and Jane manage to stave off a couple of deadly attacks and do an end-run around the Colonial Union brinksmanship that would otherwise have proved deadly for the colony in the long term. And they do this all while being the adoptive parents of a sixteen-year-old who is…

  49. Book cover for The Forever War

    The Forever War

    by Joe Haldeman

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So I’m on a relativistic shuttle, waiting for you…. I never found anybody else and I don’t want anybody else. I don’t care whether you’re ninety years old or thirty. If I can’t be your lover, I’ll be your nurse.

    Hey kids, you know how people keep using that word allegory, and you’re never really sure what they mean, and they probably aren’t even sure what they mean?

    This. This is an allegory.

    If…

  50. Book cover for The Warrior's Apprentice

    The Warrior's Apprentice

    by Lois McMaster Bujold

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Miles Vorkosigan has a mixed bag. On one hand, he’s the Barrayaran heir to a title. He has parents who care about him and have given him a first-class education. When he travels off-world to Beta Colony, he gets sweet diplomatic immunity and a tough bodyguard. Then again, the bodyguard is there in case someone tries to kill him. That’s the other hand. Exposure to a toxin in the womb has left Miles with weakened,…