5-Star Book Reviews: Science Fiction

We continue our series of posts featuring some of the best books in the CA Library collection — today’s featured titles are all Science Fiction. Follow the links for each book to learn more from the CA Library catalog!


Aetherbound by E.K. Johnston — After escaping her abusive family’s interstellar merchant ship, seventeen-year-old Pendt lands on a remote space station run by the Brannick twins, and together they make plans to thwart the destinies they never wanted. “With an emphasis on valuing chosen family, securing bodily autonomy, and challenging authoritarianism, this intimate, character-driven yarn brings stunning revelations in every chapter” (Kirkus Reviews). Get the eBook (Sora login required)

A Complicated Love Story Set In Space by Shaun David Hutchinson — Sixteen-year-olds Noa, DJ, and Jenny awake on a spaceship, unaware of how they got there or what is coming, but soon Noa and DJ are falling in love. “Questions about death and the afterlife, identity, and the role of memories, as well as rebuilding one’s self after trauma, mingle with clever meta commentary on how we consume and critique media” (Booklist). Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook (Sora login required)

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer — Ambrose and Kodiak are alone in space — sworn enemies sent on the same rescue mission. Ambrose wakes up with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: evidence indicates strangers have been on board, and the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother. In order to survive the ship’s secrets, they will need to work together and learn to trust each other. “Schrefer masterfully evokes and maintains suspense that keeps the pages turning briskly while still taking the time to limn the two boys’ touching, moving relationship” (Booklist). Get the eBook (Sora login required)

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold — After a deadly Fly Flu spreads throughout the world, survivors Nico, her dog, young artist Kit, and the mysterious Deliverer roam the earth, seeking to evade the Flies and find a place where life and love can thrive again. “Arnold’s characters are warm and fully realized, and for anyone who has lived through 2020, the book’s themes will feel all too real” (School Library Journal). Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook (Sora login required)

The Glare by Margot Harrison — Moving to her father’s home in California after a decade at her mother’s isolated ranch, a teen who has been taught to fear technology reunites with friends and family members before experiencing nightmares about a dark-web video game that poses life-threatening dangers. “The expertly balanced reality-blurring storyline and strategic technology depictions seed psychological scares that will linger long after reading. A chilling way to turn screen time into scream time” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman — Murdered on the way to her high school graduation party, eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto finds herself in an afterlife ruled by Ophelia, a virtual assistant planning to eradicate human existence. “A cerebral and pulse-pounding exploration of what it means to be human” (School Library Journal). Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook (Sora login required)

The Loop by Ben Oliver — Luka Kane has spent 736 days wrongfully imprisoned inside the Loop awaiting his execution. Each day is the same. Each day is torturous. But things are starting to change — whispers of war are circulating, and strange things are happening to the prisoners. Now Luka must decide whether breaking out of the Loop is his only way to survive. “This gripping tale moves right along, pulling readers into the world of the Loop, with plenty of appeal for fans of a good dystopian tale” (School Library Journal).

The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He — In a near future when life is harsh outside of Earth’s last unpolluted place, Cee tries to leave an abandoned island while her sister, STEM prodigy Kasey, seeks escape from the science and home she once trusted. “Interweaving Cee’s immediate first-person voice and Kasey’s more removed third-person narration, He crafts an intricate, well-paced rumination on human nature, choice, and consequence” (Publishers Weekly). Get the Audiobook (Sora login required)

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher — In 2032, when sixteen-year-old Vali’s mother is detained by the Deportation Forces, Vali must flee Vermont with her little brother, Ernie, hoping to reach their Tia Luna in the sanctuary state of California. “In their portrayal of Vali’s family’s quest for safety, the authors beautifully mirror the treacherous, painful, and terrifying treks involving natural and human threats that migrants to the U.S. undertake as they traverse continents and oceans” (Kirkus Reviews). Get the eBook (Sora login required)

Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable Book 1) by [Charlie Jane Anders]Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders — Tired of hiding in obscurity on Earth, Tina, the human clone of a brilliant alien tactician, pursues her destiny in space, but success is elusive until Tina and her best friend Rachel assemble a ragtag crew of humans and set out to save all the worlds. “Exploring themes of identity and destiny against an intricately built universe, Anders folds it all into a revel of action and love” (Publishers Weekly).



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