My problem with space operas is that usually not much happens besides the characters floating through space. On that front, I felt The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet fit squarely fit that trope. Conflicts outside of the spaceship didn’t arise as often nor as intensely as I had liked, even with their unpredictable mission and the threat of war looming. The reason I enjoyed this book anyway were the characters. They were absolutely wonderful!
When I first read the synopsis of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I expected an epic romance set in space. That wasn’t quite what the book was but I did like the direction it took. What I didn’t realise at first was that The Loneliest Girl in the Universe isn’t only science fiction but a psychological thriller as well.
For better or for worse, the UK book cover of Defy the Stars isn’t befitting of the story. Romance isn’t central to the plot. The overarching theme was what constitutes humanity, which I thought was explored exceedingly well in this book. It was also about sacrifice to save others and the chase to live forever.
The Square Root of Summer is such a quirky book. It contains little illustrations and while it starts off like a contemporary read, it plunges into science fiction through time travel. Time travel in this case doesn’t pertain to fantastical notions of visiting another era. Here things are grounded a bit more in physics, incorporating discussions of the space-time continuum, the speed of light and the effect of gravity on one’s ageing process. If there’s one thing to be said, the main character is exceedingly smart and prides herself in her intelligence.
Bluescreen was a fast-paced mystery rooted in science fiction. Set in the near future, the setting felt immediate yet very much more advanced. A lot of the communication technology and technology as a whole reflected current imaginations of what could be possible in a couple of decades. I thought Bluescreen tapped on that technological knowledge very well and injected some creativity as well.