This is tough! Team Red Stars had ten AMAZING books to read for Round Two, but can only pass along three books into the next round of the SPSFC. I am so appreciative of the judges on our team and how much work, thought, and effort went into reading and judging these books. It was a very difficult choice, and as with previous rounds some of my personal favorites did not make the cut! If you would like to pause and look at our top ten that we read you can view that HERE and for those unfamiliar with the SPSFC you can read about it HERE
As a Team of Judges we would like to say thank you to the authors who joined in. You have already seen, and will continue to see reviews from us for your books, and I can safely say that each of us would highly recommend the ten books we had to select from. However as stated only three books can advance from us so without further ado here are (in no particular order) the three books that Team Red Stars will be advancing into the next round:
DOG COUNTRY by Malcolm F Cross is a brilliant and insightful SciFi that not only has one of the best covers you’ll ever see (I had to purchase a physical copy for my shelves because it is gorgeous) it also has one of the best stories you will ever read! To quote from Team Red Stars judge William Tracy’s review: “This is a very thought-provoking book with some great worldbuilding and character moments. That said, it’s not a very happy book. It’s not going to make you cheer for the protagonist over the villain—there’s not always a clear definition of who those are—but it is a very well-written book.” (See full review HERE )
OF CINDER & BONE by Kyoko M is an incredible SciFi in a universe that closely parallels ours, but with Dragons! AND absolutely awesome character interactions and development! Quoting from Team Red Stars judge JW Wartick’s review: “Kyoko M. has created a truly fascinating alternate now that is carried by some of the strongest characters I’ve encountered in this contest.” Read the full review HERE
AGE OF ORDER by Julian North is a dystopian SciFi that grips the reader and makes you not want to set the book down! As William Tracy says in his review: “Wow. Just wow. Take the best parts of The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Snow Crash, and Brave New World, and bundle them together. That’s what I got out of this story. This is one of those books were I was eager to dive in every time, and had to stop myself from reading “just one more” chapter.” Read the full review HERE
These three books will now pass from our hands into the next round of the SPSFC and we are thrilled to have them represent our team’s selection. We truly wish we could have passed along our whole selection of ten because wow did we have some AMAZING books! With that in mind we did want to share one honorable mention because in competitions like this the goal is truly more eyes on more amazing books so we think the book that was our first runner up just behind these three in the overall voting deserves a spotlight as well:
ZENITH by Arshad Ahsanuddin was greatly loved by our team of judges and is one of the best books you could read! It barely missed out on being in our top three, so as first runner up we wanted to give this book a shout out. As one of Team Red Stars judges Suzy says in her review: “We have great characters, and then we have a really interesting plot. It is so full of twists and turns. And the end… oh my that end!” You can read the full review HERE AND expect to hear about this book here on RedStarReviews again very soon!
There you have it! An amazing set of books to pass along into the overall! We are excited to read on into the next part of the competition and excited for all the authors featured here and featured throughout the SPSFC and hope everyone is inspired to pick up and read the books you see here that appeal to you. Thank you for reading!