Book Giveaway: Judgment at Verdant Court

Courtesy of Pyr, I have a copy of Judgment at Verdant Court by M.C. Planck for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends December 30. I’ll draw a name on December 31, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Judgment at Verdant Court

Blu-Ray Review: The Shannara Chronicles Season 1

The Shannara Chronicles: Season 1 Blu-Ray

Synopsis:
Based on the 26-volume book series by Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles tells the epic story of an Elvin princess, a bandit, and a half-Elf tasked with stopping the end of the world. Created and executive produced by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (‘Smallville’) and executive produced by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is shot against the epic landscapes of New Zealand.

Review:
The Shannara Chronicles is loosely based on novel The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. And I do mean “loosely.” While the first episode does feel very reminiscent of the book, it doesn’t take long before the story veers off with different characters and new story lines. And even some of the main characters meet different fates.

Hardcore fans of the novels may not be happy with the path this this series takes. But the story does still loosely follow, with many similar characters, stretching a book into 10 1-hour episodes. This series is on MTV, so not-surprisingly there is plenty of angst and it’s more sexualized compared to the book. To the point of ridiculousness at times. But overall, it’s an action-packed, dark, and dramatic series full of bold characters, grotesque creatures, and arcane magic. Some of the episodes drag a bit, but for the most part I did enjoy most this season. The end leaves off where the book did. So I’m guessing next season would be a fresh new story not found in the books, and that may be a good idea if they stray so far from the source material anyway.

The DVD set was released in June. And finally, the Blu-Ray set releases today! The quality is better and pretty noticeable. If fans have been holding out, this latest set is worth the wait. It even comes with a cooler cover design.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:
– Behind-the-scenes
– Exploring New Zealand
– Terry Brooks interview
– Making of the Dagda Mor

The Mummy Trailer and Featurette

Trailer:

Watch Tom Cruise take you behind the scenes:

THE MUMMY – In Theaters June 9, 2017
Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Box Review: Geek Fuel – November 2016

Geek Fuel

Geek Fuel is a monthly subscription box “filled with t-shirts, toys, digital games, limited edition collectibles, and all things epic.” The box can be purchased on a monthly renewal at $23.90 per month, or discounts for purchasing several months or more upfront.

Geek Fuel

The box comes with a great mini magazine that’s always fun to flip through.

Geek Fuel

There is now a spoiler card listing all the items in the box.

Geek Fuel

Wonder Woman and Batman Mugs – These are a little small for my use. But they’ll make great stocking stuffers for my superhero-living niece and nephew.

Geek Fuel

Exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy “Pair and a Spare” Socks – These are cute Rocket socks with one spare mix and match Groot sock. I don’t like the idea of three socks as one will wear out faster than the others. It’d be better to have 2 complete sets of mix and match socks.

Geek Fuel

Geek Fuel Temple Pin – Does anyone actually collect all these filler pins that ALL these mystery geek boxes seem to have? I’ve tossed more than I can count.

Downloadable Dandy Game – I don’t play these types of games, so I’ll probably see if someone else wants it.

Geek Fuel

Futurama Tshirt – I have zero desire to ever watch an adult cartoon, let alone Futurama. So, this is a bummer. I don’t know a soul in real life who actually watches the show (or would admit it) either. Another for the donate pile.

Summary: Thankfully, I had a coupon code and got this box for a big discount. Maybe if I had liked the shirt, this wouldn’t have seemed like such a letdown. But I don’t think I’m keeping ANYTHING from this box. A couple things will be re-gifted and the rest tossed or donated. Bummer.

Received in November

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in November for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Ray/DVD:
The Shannara Chronicles Season One Blu-Ray

Mystery Box:
TeeBlox
The Bam Box – November

Amazon Publishing / 47 North:
Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Disney Hyperion:
Jed and the Junkyard War by Steven Bohls

Penguin Young Readers / Razorbill:
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Prey: Book Three: The Hall of Heroes by John Jackson Miller

Random House Kids / Delacorte Press:
The Fever Code by James Dashner

Scholastic:
Exo by Fonda Lee
Velocity by Chris Wooding
Last Descendants: An Assassin’s Creed Novel #2: Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J. Kirby

Simon Teen / Pulse:
Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Simon and Schuster / Ubisoft:
Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden

Subterranean Press:
Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

Titan Books:
Star Trek Beyond – The Collector’s Edition by Titan

Tor Books:
Apes and Angels by Ben Bova
Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Box Review: Bam Box – November 2016

Bam Box

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Bam Box

The box has a mini mag called “Spoiler Booklet” with details on the box, with all possible 1-ups. But there was only rare pins and custom comic variants as far as I could see.
This month’s theme was “Adult Cartoon.”

Bam Box

The pin I received this month was Chef from South Park. Subscribers also could have received Cartman, Kenny, or rare Kenny’s with an additional Dead Kenny.

Bam Box

Homer Simpson Metal Sign – I don’t like the Simpsons, but this is a pretty funny sign. I’ll probably use as a gag gift at some point.

Bam Box

Cosplayer dressed up as Jessica Rabbit Print – Who wants a print of a random person no one knows dressed up as a cartoon character? Not me. Weird. If you’re going to include a print, it needs to be an actual famous person or artwork that some people would care about.

Bob’s Cronen-Burgers Print – Subscribers could have gotten a Beavis and Butthead print instead. Neither appealed to me.

Bam Box

Betty Boop Comic Variant – Some boxes could have received custom sketch covers. It looks like I received the standard exclusive black and white variant. It is signed though, so that’s cool.

Summary: I don’t like adult cartoons, or children’s either for the most part. So, already I wasn’t going to like most of the series. I thought last month’s box was sparse, but this one was even smaller (literally a smaller box). I would think two prints, a comic, sign, and a filler pin would be quite a disappointment for someone who paid full price. This used to be a unique box with fun additions I rarely saw in other boxes. But it’s definitely missing uniqueness now. A shirt or accessory or fun toy needs to be added if they’re going to keep the price point where it is.

Fantasy Book Review: Thrones and Bones: Skyborn

Thrones and Bones: Skyborn by Lou Anders

Synopsis:
The chase continues for the legendary Horns of Osius. Thianna and Karn’s quest to retrieve the horns from those who wish to abuse their power takes them to Thica, an ancient land where two tyrant queens reign supreme and where years earlier Thianna’s mother was labeled a traitor. Soon the two heroes are caught up in an epic battle for control of the kingdom, one that puts their very lives at stake. The only way to overthrow the queens is to beat them at their own game. But with an entire empire against them, how can Karn and Thianna hope to compete—or better yet, survive?

Review:
Skyborn is the third installment in the Thrones and Bones trilogy. Two malevolent queens have joined forces to control the dragons by use of the horns. And Thianna is discovers more about where her mother came from.

Desstra, who has gone through tremendous change since the last installment, has some wonderful interactions with her companions. I adore these characters as well as the fascinating worldbuilding. This children’s series is a fantastic and unique take on Norse mythology. Full of adventure, suspense, drama, and humor – I highly recommend the books for fantasy fans of all ages. I only wish the series would continue past just the trilogy.

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