All posts by SciFiChick

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Blu-Ray Review: Geostorm

Geostorm

Synopsis:
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.

Review:
Gerard Butler stars as scientist Jake, who helped build the satellite (referred to as “Dutch Boy”) that controls the global weather. So when Dutch Boy begins attacking select cities across the world, Jake is tasked with fixing his device.

Geostorm has the feel of a natural disaster film, but there’s nothing natural about the cause or results. The CGI is great. And there are a lot of exciting scenes. But the story felt done before (even though I was surprised that the satellite wasn’t just a rouge AI), and a little drawn-out. The characters were all a bit one-dimensional, as the story focused solely on the weather and the killer satellite. I did enjoy the scenes set in space, as those were the most interesting to me. And there is a fun ending with a couple of mostly predictable twists.

Geostorm Blu-ray Combo Pack special features:
• “Wreaking Havoc: Cutting edge visual effects, research and technology create the world of Geostorm.
• Search for Answers: Inspired by his daughter’s question of why can’t global warming be stopped, Director Dean Devlin retraces the creative journey that led to Geostorm.
• An International Event: A global cast opens up about the secrets behind Geostorm.

Geostorm Standard Definition DVD special features:
• Search for Answers: Inspired by his daughter’s question of why can’t global warming be stopped, Director Dean Devlin retraces the creative journey that led to Geostorm.

SciFi Book Review: Sinless

Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff

Synopsis:
In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are “good” are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

Review:
Grace is a mild-mannered, pious 17-year-old. She’s easy to like and relate to. She remains beautiful by doing good and praying. Those who commit sins or even curse, are “Punished” by disfiguring ugliness or even death if the infraction is bad enough. Then, she meets a boy who is able to do bad things and not be “Punished” by ugliness which causes her to question everything.

Sinless is a captivating debut novel. The challenging premise will make readers think and question. It’s unpredictable with great pacing. Full of suspense, intrigue, and drama – this story is captivating from beginning to end. I look forward to the next in this exciting series.

Book Giveaway: Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition

Courtesy of Titan Magazines, I have a paperback copy of Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition 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 February 16. I’ll draw a name on February 17, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition

Blu-Ray Review: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Synopsis:
Three decades after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Review:
Ryan Gosling is “K” – a Blade Runner who is a Replicant himself. But when he hunts down this latest rogue Replicant, he makes a shocking discovery that the LAPD quickly tries to cover up. But the Wallace Corporation knows the truth as well, and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

It has been more than 35 since original Blade Runner premiered. The tone is very similar, though the story is very different. The visuals landscapes are stunning. And though it’s extremely slow-paced compared to other science fiction films, there is still a great amount of intensity and suspense. And there are several exciting action scenes. However, this is more of a psychological drama, rather than the usual action film. While there is a bittersweet ending, there several annoying questions left unanswered. But then again, the original had some too.

BLU-RAY AND DVD INCLUDES:
“Blade Runner 2049” 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:
• Designing The World of Blade Runner 2049
• To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049
• Prologues: 2036: Nexus Dawn
• Prologues: 2048: Nowhere to Run
• Prologues: 2022: Black Out
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

“Blade Runner 2049” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

SciFi Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods

Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods by Matthew J. Kirby

Synopsis:
Only one piece of the Trident of Eden remains – Isaiah, a rogue Templar agent, has discovered both the faith prong and the fear prong of this powerful relic. Should he possess the devotion prong, there is little that can stop him. For the time being, Owen and his fellow teens have established an uneasy alliance across Assassin and Templar lines in order to stop Isaiah while they still can.

Over a thousand years earlier, Styrbjorn the Strong, a Danish warrior, leads the Jomsvikings against the Danish king, Harald Bluetooth. It is on those Viking battlefields that the secrets of the devotion prong lie. It is there that the fate of the world, the truth behind the teens’ collective unconsciousness, and their ancestral links to one another lie. History has already been written. The rest is up to Owen, Javier, and the other members of their unlikely alliance. The actions they take will change the world of Assassin’s Creed forever.

Review:
Fate of the Gods is the final installment in the Last Descendants trilogy set in the Assassin’s Creed universe. This group of teens have been through several ancestors’ memories that have tested their mental resolve. And Owen decided to stay with the megalomaniac Isaiah – which puts Owen’s life at risk and Isaiah close to having all three pieces of a powerful artifact.

The final piece of the trident, has been traced to ancient Scandinavia. So the teens get to experience their ancestors as Vikings. The Viking ancestors are pitted against each other in a brutal battle that culminates to a surprising ending. This was my favorite book in the trilogy – full of action, intrigue, and drama – both in and out of the Animus. The story arc concludes in an exciting way. But I will certainly miss some of these characters.

SciFi Book Review: Valiant Dust

Valiant Dust by Richard Baker

Synopsis:
Sikander Singh North has always had it easy―until he joined the crew of the Aquilan Commonwealth starship CSS Hector. As the ship’s new gunnery officer and only Kashmiri, he must constantly prove himself better than his Aquilan crewmates, even if he has to use his fists. When the Hector is called to help with a planetary uprising, he’ll have to earn his unit’s respect, find who’s arming the rebels, and deal with the headstrong daughter of the colonial ruler―all while dodging bullets.

Review:
Sikander comes from a royal family, but entered the military. Some of his crewmates believe he gets special treatment or hasn’t earned his place. But he soon proves his worth and his skills with his new placement. And when Sikander and his ship are tasked with subverting a planetary rebellion, he finds his emotions get a bit involved as well.

Valiant Dust is the first in a new, military scifi series. Sikander is a likeable character with a sense of honor. The unique, future-worldbuilding of cultures and casts is strong and detailed but not overwhelming. And the characters are engaging. I enjoyed this fast-paced adventure with plenty of action, intrigue and a bit of romance. I definitely look forward to reading more in this promising new series.

Book Review: The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I love these behind-scenes books of the art behind my favorite films. And this latest is fantastic.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

There are early concepts of characters and wardrobes.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

And stunning images of new aliens.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

Early concepts of Canto Bight.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

The new weapons and new ship designs.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

And my favorites are usually the beautiful location shots and scenic concept art.

The Last Jedi was a visually stunning film. And this book of the art behind the film is fascinating and makes for a great gift, coffee table book, or collector item for fans. I look forward to going back and reading the little details now. But the art alone makes this book a must for me.