Category Archives: Book Reviews

SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: Prey: Book 1: Hell’s Heart

Star Trek: Prey: Book 1: Hell’s Heart by John Jackson Miller

Synopsis:
When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.

Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!

Review:
I’ll admit that Klingons aren’t my favorite race. The honor-bound, often violent people have never really held my interest. So I really only picked up this book because I enjoyed the film the trilogy is based on… and it’s Star Trek – so I knew I’d still be entertained.

However, I was pleasantly impressed that the plot held many twists and surprises along the way. It’s full of adventure, mystery, and very diverse Klingon characters. The characters, especially the villains, are intriguing and engaging. I also love that the story spans the two Enterprise crews. What we learn about past events with Kruge’s people helps to understand what’s going on in the future. I even enjoyed the Kahless clone character more than previous stories about him. Excitement and suspense builds to a cliffhanger ending that made me eager for the next book.

Fantasy Book Review: The Scourge

The Scourge by Jennifer A Nielsen

Synopsis:
As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.

But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?

Review:
Ani and Weevil are loyal friends that would do anything for each other. Ani is a strong and hard-headed girl with a lot of pride. Unfortunately, this gets her in trouble with authority figures; and she winds up in the Colony for Scourge victims. Weevil follows just because he’s loyal and thinks he can help.

This is a fantastic stand-alone story set in a fictional world where a deadly Scourge has the population terrified. The plot is pretty predictable, but it doesn’t make the suspense any less thrilling. The characters are vivid and the story is captivating. The pacing and excitement make it a hard book to put down. Events build to a climactic conclusion that doesn’t disappoint. The Scourge is an engaging story for young adults and adults alike.

Spotlight: Edgar Allan Poe: An Adult Coloring Book

Edgar Allan Poe: An Adult Coloring Book

If you’re into adult coloring books and classic Edgar Allan Poe stories, check this out. Artist Odessa Begay has created a clever collection of coloring pages inspired by several of Poe’s works. The pages are very thick and printed on front and back. From eerie settings to skulls and creepy imagery – this will be a very fun book to color with Halloween approaching!

Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book

Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book

Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book

Edgar Allan Poe Coloring Book

SciFi Book Review: The Last One

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

Synopsis:
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Review:
A Survivor-type reality show turns horrific, but Zoo can’t grasp the truth and clings to the hope that everything is just a part of the show – elaborate props and hidden cameras. The show starts like many others, with likable and unlikable characters (who soon become the “villains” of the show). And drama makes for better tv. After team challenges, comes the solo adventure – when Zoo becomes separated from the others. And her reality becomes skewed.

The Last One is a survivor story told in a unique way. We follow Zoo’s journey, with flashbacks to the start of the show. I thoroughly enjoyed this way of unfolding the story and characters. Suspense builds from the post-apocalyptic Zoo and her companions, to a Zoo who can’t comprehend what has happened in “present day.” The story is well-paced and wrought with excitement, drama, and engaging characters. The adventure builds to a surprising but satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend this one for those who enjoy psychological thrillers.

Graphic Novel Review: Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields

Batgirl Vol. 3: Mindfields

Synopsis:
She rides a cool motorcycle, swings a mean right hook, and has backup from the best crime-fighters in the biz, but Batgirl’s greatest weapon has always been her mind. As the brilliant Barbara Gordon, she’s on the verge of a tech breakthrough that could transform her beloved Burnside neighborhood, and all of Gotham City to boot—though if it falls into the wrong hands, it could just as easily devastate them.

But how can Batgirl stop a hacker who can break into her brain itself?

A sinister figure has been haunting Batgirl’s nightmares and stealing all her secrets, from her high-tech innovations to her hidden identity. And he’ll use that knowledge to destroy her forever.

Now Batgirl must assemble a band of her best friends and closest allies—including Spoiler, Black Canary, Batwing and more—to stop the most dangerous enemy she’s ever known, or Burnside and the entire Bat-family will burn…

It all comes down to this! The revolutionary creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr bring the saga of the Batgirl of Burnside to a close in BATGIRL VOL. 3: MINDFIELDS. Be there for the shocking climax to one of the greatest Batgirl stories ever told!

Collects BATGIRL #46-52.

Review:
In this third volume of Batgirl of Burnside, the plot is just as engaging as ever as a mysterious assailant messes with Batgirl’s memories. And while she’s great on her own, I love the team-up scenes even more. I have really loved these 3 solid graphic novels with great villains, friends, and story lines. The story ties up with a bittersweet ending that left me wanting more. I loved the artwork and imagery. And one of my favorite stories was the finale, a one-shot that was told completely with pictures, no words. It was fantastic.

Graphic Novel Review: Adventures of Supergirl Vol. 1

Adventures of Supergirl Vol. 1 by Sterling Gates and artists including Bengal, Emanuela Lupacchino, Carmen Carnero and Emma Vieceli

Synopsis:
Kara Zor-El escaped the destruction of her home planet Krypton, but on the way to Earth, her ship took a years-long detour. Taken in by the loving Danvers family upon her arrival, she’s been taught to keep her incredible powers a secret.

But with her cousin Superman winning hearts and saving lives all over the world, Kara can’t keep the secret forever—not when her powers are the only thing that can save the people and the city she loves.

Now she’s taken to the skies above National City as Earth’s newest superhero, but sinister forces, both human and alien, want to ground her for good. Who will take a stand to save her family, friends and her adopted planet from the forces of evil? This looks like a job for…Supergirl!

Review:
Based on the TV series, this graphic novel is a new story arc focusing on new villains. All of Supergirl’s friends take a backseat in this story save for her sister who has a major part to play. I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline, except for one character who reminded me a bit of Indigo but much less powerful.

The artwork was fitting and flowed well. And the story was full of suspense and drama. This action-packed story never got slow or dull. I only missed more interaction with Supergirl’s work colleagues, as they are my favorite characters from the show. I hope Gates continues to write this series, as he always does a great job with Supergirl. And this tv series line is very endearing.

Fantasy Book Review: The Killer In Me

The Killer In Me by Margot Harrison

Synopsis:
Hasn’t he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night.
This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He’s always waiting. Always there.

Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned
mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.

Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf-the deserts of New Mexico.

But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?

Review:
Nina is a troubled girl. She sees brutal murders through someone else’s eyes. And whatever she does, she can never seem to stop him. She’s not even sure if he’s real. But she has his name and residence, so she decides to trek across the country to find him and get answers.

The Killer In Me is an exciting and captivating psychological thriller. With a couple of shocking twists along the way, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters are vivid, and there is plenty of mystery, suspense, and drama. Young adults on up should enjoy this mind twister.

SciFi Book Review: Flying

Flying by Carrie Jones

Synopsis:
People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.

But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire.

First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.

It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing–taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Now her supposed partner, a guy that Mana has never met or heard of (and who seems way too young and way too arrogant to be hunting aliens), has shown up, ordering Mana to come with him. Now, on her own for the first time, Mana will have to find a way to save her mother–and maybe the world–and hope she’s up to the challenge.

Review:
Mana is a likable girl, with a crush on her best friend. And it turns out he’s the only one she can trust when Mana comes home to a ransacked house and her mother missing. Mana’s mother has been keeping secrets from her – and a big one about Mana herself.

I had high hopes for this story, thinking it was a young superhero-type book of alien hunting. Instead, we only see Mana use her (never fully explained) ability once in the beginning and a second time further on. This is not an action-packed adventure. But it’s more of a search for a missing item and Mana’s mother, while fending off mysterious aliens and Men in Black. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and drama. I just wish we could have seen Mana really use her abilities and kick butt. It’s still an engaging and fun story, just not quite what some may expect with the title of the book somewhat misleading.