Category Archives: Book Reviews

SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward

Synopsis:
Surveying a nebula as part of their continuing exploration of the previously uncharted “Odyssean Pass,” Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise encounter a rogue planet. Life signs are detected on the barren world’s surface, and then a garbled message is received: a partial warning to stay away at all costs. Determined to render assistance, Picard dispatches Commander Worf and an away team to investigate, but their shuttlecraft is forced to make an emergency landing on the surface—moments before all contact is lost and the planet completely disappears.

Worf and his team learn that this mysterious world is locked into an unending succession of random jumps between dimensions, the result of an ambitious experiment gone awry. The Enterprise crewmembers and the alien scientists who created the technology behind this astonishing feat find themselves trapped, powerless to break the cycle. Meanwhile, as the planet continues to fade in and out of various planes of existence, other parties have now taken notice…

Review:
Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise can’t let a mystery go. So, when they receive a message saying to stay away because of a dangerous situation – of course they have to get closer and investigate. Worf and his away team are soon trapped with the alien inhabitants and discover they are jumping among several alternate realities and times.

Headlong Flight is another great installment by Ward. The storyline is fun and unpredictable. And a crew from an alternate reality provides some nostalgia and several surprises. This was a fast-paced novel with plenty of adventure, suspense, familiar characters, and Romulan antagonists. I can’t get enough of time travel in science fiction, so pairing that with alternate reality jumps, made for a highly enjoyable read.

Graphic Novel Review: Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Lies (Rebirth)

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
Heroic. Iconic. Unstoppable. Armed with her Lasso of Truth and imbued with the power of the gods themselves, Princess Diana of Themyscira—known to the world as Wonder Woman—is one of the greatest superheroes in history.

But who is she…really? Not even Wonder Woman herself knows for sure. Diana’s links to both the Amazons and the Gods of Olympus have been severed. Her memories are a tangle of contradictions that even her lie-detecting lasso cannot untangle.

To solve the riddle of her origin, she must embark on her greatest quest of all: finding a way back to her vanished home. To get there, she must team up with her greatest enemy, the feral beast-woman, Cheetah. Will this unlikely alliance shine the light of truth on Diana’s darkest secrets, or bury them—and her—forever?

Review:
Wonder Woman (Rebirth) begins to question herself. And she sets out on a journey to track down her roots and history. But her home seems to have disappeared.

This latest Wonder Woman story is engaging and action-packed. Her team-up with Cheetah is very memorable and dramatic. The artwork is fantastic and matches the dark tone. With plenty of suspense, mysticism, and monstrous creatures – this graphic novel is hard to put down. There’s an exciting, climactic showdown and a sweet ending with a familiar friend. I can’t wait for the next in the series.

SciFi Book Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

Synopsis:
WHO RUNS THE WORLD? SQUIRRELS! Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel! After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?

Review:
Doreen is a sweet and naive girl, just trying to make some new friends in her new school. But besides her different personality, she also hides a big secret – she has a big, bushy tail and can talk to squirrels. I’m a big fan of the comics, so I couldn’t wait to check out this novel.

Squirrel Meets World is a quirky and fun book, very similar to the comics – even including comments at the bottom of every page. The plot is very predictable, but it is written for a younger audience. And it only reinforces how sweet and innocent Squirrel Girl is. My favorite parts were when she messaged various Avengers as well as Rocket Raccoon for advice. The humor makes this series standout. Fans of all ages will enjoy this fun-filled adventure.

SciFi Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants

Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants by Matthew J Kirby

Synopsis:
Nothing in Owen’s life has been right since his father died in prison, accused of a crime Owen is certain he didn’t commit. Monroe, the IT guy at school, might finally bring Owen the means to clear his father’s name by letting him use an Animus-a device that lets users explore genetic memories buried within their own DNA. During a simulation, Owen comes uncovers the existence of a powerful relic long considered a legend-the Trident of Eden. Now two secret organizations will stop at nothing to take possession of this artifact-the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order. It becomes clear the only way to save himself is to find the Trident first.

Under the guidance of Monroe, Owen and a group of other teenagers go into a memory they all share within their DNA: the 1863 Draft Riots in New York City. Owen and his companions will find themselves tested on the violent streets of New York, and their experiences in the past will have far-reaching consequences in the present.

Review:
After his father is imprisoned, Owen and his mother moved in with his grandparents – who constantly remind him of his father’s failure. But Owen has always believed in his father innocence. So, when he has a chance to use an Animus, he jumps at the chance in order to find out the truth of the past.

Last Descendants is the first in a young adult series by Matthew J Kirby. I’m not a gamer, but I know the series from books and the movie. I’m also a fan of the author’s other novels, so I was excited to check out this novel. I really enjoyed the characters – the teens were diverse and engaging. And the sub-story during 1863 was even more exciting and action-packed. The climactic ending leaves of on a cliffhanger that makes me eager to pick up the next in the series. Teens and adult fans of Assassin’s Creed will enjoy this fun, new series from a talented writer.

SciFi Book Review: The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos

The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia

Synopsis:
How did Fox Mulder become a believer?

In the spring of 1979, seventeen-year-old Fox Mulder has bigger problems than applying for college. Five years ago, his younger sister disappeared from their home and was never heard from again. Mulder blames himself, and his mother blames his father, who has retreated into his top-secret work for the State Department. In Fox’s senior year, his dad has moved him to Washington, DC―away from his friends on Martha’s Vineyard.

While Mulder doesn’t mind the fresh start and not being known as “that kid with the missing sister,” he’s still obsessed with finding Samantha. So when a local boy turns up dead and another child is abducted, Mulder can’t stop himself from getting involved. Could there be a link to his sister’s case? As he uncovers the truth, Mulder and his friends find themselves on the trail of a serial killer.

Sucked into a world where conspiracies, the occult, and madness overlap, Fox Mulder starts to believe.

Review:
Fox Mulder is haunted by the memory of his sister’s abduction – right in his presence. So, when he notices a small clue on a missing child, it puts him on a mission to find a child abductor.

Agent of Chaos is a fantastic murder mystery. The characters are vibrant and funny – and the story is suspenseful and exciting. The synopsis leads you to believe that events in this story are what makes Mulder a believer. But the events in this story don’t really lead him to becoming a believer – I feel like that happened back when his sister was abducted. Mulder is extremely observant and brilliant – which makes him a great detective. I enjoyed this Origin story even more than the Scully novel. I can’t get enough of the X-Files, and this early story is a great addition for fans.

SciFi Book Review: The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate

The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate by Jonathan Maberry

Synopsis:
How did Dana Scully become a skeptic?

In the spring of 1979, fifteen-year-old Dana Scully has bigger problems than being the new girl in school. Dana has always had dreams. Sometimes they’ve even come true. Until now, she tried to write this off as coincidence. But ever since her father’s military career moved the family across the country to Craiger, Maryland, the dreams have been more like visions. Vivid, disturbing, and haunted by a shadowy figure who may be an angel . . . or the devil.

When a classmate who recently died in a car accident appears before Dana, her wounds look anything but accidental. Compelled by a force she can’t name, Dana uncovers even more suspicious deaths―and must face the danger­ous knowledge that evil is real.

But when a betrayal of faith makes her question everything, she begins to put her faith in being a skeptic.

Review:
After a girl’s death turns out to be just the latest of several recent teen deaths in Dana’s new town, Dana’s troubling dreams begin to blend in with her reality. Dana and her sister seek the help from a local mystic shop owner and her friends. Meanwhile, mysterious men are secretly watching Scully.

As an X-Files fan, I couldn’t wait to read these origin stories. Dana and her sister are young teens who put faith in the mystic arts, mostly because of Dana’s dreams. This was a fun and suspenseful murder mystery with plenty of the supernatural. Yet a big (fairly predictable) twist leads Dana down the path of skepticism. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the creepy plot. X-Files fans, both teens and adults alike, should check out these new stories. There are some great nods to the show with a nostalgic feel that didn’t disappoint.

Graphic Novel Review: Aquaman Vol 1: The Drowning (Rebirth)

Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
He is Arthur Curry—Aquaman. King of Atlantis. Member of the Justice League. World leader. Superhero. A bridge between the surface world and the world below. And to far too many humans, the dictator of a rogue state. But Arthur and his beloved fiancée, Mera, are determined to prove to humankind that Atlantis can be a force for peace and justice.

Yet even as Aquaman strives to improve his public image, dark forces rise from the depths to crush his hopes and dreams. A cabal of Atlantean terrorists have declared war on their king and the surface world alike. And the killer known as Black Manta will stop at nothing to settle his blood feud with the hero he hates above all else.

Can Aquaman stop the tide of distrust and bloodshed? Or to save the world, will he sacrifice himself?

Review:
This new Aquaman Rebirth series starts with a bang. A terrorist has sabotaged an event celebrating peace between humans and Atlanteans. And as attacks escalate, it’s obvious to Aquaman that his people are being framed. Aquaman gives himself over to human authorities as a show of good will. But tempers soon flare out of control.

This is an exciting start to this Aquaman reboot. Action-packed with plenty of drama, even Superman gets pulled into this political fiasco. I enjoyed this take on Aquaman – who feels he’s the odd-man-out in the Justice League. And rightly so, at least in this story. Volume 1 ends with a cliffhanger that left me ready for the next in this fun series.

SciFi Book Review: Martians Abroad

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis:
Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the Director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth.

Homesick and cut off from her plans for her future, Polly cannot seem to fit into life on Earth. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right―there’s more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

Review:
Polly is a seemingly average teen with a good heart and a yearning for flight school. Her brother is quiet and scheming, with great insight. When dangerous situations escalate, Polly realizes her brother’s suspicions may be right.

Martians Abroad is an exciting science fiction novel that teens and adults will enjoy. The story well-paced with interesting characters. In fact, I wish we got to know Charles a bit better. He’s a bit of a mystery. The story is told from Polly’s point of view, and the siblings don’t interact a lot. Events at the school build to an exciting and satisfying finale. I really enjoy Vaughn’s fantasy novels. And this new science fiction release is another memorable story set in an intriguing, future that I’d love to read more about.