Category Archives: Book Reviews

Graphic Novel Review: Assassin’s Creed: The Hawk Trilogy

Assassin’s Creed: The Hawk Trilogy

Synopsis:
HAWK: When Desmond Miles is called away on an urgent mission, he entrusts fellow Assassin Jonathan Hawk with the search for the Scepter of Isis – a powerful ancient artifact, lost in time.

EL CAKR: In the present day, Assassin Jonathan Hawk fights through a terrible setback to unmask a traitor in the Order’s ranks, whilst his ancestor El Cakr battles Templar agents to gain possession of the powerful Scepter of Aset in 13th century Egypt.

LEILA: In 14th century Egypt, the seasoned Assassin El Cakr seeks to return the mysterious Scepter of Aset to the Brotherhood… when it is stolen by a mysterious woman named Leila. Seven centuries later, El Cakr’s descendant Jonathan Hawk desperately tries to get his hands on the relic – leading to an ultimate showdown between the Assassins and the Templars. The grand finale of Assassin’s Creed’s Egyptian saga!

Review:
The Hawk Trilogy collects three previously published graphic novels: Hawk, El Cakr, & Leila. Each with the underlying Hawk character storyline. Hawk is an Assassin with a missing eye, that the Templars have confiscated. His DNA holds the secret to the missing scepter. As the two groups search for answers in the past, it’s a race to see who finds the artifact first.

This was an action-packed adventure with intriguing and colorful characters. The trilogy flowed well, as well as Hawk’s backstory. I thoroughly enjoyed this saga and was disappointed when it ended as the characters and their individual stories were fantastic. These Assassin’s Creed graphic novels are becoming a must-read for me.

Fantasy Book Review: The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox

Synopsis:
Stories have power.
In 1719, Elizabeth Goose published a collection of rhyming spells as a children’s book, creating a spellbook of terrifying power. The Librarian of that age managed to dispose of all copies of the book except one, which remained in the possession of Elizabeth Goose and her family, temporarily averting any potential disaster.

Now, strange things are happening around the world. A tree-trimmer in Florida is blown off his elevated perch by a freak gust of wind, a woman in rural Pennsylvania is attacked by mutant rodents without any eyes, and a college professor in England finds herself trapped inside a prize pumpkin at a local farmer’s market. Baird and her team of Librarians suspect that the magic of Mother Goose is again loose in the world, and with Flynn AWOL―again―it is up to Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Stone to track down the missing spellbook before the true power of the rhymes can be unleashed.

Review:
As the seasons of The Librarians are much too short, it’s nice to have these novels as something to tide me over. Eve, Jacob, Cassandra, and Ezekiel are the Librarians in charge of hunting down magical objects wreaking havoc on the general population. A slew of strange happenings all relating to nursery rhymes has the team splitting up to investigate each encounter. And the team must hunt down the missing pieces of Mother Goose’s magical book before more chaos ensues.

Cox is a great tie-in writer and has really captured these beloved characters. This fast-paced adventure is everything I’ve come to expect from the show: plenty of adventure, magic, mystery, and humor. I don’t think I’ll ever look at these Mother Goose rhymes the same again. I thoroughly enjoyed this fun and inspired story with several surprises along the way.

Fantasy Book Review: Dark Breaks Dawn

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B Larson

Synopsis:
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

Review:
Princess Evelayn is just beginning to learn how to use her magic when tragedy strikes. And in order to save her kingdom, she is willing to strike a dangerous deal.

Dark Breaks the Dawn is the first in a YA fantasy duology. With plenty of drama, romance, and magic – this first installment builds an intriguing story. This tale is loosely based on Swan Lake – so loosely, that you wont see many similarities until the very end of the book. The author has created a unique fantasy world of light and dark magic that I’d like to see developed even further in the sequel. And the ending leaves off in a major cliffhanger that left me impatient for the next book.

SciFi Book Review: Stargate SG-1: Insurrection

Stargate SG-1: Insurrection by Sally Malcolm and Laura Harper

Synopsis:
SG-1 faces a terrible choice. With the lines between friends and enemies blurring, the team must choose where their loyalties lie—and how much they’re willing to risk to save their world.

While Dr Daniel Jackson and Teal’c return to the refugee colony on Arbella, in search of allies in the coming battle for Earth, Colonel O’Neill and Major Carter discover a piece of Ancient technology that could change the future—and the past. But if using the device results in their own extinction, do they have the right to sacrifice their new friends to save a world they’ll never know?

Review:
SG-1 is stuck in a horrific future where Earth has been taken by the Wraith. As Carter searches for a way to change the past, Daniel and Teal’c become involved in a power struggle on Arbella.

Insurrection is the final installment in the Apocalypse trilogy. Carter and O’Neill make a dangerous alliance in order to rid the Earth of the Wraith. With a great of suspense and intrigue – this exciting trilogy comes to a surprising conclusion. (Mild spoilers ahead:) I was bothered a bit how the time travel aspect was handled. Instead of trying to go home to their time, Carter tries to fix what happened in the past – which sets them into an alternate timeline. Though, I can see that the authors may have wanted to show what happens in this future they’ve created rather than just resetting it. I thoroughly enjoyed the Wraith characters as well as the engaging plot twists along the way. As a huge fan of the series, this was a fun and fast-paced trilogy that makes me want to read more from the expanded series.

SciFi Book Review: The Rising

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

Synopsis:
Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

Review:
Alex is a football star with a bright future. And his tutor, Samantha, is a smart young woman with her heart set on NASA. The two become involved in a heart-pounding adventure, when Sam witnesses Alex’s parents being tortured. And Alex finds his doctor murdered after he ordered additional tests. There is a huge conspiracy with Alex at its core. And Sam is willing to give up everything to help him.

The Rising is a science fiction thriller with plenty of mystery, intrigue, drama, and suspense. The excitement builds quickly and leads to a complex story behind Alex’s origin. As enemies and a mysterious ally close in, Alex and Sam will need to rely on their wits to guide them. This was a fast-paced and fun action-packed novel. The suspense and converging story-lines definitely outweigh the character development. But it’s definitely a fun adventure (heavy on the science fiction – reminding me of the book/tv series Roswell) with the potential for sequels.

Graphic Novel Review: Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen (Rebirth)

Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
Supergirl moves to National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

Review:
Supergirl has been adopted by the Danvers who work for the DEO. She fights crime while maintaining her secret identity as Kara Danvers, a teenager trying to get an internship at CatCo. Fans of the Supergirl tv show will see a lot of similarities here. It’s a reboot, so I’m not totally opposed to changing her origin story. This story arc focuses mostly on Cyborg Superman who claims to be Kara’s father. The story is fast-paced and action-packed. And while the constant fighting of Cyborg Superman was exciting, it may have been a bit too drawn out. I would’ve liked to see more of her normal teen side, interacting more with her peers and Cat Grant. Hopefully, we get more of that in the upcoming installments. The artwork was nice. And characters have a lot of promise, so I look forward to reading further in the series.

Graphic Novel Review: Battlestar Galactica: Folly of the Gods

Battlestar Galactica: Folly of the Gods

Synopsis:
An all-new adventure set in the continuity of the classic 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series! The Galactica’s search for sanctuary takes them beyond the limits of known reality and into a cosmic mystery where the hunters become the hunted, ruin and despair dot the skies, and Adama goes where friend and family can’t follow.

Review:
I’m a big fan of the classic Battlestar Galactica, so I read all the books and comics I can get my hands on. The story is a bit strange – Apollo and Starbuck get stranded on a strange planet. Meanwhile, Adama and the Galactica are under attack by an unknown force. It’s never fully explained where the planet is or where these strange new enemies came from or what their motivation is. There’s also an odd part where Adama is being psychically attacked. There was a lot packed into this short graphic novel. I did like the addition of some familiar foes being forced to ally with the Galactica. And the retro feel with plenty of action was just what I was hoping for. I wasn’t a fan of the artwork at all, unfortunately. The characters faces looked bulbous and hard to distinguish. If this storyline continues, I’d be interested in learning more about these new enemies as a lot was left open-ended.

SciFi Book Review: Lois Lane: Triple Threat

Lois Lane: Triple Threat by Gwenda Bond

Synopsis:
For the first time, Lois Lane has almost everything she wants. Non-temporary home? Check. Dream job? Double check. Incredible BFFs? The absolute best. And now, her online crush, SmallvilleGuy, is coming to Metropolis. If all goes well, they ll turn their long-distance friendship into a some-kind-of-fairy-tale romance. But when does all ever go well? Before she can check boyfriend off her list, Lois must take down a mad scientist plus a trio of mutant teens, protect the elusive flying man from the feds (including her dad), and navigate her very first date with SmallvilleGuy. In the follow-up to FALLOUT and DOUBLE DOWN, Gwenda Bond’s reimagination of DC Comics s first leading lady takes on her toughest challenge yet: Love.

Review:
Lois Lane is an average teenage girl with a penchant for getting into trouble. She’s also incredibly brave, with a good heart. She has an online romance with a certain young man from Smallville. And her best friends are in the midst of an awkward love triangle. When some super-powered kids begin showing up around Lois and her friends, she’s convinced her nemesis is behind it.

Triple Threat is the third installment in this YA, scifi series. This latest adventure is paired nicely with Lois finally getting to meet SmallvilleGuy as well as another online individual. As her romance blossoms, so does the danger. And Lois is only willing to risk her own safety in search of the truth behind the mysterious kids with powers. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest novel. And I appreciate that the character’s relationships are involving – and that Lois finally gets to meet her online crush. Comic book fans will notice some changes to Superman lore, besides their early meeting. But the characters, especially Lois, feel true to their roots. The story follows her point of view, so it would be great to see some more character development from the other characters past just their romantic entanglements. And I look forward to more in this fun and exciting series.