Category Archives: Book Reviews

SciFi Book Review: The Last Girl On Earth

The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier

Synopsis:
Li has a father and a sister who love her. A best friend, Mirabae, to share things with. She goes to school and hangs out at the beach and carefully follows the rules. She has to. Everyone she knows–her family, her teachers, her friends–is an alien. And she is the only human left on Earth.

Review:
Li is a human, raised by an alien father. She has to hide what she is for fear of death. Even her best friend doesn’t know the truth. She has to work harder than anyone to earn a place as an officer. But when she meets Ryn, her heart trumps what her head tells her to do.

At just 256 pages, with fast pacing, The Last Girl on Earth almost felt like a short story. This YA science fiction story had an intriguing premise that pulled me in right away. However, it wasn’t too hard for Li to fit in as the only difference between the aliens and humans are gills – and physical activity and intelligence come easier for the aliens. Though a quick read, it a sweet and enjoyable read. Though, I would have liked more of a backstory or more depth to the aliens. This debut has plenty of suspense and romance that culminates with a surprising twist finale.

Book Review: Thor: Ragnarok The Official Movie Special

Thor: Ragnarok The Official Movie Special

Thor: Ragnarok The Official Movie Special is a hardback book with magazine-like pages. There are 96 full-color pages. And the book includes character profiles and actor interviews with all of the main cast, a look at the costumes, a spotlight on the director, behind the scenes images, concept art, and more. The stunning concept art images are by far the highlights of this compilation. There is a fun spotlight on Korg, everyone’s favorite rock man. The interviews are great. And the interview with visionary director Taika Waititi who has released one of the best Marvel films to date is a must. This was one of my favorite films this year, and this book is a fantastic addition to any fan’s library.

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Book Review: Star Wars: Canto Bight

Canto Bight (Star Wars): Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Saladin Ahmed,‎ Rae Carson,‎ Mira Grant,‎ and John Jackson Miller

Synopsis:
From Star Wars: The Last Jedi, welcome to the casino city of Canto Bight. A place where exotic aliens, captivating creatures, and other would-be high rollers are willing to risk everything to make their fortunes. Set across one fateful evening, these four interconnected stories explore the deception and danger of the lavish casino city.

• An honest salesman meets a career criminal as a dream vacation turns into the worst nightmare imaginable, in a story by Saladin Ahmed.

• Dreams and schemes collide when a deal over a priceless bottle of wine becomes a struggle for survival, as told by Mira Grant.

• Old habits die hard when a servant is forced into a mad struggle for power among Canto Bight’s elite, in a tale by Rae Carson

• A deadbeat gambler has one last chance to turn his luck around; all he has to do is survive one wild night, as told by John Jackson Miller.

Review:
Canto Bight is the glamorous destination that Finn and Rose travel to for a mission for the Resistance. This collection of short stories gives fans a deeper look at the seedier side of the city. The first story has a light-hearted feel with a naive but loveable protagonist who has the worst all-expense-paid vacation ever. A fight over a rare bottle of wine becomes deadly. And mysterious sisters control its fate. When a masseuse with a dark past discover that his daughter was abducted by a mobster, he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. And lastly, a professional gambler meets a group of brothers who have a unique ability to affect fate. And he only has one night to turn his luck around. I highly recommend this fun and exciting group of stories set in the Star Wars universe. Each story has fantastic characters with captivating storylines. I thoroughly enjoyed each one.

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis:
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Review:
Audrey Rose Wadsworth is still grieving the traumatic loss of her brother when she arrives at a castle in Romania to study forensic medicine. But before Audrey Rose and her friend Thomas Cresswell even arrive, a murder happens on the train. And after another body is found drained of blood, they begin to wonder about the Dracula folklore.

Hunting Prince Dracula is the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper. This Gothic horror series for young adults is dark and romantic – paying homage to the classics. Full of suspense, drama, and creepy settings – this sequel is just as exciting as the last. Audrey Rose is a wonderful character – strong and smart – yet confined by the time period because of her sex. The murder mystery builds to a twisted and thrilling conclusion that left me wanting more. I look forward to the next in this exceptional series.

Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Origins: Desert Oath

Assassin’s Creed Origins: Desert Oath

Synopsis:
Before Assassin’s Creed: Origins, there was an Oath.

Egypt, 70BC, a merciless killer stalks the land. His mission: to find and destroy the last members of an ancient order, the Medjay – to eradicate the bloodline.

In peaceful Siwa, the town’s protector abruptly departs, leaving his teenage son, Bayek, with questions about his own future and a sense of purpose he knows he must fulfill.

Bayek sets off in search of answers, his journey taking him along the Nile and through an Egypt in turmoil, facing the dangers and the mysteries of the Medjay’s path.

Review:
Bayek wants to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Medjay, a protector of their ancient beliefs. But an assassin is hunting the last of the Medjay line, and will stop at nothing to exterminate them all.

Desert Oath is a prequel to the Assassin’s Creed Origins video game and set in Ancient Egypt. I don’t play video games, but I love the Assassin’s Creed series through the books, comics, and film. And despite being a prequel, this also works well as a standalone story. Though, I did look up who the historic Medjay were. The variety of historical time periods in Assassin’s Creed is one of the things I love about the series. The narrative switches between Bayek and the killer for the most part. The killer is ruthless and captivating. This original story is full of suspense and adventure and builds to an exciting finale.

SciFi Book Review: Terminal Alliance

Terminal Alliance by Jim C Hines

Synopsis:
The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it’s hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance… a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

Review:
Mops is a highly capable leader – not only of her custodial team. When the ship is under attack from within, Mops takes charge without hesitation. She also leads the investigation into what happened to her ship, which leads to a deeper conspiracy.

Terminal Alliance is the first in a fantastic, new science fiction series. Full of humor, suspense, and intrigue – this story has it all. The characters are fun and the dialog is sharp. It’s well-paced and hard to put down. With several great twists and plenty of action and adventure, SciFi fans will not want to miss this one.

SciFi Book Review: Steal the Stars

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy

Synopsis:
Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.

They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. It still sits at the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed eleven years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.

It’s love at first sight―which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run, they’ll be hunted for what they know. Dak and Matt have only way to be together: do the impossible. Steal Moss and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can’t afford a single mistake.

Review:
Dak is the head of security for the a private organization, studying an alien within it’s crashed ship. When a new man joins, they fall in insta-love on the first day. And suddenly, the “no fraternization” rule is a problem. So, in order to be together these total strangers decide to run from all they know. Sure, it’s not realistic, but this is science fiction – so I can suspend disbelief.

Steal the Stars is based on a podcast by Mac Rogers. This is a fast-paced, thrilling read that doesn’t slow down. The characters are fun and the story is very exciting and dramatic. With the suspense building to a surprising finale – this is an unforgettable novel that most science fiction fans will enjoy.

Fantasy Book Review: The Axe of Sundering

Adventurers Wanted, Book 5: The Axe of Sundering by M. L. Forman

Synopsis:
Whalen Vankin is the worlds greatest wizard, and he has only ever personally trained two other wizards. One is Alexander Taylor, a young man who has earned a reputation as a brave adventurer, a warrior, and man of honor. The other is Jabez, Vankin’s nephew and a man whose choices have led him down a different, darker path.

Dark magic has covered Westland, and evil is stirring. Whalen and Alex must journey together into the heart of danger, confronting a sea serpent, battling their way through a goblin army, and facing down more than one dragon. Alex must find the legendary Axe of Sundering the one weapon that offers a chance to defeat Jabez and protect the land from the dark wizards plans. But finding it will be an adventure of its own as the only pathway to the Axe leads through the underground tunnels and secret passages of Castle Conmar.

But Jabez has one final weapon at his disposal: the powerful Orion Stone, which could spell the end to Whalen and Alex both.

Review:
Alex agrees to hunt Whalen’s wayward nephew in order to stop him from conquering the known lands. And Alex must find the Axe of Sundering, the only weapon that can help Alex take him down.

The Axe of Sundering is the final installment in the Adventures Wanted series. Alex has grown throughout the series, in confidence and abilities. And I’ll definitely miss the characters and the fun, fantasy world. This last story was an well-paced journey that led to a final battle with a surprising twist. With plenty of suspense, danger, and magic – this novel (like the others) was hard to put down. This YA series has been a favorite of mine – an exciting, epic fantasy adventure.