Category Archives: SciFi

SciFiChick’s Best of 2016

I read a total of 132 books this year, much less than years past. However, I was also a lot busier.
Here’s the list of my favorite SciFi/Fantasy titles (published in 2016) that I read and reviewed.

Science Fiction:

Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot: To Preserve by Mickey Zucker Reichert
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/02/01/scifi-book-review-isaac-asimovs-i-robot-to-preserve/

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/09/13/scifi-book-review-the-last-one/

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/01/18/scifi-book-review-star-wars-the-force-awakens/

Star Trek: The Original Series: Elusive Salvation by Dayton Ward
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/06/01/scifi-book-review-star-trek-the-original-series-elusive-salvation/

Quantum Night by Robert J Sawyer
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/04/28/scifi-book-review-quantum-night/

YA SciFi:

Starflight by Melissa Landers
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/02/04/scifi-book-review-starflight/

The Capture by Tom Isbell
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/03/03/scifi-book-review-the-capture/

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/03/10/scifi-book-review-calamity/

Alight by Scott Sigler
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/05/18/scifi-book-review-alight/

The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/12/12/scifi-book-review-the-diabolic/

Fantasy:

Arabella of Mars by David D Levine
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/10/28/scifi-book-review-arabella-of-mars/

Warcraft: Durotan by Christie Golden
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/06/07/fantasy-book-review-warcraft-durotan/

To Kill A Kettle Witch by Barb Hendee
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/05/20/fantasy-book-review-to-kill-a-kettle-witch/

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/06/22/fantasy-book-review-the-invisible-library/

The Night Voice by Barb & JC Hendee
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/01/14/fantasy-book-review-the-night-voice/

YA Fantasy:

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/06/16/fantasy-book-review-the-trials-of-apollo-the-hidden-oracle/

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/02/15/fantasy-book-review-the-girl-from-everywhere/

Wings of Fire: Escaping Peril by Tui T Sutherland
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/07/11/fantasy-book-review-wings-of-fire-escaping-peril/

Ruined by Amy Tintera
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2016/06/09/fantasy-book-review-ruined/

Wings of Fire: Talons of Power by Tui T. Sutherland
Reviewed forthcoming

What were some of your favorites this year?

Blu-Ray Review: The Accountant

The Accountant Blu-Ray

Synopsis:
Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian un-cooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Review:
Ben Affleck does a surprisingly good job of playing an incredibly complex man with Asperger’s. He’s a fantastic character with a past that slowly unfolds through the movie, showing how he became the man he is today. Christian (Affleck) is a CPA with a hidden life. And when his latest job is cancelled before he’s finished, he decides to take matters in his own hands and find out the truth.

I really enjoyed The Accountant. The movie trailers didn’t do this movie justice. It’s a heart-wrenching drama mixed with pulse-pounding action and suspense. As the story unfolds, there are several surprises I didn’t see coming. And as the final piece of the puzzle falls into place, I was left with a smile on my face. I watched the short featurettes that confirmed my suspicions about the right amount research that went into making a movie about a man with Autism, who isn’t the victim but the hero. I thought it was a great film, with engaging characters and an exciting story.

“The Accountant” Blu-ray contains the following special features:
• Inside the Man
• Behavioral Science
• The Accountant in Action

“The Accountant” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
• Inside the Man

Doctor Strange DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date

From Press Release:
From Marvel Studios comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident renders his hands useless. When traditional medicine fails him, he travels to the remote Kamar-Taj in search of a cure, but instead discovers the mystical arts and becomes a powerful sorcerer battling dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Bring Home The Mystifying, Mind-Bending Journey on Digital HD Feb. 14 and Blu-ray™ Feb. 28.
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On Feb. 14, “Doctor Strange” fans can bring home the critically acclaimed blockbuster early on Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere, or on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray, Digital SD, DVD and On-Demand on Feb. 28. The Blu-ray and Digital releases come packaged with over 80 minutes of fascinating, never-before-seen bonus materials, including five behind-the-scenes featurettes, five deleted scenes, hilarious outtakes, part two of the comical mockumentary “Team Thor,” audio commentary, and an exclusive look at the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The film boasts an award-winning cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game,” “Black Mass”) as Dr. Stephen Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave,” “Triple 9”) as Mordo, Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight,” “Southpaw”) as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Wong (“The Martian,” “Prometheus”) as Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg (“A Serious Man,” “Steve Jobs”) as Dr. Nicodemus West, Benjamin Bratt (“Traffic,” “Piñero”) as Jonathan Pangborn, and Scott Adkins (“El Gringo,” “The Expendables 2”) as Lucian/Strong Zealot, with Mads Mikkelsen (“The Hunt,” “Casino Royale”) as Kaecilius and Academy Award® winner Tilda Swinton (2007 Best Supporting Actress, “Michael Clayton”; “Julia”) as The Ancient One.

Bonus Features (Bonus features may vary by retailer. The DVD does not include any bonus materials.):
DIGITAL HD & BLU-RAY:
-Featurettes:
o A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
o Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.
o The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
o Across Time and Space – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
o The Score-cerer Supreme – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
-Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
-Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
-Deleted Scenes:
o Strange Meets Daniel Drumm
o Kaecilius Searches for Answers
o The Kamar-Taj Courtyard
o Making Contact
o Lost in Kathmandu
-Gag Reel
-Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE:
-Through the Keyhole: The Science of the MCU – Discover how Marvel grounds all its films in real science, and explore the connection between science, magic and imagination.

Star Wars Book Spotlight

Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Dossier

This is a nice hardback containing all full-color pages. Young Star Wars fans will enjoy this close look at major and minor characters in Rogue One, including information on the Empire.

Star Wars books

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Star Wars Galactic Maps: An Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe

This is a fantastic, oversized book on various planets in the Star Wars universe. It’s a great collector’s item with fun details – from a timeline and cast of characters to maps of world and battles.

Star Wars books
Star Wars books

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Art of Coloring Star Wars: Rogue One

I enjoy adult coloring books, so this was a must. I like the mixture of characters, ships, and patterns. The artwork is spot on with plenty of variety.

Star Wars books
Star Wars books
Star Wars books

Book Review: The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I loved the Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and this look at the new movie is just as fantastic. The sheer amount of characters, aliens, bots, worlds, and more explored here is very impressive.

Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One

From early concepts to various costume ideas – this is a fascinating look at most of the characters with details and notes.

Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One

Ships and aliens and stormtroopers.. oh my.

Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One

Breathtaking worlds and fun concept boards…

Art of Rogue One Art of Rogue One

But some of the coolest images are of Vader’s Castle and Bacta Tank.

I could literally spend hours looking at everything here in more detail. With stunning artwork, behind the scenes details, and in-dept notes, this is a fantastic collectible for fans of all ages.

Received in December

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in December for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Ray/DVD:
Suicide Squad Blu-Ray
The Accountant Blu-Ray

Mystery Box:
TeeBlox
Bam Box – December

Abrams:
The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by LucasFilm Ltd

Del Rey / Ballentine Books:
Blood Vow: Black Dagger Legacy by J. R. Ward
This Census-Taker by China Mieville
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed
Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Disney Hyperion:
Star Wars Galactic Maps by Tim McDonagh
Art of Coloring Star Wars: Rogue One by Disney Book Group
Star Wars Rogue One Rebel Dossier by Jason Fry

Gallery Books:
Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Grand Central Publishing:
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston

Harper Teen / Walden Pond Press:
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Harper Voyager:
Nine of Stars by Laura Bickle

Home of the Damned:
An Other Place by Darren Dash

Penguin Young Readers / Razorbill / Philomel:
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years: The Battle of Hackham Heath by John A. Flanagan

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Face of the Unknown by Christopher L. Bennett

Pyr:
Worldshaker by J. F. Lewis
Judgment at Verdant Court by M. C. Planck
Black City Demon by Richard A. Knaak

Scholastic:
Wings of Fire: Talons of Power by Tui T. Sutherland
Lifers by M. A. Griffin
Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson

Subterranean Press:
Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong
Final Girls by Mira Grant

Tor:
The Vindication of Man by John C. Wright
The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land
Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

Book Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey God

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing, I have a copy of The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston for two (2) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends January 13. I’ll draw a name on December 14, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey God

Box Review: Marvel Collector Corps – December 2016 – X-Men

Marvel Collector Corps

This is the December 2016 box from Collector Corps, and the theme was X-Men.

The Marvel Collector Corps offers these boxes starting at $25 plus s/h.

Marvel Collector Corps

Each box comes with an exclusive badge and pin.

Marvel Collector Corps

And a card detailing the contents of the box with a look at early concepts.

Marvel Collector Corps

Champions #1 Variant Comic – With all of the X-Men titles, this is a new one that I’ve never seen before. I’m excited to try it out.

Marvel Collector Corps

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters Tshirt – I LOVE this shirt! It’s iconic for X-Men fans. And FINALLY it’s another color besides black.

Marvel Collector Corps

EXCLUSIVE Mystique Rock Candy – I’m not crazy about starting another collection, but I love this Mystique figure.

Marvel Collector Corps

EXCLUSIVE Wolverine’s Motorcycle – Can’t beat a Funko POP Ride! This is a great design.

Summary: This one of the best boxes yet. A great shirt and a fantastic POP Ride. The DC version of the Funko box has been sorely lacking, so I haven’t bothered in several months. If they can expand beyond so much Batman-centric picks and become as varied as the Marvel boxes, I may eventually go back.

The next theme will be… Super Hero Showdowns.