Category Archives: SciFi

City of Glass

City of Glass

City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare, is 3rd in the Mortal Instruments trilogy.

Clary must travel to the City of Glass to find the one person who can revive her mother. And unbeknownst to Clary, the Shadowhunters have captured her best friend and imprisoned him. Meanwhile, her evil, father Valentine has plans to invade the City of Glass, overthrow the Shadowhunters, and destroy all of the Downworlders. With spies in their midst, Clary and her friends face horrible heartache, impending war, and an uncertain future.

Clare has developed the characters so much throughout the trilogy, and I’ve grown to enjoy each one immensely. The story is extremely complex, and best if the novels are read somewhat close together so information is fresh in the mind. Even the character of Valentine is wrought with complexity, as his children both love and hate him.

The author has definitely created a fantastic world of demon-hunting Shadowhunters with intriguing abilities, using runes; along with vampires, werewolves, faeries, and mages. These creatures can live in two worlds but mundanes (as average humans are called) can’t see past the veil of magic.

Written for young teens, the dialog can seem overly dramatic at times and several plot elements extremely predictable to adult readers. But, for me, this did not detract from the overall suspense and excitement of the story. In fact, there was so much going on, I wondered how Clare would be able to wrap everything up by the end of the book. It has plenty of romance, action, mystery, and magic. It’s both gripping and fun. I would highly recommend this trilogy to young urban fantasy readers.

Star Trek Movie Tie-In

Star Trek Movie Tie-In

Star Trek Movie Tie-In, by Alan Dean Foster

Based on my favorite movie of the year, the vengeful Romulan Nero has traveled back in time to the early years of Kirk and Spock. Nero is determined to destroy everything dear to Spock. In changing the past, Nero has created an alternate reality. One where destinies have yet to be fulfilled. Can Kirk and Spock, two complete opposites, work together to save their captain, the Enterprise, and the entire Federation?

Written from the original screenplay, the Star Trek novel only improves upon the original story. Giving more depth into the story and characters, giving more explanations, and additional scenes, Foster has written one of the best tie-in novels that I’ve ever read. The novel retains all of the suspense, drama, and comedy. It’s a wonderful story of revenge and destiny. As with the film, one doesn’t need to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy this science fiction success. If you enjoyed the film, love reading, and can’t wait for the future DVD release, go pick up this fantastic novelization.

Room 59: Black Widow

Room 59: Black Widow

Room 59: Black Widow, by “Cliff Ryder”

When her brother is killed in the line of duty, a MI6 agent agrees to go undercover and assist the international secret organization known as Room 59. Ajza’s mission is to infiltrate a terrorist organization that uses widows as vengeful suicide bombers. Meanwhile, she will learn the harsh truth behind her brother’s death.

Ajza is a strong and fierce woman, a skillful spy and looking for justice. And though she is forced into a corner by Room 59, Ajza would do anything to find her brother’s killers.

This is an exciting installment, with all of the espionage, suspense, and heart-pounding action that make the Room 59 series so great. In this contribution by Mel Odom, the characters are just as important as the story. It’s a well-balanced novel with plenty of action scenes, drama, intrigue, and surprises. Military suspense and spy fans shouldn’t miss this installment to a fantastic series.

Terminator: Salvation: The Official Movie Novelization

Terminator: Salvation

Terminator Salvation: The Official Movie Novelization, by Alan Dean Foster

Judgment Day has come and gone. And John Connor a leader for the Resistance is searching for Kyle Reese, a teenager who will one day become his father. But the machines are advancing faster than they were supposed to. And Connor must stay one step ahead if he is to fulfill his destiny.

Marcus Wright, a death-row inmate, donated his body to science before his sentence of lethal injection. And after his death, he awakens in a post-apocalyptic world. He is met and befriended by a young Kyle Reese, before they are attacked by the machines.

The heart of the story revolves around Marcus Wright and his hope for a second chance at life. John Connor must make some difficult decisions regarding an attack on SkyNet. When Reese is captured, Connor risks his life to save his future father’s.

In this adaptation from the latest Terminator movie, Foster gives more depth and a slightly different ending than that of the slightly surprising one in the film. Just as exciting as the movie, Terminator fans will enjoy this non-stop, action-packed novelization.

Mr. Monk in Outer Space

Mr. Monk in Outer Space

Mr. Monk in Outer Space, by Lee Goldberg

When Monk is asked to investigate a murder outside of a science fiction convention, he discovers a fan base as extreme as his compulsions. The creator of a cult science fiction show has been murdered, and there is no shortage of suspects, even from the fans. When Monk begins tying this murder to seemingly other random murders, his assistant Natalie is the only one who believes him.

The fictional show Beyond Earth, is akin to both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. The hardcore fans of Beyond Earth are outraged when the show gets a reboot, a la Battlestar Galactica. And Monk gets a dose of extreme fanaticism when he investigates the murder of the show’s creator. Humor ensues.

Monk is a wonderful character and a genius detective. And as always, the novel is told from his assistant Natalie’s point of view. In a fabulously fun tie-in to the Monk TV series, Goldberg has created a complex story to which science fiction fans can relate. This is probably my favorite Monk novel that I have read so far.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace, by William Leisner

Following the events in the Destiny Trilogy, the Federation is trying to pick up the pieces after the recent Borg invasion. Numerous people are dead, missing, or homeless. And while Dr. Beverly Crusher is asked to help with a relief effort, Captain Picard and the rest of the Enterprise crew must deal with a political nightmare.

Continue reading Star Trek: The Next Generation: Losing the Peace

The Hourglass Door

The Hourglass Door

The Hourglass Door, by Lisa Mangum, is the first in a trilogy for young adults.

Abby’s senior year is going well with college plans, good friends, and a perfect boyfriend. But something seems to be missing. And when a mysterious Italian foreign-exchange student shows up during play practice, Abby begins to feel things she’s never felt before. But there is something strange about Dante. Time seems to behave strangely when Abby is with him. And Abby must discover a centuries old mystery in order to save her friends and stop a dangerous traitor.

Abby is a smart and well-adjusted girl with a bright future. She has a mature relationship with her boyfriend, though Abby realizes that something is missing. Jason is the perfect guy – sweet, thoughtful, and patient. But there’s a lack of chemistry and spontaneity that Abby begins to miss. Then Dante shows up. With his steamy looks and Italian accent, Abby is immediately attracted to him. But in getting to know him, even when strange occurrences happen, Abby finds it easy to trust him and begins to fall for this boy with an extraordinary secret.

The Hourglass Door is fun, exciting, and wonderfully surprising. Fans of the Twilight series should appreciate this trilogy. Combining time travel and romance, this novel geared towards young adults is captivating and refreshingly age-appropriate. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to any teen who’s into light romance and science fiction. I read this over the course of just a few hours and wasn’t able to put it down till I finished.

The Hourglass Door releases from Shadow Mountain on May 13, 2009.

Enemies & Allies

Enemies & Allies

Enemies & Allies, by Kevin J. Anderson, is a story about Superman and Batman’s first meeting. Set in the late 1950s, tensions between the US and the Soviet Union have brought about the Cold War. And Lex Luthor is hoping to cash in on America’s fear.

When the book begins, Clark Kent has just started at the Daily Planet. And Superman is already a beloved hero. On the other hand, Batman is labeled a vigilante and is hunted by Gotham police. And Bruce Wayne discovers deep-rooted treachery in his company.

Superman and Batman stick very close to their already established iconic characters, as do Lois and Lex. The story is engaging and fast-paced. And at 336 pages, it’s a quick read with the feel of a graphic novel.

The narrative switches back and forth between Superman and Batman’s worlds. Superman finds himself in often humorous predicaments and is always trying to better himself. Whereas, Batman’s story is always more dark and tortured. The two have completely different reasons for their heroics, but both fight on the same side. This is an exciting portrayal of how their alliance begins.

Enemies & Allies will release May 5th from William Morrow.