Box Review: My Geek Box – May 2016

My Geek Box

My Geek Box is the must-have mystery subscription box of geeky goodness, hand-picked and sent straight to your door every month by our passionate team of Geek aficionados.

The ideal monthly treat for yourself or a gift for a geeky friend, My Geek Box offers you a haul of unique and rare novelty items, in addition to our signature limited edition T-shirts, to put you one step closer on the road to superfandom.”

My Geek Box has just launched is US-based store!

One-month subscriptions start at just $19.99.

*This box was sent to SciFiChick.com for review purposes.

My Geek Box

SpongeBob Sandy Wacky Pack Mega Bloks (Retail $9.99) – I can’t stand SpongeBob, but my nieces and nephew will love this!

Yummy Breakfast Keychain (Retail $7) – I’m not sure what this is from or if it’s just filler, but the kids will probably think it’s cute.

My Geek Box

Ray Gun Tshirt (Retail $10?) – I have no idea what this is from or if it’s just an original design. It’s a fun design, but I wish it was any color but black. They do have womens/junior’s sizes so that’s a plus!

My Geek Box

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Titan Figure (Retail $15) – I love the original Ghostbusters, so this will be a fun addition to my collection.

My Geek Box

Doomsday Lead Figure (Retail $25+) – These lead figures are nice and heavy figurines for display only. This has great detail and looks fantastic. As it looks sold out here in the US, the $25 is only the retail price. This was a great value addition to the box.

Summary: There isn’t a specific theme for this box, so items will always be a surprise. But the value in this box was fantastic. I’m not sure if it’s this high every month, but I’m certainly impressed. The two figures alone made this a hit for me.

Get your first My Geek Box for only $10 with CODE: MGBUS10FB
OR: For a limited time, use coupon code FREEMARVEL and get a free Marvel Mystery Box with a month-to-month subscription! The Marvel Mystery Box is “Full of Marvel goodies including a comic, book and figure”.

Blog Tour: BLOOD IN THE WATER by Taylor Anderson + 4-Book Giveaway!

About the Book:
Taylor Anderson’s enthralling New York Times bestselling series of alternate history continues as game-changing revelations upend the Grand Alliance in a potentially cataclysmic war.

Ever since the USS Walker came from another world war to defy the terrifying Grik and diabolical Dominion, Matt Reddy and his crew have given their all to protect the oppressed Lemurians. But with the Walker in desperate need of repairs just as the Grik’s First General is poised to strike, Reddy is desperate.

With more enemies than ever before arrayed against them, the crew of the Walker needs new allies. That means combing the lethal wilds of Madagascar to find the Lemurians’ fabled ancestors, as well as the enigmatic dwellers east of the Pass of Fire. But what Reddy’s crew unearths may be more than they can handle—discoveries so shattering they could tilt the balance of the war in either direction.
But Reddy’s greatest adversary is from his past: a madman named Kurokawa whose single-minded mission of revenge will shake the Alliance to its core and raise the stakes to the most personal and terrifying levels Reddy has ever faced.

About the Author:
Taylor Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Destroyermen series, including Straits of Hell, Deadly Shores, and Storm Surge. A gunmaker and forensic ballistic archaeologist, Taylor has been a technical and dialogue consultant for movies and documentaries, and an award-winning member of the National Historical Honor Society and of the United States Field Artillery Association. He has a master’s degree in history and has taught that subject at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. He lives in nearby Granbury with his family.

DESTROYERMEN SERIES ORDER:
1. INTO THE STORM
2. CRUSADE
3. MAELSTROM
4. DISTANT THUNDERS
5. RISING TIDES
6. FIRESTORM
7. IRON GRAY SEA
8. STORM SURGE
9. DEADLY SHORES
10. STRAITS OF HELL
11. BLOOD IN THE WATER (OUT JUNE 14, 2016)


Courtesy of Roc, I have a copy of the following titles by Taylor Anderson for one (1) lucky winner:
Rising Tides
Firestorm
Iron Gray Sea
Storm Surge

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 8. I’ll draw a name on July 9, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Blog Tour: BLOOD IN THE WATER by Taylor Anderson + 4-Book Giveaway!

Book Giveaway: Exile for Dreamers

Courtesy of Tor Teen, I have a copy of Exile for Dreamers by Kathleen Baldwin for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 8. I’ll draw a name on July 9, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Exile for Dreamers

Fantasy Book Review: Ruined

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Synopsis:
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everything he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

Review:
Em comes from a race of powerful people who have been overthrown and hunted down. Though Em is without the powers of her Ruined people, she decides to get revenge for the murder of her parents and hopes to rescue her sister from the royal family. Em pretends to be Mary, the fiance of the prince and take them all out from within. It’s a genius plan – until she starts to form feelings for the prince.

Ruined is the first in a new young adult, fantasy series. I was hooked from the first exciting chapter. The characters, especially Em, are engaging. And the plot is full of incredible suspense and intrigue. My only hangup was the land of Olso (which is too much like Oslo, Norway). For several chapters, I wondered why an actual land was in a part of a story where everywhere else was mythical – until I noticed the actual spelling. It’s not a big deal, but I imagined Viking warriors up to that point. Since it’s just the first in a trilogy, the story builds to an big climax and leaves off in a minor cliffhanger that left me wanting more. I highly recommend this fantastic new fantasy.

Box Review: Comic Bento – May 2016

Comic Bento

Comic Bento is a subscription Graphic Novel Box – A surprise selection of fantastic Graphic Novels with at least $60 worth of comics in every box and mailed right to your door!

Pricing starts at $20/month plus shipping. Sign up now and save 15% with code SAVE15 and this link!

Comic Bento

This month’s theme was Rewriting History. Each box comes with a nice card describing each of the month’s picks.

Comic Bento

Ivar Timewalker: Making History (Retail $9.99) – This is new to me and about time travel – I’m excited to check it out.
Publisher: Valiant (June 2, 2015)

Comic Bento

Chronos Commandos: Dawn Patrol (Retail $19.99) – The time travel AND Allies against the Nazis and Dinosaurs? Yes, please.
Publisher: Titan Comics (March 11, 2014)

Comic Bento

Mankind: Story of All of Us (Retail $14.99) – This one really isn’t time travel – it’s based on a History Channel show. Kind of dull. I’ll be skipping this one.
Publisher: Zenescope (November 27, 2012)

Comic Bento

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Retail $19.99) – This is the inspiration behind the film – and a fun, retro book. I also have the prose novel based on this story, but I’ll probably read this one first.
Publisher: Marvel (December 21, 2011)

Summary: 3 out of 4 titles that I’ll read and keep is great. The value is as good as always. And I LOVED the theme this month!

Fantasy Book Review: Warcraft: Durotan

Warcraft: Durotan by Christie Golden

Synopsis:
In the world of Draenor, the strong and fiercely independent Frostwolf Clan are faced with increasingly harsh winters and thinning herds. When Gul’dan, a mysterious outsider, arrives in Frostfire Ridge offering word of new hunting lands, Durotan, the Clan’s chieftain, must make an impossible decision: abandon the territory, pride and traditions of his people, or lead them into the unknown.

Review:
Disclaimer: I have never played World of Warcraft. But the movie trailers made the upcoming film look so appealing, that I had to read this movie prequel.

Durotan is an Orc from the Frostwolf Clan. The clan are noble, but fierce warriors. They do not tolerate weakness, but have no taste for cruelty to their prey. Durotan is a fantastically vivid character – and thrust into a role of leadership in an impossible situation.

This prequel doesn’t disappoint. It’s the story of how Durotan (a main character in the movie) and his clan must flee their land just to survive. It’s a survival story full of mystery, mysticism, and adventure. It definitely made me more excited to see the movie. If the character development is half as good as it is in this prequel, I’ll enjoy the film. I have a feeling that I’ll be reading more in this series.

Star Trek Blog Tour and Giveaway!

BTE_ChapterFour_Header

Excerpt from Boarding the Enterprise, the Anniversary Edition:
“The Prime Question” by Eric Greene

Eric Greene played the alien child Loki on the 1977 Saturday morning SF series Space Academy, which also starred Pamelyn Ferdin and Brian Tochi, who had guest starred in the Trek episode “And the Children Shall Lead.” He went on to write the brilliant critical study Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race, Politics and Popular Culture, and to work for the American Civil Liberties Union. We could think of no one better qualified to look at Star Trek’s relation- ship to the real world of the 1960s.

We had the overarching authority of science fiction and we could go anywhere with that and under that guise we could also talk about the issues of the day…. The war in Vietnam… no one was allowed to talk about on television if you had a contemporary show, but under sci- ence fiction we were able to get in commentary on Vietnam.

—d. c. Fontana, Star Trek Story Editor

Has a war been staged for us, complete with weapons and ideology and patriotic drum beating? Even… race hatred?

—Captain James Kirk, “Day of the Dove”  (3-7)

 

In its forty years Star Trek has become a legend. As the legend would have it, Star Trek derives its popularity from its positive view of the future, a future in which humanity has overcome poverty,  prejudice and war, reached out to alien species and joined with them in a United Federation of Planets to explore the stars in peace and friendship.¹ Camelot in outer space.

More than an exciting concept for a series, this is an inspiring prospect for humanity. Like any mass media project, Star Trek was many things: entertainment, a livelihood, art, product. But it was also a bold attempt, conceptually, to burst open an unoccupied space—the future—and shape its contours. It was a bid to create that future by suggesting what it might look like, how it might function and what values it should embrace. That must be why the show struck such a nerve, right? Yes. But there was more to it than that. There always is.

Like Arthur’s Camelot, or, more to the point, Kennedy’s Camelot, the legend of Star Trek and the history of Star Trek overlap but also diverge. The legend represents an appealing and important piece of Star Trek’s success but overlooks other essential truths. Star Trek was not only a vision of a utopian future; it emerged from, described and addressed a fractured, violent present.

I by no means want to dismiss  the positive  vision  that  was such  an important element of Star Trek. In my own case, for example, as a kid watching Star Trek in the ’70s, the image from the show that most excited me—more than  the colorful  bridge,  the magical  transporter or even the elegant starship—was the briefing room. That’s right, the briefing room. Just a table and some chairs. “The briefing room,” you might ask yourself, “a table and some chairs? That certainly doesn’t sound exciting. What could possibly be so exciting about that?” But I remember taking the worn copy of Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry’s Making of Star Trek paperback that I shared with my older brother Jeff (the  person  who earned  my everlasting  gratitude for introducing me to Star Trek—and all that came with it), staring at the picture of the conference room set and marveling at the memory  of Captain Kirk looking around at those gathered together of different races, species and specialties and saying to them, “I want options.”

¹ Leonard Nimoy provides one of the most articulate versions of this view explaining that Star Trek “was always a very humanistic show; one that celebrated the potential strengths of mankind, of our civilization, with great respect for all kinds of life, and a great hope that there be communica- tion between civilizations and cultures.” (Quoted in Greenwald, Jeff. Future Perfect: How Star Trek Conquered Planet Earth. New York: Penguin Books, 1998, p. 111.)

Something about that seemed encouragingly democratic, meritocractic, American. That conference room was where  decisions were made, and destinies were shaped—where all that mattered was if you had the brains and imagination to sit with the best and the brightest, think through problems and create solutions. The position you earned counted. The wealth of your parents, the color of your skin, did not. That’s a pretty powerful idea when you are seven years old, and I suspect I’ve carried the image of that briefing room with me into committee meetings, board rooms and conference tables throughout my adult life.

But the picture of that idealized briefing room was not the whole picture of Star Trek. This complex series had its share of contradictions: yes, the show featured a groundbreaking mix of ethnicities and nationalities and featured many guest stars of color in nonstereotypical parts,

even playing authority roles;² yet the recurring actors of color were kept in subordinate parts (as the TV satire In Living Color would brilliantly lampoon twenty years later). Yes, the show featured aliens who while initially feared as monsters, were eventually understood as beings who were just trying to defend their homes, protect their children or survive as a species; however, the Federation and Starfleet were largely “homo sapiens only” clubs.³ Yes, the show featured TV’s first interracial kiss, but that was hardly a breakthrough: Kirk and Uhura were forced into that kiss—it was desired by neither and resisted by both. And a Black woman forced to kiss a White man against her will ain’t romance. It’s rape. And a kind of rape with a disconcerting resonance in a country in which, for the majority of its history, Black women were subject to the sexual depredations of White slave holders.4

²Indeed African American actors were repeatedly cast as doctors, scientists, even commodores. This casting diversity seems to have been quite by design. While Gene Roddenberry had to fight for the inclusion of the alien Mr. Spock, an August 17, 1965 letter from NBC executive Mort Werner to Gene Roddenberry explained that NBC’s non-discrimination policy included encouraging the casting of racial minorities in order to reflect accurately U.S. population demographics and that “mindful of our vast audience and the extent to which television influences taste and attitudes, we are not only determined but anxious that members of minority groups be treated in a manner consistent with their roles in our society.” (Letter reprinted in Solow, Herbert F. and Justman, Robert. Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. New York: Pocket Books, 1996, pp.76–77.)

³ As a Klingon would pointedly observe in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in an admirable instance of those who made Star Trek actually challenging the legend themselves.

4 What’s actually striking about that much-hyped scene is not the obviously faked kiss (you never really see their mouths touch), but the surprising level of emotional intimacy in the dialogue leading up to the kiss. And that was not forced.


Courtesy of BenBella Books, I have a copy of Boarding the Enterprise, the Anniversary Edition by Charlaine Harris 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 June 24. I’ll draw a name on June 25, and notify winners via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Star Trek Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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