SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt

Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Synopsis:
The Emperor is dead, and the remnants of his former Empire are in retreat. As the New Republic fights to restore a lasting peace to the galaxy, some dare to imagine new beginnings and new destinies. For Han Solo, that means settling his last outstanding debt, by helping Chewbacca liberate the Wookiee’s homeworld of Kashyyyk.

Meanwhile, Norra Wexley and her band of Imperial hunters pursue Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and the Empire’s remaining leadership across the galaxy. Even as more and more officers are brought to justice, Sloane continues to elude the New Republic, and Norra fears Sloane may be searching for a means to save the crumbling Empire from oblivion. But the hunt for Sloane is cut short when Norra receives an urgent request from Princess Leia Organa. The attempt to liberate Kashyyyk has carried Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a band of smugglers into an ambush—resulting in Chewie’s capture and Han’s disappearance.

Breaking away from their official mission and racing toward the Millennium Falcon’s last known location, Norra and her crew prepare for any challenge that stands between them and their missing comrades. But they can’t anticipate the true depth of the danger that awaits them—or the ruthlessness of the enemy drawing them into his crosshairs.

Review:
This is a sequel to Aftermath, which takes place after Return of the Jedi. We were introduced to a group of new characters. This group is back along with Leia, Han, and Chewie and more familiar characters from the films. Aftermath was good, but this sequel was much more fun and engaging.

The plot is packed with political intrigue, mystery, drama, and betrayal. There is a lot going on, with several interwoven storylines – but somehow it doesn’t get convoluted or confusing. Han and Chewie’s story trying to free the Wookies, was of course a highlight. And the rise of the First Order, in the shadows, was fascinating as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-paced novel up to the fantastic, climactic ending. I’m looking forward to the exciting finale that can’t come soon enough.

Box Review: Comic Bento – July 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 Robots. Each box comes with a nice card describing each of the month’s picks.

Comic Bento

It Came! (Retail $19.99) – This looks like a classic B movie in comic form. Can’t wait to check it out.
Publisher: Titan Comics (March 11, 2014)

Comic Bento

BubbleGun Vol 1. (Retail $12.99) – I haven’t been impressed with anything from Apsen so far, but I’ll still give this a try.
Publisher: Aspen (August 16, 2016)

Comic Bento

Diesel Sweeties: I’m a Rocker, I Rock Out. (Retail $19.99) – For something different, this is a collection of webcomics.
Publisher: Oni Press (September 24, 2013)

Comic Bento

Voltron Year One (Retail $19.99) – This will be a fun bit of nostalgia! And I’m sure I’ll pass it along to my nephew for him to enjoy.
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (April 2, 2013)

Summary: I was a bit disappointed with the selection, when I had high hopes for such a promising theme. I would have liked at least one popular robot series included (Voltron is pretty retro). I wish they’d include a bit more mainstream, as these smaller press series aren’t doing much for me. I may be ending my subscription when it’s up for renewal.

SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: Legacies: Best Defense

Star Trek: Legacies: Best Defense by David Mack

Synopsis:
A debt of honor: One brave woman ventures alone into a parallel universe to save her old shipmates, exiled there decades earlier by a mysterious device called the Transfer Key. She soon learns the alternate universe harbors not just an alien invasion force, but a secret that underpins its very existence.

A mission of peace: A long-awaited Klingon-Federation peace conference convenes, led by Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan and Councillor Gorkon of Qo’noS. But both sides have enemies who would prefer the two great powers remain at war—and who will do anything to make certain hate wins the day.

An errand of justice: Captain Kirk and his crew seek the stolen Transfer Key that opens a door between universes, but their hunt is cut short by Ambassador Sarek’s plea for help. The Enterprise crew soon becomes targets in a deadly crossfire—one whose outcome will decide the fate of two universes.

Review:
Legacies is a trilogy celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Spanning decades and several captains of the early Enterprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel that left off with a major cliffhanger. Sometimes the second book in a trilogy can just turn out to be filler. But thankfully, this installment was action-packed and anything but just filler.

As the crew of the Enterprise tries to reclaim the Transfer Key, they also have to deal with a mystery and stop war from breaking out with the Klingons. Meanwhile, Una tries to rescue her old crew mates from a bizarre alternate universe. Full of suspense, political intrigue, and family drama – I enjoyed this story even more than the first in the trilogy. A lot was packed into this fast-paced story. We get to see Bones interact with his estranged daughter and see Sarek at work. There was so much I loved about the characters and story, that it was nearly impossible to put down. And the finale to this trilogy can’t come soon enough.

Book Giveaway: Gods of Nabban

Courtesy of Pyr, I have a copy of Gods of Nabban by K. V. Johansen 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 August 19. I’ll draw a name on August 20, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Gods of Nabban

Coloring Book Giveaway: Zombies!: A Creepy Coloring Book for the Coming Global Apocalypse

Courtesy of Gallery Books, I have a copy of Zombies!: A Creepy Coloring Book for the Coming Global Apocalypse by Juscelino Neco 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 August 19. I’ll draw a name on August 20, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Coloring Book Giveaway: Zombies!: A Creepy Coloring Book for the Coming Global Apocalypse

Box Review: Marvel Collector Corps Year One AKA: The Box Where Funko Flipped Off All Its Fans

Marvel Collector Corp

In celebration of their first full year, Marvel Collector Corps offered up an exclusive box for subscribers for a hefty $125 per box. I took a chance, as I enjoyed most of the boxes this year when I heard everything would be new and exclusive.

Marvel Collector Corp

The box included the standard patch and pin.

Marvel Collector Corp

And a page describing all the items included.

Marvel Collector Corp

EXCLUSIVE Gold Captain America Hikari (Retail $25+) – This was the big ticket item in the box. But unfortunately, it’s incredibly weird and ugly. What a waste. And unfortunately, this is the theme with this box. And it’s not even numbered to prove rarity.

Marvel Collector Corp

EXCLUSIVE Hobgoblin Funko POP (Retail $10+) – This is an awesome, unique design. At least I was happy with one thing in the box!

Marvel Collector Corp

EXCLUSIVE She-Hulk and Ant-Man Dorbz (Retail $10+ each) – Not sure how they’re “exclusive” as there isn’t anything special about the design. And while I have a few, I’m not a big fan.

Marvel Collector Corp

Groot “Pop Top” Hat (Retail $10?) – I love the Guardians of the Galaxy, but these hats are a dud.

Summary: Wow, Funko and Marvel gave their fans the finger with this box. What a joke. And the joke was on me. Not so much as even a shirt. This was exactly the same as every other box (at $30 each) plus one butt-ugly Hikari. In no stretch of the imagination was this box worth anywhere near $125. Just a great way to piss us all off and make sure NO ONE else will buy these extra expensive, boxes of disappointment. ONE POP in this entire box – and POPs are the reason most of us bought this. Excuse me while I go try to sell everything on ebay and try to make up most of my wasted money.

Received in July

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

Blu-Ray/DVD:
The Bronze DVD

Mystery Box:
The Bam Box
TeeBlox

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Disney Hyperion:
Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Volume I: The Fearsome Foursome by Amicus Arcane
Disney Parks Presents: The Haunted Mansion: Purchase Includes a CD with Song! by Disney Book Group
Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch by Serena Valentino
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Threads by Ami Polonsky
Disney Descendants: School of Secrets CJ’s Treasure Chase by Jessica Brody
Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds by Rick Riordan

Harper Collins / Ecco:
Night of the Animals by Bill Broun

Harper Teen / Greenwillow:
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas
Five Elements: The Emerald Tablet by Dan Jolley
The Dark Army by Joseph Delaney

Hex Publishers:
Cyber World edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola

Little, Brown:
Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

Penguin Young Readers / Viking:
Max and Ruby’s Preschool Pranks by Rosemary Wells

Phoenix Pick:
Humanity 2.0 edited by Alex Shvartsman

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: The Original Series: Legacies #2: Best Defense by David Mack

Pyr:
Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis
The Apothecary’s Curse by Barbara Barnett

Random House Young Readers / Delacorte:
Recreated by Colleen Houck

Scholastic:
Frost by M. P. Kozlowsky
Backstories: Supergirl: Daughter of Krypton by Daniel Wallace
Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts: The Burning Tide by Jonathan Auxier
The Bronze Key by Holly Black
The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Simon and Schuster / Saga Press:
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez

Simon and Schuster Children’s / Atheneum Books for Young Readers:
This Is Not a Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans
The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy

Titan Books:
Independence Day: Crucible by Greg Keyes

Tor / Forge:
Necessity by Jo Walton
Illicit by Cathy Clamp
Night Talk by George Noory
The Sword of Midras by Tracy Hickman
Eterna and Omega by Leanna Renee Hieber

Tor Teen / Starscape:
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians: The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson

Box Review: Smuggler’s Bounty – July 2016

Smuggler's Bounty

“Star Wars and Funko are proud to present Smuggler’s Bounty, the only OFFICAL Star Wars subscription box in the galaxy! Featuring 100% exclusive collectibles, apparel and accessories from the Star Wars universe, each box is carefully curated for Star Wars fans and shipped directly to your doorstep. Every box is themed specifically around the Star Wars films with collectors in mind. For just $25 (plus shipping) every other month, members will receive a box full of exclusive Star Wars-themed Funko collectibles and a host of other surprises valued at over $50. Each box will focus on a different part of the Star Wars universe and include memorabilia exclusive to the program, perfect for any Star Wars fan.”

The theme this month was Jabba’s Palace!

Smuggler's Bounty

Star Wars Jabba’s Palace Patch and Pin – these are small collectibles included in each box.

Smuggler's Bounty

The box now comes with a card describing the items included.

Smuggler's Bounty

C3PO Hat (Retail $10?) – This is a new line. But wow, are they ugly. Please bring back the shirts. I don’t know anyone who would wear these.

Smuggler's Bounty

Jabba Mug (Retail $10?) – I’m not a fan of Funko mugs either. And this is no exception. I’ll be ditching this somewhere.

Smuggler's Bounty

Boba Fett Plush (Retail $10?) – This is yet another new line. While it’s cute, I would have prefered another POP.

Smuggler's Bounty

EXCLUSIVE R2-D2 Funko POP (Retail $10+) – This is a very cool, unique design. Love this version.

Summary: Unfortunately, the only item I really liked was the POP. What a disappointment. No tshirt and no comic. The ugly mugs and hats have got to go, or I’ll be dropping this box.

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