Graphic Novel Review: Lantern City Vol. 3

Lantern City Vol. 3

Synopsis:
Sander Jorve gave up everything to change Lantern City: his family, his home, even his identity. Now, with a ruthless force of outlaws rising from the Underground, an emperor gone mad, and a desperate army from beyond the Wall converging on the city, Sander will have to choose a side…if he can remember what he’s fighting for.

Review:
Lantern City Vol. 3 is the final installment in the Lantern City saga. Sander doesn’t agree with the militant leader of the City’s rebellion, yet he also has realized that Emperor Killian Grey is no better than his predecessor. There doesn’t seem to be a good choice – until he chooses his own side.

This steampunk world is vibrant and exciting. From the beautiful artwork to the engaging story and characters – this has become a fast favorite series. And the climactic finale didn’t disappoint. It was bittersweet to finish this graphic novel, as I love this world and the characters. I enjoyed the finale, but I will miss this series.

Received in March

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

Movies / TV:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Ace:
Bound by Benedict Jacka
Gauntlet by Holly Jennings

Archaia:
Lantern City Vol. 3 by Matthew Daley

Avon Books:
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

Daw:
A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Del Rey:
Alone by Scott Sigler
The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Armistice: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove
Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Disney Hyperion:
Star Wars Join the Resistance: Book 1 by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
Sleeping Beauty by Cynthia Rylant
Star vs. the Forces of Evil Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension by Amber Benson
As Old as Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
Camp Half-Blood Confidential by Rick Riordan
Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space The Heist by LucasFilm Book Group
Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora’s Galactic Showdown by Brandon T. Snider
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

First Second:
Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Wires and Nerve: Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

Harlequin Teen:
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Harper Collins / William Morrow:
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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

Harper Voyager:
Flames of Rebellion by Jay Allan
The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr
The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Section 31: Control by David Mack

Pyr:
Wilders by Brenda Cooper
Raining Fire by Rajan Khanna
A Kiss Before Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton

Subterranean Press:
Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews
The Best of Subterranean by William Schafer
Golden Age and Other Stories by Naomi Novik
The Process (is a Process All it’s Own) by Peter Straub

Thunder Bay Press:
Marvel: Spider-Man 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte
Marvel Universe Felt by Aimee Ray
Star Wars Even More Crochet by Lucy Collin

Tor:
Spymaster by Margaret Weis
Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson
Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free by Randy Henderson
Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe

Box Review: Bam Box – March 2017

Bam Box

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Bam Box

The box has a mini mag called “Spoiler Booklet” with details on the box, with all possible items subscribers could receive.
This month’s theme was “Indestructible.”

Bam Box

“Indestructible Heroes” Parody Pin – There were 4 options that subscribers could receive – Superman (above), Hulk, or 2 limited edition Chuck Norris.

Bam Box

Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade – The other option was a Captain America shield. While I’m a little bummed, this hidden blade replica is actually a much cooler, intricate design.

Bam Box

Bionic Woman – Lindsay Wagner Signed Photo – This is just awesome. I was definitely a fan of this and Wonder Woman as a child.

Bam Box

“Old Cat Logan” Print – This is pretty funny. It’d make a fun gag gift for a Wolverine fan.

Bam Box

Vampirella #1 Signed Comic – I’ll definitely be selling this, as I’m not a fan… to say the least.

Summary:
Despite the comic, I thought this was a solid box of great picks. I love the unique items – like the Incredibuilds’ Assassin’s Creed model and signed pic of Lindsay Wagner.

Next month’s theme is… Revenge: Bad Blood.

Book Review: The Blacklist: The Beekeeper No. 159

The Blacklist: The Beekeeper No. 159 by Steven Piziks

Synopsis:
Raymond Reddington brings Elizabeth Keen a new Blacklister: the Bodysnatcher, an unnamed, unknown man who has turned kidnapping into an art form. But when Lizzie and the team move to intercept the Bodysnatcher, they discover that he is not their real target. Their real target is much more sinister and it will take all their strength and dedication to resist him – and to discover what Reddington is really after.

Review:
The Bodysnatcher has been stealing away people and handing them over to a cult-like group led by the Beekeeper. When following the Bodysnatcher, Liz and their strike team are ambushed and several of the group are either killed or taken by the Beekeeper. And Liz must use all of her skills to out-think and trick her captor to stay clear-headed enough to escape.

This original Blacklist novel is set sometime last season. Mind-washing cults are already creepy, but adding in a guy with such incredible resources made the suspense even more intense and exciting. Fans of the show will enjoy this thriller where Liz gets to shine. I have enjoyed Liz’s character growth throughout the seasons from a naive and reserved person to the bold and confident woman she has become. The author has done a great job of keeping the characters true and developing an original story that hasn’t been done before. With plenty of fun twists along the way, this story is a great addition to the series.

Box Review: Smuggler’s Bounty – March 2017

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 REBELS!

Smuggler's Bounty

Patch and Pin – these are small collectibles included in each box.

Smuggler's Bounty

The box comes with a handy card detailing the items included.

Smuggler's Bounty

Star Wars Rebels Tshirt – ANOTHER black tshirt. But the I do like the vibrant colors. Though the characters were already cartoons, and they’re barely recognizable as POPs.

Smuggler's Bounty

EXCLUSIVE Chopper Mini Hikari – I could have done without this sparkly figure. There was a possibility of 5 different colors, but I just don’t like Hikaris, so I won’t be holding onto it.

Smuggler's Bounty

EXCLUSIVE Captain Rex Funko POP – This is pretty basic, but I like that he’s holding guns in both hands.

EXCLUSIVE Darth Maul Funko POP – This one is awesome. The detail and design is great – and I don’t have a Darth Maul POP yet.

Summary:
I love boxes with 2 POPs! It means I’ll at least love one of them. I do watch Rebels, though only recently – so I at least know most of the characters. I’m sure it will be a struggle to come up with different themes for this box after a while.

Next box theme…. 40th Anniversary!

Blu-Ray Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3D Blu-Ray Combo Pack

SYNOPSIS:
There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the No-Majs (American for Muggles), including the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.

Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge—a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Auror Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain her post as an investigator. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on both Newt and Tina.

Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders—now branded fugitives—ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war.

REVIEW:
Newt Scamander is a socially awkward man who connects better with creatures than humans. But with the help of some new friends, he must protect his magical creatures from false accusations as well as themselves from an ominous investigator.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Harry Potter series. With all of the magic and wonder of the Harry Potter books and films, this standalone story is a fantastic installment. The magical creatures are incredibly fun and exciting. The characters are complex and well-developed. And the story is a great combination of fantasy, mystery, suspense, and humor. While there are some dark elements, it’s still a great family film. And I hope to see a sequel with these characters soon.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins!
o Join J.K. Rowling as she, David Yates and David Heyman return to Leavesden Studios to build a new and exciting corner of the wizarding universe.

•Characters
o The Magizoologist
o The Goldstein Sisters
o The New Salemers
o The No-Maj Baker
o The President and the Auror

•Creatures
o Meet the Fantastic Beasts
o Bowtruckle
o Demiguise
o Erumpent
o Niffler
o Occamy
o Thunderbird

•Design
o Shaping the World of Fantastic Beasts (360°)
o New York City (360°)
o MACUSA (360°)
o Newt’s Magical Case (360°)
o The Shaw Banquet
o The Blind Pig (360°)

•Deleted Scenes (11 scenes)

Own Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on March 28 or Own It Now on Digital HD!

NEMESIS Book Spotlight & Giveaway!

Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 3, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About the Author:
Brendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to co-write the Virals series. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Emily, daughter, Alice, and son, Henry. He plans to keep writing novels until they drag him from his desk.

SciFi Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Tomb of the Khan

Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J Kirby

Synopsis:
Owen and his friends have lost. When they located the first piece of an ancient and powerful relic long considered a legend – the Trident of Eden – it seemed little could stop them. This piece was sought by the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order, but before either organization could take the piece, it was stolen by an unknown third party. The relationship between the teens fractured-Owen and his friend Javier taking sides with the Assassins, the others with the Templars.

Now there are still two pieces of the Trident of Eden to find, and both are determined not to repeat their mistakes. The next piece is said to have been buried with the Mongol warlord Mongke Khan, whose tomb has never been found. Teens on either side of the conflict will have to go into simulations in war-torn Mongolian China in a race against time to discover the next piece, and ensure their safety before their enemies find it first.

Review:
Owen and Javier are working with the Brotherhood of Assassins to find the missing relics before the Templars. Meanwhile, the rest of their friends were taken by the Templars and have been helping them. But young David is wise and begins to question the Templars and their true motives.

Tomb of the Khan is a direct sequel to Last Descendants, and is much more exciting than the first in the series. From action-packed ancestor scenes, to intrigue involving the Templars, Assassin’s Creed fans of all ages will enjoy this youth series. Though, I’m not a gamer, I have become a fan of the books – in fact, I can’t get enough of them. The combination of history and science fiction – a kind of time travel that can’t be altered. The characters are incredibly engaging as well as the fast-paced story that leaves off in another cliffhanger. The next in the series can’t come soon enough.

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