Fantasy Book Review: Fury of the Tomb

Fury From the Tomb: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book I by SA Sidor

Synopsis:
Saqqara, Egypt, 1888, and in the booby-trapped tomb of an ancient sorcerer, Rom, a young Egyptologist, makes the discovery of a lifetime: five coffins and an eerie, oversized sarcophagus. But the expedition seems cursed, for after unearthing the mummies, all but Rom die horribly. He faithfully returns to America with his disturbing cargo, continuing by train to Los Angeles, home of his reclusive sponsor. When the train is hijacked by murderous banditos in the Arizona desert, who steal the mummies and flee over the border, Rom – with his benefactor’s rebellious daughter, an orphaned Chinese busboy, and a cold-blooded gunslinger – must ride into Mexico to bring the malevolent mummies back. If only mummies were their biggest problem.

Review:
On his first trip to Egypt, Rom unearths a great find. However, a curse seems to be unleashed as well. And tragedy soon strikes. Upon his return to America, Rom encounters more obstacles on his way back to his benefactor with the mummies. And he’ll be lucky to escape with his life.

Fury From the Tomb is a fun, dark fantasy that feels a bit like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. With creepy mummies, claustrophobic tombs, ghouls, and vampires – this story doesn’t lack for danger and suspense. It’s action-packed excitement from beginning to end. The strength of this story is the intense action paired with a bit of humor to lighten the mood. I’d love to see more character development from Rom, as the story is told from his point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed this start to a new series. And I look forward to more of Rom’s adventures.

Book Giveaway: The Queen of Sorrow

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have an extra copy of The Queen of Sorrow: Book Three of The Queens of Renthia, by Sarah Beth Durst for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 25. I’ll draw a name on May 26, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Queen of Sorrow

Received in April

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

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Angry Robot:
Fury From the Tomb: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book I by SA Sidor

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel José Older
Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
The Skaar Invasion by Terry Brooks
Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

Disney Hyperion:
It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make It Happen by Ashley Eckstein
Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure by Cavan Scott

Harper Teen / Balzer and Bray / Katherine Tegen:
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson

Harper Voyager:
Flames of Rebellion by Jay Allan
Rebellion’s Fury by Jay Allan
The Poppy War by R. F Kuang
Temper by Nicky Drayden
The Accidental War by Walter Jon Williams
Hollywood Dead by Richard Kadrey
Planetside by Michael Mammay
The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst
The Reluctant Queen: Book Two of The Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst
The Queen of Sorrow: Book Three of The Queens of Renthia by Sarah Beth Durst

HMH Books / Mariner:
The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn

Insight Editions:
The Art of Ready Player One by Gina McIntyre

Macmillan Children’s / FSG / First Second:
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Night Shade Books:
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Three by Neil Clarke

Pyr:
Blood Orbit by K. R. Richardson

Random House / Ballantine Books / Crown:
The Thief by J. R. Ward
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Random House Children’s Books:
5 Worlds Book 2: The Cobalt Prince by Mark Siegel

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse / Aladdin:
Sanctuary by Caryn Lix
Five Kingdoms: Time Jumpers by Brandon Mull

Sourcebooks:
Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Subterranean Press:
Rock Manning Goes for Broke by Charlie Jane Anders
The Dinosaur Tourist by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Titan Books:
A Demon in Silver by R. S. Ford
The Synapse Sequence by Daniel Godfrey
The War in the Dark by Nick Setchfield
The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri

Tor:
Avengers of the Moon by Allen Steele
The Military Science of Star Wars by George Beahm
By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis

Box Review: TeeBlox – April 2018

TeeBlox

TeeBlox is a t-shirt subscription service that brings 100% authentic licensed geek and gamer shirts to your doorsteps every month. No hidden fees. Cancel anytime. Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Get 1 shirt and 2 other items starting at $12.99/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from the following categories: SciFi, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoons, Movies and TV, Games, Hot Meex, or Disney!

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Continue reading Box Review: TeeBlox – April 2018

Tomb Raider Release Dates: Digital HD on May 29 and Blu-Ray on June 12

Burbank, CA, April 30, 2018 – Embrace your inner hero when “Tomb Raider” arrives onto 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, “Tomb Raider” is a story that sets young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero.

“Tomb Raider” stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina,” “The Danish Girl”) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”). Oscar winner Graham King (“The Departed”) produced under his GK Films banner. The film also stars Dominic West (“Money Monster,” “300”), Walton Goggins (“The Hateful Eight,” “Django Unchained”), Daniel Wu (TV’s “Into the Badlands”) and Oscar nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”).

Uthaug directed “Tomb Raider” from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, with the story by Evan Daugherty and Robertson-Dworet. The executive producers are Patrick McCormick, Denis O’Sullivan and Noah Hughes. The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography George Richmond (“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”), production designer Gary Freeman (“Maleficent”), Oscar-nominated editor Stuart Baird (“Skyfall,” “Gorillas in the Mist”) and editor Michael Tronick (“Suicide Squad”), Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) and costume designer Timothy A. Wonsik (“Free State of Jones,” “Iron Man 3”). The music is by Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

“Tomb Raider” will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack for $44.95, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the theatrical version and a Digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film and special features in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition and a Digital version of the movie.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of “Tomb Raider” will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

Also, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D discs of “Tomb Raider” will feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Fans can also own “Tomb Raider” via purchase from digital retailers beginning May 29.

SYNOPSIS:

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS:

“Tomb Raider” 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, and Blu-ray Combo Packs contain the following special features:
• Tomb Raider: Uncovered – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.
• Croft Training – Enter the gym with Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as she prepares for the most physically demanding role of her career and transforms into the iconic action hero Lara Croft.
• Breaking Down the Rapids – Join Director Roar Uthaug as he and other members of the cast and crew break down the film’s most exciting action set piece.
• Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon – Explore the revolutionary TOMB RAIDER saga from video games to movies, and discover how Lara Croft became one of the most popular and successful female characters of all time.

“Tomb Raider” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
• Tomb Raider: Uncovered – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.

Guest Post: Brian Andrews Q&A

Brian Andrews Brian Andrews

Brian Andrews, author of Reset, joins SciFiChick.com today and provided his own Q&A as a Guest Post…

1. I suspect there must be an interesting backstory with RESET, where did you get the idea for this story?

Once upon a time, I was having dinner with someone who’s plugged into real life X-files investigations around the world. He made a strange comment, almost in passing that he’d heard the Army had found a bizarre piece of tech in Afghanistan in 2002 while looking for Osama Bin Laden in the Tora Bora cave complexes. I asked him what it was and he shrugged, saying only that it was determined to be very old but contained advanced technology. Intrigued, I started asking questions around my network, but I didn’t get any hits. Next, I contacted a Canadian photo journalist who embedded with the 10th Mountain Division (the shooters spelunking the actual Tora Bora caves), but he said he’d not heard anything of the sort. Eventually after hitting enough dead ends, I decided to stop digging. But the germ of the idea stuck with me, nagging my author’s brain and not letting go. I started asking myself questions like: What if the Army really did find an orb with advanced technology in a cave? What could it be? Where might it have come from? What is its purpose? In brainstorming these questions, RESET was born.

2. Let’s chat mind control and tin foil hats. This novel is almost theatrical in nature, with some “high concept” elements. You’ve pecked a lot in here: mind control, armageddon devices, the 6th Extinction, and a “men in black” style government conspiracy that could control the fate of the world. Can you speak to this?

RESET was described on TOR.com as being a genre-bending novel. I think this is the perfect description. I’m most drawn to stories with what I would call “near-term” science fiction elements—technologies that exist now, but are only in an embryonic stage of development. Artificial Intelligence is a perfect example of this; there are millions of possible scenarios that could unfold as AI matures, but we can only speculate about which will come to fruition. It is this speculation that drives my novels. Mind control technology is the core theme of RESET.

As an author, the natural temptation is always to try to “save” your best ideas for the perfect time in the perfect story so you don’t waste them—kinda the literary equivalent of not wearing your favorite shirt so it stays nice. RESET is the novel where I finally came to my senses and pulled our every cool idea I’ve ever wanted to showcase in a book: Mind Control, Parasitic Organisms, the discovery of Alien Technology, Underground Bunkers, Doomsday Preppers, a crazy old Conspiracy Theorist, and DARPA (of course).

What I ended up with is a story that pays homage to conspiracy theory lore of the past three decades while feeling both nostalgic and fresh. And yes, I even found a way to work in the proverbial “tin foil hat” into the plot, but in this case the tin foil hat is a Faraday Cage helmet designed to stop nefarious Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Yes, mind control is real folks…just look up TMS and Duke University and you’ll find reporting on actual research that will make you shiver in your chair.

3. RESET has an incredibly strong female cast, with Army wife Josie Pitcher emerging at the novel’s true hero. Can you speak to this?.

In writing this story, I fell in love with all the characters, but probably to Josie Pitcher the most. Josie embodies the type of heroine the world needs today, someone who is compelled to action by curiosity, loyalty, and courage, rather than self-interest and ego. Josie is no Atomic Blonde or Jessica Jones throwing punches and kicks; her weapons are the ones real heroes use to fight their battles—her wits, her power of persuasion, and her courage to act in the face of impossible odds. With RESET, I wanted to take Superman saving the damsel in distress storyline and flip it on its head. In RESET, you start by meeting this tough as nails 10th Mountain Army ranger who seems like he’s unstoppable, until suddenly he’s not and the only one who can save him is his young, tenacious Army wife. Ultimately, the fate of the human race rests on Josie’s shoulders…but that’s all I can say!

4. I noticed that the audiobook was performed by the voice actor Ray Porter who also reads your TIER ONE series. Can you speak to his performance on this book?

Definitely! In my opinion, narration is storytelling in its purest form. If you think about it, the oral tradition of storytelling is at the core of human culture. We’ve been swapping stories for millennia—be it sitting around the campfire, the dinner table, or at a child’s bedside. That’s why it was so important for me to get Ray to read this novel—he is a world building narrator because he captures the nuance and emotional connection between the characters. Nobody does dialogue better than Ray. I’ve listened to the recording several times now and it is a masterwork, with over a dozen different characters performed. Please check it out on Audible, I promise you won’t be disappointed. LINK: https://adbl.co/2J81cwd

5. One final question: The ending of this book has been described as an OMG event reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan’s early movies. Can you talk about this without spoilers?

RESET has the biggest twist of any novel I’ve ever written and yes, the reveal comes in the very last “two” chapters. I would call this a double-barrel twist, the first twist begetting a second twist that, I’m not sure has been done before. That particular comment you referenced from Charle DeLint with the comparison to an M. Night Shyamalan ending is high praise. There’s also a certain poetry to the ending of RESET. I use the symbolism of a Celtic Knot in the novel several times, an intertwining with seemingly no clear beginning and no clear ending—everything comes full circle. I can’t wait to hear reader’s reactions!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brian is a US Navy veteran, nuclear engineer, and former submarine officer. He co-authors the Wall Street Journal best-selling TIER ONE thriller series (Tier One, War Shadows, & Crusader One) with Jeffrey Wilson. He is a husband, father, coffee lover and occasional malcontent. His latest stand-alone thriller, RESET, is new for 2018. You can find him online at: www.andrews-wilson.com and @bandrewsjwilson
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2oUCyHT

Book Giveaway: The Poppy War

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have an extra early copy of The Poppy War, by R. F Kuang for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 18. I’ll draw a name on May 19, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Poppy War

Box Review: Bam Box – March 2018

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

This month the box just included a simple sheet of the items included. But it’s certainly better than nothing!

Bam Box

Ghostbusters Pin – This is a fun design – I love Ghostbusters.

Bam Box

Lonestar’s Birthright Pendant – I’m glad this was referenced in the page above, or I would have never guessed! This is a nice, heavy prop replica that Spaceballs fans will enjoy.

Bam Box

Infinity War Art Print – I really like this print – though I’m trying to figure out why Thor has his eye, when the artist went to the trouble of using the most recent looks of Captain America and Black Widow.

Bam Box

Greg Berg Signed Print – Apparently he was the voice of Donatello and Bebop from the TMNT cartoon. Meh.

Bam Box

Star Wars Data Storage Unit Prop Replica – This is another strange one that I would have never guessed. It’s very heavy, but pretty simple.

Summary:
I really enjoyed the art print this time. It’s probably my favorite item in the box. I wish there was a box or something that identified the pendant. Something on the back of the pendant that said “Spaceballs” would’ve been nice as well. Regular printed handouts will be back next month, but even this black and white page is better than having to go to the website to figure out what items are. I have no complaints this time.

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