SciFi Book Review: Last Year

Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Synopsis:
Two events made September 1st a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant. It’s the near future, and the technology exists to open doorways into the past but not our past, not exactly. Each “past” is effectively an alternate world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given “past” can only be reached once. After a passageway is open, it’s the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can’t be reopened. A passageway has been opened to a version of late 19th century Ohio. It’s been in operation for most of a decade, but it’s no secret, on either side of time. A small city has grown up around it to entertain visitors from our time, and many locals earn a good living catering to them. But like all such operations, it has a shelf life; as the “natives” become more sophisticated, their version of the “past” grows less attractive as a destination. Jesse Cullum is a native. And he knows the passageway will be closing soon. He’s fallen in love with a woman from our time, and he means to follow her back – no matter whose secrets he has to expose in order to do it.

Review:
Time travel has been discovered. And for a hefty price, people from the future can visit the past and immerse themselves. Of course, this has changed the past and created an alternate realities wherever the gates are opened. Jesse is a native of the late 1800s who works for people from the future – for as long as they remain. But his final job for them, hunting down “runners” from the future leads Jesse to be confronted from events from his past.

I love books about time travel and alternate history, so Last Year was immediately appealing. But besides the immersive world, the characters were incredibly engaging as well. The story has elements of science fiction (of course), mystery, adventure, and intrigue. While people and things come from through the future, we have Jesse’s point of view from the past of what the future looks like to them. It’s an interesting and believable take. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the fantastic worldbuilding. And the thrilling finale doesn’t disappoint.

SciFi Book Review: The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen

The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Synopsis:
Speeding through Central City, Barry Allen is met with a startling sight—the Flash, older, battered, and badly injured. Before he can speak, the doppelgänger is gone.

Then Barry begins experiencing glitches in his powers—moments that leave him ghostly and immobile in the middle of missions. When a group of his enemies—including Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and Peekaboo—chooses this time to launch a new assault, the Flash seeks help from his most trusted ally. Oliver Queen – the Arrow.

Review:
This story seems to be set earlier in season 2. I like that it’s a bit vague, yet ties in some familiar faces from Barry’s past. As Barry’s powers begin to glitch, several former adversaries show up at one time – but thankfully, Oliver Queen and his team are more than willing to help out.

I’m a fan of Clay and Susan Griffith’s Vampire Empire series, so I was excited to check out this tie-in novel. They do a great job of keeping the characters true and as believable as if we were watching an episode of The Flash. I especially enjoyed that Iris and Caitlin had some girl time. This story flowed well and built to an exciting finale. Yet the overarching story of Barry seeing an older version of himself is pushed into an Arrow sequel A Generation of Vipers by the same authors. This, again, felt like a well-developed 2-part tv show with enough of unanswered questions to make me want to read the sequel even though I don’t enjoy Arrow as much as Flash.

Harper Voyager Super Reader Application

Calling all SciFi/Fantasy readers!
Spreading news from Harper Voyager…

ARE YOU A HARPER VOYAGER?

Are you a fan of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy or Horror? Would you like special access to e-galleys, author interactions, and swag? If so, the Harper Voyager US team invites you to apply to become a “Harper Voyager” super reader!

As a Harper Voyager super reader, you’ll get special access to early review copies, special entry to an exclusive online forum where they can post reviews and thoughts about the exclusive book previews, engage in private author chats, and special interactions with Harper Voyager authors at regional events. Most of all, we hope our super readers will help generate excitement for our stellar authors!

Please Note: This program is asking super readers to post honest reviews on Goodreads and consumer sites, participation in online Voyager events; virtual support of Voyager authors across social media. If you chose to post these reviews online at consumer websites, you must disclose in the review that you received your copy for free and send us a link to the review.

Entry period: March 14, 2017 – May 4, 2017

Twenty Harper Voyager US super readers will be selected by May 19, 2017.

Terms and Conditions:
• You must be 18 or older to apply.
• Open to U.S. residents only.
• We expect to select 20 to 30 new Harper Voyagers this entry period.

*Harper Voyager will send each individual applicant one book in appreciation of their time and effort. One book per consumer. U.S. only.*

To apply, go to this Google doc link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSelZUcFQJbj_hhMeTWamdqRDfuqIUKUEPkgUCym5PiiCB4HWA/viewform?usp=send_form

ATOMICA Trailer and Release Dates

ATOMICA

IN THEATERS: March 17, 2017
AVAILABLE ON VOD AND DIGITAL HD: March 21, 2017

DIRECTOR: Dagen Merrill
WRITERS: Kevin Burke, Fred Fernandez-Armesto, Adam Gyngell
CAST: Dominic Monaghan, Tom Sizemore, Sarah Habel

SYNOPSIS: In the near future, when communications go offline at a remote nuclear power plant isolated in the desert, a young safety inspector, Abby Dixon, is forced to fly out to bring them back online. Once inside the facility, mysterious clues and strange behaviors cause Abby to have doubts about the sanity, and perhaps identities, of the two employees onsite.

SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End

Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig

Synopsis:
As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku.

The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion’s victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy.

For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal—and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia’s urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane’s assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice.

But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire’s devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire’s war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine’s final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided.

Review:
Empire’s End is the final installment in the Aftermath trilogy set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Events build to the final battle at Jakku, which explains the evidence of wrecked ships in The Force Awakens.

This trilogy has been great about filling in gaps as well as building an engaging cast of new characters and adventures. The interludes are particularly fun with brief snippets into other characters who aren’t the main focus of this series. With plenty of political intrigue, revenge, and colorful characters – this is an impressive and exciting finale.

SciFi Book Review: The Release

The Release by Tom Isbell

Synopsis:
Two months have passed since Book, Cat, Hope, and the others rescued the remaining Less Thans from Liberty, but they aren’t safe yet, and soon they’ll have to risk everything in order to defeat their enemies.

The group must leave the camp for good and escape the wolves, the Brown Shirts, and the Hunters. Most important, they need to stop Chancellor Maddox before she executes her Final Solution and grows even more powerful.

While the others are seeking freedom, for Hope, the battle has become personal. She wants revenge, no matter what the cost—and she’s willing to sacrifice anything standing in her way. The group may still be weak, but they don’t have time to wait. They must overthrow the Chancellor, even if it means joining forces with those who once betrayed them.

Review:
The Release is the final installment in The Prey trilogy. This post-apocalyptic series has built to a pulse-pounding, climactic ending. Book is focused on the future, while Hope is focused on revenge. The two still struggle with their uneasy relationship. And the group faces seemingly insurmountable odds as their own government has turned a blind eye to atrocities against their own. This has been a fantastic trilogy with a roller coaster ride of emotions and suspense.

This finale has been bittersweet. I’m sad to say goodbye to these intriguing characters, but happy that we got a satisfying (if dramatic) ending. This is a series I recommend to fans of Hunger Games and Maze Runner.

Box Review: DC’s Legion of Collectors – March 2017

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This month’s theme for DC’s Legion of Collectors was Superman. The Legion of Collectors offers these boxes starting at $25 plus s/h.

Legion of Collectors

Like the other mystery boxes from Funko, each box comes with an exclusive badge and pin.

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And this detailed card of everything included in the box is handy.

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Superman Tshirt – I really like the color of this shirt, but would have preferred it not be a Funko POP character.

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Superman Comic #1 – I LOVE that they include comic variants in these boxes. And I only read ecopies of graphic novels of the DC lines, so it’s nice to get hardcopies.

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Superman Pocket POP and Superman Retro Action Figure – This were a nice addition. I would of course have preferred an extra Funko POP, but this retro Superman will go great with my retro Wonder Woman from a past box.

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EXCLUSIVE Classic Superman Funko POP! – I really love this design!

SUMMARY: This was a really fun box. Superman is probably my all-time favorite superhero. My mind reels with what could have been done with this box to take it over the top awesome. But the DC box has yet to do that. Hopefully with next month’s box, they’ll do something more unexpected.

The next theme is: Wonder Woman!

Book Tour and Giveaway: SHADOW RUN

Courtesy of Delacorte Press, I have a copy of Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller 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 March 24. I’ll draw a name on March 25, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Tour and Giveaway: SHADOW RUN

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