Tag Archives: sci fiction

SciFi Book Review: Freefall

Freefall by Joshua David Bellin

Sysnopsis:
In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and is 99% of rejects.

Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight though the feed directly at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.

When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.

Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?

Review:
Cam is one of the privileged, living above the post-apocalyptic Earth. And when his ship leaves, he’s convinced he’ll never see Sofie again – as her “Lowerworld” ship is headed towards another planet. But when Cam wakes up after 1,000 years have passed, he’s not at the utopia that was expected. Instead, it’s a scary, dark place with dangerous creatures.

Freefall is an exciting, YA science fiction adventure with plenty of romance – at least from Cam’s point of view. Cam’s puppy love is decidedly one-way, as he “falls in love” from afar. The story is told from 2 time periods, as alternating chapters. As we get Cam and Sophie’s backstory, the future on a distant planet unfolds as well.

This was a dramatic and thrilling story. I thoroughly enjoyed the surprising plot twists and suspense. And great pacing leads to a finale that comes too soon to this impressive, standalone story.

SciFi Book Review: Children of the Fleet

Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card

Synopsis:
Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.

Review:
Dabeet, a gifted and brilliant child, decides he wants to go to Fleet School. And as he plans for his future and speaks with Colonel Graff, Graff shares shocking news with Dabeet. Meanwhile, a covert plan is revealed that could endanger Dabeet and everyone at the Fleet School.

Children of the Fleet is a story set during the Ender’s Shadow series. The Formic wars have ended, but there is still a lot of nervousness and suspicion. I’ve read most of Card’s novels in this universe. And this novel reminds me a lot of his original Ender’s Game. Dabeet is a genius, but not as humble and likable as Ender. Though Dabeet does go through a lot of growth during the story. It’s not fast-paced, but it does flow well and builds to an exciting finale. The plot is character-driven with engaging characters that kept me pulled into the story. And the intrigue was fascinating and complex. This was a fun, standalone story set in a fantastic universe.

Hewlogram Release!

A modern-day animator accidentally awakens a holographic superhero from 1983.

And check out this behind the scenes look at HEWLOGRAM with writer/director Aharon Rabinowitz and star David Hewlett:

Red Giant released “Hewlogram,” the newest Red Giant film starring David Hewlett, best known for his role as Dr. Rodney McKay in “Stargate: Atlantis.” The new film comes out alongside the release of Red Giant Universe 2.2, the latest update to Red Giant’s ever-expanding collection of GPU-accelerated plugins for editors and motion graphics artists.

“Hewlogram”: A Completely Believable Plot Line for a 1980s Sci-Fi Buddy Cop TV ShowKnown for fun and clever short films that manage to entertain while showing off Red Giant visual effects and motion graphics tools, Red Giant’s newest film is no different from classics like “Old/New” and “Plot Device.” Written and directed by Aharon Rabinowitz, in his directorial debut, “Hewlogram” was born out of both Aharon’s love for holograms and David Hewlett’s love of visual effects tutorials. Hewlett, who is part of the all-star cast of Guillermo Del Toro’s forthcoming film, “The Shape of Water,” discovered Red Giant software through a bit of internet sleuthing.

Blu-Ray Review: Westworld Season One

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.

Westworld: The Complete First Season (4K Ultra HD/BD) [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
Based on the film written by best-selling author Michael Crichton (ER, Jurassic Park films), Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and a reimagined past, the series explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.

Review:
Westworld is a totally immersive world where humans are safe to live out fantasies set in the Wild West. This vacation destination is comprised of various scripts acted out by extremely life-like robot “Hosts.” Each time a Host is killed, their memory is reset and they’re sent back out to relive the same storyline over and over. But some of the Hosts are starting to remember.

I remember watching the original film from the 70s, and this has a similar storyline but has been revamped and expounded in impressive ways. The cast of characters are completely engaging and well-developed. Each has their own story that weaves together in an impressive tapestry that comes to a big revelation in the finale. Because it’s on HBO, they can get away with nudity and violence which is excessive, to say the least. The depravity often churned my stomach. But the intriguing mysteries kept me watching. There are many plot twists along the way that lead to shocking surprises. This first season “The Maze” has a definite theme and ending of sorts that will lead to a much different second season. I don’t know that I’ll watch a second season as I didn’t care for the shock-value nudity and violence, but the incredible stories of the first season were unforgettable.

Box Review: Bam Box – October 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 comes with a nice mini mag, describing all of the included items.

Bam Box

Buffy Pin and Fringe Patch

Bam Box

Signed Gremlins Photo – These are signed by actor Zach Galligan who played Billy in the classic film.

Bam Box

Grimm Key Map Replica – I was a huge fan of the show, so this was a very fun item that I recognized right away.

Bam Box

Edward Scissorhands Art Print – This is a stunningly life-like print of another classic.

Bam Box

Evil Dead License Plate Replica – I have never watched Evil Dead. And there’s nothing notable about the plate options. It’s a fun prop replica, but these choices just aren’t as recognizable as more well-known tv and films.

Summary:
Last month set the bar high, so this month wasn’t as great for me. I do like prop replicas, so the Grimm Key Map was great. And it was fun to see the signed Gremlins photo. But I doubt I’ll be keeping anything else in the box. There wasn’t a specific theme this month, but all the classic and well-known horror/fantasy did tie-in for Halloween which was very appropriate!

Box Review: TeeBlox – October 2017

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.

Bam Box

Dr Who T-Shirt – I’m not a Dr Who fan, so this collection of Doctors are a miss for me. And of course, it’s another black tee.

Bam Box

Comic and Pin – I love the retro comics. Tho I’ve gotten this pin several times before.

Summary: This month was a miss for me, but it is nice to see some variety in the genre. As much as I love all the Star Trek and Star Wars shirts, I don’t mind seeing others as well!

Remember, use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Received in October

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

Blu-Rays:
Westworld Season 1 4K Blu-Ray Edition

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Avon Books:
Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands

Del Rey:
Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster

First Second:
Ali-A Adventures: Game On! by Cavan Scott and Aleksandar Sotirovski

Harper Collins / William Morrow:
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill

Harper Voyager:
Breach of Containment by Elizabeth Bonesteel
Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira
Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo
Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
The Rift Frequency by Amy S. Foster

Pyr / Prometheus Books:
Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction by David Siegel Bernstein

Scholastic:
Ink by Alice Broadway

Shadow Mountain:
Adventurers Wanted: The Axe of Sundering by M. L. Forman

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers:
The Empress by S. J. Kincaid

St Martin’s Press / Wednesday Books:
Sun Warrior by P. C. Cast
Moon Chosen by P. C. Cast
Year One by Nora Roberts
Joe Ledger: Unstoppable by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Subterranean Press:
DJStories: The Best of David J Schow
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Titan Books:
Star Trek The Next Generation: The Art of Juan Ortiz by Juan Oritz
The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard by David A. Goodman
Assassin’s Creed: Reflections Vol. 1 by Ian Edginton

Tor:
Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy
Blade of Empire by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Valiant Dust by Richard Baker
Deadhouse Landing by Ian C. Esslemont

Tor Teen:
Enhanced by Carrie Jones
The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller

Book Review: Last Star Burning

Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster

Synopsis:
Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal—a star burned into her hand. That’s the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation.

Now her mother’s body is displayed above Traitor’s Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she’s more valuable alive than dead.

When the government blames Sev for a horrific bombing, she must escape the city or face the chopping block. Unimaginable dangers lurk outside the city walls, and Sev’s only hope of survival lies with the most unlikely person—Howl, the chairman’s son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can’t help but wonder if he knows more about her past—and her mother’s crimes—than he lets on.

But in a hostile world, trust is a luxury. Even when Sev’s life and the lives of everyone she loves may hang in the balance.

Review:
Sev is an outcast and living like a criminal, even though it was her mother who was the traitor. When she’s blamed for a bombing, Sev is rescued by a boy named Howl; and the two flee to the land outside the city walls, completely foreign to her.

Last Star Burning is a YA dystopia, set in a land where a plague has spread, creating fear and control of the population. Sev is a relateable and likable girl who has been told lies her entire life, and can’t really trust anyone she meets. And there’s a good reason. Sure, some of the main mysteries of the plot are pretty predictable, but there are still plenty of shocking twists along the way. It’s a well-paced, exciting and dramatic story that builds momentum throughout. This captivating debut will leave readers eager for the next in the series.