Tag Archives: sci fiction

SciFi Book Review: Retrograde

Retrograde by Peter Cawdron

Synopsis:
Mankind has long dreamed of reaching out to live on other planets, and with the establishment of the Mars Endeavour colony, that dream has become reality. The fledgling colony consists of 120 scientists, astronauts, medical staff, and engineers. Buried deep underground, they’re protected from the harsh radiation that sterilizes the surface of the planet. The colony is prepared for every eventuality except one—what happens when disaster strikes Earth?  

Review:
This Mars station is divided by countries and cultures, working together for a common goal. But when tragedy strikes Earth, the scientists on Mars quickly divide, unsure who to trust. Events are shrouded in mystery, and no one knows the whole truth.

There have been several Mars disaster films and of course the recent The Martian book and film. While there are similarities, in this novel, the biggest disaster is on Earth and the repercussions with the Mars scientists. Retrograde is a fast-paced thriller – both psychological and action-packed. The characters are believable. And the suspense is combined with emotional drama and shocking surprises. With novels this intense, I catch myself reading faster to match the pace of it happening. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mars-based adventure.

Fantasy Book Review: Sorcery for Beginners

Sorcery for Beginners by Matt Harry (Author) and Juliane Crump (Illustrator)

Synopsis:
Five-hundred years ago, sorcery began to fade from the world. As technology prevailed, combustion engines and computers replaced enchanted plows and spell books. Real magicians were hunted almost to extinction. Science became the primary system of belief, and the secrets of spell-casting were forgotten. That is … until now.

Sorcery for Beginners is no fantasy or fairy tale. Written by arcane arts preservationist and elite mage Euphemia Whitmore (along with her ordinary civilian aide Matt Harry), this book is a how-to manual for returning magic to an uninspired world. It’s also the story of Owen Macready, a seemingly average 13-year-old who finds himself drawn into a centuries-long war when he uses sorcery to take on a school bully. Owen’s spell casting attracts the attention of a ruthless millionaire and a secret society of anti-magic mercenaries, all of whom wish to use Sorcery for Beginners to alter the course of world history forever.

Review:
Owen is dealing with his parent’s divorce and his mother’s absence. He’d do anything to turn back time and fix things. So, when he is presented with Sorcery for Beginners, he sees it as a chance. But when a secret group finds Owen, they’ll stop at nothing to get the book from him.

Sorcery for Beginners is the first in a new fantasy series for young teens. There is plenty of danger, suspense, magic, and humor. I would like to see more character development with Owen’s friends in future installments. The strength of the story is definitely the pacing and intense suspense. And the accompanying illustrations add to the story, making it feel like you’re reading the book of magic along with the students. The engaging world-building will definitely keep me reading future installments.

Box Review: Bam Box – September 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

Space Ghost Pin and Watchmen Patch

Bam Box

Signed BB-8 Photo – These are signed by actor Brian Herring who worked as the droid performer in the recent film. It’s a very cool image that I’ll probably keep and display.

Bam Box

Goonies Doubloon – I wonder if One-Eyed Willy cursed this?

Bam Box

Defenders Art Print – I’m a fan of the Netflix show and love these characters. I received a rare, 1-up version in black and white. But it’s a shame as the color version looked cooler.

Bam Box Bam Box

Deadpool Replica Mask – Just in time for Halloween! Fans of the wise-cracking anti-hero will love this spot-on Deadpool mask.

Summary:
Besides the pin and patch filler, I think I’m keeping all the items in this box – which rarely happens! I really like both of the prints – especially BB-8. And the Goonies Doubloon and Deadpool mask replicas were the highlights for sure. This was probably one of my favorite boxes from Bam Box so far!

Fantasy Book Review: Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw

Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw by Todd Clagi Gallicano

Synopsis:
Haunted by a dream of a mythical gryphon, Sam London uncovers an ancient secret that will change the way he sees the world forever. Recruited by Dr. Vance Vantana, an eccentric zoologist and park ranger sent by the government, Sam is whisked away on an adventure that takes him to the farthest reaches of the globe. Along this journey, Sam learns an incredible truth: mythical creatures are real and living among us in our national parks. A special department in the U.S. government ensures that their existence remains hidden.

But Sam’s dream is an omen that the secret may now be in danger. Someone seeks the power to expose these creatures and overthrow humankind—and that power can only be found in a magical talisman known as the gryphon’s claw.

Review:
Sam has vivid dreams. And his latest has him obsessed with finding more answers about the mythical gryphon he keeps seeing. When he hunts down the place from his dreams, Sam’s life will never be the same.

Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw is the first in an exciting fantasy series for middle grade readers. Sam is an average boy who doesn’t feel exceptional at anything. But he has a gift that sets him on a course for adventure. There are loads of fun and vibrant characters and mythological creatures. And the hunt for the powerful grypho’s claw builds to an exciting and surprising ending. I look forward to the next in this promising series.

PACIFIC RIM 2: UPRISING – Official Trailer #1

The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising.

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

Pacific Rim Uprising is directed by Steven S. DeKnight (Netflix’s Daredevil, STARZ’s Spartacus) and also stars Jing Tian, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day.

Genre: 3D Epic Adventure
Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day
Directed by: Steven S. DeKnight
Screenplay by: Emily Carmichael & Kira Snyder and Steven S. DeKnight and T.S. Nowlin
Story by: Steven S. DeKnight and T.S. Nowlin
Based on the Characters Created by: Travis Beacham
Produced by: Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, Cale Boyter, Guillermo del Toro, John Boyega, Femi Oguns
Executive Producer: Eric McLeod

Book Giveaway: Don’t Cosplay With My Heart

Courtesy of Scholastic, I have a copy of Don’t Cosplay With My Heart by Cecil Castellucci 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 October 20. I’ll draw a name on October 21, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Don’t Cosplay With My Heart

Box Review: TeeBlox – September 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.

Teeblox

Back to the Future Shirt – I love Back to the Future, and I love this design. My biggest reservation is that there’s a note to hang dry rather than tumble dry. So, it’s obviously not pre-shrunk. If it’s too wrinkled, I still may toss it in my dryer on low.

Teeblox

Comic and Pin – The Sheena comic will be passed on. And I think I’ve gotten this pin before.

Summary: I like that this month’s shirt was Back to the Future and incorporating both the catchy phrase and the DeLorean. It’s not soft or pre-shrunk though.

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