Tag Archives: scifi fiction

Box Review: Marvel Collector Corps – June 2016 – Women of Power

Marvel Collector Corps

This is the 8th box from Collector Corps and the theme was Women of Power! The Marvel Collector Corps offers these boxes starting at $25 plus s/h.

Marvel Collector Corps

Each box comes with an exclusive badge and pin.

Marvel Collector Corps

And now a card detailing the contents of the box with a look at early concepts.

Marvel Collector Corps

Spider-Gwen Tshirt (Retail $10) – While I’m glad they went with something other than a POP-looking character, I would have preferred a Ms Marvel or Captain Marvel shirt. And is it just me, or does Gwen’s face look alien-like?

Marvel Collector Corps

Civil War II #1 Comic Variant (Retail $5.99) – I’m excited to read Civil War II! I usually wait for graphic novels, but I’m happy to get any comic variant.

Marvel Collector Corps

She-Hulk Marvel Mystery Mini (Retail $9+)

Captain Marvel Marvel Mystery Mini (Retail $9) – I don’t have many of these mini figs, only the ones I get in the Collector Corps boxes. But I love these two choices. I only wish they were full-size POPs!

Marvel Collector Corps

EXCLUSIVE Squirrel Girl Funko POP! (Retail ?) – This is easily one of my new favorite POPs! I love Squirrel Girl. And this is an awesome design, complete with a little squirrel friend!

Summary: What a great theme?! I was incredibly excited for this box – and was really happy with the choice of the exclusive POP! The shirt could have been a bit cooler, but I’m just happy it’s not black again.

Next month’s theme is Spider-Man! I’ll be ordering an extra box for my nephew!

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Enemy: On The Bones of The Gods

author photo

Excerpt from Enemy: On The Bones of the Gods by K. Eason
Copyright 2016 K. Eason, Published by 47 North, Seattle

Smoke collected on the belly of the storm. It rose up in slim fingers above the tree line, coiled into a fist when it cleared the ridge. Hung there and spread against the underbelly of the clouds like oil across water.

If a man stood just so, facing into the wind, he might imagine that it was the forest burning. Except this was the wrong season for natural fires. Too cold, too wet, snow underfoot and more waiting overhead. It was the wrong smell, too, for burning trees. The wind brought a firepit stink, flesh and charcoal and dung. Village smells, which most days meant sure shelter, with a storm on the way.

Then that man would peer skyward and consider the clouds, and give thanks to his ancestors that the village was so near and that he had a sackful of tradables to buy his welcome. Snowhare skins, soft and white. A fine rack of antlers he’d taken off a bull elk that had broken through the snow-crust upslope a day ago, weak and furious and an easy mark for arrows.

Good fortune, Veiko had thought then. Meat and hide, horn and hooves. Worth the extra day spent above the trees while the storm gathered. Worth the weight on the hike down. A stranger did not walk into an Alvir village unchallenged, from the forest, looking like Veiko did. A stranger came by the road, with goods and hands on clear display, his axe on his hip and bow slung on his back.

Except on that road now, there was a column of soldiers jogging toward the crease in the hills, and the smoke, and the village. Their collective breath streamed out behind them like steam off a boiling pot. The standard-bearer’s flag clung sullenly to its pole, wrapped tight against the gusts. Illhari legion, armed and armored and moving fast.

Now Veiko wondered if he’d caught the elk’s unluck. Failed to appease its spirit. Because that was not village smoke collecting there above the trees. Nor was that the smell of village cookfires.
Charred meat. Charred wood. The smell of raiding.

Had Veiko not found that elk, he might have been in the village when the raiders came, and it might be his meat stinking on the wind. He shivered. Perhaps it was not unluck the elk had given him. Perhaps its spirit had repaid him in kind: saved him from a trap and slow death in return for relief from the same.
Beside him, Helgi heaved a deep-chested whine. Protest. Query. Distress, maybe, at the smoke-reek and the movement on the road. Veiko dropped a quick hand to the dog’s head. Glanced sidelong and found Logi halfway out of his crouch, ears up and curious. Logi knew roads meant villages, people, new things, and warm sleeping.

But not that village, not now. Even if he might find walls still standing, or some shelter, the legion wouldn’t welcome him. Tall, pale foreigner, with village houses burned and people dead, no, they would—what was the Dvergiri word for it?—detain him. And likely shoot his dogs. Maybe throw him in chains after and sell him in the city. He’d heard his elders’ tales about Illhari justice. Best he get as far from the road as he could, as soon as he could. There were other villages. Let the raiders come for him, if they felt brave. Let them try to find him at all.

He took a handful of Logi’s scruff. “No.” He winced. Days since he’d used his voice. “Wait.”
Logi sighed and dropped his chin onto his paws. Helgi chuffed and settled back to his belly. And the three of them waited, part of the snowscape, until the last trooper bobbed out of sight.

Snowdenaelikk had just rolled the last of her jenja, lit it, and blown the first smoke that didn’t stink like destruction, when Briel’s sending came. A cascade of jumbled impressions crowded into her skull. A svartjagr’s vantage, above the tree line and moving fast: dizzy twist of tree and ground, a flash of

two legs
color, the hollow-gut swerve and there, a
clutch

trio of troopers, marching ragged up the path above Davni. One
trailed

wounded/prey
behind the others, who
pecked

kept heads together. Two male, one female. And because Briel remembered her training: an eyeblink’s focus on the weapons. Plain legion blades, still sheathed. Short javelins in a sling on the larger man’s back. Crossbow on the woman’s. The night-and-blood diamond pattern on the tunics. They were from Cardik’s garrison, that was no surprise. But to arrive at this toadshit village already, this fast—Laughing God, that was.

The sending ended, and the blindness came. Price of a svartjagr’s sending, yeah, count it out in heartbeats. No need for panic. Listen to the sizzle where her jenja had landed, smell the sweet and spice. She thought about trying to find it, pat-pat in the snow. Salvage something of it. Swore instead and crouched, her hands flat to the wall of the ruined temple. Cold stone, slick moss, a dead Alvir god’s face roughing her palms. She waited for the sunrise stages of vision, black to grey to, well, more grey, in the shadowless pre-blizzard twilight. This wasn’t so different than the cave-dark of Below, without witchfire.

Overhead, a whisper of wings and tail. A thump as Briel found a perch in what remained of the temple’s rafters. Soot sifted down from the impact, fresh stinging insult to offended eyes.

Snow blinked tears and blur as her vision crept back. “Fuck, Briel. Kill me someday, won’t you, if you send when I need to see.”

Briel hissed. One of her three primary utterances. Big talker, Briel.

Snow squinted up, scanned the rafters. Stone building, this one, the corpse of a temple gutted during the Purge. The walls still stood, moss- grown on the north sides, the tough mountain spine-vines on the rest. Most of the roof had spilled down between them. The thatch had gone first, collapsed and left a rib cage of crossbeams. Briel’s hide matched the wood’s greasy black. Invisible until she dipped her long neck and stared down at Snow. In the twilight, the svartjagr’s eyes glowed like embers. Like the village had when the last of the fires sputtered to ash. She and Drasan had picked through the wreckage, expecting the odd bit of surviving silver and coin. Instead, they’d found all the wealth you’d expect in an Alvir village on a caravan route, wealth no raiders would have left behind.


Courtesy of 47North, I have a copy of Enemy: On The Bones of the Gods by K. Eason 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 July 15. I’ll draw a name on July 16, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Enemy: On The Bones of The Gods

Fantasy Book Review: The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Synopsis:
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.

London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself.

Review:
The premise sounds a lot like the tv show, The Librarians, so I had to check this out. But instead of artifacts, this library is strictly for books – from alternate realities. Irene has to train a new recruit on a difficult first mission that takes a detour for which neither are prepared.

The Invisible Library is an inspired novel with plenty of mystery, magic, and humor. I’m hoping this is just a start of a long series, as it has so much potential. From vibrant characters to unique and mysterious worlds – book lovers will enjoy this highly enjoyable story. This story centers on a fantasy world of magic where mythological creatures are real. Events build to a big and surprising finale with plenty of excitement. And I look forward to the next adventure.

Fantasy Book Review: Bright Blaze of Magic

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Synopsis:
As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

Review:
Bright Blaze of Magic is the final installment in the Black Blade trilogy. The events in the first two novels have built to the big showdown with Victor Draconi and his lust for power and control.

Lila is a strong, fun character. She has grown a lot, yet is still a thief at heart. This is a fantastic conclusion to this exciting, YA fantasy series. With plenty of magic, colorful characters, humor, and a bit of romance – this is a fast-paced read that doesn’t disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this story from a talented author who knows how to write strong female heroines with an edge.

Book Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film



Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film

While I didn’t enjoy the the actual story (and loathed this version of Lex Luthor), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a visually appealing film. I’m always fascinated by these art books from blockbuster movies with elaborate cinematography. I thought this would be more sketches and early, rough ideas that led to what we see in the film. But most of the book is artistic renderings and nice shots from the film. With many character bios, particular places in the film, and Batman’s toys – this book covers a lot of ground. It’s a nice collector’s item for fans of the film. I would have preferred to see more behind-the-scenes images and early sketches. But it’s still a beautiful book that I enjoyed for the artistic renderings alone.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film

Fantasy Book Review: The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Synopsis:
How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.

But Apollo has many enemies-gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Review:
The ambitious Rick Riordan has begun yet another new series, set in the same world as the Percy Jackson series. Apollo has become a normal, human boy – acne and all. Since this isn’t the first time Zeus has punished him, Apollo assumes all he needs to do is find a demigod to help out for a while to get back in his father’s good graces. Of course, it can’t be that simple.

This new series focuses on a great character. Apollo is very complex – arrogant yet humiliated, powerful now weak, ancient yet losing some memories. Since this is set in the same world as the other series, we get to see several familiar characters. Though, this is about Apollo, so the story focuses on him. And his quest will be about him and his new friends. The story is fun and full of mystery, danger, and suspense. There were a couple major plot twists I didn’t see coming. And the ending came too soon and left me wanting more. I can’t wait for the next in this fantastic new series.

DVD Review: The Shannara Chronicles Season 1

The Shannara Chronicles: Season 1

Synopsis:
Set thousands of years in the future, “The Shannara Chronicles” follows three heroes, Elf-Human hybrid Wil (Austin Butler, “Arrow”), Elvin Princess Amberle (Poppy Drayton, “Downton Abbey”), and Human Rover Eretria (Ivana Baquero, Pan’s Labryinth), as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the world. The show also features Manu Bennett (The Hobbit), John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings), and James Remar (“Dexter”).

Review:
The Shannara Chronicles is loosely based on novel The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. And I do mean “loosely.” While the first episode does feel very reminiscent of the book, it doesn’t take long before the story veers off with different characters and new story lines. And even some of the main characters meet different fates.

Hardcore fans of the novels may not be happy with the path this this series takes. But the story does still loosely follow, with many similar characters, stretching a book into 10 1-hour episodes. This series is on MTV, so not-surprisingly there is plenty of angst and it’s more sexualized compared to the book. To the point of ridiculousness at times. But overall, it’s an action-packed, dark, and dramatic series full of bold characters, grotesque creatures, and arcane magic. Some of the episodes drag a bit, but for the most part I did enjoy most this season. The end leaves off where the book did. So I’m guessing next season would be a fresh new story not found in the books, and that may be a good idea if they stray so far from the source material anyway.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
– Behind-the-scenes
– Meet the Characters
– Exploring New Zealand
– Terry Brooks interview
– Making of the Dagda Mor

DVD Release Date: 6/7/16
U.S. Rating: NR
Running Time: 411 min
Format: Widescreen
Price: $29.99 US/ $32.99 Canada