Tag Archives: scifi

Book Giveaway: Gunpowder Moon

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a review copy of Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira 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 December 22. I’ll draw a name on December 23, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

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Fantasy Book Review: The Axe of Sundering

Adventurers Wanted, Book 5: The Axe of Sundering by M. L. Forman

Synopsis:
Whalen Vankin is the worlds greatest wizard, and he has only ever personally trained two other wizards. One is Alexander Taylor, a young man who has earned a reputation as a brave adventurer, a warrior, and man of honor. The other is Jabez, Vankin’s nephew and a man whose choices have led him down a different, darker path.

Dark magic has covered Westland, and evil is stirring. Whalen and Alex must journey together into the heart of danger, confronting a sea serpent, battling their way through a goblin army, and facing down more than one dragon. Alex must find the legendary Axe of Sundering the one weapon that offers a chance to defeat Jabez and protect the land from the dark wizards plans. But finding it will be an adventure of its own as the only pathway to the Axe leads through the underground tunnels and secret passages of Castle Conmar.

But Jabez has one final weapon at his disposal: the powerful Orion Stone, which could spell the end to Whalen and Alex both.

Review:
Alex agrees to hunt Whalen’s wayward nephew in order to stop him from conquering the known lands. And Alex must find the Axe of Sundering, the only weapon that can help Alex take him down.

The Axe of Sundering is the final installment in the Adventures Wanted series. Alex has grown throughout the series, in confidence and abilities. And I’ll definitely miss the characters and the fun, fantasy world. This last story was an well-paced journey that led to a final battle with a surprising twist. With plenty of suspense, danger, and magic – this novel (like the others) was hard to put down. This YA series has been a favorite of mine – an exciting, epic fantasy adventure.

SciFi Book Review: The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard

The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard by David A. Goodman

Synopsis:
The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard tells the story of one of the most celebrated names in Starfleet history. His extraordinary life and career makes for dramatic reading: court martials, unrequited love, his capture and torture at the hand of the Cardassians, his assimilation with the Borg and countless other encounters as captain of the celebrated Starship Enterprise.

Review:
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is one of the most fascinating characters in Star Trek. He has had a traumatic history, as well as a fascinating early life that, until now, we’ve only seen glimpses.

The novel begins with Picard’s early life on the vineyard, and choice to join Starfleet and make his own way – to the disappointment to his father. His early years at Starfleet and first appointments in the fleet are my favorite stories. The narrative flows well, and jumps ahead to the important times in his life – including his first time meeting Guinan and other individuals who he ends up asking to join his crew. There are brief glimpses through his years as Captain of the Enterprise, that are wonderful highlights and memories – as well as some darker ones, such as his capture by the Borg and Cardassians. Then, the book wraps up with his later years.

Since this was published by Titan and not Pocket Books, it’s obvious in some places that they chose not to abide by the canon already set by the novels, but by the television episodes and films only. But it wasn’t too far off other than the future years. The story flows very well. I thoroughly enjoyed the entirety. Even the familiar scenes didn’t get bogged down, but were fun to reminisce and were poignant. I highly recommend this engaging read for TNG fans.

Book Giveaway: The Nine

Courtesy of Pyr, I have a copy of The Nine by Tracy Townsend 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 December 1. I’ll draw a name on December 2, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Nine

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Mid Season Finale Thoughts and Fan Theories

So, the mid-season finale of Star Trek: Discovery (lovingly referred to as DISCO now, thanks to some awesome crew shirts) has aired. And fans have to wait almost 2 months for the next episode. Time to ponder, rehash, and theorize on possible plot twists. If you haven’t seen episode 9 yet, don’t read any further. And I highly recommend watching CBS All Access’ After Trek as well.

I have absolutely loved this season so far. The characters have depth and are completely unpredictable. They seem more human and fallible. The actors are incredible. The sets and special effects are summer blockbuster-worthy. It seems bigger and better than just a TV show. And the writing has been exceptional, as each episode seems to get better. Each episode begs to be discussed and dissected.

This isn’t Roddenberry’s bright utopia… yet. The crew of the Discovery NCC-1031 (hint to Section 31?) is led by Captain Lorca, a mysterious man with a past that begs to be told. And the ship holds an unique, new technology for travel.

There are so many shocking plot twists and mysteries, that fan theories are inevitable. And a whole lot of fun. One that sticks out the most to me is Lorca’s obsession with Michael and her safety. My guess is that he knew her parents or had something to do with what happened to them on that station decimated by Klingons.

I love reading other fan’s theories as well. I suspected Ash Tyler was more than just a Klingon prisoner with PTSD as soon as he was introduced. But the best and most talked about theory right now is best explained here and here. Tyler is most likely Voq in disguise. Voq’s absence from the show lines up when Tyler showed up. He’s most likely a sleeper spy with plans to steal the Discovery technology. And I can’t wait to see what happens with Lorca’s tribble when Tyler enter’s his ready room.

The last episode also left us with a major cliffhanger, as the Discovery arrives in an unknown destination after Lorca messes with the jump coordinates just as the spore drive initiates. Did you catch this detail? I didn’t, as so much was already going on. I plan on a re-watch of the season soon, to catch more details. After all, the series has been full of easter eggs, especially in the Captain’s “museum.”

Did the ship arrive in a different quadrant? A different time? A different (Mirror?) universe? January can’t come soon enough.

I love reading fan theories. Star Trek certainly has the most intelligent fan base. The comments in some of the articles I’ve read are better than the articles in reference to science, canon, and minute details.

Graphic Novel Review: Assassin’s Creed: Reflections

Assassin’s Creed: Reflections

Synopsis:
To mark 10 glorious years of Assassin’s Creed, Titan Comics are bringing together the franchise’s best-loved characters for a celebratory series like no other! Get ready for four brand new adventures starring fan-favorite assassins like Edward Kenway and Altaïr, along with the series’ celebrated Renaissance roof-crawler, Ezio Auditore da Firenze!

Review:
Juhani Oslo Berg has recently become the Black Cross, and is looking into various former Assassins in the Abstergo files. He decides to learn from the Assassins in order to adapt practices for the Templars.

This standalone graphic novel collects stories from The Caribbean in 1722, France in 1519, the Mongolian Empire, and early native America. Each is a unique, exciting story with beautiful artwork and engaging characters. This anniversary collection is written by Ian Edginton, and is sure to entertain any Assassin’s Creed fan, even those new to the series.

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.