Tag Archives: scifi

SciFi Book Review: Sinless

Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff

Synopsis:
In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are “good” are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

Review:
Grace is a mild-mannered, pious 17-year-old. She’s easy to like and relate to. She remains beautiful by doing good and praying. Those who commit sins or even curse, are “Punished” by disfiguring ugliness or even death if the infraction is bad enough. Then, she meets a boy who is able to do bad things and not be “Punished” by ugliness which causes her to question everything.

Sinless is a captivating debut novel. The challenging premise will make readers think and question. It’s unpredictable with great pacing. Full of suspense, intrigue, and drama – this story is captivating from beginning to end. I look forward to the next in this exciting series.

Book Giveaway: Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition

Courtesy of Titan Magazines, I have a paperback copy of Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition 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 February 16. I’ll draw a name on February 17, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Star Trek Discovery: The Official Collector’s Edition

Blu-Ray Review: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Synopsis:
Three decades after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Review:
Ryan Gosling is “K” – a Blade Runner who is a Replicant himself. But when he hunts down this latest rogue Replicant, he makes a shocking discovery that the LAPD quickly tries to cover up. But the Wallace Corporation knows the truth as well, and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

It has been more than 35 since original Blade Runner premiered. The tone is very similar, though the story is very different. The visuals landscapes are stunning. And though it’s extremely slow-paced compared to other science fiction films, there is still a great amount of intensity and suspense. And there are several exciting action scenes. However, this is more of a psychological drama, rather than the usual action film. While there is a bittersweet ending, there several annoying questions left unanswered. But then again, the original had some too.

BLU-RAY AND DVD INCLUDES:
“Blade Runner 2049” 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:
• Designing The World of Blade Runner 2049
• To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049
• Prologues: 2036: Nexus Dawn
• Prologues: 2048: Nowhere to Run
• Prologues: 2022: Black Out
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

“Blade Runner 2049” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

SciFi Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods

Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods by Matthew J. Kirby

Synopsis:
Only one piece of the Trident of Eden remains – Isaiah, a rogue Templar agent, has discovered both the faith prong and the fear prong of this powerful relic. Should he possess the devotion prong, there is little that can stop him. For the time being, Owen and his fellow teens have established an uneasy alliance across Assassin and Templar lines in order to stop Isaiah while they still can.

Over a thousand years earlier, Styrbjorn the Strong, a Danish warrior, leads the Jomsvikings against the Danish king, Harald Bluetooth. It is on those Viking battlefields that the secrets of the devotion prong lie. It is there that the fate of the world, the truth behind the teens’ collective unconsciousness, and their ancestral links to one another lie. History has already been written. The rest is up to Owen, Javier, and the other members of their unlikely alliance. The actions they take will change the world of Assassin’s Creed forever.

Review:
Fate of the Gods is the final installment in the Last Descendants trilogy set in the Assassin’s Creed universe. This group of teens have been through several ancestors’ memories that have tested their mental resolve. And Owen decided to stay with the megalomaniac Isaiah – which puts Owen’s life at risk and Isaiah close to having all three pieces of a powerful artifact.

The final piece of the trident, has been traced to ancient Scandinavia. So the teens get to experience their ancestors as Vikings. The Viking ancestors are pitted against each other in a brutal battle that culminates to a surprising ending. This was my favorite book in the trilogy – full of action, intrigue, and drama – both in and out of the Animus. The story arc concludes in an exciting way. But I will certainly miss some of these characters.

SciFi Book Review: Valiant Dust

Valiant Dust by Richard Baker

Synopsis:
Sikander Singh North has always had it easy―until he joined the crew of the Aquilan Commonwealth starship CSS Hector. As the ship’s new gunnery officer and only Kashmiri, he must constantly prove himself better than his Aquilan crewmates, even if he has to use his fists. When the Hector is called to help with a planetary uprising, he’ll have to earn his unit’s respect, find who’s arming the rebels, and deal with the headstrong daughter of the colonial ruler―all while dodging bullets.

Review:
Sikander comes from a royal family, but entered the military. Some of his crewmates believe he gets special treatment or hasn’t earned his place. But he soon proves his worth and his skills with his new placement. And when Sikander and his ship are tasked with subverting a planetary rebellion, he finds his emotions get a bit involved as well.

Valiant Dust is the first in a new, military scifi series. Sikander is a likeable character with a sense of honor. The unique, future-worldbuilding of cultures and casts is strong and detailed but not overwhelming. And the characters are engaging. I enjoyed this fast-paced adventure with plenty of action, intrigue and a bit of romance. I definitely look forward to reading more in this promising new series.

Book Review: The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I love these behind-scenes books of the art behind my favorite films. And this latest is fantastic.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

There are early concepts of characters and wardrobes.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

And stunning images of new aliens.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

Early concepts of Canto Bight.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

The new weapons and new ship designs.

Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi Art of Star Wars the Last Jedi

And my favorites are usually the beautiful location shots and scenic concept art.

The Last Jedi was a visually stunning film. And this book of the art behind the film is fascinating and makes for a great gift, coffee table book, or collector item for fans. I look forward to going back and reading the little details now. But the art alone makes this book a must for me.

Book Giveaway: Blood Fury

Courtesy of Ballantine Books, I have a copy of Blood Fury by J. R. Ward 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 February 2. I’ll draw a name on February 3, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

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Book Giveaway: Scythe and Thunderhead

Thunderhead-PlannerPrize_preview

Simon & Schuster is partnering with SciFiChick.com for a new giveaway!

Live As If You’ll Never Be Gleaned
Start the new year living life to the fullest! One (1) winner receives:
• Copies of Scythe and Thunderhead
• Plus a 2018 planner and colorful pen set to kick-start the new year!

Prizing and samples provided by Simon & Schuster.

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends January 19. I’ll draw a name on January 20, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Book #1 Synopsis: Scythe
Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

Book #2 Synopsis: Thunderhead
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

Author Bio:
Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including The Unwind Dystology, The Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his newest series Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. The father of four children, Neal lives in California. Visit him at Storyman.com and Facebook.com/NealShusterman.

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