Synopsis: Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Synopsis: Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Review: Gwyneth is a humble, sympathetic character who I really wanted to stand up to her brat of a cousin Charlotte. Instead, Gwyneth is railroaded by everyone in her life, including her new companion Gideon who treats her horribly at first. Thankfully, it’s not until after Gideon starts looking at Gwyneth in a new light that she begins falling for him as well. The time travel aspect is interesting and reminiscent of the Time Traveler’s Wife. But there’s a big secretive mystery surrounding the time traveling missions that slowly develops throughout the trilogy.
I’m a sucker for a good time travel story, and this was a surprisingly well-formed and complex story that spans centuries. Full of adventure, mystery, suspense, conspiracy, and just a bit of romance – teens and adults alike should enjoy this blend of science fiction and fantasy. Ruby Red is a charming and engrossing start to a promising trilogy.
Synopsis: Cambridge, England, 1905. Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time. The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat dissecting corpses than she is in a corset and gown sipping afternoon tea. A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.
When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father to join an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck. Africa is every bit as exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined, but Jane quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets—and so is Ral Conrath. When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man: Tarzan of the Apes.
Review: Jane is a strong, independent young woman, unwilling to conform to social expectations. She’d rather study and learn more about the human body and evolution than get married and become a housewife. But when Jane meets a strange young man living in the wilds of Africa, he begins to stir emotions within her that she never felt before. Jane is an amazing character – bold and brilliant.
Maxwell’s interpretation of the classic story of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan is fresh and captivating. Beloved characters are given new life and a new perspective. This innovative twist on an old story is well-paced and full of adventure, suspense, and romance. Jane will be enjoyed by longtime fans of Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as those who have never read his original stories.
Synopsis: Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet’s youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira’s growing attraction to each other.
Review: Holt is a Heedless, a rare condition that means he’s immune to the Tone, a mind controlling contagion that leads the infected to the aliens. The aliens are a bit of a mystery, as are most of the characters’ histories. Holt is tries to keep others at a distance so he won’t feel the hurt of loss again. Mira is trying to get her prize and make it back to Midnight City to rescue her friend. And Zoey has no memory of her past, but she may be the key to fighting back against the aliens.
Science fiction fans of all ages will enjoy this exciting and riveting read. With a similar feel and setting to the show Falling Skies, I was hooked from the start. The first novel in the Conquered Earth series, Midnight City, is a non-stop adventure thrill ride. Mystery, suspense, drama, a bit of romance, aliens robots, mutants, and technology so advanced that seems like magic – this story has it all. Easily one of my favorite scifi reads of the year, this was impossible to put down. Don’t miss this fantastic series debut.
— Midnight City releases from St. Martin’s Griffin on October 30, 2012.
SciFiChick.com was recently able to interview author Rob DeBorde to talk about his latest release PORTLANDTOWN and, of course, zombies!
Can you tell us a bit about PORTLANDTOWN in your own words?
Portlandtown is the story of the Wyldes, a uniquely talented family living in Portland, Oregon in 1887 who face off against an undead outlaw and his horde of living-challenged brethren. Okay, that’s the studio pitch. For the reader I’d add this: it’s not just about zombies. Yes, more than a few slack-jaws stumble their way through the pages of Portlandtown, but it’s much more of an adventure than the zombie apocalypse. Plus there are voodoo cowboys, steam-driven totem poles, and a tent-full of old-timey circus freaks. Zombies versus Old West oddities? Yup.
Who is Joseph Wylde?
Joseph is a husband, father, and owner of Wylde’s Booksellers & Navigation. The fact that he’s also blind has not hindered him in the slightest. In fact, he sees the world better than most, which makes him quite good at his side job helping to investigate and resolve delicate situations—the kind his clients would rather not talk about. He’s also a reformed criminal who once rode with a very, very bad dude known as the Hanged Man. Joseph would rather not talk about that.
Why do zombies and westerns seem to mesh so well together?
It’s the hat. Zombies look great in ten-gallon hats. Plus it’s a bit more of a challenge to take on the undead with only a six-shooter, a shovel, and not much else. And, of course, westerns are cool. Imagine the Man with No Name hunting zombies. That’s cool. Now imagine if the Man with No Name was a zombie. You see where this is going, right? Cool.
Zombies have become extremely popular lately. What makes PORTLANDTOWN stand out?
Synopsis: The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen–rich air.
Alina has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl. And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
Review: This is an oxygen deprived world where humans are forced to live in an enclosed structure called a “pod” where synthetic oxygen is pumped in and controlled by the corporation Breathe. Of course, the wealthiest citizens have access to the most oxygen and live a fairly carefree lifestyle. The others are treated as second class citizens and have few freedoms. The lack of oxygen outside the pods gives the reader a distinctly suffocating feel. Crossan has created a fascinating and completely captivating world with likeable characters and an engaging plot.
Fans of dystopian science fiction will definitely want to pick this one up. Full of mystery, adventure, suspense, and a bit of romance – Breathe is a breath of fresh air in this popular subgenre. Fast-paced and impossible to put down, this novel will be making my favorite’s list this year. The climactic events build to an exciting cliffhanger ending that left me eagerly anticipating a sequel.