SciFi Book Review: Andromeda’s Fall

Andromeda’s Fall by William C. Dietz

Synopsis:
All her life, Lady Catherine Carletto (Cat) has lived for nothing but the next party, the next lover, the next expensive toy. Until, in a bloodthirsty power grab, Imperial Princess Ophelia and her cadre of synth assassins murder her brother the emperor, and go on to purge the galaxy of his friends and supporters—including Cat’s family. The Carlettos are known to be staunch supporters of the Emperor and Carletto Industries has been in the forefront of his pet project—developing cybernetic technology for use by the masses.

Now Cat, one of the last surviving Carlettos, is on the run. And, like countless others before her, she finds her sanctuary among the most dangerous of society’s misfits. Welcome to the Legion. Cat Carletto vanishes, and in her place stands Legion recruit Andromeda McKee. A woman with a mission – to bring down Empress Ophelia – or die trying.

Review:
Cat is a spoiled, rich girl until she suddenly has to go on the run. Yet she’s very smart and resourceful, and her true potential is realized when she joins the Legion. With only her will to live and desire for vengeance guiding her, Cat excels within the Legion. But Cat is never safe since Ophelia’s minions are still searching for her.

Andromeda’s Fall is first in a Legion of the Damned prequel trilogy. And since this is a new standalone series, I haven’t read the original series and didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Military science fiction fans won’t want to miss this one. An exciting plot and engaging characters made this novel impossible to put down. Fast-paced and action-packed with plenty of suspense, intrigue and drama – I couldn’t get enough of Cat’s story. I’ll be impatiently awaiting the next in this promising new series.

SciFi Book Review: Reached

Reached by Ally Condie

Cassia, Ky, and Xander are all working for the Rising (the rebellion). Cassia and Xander are undercover back in the Society. And Ky is flying ships for the Rising. When a plague suddenly causes the Society to become overwhelmed, it’s time for the Rising to take over. But the Rising isn’t the savior Cassia thought it would be. And what the Rising thought was a controlled outbreak, soon mutates into something else.

This is the third and final installment in the Matched trilogy. With Cassia’s job sorting, she has been separated from both Ky and Xander. And their love triangle continues, as Xander can’t get the closure he needs. Poor Xander still holds out hope for a future with Cassia, and follows the Rising blindly. In fact, a lot of the Rising’s mission and plotting is mysterious and suspicious. The plotting for Reached was slower paced and more dramatic than the previous installments. And though somewhat predictable, it was still a vivid and enjoyable journey. Wrought with emotional drama and plenty of suspense, readers will be satisfied with the climactic conclusion. This was a memorable and inspired trilogy.

Received in November

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in November for review and/or giveaways:

Blu-Rays / DVDs:
Dark Shadows Blu-ray Combo Pack

47North:
Area 51: Nightstalkers by Bob Mayer

Ace:
Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough
Andromeda’s Fall by William C. Dietz
Between by Kerry Schafer

Berkley / Jove / NAL:
The First Prophet by Kay Hooper
The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney
House Rules by Chloe Neill

Bloomsbury / Walker:
Doomed by Tracy Deebs

David Claassen:
Moon’s Mercy by David Claassen

Daw:
The Complete Keeper Chronicles by Tanya Huff
Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
The Silent Dragon by Irene Radford
Polterheist by Laura Resnick

Del Rey:
Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Gold Eagle:
Rogue Angel: The Matador’s Crown by Alex Archer
Rogue Angel: City of Swords by Alex Archer
Rogue Angel: Library of Gold by Alex Archer

Harlequin / Luna:
Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey

Harlequin Teen:
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Harper Teen:
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
Seven Wonders: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Harper Voyager / William Morrow:
Initiate’s Trial by Janny Wurts
The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
Ever After by Kim Harrison

Hodder and Stoughton:
Advent by James Treadwell
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children
Delusion by Ms. Laura L. Sullivan

Kensington Press:
Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne

KTeen:
Touched by Corrine Jackson

Lulu:
Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film by David Elroy Goldweber

Macmillan Children’s / Henry Holt / FSG:
Fox Forever: The Jenna Fox Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
Sherlock Holmes: the Legend Begins: Black Ice by Andrew Lane

Penguin Teen / Putnam / Dial / Razor Bill / Dutton:
Prodigy by Marie Lu
Reached by Ally Condie
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
Elemental by Antony John

Pocket / Gallery:
Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual by Rick Sternbach and Ben Robinson
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: Silent Weapons: Book Two by David Mack

Pyr:
The Society of Steam: Power Under Pressure by Andrew P. Mayer
London Eye by Tim Lebbon
The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley
Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele

Robyn Wyrick:
Eviction Notice by Robyn Wyrick

Roc:
Mecha Rogue by Brett Patton
Supervolcano: All Fall Down by Harry Turtledove
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker

Scholastic:
Infinity Ring Book 2: Divide and Conquer by Carrie Ryan
Wings of Fire #2: The Lost Heir by Tui T. Sutherland

Simon & Schuster Teen:
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

Titan Books:
The Art of Assassin’s Creed III by Andy McVittie
Awakening: The Art of Halo 4
Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin
Lord of the Trees by Philip Jose Farmer

Tor:
Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey
The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest
Quintessence by David Walton
King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise
Bard’s Oath by Joanne Bertin
The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen

Tor Teen:
Renegade by J.A. Souders

Underworlds Press:
Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction

Walden Pond Press:
The Fellowship for Alien Detection by Kevin Emerson

Fantasy Book Review: Cold Days

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

After a near death experience, Harry Dresden finds himself the new Winter Knight to the ruthless Queen Mab. Now Harry is no longer just a wizard, but has the power of Winter as well. But along with this new power comes new temptation. And Harry needs all of his might to hold onto his free will. Unfortunately, Mab’s first order is to kill an immortal. Meanwhile, an island of magic is coming under attack that could lead to the destruction of everything Harry knows.

This is the 14th installment in the wildly popular Dresden Files. Fans will be glad to see Harry’s return to the living, yet he has certainly changed. Harry is constantly fighting back a darkness within. And during his absence, his friends have changed as well.

As always, the odds are against Harry and the situation is grim. And there is always someone waiting around the corner to take a shot at him – some new faces and some old. But Harry always has a quick comeback, never letting his situation dull his humor. I enjoyed his reference to Spider-Man, because his wit in the face of danger is very similar. This latest installment is longer than previous ones, but just as fast-paced and action-packed. Full of magic, monsters, mystery, and mayhem – Cold Days is a must-read.

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