SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Body Electric

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Body Electric by David Mack

Synopsis:
A planet-sized Machine of terrifying power and unfathomable purpose hurls entire star systems into a supermassive black hole. Wesley Crusher, now a full-fledged Traveler, knows the Machine must be stopped . . . but he has no idea how. Wesley must enlist the aid of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew, who also fail to halt the unstoppable alien juggernaut’s destructive labors. But they soon divine the Machine’s true purpose—-a purpose that threatens to exterminate all life in the Milky Way Galaxy. With time running out, Picard realizes he knows of only one person who might be able to stop the Machine in time to avert a galactic catastrophe—if only he had any idea how to find him.

Review:
As Data hunts for the one man who may be able to bring his daughter back to life, Wesley seeks out the Enterprise to help stop a Machine from destroying the entire galaxy. Meanwhile, relationship drama ensues with a couple crew members. And Beverly worries that Wesley’s time as a Traveler has changed him too much.

This final installment in the Cold Equations trilogy is packed with excitement, suspense, and drama. The Enterprise is always at her best with a seemly impossible situation. And this Machine is pretty much unstoppable by force. With references to several familiar stories, this fan was thrilled to see the return of Wesley, the Followship, and mention of V’ger. The Body Electric is a fantastically climactic story that builds to a thrilling and emotional finale. Don’t miss this stellar trilogy.

Book Giveaway: Sword-Bound

Courtesy of Daw Books, I have a copy of Sword-Bound by Jennifer Roberson 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 15. I’ll draw a name on February 16, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Sword-Bound

SciFi Book Review: The Society of Steam: Power Under Pressure

The Society of Steam: Power Under Pressure by Andrew P. Mayer

Synopsis:
The Society of Paragons is gone—destroyed from within by traitors and enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth of the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as “The Shell,” Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his image—everything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton.

The device is nearer than he knows. Just across the East River, hiding in a Brooklyn Junkyard, Sarah Stanton is trying to come to restore the mechanical man to life. But before she can rebuild her friend, she must first discover the indomitable power of her own heart and save herself. Only then will she be able to forge a ragtag group of repentant villains, damaged Paragons, and love-mad geniuses into the team of heroes known as “The Society of Steam.”

Review:
Sarah has been staying with Emilio and his sister Viola while Emilio rebuilds the Automaton. As Sarah and Emilio grow closer, Viola’s heart turns darker after the events in the last book have left her scarred physically and emotionally. Meanwhile Anubis goes through his own transformation in regards to his hero persona. And Nathaniel makes the biggest change of all.

This is the final installment in The Society of Steam trilogy. The character development has been the highlight of this trilogy for me. Action-packed and full of suspense, this steampunk adventure is an exciting and satisfying conclusion to the Lord Eschaton plot. Yet there is plenty left untold or open-ended, leaving room for future possible stories for the Society of Steam.

SciFi Book Review: Doomed

Doomed by Tracy Deebs

Synopsis:
Pandora’s just your average teen-glued to her cell phone and laptop, surfing Facebook and e-mailing with her friends-until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father-her one key to saving the world as we know it.

Review:
Set in modern day, Pandora doesn’t want to be just “one of the crowd.” She has been warned by her mother not to have any contact with her father, but when her mother forgets her birthday, Pandora opens an email from her father… and unleashes a literal countdown to doomsday. Stepbrothers Eli and Theo provide assistance in the game, in just staying alive, and a steamy love triangle.

First in a new series, this is an exciting, fast-paced thriller. Fans of apocalypse fiction and gamers will enjoy this fresh story where the power goes out with a race against the clock. It sounds a bit like the TV show Revolution, but only to the point where the world loses power. Doomed is a fun mix of mystery, gaming, mild (almost believable) science fiction, adventure and romance. This, thankfully, doesn’t leave off on a cliffhanger, like so many other series debuts. Instead, it works well as a standalone, yet with plenty of promise for an upcoming series.

Book Giveaway: Battle

Courtesy of Daw Books, I have a copy of Battle by Michelle West 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 15. I’ll draw a name on February 16, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Battle

Fantasy Book Review: Splintered

Splintered by AG Howard

Synopsis:
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Review:
Alyssa is a sympathetic girl with a mother in a mental institution. She has a crush on her neighbor Jeb, but he’s dating someone else. And to make matters worse, Alyssa thinks her mother’s mental illness is genetic as she hears insects talking to her regularly. But when Alyssa is pulled through the looking glass, she knows for sure that her mother isn’t really crazy. Her lineage is cursed.

Howard’s Wonderland is a dark and dangerous place with a unique spin on Lewis Carroll’s version. Nothing is as it seems and is often the reverse of the real world. Morpheus is a sweet talking “insect” who needs Alyssa’s help to set things right in Wonderland. But Morpheus hasn’t told Alyssa everything. And while she feels an attraction to Morpheus as well as Jeb, Alyssa isn’t a damsel in distress is this coming-of-age novel. Splintered is an enchanting tale with vivid characters, a complex story, and romance that is simply captivating.

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