SciFi Book Review: Centauriad 2: A Gathering of Wings

A Gathering of Wings: Centauriad Book II by Kate Klimo

Synopsis:
In A Gathering of Wings, Malora leaves the safety of Mount Kheiron for the bush and the bustling city of the Ka in search of Sky, the stallion who used to lead Malora’s herd of horses. Accompanied by her closest friends, Malora is faced with making decisions about her future in new ways.

Review:
Malora is now living an easy life, training as a blacksmith. And while she has gained acceptance and a new family among the Centaurs, Malora still feels like an outsider and fears she may be the last human. On her journey to find and rescue Sky, she meets a young man that she has been seeing in her dreams.

This sequel to Daughter of the Centaurs introduces readers to a wide variety of once-mythical creatures. But as we discover, instead of a fantasy world, this is a distant future where man played god and created these creatures from myth. Now humans are the endangered species. So while the story has the feel of a fantasy, technically it’s science fiction.

I absolutely loved the first novel, so I had high expectations for this one. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, drama, humor, and even a bit of romance. With strong characters, thorough world-building, and a fresh story A Gathering of Wings is another incredibly engaging read.

Guest Post: Alex Scarrow on TIMERIDERS: THE ETERNAL WAR

By Alex Scarrow:
With the 4th book in the TimeRiders series – THE ETERNAL WAR – soon to be released in the United States I thought I’d let readers into a little insight; I like to do concept art for my books before I write them. Usually I do images depicting some of the key scenes that will go into the book. This then helps me to visualize the scene before I write it. So, I figured, with the release date looming (July 1st) I thought I’d reveal a few of the pieces of concept work and talk a little about each piece and what you’re seeing.

If you’re the type that HATES SPOILERS….probably best to stop right here! (That, or just look at the pictures and don’t read the text.)

In this 4th book, our team discover that a young President Lincoln has been run over by a runaway cart in New Orleans and they’ll have to go back to prevent this happening otherwise the North will not have their wartime president many years later, resulting in the civil war taking a very different course!

But as always, things go wrong and having been saved, a curious 27 year old Lincoln follows our team back to the 21st century, only to escape the TimeRider’s Brooklyn archway and go on the run through modern day New York!

As a result of Lincoln being absent from the past, things inevitably go very differently. No President Lincoln means the civil war becomes a stale mate and America ends up becoming two nations living side by side in a permanent state of war. With the backing of Great Britain, the Southern Confederacy becomes a client state. We wind the clock forward a hundred and fifty years to the present…and the British have brought their industrial might to bear helping the south.

More than that…the British bring their military muscle to bear…

Read moreGuest Post: Alex Scarrow on TIMERIDERS: THE ETERNAL WAR

Blu Ray Review: Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters Blu Ray

Synopsis:
The fabled siblings are all grown up and hell-bent on tracking and killing witches wherever they hide in the no-holds-barred epic of modern action and adventure HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, taking flight on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand June 11, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Thomas Mann, and Peter Stormare. Written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, the film earned more than $200 million at the global box office and a sequel is in development. The movie tells the story of the brother and sister team seeking to avenge their parents’ deaths. But after a lifetime of hunting witches, Hansel and Gretel now must face an evil greater than anything they’ve seen: a terrifying new threat so massive, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Review:
As the synopsis states, this is a grown-up Hansel & Gretel. Having killed the witch who tried to eat them as children, the siblings begin making witch-hunting their job traveling from town to town ridding the land of the dark evil with considerable skill and clever gadgets. This steampunk, adult fairy tale is as dark and gruesome as it is smart and funny. Think Van Helsing meets Underworld.

While the over-the-top violence was a bit much for my taste, it was rounded out by plenty of humor. And the though a bit predictable, the acting was solid. I especially loved Jeremy Renner’s understated performance, as well as Famke Janssen’s evil witch persona. This fun, action-packed adventure is packed with suspense, mystery, romance, and excitement. I like that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a mindless action flick with entertaining characters and a fresh take on a well-known fairy tale.

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Includes:
Blu-ray:
• Feature film in high definition (Unrated version)
• Reinventing Hansel & Gretel
• The Witching Hours
• Meet Edward the Troll

DVD:
• Feature film in standard definition (Theatrical version)

DVD Giveaway: Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

Courtesy of Warner Bros, I have a copy of Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze for one (1) lucky winner:

Contest is open to US residents only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 5. I’ll draw a name on July 6, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreDVD Giveaway: Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

Blu Ray Spotlight: Mad Max Trilogy

Mad Max Trilogy Blu Ray

Synopsis:
The three films – Mad Max (1979), Mad Max Road Warrior (1982) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – are all set in the near-future in Australia. From the very first film, Oscar® winner George Miller (Happy Feet, 2006) proved a master at creating the gritty, bleak dystopian world and staging the incredible car stunts and crashes in the era when stuntmen, not computers, achieved the effects. All three movies starred Mel Gibson, virtually unknown until after the second film, as Max Rockatansky, a highway cop traveling through the Outback in a society descending into chaos. The films started Gibson on his road to international superstardom, led to his signature Lethal Weapon series, and later two Academy Awards® for his roles as producer and director of Braveheart (1995).

Mad Max:
A vengeful Australian policeman sets out to avenge his partner, his wife, and his son whom were murdered by a motorcycle gang in retaliation for the death of their leader.

Mad Max Road Warrior:
In the post-apocolyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline-rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome:
A former Australian policeman is rescued by a tribe of children when he is banished from a desert town and sent into the desert to die by the desert town’s evil queen.

The blu ray set is packaged in a collector’s tin with separate cover art. It’s a great addition to any classic scifi fan’s movie library. The films look great in HD, though I’m not sure the sound was remastered. The action and car chase scenes are loud and clear, but the dialog is hard to understand. And no, it’s not the Australian accents. Besides having to turn up/down the volume constantly, I really enjoyed revisiting these cult classic action films.

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