Book Giveaway: The Hydra Protocol

Courtesy of William Morrow, I have a copy of The Hydra Protocol by David Wellington 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 28. I’ll draw a name on March 1, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: The Hydra Protocol

SciFi Book Review: Phoenix Island

Phoenix Island

Phoenix Island by John Dixon

Synopsis:
A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become. For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence. And for Carl, it’s just the beginning.

Review:
Carl has a good heart and feels an uncontrollable urge to help kids getting bullied. But his anger takes over and he loses control, feeling no remorse for the bullies. And Phoenix Island is no reform school. Things go from bad to worse as Carl uncovers the truth behind the island.

Phoenix Island is the inspiration for the CBS’ new show Intelligence. But besides a computer chip in someone’s head funded by a secret organization, the similarities end. Phoenix Island is more Hunger Games meets Ender’s Game – a militaristic camp where only the strongest survive. This dystopian thriller is a fast-paced read with vivid characters. It’s gritty, dark, and emotional. The suspense builds to an exciting conclusion, left open for a promising series.

Helix Sneak Peek Clips

Helix — Airs Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy

The White Room – First Look at Episode 5
SUMMARY: Watch an exclusive sneak peek of the latest Helix episode! The outfall of a scientist’s death puts Balleseros at risk while Hatake makes a huge revelation.

Episode 4 – Inside Helix
SUMMARY: Catherine Lemieux (Dr. Doreen Boyle) gives us a dramatic summary of last week’s episode. Poor, Dr. Boyle.

SciFi Book Review: Fugitive X

Fugitive X

Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum

Synopsis:
After the robot revolution, people who escaped capture by the bots made their homes in secret freeposts in the wilderness outside bot-controlled Cities. Siblings Nick, Kevin, and Cass never would have dreamed of venturing into the Cities. But when their parents were kidnapped, they had no choice but to follow them.
Not everything went as planned, and the siblings find themselves fleeing the City without their parents. And then the three are separated, and for the first time they are on their own. Cass is brought in for reprogramming by the bots; Nick joins up with rebel soldiers; and Kevin meets the man who is responsible for the robot technology—and their only chance at defeating the robots once and for all. As the three fight to take down the bots, they also must prepare for a looming war between bots and humans that will decide the fate of the human world forever.

Review:
Nick, Kevin, and Cass are separated in a traumatic event. Nick has no idea where his little brother is, but joins with rebels to try to find both of his siblings at any cost. Cass is taken by bots back to a city, where she finally meets her birth parents – but is brainwashed like everyone else. And Kevin is taken under duress to a secret settlement where he meets the man responsible for the robot uprising.

Fugitive X is a fast-paced, action-packed sequel. I enjoyed it even more than the first. Kevin’s predicament especially was the highlight of the story. He forms a relationship with someone he thought an enemy. He feels like The Terminator’s “John Connor” of this series. Full of suspense, intrigue, and adventure – this post-apocalyptic novel had to be read in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down. The next in the series can’t come soon enough.

Blu-Ray Review: Star Trek: Enterprise – Complete Third Season

Star Trek Enterprise Complete Third Season

Star Trek: Enterprise – Complete Third Season Blu-ray

Synopsis:
After a surprise attack on Earth leaves over seven million people dead, Captain Jonathan archer (Scott Bakula) and the crew of the Enterprise swear to find those responsible – the Xindi. Taking off into the uncharted region known as the Delphic Expanse, the crew of the Enterprise must hunt down the Xindi and stop them from enacting their ultimate plan: the total destruction of humanity. Along the way, they travel to the year 2004 to prevent a bioweapon attack, fend off the mysterious Sphere-Builders, and even meet their own descendants due to a wormhole mishap – all leading up to a desperate race back to Earth to prevent its destruction.

Review:
Season 3 of Enterprise introduced the much-disputed Xindi storyline. Some loved it. Some hated it. Personally, I enjoyed it at first, but thought it dragged on way too long. The Xindi themselves were a fascinating set of races to learn about – so many diverse aliens that came from one planet – who became unique villains.

Standout episodes were: “North Star” when the Enterprise discover a Human settlement in the Delphic Expanse that seems to be stuck in the Old West. “Similitude” – when Trip is injured and falls into a coma, a clone is created as a last ditch effort to save him. “Carpenter Street” – when the crew travels back to 2004 to stop a Xindi attack. But the vast majority of the season is spent on the Xindi and their superweapon. I actually missed several of these episodes when it was originally on air. So it was nice to go back and catch up. Though, it still felt like the Xindi storyline went on too long. I prefer the standalone episodes of the earlier series. But I still enjoy and appreciate this cast and their chemistry. The good outweighed the negative aspects of the show. So, I gladly watch it again and again. This blu ray edition offers a variety of special features detailed below. I’m a sucker for outtakes and deleted scenes. And I enjoyed the Archival Mission Logs for Connor Trinneer and the Xindi Saga begins. A couple of the featurettes are in HD as well.

Special Features:
Archival Mission Logs:
– The Xindi Saga Begins
– Enterprise Moments: Season 3
– Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer
– A Day In The Life of A Director: Roxann Dawson
– Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush
– Enterprise Secrets
– Outtakes
– Photo Gallery
– NX-01 Files 7, 8, 9
Commentaries
Deleted Scenes
In A Time of War (HD)
Temporal Cold War: Declassified (HD)

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