Star Trek: Discovery: Die Standing – Book Review

Star Trek: Discovery: Die Standing by John Jackson Miller

Synopsis:
No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation’s universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognizes it as a superweapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travelers. But will what she finds there end the threat—or give “Agent Georgiou” the means to create her old empire anew?

Review:
Emperor Georgiou from the Mirror Universe is a fantastically complex character in Discovery. She’s ruthless and unexpected – perfect for Section 31. This is one of her adventures while working with Section 31, set in between the 1st and 2nd seasons of Discovery.

This mission involves Georgiou, Emony Dax (a precursor of Jadzia and Ezri), and Sean Finnegan (shown briefly in the Original Series episode “Shore Leave”). Emony Dax has a secret to keep, but has altruistic motives. Sean is a bit unbalanced and provides a bit of humor to the story.

This standalone story is a lot of fun. Full of intrigue, suspense, new and unique aliens, and vivid characters – this was a fast-paced novel that was hard to put down. And the wonderfully-written Emony Dax made me want to go re-read The Lives of Dax, which is a collection of short stories from the lives of Dax, including Emony’s earlier career. This is a must-read for Georgiou fans. She is thrilling, oozes dark humor, and you can never predict what she’ll do. And I hope to see more of Georgiou’s escapades during her short time with Section 31.

The Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero – Book Review

Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

Synopsis:
Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York.

Will Meg have a last showdown with her father?

Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python?

Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist?

Review:
This is the fifth and final installment in the Trials of Apollo series, an offshoot of Percy Jackson. The Percy Jackson series was a favorite of mine, and this latest series is just as fun and exciting. As a punishment, Apollo has been sent to Earth as a mortal. Now, he is working with Meg and his other demigod friends to take down the evil king before he becomes unstoppable.

This finale doesn’t disappoint. With the odds increasingly against them, Apollo and his friends form unlikely alliances and face down an incredible foe. With a big showdown, suspense, drama, and plenty of humor at times to lighten the mood – middle readers to adults will enjoy this fantastic series. And while it’s not necessary to read the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, it is helpful to know some of the characters who overlap. And Riordan proves once again that he’s a master at middle grade fantasy.

Hero Collector Spotlight – Star Trek, Ghostbusters & 007!

Hero Collector is the publishing imprint of the collectibles company Eaglemoss Most of you have probably seen their Star Trek ship replicas. I’ve eyed quite a few of them! They sell collectables from some of the most popular genre brands such as Marvel and Harry Potter.

Star Trek Nerd Search: Quibbles with Tribbles by Glenn Dakin

I thought this was a simple look-and-find book. But, no. This is a book for nerds! The first page is a scorecard, then you can dig into the description and instructions. There are 4 types of puzzles in this book: find the exploding tribble, find the continuity errors, find the story element in each spread, and find the random quibbles (that only superfans will get).

There are eight, 2-page, full-color spreads. The exploding tribbles are easy to find. But you’ll spend more time on the other puzzles. And there’s a handy answer guide in the back if you really get stuck.

If you’re a Star Trek superfan of the original series, this is a great book to test your knowledge. The artwork is fantastic. And there are a lot of fun Easter Eggs that all Star Trek fans will enjoy.

Ghostbusters Nerd Search: Eerie Errors and Suspect Ghosts by Glenn Dakin

Similar to the Star Trek book above, this Ghostbusters version has a scorecard and 4 types of puzzles. Again, 8 fantastic 2-page spreads with scenes from the Ghostbusters films. Each spread depicts what to look for – from continuity errors to creatures from other mythologies.

There are answers, in the back, if you get stuck. But Ghostbusters fans will really enjoy these fun and unique scenes – whether you find everything or not.

50 Greatest James Bond Cars by Ben Robinson

If you love cars and James Bond – this book was made for you. The 50 cars included in the book are divided up by cars driven by Bond, driven by Bond’s allies, and driven by his enemies. So, quite a few Aston Martins, BMWs, Jaguars, and many more. Even a tank and a moon buggy. The updated Aston Martin from the upcoming film No Time To Die is even included. There is a huge variety of vehicles depicted.

Each vehicle has a nice write-up, specialized details about the car, and noteworthy moments from the movie it comes from. This is a gorgeous book, with a 2-page, full-color spread for each car.

Hush – Book Review

Hush by Dylan Farrow

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay… Of the disease that took her brother’s life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe.

When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend.

Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.

Review:
Shae is a strong and determined young woman. She is focused on finding her mother’s killer, above her own safety. It turns out that Shae has a rare gift, so she uses her new position to search for clues. But there is something far more sinister going on.

Hush is the first in a new YA fantasy series. It’s set in a unique world that takes a while to start to understand. But the story is captivating from the start. It’s full of suspense, drama, and intrigue. There are several gripping twists along the way, as well as engaging characters. I devoured this one quickly, and can’t wait for the sequel.

Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games

Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games by Brandon Mull

Synopsis:
The war against dragons intensifies. Will Kendra and Seth find the help they desperately need from the Giant Queen? This fourth book in a five-book series leaves the underwater dragon preserve of Crescent Lagoon for a gladiator-style arena at Titan Valley, the magical realm of towering giants and enslaved dragons. Our two young heroes have never felt so small or faced a challenge so . . . giant!

Review:
Kendra is busy trying to stop the dragon invasion, while trying to find her brother as well. And Seth just wants to get his memories back. Their journeys both collide at Titan Valley. But it’s uncertain if they can trust each other’s motives.

Champion of the Titan Games is the next to last in this captivating spin-off series of Fablehaven. The adventure and excitement doesn’t let up as these adventurers face a wild array of challenges and dangerous creatures. All of the humor, suspense, mystery, and drama make this – and Brandon Mull’s other books – must-reads. There are always fun twists and surprises along the way. Mull is a master of children’s fantasy – the engaging characters, unique worldbuilding, and thrilling adventures. I enjoyed this installment from beginning to end. And now the final book in the series can’t come soon enough!

The Mirror: Broken Wish – Book Review

The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C Dao

Synopsis:
The Mirror: Broken Wish marks the first book in an innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, Jennifer Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow.

But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner-none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late.

Review:
Elva has a gift – or a curse – according to how you look at it. She has visions, that always seem to come true. And when she discovers letters from the witch in the woods to her mother, Elva realizes that she needs to seek help from the one person who has no reason to.

Broken Wish is a captivating fairy tale. It’s dark and heart-wrenching. But Elva’s hope and kindness affects everyone around her. She’s an amazing young woman who thinks nothing of personal gain, just for those most hurting. This isn’t a Disney princess fairy tale, with everyone living “happily ever after.” But there is a hope for the future. And this beautifully-written tale makes me excited for the next in the series.

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