Received in August

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

DVD/Blu Rays:
Arrow Seventh The Complete Season Blu Ray
The Flash The Complete Fifth Season Blu Ray
The Banana Splits Movie Blu Ray
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Blu Ray
Avengers Endgame Blu Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Berkley:
Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson
The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham
The Nobody People by Bob Proehl
Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season

Disney Hyperion / Freeform:
#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil
City of Beasts by Corrie Wang
Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Gallery Books:
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Antares Maelstrom by Greg Cox

Harper Voyager:
Rule of Capture by Christopher Brown

HMH:
Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd
A Trick of Light by Stan Lee

Ink Yard Press:
Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Saga Press / Scout Press:
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
Foe by Iain Reid
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories by Ellen Datlow

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse:
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Subterranean Press:
The Best of Elizabeth Bear by Elizabeth Bear
King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly
Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

Tor:
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Kingmaker by Margaret Weis
The Mage-Fire War by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund
Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff
Inch by Inch by Morgan Llywelyn

Tor Teen:
Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre

Graphic Novel Review: Before Houdini and After Houdini

Before Houdini by Jeremy Holt

Synopsis:
The exciting second volume of the After Houdini saga explores the origins of the elusive master of magic, the man who would become…Houdini.

London, 1888. A shadowy killer stalks the streets of London, his appetite for blood unleashed upon the city’s lower classes. To defeat him, MI6 turns to its most top-secret team: four teenage agents with extraordinary gifts—including a young American immigrant with a talent for illusion . . .

After Houdini began the story of Josef Houdini, son of the famous Harry Houdini—brillian illusionist, acclaimed escape artist, and top-secret covert operative. Now we turn back the clock and meet Ehrich Weiss, a young man whose skill at picking locks is about to land him the adventure of his dreams, and pull him into a war that will affect his life—and his son’s—for years to come. This is the story of Ehrich’s strange beginnings, from before he was a world-famous magician. Before he was a master of espionage. Before he was…Houdini.

After Houdini by Jeremy Holt

Synopsis:
Harry Houdini, master magician and covert spy for the United States, has been kidnapped. The only man who can save him is his estranged son Josef, who, like his father, knows the power of magic—and how it can be more than just an illusion.

Josef Houdini takes after his father: A gifted escape artist, there’s not a jam he can’t get himself out of. Then again, when your father is one of the greatest illusionists of all time, that comes as no surprise. What does come as a surprise is the fact that Harry Houdini is not only the world’s greatest magician, but also a top-secret operative for the US government during World War I. In rare form he finds himself trapped—stuck on a mission he is unable to escape from. That’s why the government needs his son to fill his shoes and complete the mission—but does Josef have the wherewithal to do it? Or is the possibility of success just an illusion?

Review:
I was able to read these graphic novels back-to-back with no prior knowledge of the series. And even though After Houdini was published first, I read Before Houdini first. The villain is the main connection between the two stories. Young Ehrich Weiss (Houdini) is recruited to a secret organization within MI6 that deals with the paranormal. Then, in After Houdini, his son is recruited. I actually enjoyed the prequel a bit more because of there were other fascinating characters with abilities. And the story was even more thrilling.

While the stories are different, they both have the same mix of mystery and horror. And the suspense builds to dark but satisfying finales. The artwork certainly adds to the nostalgic feel, hard and edgy. Though, I had a hard time telling a couple of the older gentlemen apart in After Houdini, which was a bit confusing at times. I also wish we learned something more about the monstrous villain. I hope there is a planned continuation of the story in Before Houdini, as there seems to be a lot left to explore.

Graphic Novel Review: Mera: Tidebreaker

Mera: Tidebreaker

Synopsis:
Princess Mera is teenage royalty and heir to the throne of Xebel, a penal colony ruled by the other no-so-lost land under the sea, Atlantis. Her father, his court and the entire kingdom are expecting her to marry and introduce a new king. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown.

When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry–the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution?

Review:
Mera is a rebellious teen, with hopes of her kingdom breaking free of Atlantis, in this standalone graphic novel. This fresh, new story is exciting and inventive. This is a coming-of-age story for Mera, as she has to decide what’s right – choosing to follow her father’s orders or believing in this surprisingly kind young man who is to become the future leader of Atlantis. This is a teenage Arthur as well, before he becomes Aquaman. The story is dramatic and suspenseful. And the artwork and coloring is fun and different. Aquaman and Mera fans will want to check this one out.

Captain Marvel Movie Spoiler-Free Review

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel | “Empower” TV Spot

Captain Marvel

Synopsis:
Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

Review:
When “Vers”crashes to Earth (in the mid-’90s), she begins searching for answers to her strange flashes of memories of a life she doesn’t remember. But the Skrull are also on earth and can appear as anyone. Vers teams up with a young Nick Fury to find a piece of technology before the Skrull can steal it.

As a huge Captain Marvel fan, I had very high hopes for this movie. I’m usually disappointed when the whole movie is given away in the trailers. And I try to stay away from spoilers (not fan theories though). Thankfully, they still had a few surprises for me. Some a little predictable, but still fun. But there was a big twist I didn’t see coming. Some comic fans may not like one of the bigger changes made to Captain Marvel lore, but I enjoyed it.

The cast was fantastic. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Samuel L Jackson have great chemistry. And Ben Mendelsohn and Annette Bening were exceptional in their roles. I only wish Agent Coulson had more screen time! The story was an origin story and a prequel. But the story was layered with a good plot and fun easter eggs. It’s definitely action-packed as well and loaded with humor and feel-good moments.

Captain Marvel is an inspiring woman. She has had to work harder to get to where she’s at – and never gives up. She has a sense of humor and can still be vulnerable – even though she’s one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU. It’s no wonder she has become one of my all-time favorites.
There’s a lot packed into this powerful and inspiring movie. And I look forward to seeing it again.

Steel Prince Blog Tour: Book Giveaway


Courtesy of Titan Comics, I have a copy of Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince Vol. 1 for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends March 15. I’ll draw a name on March 16, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreSteel Prince Blog Tour: Book Giveaway

New Captain Marvel and The Skrull-Attack LEGO Set Review and Promo Clips

Captain Marvel releases on March 8th, and I’m so excited, that I’ve already asked for the day off to go see the movie on IMAX in the middle of the day.

I also ordered the Captain Marvel and The Skrull-Attack LEGO set the day it was available, direct from the website. It retails at $29.99. It’s a fun set with a cool Quinjet that shoots multiple missiles at once. And includes Captain Marvel, Fury, a Skrull, and Goose (formerly Chewie in the comics). It comes in 3 separate bags with clear instructions, and 1 page of stickers.

I only wish there were more LEGO sets for the film, as I’d buy them all!

Here’s the recent Captian Marvel featurette that just released:

Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel | Featurette

And a special look that just released as well… enjoy!

Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel | Special Look

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