Stargate SG-1: Infiltration – Book Review

STARGATE SG-1: Infiltration by Susannah Parker Sinard

Synopsis:
Why was Major Sam Carter chosen as a host by the alien invader in the STARGATE SG-1 episode “Entity”? In this exciting adventure we discover the mission that led the entity to its fateful decision…

Captured by the Goa’uld Lugh, Carter faces a hard choice: help repair a cloaking device that would give Lugh a dangerous advantage or allow SG-1 to be handed over to the System Lords. But all is not as it seems among the Goa’uld under Lugh’s command, and SG-1 soon find themselves recruited by underground operatives possessing a rare gift that allows them to infiltrate Lugh’s inner circle. However, it is a gift that comes at a terrible price—a price that may yet cost SG-1 their lives.

Meanwhile, the alien entity continues scanning SG-1’s mission reports in its quest to preserve its own life…

Review:
Infiltration is set during the 4th season of SG-1, when Apophis is still alive. Towards the end of the season, an energy entity takes over Carter’s body in “Entity.” This is a bit of a lead-in as the beginning of each chapter, the alien is learning more about this mission and making it’s choice based on what it finds from this mission.

In this story, the team has been captured by minor Goa’ulds in hopes of gaining favor with the System Lords. But there is a power-struggle from within Lord Lugh’s ranks, and Carter’s expertise with a cloaking device is worth even more than their lives.

There are a lot of surprises within this SG-1 adventure. The characters are spot-on, from Carter’s unspoken communication with O’Neill to each of the team’s individual personalities. The Goa’uld characters are very engaging. And the underground movement on the planet leads to some difficult moral dilemmas. This captivating, complex story was a fantastic addition to the Stargate universe. It was well-paced and kept me guessing to the exciting finale. After a recent re-watch/binge of the series, I can’t get enough of the characters; and I thoroughly enjoyed this fun installment.

Salvation – Book Review

Salvation by Caryn Lix

Synopsis:
Kenzie and her friends have already escaped two vicious alien attacks—not to mention the corporate bounty hunters sent to capture them. They’re haunted by the friends they’ve lost and the hard choices they’ve had to make in this war they never asked for.

And now, thanks to superpowers she received from the very aliens she’s fighting, Kenzie has stranded everyone on a strange planet with no way off. She just wanted a safe place from the monstrous creatures terrorizing her world, but this new planet has dangers of its own, and Kenzie will have to uncover its secrets if she has any hope of ever making it home again.

Sacrifice is nothing new for Kenzie. She’ll do anything—anything—to destroy the aliens that killed both of her parents. But how can Kenzie save Earth if she can’t even save the people she loves?

Review:
Kenzie and her group of superpowered teens have arrived on a desolate planet, separated from some of them. And with no idea of where they are nor what dangers lurk ahead, they have no idea how to get home.

Salvation is the third and final installment in this electrifying, YA scifi trilogy. This planet is strange and dangerous and holds quite a few mysteries. And the thrilling suspense makes for another fast-paced adventure that doesn’t let up. With plenty of shocking reveals along the way and captivating characters, this novel maybe the most memorable of the 3. I love this series. And this finale is an incredible culmination of events that leads to an unforgettable ending. Both teens and adult science fiction fans should check out this dark and exciting trilogy.

Doom Patrol: Complete 2nd Season – Blu-Ray Review

Doom Patrol: The Complete Second Season

Synopsis:
DC’s strangest group of heroes are back again to save the world – that is if they can find a way to grow up…both figuratively and literally. Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the DOOM PATROL now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal with Niles Caulder aka The Chief, while confronting their own personal baggage.

Review:
The first season of Doom Patrol was more of an origin story for everyone and the team itself, though there was still a foe to overcome. But this season focuses mainly on Nile’s daughter Dorothy, a girl who has been forced to stay young – in order to keep a monstrous evil at bay. Though the season is only 9 episodes, there is a lot of complex stories interwoven in this fantastic new installment. Full of humor, interpersonal drama, intense suspense – this sophomore season doesn’t disappoint. We get a deeper look at Jane’s past, Larry’s family, and Cyborg finds love. But this is the Doom Patrol, so no one seems to have happiness that lasts very long. Dorothy is a wonderfully complex girl. She emotes such sweet innocence, so it’s easy to feel for her. But soon the creepiness factor comes along. I enjoyed this season almost as much as the first. This season gets a bit darker than before, and even more heart-wrenching. And the climactic ending leaves off in a major cliffhanger that made me impatient for the next season!

Received in January

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

Bu-Ray/DVDs:
Doom Patrol – The Complete Second Season Blu-Ray
Snowpiercer – The Complete First Season Blu-Ray

Disney / Hyperion:
Star Wars The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray
The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

HMH:
The Unfinished Land by Greg Bear

Insight Editions / DC Comics:
Exploring Gotham City by Matthew Manning

Macmillan Teen / Imprint:
All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

Simon Pulse:
Salvation by Caryn Lix

Subterranean Press:
The Best of Harry Turtledove
The Cretaceous Past by Cixin Liu

Tor:
Into the Light by David Weber and Chris Kennedy

Ready Player Two – Book Review

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

Synopsis:
Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous—and addictive—than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest—a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize.

And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who’ll kill millions to get what he wants. Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.

Review:
Ready Player One was just a contest with a clear winner. Ready Player Two has a similar feel, but in this latest quest, most of humanity is at stake in their race against the clock. Wade and his friends must once again use clues that lead them on an exciting 80s-themed adventure.

I enjoyed the previous novel, but this sequel is even more exciting as there is a greater sense of urgency this time around. Even if you didn’t read the last book but did watch the movie, it’s easy enough to pick this up and have no problem following. As an 80s kid, of course my favorite part of this series is the 80s nostalgia – the games, movies, and music. Wade and his friends are fun characters as well; and it was great to revisit their lives after they won the contest. It’s the sequel I didn’t know I needed, as the last didn’t exactly leave off on a cliffhanger. But more about OASIS and it’s founders are revealed as well as a previously unknown danger. This action-packed, science fiction novel was non-stop suspense until the climactic and surprising finale.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Wings of Fury – Book Review

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury by Brittney Morris

Synopsis:
The official prequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales from Marvel and Insomniac Games, with an exclusive adventure that leads directly into the game itself.

MILES MORALES has a lot going on, what with moving to a new neighborhood, dealing with the loss of his father, and the whole gaining super-powers thing. After a misunderstanding with the law, Miles questions what it means to be a hero when people are ready to believe the worst in you. Tempted by the power and freedom of his new abilities, Miles must decide what kind of Spider-Man he wants to be.

When Vulture starts wreaking havoc across the city with his new accomplice Starling, Miles can’t just sit back and watch. Teamed up with Peter Parker, the two Spider-Men must stop the winged duo before they can unleash experimental tech across the whole city. With lives at risk, can Miles step up and be a hero?

Review:
While I won’t be playing the game, I am a Spider-Man fan – both Peter Parker and Miles Morales. And this is a fantastic standalone story in the Spider-Man universe. In this iteration, Miles has recently lost his father; and he and his mother have moved in with his grandmother. And his best friend Ganke doesn’t yet know about his secret. Both Miles and Peter team up against the Vulture and his new apprentice Starling as they try to spread a grotesque virus on the city.

This is a great Spider-Man story from middle-grade to adult. And I love that the author delves into a hard, but necessary real-life scenario when Miles gets mistaken for a thief, just because of the color of his skin and that he’s wearing a hoodie. It’s raw, emotional, and frustrating scene for a person of any color to read. The story itself is very fast-paced and action-packed. Full of suspense, drama, and humor – I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I’d love to read more Miles Morales stories from this wonderful author who can meld important themes for today into a fun, comic book adaptation.

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