TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS – Part 1 Excerpt!

TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini

Part 1 Excerpt:

Cold fear shot through Kira’s gut.

Together, she and Alan scrambled into their clothes. Kira spared a second of thought for her strange dream—everything felt strange at the moment—and then they hurried out of the cabin and rushed over toward Neghar’s quarters.

As they approached, Kira heard hacking: a deep, wet, ripping sound that made her imagine raw flesh going through a shredder. She shuddered.

Neghar was standing in the middle of the hallway with the others gathered around her, doubled over, hands on her knees, coughing so hard Kira could hear her vocal cords fraying. Fizel was next to her, hand on her back. “Keep breathing,” he said. “We’ll get you to sickbay. Jenan! Alan! Grab her arms, help carry her. Quickly now, qu—”

Neghar heaved, and Kira heard a loud, distinct snap from inside the woman’s narrow chest.

Black blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, painting the deck in a wide fan.

Marie-Élise shrieked, and several people retched. The fear from Kira’s dream returned, intensified. This was bad. This was dangerous. “We have to go,” she said, and tugged on Alan’s sleeve. But he wasn’t listening.

“Back!” Fizel shouted. “Everyone back! Someone get the Extenuating Circumstances on the horn. Now!”

“Clear the way!” Mendoza bellowed.

More blood sprayed from Neghar’s mouth, and she dropped to one knee. The whites of her eyes were freakishly wide. Her face was crimson, and her throat worked as if she were choking.

“Alan,” said Kira. Too late; he was moving to help Fizel.

She took a step back. Then another. No one noticed; they were all looking at Neghar, trying to figure out what to do while staying out of the way of the blood flying from her mouth.

Kira felt like screaming at them to leave, to run, to escape.

She shook her head and pressed her fists against her mouth, scared blood was going to erupt out of her as well. Her head felt as if it were about to burst, and her skin was crawling with horror: a thousand ants skittering over every centimeter. Her whole body itched with revulsion.

Jenan and Alan tried to lift Neghar back to her feet. She shook her head and gagged. Once. Twice. And then she spat a clot of something onto the deck. It was too dark to be blood. Too liquid to be metal.

*Printed with permission
__________________

About the Book:
Exploring new worlds is all Kira Navarez ever dreamed of doing. But now she has found her nightmare.
On a distant planet ripe for a colony, she has discovered a relic previously unseen by human eyes.
It will transform her entirely and forever.
Humanity will face annihilation.
She is alone. We are not.
There is no going back.

About the Author:
Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana. He published his first novel, Eragon, in 2003 at the age of nineteen, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. His Inheritance Cycle—Eragon and its three sequels—have sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is his first adult novel.

Loop – Book Review

The Loop by Ben Oliver

Synopsis:
It’s Luka Kane’s sixteenth birthday and he’s been inside The Loop for over two years. Every inmate is serving a death sentence with the option to push back their execution date by six months if they opt into “Delays”, scientific and medical experiments for the benefit of the elite in the outside world.

But rumors of a war on the outside are spreading amongst the inmates, and before they know it, their tortuous routine becomes disrupted. The government issued rain stops falling. Strange things are happening to the guards. And it’s not long until the inmates are left alone inside the prison.

Were the chains that shackled Luka to his cell the only instruments left to keep him safe? In a thrilling shift, he must overcome fellow prisoners hell-bent on killing him, the warden losing her mind, the rabid rats in the train tunnels, and a population turned into murderous monsters to try and break out of The Loop, save his family, and discover who is responsible for the chaos that has been inflicted upon the world.

Review:
Dystopian scifi is really popular, especially in YA media. And this debut is very impressive. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an engaging and suspenseful novel. There is a sense of panic and fear that makes this book impossible to put down. Luka is a sympathetic character. And the rest of the kids Luka meets, we learn along with him what their true characters are when they’re put to the test. This story is original and exciting. And I’ve read that it’s already been optioned for a TV series.

This is the first in a planned trilogy. And I can’t wait for the next installment.

Received in April

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

Abrams / Amulet:
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Disney Hyperion:
Disney Princess Royally Fierce by Brittany Rubiano
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies by Andrew Donkin
Artemis Fowl: How to Be a LEPrecon: Your Guide to the Gear, Gadgets, and Going… by Matthew K. Manning
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Camp Jupiter Classified by Rick Riordan

Entangled:
Storybound by Emily McKay

Harper Teen:
Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross

Subterranean Press:
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard
Dancers in the Dark & Layla Steps Up: The Layla Collection by Charlaine Harris
The Kraken’s Tooth by Anthony Ryan

Titan Books:
Firefly – The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove

Tor:
Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff
Critical Point by S. L. Huang

Arrow Season 8 and Entire Series Release – Spotlight


ARROW: THE EIGHTH AND FINAL SEASON
Available on Blu-ray™ & DVD April 28, 2020

BURBANK, CA (February 5, 2020) – After eight remarkable seasons, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC mark the end of an epic era with its final installment of the suspenseful and action-packed series with the release of Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season on Blu-ray & DVD April 28, 2020. Get ready for nonstop action from start to finish with all 10 action-packed episodes from the eighth and final season, plus the show’s 2019 Comic-Con Panel, the broadcast special Arrow: Hitting the Bullseye and deleted scenes! A limited edition bonus disc featuring all five DC Crossover Event: Crisis on Infinite Earths episodes will be available exclusively for fans who purchase the Blu-ray. Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP ($29.98 in Canada) and $29.98 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Code (U.S. only), ($39.99 in Canada). Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

Arrow: The Complete Series will also be available for fans to own on Blu-ray and DVD for $189.99 / $169.99 SRP ($249.99 / $229.99 in Canada). The bonus disc is included in the Blu-ray Complete Series set.

Synopsis:
Following the arrival of The Monitor, Oliver Queen left his home, his family, & his team behind to take on his most challenging battle yet, knowing the cost may be his life. But this time it’s not just his city he’s seeking to protect – it’s the entire multiverse! Oliver’s quest will send him on a journey where he is forced to confront the ultimate question: what is the true cost of being a hero?

Arrow stars Stephen Amell (Private Practice, Heartland), David Ramsey (Dexter), Rick Gonzalez (Reaper), Juliana Harkavy (Dolphin Tale, The Walking Dead), Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters, Happyland), Ben Lewis (Chasing Life, Suits) and Joseph David-Jones (Nashville, Allegiant) with Katie Cassidy (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Based on the characters from DC, Arrow is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Beth Schwartz (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Jill Blankenship (The Last Ship) and Sarah Schechter (The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot, Black Lightning). Marc Guggenheim (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Eli Stone, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) serves as consulting producer.

BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES:
 The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2019
 Arrow: Hitting the Bullseye (Special)
 Deleted Scenes

BLU-RAY BONUS DISC:
• All Five Epic Episodes of the DC Crossover Event: Crisis on Infinite Earths from Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
• Bonus Disc Features:
 Crisis Past and Present: Kevin Conroy Bat Legend
 Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Architects Return
 Crisis Past and Present – Superman vs. Superman
 Characters in Crisis: Pariah
 Crisis Management
 Character in Crisis: The Anti-Monitor

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES:
1. Starling City
2. Welcome to Hong Kong
3. Leap of Faith
4. Present Tense
5. Prochnost
6. Reset
7. Purgatory
8. Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Four
9. Green Arrow & The Canaries
10. Fadeout

DIGITAL:
The eighth and final season and the Complete Series of Arrow are currently available to own on Digital. Digital allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital is available from various retailers including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation, Xbox and others. A Digital Code is also included in the U.S. with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

Seven of Infinities – Book Giveaway

Courtesy of Subterranean Press, I have an early review copy of Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard 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 May 22. I’ll draw a name on May 23, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreSeven of Infinities – Book Giveaway

The Companions – Book Review

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

Synopsis:
The consciousness of the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service of the living. For the wealthy, this means an opportunity to remain with their families long after their physical bodies have deteriorated. For the less fortunate, they are destined to be rented out to strangers as the intellectual property of the corporation that owns them. But one young woman, Lilac, is about to change everything…

What does it mean to be human? Can human consciousness be owned? Is defying death a gift or a prison? What if identity theft truly meant having all your thoughts, memories, and experiences stolen?

Review:
The Companions is a unique novel, as told from eight different characters over a course of time. We’re first introduced to Lilac who becomes a Companion for a young girl. She has all the memories and personality of who she was before, but limited to a robot body. But an act of rebellion steers can change the course of Companions forever.

This is an impressive debut. Each character was so unique and well-crafted that it was easy to jump into each scenario. And I got wrapped up in each narrative. This was an emotional roller coaster with plenty of suspense and heartache. I do wish some things were better explained, like why the companions artificial bodies deteriorated so fast and why there weren’t ways around that. And the ending felt a little disjointed and unfinished.
But overall, I really enjoyed this strange and tragic tale.

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