Category Archives: SciFi

Book Review: Star Wars: Millennium Falcon Book and Mega Model

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon Book and Mega Model

This over-sized book is a fun, new book for kids – all about the Millennium Falcon.

There are detailed blueprints.

And character descriptions from familiar crew.

Stunning ports of call.

Games

And best of all, you can build a model ship that measures 12″ x 12″! I haven’t put it together yet, but it’s made of a sturdy, thick foam board. The information is fascinating, the games are intriguing for kids, and the artwork and photos are vibrant. This book will make for a great snow day activity for my nieces and nephew.

Book Review: Star Wars: Scum and Villainy

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy’s Most Notorious by Pablo Hidalgo

Synopsis:
Crime in the galaxy is a constant—whether it’s seedy deals made on the lower levels of Coruscant or organized crime syndicates in the outer rim—but how galactic law enforcement has defined those crimes has shifted with each change of power.

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy profiles the misdeeds of infamous smugglers, pirates, gamblers, bounty hunters, and thieves throughout galactic history. Page through the case files of three generations of galactic law-enforcers and explore their case reports, surveillance images, warrants, artifacts, and much more in this lavishly illustrated and in-world narrated book that is showcased in a slipcase.

This stunning, over-sized book is a cross between a coffee table art book and a story book – with a really nice slip cover.

The images and character span the timeline of Star Wars.

From new characters.

To very familiar ones – the character profiles are diverse and thorough.

This book has an impressive amount of information and dossiers.

The artwork is fantastic. And the case reports are well-written and presented in a creative way. Star Wars fans will enjoy this fun collection of various characters – from rebels to the seedier elements.

Blu-Ray Review: Beyond the Sky

Beyond The Sky

Synopsis:
In BEYOND THE SKY, Chris Norton (Ryan Carnes) has been hearing about alien abductions his entire life but, in his gut, he knows they are not real. Setting out to disprove the alien abduction phenomenon once and for all, he attends a UFO convention to meet alleged abductees and reveal the truth behind their experiences. It is only when he meets Emily, who claims to have been abducted every seven years on her birthday, that Chris realizes there may be more to these claims than meets the eye. With Emily’s 28th birthday only days away, Chris helps her to uncover the truth as they come face to face with the reality that we are not alone.

Review:
Chris Norton’s father claims that his wife was abducted by aliens, when Chris believes his mother just walked out on them. He even has a video of that night with strange lights that could easily be explained. So Chris visits a UFO convention in New Mexico with the intent to prove them all wrong. He’s disrespectful at times, thinking it’s all funny, as I imagine many people would. And Chris finds the perfect person to investigate when her next supposed-abduction date is in just a couple days.

Beyond the Sky feels like a documentary, with a scifi twist. With the fascinating drama, there is a bit of humor, and several intense scenes. I enjoyed the inclusion of unique-looking alien figures and the creepiness of lost time – caught on camera. Emily is a great character who helps to get the viewer involved. And because of her, Chris becomes more likable as he tries to protect her. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. There were a couple of fun surprises that I didn’t see coming. And I loved the different take on an alien abduction story. This is definitely one of the better low budget scifi films I’ve seen.

The BEYOND THE SKY DVD and Blu-ray include the following bonus features:
• Interview with Travis Walton, Alien Abductee and Author of “Fire in the Sky”
• Interview with Navajo Artist at the International UFO Congress.

Received in October

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

Blu Rays:
Beyond the Sky Blu-ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Ace:
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey by Gordon Doherty

Daw:
Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Del Rey / Bantam:
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Thin Air by Richard K. Morgan
The Women’s War by Jenna Glass
The Book of Magic: A Collection of Stories by George R. R. Martin

Disney Hyperion:
The Adventurers Guild #2 Twilight of the Elves by Zack Loran Clark

Entangled Teen:
Toxic by Lydia Kang

Hachette Books:
Planet of the Apes: Caesar’s Story by Maurice

HMH:
Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Harper Collins / Avon:
Diamond Fire: A Hidden Legacy Novella by Ilona Andrews

Harper Voyager:
Dragonshadow by Elle Katharine White
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
The Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster
The Rift Frequency by Amy S. Foster
The Rift Coda by Amy S. Foster
The Lost Puzzler by Eyal Kless
<em>The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
The Kingdom of Copper by S. A Chakraborty

Macmillan Children’s / FSG / Henry Holt / Swoon:
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
The Lonely Dead by April Henry
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Mist, Metal, and Ash by Gwendolyn Clare
All We Could Have Been by TE Carter
A Soldier and A Liar by Caitlin Lochner

Midnight Ink:
Fatal Festival Days by Jamie M. Blair

Pegasus Books:
The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi

Pyr:
The Fall by Tracy Townsend

Shadow Mountain:
Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull

Simon & Schuster Kids / Simon Teen / Simon Pulse / Margaret K McElderr:
Children of Jubilee by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody
Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale
Slayer by Kiersten White

Subterranean Press:
The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

Tor / Forge:
Starless by Jacqueline Carey
Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds by Brandon Sanderson
The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
Restless Lightning by Richard Baker
The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
Nothing to Devour by Glen Hirshberg
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Tor Teen:
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Transreal Books:
The Hollow Earth & Return to the Hollow Earth by Rudy Rucker

Book Giveaway: The Rift Uprising

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of The Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster 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 November 2. I’ll draw a name on November 3, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Rift Uprising

SciFi Book Review: The Echo Room

The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse

Synopsis:
The only thing worse than being locked in is facing what you locked out.

Rett Ward knows how to hide. He’s had six years of practice at Walling Home, the state-run boarding school where he learned how to keep his head down to survive.

But when Rett wakes up locked in a small depot with no memory of how he got there, he can’t hide. Not from the stranger in the next room. Or from the fact that there’s someone else’s blood on his jumpsuit.

Worse, every time he tries to escape, he wakes up right back where he started. Same day, same stranger, same bloodstained jumpsuit.

As memories start to surface, Rett realizes that the logo on the walls is familiar, the stranger isn’t a stranger, and the blood on his jumpsuit belongs to someone―or something―banging on the door to get in.

Review:
Rett keeps waking up in the same place, with no memory of his current situation nor the young woman in the bunker with him. Dangers lurk all around. Each time Rett wakes up, something different happens, and the mystery slowly unfolds.

The Echo Room is a science fiction, thriller geared toward young adults. Fans of the Maze Runner will definitely want to check this one out. With intense suspense and an engrossing mystery, this story is best read in one sitting. Because it’s very hard to put down. While it may seem a bit like Groundhog Day at first, individuals make different choices which lead to different outcomes and the reader, at least, can begin to fit the pieces together. This post-apocalyptic read is very unique and unpredictable. And the exciting finale does not disappoint. This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

SciFi Book Review: Light Years

Light Years by Kass Morgan

Synopsis:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.

Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain–but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy–even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong–he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret–she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.

These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team if they want to defend their world from a cunning enemy–and they might even fall in love in the process.

Review:
Vesper, Cormack, Arran, and Orelia are all very different young adults that are put on a team together at the Quatra Fleet Academy. Each have different reasons or motivations for being there. But when they can work together as a team, they’ll be able to prove themselves. And when the enemy arrives, this team may be the best to stop them.

Light Years is the first in a new Young Adult scifi series from the author of The 100. This is a character-driven story with plenty of drama, suspense, and romance. Orelia’s background is fascinating and full of mystery that I can’t wait to see unfold in future installments. It’s thrilling with plenty of surprises along the way. The story builds to an exciting, climactic ending with a cliffhanger that left me wanting more.