SciFi Book Review: The Prey

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

Synopsis:
With death only a heartbeat away, Gene and the remaining humans must find a way to survive long enough to escape the hungry predators chasing them through the night. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by Ashley June who he left behind, and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

Their escape takes them to a refuge of humans living high in the mountains. Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe, but not everything here is as it seems. And before long, Gene must ask himself if the new world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As their enemies close in on them and push Gene and Sissy closer, one thing becomes painfully clear: all they have is each other…if they can stay alive.

Review:
Gene and his companions finally arrive in a human colony, seemingly safe from the vampires (or Duskers as they’re called here). And there are numerous questions that no one can answer, and those that do are most likely lies. The Mission itself (the human colony) is surrounded in mystery and frustratingly few answers. The females are treated worse than cattle, and I found myself angry through most of the book at Gene and the others’ reactions. The Hunt (first in the trilogy) was edge-of-your-seat suspense and horror. This time it was emotionally-driven drama, suspense, and mystery.

Second in Fukuda’s thrilling series, The Prey further develops the characters and the dystopian world of vampire-like Duskers. This YA horror trilogy is wholly unique, exhilarating, and riveting, with plenty of chilling action and adventure. And both The Hunt and The Prey are easily some of the most memorable books I’ve ever read. I eagerly await the final installment.

The audio version is read by Sean Runnette. Unfortunately, he has a very slight speech impediment/lisp that made it a bit distracting. Though after a while, I got so into the story that it wasn’t noticeable.

SciFi Book Review: Doktor Glass

Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan

Synopsis:
In an age of Zeppelins and gyroplanes, atomics and horseless carriages, the Transatlantic Span is the industrial marvel of the nineteenth century. A monumental feat of engineering, the steel suspension bridge stretches across the Atlantic from Liverpool to the distant harbor of New York City, supported by no less than seven hundred towers. But in the shadows of its massive struts, on the docks of the River Mersey, lies a faceless corpse…

Inspector Matthew Langton is still seized with grief when he thinks of Sarah, his late wife. Tortured by nightmares and afflicted by breathless attacks of despair and terror, he forces himself to focus on the investigation of the faceless man. The victim wears the uniform of the Transatlantic Span Company but bears the tattoos of the Boers—could there be a Boer conspiracy to assassinate Queen Victoria on the upcoming Inauguration Day of the Span?

But the truth, as it begins to emerge, is far more bizarre than a political coup. As additional victims turn up—each with strange, twin burn marks on their necks—Langton draws a connection between the dead man beneath the bridge and chilling rumors of the Jar Bars, soul snatchers who come under cover of night. Most frightening of all is the mythic and elusive Doktor Glass, who may not only be behind the illicit trade in souls…but who may hold the key to what happened to the inspector’s own beloved wife on her deathbed…

Review:
Langton is still grieving, yet is back at work and assigned to investigate the murder of a man whose face was removed. But in trying to deal with his wife’s death, he begrudgingly visits a psychic and makes a startling discovery that leads to a clue about the faceless man. The setting is an alternate Victorian England, dark and eerie with a different science that merges science fiction and fantasy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this steampunk mystery, with its many suspects and twists. Fast-paced and difficult to put down, I followed along captivated till the very end. Though, I was taken aback when Langton confronts Doktor Glass, and a difficult choice in morality comes into play. I struggled right along with Langton. And though I don’t think I’d make the same choices, the book certainly succeeds in making the reader second-guess and ponder choices. Dark and somber, the mood of this Doktor Glass is a bit different along with its unique storyline.

THE HOST | Live Google Hangout & Trailer Debut!

the host

TUNE-IN for THE HOST LIVE GOOGLE HANGOUT this Thursday! Get the scoop on THE HOST from Stephenie Meyer and the stars of the film, Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Jake Abel and see a BRAND NEW TRAILER for the film that will debut LIVE during the Hangout!

WHAT: LIVE GOOGLE HANGOUT with Stephenie Meyer and the cast of THE HOST, including Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Jake Abel.

WHEN: Thursday, February 14th at 11am PST

WHERE: http://www.youtube.com/thehostfilm

SYNOPSIS:
What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? “The Host” is the next epic love story from the creator of the “Twilight Saga,” worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about — Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

THE HOST hits theaters nationwide March 29th, 2013!

SciFi Book Review: Scarlet

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review:
Cinder has had some upgrades since her arrest which aid in her escape. She also meets an interesting inmate who has a ship that will prove invaluable. She and “Captain” Thorne have a fun, friendly chemistry. Thorne is just a great character, overly confident and funny. Meanwhile, Scarlet searches for her missing grandmother now that the authorities have given up. She meets Wolf who offers to help her when she discovers that his tattoo matches that of her grandmother’s kidnappers. But Wolf is obviously hiding secrets. Still the two are soon heating up, as Wolf has multiple opportunities to save her life… and win her trust.

Just as fast-paced as before, with even more action and adventure, Scarlet is a fantastic sequel. The Lunar Chronicles series is a cross between cherished fairy tales and Star Wars. A mixture of distant future science fiction and mind-controlling fantasy, “this IS the droid (or cyborg in this case) you’ve been looking for.” There is plenty of suspense, emotional drama, romance, a “borrowed” spaceship, advanced AI, and high tech gadgets (and limbs). The series is geared towards the popular YA market, but readers of all ages will definitely enjoy. Cinder was one of my favorite science fiction novels in years (YA and adult included), and I’m happy to say the second installment lived up to my expectations. As before, the adventure leaves off in a mild cliffhanger that will make waiting another year for the next release torturous. Don’t miss this exceptional series.

Received in January

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in January for review and/or giveaways:

Ace:
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Berkley:
Hunting Daylight by Piper Maitland

Blue Merle Publishing:
Released: The Shapeshifters’ Library by Amber Polo

Damnation Books:
The Wild Boys by Travis Heermann

Daw:
Sword-Bound by Jennifer Roberson
The Forever Knight by John Marco

Harlequin Teen:
Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen Books:
Pulse by Patrick Carman

Harper Voyager:
The Lost by Vicki Pettersson
The Scrivener’s Tale by Fiona McIntosh

Kensington Press:
Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne

Macmillan Audio:
The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Macmillan Teen / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers / Feiwel and Friends / FSG:
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
Of Triton by Anna Banks
Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox

Night Shade Books:
The Departure by Neal Asher
Exile: The First Book of the Seven Eyes by Betsy Dornbusch

Orbit Books:
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

Penguin Teen / Putnam / Dial:
White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Flicker & Burn by T.M. Goeglein
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

Pocket Books / Gallery:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Body Electric by David Mack
Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile by David R. George III

Pyr:
The Crossing by Mandy Hager
The Society of Steam: Power Under Pressure by Andrew P. Mayer

Scholastic / Point / Chicken House:
Spellbinding by Maya Gold
Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews
Freaks by Kieran Larwood
Troubletwisters: The Monster by Garth Nix
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Simon Teen / McElderry Books:
Dust Lands: Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Dust Lands: Rebel Heart by Moira Young
The Essence by Kimberly Derting
What the Spell by Brittany Geragotelis

Titan Books:
The Warlord of the Air by Micheal Moorcock

Tor:
The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck
Impulse by Steven Gould
The Six-Gun Tarot by R. S. Belcher
The Eldritch Conspiracy by Cat Adams
Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume Three by Robert Jordan
The Arena Man by Steve Englehart
The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination by John Joseph Adams
The Human Division by John Scalzi

Tor Teen / Starscape:
City of Death by Laurence Yep
Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

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