Received in February

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

Amazon Crossing / 47North:
The Secret of Ji: Six Heirs by Pierre Grimbert
Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond by John Joseph Adams
Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

Atria:
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The Mapmaker’s War by Ronlyn Domingue

BBC Books:
Dr Who the Silurian Gift by Mike Tucker

Berkley:
Undead and Underwater by MaryJanice Davidson

Daw:
The Children of Kings: A Darkover Novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen Books / Balzer + Bray:
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Shards and Ashes by Melissa Marr
Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza
Mind Games by Kiersten White
The Elite by Kiera Cass
Impostor by Jill Hathaway
The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland
Fragments by Dan Wells

Kensington Books:
Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:
When We Wake by Karen Healey

Macmillan Teen / Henry Holt for Young Readers:
Neptune’s Tears by Susan Waggoner
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
Bubble World by Carol Snow

Orbit:
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Paizo:
Pathfinder Tales: Liar’s Blade by Tim Pratt

Penguin / Viking:
Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

Penguin Teen / Dial:
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Pocket Books:
Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon
Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Star Trek: The Original Series: Devil’s Bargain by Tony Daniel

Pyr:
Reaper’s Legacy by Tim Lebbon

Roc:
Written In Red by Anne Bishop
Garrett For Hire by Glen Cook

Scholastic:
Infinity Ring Book 3: The Trap Door by Lisa McMann
The Silver Door by Emily Rodda
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Deep Dive #1: Cephalox the Cyber Squid by Adam Blade

Signet:
The Last Grave by Debbie Viguie

Silver Leaf Books:
Project U.L.F.: Outbreak by Stuart Clark

St. Martin’s Griffin:
Neferet’s Curse: A House of Night Novella by P. C. Cast
Override by Heather Anastasiu

Thomas Nelson:
The Spirit Well by Stephen R. Lawhead

Titan Books:
Homunculus by James P. Blaylock
Lord Kelvin’s Machine by James P. Blaylock
The Art of Dead Space by Martin Robinson
Dead Space by Antony Johnston
Dead Space: Salvage by Antony Johnston
Dead Space: Liberation by Ian Edginton
Supernatural: Fresh Meat by Alice Henderson
Fu-Manchu: The Mask of Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer
Encounters of Sherlock Holmes by George Mann

Tor:
Farside by Ben Bova
Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri

Tor Teen:
Solstice by P.J. Hoover
Homeland by Cory Doctorow

Walden Pond Press:
The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

Yen Press:
Beautiful Creatures: The Manga by Kami Garcia

The 5th Wave Is Coming!

5th wave

I received this fantastic publicity kit for Penguin Teen’s upcoming alien invasion novel The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. This kit is certainly the best book publicity kit I’ve ever seen, and even as good as some of the TV kits I’ve received.

id

Inside the backpack from George Barnard High School was everything you see in the first picture above: a journal with a cutout hiding a flash drive, a dirty teddy bear, a tin can, and a survival kit. The first thing I did was check out the flash drive. On it was a PDF containing an excerpt from The 5th Wave with a hidden message embedded that said something about looking through the contents of the bag to see what doesn’t fit.

survival kit

survival kit 2

Here’s a picture of the survival kit with its contents displayed. There was a surprising amount in there. In the kit was: wire, a fishing kit with string, a small roll of duct tape, waterproof matches, a small rope, three safety pins, a couple bandages, a compass, a whistle, an emergency blanket, a package of surgical blades, folded up tin foil, and a plastic bag. I can imagine uses for just about everything but the tin foil… but then, I was never a girl scout.

bear

Here’s a closer look at the stained ribbon on the teddy bear that reads “Sammy Sullivan.”
Which, my dog Lois Lane promptly claimed as her own and stole away…

bear

After seeing all of this, I certainly can’t wait to dig into my early copy of the novel and hope it lives up to this great hype!
To learn more about The 5th Wave check out the official website: http://the5thwaveiscoming.com/

SciFi Book Review: Override

Override by Heather Anastasiu

Synopsis:
Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. She is finally free, but she is far from safe.

Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor’s control. Challenges abound at every turn, and Adrien, who has become silent, distant, and tormented by his visions of the future, only adds to the growing certainty of defeat. But worst of all, as Zoe’s team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation.

Review:
Zoe may be free, but her allergies cause her to still be trapped in a filter suit. It’s a bit claustrophobic, but Zoe doesn’t mind since she’s never lived or spent any kind of time outdoors. Her relationship with Adrien is stunted as the two never get much time alone, and the Resistance must come first if they’re ever to have a future. Meanwhile, Zoe’s powers are extremely unstable and put everyone at risk until she can master them.

Sequel to last year’s Glitch, this is a fast-paced, action-packed, science fiction, thriller. No sophomore slump here. Impossible to put down, Override is full of suspense, adventure, romance, and fascinating characters. Just as unpredictable as before, with plenty of twists and turns along the way, author Heather Anastasiu succeeds with yet another exceptional story. Glitch was one of my favorite books last year, and Override will definitely make this year’s list and has me eagerly awaiting the third and final book in this exciting trilogy. SciFi and dystopian fans of all ages should pick up this series.

SciFi Book Review: Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile

Star Trek: The Original Series: Allegiance in Exile by David R. George III

Synopsis:
A beautiful green world, rich in fertile soil and temperate climate . . . a textbook Class-M planet that should be teeming with life. Scans show no life-signs, but there are refined metals, including those associated with a space-faring race . . . and a lone city. But where are all of the inhabitants? Captain James T. Kirk leads a landing party from the U.S.S. Enterprise, hoping to get some answers.

The away team discovers a city in ruins, covered by dust, utterly bereft of life. Tricorder readings indicate that this is no ancient metropolis—it has been deserted only for a year. And just beyond the citadel lies what appears to be an ancient spaceport . . . a graveyard of ships that have clearly been sabotaged. With these ruins too far from either the Klingon or the Romulan Empires, the Enterprise crew can only wonder: Who could have done this? And could this unnamed threat now pose an imminent danger to the Federation?

Review:
The story begins with Kirk entering his final year as captain of the Enterprise’s five-year mission of exploration. Kirk is beginning to think about his future and what will happen when the five years is up. The mysterious Class-M planet that they find has surprisingly been destroyed recently, with no signs of life. But the crew members on the surface, as well as those back on the ship are not prepared for what comes next.

Four years into serving together, the crew has developed strong connections and friendships – especially Kirk, Bones, and Spock. Meanwhile, Sulu begins a romance with Ensign Trinh which unfolds as the highlight of the story’s emotional drama. I was riveted and unable to put it down. Rich with fast-paced action, adventure, mystery, and drama – Allegiance in Exile is an exciting addition to the Original Series.

SciFi Book Review: Breaking Point

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Synopsis:
After faking their deaths to escape from prison in Article 5, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed. Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself. Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways. With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?

Review:
Ember and Chase’s relationship has developed into love. And the two have become inseparable. Hiding out with the Resistance has given them a chance to slow down and breathe. But when a sniper begins killing FBR soldiers, the Resistance decides to make Ember their poster child and the suspense amps up yet again.

This is the second installment in the Article 5 dystopian trilogy, with just as much suspense and excitement as before. Fast-paced with never a dull moment, this sequel was impossible to put down. Their journey takes them on a roller-coaster ride of danger and drama. Events culminate with a satisfying, climactic conclusion. Yet, a mild cliffhanger left me eager for the final installment in the series.

SciFi Book Review: The Burn Zone

The Burn Zone by James K Decker

Synopsis:
Plagued by overpopulation, disease, and starvation, humanity was headed for extinction—until an alien race called the haan arrived. And then the real trouble began. It’s been a rough day for Sam Shao. As part of a program that requires humans to act as surrogates to haan infants, Sam has been genetically enhanced to bond with them. So when three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling a dangerous weapon into the country, Sam can sense that something isn’t right. One of his abductors is a haan masquerading as a human, and the supposedly fragile haan seems to be anything but.

Racing through the city slums, trying to stay one step ahead of the mysterious haan soldier, Sam tries to find the man who, in her twenty years, has been the only father she’s ever known. Could he truly have done what he is accused of? Or did he witness something both human and haan would kill to keep hidden? The only thing certain is that the weapon is real—and lost now somewhere in a city of millions. Fighting the clock, Sam finds an ally in Nix, a haan envoy devoted to coexisting with humans, or so it seems. But what she really needs are answers. Fast. Or else everything she knows—and everyone she loves—will burn.

Review:
Sam is a caring soul with a dark and tortured past. She acts as a surrogate mother to the young alien haan. The haan have fairly recently made their home on Earth after a devastating accident. They are still mysterious to humans, but regarded as weaker and fairly harmless. Though, humans are slowly starving and find the haan easy to blame.

The Burn Zone is a dark, science fiction action-packed thrill ride. Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat excitement paired with mystery and high tech gadgets, made this one hard to put down. I found some of the tech such as the portals confusing as well as the haan themselves, in that I couldn’t picture things in my mind as I usually do. Though, it didn’t seem to detract much from the story, as the adventure never slowed down. The danger and suspense builds up to a surprising climactic end that didn’t disappoint. This was a memorable, exhilarating read.

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