The Life Below – SciFi Book Review

The Life Below by Alexandra Monir

Synopsis:
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo, a fellow Final Six contestant, behind on a dying Earth. Now she doesn’t know who to trust.

The International Space Training Camp continues to dodge every question about its past failed mission, and Naomi is suspicious that not everything is as it seems on her own mission to Europa. With just one shot at Jupiter’s moon, Naomi is determined to find out if there is dangerous alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there.

Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can dock with Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite, and it’s up to Leo to find and warn Naomi and the crew.

With questions piling up, everything gets more dangerous the closer that the mission gets to Europa. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and all questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous mission get answered in a terrifying way.

If the dream was to establish a new world for humans on Europa…the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.

Review:
The Life Below is the 2nd book in The Final Six series. Naomi and the chosen astronauts are bound for Europa, but there’s a saboteur on board. And ship and mission is still being controlled, and monitored, by people back on Earth. Meanwhile, Leo is training to take a secret ship to meet up with Naomi’s and warn them that there is life on Europa – right where they are set to land.

This sequel is much more exciting than the first, as it mostly takes place in space, with danger constantly looming. This thrilling adventure is fast-paced and unpredictable. I wish we’d get more character depth from the other crew members. But the strength of this story is the plot and suspense – like a scifi, thriller movie. I can see why this series has been optioned for film. And there is a dramatic finale that will leave readers eager for the next installment.

Book Giveaway: A Queen in Hiding

Courtesy of Tor, I have a copy of A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff 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 February 28. I’ll draw a name on February 29, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: A Queen in Hiding

Received in January

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

DVD/Blu-Ray:
Terminator: Dark Fate 4K Blu-Ray
Gemini Man 4K Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Ace:
The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman
Stars Beyond by S. K. Dunstall

Amazon / 47North:
Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock

Del Rey:
A Blight of Blackwings by Kevin Hearne

Disney Hyperion:
Straight On Till Morning: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
UnTwisted by Elise Allen
Wanda Seasongood and the Mostly True Secret by Susan Lurie
Lady and the Tramp: How Lady Met Tramp by Elle Stephens
Lady and the Tramp: Puppy Love! by Elle Stephens
Lady and the Tramp Live Action Junior Novel by Elizabeth Rudnick
Kazu Jones and the Comic Book Criminal by Shauna Holyoak
Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin
War and Speech by Don Zolidis

Saga Press:
A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris
Gravity of a Distant Sun by R. E. Stearns
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Scholastic:
A Werewolf in Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig
The Loop by Benjamin Oliver
Shadowshaper Legacy by Daniel José Older

Subterranean Press:
The Darkling Halls of Ivy by Lawrence Block

Tor:
A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff
The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson
Finna by Nino Cipri

Tor Teen:
Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse

All the Stars and Teeth – Book Review

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Synopsis:
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

Review:
Amora starts out in the story naive and entitled. But when she has to prove her worthiness to rule, it goes terribly wrong. And Amora flees with a pirate to the open seas. Along their journey to discovery and helping her people, Amora grows. She becomes more likable and matures. And she shows her true colors in the big showdown.

All the Stars and Teeth is first in a duology. The story starts with fun characters and an exciting example of the magical power that these people have. It’s a fascinating world, but we learn more about it as we go without the dreaded info-dump. There is plenty of action and adventure with a bit of romance. And as Bastians’ secrets are revealed, there are plenty of surprises along the way. And I appreciate that the main antagonist is complicated and is a bit sympathetic when it comes to his people. The suspense culminates to an exciting finale. And thankfully, this story doesn’t have a major cliffhanger, which I appreciate. But there is plenty of story left that I look forward to in the sequel.

Book Giveaway: Bridge 108

Courtesy of 47North, I have a copy of Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock 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 February 14. I’ll draw a name on February 15, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Bridge 108

Picard Episode 1: “Remembrance” Review (SPOILERISH)

Episode 1: Remembrance
At the end of the 24th Century, and 14 years after his retirement from Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard is living a quiet life on his vineyard, Chateau Picard. When he is sought out by a mysterious young woman, Dahj, in need of his help, he soon realizes she may have personal connections to his own past.

Review:
The pilot episode opens to a dream sequence with Picard and Data playing cards on the Enterprise D. It’s poignant and special to those of us Next Generation fans who loved this version of the Enterprise. Picard is now living on his family vinyard in France, along with a couple Romulans – who we later learn are refugees.

I appreciate that we don’t get a data-dump of what happened between Star Trek: Nemesis and today. Instead, Picard gives an emotional interview about what happened to the Romulans and how he has lost faith in the Federation. It turns out that Synths (androids) attacked the Mars colony (and we still don’t know why) at the same time the Federation was offering aid to the Romulans after their sun went supernova. There is mention of this in the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot (aka Kelvin timeline). However, after the Synth attack, the Federation abandoned the millions of Romulans now without a home.

This is the set-up for the season. What happened to make the androids attack? And what has happened to the Romulans? Meanwhile, a young woman named Dahj comes to Picard for help. It’s soon obvious that she is a synth as well, and Picard learns has ties to Data, his deceased friend.

This pilot episode is full of nostalgia, drama, action, mystery, and intrigue. A lot is packed in to this first episode, yet it’s over all too soon. Patrick Stewart is just as amazing as ever. While it’s been 18 years since he last played Picard, he makes it look effortless. Despite getting on in years, he still has the same commanding presence – yet obviously a lot has happened to harden him.

I’m really excited about this new cast and that we finally have a new Star Trek set post previous series. And I hope this will usher in a whole new generation of Star Trek fans.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com