Book Review: Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead

Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead

Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead, by Steve Perry

In Indiana Jones’ latest adventure, he and friend Mac head to a small island in Haiti in search of a legendary black pearl. The pearl is known as the Heart of Darkness, and is said to have magical properties. Hot on their trail are German and Japanese agents, who want the pearl for themselves. But the most dangerous adversary is already on the island, a practitioner of voodoo, able to control bodies of the dead and the living.

This latest novel contains all of the action and adventure that are synonymous with the name Indiana Jones. And, of course, Indy has a love interest in the form of a beautiful guide, who has some secrets of her own. With more than Indy’s usual share of adversaries, the narrative jumps around from group to group. I wish more time would have been spent on Indy and his crew, rather than focusing so much on the Germans, Japanese, and the voodoo priest individually. Besides Indy, the most time is spent on developing the voodoo priest’s character and his simple motivation of a hunger for power. But, not spending enough time with Indiana Jones’ character is probably my only complaint. The story is definitely action-heavy, and plot and character-light. Which, is really what we’ve come to expect from the series.

Indiana Jones fans will enjoy this exciting and fast-paced treasure hunt through the jungle. Perry even included plenty of references to Indy’s previous adventures, some known and unknown. With endless zombies to battle, the suspense is continually built up to the final showdown, where all parties battle to escape and still hold onto the black pearl. I can’t get enough of the archeologist and adventurer, and certainly hope Del Rey continues the Indiana Jones series in novel form.

Sample Chapter: Winter Song – Day 1

WinterSong-front-72dpi

Angry Robot (www.angryrobotbooks.com) has offered up 5 daily sample chapters from Winter Song, by Colin Harvey!


One
Karl

Karl was dreaming of his clone-wife on distant Avalon when the plasma bolt slammed into Ship’s engines.
One moment he was bathing with Karla in iodized springs beneath Jodi’s Falls, soaping her up-tilted breasts in the warm sunlight of Delta Pavonis, the next a giant was sitting on his chest while alarms screeched in the emergency lighting.
The pressure lifted and he floated naked in his bed-web on the bridge, a voice calling ever louder, “Karl, we are under attack.” That Ship’s too-perfect alto was gravelled by static showed how mortal the blow might be. His interface wasn’t working; none of the usual displays were scrolling down his field of vision, and with no data feeding directly into his brain he was forced to use archaic Voice. “What – what’s the damage?” He smelled the acrid tang of smoke and the monitors – used only by passengers – were blank.
He coughed, his eyes stinging, and a smooth wall opened and out popped a freshly-grown mask connected to an air-pack.
“I’m not wearing that,” Karl muttered between coughs. “I hate putting things on my face.”
“You’re enhanced, not invulnerable,” Ship snapped. “Put it on!”
Muttering, Karl complied.
“Thank you,” Ship said. “We have lost all but emergency power in this third. In the central third we have intermittent power. The rest is undamaged. When waves from the gravity generator threatened to crush you, I had to take the engines down, and can’t restart them. I’m attempting to dodge a second incoming bolt with lateral power, but it’s already expanded, and complete evasion is unlikely. Time to impact is four minutes.”
Karl tried to digest the news that he was probably dead. “They must have fired as soon as they dropped out of fold-space.”
Ship didn’t answer directly. “The second bolt came from different co-ordinates, indicating another ship, though it’s difficult to scan through the asteroid belt. I’ve registered a third ship nearby.” It sounded sheepish; “They must have identified us before I could see them. The first I knew was their plasma bolt coming at point-nine-cee. I had barely three minutes warning. I’m sorry, Karl.”
“Forget it,” Karl said.
That meant there would be no respite while the others re-charged their capacitors. Even if by a miracle they dodged this second bolt, and one from the third ship, the first would have recharged and be ready to fire.
He slipped free of the amniotic safety of the bed-web. “Are they the Aye ships we spotted earlier?” Unlikely, he knew. The ships that were each individual Artificial Intelligences rarely interacted with the Flesh-bound, who held little interest for them. He floated over to one of the screens. “Can you get this working?”
Ship paused for so long that Karl wondered if it had died.
“Yes,” it said.

Read moreSample Chapter: Winter Song – Day 1

Interview: Exclusive with Nicole Peeler!

Nicole PeelerAuthor Nicole Peeler was gracious enough to provide SciFiChick.com with an exclusive interview to talk about her debut novel Tempest Rising (released today from Amazon!)…

Can you tell us a bit about Jane True, and how your idea for her came about?

Jane thinks she’s a human being with a weird secret, till she learns the truth of her supernatural heritage. She’s actually half-selkie, which is a myth about seal-human shapeshifters that comes from Scotland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Ireland. Jane’s pedigree, meanwhile, developed through knowing what kind of protagonist I wanted to write about. I wasn’t comfortable creating an already powerful heroine who automatically kicks butt; I wanted to write about a woman who was vulnerable and very human, despite being supernatural. When I created Jane, I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland, right on the shores of the Firth of Forth, so landing on “selkie” for Jane’s heritage was fairly obvious. And selkies are a perfect mythology for my purposes: they’re tragic, beautiful, and Jane’s hybrid nature was already outlined in the legends of selkie maidens marrying human husbands and then abandoning them for the sea.

Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular and widespread right now. What different about the Tempest series that sets it apart from the others?

My book isn’t about a superhero type who goes about singlehandedly saving the world. Instead, Jane is an everywoman who has to step up and meet an unexpected challenge. So the series is more about seeing Jane develop as a character than it is about watching her destroy stuff with a flaming sword.

How many are planned for the series?

We’ve got a contract for three, so far, but I’ve got a six-book arc planned for Jane. I’m also working on a trilogy set in the same world, which stars a very different protagonist in a very different set of circumstances. That’s probably what I’ll start working on next, as the protagonist in question is clamoring to get out. She’s feisty.

Can you talk about what’s next for Jane?

Read moreInterview: Exclusive with Nicole Peeler!

Book Review: Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy

Voyager Unworthy

Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy, by Kirsten Beyer

When Seven has a mental breakdown after hearing about the death of her beloved aunt, Chakotay resigns his commission to take care of her. He decides to take her back to Voyager to join a fleet heading back to the Delta quadrant, searching for answers to the recent Borg assimilation by the Caeliar. Shortly after arriving, the fleet comes across a cooperative of races that idolize the Borg. To make matters worse, there seems to be a saboteur on board, with an unknown agenda.

Besides Chakotay and Seven, several other original Voyager characters return. Tom Paris, Harry Kim, and the Doctor have joined the fleet. And B’Elanna Torres and her daughter have planned a rendezvous with Paris that goes awry. Following the aftermath of the Borg invasion and Janeway’s death, spirits are low. But when the remaining former crew members meet up again, it soon begins to feel like old times. Though, there were quite a few new characters, of which I sometimes lost track.

Since there has been a revamp to the Star Trek universe (and of course, Voyager found it’s way home), this is a different crew than the one we’re all familiar with from the show. But there is no less mystery and adventure. The story is complex with quite a bit of emotional turmoil involving several characters. But race relations and exploration remain at the forefront, leaving this Star Trek fan satisfied and excited about where Voyager ventures next.

DVD Review: Genesis II (1973)

Genesis II

“My name is Dylan Hunt. My story begins the day on which I died.”

After a devastating accident, test subject Hunt (Alex Cord) awakes 154 years in the future. The future is post-apocalyptic, with two races (the Pax and the Tyranians) battling for dominance. Hunt is torn, not knowing who to trust, both races wanting his scientific knowledge of the past. But the beautiful Tyranian mutant (Mariette Hartley) has been anything but truthful about the true nature of her people.

Following on the heels of Star Trek, Genesis II was also created by Gene Roddenberry. And with all of Roddenberry’s conceptions, this story holds a deeper message. Roddenberry’s vision of peace carries over to Genesis II as well. Hunt is from a world that destroys itself with war. The Pax are a peaceful race that have learned from history and want to preserve their way of life. The story is of Hunt’s journey from his past ideals to those of justice and peace.

Despite an obvious 70’s look and feel and dated visual effects, the adventure is still exciting. And the characters are just as vivid. There is plenty of action, suspense, and a bit of romance. Genesis II is thoroughly enjoyable. I had never heard of the film before receiving it for review, but I now count it as a true science fiction classic.

IPhone App: IFreak

CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT LAUNCHES “IFREAK” IPHONE APPLICATION

LOS ANGELES – In celebration of the upcoming release, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant will be allowing fans to join the freak show through the launch of a brand new “iFreak” iPhone and iPod Touch application.

The “iFreak” application allows users to take a photo (or select one from an existing album) and transform into their favorite freak from the film. Users will be allowed to mix and match characters and add endless features. Once a freak inside and out, the user can name the creation, save it to their iPhone and iPod Touch, email, and share their new identity through social networking outlets.

The “iFreak” application is free of charge and is available for download on iTunes at: http://itunes.com/apps/ifreak Visit the official website for more information at: http://www.thevampiresassistant.net

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant will hit theatres on October 23, 2009 and stars John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia, and Ray Stevenson. The film is directed by Paul Weitz and is distributed by Universal Pictures.

About Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant:

Read moreIPhone App: IFreak

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