Wanderers – Chuck Wendig

Synopsis: Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world. Continue reading “Wanderers – Chuck Wendig”

Star Wars: Canto Bight

Synopsis: Welcome to the casino city of Canto Bight. A place where exotic aliens, captivating creatures, and other would-be high rollers are willing to risk everything to make their fortunes. Set across one fateful evening, these four interconnected stories explore the deception and danger of the lavish casino city

– An honest salesman meets a career criminal as a dream vacation turns into the worst nightmare imaginable, in a story by Saladin Ahmed.

– Dreams and schemes collide when a deal over a priceless bottle of wine becomes a struggle for survival, as told by Mira Grant.

– Old habits die hard when a servant is forced into a mad struggle for power among Canto Bight’s elite, in a tale by Rae Carson

– A deadbeat gambler has one last chance to turn his luck around; all he has to do is survive one wild night, as told by John Jackson Miller.

In Canto Bight, one is free to revel in excess, untouched from the problems of a galaxy once again descending into chaos and war. Dreams can become reality, but the stakes have never been higher–for there is a darkness obscured by all the glamour and luxury. Continue reading “Star Wars: Canto Bight”

Suspicious Minds – Gwenda Bond

Synopsis: A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be further from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.

But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, codenamed MKUltra. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tightlipped researchers . . . and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.

But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than she could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable, superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.

Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield. Continue reading “Suspicious Minds – Gwenda Bond”

Queen of Sorcery – David Eddings

Synopsis: Legends told of how the evil God Torak had coveted the power of the Orb of Aldur, until defeated in a final battle. But prophecy spoke of a time when he would awake and again seek dominance over the world. Now the Orb has been stolen by a priest of Torak, and that time was at hand. 

The master Sorcerer Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the arch-Sorceress were on the trail of the Orb, seeking to regain it before the final disaster. And with them went Garion, a simple farm boy only months before, but now the focus of the struggle. He has never believed in sorcery and wanted no part of it. Yet with every league they traveled, the power grew in him, forcing him to acts of wizardry he could not accept. Continue reading “Queen of Sorcery – David Eddings”

The Warded Man – Peter V. Brett

Synopsis: As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise–demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards–symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human members dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night. Continue reading “The Warded Man – Peter V. Brett”

Kill the Farm Boy – Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne

Synopsis: Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed. Continue reading “Kill the Farm Boy – Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne”

Phasma – Delilah S. Dawson

Synopsis: One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters. Continue reading “Phasma – Delilah S. Dawson”

Battlefront: Twilight Company – Alexander Freed

“He would die with a grin & a battle cry.”

Alexander Freed is quickly becoming one of my favorite Star Wars writers. Not surprising really, considering he used to work at BioWare on probably my favorite gaming franchise of all time, Mass Effect! He is a great fit within the Star Wars universe.

Battlefront: Twilight Company was inspired by the video game, Star Wars Battlefront. It is about the war between the Empire & the Rebellion, while focusing on the Sixty-first Mobile Infantry. This is better known as the Twilight Company. It’s rare that we get to see so closely into the grim war side of the Rebellion, especially with the prior Legends novels. Canon really is about expanding & diversifying the universe, which is a fucking righteous thing for me to see happen as a long time fan.

Twilight Company allows the reader to viscerally experience what it is like on the battlefield. It is described as being Band of Brothers, set in the Star Wars universe. Which ticks so many boxes for me, personally! I really enjoyed this interstellar adventure. It was a fast-paced, gripping, realistic, gritty read. There are even a few brief encounters from some recognizable faces, which is always fun for us nerds!

There were a few questionable things that happened towards the end of the book, which I didn’t think flowed with the rest of the story. But it hurtles towards a worthy conclusion.

I have read close to 60 Star Wars novels & besides Lost Stars, another fantastic canon tale, this is the only other one that I can think of that focuses so deeply on the militarization of Star Wars. It shows a more realistic side to both the Rebel Alliance & the Empire. A grittier side to the Rebellion, comprised with many soldiers that had nowhere else to go & where not all of the Empire were horrific monsters.

I hope this will open up the door for more military-themed Star Wars books. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this ever immersive galaxy far, far away!

~Holly

Thrawn – Timothy Zahn

Synopsis: In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power—uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy. Continue reading “Thrawn – Timothy Zahn”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Alexander Freed

In the instant before he’d risen from the bunker, he’d questioned his own wisdom: How might he separate the will of the Force from his will, his ego, demanding action where action was unneeded? But there was no doubt in his heart now. The Force expressed itself through simplicity, and all it asked of him was to walk.

I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.

Well fuck. Just when I think I am finally emotionally stable enough to delve in before watching the movie again, this. THIS. I devoured this like the masochist I am! Continue reading “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Alexander Freed”