Jodi Scaife

Jodi Scaife (162)

Gabriel and Wendy’s lives felt extraordinarily blessed when they were able to reverse the effects of hypno-touch and cure their myriad of life-threatening cancers.  On top of this blessing, Wendy somehow became pregnant during the worst of her illness, and the promise of a child together should bring them closer together than before; however, Wendy’s healing came at a painful cost: complete loss of her special abilities including the emodar that has been part of her being as long as she can remember.  As she struggles to learn how to interact with her husband and family without the crutch of reading their emotions, Wendy spirals into anger and depression that gets fueled further by bad news about her infant son; however, there are people who still value her abilities over her health and safety, and they will stop at nothing to get her help. Could the unexpected trials help Wendy rebuild herself as a stronger woman who will stop at nothing to protect those she loves?

Quin Kincaid’s world was shattered by the final events in Seeker, but she’s ready to try to right the wrongs the Seekers have done to the world with her cousin and newly beloved Shinobu by her side. The Young Dread, Maud, gifted the young woman with the Athame of the Dreads, and Catherine Renart’s old journal contains hints of what John’s mother searched for before her disruption by Quin’s father Briac. The truth is more dangerous than any of the young Seekers can imagine, though, and John, Quin, and Shinobu will all be tested as they dig into an ancient secret that could tear their world even further apart.

If the second issue of Exit Generation dialed the tension up a notch, the third installment in the futuristic, carnivorous alien rescue story takes things up to eleven! Hanna may have only used a flight simulator before, but she knows how to drive her duct-taped and salvaged space craft, even if her maneuvers scare Scrap and Mo to death. (Jack appears to be enough of an adrenaline junky to love risking his life with Han’s crazy stunts.)  While they hurtle towards the alien space ship, Grunt, the vegetarian prison guard, helps the human food escape the larder, but he drops a serious bomb before the captives can board an escape ship: The ship’s leader found Earth because they captured a survivor of the Exit Project, and the individual needs to be rescued along with the other captives!

I had the opportunity to review the first version of Adam Korenman’s When the Stars Fade back in 2014, and when I was invited to read the California Coldblood edition, I jumped at the chance to see how the raw nugget of an excellent sci-fic epic had been honed.  All of the potential that I saw in the original shines, and the plot is tightened to create a more digestible piece for readers to process and appreciate. The series has also been converted from a trilogy to a hexology, so the epic has room to breathe a little more and explore some plot points that were almost footnotes in the first version due to the sheer scope of the ambitious storyline.

Jack and Mo want to rescue their loved ones from the carnivorous alien creatures, but what can they do without a way to get off the planet to the hovering ships? Enter Scrap, an engineer turned barter specialist, and his sidekick/helper, Hanna, a teenage girl whose loyalty to her surrogate father is only rivaled by her dislike of all other humans. Since Scrap and Hanna have a restored exit shuttle plus an arsenal of restored guns, they’re the perfect additions to help our daring duo take on the flesh-eating aliens and bring their friends, neighbors, and family home!

Sean McDonough’s novel, The Terror at Turtleshell Mountain, is billed as horror, but, to me, it feels more like dark comedy.  Maybe I’m just a sick, jaded reader, but the idea of an otherworldly massacre at a theme park billed as the “Most Joyous Place on Earth” gives me a case of the giggles (Okay, maybe it’s the not-so-veiled comparison to Disney that tickles my distorted funny bone.); however, I certainly understand that not everyone will enjoy the warped portrayal of rides, beloved animated characters, and days out enjoying the magic of a theme park.

In 2025 the Earth’s population reached unsustainable levels; starvation spread across the planet, and riots and violence shattered peaceful cities.  The world government's solution to the problem involved building space-faring vessels to evacuate 95% of the population, leaving the last 5% behind to fend for themselves.  In an ironic twist, in 2035 the evacuees all perished while those still on Earth began to thrive in the newly expansive environment. Twenty years later, Jack, the son of a perished evacuee and the wife the space traveler left behind on Earth, longs for something exciting to rock his stable, dull world. He’ll learn that it might be better to be careful what you wish for!

Ramon Alejandro Estevez-Guerrero had a charmed life; he was a master bullfighter and his beautiful wife Lucia was expecting their first child. Women admired him, and men wanted to be him. Then, the monsters came, and his life fell apart. Issues #1 and #2 of Steven Prince’s comic, Monster Matador, work together to show his protagonist’s fall into the depths and rise as a protector of humanity against the creatures destroying the world he once knew.

Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo, the team behind the charming The Stratford Zoo Midnight Review Presents: Macbeth, is back with another fun, all-ages introduction to one of the Bard’s seminal works, Romeo and Juliet.  It’s a tough one to reinterpret for a younger audience, but the pair brings their A game and produces an amazingly lighthearted introduction to the tragedy we all read in high school.

In the nation of Plexus, you need three things to survive and make something of yourself: be born male; be able to acquire a wife by the age of sixteen; and be a Citysin under the nation’s Codex. Families are forbidden to raise their daughters at home; they must give them to numerous state-run orphanages that double as wife brokers for those who can afford to purchase a girl. Girls who are not purchased as a wife by their fifteenth birthday are tossed into the streets alone without certification, Citysinship, or any way to make a living. Young Sevara grew up in Orphanage 127, and she is nearing her fifteenth birthday; however, this fiery, passionate young woman has a special gift to inspire others, and she may be a catalyst to change the face of a nation.

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