Fifty years ago, the Enterprise first embarked on her five-year mission, taking interstellar explorers from their living rooms on a journey through the stars.  There was a lot that made the show unique, not the least of which was because a show that was openly “failing” going into its third season has become a force unto itself, inspiring a fandom that espouses continuously the remarkable nature of its stories (this writer included).  Though I’m more at home in the 24th century with Picard and the Galaxy and Sovereign class ships, there’s no denying that without the original adventures of a slow-speaking, but quick-acting, captain, his Bilbo-loving First Officer, and their intrepid crew, there wouldn’t be a United Federation of Planets, any continuation of the name Enterprise, or such a bright future predicted in sci-fi.

*Be sure to find out how to win your own copy of The Jack Reacher Field Guide: An Unofficial Companion to Lee Childs Reacher Novels below the review!

Like many filmgoers, I was introduced to the character Jack Reacher in late 2012 when I saw Jack Reacher staring Tom Cruise. Not a consistent reader of the thriller genre, I was, however, aware of Lee Child's name, because I would regularly see at least one (or more) of his books prominently displayed on the bestseller shelf at the local bookstore and his paperbacks in the local grocery store on the magazine rack. I took from the movie that Reacher was enigmatic, intense, and deadly; I wanted to know more! Thanks to Smart Pop and BenBella Books, they have just released George Beahm's The Jack Reacher Field Guide: An Unofficial Companion to Lee Child's Reacher Novels.

Ernie EJ Altbacker has worked on several television shows that include Static Shock, Ben 10, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and Spider-Man, among others, and he has written six Shark Wars novels targeting middle schoolers. He has now written a teen/young adult book titled Handy Andy Saves the World. Evoking the innocence and charm of the 1950s sci-fi B-movie, Altbacker's story of a down-on-his-luck handyman who unwittingly helps fix an alien spaceship is an enchanting tale.

Last year marked the 125th anniversary commemorating the birth of horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and, as a result, renewed interest in his writing has inspired a higher number of anthologies collecting short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Scott Gable and C. Dombrowski, who co-edited By Faerie Light and Ghost in the Cogs, have once again collaborated on a Broken Eye Books title, Tomorrow's Cthulhu: Stories at the Dawn of Posthumanity. In this edition, the editors collected together 29 stories inspired directly by Lovecraft's Cthulhu and Dream Cycle (Dreamlands) mythos while incorporating scientific tones and interests. All channeled the inexplicable call of the characters to the hidden and unknown.

Jonathan Maberry is back as editor and co-author of V-Wars: Night Terrors (IDW), the third installment of vampire and werewolf stories that began with V-Wars: A Chronicle of the Vampire Wars in 2013. In the original volume, Maberry commenced with the premise that a dormant bacteria was unleashed with global ramifications. And, as with the first and second volumes, Maberry is joined again by leading authors of horror and science fiction, creating an ongoing and ever-expanding tapestry of stories about the Beats (humans) and Bloods (vampires). 

A Cold Season, written by Alison Littlewood, is a spine-tingling horror novel revolving around Cass, a woman who is trying to start a new life for her and her son Ben after the death of her husband on the front lines in Afghanistan. She settles on the idyllic town of Darnshaw, needing only an Internet connection in order to run her website design business. Soon after moving to Darnshaw though, she slowly realizes there’s more to the town than meets the eye. Almost immediately after moving in, Cass finds most of the locals to be none too pleasant, and Ben starts acting out, becoming extremely hostile towards her, lashing out at her verbally and physically. Soon, Cass is locked in a battle with evil for her son’s life.

 

DW Shroud of SorrowDuring series three of the BBC’s rebooted Doctor Who, writer Paul Cornell adapted his previously published novel, Human Nature, into a two-part episode that became a highlight of what was already an amazing series of an amazing show. After finishing Tommy Donbavand’s original Doctor Who novel, Shroud of Sorrow, I wanted them to do the same for this fast-paced and resonant story.

 

Torn in TwoWithin the first page of the book, I was immediately captivated by author Brit Sigh's use of the English language to describe a scene. In Torn in Two, he has crafted a psychological thriller full of twists and turns.

SPOILERS BELOW

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