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Book Review: Echoes Of War: Book 1 In The Echoes Trilogy By Cheryl Campbell
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Echoes of War Header

Echoes of War
Book 1 in the Echoes Trilogy
Paperback | Kindle
By Cheryl Campbell
Publisher: SparkPress
Paperback release date: September 10, 2019

Dani’s whole world implodes when she discovers she is not human, but an Echo, a race of aliens that can regenerate after death to a younger age. A member of the Brigands, survivors who scavenge to live, she is in danger of falling into the hands of the Wardens. The Wardens are aliens like her who want to brainwash Echoes who are not a part of their mission, and kill all the humans. She also has to worry about MP raids, the human police group. This apocalyptic life was what she knew until she saved a little boy from death. Inspired by the boy, Dani wonders if there is not more that can be done to stop the Wardens from destroying MPs and Brigands alike, no matter if human or Echo. If that is not enough, Dani is also the object of deadly obsession of one of the Wardens, of whom Dani had humiliated and wounded in one of her previous lives.

More below on Echoes of War by Cheryl Campbell.

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Book Review: A Hero Born By Jin Yong
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A Hero Born by Jin Yong

A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Legends of the Condor Heroes: Book 1
Written by Jin Yong
Translated by Anna Holmwood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release date: September 17, 2019

Set during China’s Song Dynasty, approximately 1200 AD, A Hero Born, the first in the celebrated Chinese Legends of the Condor Heroes book series, starts when two sworn brothers are confronted with a terrible choice after being charged with treason by the local government: argue their innocence before a corrupt magistrate that will likely condemn them to death or try to make a run for it with their wives and sons in tow, fighting their way through soldiers who have come to arrest them.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
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Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
Hardcover
D&D Accessory
Wizards Of The Coast
Release Date: September 17, 2019

Well, what in the Nine Hells has Wizards Of The Coast released now, you might ask. Okay, so if you literally phrased it like that, then you pretty much answered your own question. Because the newest Dungeons & Dragons release is called Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus and it is all about making your way from one of the most notable cities on the prime Material plane to the first layer of the Nine Hells. This journey is obviously dangerous, but few understand exactly how perilous it can be!

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Book Review: A Little Hatred By Joe Abercrombie
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A Little Hatred
The Age of Madness Book 1
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Joe Abercrombie
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: September 17, 2019

I first discovered Joe Abercrombie’s novels back in 2010, with his fantasy revenge story Best Served Cold set in his First Law world. The book was grim – about as grim as they get – with a cast of despicable characters you can’t help but root for despite their questionable morals and actions. It was due to his ability to write incredible character-driven fiction that I continued on, quickly devouring his other First Law novels. Now, almost six years since the publication of his last book set in that same universe (Red Country), Abercrombie has released A Little Hatred, the first book in the new Age of Madness trilogy that brings readers back to the world of the First Law and solidifies Abercrombie as, what his acolytes call him, “the Lord of Grimdark.”

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova
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Star Wars Galaxy's Edge A Crash Of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge book 1
Written by Zoraida Cordova
Narrated by Brittany Pressley
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press | Listening Library
Release date: August 6, 2019

In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – A Crash of Fate, the first of a new series of books centered around the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, Jules and Izzy are the best of friends. They do everything together. And when you’re six and five years old, respectively, living in the last known habitable outpost on the edge of wildspace, you come to rely on having that friend. You need each other.

When Izzy’s family up and leaves in the middle of the night with no warning whatsoever and no chance for the kids to say good-bye, to say your life has been upended is an understatement.

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Book Review: Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments
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Finnish Nightmares
An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments
Hardcover | Kindle
By Karoliina Korhonen
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release date: August 20, 2019

Finnish comic strip character Matti gets an American debut with Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments, a new hardcover collection published by Ten Speed Press.

Matti is described as a “mild-mannered and typical Finn,” and being an American with little knowledge of what the average Finn is like, I’ll just have to take creator Karoliina Korhonen‘s word for it. But going through these cartoon strips that depict Matti’s every day life, it seems like his experiences are not exclusive to native Finns. His fears of awkward social gatherings, hectic commutes, and running out of coffee have global resonance.

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Movie Review: Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire
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Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire
Written & Directed by Stephen Cognetti
Cast: Gabriel Chytry, Elizabeth Vermilyea, Sam Kazzi, Brian David Tracy, Bridgid Abrams
Shudder Exclusive
Release date: September 19, 2019

In recent years, few word pairings have excited genre fans more than “Shudder Exclusive.” AMC’s streaming service Shudder has become a force in bringing new horror films and series to the small screen and this Thursday, they’ll be premiering the ending of Stephen Cognetti’s Hell House LLC trilogy with Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire. Quite simply, if you enjoyed the found footage/haunted attraction scares of the first two movies, you’ll be all in for the finale.

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Book Review: Star Trek: The Official Guide To The Animated Series
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Star Trek: The Official Guide to the Animated Series
Hardcover
By Aaron Harvey, Rich Schepis
Afterword by Dayton Ward
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Release date: September 3, 2019

This week marks the 53rd anniversary of the premiere of the original Star Trek television series, and though it aired only for three seasons, it ended up being the start of one of the greatest science fiction franchises. After the TV show’s cancellation in 1969, the series increased in popularity during syndication and thanks to great fan interest, a new series was created — this time, for Saturday morning television. On September 8, 1973, seven years after the premiere of the original series, NBC aired the first episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series, an animated sequel series featuring voice acting from most of the original cast. Here we are now at exactly 46 years later, and Weldon Owen publishers has just released Star Trek: The Official Guide to the Animated Series.

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Movie Review: One Cut Of The Dead
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Japanese Zombie Comedy One Cut Of The Dead

One Cut of the Dead
Written, directed, and edited by Shinichiro Ueda
Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Yuzuki Akiyama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi
Shudder | Variance Films
96 minutes | Not Rated
U.S. Release: September 13, 2019 (NY/LA)

Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead from 1985 is the first major case of the “Zom-Com,” the blending of zombie horror and comedy. A seminal classic about punks battling the undead in a cemetery, it’s not hard to find influence for Edgar Wright’s genre redefining Shaun of the Dead from 2004. While the zom-com has become prevalent in recent years with films like Zombieland (2009) and this year’s The Dead Don’t Die from Jim Jarmusch, the best of the lot by a mile is Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead. The Japanese zom-com first premiered last year, but is making its American theatrical release later this month. The word of mouth has been off the charts and I’m happy to say that all the hype was real and One Cut of the Dead can take its place on the Mount Rushmore of zombie comedies.

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Blu-ray Review: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Blu-ray | 4K Ultra HD | DVD | Digital
Director: Chad Stahelski
Writer: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Lance Reddick, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rated R | Minutes: 131
Release date: September 10, 2019

A big part of what makes the John Wick franchise so popular is its mythology. It’s an action-packed trilogy that sees a secret world of assassins living amongst the populous. The fight choreography is splendid, with each fight and gun battle looking more like a beautiful stylized dance. It is the perfect way to showcase stunt work and highlight how vital stunt people are to a film like this one.

Now, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum gets its home release on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD. Check out my review of the film and all of its bonus features here below.

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