Jupiter Ascending – enjoyable but not an Oscar winner

(From IMDb): Beyond Earth, beyond our Sun, one family has ruled life on every habitable planet in the universe for millennia: The House of Abrasax. Now following the death of its matriarch, her three primary heirs the Abrasax siblings, Balem, Kalique and Titus are at war, and the state of their dynasty is in turmoil. But another heir has emerged whose claim may be even greater than theirs. A young woman born on Earth, unknowingly carries a genetic legacy that entitles her to power beyond her imagining and the ability to reshape the House of Abrasax and with it, the fate of her planet. With the help of an ex-military hunter who becomes her only ally, Jupiter Jones is forced to leave her ordinary existence behind and confront her true destiny.

My Review

I’m not a sci-fi reader but I love sci fi films.  Independence Day, ranks at the top of my list followed by Star Wars IV, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; E.T.; and yes, Wall-ee.  I was really hoping to add Jupiter Ascending to my list of faves because it just looked so good, but while I found it enjoyable, it wasn’t a movie I’d go see again.

The story is about a young maid, Jupiter Jones (played by Mila Kunis from Black Swan fame), who finds out there is much more to her life than cleaning toilets for the rich.  While trying to make some extra money, she is assaulted and almost murdered by some aliens disguised as humans, that is until the hero of the hour, ex-military hunter, Caine Wise (the delicious Channing Tatum), steps in to steal the day and save the girl.  Wise takes her to his buddy’s house, Stringer Apini (played by the incomparable Sean Bean), where Jupiter makes friends with thousands of bees because she’s the —

Nope, not gonna tell you.  No spoilers from me.

Anyway, Jupiter is wanted by three heirs to the House of Abrasax for various reasons, most of them being so she doesn’t gain control of, and own, Earth.

The plot was eh, not great, not bad. There were some funny parts and some excellent acting from Eddie Redmayne who plays Balem Abrasax. Whoa, his performance is amazing. What a calm, cool, collected villain, until he goes all holler on his minions.  Now HIS performance could win an Oscar. It’s so Brando in so many ways.

The film has hints of the cult film, Brazil, The Matrix, and Promethius. A little past, a little present, something old, something new.  There is even a brilliant cameo performance by the great Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame. (the scene is brilliant and one allll of us can relate to).

While I wouldn’t go out and grab this right away when it comes out on DVD, it wasn’t bad and I didn’t feel cheated out of my $$. For those who like a lot of action and blow-em up scenes, Jupiter Ascending has got it.  The story moved fast. I never once asked myself, “When is this going to be over.”  It was fun, enjoyable, campy even.

I give it a solid 3.5-stars.  It’s  a descent film, just not Oscar-winning, but not all films have to win the golden statue to be fun and worthy in its own right. I see Jupiter Ascending becoming the next cult film.

#JupiterAscending, #Sci-Fi, #movie, #Wachowski



The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology – A delightful Fantasy/Sci-Fi Read

borderlands cover I was approached recently by Curiosity Quills Press to see if I would like to review a copy of The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, but I do love fantasy and this anthology promised to deliver a little bit of both, so I thought, what the heck and asked for them to send it on.   I’m glad I did as all the stories are really good and there is something between these covers for all sci-fi/fantasy fans.  Here’s a bit about the book:

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology

Genre(s): Anthology, Action & Adventure, Alternative History, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 11, 2014

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

Description: When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.  Read more here.


It is difficult for me to pinpoint which story I liked the most. Each one was written very well and were quite entertaining, and I enjoyed them all.

There is a common theme that runs through this anthology, and each one of the authors tweaked their characters and their settings around that theme.  It actually seems like each of the stories play off of each other in an odd way, almost as if one can’t exist without the other. I do think some of the stories could have been expanded. Some felt flat. Some ended abruptly. A few left me thinking “huh?”, but overall, it was a good anthology.

Some of my favorite stories were:

Remembering Emily by Sarah Wolf.  I love the author’s voice and descriptions. Beautiful imagery here and the story is vibrant.

Stolen Orchid by Matthew Cox is one of the coolest cyberpunk stories I’ve ever read and it also played with my emotions.

The Austenation by Mara Valdarran was pure brilliance though I do think there could have been a bit more conflict. Jane Austen fans…you’re going to LOVE this one.

Escape by Patrick Burdine gave me the creepy willies.  Seriously, don’t read this right before you go to bed.   Not a good idea.

Halfway by Jay Wilburn. Ok, so this story freaked me out. There are clowns and peculiar lighting and odd people. There’s an Edward Scissorhands feel to the story, and it left me feeling numb. Well-written and freaky creepy.

Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Jason A. Anderson. A great story of one woman’s decision to defy the mob and help a little girl find her mom. Fast moving with an enjoyable, satisfying ending.

These are only 6 out of 20 amazing and unique stories.  While I liked some better than others, I am sure everyone who loves these genres will find something to enjoy.

I give four stars to this anthology.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.


Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK


LIFER by Beck Nicholas – A 5-Star Review

Lifer-Cover Over the past couple of weeks I had the pleasure of reading LIFER by Beck Nicholas. Now, most of you know I’m not a fan of Sci Fi. I like watching Sci Fi movies, but I’ve never been a big fan of reading the genre.  However, when Month9Books approached me with the opportunity to read a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t pass it up.  I mean, look at that cover!  It’s amazing! And then when I read the blurb: Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky? Well, I couldn’t resist.

What is LIFER about?  Well, here is the blurb:

Title: LIFER
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Beck Nicholas

Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.


What did I think about LIFER?

I have to say I was immediately captured by the author’s writing style. She has a beautiful way with words and they flowed so wonderfully well. Descriptions were clear but no cluttered. Characters were well flushed out, plots were crazy twisted and cleverly done. Settings…well I thought I was there in the thick of it all.

I love Asher.  She is one tough cookie and her character consistently grows throughout the novel. She’s not whiny. She is really a character you can root for. You want things to work out for her, and when she makes the character Davyd beg for Mercy … heart be still.  Fantastic moment in the book for me.

Blank (which is such a cool name for this character), is perfectly suited for Asher’s “other half” of this story. Like Asher, his past is shrouded in mystery, from the moment we are introduced to him, naked and unaware of who he is. Revelations come in short, intense bursts, and side characters like gorgeous Meg with her purple hair only make things more intense for Blank.

I don’t want to give any of the plot away in this story as it truly is a remarkable tale of space intrigue, deception, and mind-blowing twists and turns that will have you glued to your seat, turning the pages well into the wee hours of the morning.

If I have anything negative to say about the book, it would be that Asher and Blank have similar ‘voices’ to me, at least in the beginning. It irons itself out as the story goes and I became more involved with each characters’ personalities and life situation.  The similarities, however, were not enough to make me stop reading, which is the main thing.

I give LIFER five stars out of 5 because of its ingenuity and fantastic plot line. It really will take your breath away.

Thank you Month9Books for the opportunity to read it.

There is a Blog tour going on  for LIFER and all the info you need to know is below.  I hope you take the time to jump around and read all the posts and also have the chance to enter the giveaway.



I always wanted to write.  I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Link to the Tour Schedule:


Link to Goodreads:


Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | IndieBound

Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn January 16, 2015

·        Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of  Lifer by Beck Nicholas (INT)

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Cover Reveal: VESSEL by Lisa T. Cresswell and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

VESSEL by Lisa T. Cresswell

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


The sun exploded on On April 18, 2112 in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.

They had exactly nineteen minutes to decide what to do next.

They had nineteen minutes until a geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, and every satellite in their sky.

Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth, humans reverted to a middle ages-like existence, books are burned as heresy, and all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents.

Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs even if it’s the last thing she wants.

add to goodreads

Title: Vessel
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell


Lisa T. Cresswell

Lisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?

Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.

Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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Fire in the Woods!!!

It’s here!  It’s here!  The cover reveal for Jennifer M. Eaton’s novel, FIRE IN THE WOODS!

It’s so purdy!!!!  Makes you want to go out and buy it, huh?  Well, guess what? You can’t. Not until September 2014.  Until then you can stare at the cover and drool.


When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.

But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met?

Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.

Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can’t really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here.

As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

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Title: Fire in the Woods
Publication date: September 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton


Jennifer M. Eaton

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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YA Genre 101: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Happy Monday, all!  Hope your weekend was a good one.

Today we pick up with YA Genre 101.  The topic today:  Fantasy and Sci Fi. (not SyFy as the Sci Fi channel would like to spell it).

Fantasy is not all knights and gnomes and dragons, but you will find elements of magic and paranormal activity.  The story tends to take place in other worlds with magical creatures but it doesn’t have to.  Many times the story takes place in both the real world and a mysterious magical world accessed by portals of some sort.  Fantasy stories tend to steer clear of technological/scientific themes.  They usually contain elements of folklore, and mythology.

Fantasy relies heavily on world-building.  Characters and the environment have rules (as magic has rules).  Word count for fantasy YA tends to be a bit higher because of the extra need for world building.

Science Fiction is fantasy in a technological sense.  It often takes place in outer space/other planets, but it doesn’t have to – as long as the theme is scientific/technology related. Many times the plot will involve aliens, paranormal activity, space travel and parallel universes.  It is not uncommon to see the story take place in the future, though it can happen in the ‘now’ if the ‘now’ is an advanced technological race.  You’ll tend to find items like ray guns, humanoid androids and mutants.

It is not unusual to see this genre overlap with others – urban fantasy being a huge offspring of fantasy.

Samples of YA Fantasy:


Samples of YA Science Fiction:



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YA 101: Welcome to “Cyberpunk”

HA ha, what a name.  Cyberpunk.  I can’t help it.  When I read this word I picture stereotypical, bad-A, rapping, thugish teenage robots.  Wall-E gone punk.  Tank tops, pants around the butt.  Tattoos engraved on metal arms.

Then I shake my head and think, ‘You’re such a moron, Jen.”  Everyone knows that cyberpunk is a post-modern science fiction genre that focuses on high-tech and a breakdown in society.  Characters often have alienation issues, they’ve been compromised somehow in their lives.  They live on the edge of dystopian societies where technology advances rapidly.  Many times the technology is invasive, taking over human form.

Protagonists are often highly intelligent misfits, anti-social and outside the law and/or government in some way.  Rebels.  They feel misunderstood and often manipulated.  There are usually forced-manipulations:  events that happen to the protagonist that were out of his or her control.   Think Katnis in the Hunger Games – forced to fight and possibly die to keep society in control.  Advanced technology against the scourge of the earth, kept in their place by those in power with technology.

The theme is anti-utopian, the world dystopic, but the setting goes beyond that.  It makes the reader ask questions and search for answers.

Samples of some really good YA Cyberpunk include:



YA 101: The “Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic” Genre

Welcome to day 3 of the YA 101:  Genre exposition. Today’s topic:  Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic genres.

After doing research for these posts, I realized how much confusion there is between Apocalyptic and Dystopian.  Let me say for the record, folks, these are two different beasts entirely.  I’ll get into their differences more when I get to the Dystopians.

Apocalyptic fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction and the tales center around the end of human civilization.  It is written as the event, (nuclear explosion, alien attack, pandemic, supernatural phenomena, warfare, etc), takes place.  Think movies like Armageddon.

Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in a world or civilization after such a disaster. The stories can take place right after the event or years after, sometimes as long ago when all that is left is myth (think of stories of Atlantis).  Most of the time, very little of the previous world is left, and technology is advanced (think Terminator).

Examples of Apocalyptic novels:


Post-Apocalyptic novels include:


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