Sci-Fi


TriskTrisk

Kenny X

Pen and Prayer Publishing

Curtis Powell has one goal, one dream for his life: to be a champion Trisk player. His dream is about to come true.

It’s the year 2151, and baseball is no longer America’s favorite game. Trisk, a game that is equal parts sport and war, is America, and the Massi Corporation is Trisk. As hopefuls like Curtis and his friends graduate from training college, though, a startling event occurs, in which one Trisk team defies the granite arm of Massi and becomes independent. When Curtis signs with the gutsy though underfunded team, he isn’t sure if he’s made the right choice, but as the season progresses and his star begins to shine, Curtis believes he is finally reaching his dream.

Caught up in the high life, Curtis begins taking risks, talking big, taking advantage of the way America swoons over his very name. His ego spirals out of control, and not even his best friend can shake sense into Curtis’s solid gold over-the-top ways. As the inevitable reckoning comes, Curtis struggles to pull back from the abyss of selfishness, but it may be too late to regain what he’s lost. On top of that, as the championship heats up and Curtis and his independent team battle for a place in the final games, Massi turns up the heat, promising destruction if the team doesn’t back down. Curtis talks big, but Massi hits hard. All that remains to be discovered is whose will and whose might are stronger.

Sports fans be warned: Trisk is packed with high-energy, over-the-top action. Non-sports fans: the sharp wit of the author and the high stakes of the game make this debut novel a hard one to put down. While a few passages delve into the techniques and strategy of the game for which the book is titled, much of the story centers around the underdog team and its star member, his struggle to remain honorable and valiant in the face of an amoral country drowning in a sports obsession. The story is told with a sort of wry, intelligent voice, though sometimes it drifts into metaphors which obscure what’s actually happening and become confusing. For the most part, the writing is as entertaining as the story itself.

Language Content
A couple of crude references, but no swearing.

Sexual Content
Curtis has a long-time girlfriend named Priscilla, who he does not sleep with, though it remains unclear whether the couple live together or not. A journalist attempts to seduce a Trisk player, while video-taping the exchange. The scene is a little confusing, but it seems like the couple stop after removing clothing and the player reconsiders his actions.

Spiritual Content
Curtis and his best friend live by higher moral standards than many other Trisk players and are often ridiculed for this stance. Brief references are made to God and Jesus in a spiritual way, but there isn’t a lot of preaching or long explanations.

Violence
One player is severely injured by an explosion. Brief battle violence describes players performing in the game of Trisk.

Drug Content
Trisk players are instructed to use a type of drug to control their emotions. Curtis struggles with whether or not to use this, and it’s hinted that some players have become addicted and trapped by serious side effects. References to alcohol over-indulgence, and some brief scenes showing drinking.

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Scrapbook of My RevolutionScrapbook of My Revolution

Amy Lynn Spitzley

Amber knows what it’s like to be noticed for all the wrong reasons. From her golden (literally) skin to her freakish ability to sense others’ feelings, she can’t help but stand out in a crowd. Amber is a member of an emerging super-human group referred to as Maliens, and the rest of humanity isn’t adjusting to them as well as Amber could hope. A highly vocal anti-Malien group calling itself RAMM promotes Malien oppression, even going so far as to reach out to Amber’s school principal.

As events escalate, and riots and attacks on Malien citizens increase, Amber’s fury blazes. She’s out to fight fire with fire, and she and her friends form their own pro-Malien group. Support for Amber’s group swells, and a popular band and a spokesman for the Malien cause rally to help Amber and her friends.

Well, most of her friends. Amber thinks she is just beginning to really see beneath Cam’s withdrawn exterior, but while she senses his interest, a growing frustration colors his feelings for her. Amber fights to keep her Malien cause front and center but welcomes Cam into the spotlight with her. The only problem is, that doesn’t seem like where Cam wants to be. Could he be the wrong guy for her? Maybe despite her elusive distrust for him, the dashing Malien hero Jonny Marino is more Amber’s speed after all.

Amber struggles to piece together where she belongs and her passion for her people, but everything changes when she suffers a personal attack. And as the political climate continues to heat, she will learn that not all those she counts as friends truly deserve the title.

Told as a series of journal entries peppered with emails, receipts, and other various paraphernalia, Spitzley brings readers a story of racism and explores issues of basic human rights through the voice of a passionate, intelligent young girl who bears the difficult burden of sensing the emotions of those around her. The clever pairing of skin tone and ability set this story apart from some of the other classic “super-human” tales and heightens its focus on civil rights and social issues. While readers may tire of the repetitive phrasing used to describe the ever-present emotions swirling through those around Amber, Spitzley reveals both the joys and traumas of having a constant window into the feelings of others in proximity. At first Amber appears to be a headstrong, sometimes rebellious teen, but through her pursuit of her cause, she learns that responsibility comes with leadership and grownups aren’t always the dopes they seemed to be.

Language Content
Moderate.

Sexual Content
Kissing/Making out. In a couple of scenes, girls are attacked and fondled briefly. In one instance, a few graphic details are given. Some of Amber’s friends and schoolmates make sexual comments about her or each other.

Spiritual Content
The spiritual ramifications of humanity’s possible evolution are not deeply explored.

Violence
Amber lives in a world which terrorizes its Malian citizens. While few scenes provide details, we know attacks on Malian people are common, providing a means for the exploration of civil rights and equality issues.

Drug Content
Some teens drink alcohol at parties or at school. Amber condemns this behavior, though she doesn’t openly confront it until late in the story.

DominationDomination
Jon S. Lewis
Thomas Nelson

As the terrible alien Thule prepare to invade earth and destroy its inhabitants, humanity’s hope hangs on sixteen-year-old Colt McAllister and an ancient prophesy. According to the prophesy, a Betrayer will rise and defeat the Thule race. In an attempt to create a super-soldier and give humanity an advantage against the monsters, scientists injected infants with Thule blood. Colt is the only survivor, and the full effects of the experiment are yet unknown.

As Colt prepares to counter the Thule invasion, strange things begin to happen to him physically. Could his Thule blood be taking over? He fights for control of himself, even offering to submit to restraint. His commanding officers need him too desperately, both as a soldier and a messenger of hope to all humanity. Colt struggles to maintain a grueling schedule, and he and his friends frantically search for clues to when and where the Thule invasion will begin. Even if they discover the location of the battle, humans are outmatched by the large, fierce aliens. Colt knows it’s on his shoulders, but does he really have what it takes to save the world?

In the final installment of the C.H.A.O.S. trilogy, Lewis delivers a fast-paced sci-fi tale reminiscent of the Halo game series. Fans of the movie Independence Day may also enjoy this story.

Language Content
None.

Sexual Content
Colt struggles with his feelings of attraction to one of his teammates despite his love for another girl.

Spiritual Content
Colt feels overwhelmed at the idea that humanity’s fate may rest with his ability to fight. Again and again he thinks of a scripture reminding him that God is a refuge and help in time of trouble.

Violence
Battle violence. Some brief details are given.

Drug Content
None.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

liberty_by_annie_laurie_cechiniCaptain Tabitha “Dix” Dixon and her crew make a living transporting cargo across the solar system and staying off the radar of the corrupt and powerful System of United Planets (SUN). To Dix, the crew are family, and she will do anything to protect them.

But Dix carries a secret in a tiny vial that even most of her crew don’t know, one that could cost them their lives. Eternigen is a miracle serum that would allow humans to travel through deep space, beyond the control of the SUN. Agents of the SUN will go to any lengths to get it back, and now they have a new ally.

Eira Ninge is about as unbalanced as her name sounds. She pursues Dix and her crew relentlessly, gruesomely disposing of anyone who chooses to help them escape.

Despite the looming threat, resistance messenger Jordan Barrett joins forces with Dix. The captain is used to having her orders obeyed without question, but Barrett isn’t afraid to challenge her. Or laugh at her. Or call her Tabitha, which is just asking for it. Letting Barrett close means the risk of losing him, and Dix isn’t sure she can handle that with SUN agents drawing ever nearer.

Dix has a plan. Hobs, a crew member and brilliant scientist, is close to finding a way to replicate the Eternigen. If Dix can dodge Eira until Hobs unlocks the formula, she and her crew can escape beyond the reaches of the SUN and find a place where they can truly be free. With mounting deaths of those she loves and Eira closing in, can Dix keep her crew safe long enough to escape for good?

Liberty is a fast-paced, fun read. Our solar system has been terraformed and the planets occupied by settlers under the control of the SUN, who ration electricity and information. Elite groups of people have excesses of food and beautiful homes while most of humanity languishes in poor slums. Resistance movements gather to discuss and complain, but only Dix seems willing to buck the SUN openly. Dix is as spirited, goofy and easy to love as her crew members and their story.

Language Content
Only faux swearing. Includes words like “flark,” “skud,” and “jackwagon.”

Sexual Content
Light.

Spiritual Content
Brief discussion about whether heaven exists. A motherly figure tells Dix she must believe she will see those she loves again after this life.

Violence
SUN dissenters are hanged. Punches are exchanged in battle sequences. A space ship is destroyed. Scenes are brief and without high level of detail.

Drug Content
Characters go into a couple of bars but order things like ginger ale and root beer.

Win a Copy!
Leave a comment on this post naming your favorite science fiction character from a book or movie. One commenter will win a free copy of Liberty! (Winner must have a US mailing address.) Contest ends Friday at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Beyond Corista by Robert ElmerAfter a narrow escape from an intense battle on her home planet Corista, Oriannon and her friends head toward a way station, guided by the mysterious pilot stone. Oriannon’s mentor, Jesmet, appears to her and instructs her to take word to each way station, warning the people of an impending attack by the merciless Troikans. Oriannon wants to obey, but there are two problems:  she is saddled with the presence of their enemy, Sola Minnik, blinded in the attack on Corista, and no one seems to believe her visions of Jesmet and his message about the doom to come. Is Oriannon wrong? Are her experiences with Jesmet mere hallucinations? Can she lead her friends in her holy quest or will she have to face this task alone?

Beyond Corista is the third book in the Shadowside Trilogy. The story follows Oriannon, a young girl with a special gift to remember anything she reads, and a love for the Owling people– a humble group who dwell on the dark side of her home planet, Corista. In the footsteps of her father’s leadership, she struggles to make choices that protect the innocent, even in the face of great evil.

Language Content
none

Sexual Content
none

Spiritual Content
Oriannon learns that trusting God and following His instructions is not always easy, nor does it always look like she expects.

Violence
There are some battle and capture sequences, but those are not graphic or explicit in nature.

Drug Content
none