*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.

Protests to block an environmental waste dump and strange, unexplained deaths plague small town America in The Pilfered, a digital comics book series from Level 21 Boss Publishing available in an iOS app. Created by Alan I. Djivré and developed by Philippe Blaise, the four-issue mini-series blends the typical anatomy of a comic book – panels, speech balloons, captions, and such – with elements of motion and music by utilizing DAZ Studio and Photoshop software. Three years in the making, the result is an engaging and dual-sensory reading experience.

Decades after the release of Ridley Scott’s legendary space horror film, Alien, the lone survivor of the commercial towing vessel Nostromo, Ellen Ripley (and her portrayal by the enormous talented actress Sigourney Weaver), continues to powerfully influence the depiction of women in the science fiction genre. Easily ranking as one of the most iconic and well-developed cinematic heroes of our time, Ripley’s endurance as a pop culture figure and feminist symbol stems from the grace and depth of the four ambitious films the character appeared in and continues to impact today’s genre heroines, be it on the silver screen, television, video games, or a multitude of other mediums.

Early cinema fair often turned to literature for inspiration and source material. The space horror genre is no different; its roots can be traced back to early 20th century science fiction writers such as H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds, 1898) and Robert Potter (The Germ Growers, 1892), featuring alien invasion storylines. As films grew in popularity, filmmakers were looking past the reality shorts that defined the medium, realizing that this new format could be used to tell stories that entertained.

I’ve always wanted to travel in space.  I’m talking serious interstellar travel to destinations at the far reaches of our universe.  This desire is fueled by a completely unrealistic expectation that these journeys would be filled with Hubble photo gallery vistas or at least have the feel of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening title sequence.

What happened back in Kansas while Dorothy was away in Oz? When Edmund, Lucy, et al. returned from Narnia, after having grown into adult kings and queens, how did they cope with reverting back to ordinary British children in the middle of World War II? There are plenty of classic stories that depict children finding their way through magical portals into strange and wonderful fantasy realms. Very few of them really deal with the real-world repercussions of such a journey. That’s what Mae does, though.

It is not evil, it is not chaos – it is nature hardened, a blade sharpened. It does what it does with an intent to survive, to perfect itself. We just happen to be lower on the food chain. It is advanced beyond our power, because there is no reasoning with it, no bribing it, no impressing it. It simply does what it does, over and over and over again, and it does it better than most anything else. No, I’m not talking about the awesome Xenomorph. I’m talking Brian Wood, the writer of at least one fourth of the books on the comic book shelf right now – the others belonging to probably Jeff Lemire, Jason Aaron, and Brian Michael Bendis. Brian Wood adds to his staggering amount of output with Aliens: Defiance #1.

Based on a short story by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Todd Klein, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch presents a dreamlike mystery as three friends reminisce about a bizarre trip to a circus in a forgotten labyrinth under England where the fourth, a Miss Finch (not her name), went missing under strange circumstances. But it’s not the how that’s the mystery, it’s the why. What makes her different and what does she lose or gain?

If you’ve been following, you know that Travis was an orphan with major anger problems. In seeking out his family, a private investigator (and friend) that he hired was murdered, entangling him in an investigation. Travis didn’t have to wait long, as his family was also looking for him – specifically his half-sister, Jennifer, who told him that his father was the leader of a cult. Their father, David Daly, is still around, hunting down victims and torturing them in basements. David has apparently made a deal with the devil, though the endgame has yet to be revealed. Meanwhile ,Travis’ anger and penchant for secrecy was pushing away his girlfriend Melissa. They split as he found out she was pregnant with his baby. End volume one.

You know the saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Inspector Deal may have gotten more than she bargained for after having successfully tracked down Dr. Reason (a.k.a. the White Wizard) on his moisture farm.

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