Orphan Black

Orphan Black Season 1 Cover  Orphan Black 

Review by Stephanie Bragg

You’re just a regular person, you have your issues, but so does everyone. Waiting to take the train one night you are confronted by someone who looks just like you. No, not just like you, exactly like you.  Before you can even try think about why, that person steps right in front of a moving train. Wait, what?! In the BBC America original series Orphan Black this is exactly what happens to Sarah.  Unsure what to do, Sarah hightails it out of the train station but not without taking the other woman’s wallet with her. She steps briefly into the dead woman’s life.  This chance meeting draws Sarah into a world she had never imagined. A world where human cloning exists and she is one of them. Continue reading

Map of Time

Map of Time book coverThe Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

Review by Pam Blittersdorf

I picked up this book because it had great cover art and an interesting title.  These seemed to promise a grand adventure of some kind, perhaps fantasy or science fiction, with a strong dash of steampunk and some interesting characters.  Does selecting a book this way make the reader shallow and unthinking?  When the book becomes something completely unexpected, does the reader have reason to be angry or disgusted?  In truth, friends, when was the last time that you read something that induced so much introspection and self-doubt?  If you knew that the subject was time-travel and the book’s characters included H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker and Joseph Merrick, wouldn’t you expect a bit of a romp?  A quick glance at the readers’ comments on Amazon show that some folks hated this book for the very reasons I have mentioned here: it wasn’t exactly what they expected. Continue reading


Outlander DVDOutlander BookReview by Stephanie Bragg

Outlander TV series based on the book series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Scotland is a land filled with a rich history, traditions, and magic. Claire and Frank are on their second honeymoon in 1945 in the Scottish Highlands after being kept apart by WWII. Out by herself Claire steps through a cleft in the stones atop Craigh Na Dun and finds herself 200 years in the past. The year is now 1743 and Claire is a woman alone in the woods and confronted by a man that looks just like her husband. But this man isn’t Frank, he’s Frank’s ancestor Jack Randall a vicious Red Coat Captain. Claire is rescued from the grips of Black Jack Randall by one of the Scottish clans and meets host of interesting characters, including the dashing and swoon worthy James Fraser. Follow Claire though adjusting to her new daily life, romance, and the most important decision she may ever make.

Diana Gabaldon creates a vivid glimpse into life in the Scottish Highlands in 1743 and the dangers of being a single woman during this time. Her writing style is simple and clear. I found this book to be an easy read but that doesn’t mean the story or her characters are simple. Jamie and Claire rich characters with many sides, as are the supporting characters.

Outlander is now a series on Starz. The first season spans the entire first book. If you aren’t aware, Outlander is also a series with eight books. I actually watched the series before reading the book and loved every second. There’s real danger for Claire in this new world and she must rely on the few she trusts to help her navigate. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were made for these roles.

The thing that struck me most about the series as I was reading the book was how seamlessly the writers used original book dialogue on the show. It’s not easy to take text from a book and make it organic in a series or movie.

Book or Series… Series or Book. You can’t go wrong.

Check availability on Outlander Season One Volume One

Check availability on Outlander Season One Volume Two

Check availability on the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon:

Dragonfly in Amber
The Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

About the reviewer: Reference staff member is an avid Comic Con attendee, Doctor Who fan & mom to Stormageddeon, Dark Lord of All: aka Nolan.

Circumnavigated Fairyland

Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making book cover

Review by Anna Yardney

Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Author: Catherynne Valente

“Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents’ house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her and flew to her window one evening just after her twelfth birthday.”

I spent my childhood reading C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald and Hans Christian Andersen, but this is hands down one of the finest adventures in fairyland that I have ever come across. While this is ostensibly a book for children ages 10-14 I would recommend it to anyone who has ever enjoyed a good escapist fantasy. This book will make you laugh, cry, hope, and wonder all over again. Catherynne Valente invokes all the charm of Oz and the whimsy of Wonderland in this adventure while turning tropes on their heads and side-stepping every cliché. Be sure to check out the delicious sequels!

Check availability on The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making today!

Did you love this first book in the series? There’s more!

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

About the reviewer: Circulation and tech services staff member Anna Yardney owns every single book in the series and has no plans to stop collecting them.