Category Archives: Fantasy

Box Review: Smuggler’s Bounty – July 2017

Smuggler's Bounty

“Star Wars and Funko are proud to present Smuggler’s Bounty, the only OFFICAL Star Wars subscription box in the galaxy! Featuring 100% exclusive collectibles, apparel and accessories from the Star Wars universe, each box is carefully curated for Star Wars fans and shipped directly to your doorstep. Every box is themed specifically around the Star Wars films with collectors in mind. For just $25 (plus shipping) every other month, members will receive a box full of exclusive Star Wars-themed Funko collectibles and a host of other surprises valued at over $50. Each box will focus on a different part of the Star Wars universe and include memorabilia exclusive to the program, perfect for any Star Wars fan.”

The theme this month was Droids!

Smuggler's Bounty

Patch and Pin – these are small collectibles included in each box.

Again this month, there was no card detailing the items included. Are they just getting lazy?

Smuggler's Bounty

Star Wars Droid Tshirt – Yet another black tee. It’s a cute design at least.

Smuggler's Bounty

EXCLUSIVE Unfinished C-3PO – This is a really cool and unique design!

EXCLUSIVE R5-D4 – This is a fun retro droid from the first Star Wars film.

Summary:
I love getting 2 Funko POPs in a box. And the Smuggler’s Bounty seems to be the one that offers the most over the course of the year. I miss having the detail card though. And I’m still waiting for them to include a comic from any of they’re fantastic Star Wars lines.

Fantasy Book Review: The Rat Prince

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder

Synopsis:
Before Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters moved into Lancastyr Manor, Cinderella was known as the Lady Rose de Lancastyr. Then her stepmother forced her to become a kitchen maid and renamed her. At first the rats of the manor figure Cinderella for a lack-wit and take pity on her by bringing her food and a special family heirloom. But when Cinderella’s stepmother finds a way to prevent her from attending the ball, the rats join forces to help her. The night of the ball is filled with magic and secrets–not least of all who Lady Rose will choose to be her Prince Charming.

Review:
Char is the Rat Prince, who looks after Cinderella and the household. You may know the story of Cinderella, but this is a fun new twist, both from Cinderella and Char’s point of views. This all-ages novel is a highly-enjoyable fairy tale. This clever take puts Cinderella’s rat friends as main characters and a surprising Prince Charming. There is plenty of humor, suspense, drama, and heart. This sweet and endearing story is not one I’ll soon forget.

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: STONE GIRL’S STORY

Courtesy of Clarion, I have an ARC copy of Stone Girl’s Story by Sarah Beth Durst for five (5) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 11. I’ll draw a name on August 12, and notify winners via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Cover Reveal and Giveaway: STONE GIRL’S STORY

Fantasy Book Review: The Princess and the Page

The Princess and the Page by Christina Farley

Synopsis:
A dark secret lurks in Keira’s family. She comes from a long line of Word Weavers, who bring their stories to life when they use a magical pen. But for generations Word Weavers have been hunted for their power. That’s why Keira is forbidden to write. When Keira discovers her grandma’s Word Weaver pen, and writes a story for the Girls’ World fairy-tale contest, she starts to wonder if anyone ever truly lives happily ever after. Inspired by the life and times of Gabrielle d’Estrées, a real French princess who lived during the 1500s, The Princess and the Page follows the mystical journey of a modern-day “royal” who goes from having a pen in her hand to wishing for the world at her fingertips.

Review:
Keira’s mother forbids her from writing – she dislikes all fiction. But Keira and her friend write a fairy tale anyway to enter a contest. But Keira’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Little does she know that when she uses her grandmother’s magical pen, what Keira writes has an effect on the reality.

The Princess and the Page is an enchanting children’s fantasy. Farley’s take on a historical princess makes for a captivating tale. This fast-paced adventure contains plenty of mystery and suspense and colorful characters. The Young fantasy fans will enjoy this fun and story with an exciting finale.

Book Excerpt: The Glass Arrow

Excerpt of The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons.

Run.

My breath is sharp as a dagger, stabbing through my throat. It’s all I hear. Whoosh. Whoosh. In and out.

They’re here. The Trackers. They’ve followed Bian from the lowland village where he lives. The fool led them right to us.

The forest I know as well as the lines on my palms is dense and shrouded from the mid-morning light. I keep to the shadows, skirting around the bright open patches where the sunlight streams to the forest floor. My calloused feet fl y over the damp leaves and gray pebbles, keeping me stealthy as a fox.

I run a practiced pattern, just like my ma taught me as a child. A zigzag through the brush and trees. I never run in a line; their horses will catch up too quickly on the straightaway, and they’re not all I have to worry about. I know the Tracker hounds have picked up my scent too, but they’re scroungers, weakened by hunger, and not as nimble as me in these woods. I’m banking on their starving stomachs leading them directly to the bait meat in my hunting snares.

My thoughts jolt to the traps. There are six placed strategically around our camp. I know they’re good because I set them myself, and checked them only this morning.

In my mind I see a Tracker’s heavy black boots clamber over the loose branches, see him fall ten feet down into a muddy hole. Another might trip the spring of the rabbit cage so its razor-sharp teeth bite down through his leather shoe.

Trackers are cunning. But not as cunning as me.

I swing around a stout pine, locking my body in place behind it so that I’m absolutely still. The coarse bark imprints onto the naked skin of my shoulders but I hold my position. That’s when I hear it. The thunder of hoof-beats. A shot pierces the air. Gunfire. Someone yells—a man’s voice, strained, hurting. It’s either one of them or Bian. He’s the only man old enough to make a noise so deep. Tam’s not yet seven, and if he were caught, his cry would be shrill. Childlike.

Tam. I must find Tam and Nina, the twins. They count on me when they’re scared. Though when I conjure them in my mind—Tam’s black hair and button nose, Nina’s ever-watchful eyes—I am the one who’s scared.

I’ve prepared them, I tell myself. I’ve prepared them like my ma prepared me. They know the hiding place—the abandoned wolf’s den in the south woods. An image of it breaks through from my memory: the narrow, shale entrance and damp inner chamber, smelling of mold. The rocky floor lined with the brittle bones of squirrels whose souls have long since passed to Mother Hawk. At first it looks to be a trap in itself, but if you squeeze past the tapering stone walls, the rock gives way to soil, and the twisting roots of an old pine create a ladder to climb upward into sunlit freedom.

Continue reading Book Excerpt: The Glass Arrow

Box Review: ThinkGeek Capsule – June 2017

ThinkGeek Capsule

From the site:
“We’re ThinkGeek. We enjoy movies, books, and long space walks outside the vehicle. We want everyone to embrace their inner geek, and the ThinkGeek Capsule is our monthly mystery box that gives you the fun of a blind box with the security of knowing you’re getting gear hand-selected by ThinkGeek.

Each ThinkGeek Capsule is packed with $50 worth of collectibles. Items may include desktop replicas, stuff for your home, enamel pins, art prints, t-shirts, and more. Contents will vary by month, but you will ALWAYS get an exclusive t-shirt.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $5 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

ThinkGeek Capsule

This is ThinkGeek’s first Capsule, that shipped in June.

ThinkGeek Capsule

The box came with a list of spoilers that I decided to forgo until I went thru the box on my own.

ThinkGeek Capsule

Because pins seem to be the norm in most mystery boxes.

ThinkGeek Capsule

I received an BONUS The Name of the Wind Playing Card Deck. There were 6 possible themes. Goonies or Ghostbusters would have been great too. But as a scifi/fantasy reader, this was a great selection for me.

ThinkGeek Capsule

PINZ: Fantasy Edition Pins – I received the potion one.

ThinkGeek Capsule

Magical Mixing Pony Pint – My niece will get a kick out of using this.

ThinkGeek Capsule

Harry Potter Hogwarts Alumni Socks – I love socks. And these cute ones will be a lot of fun to wear in the fall.

ThinkGeek Capsule

Fallout 4: Helmet Coin Bank – I’m not a gamer, but this is a really fun design. It’s made of a nice, hard plastic.

ThinkGeek Capsule

ThinkGeek Promo Code – This is a great idea to get people to go buy more stuff from the site!

ThinkGeek Capsule

Zelda Tshirt – This is a fun design of the iconic game. Heads up for the ladies – the sizing is Juniors, so you may want to order 2 sizes larger if you’re older than a teen. My niece will love this shirt though, so all is not lost.

SUMMARY: This was a great first box! There’s a wide variety of wearables and collectibles, as well as a great variety of geek culture. I enjoyed several of the items in the box. And the bank and tumbler were fun, unique ideas. I’m excited to see what the next Capsule holds!

Received in June

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in June for review and/or giveaways:

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box
ThinkGeek Capsule
ThinkGeek Jewelry

Ace:
Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Avon Books:
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Berkley:
Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

Del Rey / Random House / Delacorte Press / Bantam:
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction by Diana Gabaldon
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
The Book of Swords by George R. R. Martin
Injection Burn by Jason M. Hough
Escape Velocity by Jason M. Hough
Besieged: Stories from The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
Armistice: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove

Disney Hyperion / Marvel:
Rise of the Isle of the Lost by Melissa De la Cruz
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

First Second:
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

Harper Collins / William Morrow:
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson

Harper Voyager:
An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown

Little, Brown:
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Enigma Tales by Una McCormack

Pyr:
The Genius Plague by David Walton
Raining Fire by Rajan Khanna

Quarto Publishing:
The Impossible Has Happened: The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry by Lance Parkin

Random House Children / Delacorte Press:
Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw by Todd Calgi Gallicano

Scholastic:
The Princess and the Page by Christina Farley
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older

Subterranean Press:
Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries: The Squirrel on the Train by Kevin Hearne

Tor:
Shattered Minds by Laura Lam
The Tiger’s Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera
Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber
Tomorrow’s Kin by Nancy Kress
The Queen of Swords by R. S. Belcher

Tor Teen:
Roar by Cora Carmack

Vintage Books:
Amatka by Karin Tidbeck