SciFi Book Review: More of Me

More of Me by Kathryn Evans

Synopsis:
Teva goes to school, studies for her exams, and spends time with her friends. To the rest of the world, she’s a normal teenager. But when she goes home, she’s anything but normal. Due to a genetic abnormality, Teva unwillingly clones herself every year. And lately, home has become a battleground. When boys are at stake, friends are lost, and lives are snatched away, Teva has a fight on her hands—a fight with herself. As her birthday rolls around, Teva is all too aware that time is running out. She knows that the next clone will soon seize everything she holds dear. Desperate to hang on to her life, Teva decides to find out more about her past . . . and uncovers lies that could either destroy her or set her free.

Review:
Teva lives in fear of her next birthday, when she loses the life she knows to live hidden away, never aging. Meanwhile, her younger clone is bitter, jealous and wants her boyfriend back. As her life begins to fall apart around her, she even begins to question her sanity.

More of Me is a standalone, science fiction novel for young adults. It starts out a bit confusing, as I tried to figure out who the clones all were and why they were called different names. Teva is written in a clever way that makes the reader question everything as does Teva. The plot is twisted and clever and certainly kept me guessing. The characters are engaging and the suspense built to an exciting finale. While the story wasn’t quite what I expected, it was a lot of fun.

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

Book Giveaway: Tropic of Kansas

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 28. I’ll draw a name on July 29, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Tropic of Kansas

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

SciFi Book Review: The Space Between the Stars

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Synopsis:
All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be.

Review:
Jamie wakes up after getting over a virus, to discover everyone gone. The virus had a very low survival rate. Jamie’s sanity is threatened when finally she discovers other survivors. And Jamie immediately holds onto the slim chance that her ex has survived.

This novel wasn’t quite what I expected. I thought it’d be a space opera either heavy on the romance or adventure. Instead, The Space Between the Stars is a thought-provoking, tense story. As survivors search for the familiar and try to get home to Earth. There is quite a bit of suspense, drama, and a bit of romance in this engaging read. And events build to a surprising and stirring finale.

Box Review: Bam Box – June 2017

Bam Box

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Bam Box

This month was back to the mini mag with details on each item.
This month’s theme was “Heroes & Villains: Unlikely Heroes.”

Bam Box

USCSS Nostromo Patch
Goonies Patch

Shaun of the Dead Pin

Bam Box

Sloth Loves Chunk Print – Speaking of Goonies… It looks like I received a rare pirate hat variant as well.

Bam Box

Red Ranger Signed Photo – I’m not a fan of this cheesy series. So, I’ll be ditching this.

Bam Box

Prop Replica of Nacho Libre Mask – I never had any desire to watch this, so this one is a pass for me as well. It’s not scifi or fantasy related, and doesn’t really fall into geek culture, so it doesn’t seem to really fit.

Bam Box

Batman Journal – This was my favorite item in the box – by far. The lined journal includes pages of notes and drawings from Batman’s point of view. And the rest is blank for a youngster to fill in. Just in time for my nephew’s birthday!

Bam Box

EXTRA ITEM: ET Print -This was an extra item because of the previous month’s late shipment. I really like this one!

Summary:
I really liked the ET print and the Batman journal. The other items didn’t do anything for me. But mystery boxes are usually hit or miss. I like the variety in this one.

Next month’s theme is… Animal Influence.

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