Book Giveaway: Staked

Courtesy of Del Rey, I have a copy of Staked by Kevin Hearne 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 February 5. I’ll draw a name on February 6, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Staked

SciFi Book Review: Stargate SG-1: Hostile Ground

Stargate SG-1: Hostile Ground by Sally Malcolm & Laura Harper

Synopsis:
It was meant to be an easy mission, a walk in the park. But SG-1’s first trip off-world after Colonel O’Neill’s return from Edora proves to be anything but easy.

Stranded on a hostile planet, and desperate to find a way home before it’s too late, O’Neill leads his fractured team on a desperate journey across a barren and forsaken world.

Review:
Set during season 3 of Stargate SG-1, Daniel is seriously injured and the team is under attack when they dial for home, but end up on a strange planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Stargate command must put their search for SG-1 on hold as Earth faces a bigger problem.

Full of danger, suspense, and an interesting new planet – this story doesn’t disappoint. And the characters are vivid and spot on. The team is introduced to a new foe that will be familiar to fans of Atlantis. The only thing that slowed the pacing down was the switch to the events on Earth, which didn’t pick up until later on as events become disastrous. But that point of view on Earth is important to the future of this series, so I understand why it was included. Hostile Ground is book one of the Apocalypse series. Like a story arc of the actual show, this book has a cliffhanger ending which will leave fans eager for the next installment.

SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: Before the Awakening

Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

Synopsis:
A companion piece to the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens character novels, Star Wars: Before the Awakening is an anthology book that focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Review:
FN-2187 (who becomes Finn) is a young Stormtrooper in training. He’s a natural leader, but a bit too sympathetic for his fellow colleagues. Rey is a scavenger who comes across a ship that could bring her quite a bit of profit. But she’s not sure she can trust an offer of help. And the third short story follows Poe along the direction of his life to become the most skilled pilot in the Resistance.

Before the Awakening is a fun and fascinating look at each of the new main characters. Finn and Rey’s stories are short and predictable, since we know where they came from and what happens to them in the future. But Poe’s is much longer and gives more background into the New Republic, the need for a Resistance, and how Poe gets recruited. The characters are vivid and engaging. And the stories are fast-paced and exciting. Fans of the Force Awakens will definitely want to check out this set of short stories for middle grade readers on up. I can’t get enough of these characters.

Book Giveaway: The Night Voice

Courtesy of Roc, I have a copy of The Night Voice by Barb and JC Hendee 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 January 29. I’ll draw a name on January 30, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Night Voice

SciFi Book Review: Winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis:
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend-the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Review:
Winter is the final installment in the Lunar Chronicles series. Each installment adds a new main character; and this one focuses mostly on Winter (if you couldn’t tell be the title). The large cast of characters, and wrapping up all of their interconnecting stories, led to an impressively large novel at 823 pages. While it took longer to read, the pacing never slowed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this big finale. Meyer did a great job of wrapping up everyone’s story. None can compare to the fantastic character of Cinder, the horribly-burned princess turned cyborg. But Winter is another wonderfully complex character – a beautiful stepdaughter who refuses to use her mind control gift to the detriment of her mental faculties. This story is full of intrigue, drama, suspense, and (since these are fairy tale re-imaginings) romance. I absolutely love these science fiction takes on Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.

SciFiChick’s Best of 2015

I read a total of 179 books this year, and as always, my favorites are hard to narrow down. However, here’s my list of this year’s best SciFi/Fantasy titles (published in 2015) that I’ve read and reviewed.

Science Fiction:

Made to Kill by Adam Christopher
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/11/19/scifi-book-review-made-to-kill/

Corsair by James L Cambias
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/07/08/scifi-book-review-corsair/

The Ark by Patrick S Tomlinson
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/11/17/scifi-book-review-the-ark/

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon’s Arrow by Dayton Ward
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/07/15/star-trek-the-next-generation-armageddons-arrow/

YA SciFi:

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/02/09/scifi-book-review-firefight/

School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/08/14/scifi-book-review-school-for-sidekicks/

Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/10/16/scifi-book-review-star-wars-lost-stars/

Fantasy:

Witches with the Enemy by Barb Hendee
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/06/23/fantasy-book-review-witches-with-the-enemy/

Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/03/19/fantasy-book-review-finn-fancy-necromancy/

Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/04/24/fantasy-book-review-harrison-squared/

Dead Man’s Reach by DB Jackson
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/08/05/fantasy-book-review-dead-mans-reach/

YA Fantasy:

The Rangers Apprentice – The Early Years: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/11/05/book-review-the-rangers-apprentice-the-early-years-the-tournament-at-gorlan/

When by Victoria Laurie
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/02/12/fantasy-book-review-when/

Wings of Fire: Winter Turning by Tui T Sutherland
Reviewed here: http://scifichick.com/2015/12/30/fantasy-book-review-wings-of-fire-winter-turning/

What were some of your favorites this year?

Fantasy Book Review: Hollow Earth: The Book of Beasts

Hollow Earth: The Book of Beasts by John Barrowman & Carole E Barrowman

Synopsis:
Matt and Emily Calder’s travels through time come to a thrilling conclusion in the third book of the Hollow Earth trilogy as the siblings struggle to close Hollow Earth—and keep the monsters inside.

Twins Matt and Emily Calder may be divided by time, but they are united in their mission to close Hollow Earth before the monsters inside can destroy the world. The key to success lies with their Animare talents: they can draw things into life and travel in time through art. But there are monsters outside Hollow Earth as well. Monsters intent on taking control of the beasts for themselves. And the worst monster of all is their own father.

Review:
Matt is stuck in the past. And his sister Emily is in the present, unsure of Matt’s fate. But they both know they have to stop their father and those who want to open the portal to Hollow Earth.

The Book of Beasts is the third and final book in the Hollow Earth trilogy by well-known actor John Barrowman and his sister Carole E Barrowman. This is a unique and inspired world with engaging characters and an exciting plot. The suspense builds to an abrupt finale that seemed a bit too quick. I wish we would have had a bit more resolution in an epilogue. But it was still a fun and action-packed, fantasy adventure that was hard to put down.

Received in December

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

Blu-rays/DVDs:
Pan Blu-ray Edition

Subscription Box:
Supply Pod

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Legends of Ashildr by Various

Chronicle Books:
The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

Disney Hyperion:
Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan
Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
Star Wars The Force Awakens: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

Fandemonium:
Stargate SG-1 / Stargate Atlantis: Points of Origin by Sally Malcolm
Stargate Atlantis: Homecoming by Jo Graham
Stargate SG-1: Hostile Ground by Sally Malcolm

First Second:
Last Man: The Show by Bastien Vivès

Harper Teen / Greenwillow / Belzer + Bray:
Away We Go by Emil Ostrovski
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine
The Word for Yes by Claire Needell
The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine
Behold the Bones by Natalie C. Parker
Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Bluescreen by Dan Wells

Inkshares:
The Life Engineered by J-F Dubeau

Macmillan Teen / Feiwel and Friends / Roaring Brook Press:
Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O’Brien

Penguin / Kathy Dawson:
Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ascendance by David R. George Iii

Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press:
Voyagers: Game of Flames by Robin Wasserman
Burning Midnight by Will Macintosh
Traveler by Arwen Elys Dayton

Roc:
Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older

Scholastic:
Wonder Woman: Amazon Warrior by Steve Korte
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow by Daniel Wallace
Batman: Gotham City’s Guardian by Matthew Manning

Subterranean Press:
Downfall of the Gods by K. J. Parker

Tobias S. Buckell:
Xenowealth: A Collection by Tobias S. Buckell

Tor Teen:
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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