Fantasy Book Review: Dark Breaks Dawn

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B Larson

Synopsis:
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

Review:
Princess Evelayn is just beginning to learn how to use her magic when tragedy strikes. And in order to save her kingdom, she is willing to strike a dangerous deal.

Dark Breaks the Dawn is the first in a YA fantasy duology. With plenty of drama, romance, and magic – this first installment builds an intriguing story. This tale is loosely based on Swan Lake – so loosely, that you wont see many similarities until the very end of the book. The author has created a unique fantasy world of light and dark magic that I’d like to see developed even further in the sequel. And the ending leaves off in a major cliffhanger that left me impatient for the next book.

SciFi Book Review: Stargate SG-1: Insurrection

Stargate SG-1: Insurrection by Sally Malcolm and Laura Harper

Synopsis:
SG-1 faces a terrible choice. With the lines between friends and enemies blurring, the team must choose where their loyalties lie—and how much they’re willing to risk to save their world.

While Dr Daniel Jackson and Teal’c return to the refugee colony on Arbella, in search of allies in the coming battle for Earth, Colonel O’Neill and Major Carter discover a piece of Ancient technology that could change the future—and the past. But if using the device results in their own extinction, do they have the right to sacrifice their new friends to save a world they’ll never know?

Review:
SG-1 is stuck in a horrific future where Earth has been taken by the Wraith. As Carter searches for a way to change the past, Daniel and Teal’c become involved in a power struggle on Arbella.

Insurrection is the final installment in the Apocalypse trilogy. Carter and O’Neill make a dangerous alliance in order to rid the Earth of the Wraith. With a great of suspense and intrigue – this exciting trilogy comes to a surprising conclusion. (Mild spoilers ahead:) I was bothered a bit how the time travel aspect was handled. Instead of trying to go home to their time, Carter tries to fix what happened in the past – which sets them into an alternate timeline. Though, I can see that the authors may have wanted to show what happens in this future they’ve created rather than just resetting it. I thoroughly enjoyed the Wraith characters as well as the engaging plot twists along the way. As a huge fan of the series, this was a fun and fast-paced trilogy that makes me want to read more from the expanded series.

Received in May

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

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Abrams / Amulet:
More of Me by Kathryn Evans

Ace:
Moonbreaker by Simon R. Green

Amazon Publishing / 47 North:
The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg

Berkley:
The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Del Rey:
Radiate by C. A. Higgins

Disney / Hyperion:
The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Harper Teen:
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Harper Voyager:
The Kill Society by Richard Kadrey
The Rift Frequency by Amy S. Foster
Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan
Call of Fire by Beth Cato

Little, Brown:
Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Macmillan Teen / Roaring Brook Press / Feiwel and Friends / Imprint:
The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O’Brien
Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
The Equals by Daniel Sweren-Becker
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman
Ally by Anna Banks

Penguin Young Readers / Viking:
Dove Alight by Karen Bao

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hearts and Minds by Dayton Ward

Random House Books for Young Readers / Knopf / Delacorte Press:
Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo Book 1: The Road to Epoli by James Parks
The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson
Julia Defiant by Catherine Egan

St Martin’s Press / Thomas Dunne Books:
The Return by Joseph Helmreich

Subterranean Press:
Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale
Heroes and Villains by Lewis Shiner
Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Weight of Words by Dave McKean

Titan Books / Titan Comics:
Empire of Time by Daniel Godfrey
Assassin’s Creed: The Hawk Trilogy by Titan Books

Tor:
The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox
Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom by Bradley W. Schenck
Soleri by Michael Johnston

Tor Teen:
Night Magic by Jenna Black
Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin

Box Review: TeeBlox – May 2017

TeeBlox

TeeBlox is a t-shirt subscription service that brings 100% authentic licensed geek and gamer shirts to your doorsteps every month. No hidden fees. Cancel anytime. Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Get 1 shirt and 2 other items starting at $12.99/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from the following categories: SciFi, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoons, Movies and TV, Games, Hot Meex, or Disney!

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

TeeBlox

Doctor Who Shirt – Well, I got the exact same shirt last month, so that was weird. I’m not a paying customer though, so maybe they just had extra. I’m sure if you got a duplicate, they’d send you out a replacement asap.

TeeBlox

Comic and Sticker – This Superman and Green Lantern is a fun retro comic I look forward to reading. I’m not sure what this cartoon mouse is, but I don’t do anything with stickers anyway.

Summary: This is the first time I’ve gotten a duplicate shirt. But I have friends and family members who enjoy the show who I can pass this on to. If you need to replenish your geek wardrobe with nice quality tees, look no further. In fact, I may just keep this as a sleep shirt, even though I’m not a fan of the show. And the bonus comic is always fun too.

Remember, use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

SciFi Book Review: The Rising

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

Synopsis:
Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

Review:
Alex is a football star with a bright future. And his tutor, Samantha, is a smart young woman with her heart set on NASA. The two become involved in a heart-pounding adventure, when Sam witnesses Alex’s parents being tortured. And Alex finds his doctor murdered after he ordered additional tests. There is a huge conspiracy with Alex at its core. And Sam is willing to give up everything to help him.

The Rising is a science fiction thriller with plenty of mystery, intrigue, drama, and suspense. The excitement builds quickly and leads to a complex story behind Alex’s origin. As enemies and a mysterious ally close in, Alex and Sam will need to rely on their wits to guide them. This was a fast-paced and fun action-packed novel. The suspense and converging story-lines definitely outweigh the character development. But it’s definitely a fun adventure (heavy on the science fiction – reminding me of the book/tv series Roswell) with the potential for sequels.

Book Giveaway: Night Magic

Courtesy of Tor Teen, I have a copy of Night Magic by Jenna Black 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 June 16. I’ll draw a name on June 17, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Night Magic

Box Review: Smuggler’s Bounty – May 2017

Star Wars 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 40th Anniversary!

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty

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

This month, there was no card detailing the items included. Or maybe it was just my box that was missing it?

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty

Star Wars Wristbands – This was a disappointment. Who wears these in this decade? A shirt should have been the wearable item.

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty

Han Solo and Greedo Salt and Pepper Shakers – While these are cute, I don’t need or want more geeky kitchen accessories.

Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty

EXCLUSIVE Luke with Speeder POP – This is right up there with the Han Solo on a Tauntaun from a few months back. The detail on the speeder is fantastic.

Summary:
The only thing I liked in the box was the Luke on a Speeder which was barely worth the cost of the box. I’m hoping next month they step it up.

Next box theme…. Droids!

Graphic Novel Review: Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen (Rebirth)

Supergirl Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
Supergirl moves to National City! As Kara Danvers, average American teenager and high school student, Supergirl must balance her life as a superhero with her new life on Earth. But some demons from her Kryptonian past are coming back to haunt her, and Kara will find herself face-to-face with her father: the sinister Cyborg Superman!

Review:
Supergirl has been adopted by the Danvers who work for the DEO. She fights crime while maintaining her secret identity as Kara Danvers, a teenager trying to get an internship at CatCo. Fans of the Supergirl tv show will see a lot of similarities here. It’s a reboot, so I’m not totally opposed to changing her origin story. This story arc focuses mostly on Cyborg Superman who claims to be Kara’s father. The story is fast-paced and action-packed. And while the constant fighting of Cyborg Superman was exciting, it may have been a bit too drawn out. I would’ve liked to see more of her normal teen side, interacting more with her peers and Cat Grant. Hopefully, we get more of that in the upcoming installments. The artwork was nice. And characters have a lot of promise, so I look forward to reading further in the series.

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