Tag Archives: fantasy

Fantasy Book Review: Endure

Endure by Sara B Larson

Synopsis:
At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.

When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers, and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?

Review:
Alexa has lost almost everyone she has ever loved. So when she receives a letter threatening Rylan’s life if she doesn’t come alone, Alexa decides to try a foolhardy rescue. Meanwhile, war is brewing as an evil monarch seeks more power.

Endure is the final installment in the Defy trilogy. With an inspired story and interesting characters, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series. The worldbuilding of these magical kingdoms has been intriguing and slowly unfolded in each novel. Full of adventure, drama, magic, and a bit of romance – this finale doesn’t disappoint.

Box Review: Comic Bento – January 2016

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Comic Bento is a subscription Graphic Novel Box – A surprise selection of fantastic Graphic Novels with at least $60 worth of comics in every box and mailed right to your door!

Pricing starts at $20/month plus shipping.

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The box comes with a nice card that gives details on each of the selections.
This month’s theme was THE GREY AREA.

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Superior Iron Man: Infamous (Retail $19.99) – I’ve heard of this one, but haven’t read it yet, so I was really excited this was included. Also, this is a new release in paperback this month – it’s nice to get a mixture of newer as well as older graphic novels!
Publication Date: January 19, 2016

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RAI: Welcome to the New Japan (Retail $9.99) – I haven’t read this series yet, but the synopsis sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to checking it out.
Publication Date: October 28, 2014.

Comic Bento

Troublemaker (Retail $17.99) – I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich’s mysteries, so this was a great surprise! And it’s a hardback.
Publication Date: July 20, 2010

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Lola XOXO: The Journey Home (Retail $14.99) – I’ve never heard of this. But a post-apocalyptic story with a strong female lead sounds promising.
Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Summary: This is the mystery box I look forward to the most each month. This month did not disappoint. I loved the Iron Man and Evanovich selections, and look forward to checking out a couple new books with interesting premises.

Box Review: Supply Pod – January 2016

Supply Pod

Supply Pod (by Outer Places) uniquely delivers products themed around upcoming sci-fi releases and scientific events.

A single Supply Pod starts at $39.99 plus shipping and handling. Subscriptions will save you money and ship about every other month now. And save 10% with the discount code: CHICK10

SciFiChick.com received a free Pod for review.

Supply Pod

This January box had an X-Files theme!

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Dana Scully Funko POP! (Retail $11.57 on Amazon at the moment) – I love this POP! The detail down to her badge is fantastic. Now, I have to go buy Mulder…

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X-Files Timeline Poster (Retail $14.99) – Click on the image for a more detailed look.

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Cell Phone Wallet (Retail $10) – This is an adhesive, felt sticker for the back of your cell phone. Maybe if you had a dull or plain cover, you’d want to use this. But I love my cover too much to hide it. And I’d never put adhesive on the back of a phone I’d eventually want to sell back for an upgrade.

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EXCLUSIVE Knit Beanie Hat (Retail $5-7?) – These fun beanies are stitched with “Be Ready” and a flying saucer on the front and Supply Pod’s logo on the back! This all-sizes wearable item was a great idea for winter.

Truth Detector Card (Retail $3) – I remember these from childhood! With these and mood rings, mine would always stay the most boring color, if it changed at all.

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Guess I’m a truth-teller!

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The Real Science Behind the X-Files by Anne Simon (Retail $19.99) – This autographed (!) book is the one science item in the box. There are some nice reviews on Amazon for this book, though none of the lengthy ones are verified purchases. I’m still curious enough to check it out…

X-Files Season 11 #1 Comic (Retail $3.99) – I’ve read a review copy of this, but didn’t have a hardcopy yet. I collect comics, so this was another plus for me.

Summary:
I was a bit bummed that there wasn’t a science experiment or project like the past boxes. Besides the book, this could have been a X-File themed box from any other geeky box sub. Yet, it was still a really fun box full of X-Files goodies, so I’m not complaining! The value was pretty spot on too.

X-Files box is still available for a few more weeks! I haven’t heard what the next theme will be yet…
Save 10% with the discount code: CHICK10

Received in January

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

Mystery Box:
Supply Pod

Ace:
The Brimstone Deception by Lisa Shearin

Daw:
Revisionary: Magic Ex Libris: Book Four by Jim C. Hines

Del Rey:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
Alive by Scott Sigler

Disney Hyperion:
Starflight by Melissa Landers
Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
The Zodiac Legacy: The Dragon’s Return by Stan Lee

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen:
Front Lines by Michael Grant
The Prey by Tom Isbell
The Capture by Tom Isbell
Dark Energy by Robison Wells
Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin
Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong

Harper Voyager:
The Vagrant by Peter Newman
Daughter of Blood by Helen Lowe

Macmillan Teen / Feiwel and Friends / Henry Holt / FSG / Roaring Brook Press:
Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder
The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga
The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray
Trapped by S. A. Bodeen
The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
Gifted by H. A. Swain
Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Dream On by Kerstin Gier

Penguin Teen / Kathy Dawson Books / Speak / Viking:
Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse
Stolen by Melissa De la Cruz
Dove Exiled by Karen Bao

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Voyager: A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer
Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Pyr:
Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis

Roc:
Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot: To Preserve by Mickey Zucker Reichert

Scholastic / Chicken House:
Wings of Fire: Escaping Peril by Tui T. Sutherland
Endure by Sara B. Larson
TombQuest: The Stone Warriors by Michael Northrop
Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts: Broken Ground by Victoria Schwab
Rise of the Wolf by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Secret Hero Society #1: Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs
Longbow Girl by Linda Davies

Simon & Schuster / Emily Bestler Books:
Dominion by John Connolly

Subterranean Press:
Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon
Down and Out In Purgatory by Tim Powers
The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu

Titan Books:
Quarry’s Deal by Max Allan Collins
Quarry’s Cut by Max Allan Collins
The Girls in the High-Heeled Shoes by Michcael Kurland
Broken Hero by Jonathan Wood
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The White Worm by Sam Siciliano

Tor:
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Pathfinder Tales: Pirate’s Prophecy by Chris A. Jackson

Box Review: Smuggler’s Bounty – January 2016

Smugglers 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.”

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

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Resistance POP Tshirt (Retail $10?) – I’m not crazy about POP shirts, because they’re a bit too cutesy. But this one does have a lot of fun characters, so it may end up as a sleep shirt for my niece.

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C3PO POP Mug – These POP mugs are really weird, and don’t really work well. And are terrible to clean. I don’t need another collector-only item. I wish they’d either switch to traditional mug design or stick to the POP figures, not mugs. This is a fail.

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EXCLUSIVE (Force Awakens) Flocked Chewbacca Funko POP – As you can see, he’s fuzzy all over and super cute. I love this one. Though, I do wonder why they chose to do ANOTHER flocked Chewbacca, when GameStop already has an exclusive flocked Chewie. This is fuzzier and “older” but let’s face it, he really didn’t age much. I wish they would have gotten a little more creative here.

Summary: I was really bummed there wasn’t an exclusive Poe POP, as this was a RESISTANCE theme. And he or Leia should have been included. Hopefully, they do another soon!

SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Synopsis:
More than thirty years ago, Star Wars burst onto the big screen and became a cultural phenomenon. Now the next adventures in this blockbuster saga are poised to captivate old and new fans alike—beginning with the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And alongside the cinematic debut comes the thrilling novel adaptation by New York Times bestselling science fiction master Alan Dean Foster.

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2,and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens. . . .

Review:
If you’ve seen the movie, then you know the story here. But if you loved The Force Awakens as much as I did, you’ll want to read the novel and experience this fantastic story in a different medium. I was hoping for a bit more behind the characters and maybe some extras – and I wasn’t disappointed. Granted there aren’t a lot of dialog changes here. Most were noticeable since I’ve seen the film three times so far.

Foster is a master at movie novelizations. His characters are vivid and true to the film. The pacing transferred well, and good choices were made on what to edit. This book was just as riveting and exciting as the film. And 8 pages of movie stills were a nice addition that all fans will love. I thoroughly enjoyed this novelization of one my favorite new movies.

A Truly Horrifying Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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Lori Goldstein joins SciFiChick.com today to share her High School Horror Story on this stop of Chandler Baker’s blog tour!

Lori Goldstein’s High School Horror Story

Here’s the thing about horror stories. Sometimes, it’s all about perspective.

What seems like a huge deal at the time might not be all that horrific in hindsight and vice versa, something that is entirely de rigueur might come back to bite you in your older keister.

My older keister has a big chunk missing. Because of this.

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Permed, teased, curling ironed, I owe my high school horror story to a monster can of Aqua Net.

But it’s not really my fault. See, I grew up in New Jersey. And if you don’t know anything about New Jersey, think Jon Bon Jovi pre haircut.

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I’m not looking so bad now, right?

Living in the shadow of New York City, we Jersey girls had to find ways to stand out. Or in this case, up. Way, way up.

Flipping through my high school albums proves it wasn’t just me. We were all doing it. That doesn’t make me want to whisper, “the horror, the horror” any less.

Though there was one benefit. For once in my life, I easily clocked in at five feet without heels.

Bio:
Born into an Italian-Irish family (hence the short temper and the freckles), Lori Goldstein grew up in a small town on the Jersey shore and now makes her home outside of Boston in a place close enough to the ocean that on the right day, she can smell the sea from her back deck, and yet it still takes an hour to get to the beach. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, out now; Circle of Jinn, May 17, 2016). When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy local), Lori can be found chatting books and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter (@loriagoldstein). You can visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, Tumblr and Instagram: lorigoldsteinbooks.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/LoriGoldsteinAuthor, and Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/LoriGoldstein


Courtesy of Macmillan Children’s Publishing, I have a copy of Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker 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 A Truly Horrifying Blog Tour and Giveaway!