Tag Archives: fantasy

Fantasy Book Review: Ink



Ink by Alice Broadway

Synopsis:
There are no secrets in Saintstone.

From the second you’re born, every achievement, every failing, every significant moment are all immortalized on your skin. There are honorable marks that let people know you’re trustworthy. And shameful tattoos that announce you as a traitor.

After her father dies, Leora finds solace in the fact that his skin tells a wonderful story. That is, until she glimpses a mark on the back of his neck… the symbol of the worst crime a person can commit in Saintstone. Leora knows it has to be a mistake, but before she can do anything about it, the horrifying secret gets out, jeopardizing her father’s legacy… and Leora’s life.

Review:
Leora lives in a land where everyone is tattooed with their life story. People without tattoos are considered “blanks” and outcasts. When she realizes that her deceased father had a mark on his neck that labeled him a traitor, everything she believes is put into question.

Ink is a thought-provoking, dramatic fantasy for teens and adults. This inspired world is fascinating and beautifully written. It’s a quick read with plenty of intense suspense. There are some fun and surprising twists along the way. And this gripping story had me hooked until the surprising finale.

Fantasy Book Review: Markswoman

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

Synopsis:
Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family.

When Tamsyn, the powerful and dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. She is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof.

Kyra escapes through one of the strange Transport Hubs that are the remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past and finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of a desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a disillusioned Marksman whose skill with a blade is unmatched. He understands the desperation of Kyra’s quest to prove Tamsyn’s guilt, and as the two grow closer, training daily on the windswept dunes of Khur, both begin to question their commitment to their Orders. But what they don’t yet realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is thin… as thin as the blade of a knife.

Review:
Kyra is a Markswoman, an assassin who has a psychic link to her sword. When her mentor dies under mysterious circumstances, Kyra immediately suspects her cruel Mental Arts instructor, Tamsyn. Kyra flees and finds herself among a separate order of male Marksmen. And they agree to train her to duel Tamsyn when they hear her story.

Markswoman is the first in a dramatic, new fantasy series. The worldbuilding is intriguing, with magical weapons and a mysterious history. The pacing is steady. And the story and characters pulled me in. Full of intrigue, drama, action, and a bit of romance – this first installment sets a high bar. It’s an impressive debut. The suspense builds to a cliffhanger ending that left me eager for the next in the series.

SciFi Book Review: Black Panther: The Young Prince

Black Panther The Young Prince by Ronald L Smith

Synopsis:
Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger.

This is his destiny. But right now, he’s simply T’Challa-the young prince.

Life is comfortable for twelve-year-old T’Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he’s not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father-the reigning Black Panther-or testing out the latest tech, he’s off breaking rules with his best friend, M’Baku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T’Challa’s father makes a startling announcement: he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in America.

This is no prestigious private academy-they’ve been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T’Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic.

When strange things begin happening around school, T’Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T’Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.

Review:
T’Challa and his best friend M’Baku are sent to school in Chicago when Wakanda becomes too dangerous. But M’Baku drifts away as he chooses different, cruel friends. And T’Challa discovers a dangerous plot that he feels compelled to investigate and protect those he cares about.

Black Panther: The Young Prince is a great introduction to T’Challa as a youth. This story is geared towards middle readers, but is a fun read for older fans as well. There are some fun, believable characters that pull the reader into the story. And the plot is an exciting mystery, with drama and suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, engaging novel. And it’s a great book to tide over fans until the Black Panther film releases.

SciFiChick’s Best of 2017

Only 109 books read this year. I was slacking!
I’m also a month behind on compiling this list! But here is the list of my favorite books that I read that were published in 2017:

SciFi

Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden
Reviewed here.

Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack
Reviewed here.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Reviewed here.

Star Trek: Section 31: Control by David Mack
Reviewed here.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Headlong Flight by Dayton Ward
Reviewed here.

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Reviewed here.

Fantasy

Besieged by Kevin Hearne
Reviewed here.

Nightshift by Charlaine Harris

Youth/YA SciFi

Star Wars: Rebel Rising by Beth Revis
Reviewed here.

The Release by Tom Isbell
Reviewed here.

Alone by Scott Sigler
Reviewed here.

Replica by Lauren Oliver
Reviewed here.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Reviewed here.

Youth/YA Fantasy

Wings of Fire: Darkness of Dragons by Tui T Sutherland
Reviewed here.

The Adventurer’s Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
Reviewed here.

Have Sword Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Reviewed here.

The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson
Reviewed here.

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull
Reviewed here.

The Dragon’s Price by Bethany Wiggins
Reviewed here.

Received in January

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

Blu-Rays:
Blade Runner 2049 Blu-ray
Geostorm Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Abrams:
The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak

Amazon / 47North:
Zero Limit by Jeremy K. Brown

Daw:
Outpost by W. Michael Gear

Del Rey:
Tarnished City by Vic James

Disney Hyperion / Freeform Books:
Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Gallery Books:
HALO: Smoke and Shadow by Kelly Gay

Harper Collins / Ecco:
Blackfish City by Sam J Miller

Harper Voyager:
A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell
Witch Creek by Laura Bickle

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay

Hogarth:
The Sky Is Yours by Chandler Klang Smith

Macmillan Teen / Swoon / FSG / Imprint / Feiwel and Friends:
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez
Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn
The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman
How We Roll by Natasha Friend
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
Mayfly by Jeff Sweat
The Outcast: Prequel to the Summoner Trilogy by Taran Matharu
The Game Can’t Love You Back by Karole Cozzo

Penguin Teen / Razorbill:
Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

Scholastic / Point:
The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Shadow Mountain:
The Eternity Elixir by Frank L. Cole
Mysteries of Cove, Book 3: Embers of Destruction by J. Scott Savage

Skyhorse Publishing:
The Clinic by David Jester

Subterranean Press:
Rough Justice by Kelley Armstrong

Titan Magazines:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Official Collector’s Edition by Titan

Tor:
Child of a Mad God by R. A. Salvatore

Tor Teen:
Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

Vintage Books:
Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck

Box Review: TeeBlox – January 2018

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 January 2018

Star Wars Shirt – You can never have too many Star Wars shirts, right?

Summary: I was happy to see a gray shirt. I really like the color! There wasn’t any pins or sticker fillers this month, but that’s okay as they’re just fillers.

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

SciFi Book Review: Sinless

Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff

Synopsis:
In Grace Luther’s world, morality is physically enforced. Those who are “good” are blessed with beauty, while those who are not suffer horrifying consequences—disfigurement or even death. The daughter of a cleric, Grace has always had faith in the higher power that governs her world. But when she stumbles onto information that leaves her questioning whether there are more complicated—and dangerous—forces manipulating the people around her, she finds herself at the center of an epic battle, where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Despite all her efforts to live a normal teenage life, Grace is faced with a series of decisions that will risk the lives of everyone she loves—and, ultimately, her own.

Review:
Grace is a mild-mannered, pious 17-year-old. She’s easy to like and relate to. She remains beautiful by doing good and praying. Those who commit sins or even curse, are “Punished” by disfiguring ugliness or even death if the infraction is bad enough. Then, she meets a boy who is able to do bad things and not be “Punished” by ugliness which causes her to question everything.

Sinless is a captivating debut novel. The challenging premise will make readers think and question. It’s unpredictable with great pacing. Full of suspense, intrigue, and drama – this story is captivating from beginning to end. I look forward to the next in this exciting series.

SciFi Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods

Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants: Fate of the Gods by Matthew J. Kirby

Synopsis:
Only one piece of the Trident of Eden remains – Isaiah, a rogue Templar agent, has discovered both the faith prong and the fear prong of this powerful relic. Should he possess the devotion prong, there is little that can stop him. For the time being, Owen and his fellow teens have established an uneasy alliance across Assassin and Templar lines in order to stop Isaiah while they still can.

Over a thousand years earlier, Styrbjorn the Strong, a Danish warrior, leads the Jomsvikings against the Danish king, Harald Bluetooth. It is on those Viking battlefields that the secrets of the devotion prong lie. It is there that the fate of the world, the truth behind the teens’ collective unconsciousness, and their ancestral links to one another lie. History has already been written. The rest is up to Owen, Javier, and the other members of their unlikely alliance. The actions they take will change the world of Assassin’s Creed forever.

Review:
Fate of the Gods is the final installment in the Last Descendants trilogy set in the Assassin’s Creed universe. This group of teens have been through several ancestors’ memories that have tested their mental resolve. And Owen decided to stay with the megalomaniac Isaiah – which puts Owen’s life at risk and Isaiah close to having all three pieces of a powerful artifact.

The final piece of the trident, has been traced to ancient Scandinavia. So the teens get to experience their ancestors as Vikings. The Viking ancestors are pitted against each other in a brutal battle that culminates to a surprising ending. This was my favorite book in the trilogy – full of action, intrigue, and drama – both in and out of the Animus. The story arc concludes in an exciting way. But I will certainly miss some of these characters.