Tag Archives: fantasy

Fantasy Book Review: The Stone Girl’s Story

The Stone Girl’s Story by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis:
Mayka and her stone family were brought to life by the stories etched into their bodies. Now time is eroding these vital marks, and Mayka must find a stonemason to recarve them. But the search is more complex than she had imagined, and Mayka uncovers a scheme endangering all stone creatures. Only someone who casts stories into stone can help—but whom can Mayka trust? Where is the stonemason who will save them?

Review:
The Stone Girl’s Story is a sweet story with the feel of a fairy tale. Mayka and her friends are living stone creations. Their creator has long passed, and now the stone creations need fixing to go on living. So, Mayka and her friends go on a quest to find a gifted stonemason. The characters are likable and engaging. And while a bit predictable, the story has plenty of adventure, suspense, humor, and heart. This coming-of-age, middle reader novel is fun for all ages. Durst’s novels are always unique and must-reads for me. And this novel is one of her more feel-good, light-hearted stories.

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: Vicious

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About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

Vicious Schwab

About VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab:
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

About V.E. Schwab:
VICTORIA (V.E.) SCHWAB is the author of the NYT bestselling Shades of Magic series, as well as a number of MG and YA novels, including This Savage Song. She has been called “the heir to Diana Wynne Jones.” Her dynamic work has caught the attention of major TV and film studios. Schwab has a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Edinburgh. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, but frequents Edinburgh. You can visit her at https://www.veschwab.com/

VICIOUS Excerpt –

LAST NIGHT
MERIT CEMETERY

“You’re not a bad person,” repeated Sydney, flinging dirt onto the moonlit grass. “But Eli is.”

“Yes. Eli is.”

“But he didn’t go to prison.”

“No.”

“Do you think he’ll get the message?” she asked, pointing at the grave.

“I’m pretty sure,” said Victor. “And if he doesn’t, your sister will.”

Sydney’s stomach twisted at the thought of Serena. In her mind, her big sister was two different people, two images overlapping in a way that blurred both, and made her feel dizzy, ill.

There was the Serena from before the lake. The Serena who’d knelt on the floor in front of her the day she left for college— they both knew she was abandoning Sydney to the toxic, empty house— and who used her thumb to wipe tears from Sydney’s cheek, saying over and over, I’m not gone, I’m not gone.

And then there was the Serena from after the lake. The Serena whose eyes were cold and whose smile was hollow, and who made things happen with only words. The one who lured Sydney into a field with a body, cooing at her to show her trick, and then looking sad when she did. The one who turned her back when her boyfriend raised his gun.

“I don’t want to see Serena,” said Sydney.

“I know,” said Victor. “But I want to see Eli.”

“Why?” she asked. “You can’t kill him.”

“That may be.” His fingers curled around the shovel. “But half the fun is trying.”

Blu-Ray Review: Annihilation

Annihilation 4K UHD Blu-Ray + Blu-Ray + Digital HD
On Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD May 29, 2018
On Digital May 22

Synopsis:
Biologist and former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked when her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone no one has ever returned from. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth. The film also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny.

Review:
Lena enters The Shimmer to get answers about what happened to her husband. Out of everyone who has entered so far, only he has returned alive but has changed somehow. The story is told after Lena returns – an interrogation to get her take on the events during her time in The Shimmer. Then, to make it a bit confusing, we keep getting glimpses of Lena’s earlier life with her husband. I’m guessing it’s to build sympathy for the characters, but instead it’s jarring and confusing.

Annihilation is a sci-fi, psychological thriller. There is plenty of drama and suspense. And several scary, graphic scenes push this into rated-R territory. But it’s certainly not action-packed. In fact, it was much to slow and drawn-out for my taste. I prefer movies with either more character development or a strong story. This was somewhere in between. And Lena has very little personality. The whole Shimmer area and affects of the zone are slowly revealed, but never fully explained what it is or where it came from. I really wanted to like this film more based on other reviews. I did enjoy the final scene of the film. And the ending did have me thinking about it long after the movie ended.

Special Features Include:
Blu-ray:
• Feature film in high definition
• Bonus Content:
o Part 1 – SOUTHERN REACH
-Refractions – See how director Alex Garland created the tone, textures and color palettes for the various film environments on set.
-For Those That Follow – Listen to the cast’s perspective on their roles and learn why they found the story so intriguing.
o Part 2 – AREA X
-Shimmer – See how filmmakers transformed real set locations to create the world of Annihilation.
-Vanished into Havoc – Check out all the action as cast and crew walk you through the mind-blowing stunts and special effects.
o Part 3 – TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
-Unfathomable Mind – Learn why the visual effects are integral to achieving director Alex Garland’s overall vision for Annihilation.
-The Last Phase – Listen to the cast and crew share their fondest memories from filming Annihilation.

DVD:
• Feature film in standard definition

Book Giveaway: The Voodoo Killings

Courtesy of Vintage Canada, I have a copy of The Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 8. I’ll draw a name on June 9, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Voodoo Killings

ThinkGeek Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians Monopoly

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Monopoly

Everyone has played the original Monopoly. But this is the only version of the game that was so fun to play that time FLEW by. I played with my 10-year-old niece and 9-year-old nephew, and we just laughed and didn’t want to stop! We loved having all our favorite characters on the board.

Guardians Monopoly

Even though game-play is about the same as the original, the fun character cards, and action cards take this game to another level. This will be endless hours of fun. The kids keep asking to play again, every time they visit.

Guardians Monopoly

We also loved the game pieces!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Monopoly is on sale right now for $34.99 (regularly $44.99).

** SciFiChick.com received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.**

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: By Fire Above

fearless women banner

About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

By Fire Above Bennis

About BY FIRE ABOVE by Robyn Bennis:
By Fire Above is the rip-roaring new adventure in Robyn Bennis’s Signal Airship military fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters.”

“All’s fair in love and war,” according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes, “Nothing’s fair except bombing those Vins to high hell.”

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia’s military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, under-trained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum—only to discover that when the homefront turns into the frontlines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

About Robyn Bennis:
Robyn Bennis has done research and development involving human gene expression, neural connectomics, cancer diagnostics, rapid flu testing, gene synthesis, genome sequencing, and systems integration.

She wrote most of The Guns Above within sight of Hangar One at Moffett Airfield, which was once the West Coast home to one of America’s largest airships, the USS Macon.
She currently resides in Madison, WI, where she has one cat, two careers, and an apartment full of dreams.

You can find her online at according2robyn.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @According2Robyn.

BY FIRE ABOVE Excerpt –

Roland was still shaking hands with an increasingly flabbergasted Josette, and the look in his eyes told the rest of the story. If only most of her eyebrows hadn’t grown back already, perhaps there might have been a chance he’d be put off by her. In all her life she had surely faced no greater danger than Roland’s interest. The man was boredom brought to life, and that was among the least of his faults.

Roland finally let go of her and offered to carry her baggage and she—the damn fool—accepted. Roland flung the flight bag over his shoulder, assuming the most insidiously casual pose. As they turned to walk off together, Roland flashed a grin at Josette and asked, “I wonder, may I show you the waterfront sometime?”

She was just working up to rejection. Bernat could see it in her face. But then she spotted Bernat emphatically shaking his head, and she grinned. Grinned twice in two seconds, actually, in what might have been a personal best for her: one grin for Bernat and another for Roland.

And no doubt just to spite Bernat, she said to his brother, “I’d like that. When leisure permits.”

Box Review: Bam Box – April 2018

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

We’re back to the nice, full-color sheet with plenty of details about what’s in the box. Love it.

Bam Box

Back to the Future Pin – I would have had NO clue who this was supposed to be without the detail sheet… and I’m a huge fan of the series. Unfortunately, this looks nothing like Marty McFly or Michael J Fox.

Bam Box

Super Troopers 2 Signed Print – Unfortunately, this isn’t scifi or fantasy, and the first installment never interested me. So, I definitely wont be seeing this one.

Bam Box

Han Solo’s Dice Prop Replica – I remember these from the last Star Wars installment. These are a nice, heavy replica with plenty of detail. I’ll be keeping these.

Bam Box

Infinity War Art Print – Like last month’s, this is another gorgeous print with some of my favorite characters. I like this print much more than the possible black and white variant as well.

Summary:
I enjoyed the art print again this time. And again, it’s probably my favorite item in the box. This seemed like another slim box, with only 2 prints, a small trinket, and a pin. But this still one of the least expensive boxes that wont bankrupt you. I like the variety of genres and the nod to Solo who has a movie out this month.

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: Death Doesn’t Bargain

fearless women banner

About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”

Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!

Death Doesn't Bargain Kenyon

About DEATH DOESN’T BARGAIN by Sherrilyn Kenyon:

The Deadmen are back…
With DEATH DOESN’T BARGAIN, Kenyon again returns to the pirate ship Sea Witch, where Captain Devyl Bane, and his undead crew have set sail for eternity, searching for forgiveness and salvation. Together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

Many demons are beginning to break free of their eternal prison and are bent on mankind’s destruction. The worst of the lot is Vine, determined to claim their lives for taking hers. She will see the world burn…and has the perfect lure to destroy them all. One of their own.

Kalder Dupree has never known a day of mercy. Born to the cruelest of mer-races, he sacrificed himself for his crew and is in Vine’s hands. He expects no compassion or rescue.

Yet the young shipmate Cameron Jack is determined to set Kalder free. As a Hellchaser, it’s her calling, and she cannot allow even a not-so-innocent to be tortured for an act of kindness that spared her damnation.

To defeat evil, it sometimes takes an even worse evil, and Cameron is willing to do whatever she must to make this right. If Vine thought she had her hands full before, she hasn’t seen anything nearly as powerful as Cameron’s resolve.

DEATH DOESN’T BARGAIN delivers a sweeping epic saga sure to appeal to the millions of Kenyon’s Dark Hunter fans as well as anyone looking for a page-turning and high-paced adventure. It is a tale of passion and loss, emotions that wound and heal…and ultimate redemption.

About Sherrilyn Kenyon:
Sherrilyn Kenyon is a New York Times bestselling author and is a regular in the #1 spot. This extraordinary author continues to top every genre in which she writes. More than 70 million copies of her books are in print in more than one hundred countries. Her current series include The Dark-Hunters®, The League®, NevermoreTM, Lords of Avalon®, Chronicles of Nick® , and Deadman’s CrossTM. Her Nick ChroniclesTM and Dark-Hunters® are soon to be major media productions.

Visit her online at http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com.

DEATH DOESN’T BARGAIN Excerpt –

Why were they bothering to save a world that seemed hell- bent on remaking itself into the very visage of what they were trying to save it from?

Don’t forget, you’re not fighting for the world right now. . . . True. Right now, she was fighting for the man who’d traded his life for hers. And that one decent, selfless act needed to be repaid in kindness, not treachery.
Kalder deserved to be rescued and not abandoned. She would not do to him what every one else had done.
I will keep me word to you, Kalder. We will find you.

If she had to break hell itself open and battle Lucifer to bring Kalder home, she would.