Book Giveaway: Swords & Dark Magic

On behalf of Eos Books, I have a copy of Swords & Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to everyone. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 28. I’ll draw names on May 29, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Swords & Dark Magic

Smallville “Sacrifice” Trailer and Webclip

SMALLVILLE airs 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST on the CW.

CHLOE AND TESS ARE TRAPPED INSIDE WATCHTOWER — Tess (Cassidy Freeman) breaks into Watchtower, triggering an elaborate security system that Chloe (Allison Mack) installed, ultimately trapping the two women inside. Chloe realizes that The Kandorians are downloading information from the Watchtower server, which prompts her to make a drastic move. Oliver (Justin Hartley) confronts Zod (Callum Blue) and winds up clinging to life with a “Z” scorched into his chest. Clark (Tom Welling) realizes Zod has given his soldiers super powers. Kevin Fair directed the episode with story by Justin Hartley & Walter Wong and teleplay by Bryan Q Miller.

Smallville Trailer – “Sacrifice”

Smallville Webclip – “Sacrifice”

Book Review: Mind Games

Mind Games

Mind Games, by Carolyn Crane

Justine Jones is an extreme hypochondriac whose neurosis threatens her sanity and way of life. When Packard, a man with a mysterious gift to recognize and focus neuroses, notices Justine’s phobia he asks her to join his team of vigilantes. With Packard’s help, Justine is able to free herself of her hypochondria by sending it into another person. But Packard assures Justine that only criminals will be receiving these “disillusions,” as a safe way of rehabilitating them back into society. But Packard is hiding something.

Justine is a sympathetic character, always second-guessing each of her difficult decisions. And the characters of Packard and his nemesis are incredibly mysterious and the highlight of the story for me. Crane has created a unique world where a subspecies of humans have developed different powers, such as telekinesis and mind reading, which the general population mostly fears.

This urban fantasy at times actually feels more like science fiction to me, with a super hero versus super villain quality to it. And by several chapters in, I couldn’t put it down. With a complex and juicy plot, this urban fantasy debut is impressive to say the least. The first in a trilogy, Mind Games is a wonderful introduction to Justine Jones and a suspenseful, edgy mystery that unfolds in a surprising way.

Book Review: Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising, by Jason Henderson

Alex Van Helsing is only fourteen, but has already been kicked out of his previous school for fighting. And not long after arriving at Switzerland’s Glenarvon Academy, he has made enemies of his roommates and is attacked by a vampire while walking alone near school grounds. Still, Alex has no clue he is a descendant of Bram Stoker’s famous Van Helsing vampire slayer. After all, Alex’s father has told him time and time again that there are no such things.

But there are such things. Henderson has created a fascinating world of legendary vampires with ties to classic literature, such as Stoker’s Dracula, Shelley’s Frankenstein and the poet Lord Byron. Alex is a curious and brave kid with a good heart. And young readers will like that his friends have such popular interests as vampires and manga. But the highlight for me was the vampire school Scholomance, which is a mysterious and creepy place full of deadly enemies without a conscience.

It’s fresh and fun; and I was completely hooked from the start. A non-stop action and adventure fantasy for young adults, this new series doesn’t disappoint. And the secret vampire hunting organization that gives the feeling of a young James Bond novel… with killer vampires. It’s a fantastic vampire-slayer series debut for readers of all ages.

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising will release from HarperTeen Books on May 4, 2010.

Book Review: Blood of the Demon

Blood of the Demon

Blood of the Demon, by Diana Rowland

Kara Gillian is a cop and a demon summoner. Still reeling from her last case involving a demon-summoning serial killer, Kara is thrust into a new murder case involving one of her own officers. Again, there seems to be evidence of the paranormal, as victims essences have been torn from bodies in a violent manner. Only Kara and her FBI friend, who seems to have his own secret ties to the paranormal, and a crafty demon lord have the expertise to discover a killer who excels at covering their tracks.

In this intense and highly suspenseful sequel, Rowland exceeds my expectations. Her characters are becoming even more interesting and pulled me into the story from the start. Kara’s relationships with the men in her life complicate and become even more complex. And she’s growing in her abilities in the arcane. As Kara begins to realize that a series of murders are connected by someone with a dangerous ability, the plot begins to unfold in an intricate and unexpected way.

Rowland’s combination of paranormal and police procedure has created an exceptional niche in the genre. A dark mystery, a creative paranormal world, and fascinating characters make for a good urban fantasy series. Heart-pounding suspense tinged with romance and angst makes this installment outstanding.

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