Book Review: Hammered

Hammered, by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan barely escapes a trip to Asgard to fulfill a favor for an old witch. And now he has to return to help his lawyer, vampire and former Viking Leif Helgarson, slay the legendary god of thunder Thor. Thor has ruined countless lives with his cruelty and senseless killings, and now Atticus accompanies a Leif, a wizard, an alchemist, a werewolf, and a forgotten god of thunder – each with their own need for vengeance. Atticus receives multiple warnings that he will not survive this encounter with the Norse god. But the last Druid on Earth is nothing if not loyal, especially after having given his word.

This is the third installment of the Iron Druid Chronicles. Following the events in the previous novels, Atticus has found himself owing favors that will lead him down even more dangerous paths than before. The tone of this novel is a bit darker and grittier than before. Hearne has proved himself a master storyteller in these past few novels with interesting characters, engaging plots, and a creative world of magic and myth.

This new series has quickly become a favorite of mine. It’s a must-read for any urban fantasy fan. Quick wit, mystery, magic, and fantastic characters – this book is simply impossible to put down. With more action-packed suspense, drama, and a big final showdown this was a fantastic resolution to a three-part story arc. Thankfully, the series was picked up for another three future installments. I simply can’t get enough of Atticus O’Sullivan.

Book Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford’s life was going nowhere before she woke up in a hospital, after a mysterious accident. Now, Angel has been given a second chance at life and handed an ideal job from an anonymous benefactor. Even her drug and alcohol addiction has been cured. But the only catch is that Angel has been turned into a brain-craving zombie.

Despite Angel’s rough life, she has a good heart. And despite craving brains, she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Rowland has created a clever twist on the zombie story. Instead of having a feel of a zombie horror novel, this is more of an urban fantasy focusing on a central mystery. The characters are vivid, and the story is intense.

This fantastic cover certainly does justice to the excellent novel inside. Blending very mild horror, humor and mystery, I was hooked from the start. Both urban fantasy and zombie fans will enjoy this highly entertaining novel. Full of suspense, drama, and several surprising twists, this is one zombie story I couldn’t get enough of. Mmmm, brains.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie releases from DAW Books on July 5, 2011.

Blu-Ray Review: Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Edition

After accidentally killing her younger sister, a young woman is sent to a mental institution. There, she forms a fantasy world within her imprisonment, using continuous stories within stories to “free” herself from her captivity.

While visually stunning, the story itself is choppy and hollow. In fact, for the first half hour of the the film, it felt more like I was watching music videos. The soundtrack is pretty great, but it overshadowed the sparse dialog. The characters themselves were fairly one-dimensional, save the evil villain.

There were two saving points for me: the music and the second fantasy world were Baby Doll originally plans her escape. Each time she goes into a trance-like state to escape her reality-like fantasy, Baby Doll is taken to a vastly different world. I wish the whole film took place here. From Germanic zombies with a steampunk feel to aliens with advanced technology, this alternate world was always fast-paced and action-packed. And there is no question the scenes were artfully rendered and stunning for the most part. But the overall lackluster story, flat characters, and confusing fantasy worlds-within-fantasies weren’t enough for me to say I enjoyed this one.

Sucker Punch Features:
Blu-ray Combo Pack includes:
“Sucker Punch” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following features:
· Theatrical Feature Film and Extended Cut
· Maximum Movie Mode: Exploring the Fantasy World: An immersive movie exploration with host Zack Snyder – featuring Picture-in-Picture, Director Walk-Ons, and much more (Runtime: Feature Length)
· Animated Shorts: “Sucker Punch” Prequel Stories (Runtime: 11 mins)
o Feudal Warriors
o The Trenches
o Dragon
o Distant Planet
· “Sucker Punch” Behind the Soundtrack (Runtime: 3 mins)

DVD includes:
· Animated Shorts: “Sucker Punch” Prequel Stories (Runtime: 11 mins)
o Feudal Warriors
o The Trenches
o Dragon
o Distant Planet
· “Sucker Punch” Behind the Soundtrack (Runtime: 3 mins)

New from Warner Bros:
Create your own Sucker Punch custom videos by combining clips, audio, effects and transitions. Then save your creations to the Gallery and share with friends!

Close your eyes. Open your mind. Engage in a spectacular fantasy adventure when “Sucker Punch” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download June 28th

STARZ Torchwood Miracle Day Premiere Update


The forth season of Torchwood will be airing exclusively on the STARZ Channel on July 8 at 10pm EST. “Miracle Day” will feature Torchwood stars John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), and Kai Owens (Rhys Williams) as well as newcomers, Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman and Alexa Havins.

Good news for those that don’t have a subscription to STARZ! The first episode will stream online at on the early morning of 7.8.11 at 12:01am ET/PT. Visit the site for additional information and to join the active community.

Book Review and Giveaway! Feast: Harvest of Dreams

Feast: Harvest of Dreams, by Merrie Destefano

Madeline MacFaddin returns to her childhood home of Ticonderoga Falls with her son for a getaway after her failed marriage. But this small town holds a secret with dangerous creatures. These dark creatures feed upon humanity. And as Halloween approaches, so does the time of the feast.

Maddie is a talented writer with a vivid imagination for fantasy stories, but nothing could prepare her for the nightmare about to let loose in her hometown. Ash is one of the darklings, but also protects the town from the rest of his people. Having lost his wife years ago, he just may be ready to fall in love again. Especially when he sees Maddie all grown up, with her brave heart and magical dreams.

Destefano’s creatures are a bit mystifying – what exactly they feed upon and what they look like. I was confused for a while, unsure what they were and what the feast was about. But I held on and wasn’t disappointed. The creatures and overall setting are truly creepy.

Written in first person from the many various characters perspectives, the readers gain a unique and more in-depth look at each, which also helped build the suspense at times. This unique fantasy is dark, full of mystery, danger, and chills. Fast-paced and thrilling, this gripping novel is excitement from beginning to end.

The Feast Prize Pack Giveaway!

Photo 1 prizes small

The Feast Prize Pack includes:
– a signed copy of Feast: Harvest of Dreams
– bookmarks
– buttons
– hat
– for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 15. I’ll draw names on July 16, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Review and Giveaway! Feast: Harvest of Dreams

Received in June

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in June for review and/or giveaways:

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Edition

Tor/Forge Books:
Chicks Kick Butt edited by Rachel Caine
Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader
The Plain Man by Steve Englehart
7th Sigma by Steven Gould

Harlequin Teen:
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Night Shade Books:
The Best Horror of the Year Volume 3 edited by Ellen Datlow
Happily Ever After edited by John Klima
Jim and the Flims by Rudy Rucker
Miserere by Teresa Frohock
No Hero by Jonathan Wood
The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan

Pocket Books:
Lord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff
Warehouse 13: A Touch of Fever by Greg Cox
Star Trek: Vanguard: Declassified by David Mack

Berkley Boulevard/Obsidian:
Conan the Barbarian by Michael A. Stackpole
Vision Impossible by Victoria Laurie

New American Library/Penguin:
The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman

Ace Books:
Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer

Daw Books:
Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman
My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Citadels of the Lost by Tracy Hickman

Gallery Books:
Grave Expectations by Charles Dickens
World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects by Christie Golden

Shadow Mountain:
The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

Orbit Books:
Hell Ship by Philip Palmer
The Final Evolution by Jeff Somers

Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Books:
Naamah’s Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

Little, Brown/Mulholland:
Flashback by Dan Simmons
The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

Harper Teen:
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Fateful by Claudia Gray

Del Rey:
Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Penguin Teen/Penguin Children/Dial:
Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Lost Heiress by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Hidden Coronet by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Margrave by Catherine Fisher

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi Alderman
Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris
Doctor Who: Paradox Lost by George Mann

Tor Teen:
Shadow Grail #2: Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey
The Dark Zone by Dom Testa

Simon Teen/Children:
The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

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