Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov was an orphaned girl who grew to be an unremarkable girl, or so she believed. When her regiment is attacked by monstrous creatures immerging from the Shadow Fold (a dark and evil portal that has infiltrated Ravka), a bright light seems to come from Alina pushing back the monsters. Now, Alina is one of the elite Grishas that serve the powerful Darkling and the king. Everyone believes Alina’s new-found power will bring about the end of the Shadow Fold, if she can just harness her abilities. But as Alina spends more time at the palace, she uncovers a dark conspiracy that will threaten the entire kingdom.

Alina is sweet and humble, and finds it impossible to believe that she could hold so much power. Her chemistry with both her long-time friend Mal and the Darkling is stirring. Bardugo’s world of Grisha’s with their different abilities ranging from healing to manipulating appearances is magical and mysterious. I never fully understood what the Shadow Fold is nor why it has such a violent effect on the land and people. But it’s a successful tool at creating suspense and mystery. Shadow and Bone is an exciting start to a new fantasy series. Full of adventure, mystery, drama, and suspense – I enjoyed every minute of this debut. Shocking twists and intriguing characters made this surprising YA fantasy impossible to put down.

Shadow and Bone will release from Henry Holt and Co. on June 5, 2012.

Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: The Hunt

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Gene lives his life surrounded by predators. If they knew he wasn’t one of them, he’d be devoured in a second. Unlike the others, Gene has strong emotions, sweats, grows body hair, can be out in the sun, and doesn’t thirst for blood. Gene has kept his secret his entire life and goes to great pains to hide his true self from everyone around him. But then Gene wins a lottery to compete in society’s most sought after game – a hunt for the last remaining humans. And the winner claims the kill.

Fukuda has created an amazingly intense and creepy world where vampires have completely taken over and humans are almost extinct. Readers can easily sympathize with Gene and experience the heart-pounding and chilling suspense along with him.

First in a trilogy (as all hit YA novels seem to be), there are no sparkling vampires who pine over humans here – unless they’re to eat. If the Hunger Games were taken over by vampires, this would be the result. A perfect blend of horror and YA fantasy, The Hunt sets a whole new bar for vampire novels. With incredible suspense, drama, ethical dilemmas, and a bit of romance – it’s completely riveting. I loved every minute of this fast-paced, thrill ride. Don’t miss this one.

The Hunt releases from St. Martin’s Griffin on May 8, 2012.

Book Giveaway: So You Created a Wormhole

Courtesy of Berkley, I have a copy of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel by Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 11. I’ll draw a name on May 12, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

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Marvel Heroes Weekend on EPIX

News Release: April 27 – 29, EPIX will be hosting Marvel Heroes Weekend – a marathon of superhero movies including Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and the EPIX Original Documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. Hosted by legendary comic book creator Stan Lee, the marathon also includes EPIX Extra: Mighty Movie Superheroes, examining the origins and fan following of the mighty team. The weekend celebration of Marvel’s famed superheroes and their creator features the movies that have led up to the highly anticipated theatrical release of The Avengers on May 4.

“Staff Nicknames”
Stan Lee talks about crediting the writers and artists behind comic books and the fun nicknames given to his staff

Stan Lee talks about almost quitting the comic book business in the ’60s and how his wife convinced him to give it another shot.

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