Book Giveaway: Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness

Courtesy of Paizo Books, I have a copy of Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness by Richard Lee Byers for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends January 18. I’ll draw a name on January 19, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness

Fantasy Book Review: Elemental

Elemental by Antony John

Synopsis:
In the near future, most of the population of the United States has been destroyed by the plague. The few remaining survivors live in colonies on the barrier islands off the East Coast. In one colony near Cape Hatteras, almost all the members have elemental powers and can control wind, water, earth, and fire. All but sixteen-year-old Thomas. When the Guardians, the powerful adult leaders, are kidnapped by pirates seeking to take over their colony, it is up to Thomas and a small group of teens to save them and preserve the mysteries of the island.

Review:
Thomas is the only one in his small colony without an element that he can control. Then he learns that much of what the Guardians have taught him were lies. And the biggest secret they’ve been keeping involves Thomas and his own family. A sweet love triangle blossoms between Thomas and two girls in the colony. The girls are very different, yet he has feelings for them both.

While under siege in a nearby desolate village, a mystery begins to unfold as Thomas learns the truth about their history. Elemental is an exciting and dramatic story with many twists. This dystopian fantasy is fast-paced, impossible to put down, and will leave readers wanting more. Readers of all ages will enjoy this fantastic start to an enthralling new series, with plenty of adventure, romance, and intrigue.

SciFi Book Review: Apollo’s Outcasts

Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele

Synopsis:
Jamey Barlowe has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. He lives his life in a wheelchair, only truly free when he is in the water. But then Jamey’s father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup d’état that has occurred overnight in the United States. Moreover, one of the other five refugees is more than she appears.

Their destination is the mining colony Apollo. Jamey will have to learn a whole new way to live, one that entails walking for the first time in his life. It won’t be easy and it won’t be safe. But Jamey is determined to make it as a member of Lunar Search and Rescue, also known as the Rangers. This job is always risky but could be even more dangerous if the new US president makes good on her threat to launch a military invasion. Soon Jamey is front and center in a political and military struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon.

Review:
Jamey is a likable and relatable teen. And the other kids that accompany him on their flight to the moon have a variety of personalities and their own set of challenges. Once they arrive on the moon, their troubles are far from over. Though, Jamey’s disability becomes somewhat of a non-issue other than having to learn to walk. In fact, what was a disability on Earth actually helps him in his training for the Lunar Search and Rescue.

Full of suspense, intrigue, drama, and a bit of romance – Apollo’s Outcasts is a highly entertaining and memorable story. Though parts were a bit predictable, this was a quick, easy read both teens and adults alike will enjoy. Ender’s Game fans should check out this fast-paced, science fiction adventure.

SciFi Book Review: The Friday Society

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Synopsis:
Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Review:
Cora is a smart and sassy young woman and a brilliant scientist. Michiko has samurai training, yet was never given her sword because she’s a woman. And Nellie is a bold and beautiful magician’s assistant who isn’t afraid to use her looks to her advantage. The three talented young women strike up a friendship and decide to investigate the murders of two men that they have stumbled upon and the disappearances of several flower girls as the police don’t seem much use.

Blending mystery, steampunk, and heroics – The Friday Society is a promising start to a new series. Fans of Andrew P. Mayer’s Society of Steam novels will want to check out this comparable steampunk adventure. The story is packed with suspense, steam-powered gadgets, adventure and a bit of romance. I couldn’t get enough of this fantastic debut and couldn’t put it down. With plenty of twists and surprises along the way, the complex mystery will appease any adult or young adult reader. I certainly look forward to the next installment.

Fantasy Book Review: Trapped

Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Synopsis:
After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

Review:
Atticus, Oberon, and Granuaile are back for another adventure in this fifth installment in the Iron Druid Chronicles. Granuaile has finished her apprenticeship, but as usual, they are distracted by someone trying to kill Atticus before completing the final step. The Norse god Loki has somehow escaped a year early and the Roman god Bacchus both want Atticus dead.

This latest novel is fast-paced and just as action-packed as ever. Full of humor, suspense, magic, and a bit of romance – Hearne never disappoints. Though Atticus is a druid, there is a fantastic blending of all myths and legends from various lands that makes for a highly enjoyable read. And Granuaile has finally grown into her own powers making for an interesting future for Atticus, now that he’s no longer the only druid in existance. This series is a must-read for any urban fantasy fan.

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