Fantasy Book Review: Thieves’ Quarry

Thieves’ Quarry by D.B. Jackson

Ethan Kaille isn’t the likeliest hero. A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan is a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health.

When one hundred sailors of King George III’s Royal Navy are mysteriously killed on a ship in Boston Harbor, Ethan is thrust into dire peril. For he—and not Boston’s premier thieftaker, Sephira Pryce—is asked to find the truth behind their deaths. City Sheriff Edmund Greenleaf suspects conjuring was used in the dastardly crime, and even Pryce knows that Ethan is better equipped to contend with matters of what most of Boston considers dark arts. But even Ethan is daunted by magic powerful enough to fell so many in a single stroke. When he starts to investigate, he realizes that the mass murderer will stop at nothing to evade capture. And making his task more difficult is the British fleet’s occupation of the city after the colonials’ violent protests after the seizure of John Hancock’s ship. Kaille will need all his own magic, street smarts, and a bit of luck to keep this Boston massacre from giving the hotheads of Colonial Boston an excuse for inciting a riot—or worse.

Ethan Kaille is not the only conjurer in Boston. But when he feels a powerful magic that could only be summoned with death, Ethan is the obvious choice to hunt down the killer. Though he hasn’t sided with Samuel Adams and the revolutionaries, Ethan’s political views begin to falter with this latest show of force from the Royal Navy. Jackson’s alternate historic Boston is dark and fascinating, blending history and notable characters with magic.

Thieves’ Quarry is the second installment in the Thieftaker Chronicles. And I enjoyed it even more than the first. The suspense was intense. The characters were vivid. And the mystery was captivating and surprising. Ethan Kaille is an inspired character in a key time period in America’s history. I highly recommend this outstanding series.

SciFi Book Review: Starbounders

Starbounders by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

Zachary Night can’t wait to start his top-secret Starbounders training at Indigo 8. But he’s barely started learning the skills he’ll need to protect the galaxy when a space mission goes wrong. Zachary and his friends are accidentally sent to the front lines of an intergalactic skirmish, and they quickly discover a plot to destroy Indigo 8. Piloting a space ship under attack, they must get back to earth before the training center—and the planet—is annihilated.

Zachary comes from a family of Starbounders. It’s his dream to become a hero. But he and his friends are mischievous. And when they’re sent away as punishment, their ship is suddenly under attack. And Zachary and his friends are the only ones left to save the day.

First in a new series, Starbounders is a fun, science fiction adventure for middle grade readers. The characters are engaging, and the plot is unpredictable. There is plenty of mystery, intrigue, and humor in this fast-paced and action-packed story that all ages will enjoy. I was able to read this exciting read in one sitting and look forward to Zachary’s future adventures.

Undead and Unsure Blog Tour: The 12 Days of Betsy

9780425263433_large_Undead_and_Unsure Undead and Uneasy

The Hidden Excerpts
by MaryJanice Davidson
(in which Betsy is planning her wedding, and sampling wedding cake flavors with Marc)

“The search is over.” Marc sprayed me lightly with crumbs as he made his announcement in the middle of the Pat-A-Cake bakery on Lake Street. “This is the cake of cakes. The dream cake. The only cake. We’re done now.”

“And when are you two getting married?” the baker, a lovely woman who did not look like she was surrounded by pastry all day, asked brightly.

“After the world blows up,” I replied before Marc could zing me. “And maybe not even then. This is my maid of honor, kinda. He’s not the groom.”

“She won’t put Fag of Honor on the invites,” he complained to the pastry chef, who had managed to hang onto her smile. “And her best friend keeps threatening not to show. But we’ll fix that when the time comes.”

Read moreUndead and Unsure Blog Tour: The 12 Days of Betsy

Book Giveaway: Pathfinder Tales: The Wizard’s Mask

Courtesy of Paizo, I have a copy of Pathfinder Tales: The Wizard’s Mask by Ed Greenwood 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 August 9. I’ll draw a name on August 10, and notify winners via email.


Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Pathfinder Tales: The Wizard’s Mask

Fantasy Book Review: Hunted

Hunted by Kevin Hearne

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.

Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.

Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon are still on the run. Greek gods want them dead. And Atticus is trying to stop Hel and Loki from starting the end of the world. Unlike a lot of urban fantasies, these characters develop and change throughout the series. Atticus and Granuaile’s relationship has grown to more than just master and apprentice. And Atticus loses someone close to him at the beginning of the story.

This is the sixth installment in the Iron Druid Chronicles. This unique and inspired series never disappoints. From a variety of gods from all religious backgrounds to vampires and fairies – this series is full of magic, mystery, adventure, and humor. Unpredictable and impossible to put down, Hunted is fast-paced and exciting – and once again left me eager for the next in this exceptional series.

As a bonus, the previously e-published novella “Two Ravens and One Crow” is included in the back of the book.

SciFi Book Review: SYLO

SYLO by D.J. MacHale

THEY CAME FROM THE SKY parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce’s idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine.

They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO’s commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.

Tucker believes there’s more to SYLO’s story. He was on the sidelines when the high school running back dropped dead with no warning. He saw the bizarre midnight explosion over the ocean, and the mysterious singing aircraft that travel like shadows through the night sky. He tasted the Ruby—and experienced the powers it gave him—for himself.

What all this means, SYLO isn’t saying. Only Tucker holds the clues that can solve this deadly mystery.

LOOK TO THE SKY because Pemberwick is only the first stop.

Tucker is an average teen thrust into an incredible situation. He doesn’t always make wise decisions, especially when he tries out a recreational drug that he suspects led to the death of a classmate. But when the island is suddenly quarantined, there seems to be more going on than an outbreak. And Tucker is immediately suspicious. The clues don’t add up. And instead of answers, he uncovers more and more layers of secrets and lies.

SYLO is first in a science fiction trilogy for young adults. These are pre-apocalyptic events that lead up to the next installment. Fast-paced, the suspense is intense and non-stop. While we don’t receive a lot of answers yet, there is plenty of mystery, drama, and intrigue. This is the start of a unique series – unpredictable and exciting.

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