New TV Series Spotlight: Sleepy Hollow

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Sleepy Hollow premieres Monday, September 16th at 9/8c.

The legend of Sleepy Hollow gets a revamp in FOX’s new Monday night drama. The pilot was fast-paced, dark and exciting. The acting is fantastic. The characters are interesting. And the new lore is enthrallingly creepy. Fans of NBC’s Grimm should check out this latest mix of fairy tale fantasy, mystery, and horror.

About the show:
Welcome to SLEEPY HOLLOW, the thrilling new mystery-adventure drama from co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the “Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”).

In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving’s classic, ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and only one of the many formidable foes that Ichabod must face to protect not only Sleepy Hollow, but the world.

As Ichabod finds himself in 2013’s Sleepy Hollow, he discovers a town he no longer recognizes and grapples to understand. Teaming up with Lt. ABBIE MILLS (Nicole Beharie), a young cop who has her own supernatural experiences, the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken along with Ichabod and that now is seeping into this once-sleepy town.

Clues from the past enlighten mysteries in the present, as each episode features a flashback to Ichabod’s life in 1776. Ripe with untold stories from American history and cloaked in mythology, the divide between present and past becomes dangerously blurred. Lives are in the balance, including that of Ichabod’s late wife, KATRINA (Katia Winter), who is trapped in a mysterious netherworld. In his pursuit to save her, Ichabod uncovers secrets about her, leaving him with countless questions.

Not everyone believes Ichabod’s tales of 1776 and supernatural evils, especially the new head of Abbie’s police precinct, Captain FRANK IRVING (Orlando Jones). When faced with bizarre events he can’t explain, Capt. Irving reluctantly turns to Ichabod and Abbie to investigate.

Ichabod’s extensive first-hand knowledge of our country’s hidden history, coupled with Abbie’s superior profiling and modern threat assessment skills, make them a formidable duo. The complex pasts of the pair, from Ichabod’s inclusion in the powerful and secretive Freemasons Society to Abbie’s childhood visions, will help them solve the intricate puzzles of Sleepy Hollow in order to protect its – and the world’s – future. As history repeats itself, the oddly-linked pair will draw on the real stories and secrets this nation was founded on in their quest to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil.

Fantasy Book Review: Kitty in the Underworld

Kitty in the Underworld by Carrie Vaughn

Synopsis:
As Denver adjusts to a new master vampire, Kitty gets word of an intruder in the Denver werewolf pack’s territory, and she investigates the challenge to her authority. She follows the scent of the lycanthrope through the mountains where she is lured into a trap, tranquilized, and captured. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a defunct silver mine: the perfect cage for a werewolf. Her captors are a mysterious cult seeking to induct Kitty into their ranks in a ritual they hope will put an end to Dux Bellorum. Though skeptical of their power, even Kitty finds herself struggling to resist joining their cause. Whatever she decides, they expect Kitty to join them in their plot . . . willingly or otherwise.

Review:
Kitty’s latest adventure is her kidnapping by a strange cabal who seek to take down Dux Bellorum. Even though some of the group acts a bit crazy and the others pretend to be incarnations of long dead people, Kitty decides that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” At least for the time being.

This is the 12th installment in the Kitty Norville series. Kitty in the Underworld is decidedly more dark and dramatic than the previous novels. It’s not as fast-paced as the others in the series, instead most of the story focuses on Kitty’s kidnapping and mental anguish. Though there is a climactic, exciting final showdown. This urban fantasy series is one I often recommend. Amidst a popular genre, Carrie Vaughn’s werewolf stands out as one of my favorites.

Fantasy Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Synopsis:
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Review:
Isra may be a princess, but she feels like a prisoner – not able to leave, forced to marry someone she doesn’t love, and knowing she’ll be a sacrifice for her people. Gem is considered a mutant since his people’s bodies have adapted to the harsh land outside the dome. The two have every reason to hate each other, yet they form a friendship which leads to more.

This is an inspired retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale set in a distant, harsh fantasy land. The characters are vibrant and engaging. The narrative switches between the different characters and captures their distinct voices. Dramatic and unforgettable, Of Beast and Beauty is a captivating romance I thoroughly enjoyed.

Fantasy Book Review: Possession

Possession by Kat Richardson

Synopsis:
Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases.

When a comatose woman suddenly wakes up and starts painting scenes she’s never witnessed, with a skill she’s never had, medical science has no explanation. As more bizarre phenomena manifest, including mysterious writing appearing on the patient’s skin and strange voices issuing from her mouth, even her doctors start to wonder whether the woman may be possessed.

Frustrated, frightened, and at the end of her rope, the patient’s sister reluctantly turns to Harper Blaine to discover who—or what—is occupying her sister’s body. As Harper digs into this case of apparent possession, she discovers other patients struck with the same mystifying afflictions and a disturbing connection to one of the most gruesome episodes in Washington’s history….

Review:
Harper’s latest case follows the apparent possession of a woman in a coma. She then tracks down two other similar cases. Harper is in a race against the clock to discover how the three patients are connected and how to free them. The ghosts in this latest installment are eerie. And what makes the story even creepier is that a couple of the ghostly characters are based on historic characters.

Possession is the 8th novel in the Greywalker series. This urban fantasy series is always one I look forward to reading. The worldbuilding is richly creative. And the mysteries are fun and thrilling. This latest installment was impossible to put down with a memorable plot.

Book Giveaway: Dead Set

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of Dead Set by Richard Kadrey for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends October 4. I’ll draw a name on October 5, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Dead Set

Fantasy Book Review: Midnight Frost

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Synopsis:
Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities-until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead. As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast-otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins – and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there.

Review:
Gwen is still recovering from her last attack, by her boyfriend. But since Logan has left town with no clues to his whereabouts, Gwen has had little closure. While working at the library, Gwen stops another attacker – but her boss is poisoned instead. The only chance for a cure leads Gwen and her friends into a certain trap. But they don’t have a choice.

This is the 5th book in the Mythos Academy series. This is one series I can’t miss and devour within hours of opening. The characters are vivid. And the world of Mythos Academy is rich and fascinating. This latest adventure is another fast-paced, wild ride. Gwen learns more about her father’s side of the family and meets a family member she didn’t know existed – one she has a lot in common with. Estep never fails to deliver on an entertaining and exciting read. And Midnight Frost is another great installment.

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