Fantasy Book Review: Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door

Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.

Timothy is a smart boy with a good heart. He doesn’t hesitate to put himself in danger to help others – even those that don’t deserve it. And when he learns that the scary mythological stories told by his babysitter are real, he pulls his older sister into an exciting adventure.

Beyond the Door is the first in a fantasy duology for young readers. The characters and story reminded me a bit of A Wrinkle In Time. It’s written for children, but isn’t a simple story. McQuerry weaves an intricate retelling of familiar folk tales. The human characters are relatable and complex, but the magical ones are eccentric and bizarre. This first installment is full of adventure, mystery, and good versus evil. And the suspense builds to a cliffhanger ending to be resolved in the next novel.

Book Giveaway: Flight of the Golden Harpy

Courtesy of Tor, I have a copy of Flight of the Golden Harpy by Susan Klaus 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 April 25. I’ll draw a name on April 26, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Flight of the Golden Harpy

Fantasy Book Review: Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders

Five Kingdoms Sky Raiders

Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them—and ends up in The Outskirts.

The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It’s an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds.

And once you come to the Outskirts, it’s very hard to leave.

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home…before his existence is forgotten.

Cole is an average boy with a strong sense of loyalty. He follows kidnappers in order to help his friends and ends up in another world. The Outskirts is a strange land of magic and flying castles. Cole is captured and sold into slavery as a Sky Raider, raiding the flying castles filled with unknown dangers.

Sky Raiders is the first in a new fantasy series by one of my top favorite children’s authors. Each book in the series will follow Cole and his friends to one of the Five Kingdoms. This first installment is a nice introduction to the series and characters and the main story arc. Full of adventure, mystery, humor, and imaginative magic – Mull has created another exciting series that is impossible to put down. And as with the rest of his series, fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this fun and imaginative adventure.

SciFi Graphic Novel Review: Zita the Spacegirl Trilogy

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita’s exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she’s about to find out that fame doesn’t come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you’ve got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc . . . while wearing your face?

Still, if anyone can find their way through this intractible mess of mistaken identity and alien invaders, it’s the indomitable Zita, in Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy’s greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!

Trilogy Review:
Zita the Spacegirl is a loveable character, quick to make friends and loyal. She unwittingly becomes a hero, but she just wants to get back home to Earth. It’s a fun universe of inventive aliens and robots with fun personalities. The artwork is fantastic, creative and vibrant. And each story is exciting, poignant, and funny.

Full of adventure, unique aliens, mystery, and humor – I highly recommend this graphic novel trilogy to science fiction fans of all ages. Each graphic novel is somewhat a standalone story, yet best read in order. I hope to see more of Zita in the future.


Release: May 23, 2014, in 3D
Director: Bryan Singer
Screenplay by: Simon Kinberg; Story by Simon Kinberg and Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman
Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Evan Peters, Omar Sy

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future.

Fantasy Book Review: Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night

Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night by Tui T Sutherland

It all comes down to this: The Dragonets of Destiny must finally bring the epic war to an end, reconcile the seven tribes, and choose the next queen of Pyrrhia… and make it out alive.

Sunny has been the one everyone else thinks is an airhead. So when she still believes in the prophecy even when its originator admits it was made up, Sunny knows her friends will tease. Sunny has the best disposition and tries to see the best in people – even when they don’t deserve it. This story follows Sunny and her adventure to her people and finally learning the truth about her family.

The Brightest Night is the fifth and final book in this story arc of Wings of Fire, but at the end of the book we’re promised more in the series. As a huge fan of this series, I couldn’t be more excited. This last installment of the Dragonet Prophecy arc was a fantastic ending to an epic children’s fantasy. The unique humanization of the dragons in this world is inspired and fascinating. The characters are exceptional, vibrant and charming. This story is just as exciting as its predecessors, full of suspense, danger, mystery, and drama. The stirring events lead up to an inspiring conclusion. I highly recommend this sweet, adventure series to fantasy fans of all ages.

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