Box Review: TeeBlox – January 2017

TeeBlox

TeeBlox is a t-shirt subscription service that brings 100% authentic licensed geek and gamer shirts to your doorsteps every month. No hidden fees. Cancel anytime. Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Get 1 shirt and 2 other items starting at $12.99/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from the following categories: SciFi, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoons, Movies and TV, Games, Hot Meex, or Disney!

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

TeeBlox

Star Trek “Keep on Trekkin'” Shirt – I have to admit that I love this shirt. It’s a nice color, a fun design, and a vintage look.

TeeBlox

Comic and Pin – Batman Detective Comic and Wonder Woman pin!

Summary: A fantastic shirt and fun, old school comic. It’s easily one of my favorite picks from one of my top favorite mystery packs. If you need to replenish your geek wardrobe with nice quality tees, look no further.

Remember, use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Final LOGAN Trailer Released!

The final trailer for LOGAN is here.

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces. Check out the brand new trailer below.

LOGAN hits theaters everywhere on March 3, 2017!

MARTIANS ABROAD Blog Tour: Carrie Vaughn Guest Post

Carrie Vaughn joins SciFiChick.com today to promote her new release, Martians Abroad, and talk about the worldbuilding fantasy vs. science fiction!

The Details that Build a World
by Carrie Vaughn

Worldbuilding is the lifeblood of SF&F. We love these genres because we want to travel to other places, see new and amazing worlds, the more fantastical, futuristic, and amazing the better. And the more believable those worlds seem, the more we feel like we could buy a ticket on a starship or simply step through a wardrobe to see it all for ourselves, the happier we are. Build that world, readers will come.

I spent ten years writing an urban fantasy series in which werewolves, vampires, and all sorts of magic exist in our world. My new book, Martians Abroad, is about a third generation Martian colonist visiting Earth for the first time.

Was hard, switching gears? Was it a big leap to go from magic to space ships?

I gotta say, and this may come as a surprise to some people, worldbuilding in the science fiction book might just be little bit easier. Because all the information is right there. If you’re extrapolating from where we are now to where we might be in a couple of hundred years — colonizing the solar system, imagining what the technology might look like, considering what science tells us is possible — the choices are limited. Yes, you have to be accurate. People will fact check every word you write. But for most of the questions an author like me has about this science-fictional world I’m creating, there’s going to be a plausible answer. A more plausible answer, anyway. A scientifically reasonable one. We can make good guesses about the effects of low gravity on human anatomy. I know how to describe the Martian landscape because I can look up hundreds of beautiful pictures, thanks to the rovers Curiosity, Spirit, and Opportunity. After the last fifty or so years of solar system exploration and discovery, there’s surprisingly little I had to make up. And can I just gush about how utterly cool that is?!

In fantasy, authors often have to build their worlds from the ground up. Yes, I can make it all up by the seat of my pants. It still has to be believable. I still have to make choices that make sense and seem right and fit together to make a great story and a world my readers want to visit. And there are no real right answers. On the one hand, anything goes, right? Well, I’m not sure about that. I think this freedom from real-world data also means I need to be a lot more careful because there’s no good way to double check my work. No way to know if what I’m writing is believable until it ends up in front of a reader. The reader always has the final word on whether the worldbuilding in a book is successful.

In the end, both fantasy and science fiction require thoughtful world building and attention to details. The source material may be different, but the goal is the same: make the reader believe.

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About Martians Abroad:

Teenage Polly Newton has one single-minded dream: to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. But her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. But when strange, unexplained, and dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

About the Author:
CARRIE VAUGHN, the New York Times bestselling author of the Kitty Norville books, is also the author of the stand-alone novels After the Golden Age and Discord’s Apple, and the young adult books Voice of Dragons and Steel. She holds a Masters in English Literature and collects hobbies—fencing and sewing are currently high on the list. You can visit her online at www.carrievaughn.com.

Fantasy Book Review: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years: The Battle of Hackham Heath

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years: The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flanagan

Synopsis:
When the former Baron Morgarath escaped to avoid punishment for treason, an uneasy peace fell on Araluen. But Morgarath, now in hiding, is already planning his next move, recruiting an army of savage, overpowering beasts known as Wargals. Newly crowned King Duncan knows he must assemble his troops for battle.

To find out the full extent of Morgarath’s plan of attack, Halt prepares for a seemingly impossible task–climbing the deadly cliffs of the Mountains of Rain and Night and venturing deep into enemy territory to spy. After all, the winner of this war could be determined by one wrong move.

At the Battle of Hackham Heath, the fate of a Kingdom will be decided. This origin story of how Halt came to be Araluen’s most famous Ranger – and how war will decide the future of the next generation – will thrill Ranger’s Apprentice fans and new readers alike.

Review:
While Halt ventures into enemy territory to scout, Crowley is tasked with getting the Queen to safety as she delivers her baby. Morgarath is amassing an army of Wargals that threaten the kingdom.

The Battle of Hackham Heath is the second installment in the Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years prequel series. The Ranger’s Apprentice series is an incredible, epic series that I’m happy to see continue in these prequels. Halt and the rest of these established characters are intriguing – and the stories are always engaging. This installment is well-paced with plenty of suspense and intrigue. Events build to the big battle as the name suggests. And the Rangers play a big role as the invading horde approaches. I can’t get enough of this series. This latest installment is another enjoyable story, and the next can’t come soon enough.

Book Giveaway: Heartstone

Courtesy of Harper Voyager, I have a copy of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White for two (2) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 10. I’ll draw a name on February 11, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Heartstone

Fantasy Book Review: Wings of Fire: Talons of Power

Wings of Fire: Talons of Power by Tui T. Sutherland

Synopsis:
FOR EVERY VILLAIN, THERE IS A HERO…
Turtle isn’t one of the heroes he reads about in stories. If he were, he’d use his animus powers to help Pyrrhia—instead of keeping his abilities a secret, even from his own sister. Now that Darkstalker, the sinister and impossibly old dragon from Pyrrhia’s most notorious legends, has returned, Turtle knows his own role is simple: hide. And stay hidden.

The other dragons at Jade Mountain Academy, on the other hand, think Darkstalker is fascinating. He charms everyone he meets, including Turtle’s most skeptical friends. They all seem convinced that the ancient dragon has changed.

Turtle isn’t so sure. The more he watches Darkstalker from the shadows, the more Turtle knows that someone needs to stop the powerful dragon. A real hero. But Turtle is running out of time to find one, which means…he might have to try to save the day himself.

Review:
Turtle is content to hide and not let anyone know about his powers. If someone else can take down Darkstalker, Turtle is willing to let them do it. But unfortunately, he may be the only one who can follow Darkstalker, stay unseen, and make sure his friends stay safe.

Talons of Power is the latest in the Wings of Fire fantasy series for young readers. Dragons are the main characters. And these characters are complex and compelling and just plain fun to read. This latest story picks up immediately after the last cliffhanger, as Darkstalker wakes up. With plenty of drama, suspense, and a bit of humor – Turtle’s adventures build to another climactic cliffhanger that left me wanting more. As always, I eagerly await the next in this exceptional series.

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