Synopsis: When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics–she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia–and is certain she returns his feelings–but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
Review: Cassia is abducted and returned to her home planet. But through cunning, she’s able to overthrow an evil dictator and re-take the throne. Suddenly, Kane doesn’t feel needed, and Cassia’s adviser sews mistrust between the two. Meanwhile, the Banshee captain stumbles upon his old love at a time that seems too coincidental.
Starfall is a companion novel to Starflight – a sequel of sorts, but also focuses more on different crew members of the Banshee. Cassia and Kane have an incredibly immature relationship and can’t express their feelings to each other. So, both end up hurting each other. It gets really frustrating at times. But the adventure and suspense don’t disappoint. Once again, this action-packed, science fiction novel is an exciting and fun read. While I prefer the plot of Starflight a bit more, there were still plenty of great twists in this installment. Melissa Landers has found a great niche for herself in these YA scifi, romance novels (see also her Alienated series), and I look forward to reading more.
Synopsis: In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.
No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.
As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.
Review: Kendra and Seth are back to a peaceful life, living at Fablehaven with both sets of grandparents. But then the siblings suddenly called away to help at Wyrmroost to stand against the rebellious dragons threatening the sanctuary. The two must use their cunning and skills to hunt for an artifact and stand up to dangerous foes.
Fablehaven is one of my top favorite children’s series. So, I was ecstatic to hear Brandon Mull was continuing the series and bringing back these beloved characters. Dragonwatch is the first in a new Fabehaven series. It has the same tone of adventure, suspense, and humor. While we’re introduced to many colorful new characters, the story still focuses on Kendra and Seth. The author excels at character development – each new creature that the siblings meet is an adventure in itself. The finale is big and exciting and will leave readers eager for the next in this fantastic fantasy series.
Synopsis: Two events made September 1st a memorable day for Jesse Cullum. First, he lost a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Second, he saved the life of President Ulysses S. Grant. It’s the near future, and the technology exists to open doorways into the past but not our past, not exactly. Each “past” is effectively an alternate world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given “past” can only be reached once. After a passageway is open, it’s the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can’t be reopened. A passageway has been opened to a version of late 19th century Ohio. It’s been in operation for most of a decade, but it’s no secret, on either side of time. A small city has grown up around it to entertain visitors from our time, and many locals earn a good living catering to them. But like all such operations, it has a shelf life; as the “natives” become more sophisticated, their version of the “past” grows less attractive as a destination. Jesse Cullum is a native. And he knows the passageway will be closing soon. He’s fallen in love with a woman from our time, and he means to follow her back – no matter whose secrets he has to expose in order to do it.
Review: Time travel has been discovered. And for a hefty price, people from the future can visit the past and immerse themselves. Of course, this has changed the past and created an alternate realities wherever the gates are opened. Jesse is a native of the late 1800s who works for people from the future – for as long as they remain. But his final job for them, hunting down “runners” from the future leads Jesse to be confronted from events from his past.
I love books about time travel and alternate history, so Last Year was immediately appealing. But besides the immersive world, the characters were incredibly engaging as well. The story has elements of science fiction (of course), mystery, adventure, and intrigue. While people and things come from through the future, we have Jesse’s point of view from the past of what the future looks like to them. It’s an interesting and believable take. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the fantastic worldbuilding. And the thrilling finale doesn’t disappoint.
Synopsis: Speeding through Central City, Barry Allen is met with a startling sight—the Flash, older, battered, and badly injured. Before he can speak, the doppelgänger is gone.
Then Barry begins experiencing glitches in his powers—moments that leave him ghostly and immobile in the middle of missions. When a group of his enemies—including Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and Peekaboo—chooses this time to launch a new assault, the Flash seeks help from his most trusted ally. Oliver Queen – the Arrow.
Review: This story seems to be set earlier in season 2. I like that it’s a bit vague, yet ties in some familiar faces from Barry’s past. As Barry’s powers begin to glitch, several former adversaries show up at one time – but thankfully, Oliver Queen and his team are more than willing to help out.
I’m a fan of Clay and Susan Griffith’s Vampire Empire series, so I was excited to check out this tie-in novel. They do a great job of keeping the characters true and as believable as if we were watching an episode of The Flash. I especially enjoyed that Iris and Caitlin had some girl time. This story flowed well and built to an exciting finale. Yet the overarching story of Barry seeing an older version of himself is pushed into an Arrow sequel A Generation of Vipers by the same authors. This, again, felt like a well-developed 2-part tv show with enough of unanswered questions to make me want to read the sequel even though I don’t enjoy Arrow as much as Flash.