Category Archives: Fantasy

Fantasy Book Review: Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic

Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic by Frank Cole

Synopsis:
It has been nine months since Gordy and his friends, Max and Adilene, stopped Esmerelda from destroying B.R.E.W. and the Vessel. Gordy is starting the eighth grade, where he meets another Dram, Sasha Brexil, whose mother is the new President of B.R.E.W. Gordy has also been practicing new brewing techniques, and has even taken some of his potions to school—something expressly forbidden—but when he starts zoning out during practice, he knows something is wrong.

Strange things are also happening at B.R.E.W., because after Wanda confronts the dark Elixirists, she is unexpectedly fired by Mrs. Brexil. And in Greenland, Mezzarix is offered a chance to escape by an old friend, who is working for the mysterious Ms. Bimini. The woman reveals that she needs Mezzarix to replicate an unusual solution known as “Silt.” Mezzarix agrees on one condition: that Ms. Bimini uses the power of Silt to destroy B.R.E.W. forever.

Both B.R.E.W and the Vessel are in danger, and with the potion world in chaos, it’s up to Gordy, Max, and Adeline to rally the remaining Potion Masters before it’s too late.

Review:
Gordy has a new principal this year. And his daughter, Sasha, happens to be a Dram as well, studying to be an Elixirist. But Sasha’s mother takes over as the new president of B.R.E.W. and is particularly ruthless. Meanwhile, Adilene meets a new, mysterious, young friend as well who acts very strange. And a new force helps Mezzarix escape with a new endgame in mind.

The Transparency Tonic is the second installment in the Potion Masters series. This clever fantasy series is just as fun as the previous book – with plenty of adventure and suspense. B.R.E.W. is under attack again, but this time from a mysterious outsider. And Gordy’s new “friend” is extremely annoying and obnoxious. But the other characters were engaging – even the villainous ones. This story builds to a surprising conclusion and a bit open-ended. I look forward to the next in this exciting middle grade series that can’t come soon enough.

Box Review: TeeBlox – December 2018

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*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Continue reading Box Review: TeeBlox – December 2018

Received in December

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Rays:
Viking Destiny Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Daw:
Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Del Rey:
No Country for Old Gnomes: The Tales of Pell by Kevin Hearne

Disney Hyperion:
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Gallery Books:
Star Trek: Discovery: The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack

Harper Voyager:
Winds of Marque by Bennett R. Coles
Mahimata by Rati Mehrotra
The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst

HMH:
Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Little, Brown / Back Bay Books:
The Power by Naomi Alderman

Scholastic Press / Chicken House:
Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage
Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury
Tin by PÃdraig Kenny

Subterranean Press:
Cruel Fate by Kelley Armstrong
Death & Honey by Kevin Hearne
At Home in the Dark by Lawrence Block

Tor:
King of the Road by R. S. Belcher
Terran Tomorrow by Nancy Kress
The Magic of Recluce by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
The Towers of the Sunset by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
The Magic Engineer by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Through Fiery Trials by David Weber

Vintage Canada:
Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish

Blu-Ray Review: Viking Destiny

Viking Destiny Blu-ray

Synopsis:
A Viking princess is forced to flee her kingdom after being framed for the murder of her father, the king. Under the guidance of the god Odin, she travels the world gaining wisdom and building the army she needs to win back her throne.

Review:
“It is a curse for a child to be born with an absent father.” At least, that’s the phrase repeated throughout the film. Though, Princess Helle only seems cursed with a terrible uncle. The story is fairly simplistic and the pacing slow. The only exciting parts are the battle scenes. Odin does appear briefly, a few times to Helle to give cryptic guidance. But Loki appears many times to lead mortals astray. Unfortunately, this Loki doesn’t have much personality. And while Princess Helle is beautiful, she doesn’t have much character depth either.

I really wanted to enjoy some part of this film, as I enjoy Norse mythology and learning more about my Scandinavian historical roots. But the movie doesn’t look like it was even filmed in Scandanavia, so even the scenery was disappointing. If you’re looking for historical Viking fiction, stick to the Vikings tv show.

Viking Destiny is rated R for violence and nudity.

BLU-RAY/DVD/DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES:
· “One True Heir: A Warrior’s Destiny” Featurette
· “Of Gods, Women & Men: The Cast” Featurette
· “Strength from Within: Staging the Battles” Featurette

ThinkGeek Review: Worthy Sweatshirt and Constellation Top

Worthy of Mjölnir Lace-Up Ladies’ Hoodie

This is a ThinkGeek exclusive, officially-licensed Thor: Ragnarok apparel. The first thing I noticed is how soft it is! The material is a thin mix of polyester, rayon, and spandex – but it feels like amazingly soft cotton. It fits well and washes well too. I have a Star Wars sweatshirt that’s a similar style to this that I love as well. The little details, like Thor’s hammer on the left sleeve and the lace-up sides make this a unique top. This will get a lot of use.

Worthy of Mjölnir Lace-Up Ladies’ Hoodie is priced at $29.99.

Constellation Tunic Top

This is a thin, soft shirt as well. And it’s made from the same materials. But this feels more blous-y. I love the long length of the shirt. I love the unique constellation pattern that extends from the front to the back on the shoulder. Both science geeks and science fiction geeks will love this versatile top. The neutral gray with gold foil is subtle and pretty. It’s also machine washable, which is a must for my wardrobe.

Constellation Tunic Top is priced at $24.99.

** SciFiChick.com received these products for free in exchange for an honest review.**

Book Review: Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King

Dragonwatch: Wrath of the Dragon King by Brandon Mull

Synopsis:
After a humiliating defeat at the hands of Kendra and Seth, Celebrant, King of Dragons, prepares to unleash his fury and take control of his native preserve. Two of the seven dragon sanctuaries have already fallen. Will Wyrmroost be next?

Armed with secret information from a new ally, Celebrant seeks a talisman that will guarantee victory in the war against the humans. With a cursed castle and traitorous creatures standing in the way, Kendra and Seth must attempt to foil Celebrant’s plan and beat him to his prize.

Will the two young caretakers rally enough support from the creatures of Wyrmroost to quell the uprising and protect the world from draconic dominion? One thing is certain—dragons are deadly foes, and one wrong move could bring swift defeat. It will take more than Kendra, Seth, and their current allies have ever given to endure the wrath of the Dragon King.

Review:
As caretakers of Wyrmroost, Kendra and Seth accept a dangerous invitation from Celebrant. Meanwhile, their cousins decide to follow them to Wyrmroost and find themselves in danger as well. It’s hard to know who to trust, as the siblings try to thwart Celebrants plan to take over.

Wrath of the Dragon King is the second installment in the Dragonwatch offshoot series of Fablehaven. These are must-read books for fantasy fans of all ages. With fascinating worldbuilding and engaging characters, it’s easy to get pulled into the story. And this latest installment is packed with adventure, colorful creatures, humor, and magic. This was unpredictable, fast-paced, and full of heart-pounding suspense. The next in this exciting series can’t come soon enough.

Received in November

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Rays:
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 4K Blu Ray
Westworld Season 2 Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Ace:
The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman

Daw:
Abandoned by W. Michael Gear
The Clan Chronicles: Tales from Plexis by Julie E. Czerneda

Disney Hyperion / Freeform:
The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Swap’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Entangled Teen:
Valiant by Merrie Destefano

Harper Collins / Dey St:
Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Harper Voyager:
Fearless by Sarah Tarkoff
Vita Nostra Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

Random House / Delacorte Press:
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Scholastic:
Wings of Fire Book 12: The Hive Queen by Tui T. Sutherland
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling

Shadow Mountain:
Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic by Frank L. Cole

Simon Teen:
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Slow Burn by Tommy Wallach

Subterranean Press:
Perfunctory Affection by Kim Harrison

Titan Books:
Firefly: Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove

Titan Comics:
Assassin’s Creed: Uprising Volume 3 by Dan Watters
Assassin’s Creed: Origins Volume 1 by Anthony Del Col

Tor:
City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender
The Librarians and the Pot of Gold by Greg Cox

Tor Teen / Starscape:
Shelby’s Story: A Dog’s Way Home Tale by W. Bruce Cameron
Dark Mind Rising by Julia Keller

4K Blu Ray Review: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 4K Blu Ray

About the Film:
In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of DC’s Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!

The celebrity laden cast features primetime television stars Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) as Aquaman, Sam Witwer (Being Human, Smallville, Star Wars: Rebels) as Orm, Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle) as Batman, Christopher Gorham (Insatiable, Two Broke Girls, Covert Affairs) as Flash, Nathan Fillion (The Rookie, Castle) as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Real Men Watch Bravo, The Death of Superman) as Superman, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Shazam, Sumalee Montano (Scandal, Critical Role) as Mera, Sirena Irwin (Superman: Unbound) as Queen Atlanna, and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, The Blacklist) as Manta.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The Opinions I share are my own.”

Review:
I don’t watch a lot of animated tv or films. But I love superhero stuff. And with the Aquaman film releasing soon, I wanted to check this one out. I was already familiar with this story, as Arthur Curry fights his half brother for the right to lead Atlantis. But I enjoyed the cast of characters and the numerous voice actors. Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern was the easiest to recognize. And he brought a fun and humorous element to the film, that was a great opposition to Batman’s dark, grumpy mood.

There were little things I didn’t care for – like Wonder Woman’s costume and that it was PG-13 instead of PG. The bloody violence and swearing means it isn’t for children. Which seems strange when it’s an animated superhero film that kids will want to see. But I still enjoyed the movie overall. It was fast-paced and a full cast of the Justice League – including Shazam, who was another fun addition. The special features were decent too. There’s a bonus sequence of Robin and Nightwing with a nice explanation of it’s purpose.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition contains two all-new bonus features, along with special features from the film’s original release:
• Aquaman: The New King (NEW featurette) – An immersive look at Arthur Curry’s evolution from guardian of the ocean to the King of Atlantis and key member of the Justice League.
• Audio Commentary (NEW) – Renowned former DC Editor and current Creative Director of Animation Mike Carlin, Creative Director of Animation, and Throne of Atlantis screenwriter Heath Corson share their insights into the legend of Aquaman.
• Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep (Featurette) – Every great film needs a great musical score. Filled with emotion, music takes us on a dynamic journey as we adventure with the hero. Throne of Atlantis takes us on that quest through the eyes of Arthur Curry.
• Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence – Producer James Tucker provides video commentary for this exciting bonus sequence where Robin and Nightwing join forces.
• Throne of Atlantis: 2014 New York Comic Con Panel – The entire, lively one-hour panel discussion between actor Matt Lanter, producer James Tucker, screenwriter Heath Corson, character designer Phil Bourassa and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
• Villains of the Deep (Featurette) – From Ocean Master to Black Manta to King Shark, each villain operates from his own deep sense of conviction, presenting an incredible challenge for the hero in Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. This documentary goes into the biographical details of the villains.
• A Sneak Peek at The Death of Superman – The Death of Superman is widely considered one of the most popular stories in the Superman canon and the DCU. This sneak peek at the exciting new film discusses the story and its place in pop culture.
• A Sneak Peek at Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the new film which brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.
• Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault:
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure!”
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Evil Under the Sea!”
o Aquaman, “Menace of The Black Manta” and “The Rampaging Reptile-Men”
o Justice League Unlimited, “Far from Home”