Received in October

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

DC Comics:
Daphne Byrne by Laura Marks

Del Rey:
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View by Seth Dickinson

Disney Hyperion:
The Fowl Twins Deny All Charges by Eoin Colfer
Trials of Apollo, The Book Five: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Be More Chill: The Graphic Novel by Ned Vizzini

Gallery Books:
Star Trek: Discovery: Die Standing by John Jackson Miller
Star Trek: The Unsettling Stars by Alan Dean Foster
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Higher Frontier by Christopher L. Bennett
Star Trek: The Original Series: Agents of Influence by Dayton Ward
Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death by David Mack
Star Trek: The Original Series: A Contest of Principles by Greg Cox
Star Trek: Voyager: To Lose the Earth by Kirsten Beyer

Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press:
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

Saga Press:
Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris

Simon & Schuster / Adams Media:
The Nemesis by S. J. Kincaid
Star Trek: The Wisdom of Picard by Chip Carter

Subterranean Press:
The Best of Elizabeth Hand by Elizabeth Hand
The Big Score by K. J. Parker

Titan Books:
Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons by James Lovegrove
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway by Una Mccormack

Tor:
Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow

The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway – Book Giveaway!

Courtesy of Titan Books, I have a copy of The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway by Una McCormack for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends November 6. I’ll draw a name on November 7, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

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Gail Z Martin Guest Post – Days of the Dead Blog Tour

Gail Martin, Dreamspinner Communications

Author Gail Z Martin joins SciFiChick.com today along her Days of the Dead Blog Tour!

Raising the Stakes
By Gail Z. Martin

One of the things I love about writing series is the space for characters to grow and for the challenges they face to also become more difficult. This is true whether the story is structured to be consecutive novels that tie up a story line in each book (but also build on each other), or are the more traditional multi-part story spread across several volumes.

I tend toward having each book in a series address a particular threat/villain while other threads continue from book to book. So in my Assassins of Landria series, the continued existence of the Witch Lord poses an ongoing threat, while each individual book deals with a specific plot/conspiracy to be dealt with.

Part of showing that growth in the characters lies in facing more formidable dangers so that the characters are required to utilize the skills and knowledge that they have acquired over the course of the story. They should be able to do things several books into the series that they couldn’t have done at the beginning, and should have a better understanding both of their opponent and of themselves.

As an author that means looking for ways to raise the stakes. Maybe the threat at first is more limited in scope or power, but as the books progress, the bad guy reveals new abilities or the plots grow bolder in the damage they could cause. The hero has to ‘level up’ and acquire new allies, gain new skills, and take a broader view of the problem, growing more strategic and less reactive. Along the way, we want the characters to begin to understand themselves in a new way, gaining wisdom and perception as well as the street smarts necessary to survive.

That story progression is one of my favorite things about writing (and reading) a series, and why I usually feel unsatisfied with stand-alone books. If I fall in love with the world and the characters, I want more than just one taste. I want to follow them and watch them grow and change, see them fail and redeem themselves. And likewise, if I read a series where the characters never grow and remain unchanged from book to book, I get impatient, because even if the stories are set in a fairly short span of time, what’s happened should change the characters in some kind of meaningful way. I want them to be as real to me as possible!

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The Last Druid – Book Excerpt

In honor of today’s release of THE LAST DRUID by Terry Brooks, the final installment in the Shannara Cycle, SciFiChick.com has the first full chapter excerpt!

_______________________

ONE

Tarsha Kaynin was not dead. She should have been, but she was not.

It surprised her when she woke from the blackness into which
she had fallen when she had gone over the cliffs of Cleeg Hold and
dropped toward the churning waters of the Mermidon several hundred
feet below. She could feel sheets of hard rain beating down on
her, soaking her clothing and chilling her body. She could hear the
sounds of the storm all around her—the staccato slap of raindrops against the stone walls of the Rock Spur cliffs, the howl of the wind, and the thunder of the rain-swollen river as it surged wildly down its narrow channel. She was dangling from something that had snagged her and now held her fast. Yet as the buffeting winds set her swaying back and forth, she was reminded of how precarious her situation was.

Still, she was not dead.

Her aching, throbbing head provided further proof. She must have
hit it as she fell. Perhaps the blow was even responsible for saving her.

Perhaps it had slowed her just enough, arresting her fall sufficiently to allow the cliffs to catch hold of her. She could not remember, and she would likely never know for certain. But one thing she did know: She could not remain where she was. Sooner or later, the winds would tug her loose and she would begin falling once more.

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Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games

Dragonwatch: Champion of the Titan Games by Brandon Mull

Synopsis:
The war against dragons intensifies. Will Kendra and Seth find the help they desperately need from the Giant Queen? This fourth book in a five-book series leaves the underwater dragon preserve of Crescent Lagoon for a gladiator-style arena at Titan Valley, the magical realm of towering giants and enslaved dragons. Our two young heroes have never felt so small or faced a challenge so . . . giant!

Review:
Kendra is busy trying to stop the dragon invasion, while trying to find her brother as well. And Seth just wants to get his memories back. Their journeys both collide at Titan Valley. But it’s uncertain if they can trust each other’s motives.

Champion of the Titan Games is the next to last in this captivating spin-off series of Fablehaven. The adventure and excitement doesn’t let up as these adventurers face a wild array of challenges and dangerous creatures. All of the humor, suspense, mystery, and drama make this – and Brandon Mull’s other books – must-reads. There are always fun twists and surprises along the way. Mull is a master of children’s fantasy – the engaging characters, unique worldbuilding, and thrilling adventures. I enjoyed this installment from beginning to end. And now the final book in the series can’t come soon enough!

The Best of Walter Jon Williams – Book Giveaway

Courtesy of Subterranean Press, I have an early review copy of The Best of Walter Jon Williams for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends October 30. I’ll draw a name on October 31, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read more

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