Box Review: Teeblox – September 2019

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Read moreBox Review: Teeblox – September 2019

SciFi Book Review: Heartwood Box

Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre

Synopsis:
When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried.

Review:
Araceli moves in with her aunt in a tiny town where an odd amount of people have gone missing. Araceli finds a mysterious box and seems to be communicating with a young man from the past. Then, when her closest friend goes missing, Araceli decides to do some dangerous investigating with the help of her new friends.

Heartwood Box is a captivating standalone story, reminiscent of The Lake House letters through time and the creepiness of X-Files. I love stories that have to do with time travel and changing the past. So, I had a really fun time trying to figure out what was happening up to the big reveal. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and teen drama in this unique Young Adult science fiction novel. While I’m not a fan of insta-love, especially through a handful of letters, it was a cute side story and added to the overall mystery. This thrilling story culminates to an exciting finale that doesn’t disappoint.

New SciFi TV Shows for 2019 / 2020

I’ve compiled a list of upcoming new scifi/fantasy shows beginning this Fall 2019 and beyond, sorted by channel and release date. This year is a bit disappointing save for a couple shows that look promising on ABC and a bit of a wait for Disney’s new streaming shows. Mark your calendars and/or DVRs and enjoy!

ABC:

Emergence – Tuesday, September 24 at 10pm
After Jo, a police chief, takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident, she soon discovers the girl has no memory of what has happened or who she is. The investigation into the history that led up to the accident — and questions as to how and why it happened — draws the woman into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, with the child’s identity at the center of it.

Stumptown (not scifi, but based off a graphic novel, so I’ve included it) – Wednesday, September 25 at 10pm
Based on the series of graphic novels by the same name, “Stumptown” follows Dex Parios, a strong, assertive and sharp-witted Army veteran who has a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Ore. Her military intelligence skills make her a great private investigator, but her brash, unapologetic style puts her in a league of her own, landing her in the firing line of hardcore criminals while not quite in alliance with the rules and objectives of the local police.

CBS:

Evil – Thursday, September 26 at 10/9c
Evil is a psychological mystery that examines the origins of evil along the dividing line between science and religion. The series focuses on a skeptical female psychologist who joins a priest-in-training and a carpenter as they investigate the Church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries, including supposed miracles, demonic possessions and hauntings. Their job is to assess if there is a logical explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.

CW:

Batwoman – Sunday, October 6 at 8pm (encore on Monday, Oct 7)

Nancy Drew – Wednesday, October 9 at 9pm (encore on Monday, Oct. 14)

Katy Keene – 2020
In a timeless New York City, as enchanting as Riverdale is moody, aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene meets Josie McCoy, fresh off the bus to chase her musical dreams. Their world is populated with kindred-spirit starving artists, including mysterious socialite Pepper Smith and Broadway-bound performer Jorge Lopez – and his drag queen alter ego, Ginger. While their climb to the top is rife with obstacles, this found family will stop at nothing to see their names in lights. Based on the Archie Comics characters.

NBC:

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – 2020
In this joyous and celebratory drama, Zoey Clarke is a whip-smart computer coder forging her way in San Francisco. After an unusual event she starts to hear the innermost wants and desires of the people around her through songs. At first, she questions her own sanity but soon realizes this unwanted curse may just be an incredibly wonderful gift.

FOX:

neXT – 2020?
A brilliant but paranoid former tech CEO (John Slattery) joins a Homeland cybersecurity agent and her team to stop the world’s first artificial intelligence crisis: the emergence of a rogue AI with the ability to continuously improve itself. neXT examines how technology is invading our lives and transforming us in ways we don’t yet understand and also presents a villain like we’ve never seen before — one whose greatest weapon against us is ourselves.

Netflix:

The I-Land – Thursday, September 12
Ten people wake up on a strange island with no memory of how they got there, and soon discover the world is not as it seems.

Disney+: (Launches November 12)

The Mandalorian – Available at launch
First ever live-action Star Wars series, written and executive-produced by Jon Favreau. Set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, the series follows a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic. Dave Filoni (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) directs the premiere episode.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – To be available in first year after launch
Anthony Mackie will return as Falcon and Sebastian Stan will reprise his role as Winter Soldier in the new Marvel Studios series.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum – Available at launch
Series told through the prism of Goldblum’s inquisitive and entertaining mind, with each episode centered around something we all love – like sneakers or ice cream – as he pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels surprising connections, science and history.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – To be available in first year after launch
Animated series returns with 12 episodes marking the return of classic characters Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, as well as fan-favorites Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex.

Marvel’s What If…? – To be available in first year after launch
Marvel Studios’ first animated series, inspired by the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head.

Marvel’s 616 – To be available in first year after launch
Anthological docu-series from Marvel New Media in partnership with Supper Club explores the intersection between Marvel’s legacy of stories, characters and creators and the world outside your window. Each episode will dive into the historical, cultural and societal context that has become inseparable from stories of the Marvel Universe.

Stargirl – To be available in first year after launch
Based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same name, this teen coming-of-age story is about Leo Borlock (Graham Verchere), an average 16-year-old content to fly under the radar until an offbeat new student named Stargirl (Grace VanderWaal) shows up at his high school, turning his and everyone else’s world upside down, forever changing the way they see themselves and each other.

Fantasy Book Review: Midnight Beauties

Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd

Synopsis:
Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.

With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

Review:
Anouk has been in hiding since her friends were turned back into beasties. But her enemy, who holds her friends hostage, wants to make a deal. A danger far greater than their feud is approaching. And Anouk feels her best option is to face the deadly trial to become a witch.

Midnight Beauties is the sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies. With the characters established in the first installment, this was a more developed story – with a lot packed in. This YA dark fantasy is full of suspense, mystery, drama, and a bit of romance. In fact, I enjoyed Anouk’s interaction with bad boy Rennar much more than her loyal but dull Beau. There are so many fantastically complex and engaging characters. And this magical world feels unique. Shepherd is definitely a master of dark fantasy – her Madman’s Daughter series is a must-read. And this duology is a stunning story that builds to a dramatic finale that is over too soon.

Book Giveaway: Turning Darkness Into Light

Courtesy of Tor Books, I have a copy of Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan 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 September 20. I’ll draw a name on September 21, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Turning Darkness Into Light

Received in August

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

DVD/Blu Rays:
Arrow Seventh The Complete Season Blu Ray
The Flash The Complete Fifth Season Blu Ray
The Banana Splits Movie Blu Ray
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Blu Ray
Avengers Endgame Blu Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Berkley:
Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson
The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham
The Nobody People by Bob Proehl
Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season

Disney Hyperion / Freeform:
#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil
City of Beasts by Corrie Wang
Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Gallery Books:
Star Trek: The Original Series: The Antares Maelstrom by Greg Cox

Harper Voyager:
Rule of Capture by Christopher Brown

HMH:
Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd
A Trick of Light by Stan Lee

Ink Yard Press:
Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Saga Press / Scout Press:
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
Foe by Iain Reid
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories by Ellen Datlow

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse:
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Subterranean Press:
The Best of Elizabeth Bear by Elizabeth Bear
King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats by James Patrick Kelly
Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

Tor:
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Kingmaker by Margaret Weis
The Mage-Fire War by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Blood of an Exile by Brian Naslund
Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff
Inch by Inch by Morgan Llywelyn

Tor Teen:
Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre

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