Tag Archives: fantasy

Fantasy Book Review: Spark

Spark by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis:
Storm beasts and their guardians create perfect weather every day, and Mina longs for a storm beast of her own. But when the gentle girl bonds with a lightning beast—a creature of fire and chaos—everyone’s certain it’s a mistake. Everyone but Mina and the beast himself, Pixit. Quickly enrolled in lightning school, Mina struggles to master a guardian’s skills, and she discovers that her country’s weather comes at a devastating cost—a cost powerful people wish to hide. Mina’s never been the type to speak out, but someone has to tell the truth, and, with Pixit’s help, she resolves to find a way to be heard.

Review:
Mina is a quiet and polite girl. So when she hatches a lightening beast, even her parent’s think it’s a mistake. But Mina has already formed a deep bond with Pixit, and is determined to succeed despite everyone’s doubts. But while training, Mina and Pixit learn a devastating secret. And despite her nature, Mina must speak out to make things right.

Spark is a heartwarming, standalone fantasy novel for all ages. I’ll read anything by Sarah Beth Durst, but this is definitely one of my favorites. The dragon-like “beasts” were like the dragons in the book Eragon, as they communicate telepathically with their bonded human. I’m sure several fantasy series have this take, but I don’t typically read quite as much fantasy involving dragons. The human characters are engaging and believable. And the story is exciting, suspenseful, and dramatic. I didn’t really grasp the idea behind the lightning beasts and how their humans worked in tandem, but it didn’t affect my reading experience. I highly recommend this sweet and inspiring, middle reader novel.

Fantasy Book Review: Stepsister

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Synopsis:
Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe . . . which is now filling with her blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she’s turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she’s a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a bold girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Review:
Isabelle is a surprisingly likable and relatable young woman. She’s naive but has a good heart. She made some bad decisions when her heart was turned against Cinderella, but now she just wants to make amends. But Fate has other ideas.

Stepsister is an inspired take on one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. The story is a bit dark, with forces set against her happy ending. It’s full of suspense, drama, heartache, and a bit of romance. I absolutely loved this incredible story and the engaging characters. This standalone novel is a must-read for fairy tale fans from teens to adults.

Received in April

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

DVD/Blu Rays:
Replicas Blu-ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox

Amazon / Skyscape:
The Rule of Many by Ashley Saunders

Clarion Books:
Briar and Rose and Jack by Katherine Coville

Daw:
Pariah by W. Michael Gear

Del Rey:
The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham
No Country for Old Gnomes by Kevin Hearne
Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray
Magic: The Gathering: War of the Spark: Ravnica by Greg Weisman

Disney Hyperion / Freeform:
Charlotte Brontë before Jane Eyre by Glynnis Fawkes
The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Charlie and Frog The Boney Hand by Karen Kane
Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls’ Guide to Disney Animation by Mindy Johnson

Grim Oak:
Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan

Hachette / Grand Central:
Emily Eternal by M. G. Wheaton

Harlequin Teen / Inkyard Press:
Nexus by Sasha Alsberg
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg

Harper Voyager:
The Hound of Justice by Claire O’Dell

Holiday House:
Mayhem and Madness: Chronicles of a Teenaged Supervillain by J. A. Dauber

Macmillan / Swoon / Feiwel and Friends:
The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate by Sandy Hall
Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World by Anna Crowley Redding

Night Shade Books:
Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker

Random House Children’s:
5 Worlds Book 3: The Red Maze by Mark Siegel

Scholastic:
Cross Fire by Fonda Lee

Subterranean Books:
A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan
Houses Under the Sea by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Tor:
Knight: A Chronicle of the Sibyl’s War by Timothy Zahn

Box Review: Teeblox – April 2019

TeeBlox

“Our TeeBlox shirts are all 100% official and licensed, guaranteed. Our CommunityBlox shirts are printed with 100% independent and original designs submitted by community artists.”

Subscriptions start at $10/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from 3 categories right now.

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Continue reading Box Review: Teeblox – April 2019

Megan Shepherd Writing Contest!

In her latest two books, Grim Lovelies and Midnight Beauties, Megan alludes to eight different fairy tales that grew out of the magical and dangerous world she meticulously built for her characters. Megan is giving writers of all kinds and backgrounds (high school age and older) the option to turn these short prompts into actual fairy tales. The best story written for each of the eight prompts will be included in a digital Grim Lovelies fairy tale collection entitled Beastie Tales.

For more info, please visit meganshepherd.com/beastietales

Book Giveaway: No Country for Old Gnomes

Courtesy of Del Rey, I have a copy of No Country for Old Gnomes by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson 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 May 3. I’ll draw a name on May 4, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: No Country for Old Gnomes

Graphic Novel Review: Mera: Tidebreaker

Mera: Tidebreaker

Synopsis:
Princess Mera is teenage royalty and heir to the throne of Xebel, a penal colony ruled by the other no-so-lost land under the sea, Atlantis. Her father, his court and the entire kingdom are expecting her to marry and introduce a new king. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown.

When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry–the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution?

Review:
Mera is a rebellious teen, with hopes of her kingdom breaking free of Atlantis, in this standalone graphic novel. This fresh, new story is exciting and inventive. This is a coming-of-age story for Mera, as she has to decide what’s right – choosing to follow her father’s orders or believing in this surprisingly kind young man who is to become the future leader of Atlantis. This is a teenage Arthur as well, before he becomes Aquaman. The story is dramatic and suspenseful. And the artwork and coloring is fun and different. Aquaman and Mera fans will want to check this one out.