Fantasy Book Review: Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle

Dragonwatch: Master of the Phantom Isle by Brandon Mull

Synopsis:
Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his experiences, and who he really is. For now he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends.

Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth.

With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war?

Review:
Master of the Phantom Isle is the 3rd book in the Dragonwatch series, an offshoot/continuation of the Fablehaven series. Seth has been kidnapped to the Under Realm without any of his memories. All he knows is what he’s told from the dark unicorn Ronodin. Meanwhile, his sister Kendra tries to find him while trying to keep the sanctuaries from falling.

Fablehaven is one of my all-time favorite children’s fantasy series, and this continuation has been a lot of fun. The danger and suspense has escalated. But there’s still plenty of fun and humor. There are so many interesting characters (that somehow don’t get confusing) and still a fascinating plot with a lot going on. The dialog with Seth was a bit annoying at times, as he asks questions incessantly. And somehow Ronodin doesn’t get sick of it? Readers really don’t need to know every detail. Thankfully, that let up a bit by the end of the story. Kendra and her friends also get to visit a new sanctuary that is very unique, with fun new characters. These are long novels, but easy reading. A lot of adventure, mystery, and magic is packed in. And I still didn’t want it to end. The next installment can’t come soon enough!

Book Giveaway: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Courtesy of Disney/Hyperion, I have a copy of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia 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 October 18. I’ll draw a name on October 19, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Book Spotlight: Forward

Amazon has published, FORWARD a science fiction collection of short stories from authors Blake Crouch, N. K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, and Andy Weir!

The book is available in both digital and audio, and will be available to Prime members for free! You can save and $6 buy the collection for $5.94, otherwise, each kindle edition is $1.99.

Box Review: Teeblox – September 2019

TeeBlox

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Subscribers can pick from 3 categories right now.

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

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.

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