A couple of weeks ago I was able to attend the Syfy BTS (Behind the Scenes) Press Tour in Montreal, featuring set tours of Being Human and Helix. But the night before was cocktails and dinner with talent from Haven, Defiance, and Ghost Hunters. This is one of my favorite parts of the weekend, as it was last year in Toronto. It’s a casual time to get to know one another in a relaxed setting. I sat next to Adam Berry and Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters. We had a great time with a lot of stories exchanged and even more laughs.
Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells
Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.
But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity.
This story is set after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and before The Empire Strikes Back. Leia is obviously the central character in this installment, as she infiltrates a pirate stronghold and tries to free a crew from slavery. Meanwhile, there’s a traitor in the Rebel Alliance feeding intel to the Republic. There are some fun moments between Leia and Han, as their relationship is still in the beginning stages of attraction and tension. And there is a thrilling scene when Leia is placed in a deadly arena “game” where she must fight her way out.
I’ve enjoyed this year’s Star Wars novels immensely, and getting back into this universe. And I especially loved this period in the timeline, so I was excited to see the series explore this. Razor’s Edge is a well-paced adventure with plenty of mystery, suspense, danger, and intrigue. Though at times predictable, there are some surprising turns that are revealed at the climactic end. I’m looking forward to these future installments in this exciting series.
On November 22, THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE hits theaters everywhere!
Meanwhile, check out this cute, unofficial look at each district in Panem, the Victors that will be involved in the Quarter Quell in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE and some information about them you may not have known, courtesy of AMC Theatres.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
Slayers: Friends and Traitors by CJ Hill
Tori’s got a problem. She thought she’d have one more summer to train as a dragon Slayer, but time has run out. When Tori hears the horrifying sound of dragon eggs hatching, she knows the Slayers are in trouble. In less than a year, the dragons will be fully grown and completely lethal. The Slayers are well-prepared, but their group is still not complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker—the mysterious missing Slayer.
What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers. She isn’t just a Slayer, she’s part Dragon Lord, too. How can Tori fight to save her friends when half of her is programmed to protect dragons? And with a possible traitor in their midst, the Slayers will be divided in more ways than they ever imagined.
Tori and Jesse’s relationship changes at the end of the summer when they have to leave camp and head back to school and their home life. Meanwhile, Dirk has a tough decision to make about which side is best for him – his family or his friends. His love for his father and his love for Tori makes it nearly impossible to choose. And Tori too must come to terms with what her bonding with Dirk and her powers mean about her own heritage.
Following the amazing first novel in the series, I had high expectations for this sequel. And I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. With engaging characters, fierce dragons, intrigue, and a bit of romance – this super-powered adventure is impossible to put down. It’s fast-paced and action-packed, emotional and funny. I hope this series continues for quite a while, as these X-Men-like teens are tasked with saving their country from killer dragons and a ruthless despot.
Stonecast by Anton Strout
I have to call attention to the cover blurb, of course! 🙂
Don’t worry. No money has exchanged hands.
Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business…until she discovered her true legacy—a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.
With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry—even with the help of her dedicated friends—are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.
But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her—and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.
Lexi and her friends have been hard at work, trying to increase her skills bringing to life stone automatons. Meanwhile, Stanis has been trying to distract his father from going after Lexi and her grandfather’s book. But then Stanis is bound and forced to obey the enemy. And Lexi meets a young man who can help, but is unsure if he can be trusted. I enjoyed the character of Caleb. He reminded me a bit of Han Solo – someone who’s out for himself, but honest about it. He also became another love interest for Lexi, adding a love triangle element.
Stonecast is a fantastic sequel in this unique and exciting fantasy series. Full of suspense, intrigue, magic, and humor – gargoyles have never been this fun. The story ends with a climactic and satisfying conclusion. And I’m excited to see where the story goes next with how things leave off. This is one of those series that make you want to tell the author to write faster. Don’t miss this fast-paced, urban fantasy, but make sure to read Alchemystic first.
The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.
Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: the strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high.
If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.
Mina Holmes is a lot like her uncle, self-assured (to the point of cocky) and brilliant at deduction. Evaline, though beautiful, is not as confident – as she has yet to kill a vampire and actually has a weak stomach when it comes to dead bodies. Mina thinks things through analytically. And Evaline jumps into danger without thinking, but she has super-powered strength thanks to her vampire hunting heritage. The two make a good pair, though this first novel has them at odds and working alone through most of the story.
The Clockwork Scarab is a fast-paced, exciting start of a unique new series. Classic gothic horror, steampunk, and time travel make for an interesting mash-up. I’m a fan of time travel when it comes to science fiction, if it’s thought out logically. But time travel in a fantasy, is a little confusing. And it doesn’t quite fit here. Though, maybe it will be fleshed out in future installments. The mystery itself revolves around ancient Egyptian mythology, but takes a backseat to Gleason’s clever character development. Captivating, suspenseful, full of mystery, and a bit of romance – this new series is off to a encouraging start. I really enjoyed these characters and look forward to future adventures of Stoker and Holmes, especially if they begin working as a team.