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Currently Browsing: sci-fi/fantasy
Dec
31

Quickie Review: A Perfect World by Kris Cook

Quickie Review: A Perfect World by Kris Cook A Perfect World Author: Kris Cook  Release Date: March 24, 2011 Publisher: Forbidden Passion Press Genre: Sci-Fi Romance, Erotic, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: In a world where death has been virtually conquered and beauty is the norm – a husband goes to extreme measures to ensure his wife is approved to have their baby. Will Greg be able to agree to William’s wicked request so that Seana can become a mother? What I’m talking about: In the future, people live in a world full of medical wonders, where humans can live without disease for as long as they want. Because of this, there are rules, such as zero population growth…  which means there must be a death for a child to be born. Also, a female cannot have a child after she reaches 38 years of age. Greg and Seana go to rich relative William to ask if he’ll willingly die so Seana can get pregnant. William agrees, but the kicker is that he wants to impregnate Seana himself (the old fashion way) before he dies.  A Perfect World is a very short story, not even novella length, which leads little time to develop characters or provide any solid backstory. However, Mr. Cook still finds enough space to create an interesting concept for a future world. The sci-fi features are presented with enough detail to fabricate a thorough picture for the reader.  Overall the story is enjoyable, but rough around the edges. Due to the shorter length, the insinuated bonds and “I love you’s” felt unnecessary and contrived. But with that said, I still had a little tear in my eye at the pinnacle of the story. A Perfect World is a fun, erotic sci-fi short. Due to the length, there isn’t much story or plot, but the premise is solid and enjoyable.  My Rating: Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B) Purchase Info: A Perfect World: An Erotic Science Fiction Short...
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Oct
24

Review: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Review: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher Ghost Planet Author: Sharon Lynn Fisher   Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012 Publisher: Tor Science Fiction ISBN: #978-0765368973 Genre: Science Fiction Romance Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: Psychologist Elizabeth Cole prepared for the worst when she accepted a job on a newly discovered world—a world where every colonist is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. But she never expected she’d struggle with the requirement to shun these “ghosts.” She never expected to be so attracted to the charming Irishman assigned as her supervisor. And she certainly never expected to discover she died in a transport crash en route to the planet.  As a ghost, Elizabeth is symbiotically linked to her supervisor, Murphy—creator of the Ghost Protocol, which forbids him to acknowledge or interact with her. Confused and alone—oppressed by her ghost status and tormented by forbidden love—Elizabeth works to unlock the secrets of her own existence.  But her quest for answers lands her in a tug-of-war between powerful interests, and she soon finds herself a pawn in the struggle for control of the planet…a struggle that could separate her forever from the man that she loves. What Nima’s talking about: I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet grabbed me into one of those book trances that leaves you unable to do laundry, sleep, or function in the real world until you finish.  When forced to put the book down, you walk around in a book bubble thinking about the plot and how it might twist and turn until you can pick it up again.  This is when you decide pancakes are awesome for dinner so you can go back to your comfy spot and slip back into the emotions of the book. I love science fiction and have never felt that it should exclude romance.  Relationships always drive a story whether it’s between warring factions, governments, scientists, or star crossed lovers.  Where would Star Wars be without Hans and Leia?  Ghost Planet blends them seamlessly and this is a story where neither the science nor the romance takes a backseat to the other.  They both hold their own in a way that as they interact, they are each become more.  The sum is greater than its parts. The science is also approachable for those of us who didn’t major in molecular biology. More than anything, this is a...
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Sep
10

Review: Wrayth by Phillipa Ballatine

Review: Wrayth by Phillipa Ballatine Wrayth Author: Phillipa Ballantine  Release Date: Aug. 28, 2012 Publisher: ACE Book of the Order #3 ISBN: #978-1937007751 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      In the Empire of Arkaym, the Order of Deacons protects and shelters the citizens from the attacks of the unliving. All are sworn to fight the evil forces of the geists—and to keep the world safe from the power of the Otherside…      Although she is one of the most powerful Deacons in the Order, Sorcha Faris is still unable to move or speak after her last battle. Even her partner, Merrick Chambers, cannot reach her through their shared Bond. Yet there are those who still fear Sorcha and the mystery of her hidden past.      Meanwhile, Merrick has been asked to investigate a new member of the Emperor’s Court. But when Sorcha is abducted by men seeking Raed Rossin, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, Merrick must choose where his loyalties lie. What I’m talking about:      Welcome back to Ms. Ballantine’s amazing world of Arykham. It’s been two months since the explosive ending to Spectyr, the second Book of the Order. We discover that our heroine Sorcha has been in a catatonic state since those events, only able to move her eyes and push emotions through the bond with her Sensitive partner, Merrick. Her not-quite ex-partner and ex-husband, Koyla is hanging on to their weak bond, attempting to usurp her bond with Merrick. Raed Rossin, Sorcha’s lover and rightful heir to the throne, is off searching for his treacherous sister, possibly never to return. And Merrick, who is still recovering from losing his first love, has been spending a lot of time with the Emperor’s sister, the Grand Duchess Zofiya. All of this frustrates Sorcha beyond capacity because she cannot take charge of herself, let alone help those she loves. But wait… there’s more! Sorcha’s first partner, Garil, and Raed’s first mate, Aachon, kidnap Sorcha so that she can lead them to Raed. If you are confused… keep reading!      The opening of the story is full of immediate and intense action. There is no learning curve in Wrayth, and because of this, I highly recommend reading the first two books before jumping into this one. (Also, this series is one of the best out there and you would be remiss if you didn’t read it from the start.) The...
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Aug
14

Review: Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

Review: Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy Enchanting the Lady Author: Kathryne Kennedy   Re-release Date: Aug. 1, 2012 (reissue) Publisher: Sourcebooks Relics of Merlin #1 ISBN: #978-1402269820 Genre: Historical Romance/Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (292 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Their magic lives within each one of them… In a Victorian England with a rigid hierarchy of magic, lion shape-shifter Sir Terence Blackwell is at the bottom rung of society. Only Lady Felicity Seymour, who has no magic, no inheritance, and no prospects, may be willing to judge the man strictly on his own merits… However deeply it may be hidden… When family pressures push Lady Felicity into a terrible fate, she has only Sir Terence to turn to. As the two outcasts are propelled by circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to explore the unseen depths beneath society’s facade. And what they discover about each other is more real and more beautiful than they ever could have imagined… What G & U are talking about: Enchanting the Lady is the first book in the Relics of Merlin series.  Although an interesting world and premise, the story fell a little flat for Gikany and Una.  Based on the book description above, we just expected either something a little more or maybe something a little different. A very good description would be this is fluffy romance mixed with loose magic.  There are some very interesting elements; the hierarchy of the aristocracy based on their ability and depth of magic is one of them.  Your level in society is more than just your bloodlines, but the quality that is produced – magically speaking.  Felicity loses her birthright because she fails to perform the magical tasks that a lady of her caliber (and inheritance) should be able to perform.  It is for this reason that she has no prospects combined with no dowry; her chance for marriage also seems bleak.   However, an interesting caveat to this hierarchy is the status of shapeshifters.  They are immune to magic, and are able to shift into a singular animal.  Our hero of Enchanting the Lady, Terrence, is a lion shifter.  Since he is not only a shifter but also a successful spy for the Crown Prince, he is granted the position of Baronet.  This entitles him to a high place in society, even though most of society shuns shifters.  Gikany and Una found this juxtaposition very intriguing, although a tad bit black or white. The story progresses quickly, albeit...
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Jul
16

Review & Giveaway: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Review & Giveaway: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness Shadow of Night Author: Deborah Harkness   Release Date: July 10, 2012 Publisher: Viking All Souls Trilogy #2 ISBN: 978-0670023486 Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Format(s): Hardcover (592 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Shadow of Night picks up right where A Discovery of Witches left off.  Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont, a witch historian and vampire geneticist respectively, have timewalked to Elizabethan England on their hunt for a magical alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782—its sudden appearance and sudden disappearance have upended the delicately ordered world of magical creatures (witches, vampires, and daemons), threatening to unleash unprecedented metaphysical chaos.       Though Diana and Matthew have escaped the threats of the present, they soon find the past holds its own challenges—Diana must find a witch to continue her magical education, a task made difficult by a rash of witch hunts across the British Isles.  And Matthew finds himself back in a life he thought he left behind, reuniting with friends and family that had long been reduced to memory, opening wounds he thought had healed.  Some of those friends comprise the infamous School of Night, a coterie of visionaries that includes Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh.  Together, Matthew and Diana must navigate the new dangers of an old century—bringing them closer and closer to solving the mystery of Ashmole 782. What VampBard’s talking about:      NOTE: Shadow of Night picks up immediately after the first title, A Discovery of Witches, ends (seriously, it was a cliffhanger, and I was ecstatic that I had the second title at the ready).  So, yes.  Read the first book of the trilogy.  Have the second on stand-by so you can immediately pick it up and begin reading where the first book leaves off!  Consider yourself warned!      As A Discovery of Witches draws to a close, our hero, Matthew, and heroine, Diana, are preparing for a journey.  Shadow of Night begins upon arrival at their destination (See?  I’m even keeping the review spoiler-free for the first book!).  This is where I started to  **squee** like a fan-girl.  Excellent depictions of some major authors of the time as well as mathematicians and scientists.  Can I simply state that the first 20ish percent of this book had me riveted!  The interactions with Matthew and Diana and the School of Night members were fascinating for me! “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” described this group perfectly.  We hadn’t joined a cozy reunion of...
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Jul
13

Review: My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan

Review: My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan My Lady Mage Author: Alexis Morgan  Release Date: July 3, 2012 Publisher: Signet Eclipse Warriors of the Mist #1 ISBN: #978-0451237446 Genre: Fantasy, Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley About the book: A cursed destiny. A band of warriors. And one troubled kingdom.      It is whispered in Agathia that the legendary warriors of the mist-cursed by the gods-can be summoned only when a champion is needed and the cause is just. Gideon, their captain, knows this to be the one path that will lead his men to redemption-lest they face an eternity of damnation.      Years have passed since anyone has journeyed to the river’s edge, but times are desperate. Oppressed by a cruel guardian whose dark magic threatens to destroy her people, the beautiful and courageous Merewen calls upon the bespelled warriors. In Gideon she finds more than a champion, and in his arms, more than protection. However, their enemies are fighting with a power darker than anything than they imagined, and should Gideon fail, she will lose everything she holds dear-including her heart. What I’m talking about:      Lady Merewen’s family possesses a good magic that allows them to “communicate” with and care for the horses of the land. This gift provides the family and keep with a secure financial status. Their talent is passed to one member of each generation, and that family member is head of the household. However, when Merewen’s father passed away, her evil Uncle Fagan stepped in and was awarded custody over the keep. His greed and desire for power has corrupted many men in the keep, and Fagan’s neglect as all but broken the manor. After finding an ancient text that promises the help of the Warriors of the Mist, Merewen dares a trip to the River of the Damned to call upon the gods. And the gods answer her call by sending the fabled warriors to aid her.      The mythology of My Lady Mage isn’t one hundred percent original, however it’s different enough to make the story interesting. The world-building is subtle yet complete, drawing me in over the course of the book. The setting is similar to the historical lands of England, with god-sent immortal warriors in a river instead of a Lady in the Lake and King Arthur. Each of the five warriors have secrets and stories to share that will be divulged as the series progresses.    ...
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Jun
29

Review: Hunter and Fox by Philippa Ballantine

Review: Hunter and Fox by Philippa Ballantine Hunter and Fox Author: Philippa Ballantine  Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: Pyr Shifted World #1 ISBN: #978-1616146238 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (340 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      In a world that is in constant shifting, where mountains can change to plains, and then to lakes, Talyn is the Hunter for the Caisah, and a wreck of a once-proud person. She has lost her people, the Vaerli, and her soul working for the man who destroyed her people. All unknowing, she carries within her a Kindred, a chaos creature from the center of the earth that wants to help bring the Vaerli back to power. However, she has lost the ability to communicate with it.      Little does the Hunter know that salvation is looking for her, and it wears the face of gentleness and strength. Finn is a teller of tales who carries his own dreadful secret. He sets out to find answers to his path but ends up in the city of Perilous and Fair where he meets Talyn. He knows the danger and is yet drawn to her. Their fates will be bound together.      Meanwhile, the Hunter’s lost brother Byre is searching for his own solution to the terrible curse placed on the Vaerli. He sets forth on a treacherous journey of his own, which will intersect in the most unlikely place with that of Talyn and Finn. The ramifications of this encounter will be felt by all the people in Conhaero, from the lost Vaerli to the Caisah on his throne. What I’m talking about:      Hunter and Fox is a true fantasy and with that comes a complex new world full of magic and inhabited by beings with an array of abilities. Key to the story are are: 1) the primary heroine, Talyn the Dark (think Xena).  She is Caisah’s bounty hunter. She is Vaerli, a once powerful race with seven magical gifts, to include the ability to “move and see” through time.  2) The bad guy, Caisah, ruler of Conhaero. His power is supreme and his sanity borders on madness. He has broken the once powerful Vaerli, stealing their powers and making Talyn his killer.  3) The understated hero, Finbarr (Finn) the Fox. He is a talespinner with a gift for storytelling. He follows Talyn with love in his heart, telling others the stories of the Vaerli, hoping to make a difference. 4) The...
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Jun
21

Review: Hunting Kat by PJ Schnyder

Review: Hunting Kat by PJ Schnyder Hunting Kat Author: PJ Schnyder  Release Date: July 4, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press The Triton Experiment #1 Genre: Sci-fi Romance, novella Format(s): E-book, Audible Audio Book Source: Author About the book:      As a mercenary, Kat Darah doesn’t have to pass for a normal human. On the edge of the solar system, she’s just another biped. Most of the time.      Nearing the end of his military tour, Lt. Christopher Rygard debates the idea of hanging up his uniform for good. Looking for answers at the bottom of a glass of scotch, he meets Kat. One shared night of mutual desire seems harmless. But when their tryst is interrupted by attackers hunting Rygard, Kat must reveal her other form, the predator beneath the human façade.       Together they embark on a dangerous mission—a race against time to meet the enemy’s demands, while trying to deny the passion between them. Rygard is faced with a terrible choice in the face of duty: Report the existence of a human turned shape-shifter. Or forget he ever met her.  What G & U are talking about:      Hunting Kat is a well written and exciting new world wrapped up in a novella.  Thankfully, there will be a book two, however, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.      Ms. Schnyder was gracious enough to offer this ebook for us to review.  We had read the premise and thought it sounded right up our alley.  Una did not realize it was a novella and you can image her shock when she reached the end.  While researching for this review, we discovered (well, Ms. Schnyder mentioned on Twitter) that there will be a second book.  Hunting Kat is an excellent introduction to this science-fiction world.  In this world, not all Shapeshifters are paranormal creatures; some are the result of a DNA virus from another alien species.      The pace of Hunting Kat is simple and exciting.  We felt it flowed nicely, and because of its fluidity, it was incredibly difficult to put down.  The passion and connection between Kat and Rygard is sizzling.  Even though there are several minor characters we were introduced to, it was easy to fall into the camaraderie they have.  It felt as if we were reuniting with old friends.      Gikany and Una look forward to the next book in this Triton Experiment series.  We encourage you to pick up Hunting Kat and enjoy...
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Jun
20

Review: Hunting the Shadows by Alexia Reed

Review: Hunting the Shadows by Alexia Reed Hunting the Shadows Author: Alexia Reed    Release Date: May 7, 2012 Publisher: Carina Press Shadow Ops #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi Format(s): E-book, Audible Audio Book Source: Author About the book: Amy has spent her entire life in isolation. Locked away in the Centre, a secret government facility where children with extraordinary abilities are raised as highly skilled fighters, she longs for a normal life. A life where being around people doesn’t overload her sensitive telepathic mind. A life where she can’t see through the eyes of a murderer as he hunts his next victim… J.C. Nikolaiev was a top researcher, but when his conscience got the better of him, he tried to destroy his work and free his subjects–and was imprisoned as a traitor. To save himself and prevent more people from dying, J.C. must catch the serial killer stalking the halls of the facility. But his only leads come from a woman whose thoughts have invaded his mind… Finally out of the psych ward, Amy joins forces with J.C. to find the killer before he closes in on them. Can their growing attraction withstand the truths they uncover? What G & U are talking about: Hunting the Shadows is the exciting debut novel in the Shadow Ops series.  Ms. Reed delivers a nail biting, rich and adventurous new world.  Gikany and Una cannot wait until the next novel in this series comes out. If you have ever liked or followed X-Men or other superhero type novels, this may be the series for you.  The world building is seamlessly woven into a whodunit plot.  A covert government agency has developed physically advanced assassins and uses them until they are no longer useful.  They develop these assassins by culling children and altering their DNA.  Then they put them through tests and trials to hone them into powerful weapons.  However, if they fail, well, let’s just say they do not get to return home or get a desk job.   JC is one of these assassins, raised to be a powerful weapon as well as a scientist who works to train more.  However, his conscience can no longer take the stress of the fate of those students who fail.  He tries to make a dramatic statement and free the children under him – and fails.  “Reprogrammed,” he is returned to duty to finish finding a killer that is a traitor to the ops.  It seems one of their own...
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May
31

Review: Never Gonna Let You Go by Jessica Subject

Review: Never Gonna Let You Go by Jessica Subject Never Gonna Let You Go Author: Jessica Subject  Release Date: Jan 28, 2012 Publisher: Decadent The Underground #1 Genre: Sci-fi Romance, m/f & f/f, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Caught in a tangle of lies, Calla Jacobs must sort through the truth to discover where she truly belongs. A biologist for Planet Core, she finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit. Sent to Airondelle, she must work with a team to prepare the newly discovered planet for colonists from Earth. But the mission does not go as she expected. Her former lover, Erik Edwards, shuns her, sending Calla into the arms of Melina Holloway, their commander, for the attention she craves and more. A confrontation among the trio leaves her with a broken heart, and fleeing from the two people she trusted most.       Attempting to break free from the lies that bind her, she discovers Planet Core has deceived everyone. And when she returns to Earth, Calla learns just how far Planet Core’s control reaches. What I’m talking about:       Calla, Eric and Melina all work for Planet Core, a powerful firm that is investigating another planet as a possible place for human habitation. On this remote planet, sex is strictly forbidden between co-workers with the exception of married partners, but that doesn’t stop our trio! Calla is miserable because she is still in love with team member Erik, the man who left her to suddenly and very briefly marry their supervisor, Melina.       Okay, I have to put this out there… I felt like this story opened like a soft porn flick. Girl lusts after ex. Ex is an ass. Girl’s female supervisor (and also ex of same guy) pulls her aside. Girl thinks she is in trouble, but instead of punishment supervisor shows a soft side and desires flare. I wanted to cue the “bow-chicka-wa-wa” music. However, the story moves past the “porn” stage pretty quickly.       When Melina shows compassion and interest in Calla, Calla becomes confused for she’d never been attracted to a female before. Calla carries this confusion with her as she heads to the field to study native animal life. While Calla’s confusion over her attraction is understandable, as is her need to analyze the situation, the constant inner monologue over these matters while she is working paints Calla in an immature light. She’s a respected scientist...
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