Monthly Archives: September 2017

New Release Bulletin – Almost Invincible by Kristen Brand

Hot Off The Press! New Release!

Superpowers? Check!

Supervillains? Check!

Spandex? Of course!

Today marks the fresh release of Kristen Brand’s next installment of her White Knight and Black Valentine chronicles. This superhero series is full of badassery, romance, and epic fights between incredibly gifted heroes and classic villains.

Introducing Almost Invincible!

Title: Almost Invincible
Author: Kristen Brand
Series: White Knight and Black Valentine, Book 03
Genre: Superhero fantasy
Publication Date: September 30, 2017

Publisher’s Description: A theme park turns into a death-trap of sadistic supervillains… 

White Knight is the most popular superhero in the country—which is bad news for David Del Toro, formerly White Knight, who retired from heroics years ago and just wants some peace and quiet. When the White Knight ride at a superhero-inspired theme park has a grand reopening, Dave is more than happy to give his complimentary tickets to his daughter and her friends and spend the day at home. But then the park gets taken hostage by supervillains. 

The man known as Bloodbath spent the last decade in a maximum-security prison and blames White Knight for putting him there. He’s given an ultimatum: the hero comes to face him, or he’ll kill every tourist in the park. Dave barely managed to beat Bloodbath while in his prime and doesn’t like his chances now that he’s old and busted. But unless he does something, every innocent person in the park is going to die…including his daughter. 

Almost Invincible is the third book of The White Knight & Black Valentine Series but can be read as a standalone. If you like tense thrillers with big, superpowered action, don’t wait—download Almost Invincible now!


I’m so excited!!!!

Personally, I’ve enjoyed this series greatly. You can find my reviews of the first two books—Hero Status and Villainous—already on this site. Plus, I’ve got plans to read both The Best Man and Almost Invincible, not to mention review them so you can check out just how awesome these books are.

It’s out today, so take a look, and support this fabulous author! If you love superheroes on top of notoriously evil plots, great writing, and super awesome characters.

Amazon Links…

About The Author…

If Kristen Brand could have any superpower, she’d want telekinesis so she wouldn’t have to move from her computer to pour a new cup of tea. She spends far too much time on the internet, and when she’s not writing, she’s usually reading novels or comic books. Hero Status is her first novel.

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T*Witches: Kindred Spirits by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

In Kindred Spirits, Alex and Cam are off to Coventry Island—the small island where they were born and where witches and warlocks are free to use their magic. But it’s not all fun. The twins are there for a funeral—but may soon be attending their own.

Title: Kindred Spirits
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 07
Publish Date: February 1, 2003, Scholastic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionIn the seventh installment of this mega-popular series, teen witches Cam and Alex return to their birthplace and discover a few shocking secrets about their mysterious past!

Welcome to Coventry Island, a lush, mystical land that is home to a powerful community of witches and warlocks. It is here that teen witches Cam and Alex were born. And now, the twins have returned to Coventry to say a final farewell to their beloved guardian Karsh. But when the girls visit their ancestral home on the island, they discover there are many truths to be revealed about their past. Their mother, Miranda, has secrets to share. And then there’s the group of teen witches and warlocks who Cam and Alex meet. Will these teens help the twins…or are they up to something more sinister?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

The Twitches are back in the seventh installment of this fun, magical series. Alex, excited to be finally around people and magic she understands, feels at home on Coventry Island. Not so much for Cam, who feels like the only home that is truly hers is the one she left behind. Either way, both girls get to see their family estate their own is the ruined house where they were born. They get to meet up with Miranda, their mother, plus Ileana and Thantos, who each have agendas and drama of their own.

The plot focuses on them “coming out” into the witch land and accepting their heritage, dealing with the loss of their beloved mentor Karsh, and facing off against a new enemy they weren’t expecting.

Sersee is an interesting villain, though she doesn’t come off as truly evil—more something to be feared, but also pitied. She’s got a history and a bad one at that. Plus she’s determined to prove herself to Thantos, so she’ll do anything to please him, even if it means handing over the twins to him.

But in the end, the sisters kick butt and use their powers of good to help win the fight. It’s cheesy and sometimes overdramatic, but still a fun read for kids and adults going through their old books. *wink wink*

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

Hinder: A Bender’s Novel by Kristin Ping

What would you do if the one you were meant to be with was also the one who would destroy you in the end? In a world where magic is real, two teens are about to face the test of their lives.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

HinderTitle: Hinder: A Bender’s Novel
Author: Kristin Ping
Series: Guardian of the Monsters 
Projected Publish Date: May 15, 2018, Fire Quill Publishing
Genre: YA/New Adult Fantasy
Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Publisher’s DescriptionEthan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

I really wanted to love this book. The synopsis was right up my alley.  According to the author, Hinder is part of an overarching series. This book mostly focuses on witches, the Wielders and Benders of natural elements. Alex is a rare Earth Wielder, and evil powers-that-be want her magic. Ethan is her guardian and Bender, able to move Alex’s magic away from harming humans. 

Sounds cool and full of potential, right?

I hate to say it, but it fell a little flat for me. One of the major issues I had with this novel was the Wielder/Bender relationship. Being romantically involved is forbidden. All throughout the novel, we hear this but never really find out why. Even more specifically, why only pairs that are in love? There is a hint that it is a curse, but this felt like an easy out to me. One major question never even gets answered. Why have Benders at all? Wielders seem to be able to handle their element on their own. There is mention of Benders being able to bring their Wielders back from the dark, but I feel like this is unnecessary. The whole concept just didn’t seem fully thought out. 

Nothing I could find on the novel said that it was YA. But it reads very much like a YA novel (which is probably why many users on Goodreads tagged it as such). There is so much teen angst! I feel that the sex scenes and expletives were thrown in for the sake of being there and aren’t necessarily needed. There were also a few minor grammatical errors such as wrong word usage and tense confusion that will hopefully be fixed in the final edition.

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All that being said, I did enjoy the idea of the story and thought that the characters had potential. It was both funny and sad and even had a few eye-rolling moments.  I just hope that the major issues are fixed for future readers for the final publication. I give it 3 leaves.

Other recommendations…

Try these other great fantasy reads: The Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer, The Elemental Assassin Series by Jennifer Estep, Air Awakens series by Elise Kova

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

American Gods 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman

I’m going to make a confession: I’ve never read a Neil Gaiman book before now. I’ve purchased several of his books with the intent to read them, and I’ve seen several movies based on his work, including his Dr. Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife”, which I absolutely adore.

I was super excited when Starz announced it would be reimagining American Gods as a series. I’ve watched it, and it’s fantastic. So when season 1 ended, leaving viewers halfway through the story, I decided I needed to read the book. I’m not patient enough to wait a year to hear what happens to the characters!

Title: American Gods 10th Anniversary Edition
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publish Date: June 21, 2011, HarperAudio
Genre: Urban fantasy
Narrator: Full-cast production
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

When I went looking for the audio of American Gods, I discovered there is not only a 10th Anniversary edition (print and audio), but the audio is done by a full cast. It’s not a dramatic production; there aren’t sound effects or background scores. It’s still unabridged, though I suspect some dialog tags may have been removed for the reading. But each character has a different voice, brought to life by several fantastic voice actors. I would swear some of the voices were done by the TV series actors, but that doesn’t appear to be the case (cast list).

Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle in American Gods (2017)

Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle in American Gods (2017)

The full cast audio recording is wonderful! Multiple voices really enhance the listening experience. Gaiman himself voices not only an introduction and conclusion, telling the listener about the experiences that went into the writing and how the tenth-anniversary edition came about, but he also narrates the Coming to America segments of the book—historical vignettes describing how many of the old gods traveled to the new world. Gaiman has a great voice for the narration.

Since I had watched the show before reading the book, I was looking for the similarities and differences between the two, as well as more depth and explanation than a series can typically go into. There is certainly more depth—a lot more. I’d love to hear a world religion or theology class discuss this book. There are also differences between the two mediums, but they all seem to fit into the same universe, and I enjoyed them all.

American Gods seems to be a good urban fantasy if you want to approach it casually, and a very interesting look at people and religion if you want to dig into the imagery and metaphor. It’s certainly worth more than one read, as there is so much to the book that I’m sure I didn’t absorb it all. I will say that if you are not at all familiar with the myths of a few world religions, you’ll want to have the internet nearby to Google some of the references.

Other recommendations…

David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens (2018)

David Tennant and Michael Sheen in Good Omens (2018)

It is very easy to see the influence American Gods has in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, so it’s likely if you enjoy one, you will enjoy the other. Gaiman has also breathed new life into the myths of one of the world religions in American Gods in his book Norse Mythology. I’m super excited about the upcoming release of the TV version of Good Omens by Amazon/BBC in 2018. I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to read the book first or not. Sometimes I find it makes for a better experience to read the book after, so that I’m adding richness to the show instead of taking it away from the book. 😉

T*Witches: Double Jeopardy by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

In Double Jeopardy, Alex and Cam are finally meeting their biological mother, Miranda. Ileana is dealing with the discovery that the supposed-evil-guy she’s hated all her life is her father. And Karsh is preparing for something that will change the lives of his charges forever.

Title: Double Jeopardy
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 06
Publish Date: October 1, 2002, Scholastic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionMiranda. The mother Cam and Alex never knew they had. A magnificent witch from the most powerful family on Coventry Island.

REWIND.

Locked away in a sanitarium the twins’ whole lives, Miranda is broken. Physically and spiritually. And her freedom comes with a price. Cam and Alex will have to part with something that means more to them than they ever imagined.

And for once, their guardians can’t help them.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

This is another short installment to the series that mostly deals with family. On the Barnes side, Dylan is skipping school and getting into trouble he usually doesn’t get into. Trying to help someone in deep danger may lead him spiraling into a trap the twins have to get him out of. His parents are upset, naturally, and trying to figure out what’s gotten into him.

However, the main story arc focuses on Miranda, Thantos, Ileana, and Karsh. And of course, the twins, who are finally meeting their real mom face to face and dealing with their thoughts on where she’s going to fit into their lives. Ileana is facing the stone-cold truth that her dad is actually Thantos, a guy who she still believes has a lot to do with Aron’s murder. Readers are led to believe two different stories on it: Ileana, who thinks Thantos manipulated and lied to Miranda when he told them the twins were gone, and Miranda, who still believes in the best of what Thantos has to offer. Even Karsh mentions that the story is more complicated than it seems because there’s some sort of curse involved.

Anyway, the one thing that bugs me about this in the series is that in this particular book, it mentions that the girls don’t want to get Dave involved because he would be in danger. But at the same time, isn’t he technically their guardian? Slightly magical or what not, or enough to make Karsh think he was responsible enough to protect one twin? So I’m really confused at why suddenly they don’t think he can help them. Or you know, trust him enough to tell him WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIS SON.

Regardless, there’s a lot of family drama in this one. And now Karsh is gone, leaving all his charges to deal with their grief on their own. They’ve got a nice little soap opera happening right now. It’s pretty messed up.

Anyway, I’m off to the next book.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.