Tag Archive | "magic"

alanajoli

Heroes Adrift Fiction Review

Posted on July 15, 2008 by

Normally I don’t like to read books in a series out of order–the exception being when I’m reviewing them. I’ve got a couple of second novels that I picked up still lingering on my bookshelves, waiting for me to pick up book one. So it always impresses me when a second or third entry in a series can pick up the story without making you feel like you’re adrift (if you’ll excuse the pun). Heroes Adrift does it incredibly successfully, and though our heroes spend the whole book out of their element, the reader catches up to the action in the first few pages.

Review by Alana Abbott

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Flames

Cursed Empire RPG Review

Posted on July 11, 2008 by

This is a review of the second edition of the game with the name altered from Crimson Empire, which the earlier edition was titled, due to a dispute with Lucasarts. Cursed Empire is a small, independent press game written by Chris Loizou and presented enthusiastically and comprehensively at many UK conventions. This is a weighty book and obviously a labour of love for the creator whose enthusiasm for the game is obvious and infectious. This makes me feel bad about criticizing the game given that it’s such an obvious and singular labour of love, but there are significant problems with it.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Matt-M-McElroy

Preview of Silver Ladder for Mage

Posted on July 8, 2008 by

Earlier we brought you previews of White Wolf‘s upcoming Hunter: the Vigil RPG. Take a look at Professions, Endowments and exclusive quotes From the Authors.

Today we’re switching over to a new book for Mage: the Awakening. The Silver Ladder is a sourcebook that features the history, methodology and ultimate goals of the Silver Ladder as well as new spells, Artifacts, imbued items, Legacies and more.

Today’s preview offers up a sneak peek at this new book:

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TezMillerOz

Ill Wind Review

Posted on June 5, 2008 by


Although first published in 2003, Rachel Caine’s Ill Wind has stood the test of time: with fresh ideas no one else seems to be writing about even five years later. With an easy voice, wild weather and classic cars, Joanne Baldwin features in one hell of a road trip novel. There are three types of Wardens who control/tame fire, earth, and wind and water. Jo falls into the last category, melding physics with metaphysics to create the ultimate urban fantasy read.

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Witch Blood (Elemental Witches, Book 2) Review

Posted on May 15, 2008 by

The second installment of the Elemental Witches perhaps unintentionally brings up the question of who’s more evil: demons, or the warlocks who summon them. Or, if you prefer: guns, or the people who use them. The answer in this novel seems to be demons (guns), which is good news for me, who had a thing for hot French warlock Stefan Faucheux in a previous installment.

Another perhaps unintentional issue is what’s more important: being protected, or being independent?

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Witch Fire (Elemental Witches, Book 1) Review

Posted on May 7, 2008 by


The line between good and evil is clearly drawn in the first Elemental Witches novel. Coven = good. Duskoff Cabal = evil. Mira Hoskins doesn’t know she’s an air witch until there’s a home invasion, where she’s rescued/kidnapped by fire witch Jack McAllister who claims he’s hiding her away for her own good. Jack trains Mira to use her magick until the time comes to move to the Coven in Chicago.

Review by Tez Miller

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Flames

Magic Burns Fiction Review

Posted on April 19, 2008 by

I love the world-building. Atlanta has two stages in time – tech (when life is as we know it) and magic. But the transitions between the two are getting faster, and Celtic mythology comes to life. (That sounds vague, I know, but I didn’t really understand it.)

Kate Daniels (whose father is supposedly Russian, but you wouldn’t know it from her surname) still has her almighty saber Slayer, but also has a new companion: teenager Julie, whose wannabe witch mother is missing.

Review by Tez Miller

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Matt-M-McElroy

Claimed by Shadow Fiction Review

Posted on April 18, 2008 by

This is book two of series, and admittedly I had not read Touch the Dark. I was hoping that there would be enough context to bring me into the story and setting without feeling lost. Although Ms. Chance does offer a few lines here and there of Cassie talking about past events, I still felt a little lost. Not huge deal though because the book starts off with plenty of action. Even with me not knowing exactly who some of the characters are…things were certainly interesting. Cassie is looking for a little help in her ongoing feud with some of the vampires. She is hanging out at a supernatural brothel and causing a little bit of trouble along the way.

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Flames

Dead to Me Fiction Review

Posted on April 7, 2008 by

In Dead to Me, reformed petty-crime naughty boy and psychometrist Simon Canderous (whose surname probably means something, but I haven’t checked the dictionary yet) works for New York’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs. Psychometry made me think of Kim Wilkins’s Gina Champion series, and the government made me think of Shane Maloney’s Murray Whelan series. But Anton Strout’s Simon Canderous is neither a teenage girl nor a political adviser (and not Australian, for that matter).

Review by Tez Miller

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Monica Valentinelli

Interview with author Yasmine Galenorn

Posted on March 31, 2008 by

USA Today bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley (Witchling, Changeling, Darkling, etc.). In the past, she wrote the paranormal Chintz ‘n China Mystery Series, the Bath & Beauty Mystery Series (the latter written as India Ink) and eight nonfiction metaphysical books. With Darkling, she hit the extended NYT bestseller’s list.

Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 28 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Bellevue WA with her husband Samwise and their four cats.

In this interview, we sit down with Yasmine to talk about her success on bestseller list, how her nonfiction work has influenced her writing, and her involvement with an online auction, created by writer Brenda Novak, to raise funds to find a cure for diabetes.

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alanajoli

Magic Bites Fiction Review

Posted on March 29, 2008 by

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck merc who has enough trouble paying the bills that the last thing she needs is taking on a charity case. But when her guardian, a member of a magical group of public defenders known as the Order, is murdered, she’s determined to see the last of her family given justice. In order to do so, she has to play nice with the Order, which she left years ago due to her problems accepting authority. When it turns out that both the People–necromancers who use vampires as spies and assassins when it’s good for business–and the shape-changing members of the Pack may be involved, things quickly move from complicated to delicate. And delicate isn’t a word that anyone would associate with Kate Daniels.

Review by Alana Abbott

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Flames

Axiom-Man: Of Magic and Men Review

Posted on March 25, 2008 by

Axiom-Man is a superhero whose true identity is a bumbling social introvert named Gabriel Garrison. Gabriel works in an office and he’s madly in love with Valerie Vaughn, the gorgeous coworker who predictably won’t give him the time of day. Axiom-Man’s conduit to the rest of the world, especially its seedy underbelly, is Sgt. Jack Gunn, an old school lawman with whom he shares a love-hate-love relationship of mutual necessity. If you’re keeping track, that’s one Superman, a Clark Kent, Lois Lane with a twist of Vicky Vale, and a generous helping of Commissioner Gordon. These clichés don’t exactly stop this story dead, but they certainly don’t make for the most compelling read either.

Review by Jason Thorson

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Flames

Lives of Necromancers

Posted on March 16, 2008 by

Bards and Sages releases Lives of Necromancers. In 1834, William Godwin published Lives of Necromancers, an overview of legendary and historic figures associated with the occult. Godwin’s work was more than a who’s who of known magicians and sorcerers, however, but also a critical examination of what he called the “credulity of the human mind.” […]

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alanajoli

Magic Lost, Trouble Found Fiction Review

Posted on March 9, 2008 by

A sorceress with attitude manages to get her hands on a powerful artifact, which suddenly makes her the most popular (read: most hunted) girl in town. It sound like a great set up, right? That’s how Raine Benares begins her adventures in Magic Lost, Trouble Found, narrating the entire adventure with wry commentary and snarky remarks. For fans of contemporary fantasy, the narration style is a familiar one. Throw it into a high fantasy setting where the narrator is an elven seeker–a sorceress who finds things–and it makes for an odd combination.

Review by Alana Abbott

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Matt-M-McElroy

Flash Fire Mini-Reviews (Books of Magic)

Posted on February 29, 2008 by

The Flash Fire Mini-Reviews are back with a mix of fiction, games and comics this week. Mages, Wizards, Witches and other spell-slinging heroes, villains and monsters make appearances in this collection of reviews.

We’re looking at a variety of magical styles, ranging from the dark and evil to the divinely inspired. I’m not talking about spellbooks here, but magic wielding characters or plots about magic in the world around them. We’ve got Harry Dresden, Willow and Redcloak alongside some Live-Action Mage and the Unwanted.

Anyway, let’s get on with those mini-reviews…

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Matt-M-McElroy

Magic: the Motion Picture?

Posted on February 22, 2008 by

One of my sources at Wizards of the Coast tells me that there is going to be a Magic: the Gathering movie. This is part of the press release from Hasbro: Hasbro Inc. (HAS) and Universal Pictures formed a six-year strategic partnership to produce at least four motion pictures based on brands such as Monopoly, […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures Review

Posted on February 16, 2008 by

Great for writers and game designers, I’ve never come across a more thorough and massive work detailing creatures so rare you may not recognize them. There are two, other books in the series entitled, The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells and The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft. If either of those two books are as down-to-earth and fact-filled as this one, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy either one to add substance to my fantasy stories.

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Monica Valentinelli

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Review

Posted on February 6, 2008 by

As the last of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the finishing touch to a series full of magic, mystery and friendship. Having read all of the books, I’m sure that fans of the series have either already picked up this book or will shortly. Still, there are interesting things to point out here that have left many readers feeling a little bit unsatisfied with the events that have happened here.

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Flames

Small Favor (Dresden Files) Review

Posted on February 4, 2008 by

Sometimes, as an author, you might have it in your head that you’re going to write a very long story. Instead of writing an “epic novel” in one book, you break it up into smaller pieces so that when the end is in sight, the pieces fall together neatly like a stack of dominoes. Small Favor was, to me, one of the dominoes of the over-arching plot. While it tied up a lot of previous plots, it also opened the door to a host of questions for Thomas, Murphy, Michael and, of course, Dresden.

Review by Monica Valentinelli

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Monica Valentinelli

The Fountain DVD Review

Posted on January 31, 2008 by

I didn’t really know what to expect when I picked up The Fountain; I had read some other reviews of it before I went out and got it and was intrigued by Darren Aronosfky’s writing and film style. Going into it, I had thought it was a film about the fountain of youth, about a couple who were possessed with finding the mythic “fountain” to restore and heal Izzy (played by Rachel Weisz) from her terminal illness.

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