Saturday, August 29, 2009
by James Patterson
Release Date: September 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Maximum Ride and her Flock aren’t completely human. That is, they’re a bunch of surprisingly successful genetic experiments. Part-avian, Part-human, one feature they all share in common is there wings. Apart from flying, each of them has a special ability, such as Angel’s telepathic powers. One of the main differences The Final Warning (Book 4) and Max (Book 5) have with the first three books is that Max and the Flock have gone public; they’re not running around trying to escape from various villains in secret. With connections to a new organization aimed at environmental protection. This time, the Flock is called in to investigate baffling incidences of masses of fish dying and ships being destroyed. They struggle through army protocol, random attacks by their newest mechanical enemies the M-Geeks, and strange encounters with the new super-villain, Mr. Chu, to try to figure out what is causing these new ecological problems.
Although James Patterson’s writing style is as fresh and inventive as ever, the plot line has really suffered some damage. After the first three books, I have to admit that I was surprised that there were going to be more. The fourth book (The Final Warning) just wasn’t on par with the first three and a left many loose ends. Max is quite a bit better, but just as the reader is starting to enjoy Max’s antics again, they come face to face with random plot devices that just don’t fit in. The plot leaves quite a lot to be desired. The ending also seems like a tad bit cheesy of a cliff hanger designed to stretch out the series. I’m making it sound worse than it is, but my point is just that Max might not be what most people expect after reading the first three books (The Angel Experiment, Schools Out—Forever, and Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports).
The strongest point of Max is James Patterson’s ability to write exactly as a spunky teenage girl should sound. Max is an incredible character who’s quips and snappy wit makes her a vibrant person. The rest of the Flock’s hilarious mannerisms and quirks brighten up the story and while Max might not be an extremely exceptional story, it’s still an enjoyable read.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Pub. Date: October 5, 2009
"She is the last of her kind...
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.
Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next."
This is the prequel to Graceling, which was fantastic! I definitely can't wait to read Kristin Cashore's new novel! This novel also has an amazing cover, don't you think?
What are you waiting for this Wednesday?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
by P.J. Hoover
Release Date: October 21, 2008
Publisher: Blooming Tree Press
“Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each others minds and use their telekinesis to play tricks. In fact, they are getting set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin s mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he’s looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter hidden in his hallway. And the summer only gets stranger.
At school, Benjamin discovers that he isn’t really human but something called a telegen. It turns out that the powers he always thought made him special only make him normal. But then the mysterious Emerald Tablet chooses him as its champion, and all chances of a uneventful (well, as uneventful as summer school on a hidden, submerged continent can be) disappears.” (blurb from The Emerald Tablet)
The Emerald Tablet is targeted towards a younger audience, ages 10 and up, and the writing style has been adjusted accordingly. Lemuria, the author’s secret continent, is introduced with many unusual features such as teleporters and magical maps. It is a creative backdrop for the story, along with the altered and hidden places on Earth. The fantastical theme is continued in the storyline. Benjamin, the main character, must find three “keys” to essentially save the world and humanity from enslavement. The author leads us through a wild romp with unpredictable twists and turns. There are quite a few red herrings, and at the end, there are some simply unbelievable turns of events. They seem to pop up literally out of nowhere, but they don’t ruin the story. A playful tale, I’d recommend The Emerald Tablet to younger readers searching for an enjoyable fantasy yarn.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pub. Date: October 13, 2009
"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life."
Does this book sound amazing?? And what a great cover! I can't wait for this to hit bookstores!
What are you looking forward to reading?
Monday, August 10, 2009
by Shannon Greenland
Release Date: July 31, 2008
“GiGi is back again and on a brand new mission in the fourth book in this original series!
Lovable GiGi is pairing up with expert linguist Darren, aka Parrot, on a mission to South America. When a centuries-old vase is found in a cave full of hieroglyphics, it is discovered that this vase was important to at least fifteen different North American and South American Indian tribes. And now all fifteen nations want it back. They are meeting in Rutina, South America, to "decide" who gets the vase. Enter the Specialists, and Parrot who will go as the official translator. And when no one can decode the ancient cave writings, not even the elders of each nation, GiGi comes to the rescue. Of course there's a hitch. One of the tribal chiefs attending the meeting in Rutina is connected to Parrot's past—in a very bad way. The question is, will Parrot be able to face his past and complete the mission, or will the vase—and the fate of the Native American nation—fall into the wrong hands?” (blurb from The Specialists: Native Tongue)
Although Native Tongue is the fourth in The Specialists series, it is still amazing as a standalone book. Short scattered explanations help the reader figure out what’s going on and who everyone is: a much less dull way than handing it out in one large serving. Essentially, the Specialists are a group of extremely smart teens who are hired to go on missions. They each have special areas of expertise, hence their name, The Specialists. Naturally, such talented youths have different quirks, and the main character, GiGi, is no exception. With a penchant for lollipops and a tendency to lapse into nerd speak, GiGi is just one in the cast of eccentric characters which provides a colorful and versatile medium for the author to work with. The plot itself is also quite interesting, an adventure still rooted in reality, making it easier for the reader to connect to as opposed to a deep fantasy story. The only weak point of Native Tongue is that some scenes and sequences seem a bit rushed. The whole book is crammed into 244 small pages, making it a quick read. I would recommend this story to those who like fast-paced easy-to-read adventures.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The Devouring by Simon Holt
Release Date: September 1, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
“When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.
Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?
Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?” (Blurb from The Devouring)
At first glance, the “Vours” seem to be cheesy horror monsters invented to push the plot along. However, through careful development and downright creepy (in a good way) imagery, the author manages to turn them into believable creatures lurking in the shadows. The extraordinary development of the creatures also extends to the human characters.
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The Three Musketeers: Bettina, Natalie, & Dominique
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A real fantasy lover (so if you'd like us to review your book and it's fantasy--send it to me, please!!!)! Science-fiction is a close second, (any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans out there??) though!
Books aside, I love snacking on ice cream, but fortunately, I like running too--it helps burn all those calories! I'm also a fan of roller coasters, but I'm afraid those don't help much in the calorie burning department.
I'm not as big a fan of fantasy (or roller coasters, for that matter) as Bettina is, but I definitely enjoy that genre! I really like chick-lit and realistic fiction, so if your book is of that nature, definitely give me a heads up!
aka Dominique from The Book Vault.
Welcome to our blog! We're the reviewing trio, Bettina, Natalie, and Dominique. You might know Dominique from The Book Vault or YA Books Central, where she was the teen reviewer a few years back! She has kindly agreed to help us out there, and post every so often. Don't forget to visit her site too!
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