Tag archives for Fantasy
BOOK NAME: Atherton: House of Power
AUTHOR: Patrick Carman
Atherton: House of Power by Patrick Carman is tremendously wonderful. You will expect adventure, action, and mystery. Atherton is a 3 layered land of the Highlands, Tabletop, and the Flatlands. The Highlands is the top of Atherton and supplies Atherton with all the water. Tabletop is where Atherton receives all the supply of food which is why there are slaves in Tabletop. The Flatlands is the place filled with creatures such as cleaners which have suction discs and are able to live on garbage waste and little water. A boy ,named Edgar, living in Tabletop, secretly goes near a cliff escaping from the plantation behind him. Edgar finds a mysterious book about his missing father. Since he can’t read he must reach the Highlands since they know how to read. The number one rule is to never climb the cliffs to the Highlands. Edgar climbs regularly, but the penalty is death!
Atherton: House of Power is a stupendous book because as I said it contains adventure, action, and mystery. My favorite character is Edgar because he was courageous enough to climb to the Highlands even though he most likely would have died just in search of his father. Mr. Ratikan is my favorite villain because he treats the kids ok for a person that uses kids as slaves. If I had to compare this book to another book it would have to be The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi because they both show a character trying to uncover a mystery. I highly recommend House of Power as a dystopian novel.
Want another opinion? Read Kyle’s review!
BOOK NAME: Arch Enemy
AUTHOR: Frank Beddor
We have probably all heard of the story Alice in Wonderland. Wonderland is not the fairy tale land the
book describes, but a nation gripped in the turmoil of a terrible war. Alyss herself is the warrior queen
of Wonderland. Her imagination, like the imaginations of many citizens of Wonderland, is not merely
thoughts and dreams, but a carefully honed superpower.
For years, Queen Alyss has held her enemies, especially her evil aunt Redd, at bay by virtue of her
mighty imagination; but now, it has been taken from her. Many others in Wonderland have also found
themselves stripped of their powers. In her weakened state, she cannot defend her queendom. The
ruthless, tyrannical monarch of a neighboring nation, King Arch, quickly takes Wonderland for himself.
Alyss’ last hope for her conquered homeland lies within a prophecy, a prophecy issued by the Caterpillar
Oracles of Wonderland. The all-knowing larvae say that imagination shall not be lost forever, and shall
be protected for Everqueen. Who is Everqueen? How can imagination be protected when King Arch is
already on the verge of destroying it? How will Alyss retake her queendom? Will old enemies, like Redd,
This book is the third in the Looking Glass Wars Trilogy. I have read all three books, and they were all
excellent. However, anyone interested should probably read the first book, The Looking Glass Wars, and
the second book, Seeing Redd, before reading Arch Enemy. This book will be hard to understand without
reading its predecessors. That aside, this book was very well written, and there were many shocking
twists to the story. My favorite character is King Arch. He is smart, crafty, powerful, and unspeakably
evil. I like how this book and the others before it take a very well known story, Alice in Wonderland, and
bend it into a sci-fi war. I highly recommend reading this book, and this series.
BOOK NAME: Atherton: House of Power
AUTHOR: Patrick Carman
Atherton: House of Power is the first book in a trilogy by Patrick Carmen and takes place in the mysterious three tiered world of Atherton. There is the top layer, or the Highlands, where the water for the whole world originates and the high society and leaders of the world reside. Directly below that, there is Tabletop, where eleven year old Edgar lives with the rest of the working class. This is also where the groves are, which is where Edgar works under the evil Mr. Ratikan. If he puts one toe out of line, Mr. Ratikan will end up taking away meals and increasing work as punishment. At the bottom of the world is the Flatlands, where all the horrors of the entire world reside, waiting to eat any leftovers that fall from Tabletop. While tending to the fig trees in the Groves, Edgar daydreams about what could possibly be in the Highlands. He finally decides to climb there during the night, even though it is completely forbidden. While climbing up, he discovers a mysterious book that he believes contains secrets to his past and might contain information on the origin of his world. There’s only one problem though; he can’t read. So when he finally climbs up and manages to locate somebody who can read, he has to repeat his forbidden climbing night after night. In doing this, he discovers that certain handholds are lower than the previous night; meaning that the Highlands are sinking into Tabletop. And in all this chaos, he has to worry about Mr. Ratikan’s punishments. He must travel all over this world to find a way to save all three layers, including the dreaded Flatlands.
This book is an amazing introduction to the trilogy and will keep you reading to find out how this world was created and for what purpose. It is full of action and shows how each of the inhabitants of the layers must work together to save their world. I absolutely loved the character of Edgar because he could climb like a maniac. I like climbing, am not very good at it, and definitely envy his superior skills. I would like to commend the author on creating an intriguing, complex world. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone interested in a good series who likes science fiction and fantasy.
Book Name: Ashtown Burials: The Drowned Vault
Author: N. D. Wilson
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.
Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world’s secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.
N. D. Wilson, author of Leepike Ridge and 100 Cupboards, returns with an imagination-capturing adventure that inventively combines the contemporary and the legendary.
BOOK NAME: Magician: Master
AUTHOR: Raymond E. Feist
Pug’s life has changed forever. In his earlier years, he lived in the keep of castle Crydee, in the land known as the Kingdom of the Isles, on the world of Midkemia. While there, he was apprenticed to the magician Kulgan, learning how to harness the power of magic. He earned himself a place as Squire of Lord Borric’s court, as well as the affection of the Princess Carline. These were good times in Pug’s life, but all of it to a grinding halt.
The Kingdom was invaded by the Tsurani, a warrior race from another faraway world. The Empire of Tsuranuanni has targeted the Kingdom to obtain metals, which are rare on Kelewan, the Tsurani home planet. Soon after the first soldiers transported to the Kingdom via a rift in space-time, war broke out. It has raged for years. Early on, Pug was captured and enslaved by the aliens during a daring raid on the enemy’s main camp.
Pug toiled in the hot, dangerous swamps of Tsuranuanni . After an encounter with the son of a very powerful Tsurani noble, Pug was taken from the swamps and forced to work as a servant. While tending to the house, Pug’s magical talents were discovered. He was once again whisked away to have his magician skills honed to perfection for servicing the Empire, perhaps even against his own people.
Now Pug wears the Black Robe, marking him a magician of the Empire. His powers far surpass those of his fellow Black Robes, and he is perhaps the mightiest magician in all the land. He may just be powerful enough to close the rift and separate the two worlds once more. It’s time to put an end to the conflict.
This book is the sequel to one of my earlier reads, Magician: Apprentice, and the second book in the Riftwar series. I liked this book even more than the first. This book is interesting at every turn of the page, with questions being answered and new ones being posed. Pug and the other sorcerers’ displays of power were fascinating to imagine, jets of blue flames, and commanding of the elements. The battle scenarios were also interesting reads, as the Tsurani and their allies clashed with Midkemian soldiers, elves, and dwarves. The battles were described in such detail that I could picture them, every clash of the swords and the shouts and battle cries of the ferocious combatants. Though Pug and his adventures are the main focus of this book, it also tells of the exploits of Kulgan, Borric and Pug’s other friends and allies back on Midkemia. I liked how the story was told from many different perspectives. This book was somewhat long, at around 500 pages, but I so enjoyed reading it that it seemed far shorter.
BOOK NAME: The Seer
AUTHOR: David Stahler Jr.
Jacob has just been forced away from all he knows and loves. He used to live in Harmony, one of the colonies on the moon Nova Campi. Harmony’s inhabitants are all totally blind, whether from birth or by choice. They live by the code of Truesight, the belief that blindness erases all of the impurities in one’s soul. Jacob was evicted because he suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, acquired the ability to see. Such an “abomination” must not exist in Harmony, and Jacob needed to escape or face the wrath of Harmony’s High Councilor.
Now Jacob wanders the plains of Nova Campi. Only one thing keeps him from surrendering to the endless sea of grass, from stopping and accepting death alone in the desolate wilderness. It is the hope of finding Delaney, his closest friend, who ran literally “blindly” away from Harmony recently before his escape. If he can find her, then he will have a companion to explore the world of the beyond Harmony.
After trekking for days he meets his first Seer, a man by the name of Xander. At first, Xander does little more than offer Jacob food and water. Xander reappears to save Jacob from a gang of shady individuals, then decides to allow the boy to stay with him. Xander knows of Delaney, as well as where to find her. She is now under the custody a powerful corporation known as Mixel, a corrupt organization that largely funded the colonization of Nova Campi. After the first visit Jacob realizes that Mixel is using Delaney for her singing talents to generate revenue, and a considerable amount at that. They won’t give up Delaney, not without a fight…
Will Jacob be able to take Delaney back? Has he found a friend in Xander? Will he ever adapt to the world of the Seers? Most importantly, can he come to grips with his sight, which may be more than just looking with his eyes?
This book is the sequel to the book Truesight which I have read as well. Both are excellently written science-fiction novels, but I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor. This story had more action than Truesight, from man-to-man combat to undercover rescue attempts. I enjoyed reading about Xander, my favorite character in the story. Xander is gruff on the outside, but kind-hearted inside. He is also street-smart, determined, and an exceptional fighter. He assists Jacob significantly throughout the book. A story is often made by its villain, and The Seer is no exception. The Mixel Corporation and its high-class handlers are the embodiment of greedy, back-stabbing, and dangerous. I would recommend that you read Truesight before you read The Seer, which should not be overly difficult because both books are fairly short. All in all, they are a worth-while duo.
BOOK NAME: Noah Barleywater Runs Away
AUTHOR: John Boyne
Hello, everyone! It’s Hunter back again to review another book.
This review is on Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne. It’s a work of fiction, with a mixture of events that could actually happen and events that could never, ever happen–like when doors and mirrors talk. In the book, an 8 year old boy named Noah runs away and meets an old man who tells Noah about his life through stories and puppets. Parts of the book are interesting because of some surprises, but other parts are kind of boring and hard to believe. I didn’t really like that the old man and his life story are supposed to be teaching Noah, and I guess the readers, a lesson because they end up sounding like a lecture instead of something to make you think about things from a different point of view. I also thought that the story was sad (remember I said there were some surprises?) and definitely not something that I think younger kids would like at all.
So I’m sorry, I can’t really recommend that you read this book. If you have to though, it’s kind of worth it because of the surprises…
BOOK NAME: Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist
AUTHORS: Liz Kessler
Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist is a story of adventure, friendship, mystery, and determination. It all starts with Emily–a semi-mer (half human and half mermaid) who finds a strange diamond ring. The diamond ring gives Emily a weird feeling; it feels like the ring talks to her and digs into her skin. As soon as Emily puts the ring on, she can no longer get it off.
Emily soon finds out that this ring is property of King Neptune, the king of the sea. Neptune is angry at Emily for taking it, and curses her that at midnight, under the full moon, she will turn either fully human, or fully mermaid. She will also have to say goodbye to one of her parents forever, because one of her parents is human, and the other is a mermaid.
Emily learns the story behind the ring, and that there is a pearl ring that matches it. If she finds the pearl ring, her curse can be broken! Then Emily discovers that the full moon is that night, and she only has a few hours left to find the pearl ring! She sees a castle far away. Is it possible that this castle can help her achieve her goal?
I didn’t really like this book. I felt that certain parts were very confusing. I’m also not a very big fan of fantasy. Yet if you like fantasy, you will definitely enjoy this book!
BOOK NAME: Beyonders: A World Without Heroes
AUTHOR: Brandon Mull
How would you feel if you were swallowed by a hippopotamus and suddenly found yourself in a parallel world where heroes are nonexistent and almost no hope is left? Would you have the courage to embark on a dangerous journey to save the world you only just entered?
Thirteen-year-old Jason’s life changes forever when his routine day at the zoo ends with him transporting to another world via hippopotamus. Upon his arrival, he witnesses the demise of a group of musicians as they tumble over a waterfall. No one tries to save them.
Jason eventually learns this strange world is called Lyrian, and it is ruled by a tyrant wizard emperor named Maldor. Maldor has broken the spirits of all the heroes who dare oppose him. The musicians that fell over the falls were trying to summon a hero from another world as a last hope. Jason accidentally stumbles upon information about a magic word that can destroy Maldor, making him a mortal enemy of the powerful monarch. Now, his only hope to ever return home is to embark on a perilous quest to piece together the Word, defeat Maldor, and become a hero.
Along the way, Jason meets Rachel, who was also transported to Lyrian from Earth. She decides to assist him in his search for the Word. How can two teenagers ever hope to destroy a mighty ruler and his legions of followers?
A World Without Heroes was an excellently written fantasy novel that I took great pleasure in reading. The storyline was suspenseful and exciting. Jason and Rachel’s near brushes with death and close encounters with Maldor’s deadly minions were enough to keep me engrossed. I also liked that the book had dashes of humor in some portions. Jason and Rachel both use a fair amount of sarcasm to add a happier outlook to their otherwise bleak situation. Maldor is a perfect villain because he weaves complex schemes and is despicably evil. Instead of just killing his strongest adversaries, he chooses to toy with them and give them false hope before crushing their spirit and any resistance they may create. The only thing I did not like about the book was that the ending was very abrupt. I know that the Beyonders will be a series, but I would have preferred the book to tie up a few more loose ends before it finished.
BOOK NAME: Eragon
AUTHOR: Christopher Paolini
I read this book before knowing there was a movie made of it. I watched the movie later so here’s my review of both in this blog.
The book is about a brave farm boy named Eragon, who lives with his uncle under the command of the evil King Galbatorax. Eragon regularly hunts in a magic-infested forest called the Spine. One day, he finds a blue stone and can’t figure out what it is. Before he goes to bed, a little dragon hatches out of it. Eragon secretly raises the dragon, naming it Saphira. They learn to communicate with each other, using their minds. When two monsters called the Ra’zac kill Eragon’s uncle, he seeks revenge with the help of others and this is where the adventure really begins.
The book was a lot of fun to read. I’d describe it as a cross between a typical medieval tale and Harry Potter. However, the movie was a disappointment. While it had basically the same character and main story, all of my favorite parts of the book were left out. I’d say it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. If I had seen it before I picked up the book, it would not have made me want to read it. In this case, the book is far better than the movie.
BOOK NAME: Oathbreaker: Assassin’s Apprentice
AUTHOR: S. R. Vaught
Aron Brailing lives in the world of Eyrie, a place where magical beings, shape shifters, and amazing creatures roam. Eyrie is divided into dynasts, and Aron lives in Dyn Brailing, one of the dynasts. Aron helps his family around the farm and cares for his giant winged lizard, Tek. One day, members of a guild of assassins arrive at his home. They decide to take Aron for their guild and train him because he seems to have a very powerful mind talent. However, that power was not able to save those close to him when trouble and war arose. Now Aron bears a terrible grudge against the lord of his dynast and his guards because they murdered his family, but if he harms anyone other than criminals, he will be an oathbreaker, hated by all in Eyrie. Can Aron pass the difficult tests and training to become an assassin?
This book was a great read because there was so much suspense. Even when you get to the” end” of the book, you will discover something quite surprising. There is no end! This book is fantasy, but this book also made some connections to things that are more realistic. In the book, it was mentioned that humans are what drove the magical beings from Earth and made them travel to Eyrie. Also, magic and human bloodlines mixed and produced ordinary people with just a touch of magic. Including humans and Earth in an otherwise fantasy world is a unique characteristic of the story. The author of the book uses excellent detail and I believe it’s quite clever that his story carries over to another book. Guess you will have to read both…I definitely am.
BOOK NAME: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
AUTHOR: Grace Lin
Young Minli lives in the Valley of Fruitless Mountain, where she and her parents spend their days working hard in the fields. At night, Minli listens to her father’s tales about the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to everything. Minli sets out on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon–he will know how she can bring good fortune to her family. Along the way, she meets many magical friends, including a talking fish, a powerful king, and a dragon who can fly!
BOOK NAME: Museum of Thieves
AUTHOR: Lian Tanner
I haven’t read a book like this before. It is one of the weirdest that I’ve ever read. It’s about a girl named Goldie who lives in an over-protective city where all children are chained up so nothing bad can happen to them-that is if you don’t consider being chained up to be bad. On the day that Goldie was supposed to be released from her chains, the city learns that 20 children have been killed in a bombing outside the town. The city leaders then decide that Goldie and all other children shouldn’t be separated from their chains. Goldie becomes so mad that she escapes the city. She then discovers a museum and sneaks into the building, where she meets the museum’s four keepers, named Sinew, Olga Ciavolga, Herro Dan, and the boy Toadspit. They all teach Goldie how to pick locks, act like someone else, blend in with the background, and other sneaky skills. While there, she finds crazy rooms and learns that the museum and its rooms sometimes shift. When the so-called Guardians of the over-protective city inspect the museum, they nail down the walls so they can map and find Goldie. They take her and Toadspit back to the city, where the adventure continues.
This book is so unique and strange that it is definitely worth reading. I consider it to be one of my all-time favorites.
BOOK NAME: The Gift: Witch & Wizard Book 2
AUTHOR: James Patterson
I hope all of you know who the author James Patterson is. If not, abandon the computer and get one of your parents to take you to the bookstore ASAP. But while you’re there, don’t pick up The Gift. I’ve already made that mistake.
Okay, okay, it wasn’t THAT bad. Let me start at the beginning: I’m normally a huge Patterson fan, but when I picked up Witch and Wizard (the book before The Gift), I was a little disappointed because it was only mediocre. It was an okay plot and everything, but the way it was written was not as appealing as it could have been. Despite this, when the sequel (The Gift) came out, I went right to my local Barnes and Noble, bought it, and read it. Now, a few hours later, I’m still in a state of confusion.
Before we get into why I didn’t like it, I’ll give a little background. Whit and Wisteria Allgood are just normal teenagers until they discover they have magical powers when the New Order is established (basically, all of the job titles start with “The One” and they hate anyone who isn’t into the whole “kill people who look like they don’t like us” thing). That was the first book, in which they engage in many adventures, live in an old department store, and use magic. The Gift is the second book in the series, and follows Whit and Wisty again as they engage in even more fun adventures, sometimes involving chocolate and inevitably ending in meeting “The One Who is The One.” Don’t worry, I’m confused, too.
Basically, my problems with the book were these: James Patterson and his coauthor (conveniently listed in barely-visible print at the bottom of the dust cover) tried WAY too hard to get the teen language and vibe right–I mean, I never say ‘totes cool.’ Also, the plot was not as great as it could have been. We’ve all seen post-apocalyptic new world government stuff before, and we’ve also seen magic. But mix them together in a generic plot line, and what do you get? Not a good book, I can tell you that.
Before you forgo reading this, remember that this is only my opinion and I tend to be pretty tough on books. If you have read it, comment back and tell me what you thought!
BOOK NAME: Graceling
AUTHOR: Kristin Cashore
When I saw a friend reading Graceling, it piqued my interest and I picked it up the next time I was at the library. I started to read and was intrigued by Katsa, a girl who is ‘graced.’ Only certain people are graced, and you can tell that they are because they have different colored eyes-Katsa’s are green and blue. From the age of 8, everyone thought that her grace was killing because she instinctively hit a distant cousin when she heard someone behind her. While on a mission for King Randa to save the kidnapped Prince Tealiff, she accidentally meets Po, the son of the man she rescued. They meet again when she gets back to her king, but Katsa soon realizes that it isn’t right for her to be forced to torture Randa’s rivals. She goes off with Po to find out who kidnapped Tealiff and why, and also to save Princess Bitterblue from her evil father King Leck.
This book was a little confusing at first, just to get all of the names straight and the whole setup of the kingdoms. After that, it was a thrill ride that kept me reading till the end (well obviously, since I’m writing this review). My favorite character was Katsa, and not just because her name sounds like Katniss from The Hunger Games (you’re thinking now, aren’t you?). She was a strong female character, which is becoming more and more popular with modern authors. Plus, who could think of a guy named ‘Po’ as their favorite character? Po’s character was actually very nice and brave, but whenever I saw ‘Po,’ I had to stop myself from laughing, which distracted from the plot. Other than the unfortunate name choices (Po and Bitterblue), the book was a good read. I encourage kids in middle school and up to pick it up and give it a try.
BOOK NAME: Incarceron
Incarceron is alive. A prison unlike any other. It’s prisoners live not in cells, but in metal forests and ramshackle cities. Since the beginning of time, it’s been closed. Nobody coming in and nobody escaping. All except one man, Sapphique. Legend says he was the only escapee. With that inspiration in mind, Finn, a young prisoner of Incarceron claims to escape. To return to where he believes is his home. The Outside.
After finding a crystal key, Finn meets Claudia. A charming, but stubborn girl who is said to live Outside. With the evil Warden of Incarceron as her father, Claudia is able to help Finn escape, but will most certainly need his help in exchange, being in the midst of an arranged marriage with a horrifying prince.
A winner. Again, another book that will be remembered always. The characters are written so detailed, I have this elaborate picture in my mind of what each person looks like. The environment and the character’s feelings are very obvious and you start to ‘feel’ for each and every one of them! I found myself literally on the edge of my seat when I read some parts!
After reading The Maze Runner I got hooked on steampunk books. So I immediately fell in love with Incarceron when my mother bought it and took it home. After just a few chapters, I assure you the suspension and mystery will keep you reading and you’ll be hooked as well.
Want another opinion? Read Mairen’s review of Incarceron.
BOOK NAME: The Magnificent 12: The Call
AUTHOR: Michael Grant
Are you afraid of anything? I’m afraid of huge spiders like tarantulas and flunking out of school. Mack, a 12-year-old sixth-grader who gets bullied at school, is afraid of exactly 21 things. These include arachnophobia, the fear of spiders; dentophobia, the fear of dentists; pyrophobia, the fear of fire; and pupaphobia, the fear of puppets. To top it off, he also suffers from phobophobia, the fear of fears. What’s odd is that while Mack is afraid of things that can’t really harm him, he’s not at all bothered when he is in real danger.
Mack seems to think he has a bad case of mediumness, meaning that’s he’s average in every way possible, with average parents, average grades and even the average eye color (brown). However, he soon learns that he has a special gift.
One day in the school bathroom, Mack sees the image of an old man in a urinal pipe and the man starts talking to him, even calling him by name. The man, who claims to be more than 3,000 years old, tells Mack that’s he is one of the Magnificent 12, one of only 12 people in the world with the enlightened puissance, which is like a magical power that can be felt in the mind and soul but not always seen.
Mack learns that he will have to find the 11 others with this special power and work together to defeat the Pale Queen, who wants to destroy the world.
More books about The Magnificent 12 are planned and I can’t wait to read them because this one was funny, exciting and amusing. I liked how a boy with so many fears happens to be someone called on to help save the world.
BOOK NAME: The Magician’s Nephew
AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
Just mentioning Narnia sends me into a wonderland full of adventure and magic. This book is the first in The Chronicles of Narnia series and proves to be an engrossing beginning. There is some confusion about this book because most people may think that The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was the first book, but actually this book is the first. Because it is written by an English author, you’ll find that they spell “Hello” like “Hullo” and other spellings that seem odd to us. This book is absolutely beautiful in every aspect. I don’t always envision the illustrations the same as the artist (done by Pauline Baynes), but overall she still captures the scenes very well. I think it may have been hard to illustrate this book because honestly, Narnia is different for everyone.
The main character, Digory, is a boy who lives in London with his very strange uncle, a frail mother, maids, and an absent father (he’s away in India). So, really he can wander where he pleases. Very soon he meets a girl named Polly Plummer who lives next door to him. Since Polly and Digory’s houses are connected, they venture to the attic that connects the houses and find a door. Behind this door just happens to be Digory’s strange uncle. His uncle is making magical rings that will eventually lead them to Narnia where they bring an evil force that will haunt Narnia for hundreds of years. I can promise that Narnia will enchant you for years to come. It is a trip for your imagination and will inspire you. Whenever I have a bad day I just pick up one of these books and escape to Narnia. You should pay a visit too!
(NOTE: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was the first Narnia book published, but The Magician’s Nephew is the first book if you are reading in chronological order. -DogEared)
BOOK NAME: The Story of Cirrus Flux
Cirrus Flux lives at the Foundling Hospital, where his father James left him when he was a baby. James Flux was doing work for the Guild of Empirical Science, and was on a quest to find the “Breath of God.” Set in 18th-century London, this novel is a breath of fresh air amidst all of the vampire books that dominate the young adult and even kids’ sections at bookstores and libraries. Every child who lives at the Foundling Hospital was left a token by their parent. These tokens are worn around the necks of the children. Cirrus is led to believe that he never had one, but this token is the focus of turmoil that is tearing through London like wildfire. Cirrus is one of the only older Foundlings left who hasn’t gotten an apprenticeship yet. His best friend has recently been apprenticed, and he is miserable.
Pandora is a foundling as well, and she was apprenticed to a woman who is after the Breath of God. Her mentor allegedly clears her patients of all bad memories, enabling them to get a new lease on life. Through a series of events, Pandora finds herself back in the Foundling Hospital and trying to help Cirrus escape.
The rest of the book is a chronicle of the adventures and events that occur after that point in the novel. Cirrus discovers that his token contains the last bit of the Breath of God, and all the major scientific powers of London are clamoring to get it. My favorite character in the book is Pandora. She is a unique, quirky girl who stands up for what she thinks is right and is not afraid to stand alone when she does so. She’s a great role model (as is Cirrus) and illustrates many characteristics that anchor concepts of true morality.
This book takes a while to get into, and it wasn’t the best storyline I’ve ever read. For me, the characters were what made reading it worthwhile. The values that were represented by each of the characters added depth to the plot where there otherwise wouldn’t have been any. It’s a good book overall, and I strongly recommend it for anyone wishing to embark upon a wild ride!
I think this book is fantasy, what with some of the things that happen later in the story. However, it is set in a real-time period London, with some twists. I prefer to think of it as an alternate universe, but I think that it’s open to interpretation! Read the book and comment to let me know what you think.
BOOK NAME: The Owl Keeper
AUTHOR: Christine Brodien-Jones
Maxwell Unger is allergic to the sun. Or at least that’s the condition he was diagnosed with when he was younger. The doctor told him that he couldn’t ever be touched by sunlight, or he’d have a terrible reaction, burn up, and die.
Before Max was diagnosed with the disease, before the High Echelon asserted full control, his Gran told him stories about silver owls. After she died, the High Echelon declared that silver owls are evil and that they need to be hunted down and killed. But Max has a secret. He knows of a silver owl that is still alive – what is more, he visits her every night after the sun goes down.
Because he has to stay inside all day, Max doesn’t have many friends and isn’t connected with the outside world except for at night. But when he meets a strange girl one evening while he’s out walking, his life changes forever. Max begins to question the High Echelon as he gets to know more and more about the girl. Every week, he has to be injected with medicine to make sure his condition won’t get worse. But as he talks to his newfound friend, Max starts to wonder if his allergy is even real.
This book was a refreshing break from the monotone of other science fiction and fantasy novels on the shelves. For once, I didn’t find myself groaning once a vampire or werewolf was introduced. In fact, I couldn’t put it down until I was done. Along with providing an enticing storyline, the novel had deeper meaning to it as well–kind of like The Giver, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. For me, the character of Rose, Max’s friend, was the most interesting. She is a fighter, and never gave up no matter what hardship befell her. She never stopped trying to find out the truth, and didn’t let anything put her down. I think that she is a great model for kids our age today–never give up and persevere, and you’ll achieve your goals.
BOOK NAME: Redwall
As a book reviewer I can’t say that all the books I review are my favorites, but yet again I have to say Redwall is one of my favorites! This is an absolutely charming story of peaceful mice and the woodland creatures of Redwall Abbey. They are under attack by the legendary Cluny the Scourge, but the peace seeking creatures have a legendary person on their side also. Martin the Warrior is gone, but he is a symbol of hope and courage to the woodland creatures. Martin the Warrior is especially a hero to a young mouse named Matthias who lives in the abbey.
Matthias was found orphaned as a young child and was taken to the welcoming abbey. Now in this time of war, Matthias has to look upon Martin the Warrior and his wits to save the Redwall Abbey. You wouldn’t think that this young mouse would soon be a hero, with robes that are many sizes too big and he walks with a clomp-clomp sound because his sandals are much too big for him. This is a story that plays along with the unlikely hero plot. But don’t think that Matthias is in this alone! He has friends such as Constance the badger and Cornflower the field mouse to help him through his quest.
This book was a real cliffhanger with lots of great suspense. I really liked the animal themes and I especially like when animals act like humans and have human quirks and personality traits. I most wanted to be like Basil Stag Hare who was a funny and courageous character. He likes to tease and torment the enemy and I think this skill could come in handy in middle school.
Redwall is a long book, but never boring. It would be a lovely addition to your collection!
BOOK NAME: A Wrinkle in Time
AUTHOR: Madeleine L’Engle
Meg, an unattractive, unintelligent, and an unpopular girl lives with her super brainiac brother, Charles Wallace, her twin brothers and her mom. Meg’s dad disappeared a few years ago so life has been hard for their family. Meg wants to find her dad but doesn’t think that there will be much chance left.
One stormy night, a strange lady knocks on her door and she tells them her name is Mrs. Whatsit. She says that she can help them find their dad. Meg eventually meets these three witches who say that they can help Meg find her dad. They take Meg, her friend and her brother on an adventure. They get taken to a planet called Camazotz where Meg’s dad is being held captive. One problem is that IT hypnotizes Charles Wallace while trying to save their dad so Meg has to save her brother AND her dad before IT has already taken over the world. They get help from octopus-like friends from another planet. Meg finally believes in herself and stands up to IT. She defeats IT, save Charles Wallace and her dad and goes back home to her family.
This book is one of the most confusing books that I have read for the blog! This book was a one that I had to read for a Parent-Choice book project at my school. I struggled reading it at parts because it kept on carrying on about every little thing. This is definitely a book for good readers who are up for a hard challenge and who like Fantasies and Mysteries!
Have you ever read a book that you thought was confusing and you almost gave up on it? Which book was it?