Posted by larkin in Sci-Fi
“His eyes are wide and frozen in terror. The knife scrapes a layer of skin off his cheek, and a Shredder laughs and drapes the skin onto his own chest like a medal.”
After a meteor strikes Earth covering it with a mutating dust, Haven rises. Haven is a “safe” place for all sane human beings to live. But the dust affects people in different ways. Some people have become human-killing mutants called Shredders, who murder people for no reason, shredding them bit by bit. Other non-mutants made Haven. Among the people hiding in Haven are half-human half-Shredder beings called Deviants. Deviants are just like you and me but they have special powers. In this book, you follow the story of a Deviant named Glory. She lives in Haven, hiding away with her brother. Her mother was killed in an accident that caused her father to be expunged. Glory hasn’t seen her father since. One night she runs into Burn, an undercover Deviant “rescuer” who claims to be able to take Glory and her brother, Drake, to their father. He also claims that he can take Glory and Drake to safety, outside of Haven, into the Dust. The only problem is that her father is dead and all Glory has been taught is that people die in the Dust. Glory doesn’t know if she should trust Burn or not. She also doesn’t know that night would change her life forever.
To start off, I LOVED Deviants, it was an AMAZING book. I am currently on a kick of Science-Fiction/Dystopian novels, and Deviants fit that category perfectly. The main plot of this story is that Glory is fighting for the Deviant race. She hides away her brother, Drake, a.k.a. a Parasite, in a rotten old apartment inside of Haven. Since the portions Haven serves aren’t big enough, she must hunt for rats in abandoned buildings. Once Burn comes into play, Glory’s life completely changes. She finds out things about Haven that only Haven’s highest management knows.
Have you read The Hunger Games? It is similar to Deviants. I made this connection because of some of the characters in both novels. A pair of characters I find very much the same are President Snow (The Hunger Games) and Mr. Belando (Deviants). As most of you know, President Snow is pure evil and hate rebels. He forced Katniss to do things that she didn’t want to, and if she disobeyed, there would be life or death consequences. Mr. Belando does the same exact thing to Glory. Mr. Belando has always had a suspicion about Glory, especially after her “kidnapping”. Mr. Belando also forces Glory to do extreme tasks whether she likes it or not, if not, there is death. In the next book I think Glory will rebel against Mr. Belando, just as Katniss did in Catching Fire.
Another connection I’ve made is Deviants to Twilight. Yes, there is romance in Deviants Deviants and it isn’t just a love story unlike Twilight, there is more of a fighting/dystopian concept to it. But like Twilight there is… you guessed it… a love triangle! In the beginning of the book, Glory starts to fall for Cal, but then Burn comes in. Burn is someone you think no one would like. He is an outcast, like Edward was. Then Glory, like Bella, falls for the outcast. Glory thought that she would be with Cal, yet realizes that maybe Burn is the guy for her. But is he really?
Now I am pleased to welcome Glory! She has agreed to answer a few questions for us…
Q: Did you trust Burn at first? Why or why not?
A: I didn’t trust him–at all! Not even a tiny bit. After Drake and I were left on our own, I realized that I couldn’t trust anyone if I was going to keep our secrets. Plus, Burn claimed that my dad was alive, which, at the time, I thought was impossible. So, I figured if Burn was lying about that, he was probably lying about everything.
Q: Who do you feel you are destined to be with, Burn or Cal?
A: That’s a really tough one! I’ve known Cal for as long as I can remember and I had a huge crush on him from the first second I noticed boys. He’s a really good person. He cares about me and I really and truly care about him, but if I let him know who I really am, he’ll probably want to kill me, or more likely turn me over to the Comps. Burn and I have a lot more in common, in many ways, even though he didn’t grow up inside Haven. We both know what it’s like to be different. We both have to guard our emotions and we’ve both done terrible things that we wish we could take back. We also both know what it’s like to live without parents. I think Burn and I really understand each other. But we’re so dangerous to each other–especially when emotions run high–that it’s hard for me to imagine how we can ever be together.
Q: If you could bring one other person outside into the Dust with you, when Burn came for you and Drake, who would you bring?
A: At the time we first left the dome, I never would have said this, but knowing what I learned after I left Haven, I wish I could have brought Jayma with me. Jayma’s my best friend and although she doesn’t know I’m a Deviant, and I’m not sure she would have understood about that at first, she did keep Drake a secret and I know I can trust her. Jayma’s so pale and skinny that I wish she could feel the sun on her skin and taste some fresh food! Plus it would have been great to have someone along, whom I could trust, and with whom I could have talked to about some of problems I faced and the decisions I had to make all on my own.
Q: What are you more afraid of: Mr. Belando, the Comps, or Shredders? Why so?
A: Mr. Belando is creepy and I don’t trust his motives, but I’m pretty sure I could kill him if I had to. The Comps are also terrifying, but I know that, inside their uniforms, most of them are just ordinary Haven employees, just following orders and doing their jobs. For me, nothing is as scary as Shredders. From what I’ve seen, they enjoy causing pain. I admit that I’ve caused others pain, but I certainly don’t enjoy it! For me, there’s no worse feeling than knowing I’ve hurt someone, so the mere idea of Shredders terrifies me.
Q: How hard was it to keep Drake as a Parasite in Haven?
A: I think it was harder for Drake than it was for me. He had to stay in our tiny room all the time and I can’t imagine how horrible that was for him. I was frightened, every day, that he’d be discovered, or that our Deviant powers would be detected, but I still think that Drake suffered more than I did.
Q: Do you trust people easily? How does that affect your journey?
A: I have a lot of trouble trusting people. In the three years after Drake and I were left alone, the only people I trusted were Drake and Jayma. But even with Jayma I didn’t let her know that Drake and I were Deviants. If I’d trusted Burn from the beginning, and if I’d trusted my dad when we were first reunited, I think the trip out of Haven to the Settlement would have gone more smoothly. I guess I’ve learned to trust my judgment a bit more now, and to give people the benefit of the doubt at first. But I still don’t trust Mr. Belando! And I don’t think I’m quite ready to tell any of my friends inside Haven what I am, or everything I know. Even more than their possible rejection, I’d hate it if I put my friends in danger.
Q: If you could live in the Dust all you life, would you?
A: I would much rather live Outside. Not only because of the way that Management runs things inside Haven, which doesn’t seem fair, but also because I love the fresh air and the sun and the stars and swimming in lakes… I love almost all of it. As long as I could be far away from Shredders, I’d prefer to stay Outside forever.
Q: What do you think the world was like before the Dust?
A: I’ve seen some pictures and it seems to me like the world was pretty fabulous BTD. So green and full of life. I’m pretty sure that the people then didn’t understand how good they had it.
Q: Who is the person you hate the most that you have met throughout your journey? Why?
A: General Phadon, whom Burn and I met at Fort Huron. I suspect that Mr. Belando is up to more than he’s explained to me so far, but while he’s threatened me, he hasn’t actually tried to hurt me, yet. Not like General Phadon did. And the people in Fort Huron are committing atrocities that make Management seem tame in comparison. I don’t condone killing, but I’m glad Burn killed that general.
Q: Do you feel safer in the Dust or in Haven?
A: I didn’t feel safe in the Dust while were were still close to Haven, but once we got father away and
there was less dust and therefore fewer Shredders, I felt safer than I have my whole life. It was hard to decide to go back into Haven, but if I can help other Deviants escape, it will all be worth it.
A huge thank you to Glory and to fabulous author Maureen McGowan for working with us at Larkin’s Book Bloggers! It
was a pleasure and I cannot wait for book two in the series, called Compliance, which is due out on June 4th!
Megan K., EMS Blogger
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“Couldn’t speak. Hurt too badly. Could barely breathe. Darkness swallowed me whole, and I lost sight of him. Maim… The word whispered through my head, followed by one just as bad. Kill… The urge to do both filled me. Maim… Kill… Destroy…”
In the book Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, Alice Bell believes her father to be crazy. She can never go out at night because her dad “sees things that don’t exist.” Alice’s world is turned entirely upside down when her parents and sister are killed in a car crash and eaten by zombies. Whoa! Her dad was right? ZOMBIES?!?! This event changes Alice’s life and makes her realizes everything her dad believed was real. Alice then moves into her Nana and Pop’s house in a new town with a new school. When she goes to school she meets-and falls in love with-the worst bad boy in school Cole Holland. He is SO HOT! No literally, she gets hot flashes and strange visions when she is around him. Alice then joins Cole and his group to fight zombies, despite excruciating pain and many challenges regarding school and family. To avenge the death of her family Alice vows to fight the zombies. Such personal sacrifice and strength! In this fantasy story, Gena Showalter combines romance and violence (the best combination!) to make a book so full of suspense you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time.
We were lucky enough to be able to ask author Gena Showalter some questions…here they are!
1) What inspired you to write about zombies? I had the title—Alice in Zombieland—before I had anything else. After that, I had to create a storyline to fit. Plotting the book was wonderful fun.
2) What were your favorite books as a teenager? I was utterly addicted to the Sweet Valley High series. I had to know who was dating who, who had dumped who, who had hooked up with who, and what naughtiness was going to ensue. As sad and lame as this might sound, those characters became some of my best friends.
3) Did you always like Zombies? I didn’t really delve into paranormal fiction—and all the creatures that come with it—until my early twenties, after I’d been writing for about a year. Then, of course, I was hooked.
4) Who is your favorite character in the story? In Alice in Zombieland and the sequel Through the Zombie Glass, I have a boatload of favorites. But…to narrow it down…I adore writing smart-mouthed, slightly narcissistic Kat, and the cougar crush in me drools every time Cole, Frosty and Bronx step onto the pages.
5) Are the characters based off real people? You know, I take bits and pieces from the people I know—dialogue, habits, quirks—but I have never shaped the whole of a character from a single person. Otherwise, I’d lose all my family and friends LOL!
6) There is some steamy romance and thrilling action in your novel. Do you like writing action or romance better? Romance. Always. What can I say? It’s my first love. It’s what I want to read about, and it’s what I want to watch. There’s something so powerful about two people finding their way to a happily ever after.
7) Did you dream of being an author when you were a kid? I was one of those kids that had trouble figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized writing was the one and only career for me. And I was right! It’s the first job I ever kept for more than a year LOL!
8) Do you like writing adult fiction or teen fiction better? Why? I take something different from both genres, so, I love them both for different reasons. With adult fiction, I get to create men and women who have concrete plans for their lives—then I get to turn their worlds upside down, introducing ideas and concepts they had never considered but soon realize they adore (if they’re lucky). With teen fiction, I get to watch the characters experience all of their firsts and try to navigate the twisted road of life.
9) How did these characters influence your life and what inspired you to write about them? I don’t think the characters influence my life, but I know my observations influence theirs. I love to watch real people interact and then use their physical and verbal cues in my fiction, twisting things to fit my needs. Fine. The needs of the characters. No, mostly just mine.
10) Is the loss Alice goes through based on an event in that occurred in your life? I’ve lost loved ones over the years, and did pull from the pain I experienced. But Alice isn’t me, so her reactions couldn’t match mine entirely. They had to fit her mindset, past, and beliefs.
We would like to send Gena a huge thank you for talking with us! Alice in Zombieland’s sequel, Through the Zombie Glass, is due out in September 2013!
Alison M. and Marissa G., EMS Bloggers
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“I can’t feel anything but my twisted up heart, squeezing, squeezing. Everything around me is loud and pounding. My mom is sobbing. Then screaming. Then sobbing. Soothing voices from EMTs. Questions. I hug my knees to my chest… But the more time goes by, the quieter the voices get. And I know. I know he is gone. As my mother’s cries turn to whimpers, I can’t stand it anymore. I get up. And I run.’’
In the book, See You At Harry’s, by Jo Knowles, Fern lives with her mom and dad, her younger brother Charlie, her older brother Holden, and her older sister Sara. Fern’s family is very dysfunctional. Her dad and mom own their own restaurant that gets in the way of family time. Everyone helps at the restaurant, except for Charlie. Meanwhile, Holden is dealing with a major secret of his own. Both Sara and Fern support him, but it is just another problem the family is trying to deal with. Also, Fern seems to be jealous of her baby brother, Charlie. Only three, he seems to get whatever he wants – including everyone’s attention. So what happens when one day at the restaurant a tragic accident happens? What will it do to their already dysfunctional family? Read See You at Harry’s to find out.
Julia says…This book is full of emotions. It makes you really think about your siblings and how much you love them. I emotionally connected to this book because of my little brother. It made me realize that I truly love him just like how Fern loves Charlie.
Lauren says…This book is very creative. It makes you think about not taking life for granted and about not wasting your life on something stupid you did. And to make your life happy and not fighting with your parents. It made me realize that anything can happen to you at any moment of your life.
Hannah says… This book was very touching to me personally. It showed me that family is everything. You should always be there for your brothers or sisters no matter what. I can somewhat relate to this book because I have brothers and I know I will always be there for them even if they make a mistake.
Amanda says…This book made me feel like I was actually going through these problems in my life. It was very touching to me and at some parts I felt like I was Fern. I would definitely suggest this book to others.
We were thrilled to be able to interview author Jo Knowles. We want to personally thank her for taking the time to speak with us. And here is what she had to say about See You at Harry’s and more…
1- What are you working on right now?
I’m revising a young adult novel called Read Between the Lines and I’ve also started a new middle-grade novel that doesn’t have a real title yet but I’m referring to it as “From the Complaint Box.”
2- On your website, it says that you loved when your sister read books to you when you were younger; did that impact your decision to become a writer?
I think her love of books helped me love books, for sure, and that helped. Later, when we were older, she used to call me from college and read her essays to me, and I remember thinking, “I want to write like her someday!” She was so talented. A great photographer, too. I tended to try all the things she tried, because she made them look easy and fun. I guess writing is the one that really stuck.
3- Since your parents worked at Keller’s Restaurant and sold ice cream, is that why Harry’s is so important in the book?
Yes. Growing up in the restaurant business is really challenging because the work is so demanding. Your parents are always in the public eye and the hours are relentless. I wanted to convey what it felt like to compete for attention with something you both loved and sometimes resented.
4- You said Robert Cormier’s, The Chocolate War, got you into reading, would you suggest that book to others too? Why?
I suggest it to teens and people who want to write because I think it’s a perfect book to study point of view, and going the distance. Cormier writes about some very harsh realities and he doesn’t hold back. I think that is a very hard thing to do, but also what I respect most about him. He always stayed true to his stories. He never sugar-coated a situation. While some people don’t like his work because of that, i respect him for taking risks and shedding light on dark topics in way that felt honest and raw and a bit urgent. I think books about hard topics help readers become more compassionate and understanding, and they can also help people who might be hurting in the same way to feel less alone.
5- Besides Robert Cormier, did anyone else inspire you to write?
I really liked John Irving’s early books, and Anne Tyler and Annie Proux and Toni Morrison.And as a kid I loved Bette Greene and Judy Blume and Katherine Paterson. But honestly I think every book I’ve read and loved has inspired me in some way.
6- In See You at Harry’s, Fern and Holden always go to this certain hideout, did you have a secret hideout that you escaped to when you were young?
Yes, more than one! My sister and I used to crawl out our bathroom window onto the roof (if you read PEARL, you’ll see that I put that detail in that book). And my brother and I used to climb on top of our playhouse in the trees. It was really hard to get up there (and scary!), so it felt extra special. I thought we could see forever from up there, and it felt magical to be able to touch the branches that were soooo high up.
7- Who are your favorite YA authors now?
For YA: Marcus Zusak, Holly Black, E.R. Frank, Adam Rapp, Bennett Madison, Robin Wasserman, Libba Bray and soooooo many more.
For Middle Grade: Linda Urban, Kate Messner, Katherine Applegate, Jack Gantos, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis and soooooo many more.
Thanks for the thoughtful questions, everyone!
Again – a huge thank you to author Jo Knowles for visiting us at Larkin’s Book Bloggers!
Hannah M., Amanda M., Julia D., and Lauren P. – EMS Bloggers
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Back in the fall I heard a lot of hype about this new novel that was coming out in the spring – it was called The 5th Wave. Just released this week, the publishers at Penguin are raving about it and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Other than the I Am Number Four series, there really haven’t been any new “alien” novels out there.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Megan says… I LOVED The 5th Wave, this book was absolute perfection. I knew right from the beginning that this was going to be a great read. First of all, I loved the format. There were numerous parts or sections to the whole story. The parts are told from different character’s perspectives – mainly Cassie and “Zombie”. Obviously “Zombie” is a nickname! Nugget, Zombie and The Silencer aren’t who you think they are. You may come to conclusion about who is who early, but then Rick Yancey will add in a twist that will make the little voice in your head say “What?!” In the beginning, you’ll follow the story of Cassie. Then, there is a clear transition to another character, in this case Zombie. I’m am very glad that Mr. Yancey did divide the book up in parts, because with them, you can see whole new worlds and the affect of this Apocalypse through the different characters.
Another thing I love about this book is how much it has changed my life. No, not my life physically, but mentally. Towards the beginning of the book Cassie went to a gas station to get food and other supplies. She found a injured man, and then did something that surprised me. From the second I read that scene, I have never looked at a gas station the same way again! What if we were having an alien invasion…what would I grab from a gas station? I even have my brother playing the game now! Weird, but true – it’s amazing what your mind does after reading this book!
Mrs. Larkin says…Ok, well, I definitely don’t go to gas stations like Megan and plan what I would loot during an alien invasion! However, I agree with Megan – that scene was shocking and made me really look at each character in the book differently – and suspiciously. Cassie is this tough, mentally strong character – she kind of has to be to survive the waves of an alien attack – an EMP pulse that killed off all power, a wave of natural disasters, and then a nasty plague. We follow her story – and the stories of others – as they try to survive the next wave. But not everyone is who you think they are. And Rick Yancey does this great job weaving together the characters and their story lines – as Megan mentioned above, you have this sneaky feeling about who someone might be, but you’re never quite sure until the big reveal – and it’s still shocking. When Cassie meets Evan…whoa…my radar was beeping at me! And then Zombie – I loved this character! How he acts when you first meet him, what he becomes, what he learns – and then who he really ends up being – LOVED. IT. I have so many favorite scenes – from Cassie’s discovery in the barn, meeting the character of Ringer, to Cassie’s attempt to infiltrate Wright Patterson – I mean that scene was just plain intense. And the end? This book is 457 pages long – but the roller coaster ride is so incredible you don’t even notice and fly right threw it, especially the end. I couldn’t put it down as everyone’s stories seemed to collide and explode – literally and figuratively. The book was simply amazing and you have to read it – and then wait anxiously for the sequel!
Megan K. and Mrs. L, EMS Bloggers
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Imagine that a war wiped out everybody between the ages of 20 and 60. You live on the street as a squatter, afraid to go anywhere. Your seven year old brother has some sort of disease. You have no way to get food or water and the only way to survive is to rent your body. For Callie Woodland she doesn’t have to imagine. This is her life.
In the book Starters, by Lissa Price, Callie is living with her little brother and friend, Michael. They find old ruined buildings to live in along with other squatters. Callie’s brother is on the verge of dying and her only choice is Prime Destinations. The Old Man, the person who runs Prime, is mysterious and no one has ever seen his face or heard his voice. It is illegal to give teens jobs, so Prime Destinations is a business that is undercover. Enders, renters at Prime, are people over 60 who want to be young again so teens who are squatters donate their bodies to become rich. When a squatter goes in to have their body rented, a chip is put in their head which allows their renter to enjoy being in a young body again. Meanwhile, the donor, the squatter, can sleep. When the rental period ends, the Ender brings the body to Prime, and the donor has their life back, and they are now rich. Callie makes the decision to donate her body. Her first two rentals went well but they were only for a short amount of time. Her newest rental was for a whole month. All is going well until Callie blacks out. Her month rental wasn’t even close to finished. Then, Callie wakes up in the life of her renter. She thinks there is something wrong with her chip inserted in her head when she hears a voice.
“Callie . . . don’t . . . don’t go back . . . Prime. Can you hear? You cannot return . . . . It’s dangerous . . . . Extremely dangerous . . . .”
Callie looks around no one is there. It’s in her head. It’s her renter. Callie thinks it’s a malfunction until she realizes what her renter is up to. Callie can trust no one and now she knows what Prime Destinations plans really are. Will Callie defeat Prime? Can Callie stop the madness that is about to happen? Can Callie save herself?
Starters is, by far, my favorite book. The characters, the mystery, and just the plot of the story was exhilarating. Helena, the renter, was so determined to find out what happened to her granddaughter, and Callie was sure to stick up for herself and still manage to take care of her sick brother, and Blake was so passionate and willing to do anything for Callie! The mystery was so suspenseful I could just picture myself as Callie. Trying to figure what’s happening at what time and where is what makes this book so interesting. You never want to put it down because you just need to find out what happens next. The plot was amazing. You think you know what is going to happen, when there’s a sudden twist. Callie’s life was great, until she realizes who Blake was the entire time. This story is a never ending book of mystery. Read the book Starters by Lissa Price to find out about the never ending battle of old verses young.
Tori A., EMS Blogger
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So, when I was young…really young…I LOVED reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Does that tell you how old I am? I hope not – I used to swipe them from my aunt’s collection. As I grew older, I still had this addiction to mysteries – whether it was books or tv shows. I was addicted to Veronica Mars! So when I heard about the new novel called Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance, I definitely wanted to get my hands on it.
Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either. So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.
But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?
With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.
Oh ya, this book was good! It really had a great mix of everything – mystery, comedy, romance – loved it! Strawberry “Berry” Fields – yup, music lovers, you guessed it – Mom and Dad were Beatles fans, and her BFF Mary Chris Moss (Ha! Get it? LOVE these names!) are quite the dynamic duo. Berry spies on people – well, cheating men to be more specific. It’s all part of her after school PI job with her dad’s company. And Mary? She’s the high-tech brains of the group – creating spy camera sunglasses and cell phone document scanners! And everything seems to go along smoothly until they meet two new boys – two really hot boys – yup, I was immediately suspicious here. And then mix in Berry spotting Mary’s dad in a parking lot passing off mysterious documents – that just happen to have the name of Berry’s mother on them. That doesn’t sound too suspicious, until we discover that Berry’s mom mysteriously drove her car off of a bridge and was killed eight years earlier. So what’s going on here? Does Mary’s father have something to do with Berry’s mother’s death? Why? What does her father know? And what the heck do these two hot guys have to do with the whole thing?
Talian Vance did an amazing job with this story and I loved the character of Berry! She’s one of those characters who thinks she’s got it all figured out, until she realizes she doesn’t have it all figured out. I liked her whole tough girl image – the pepper spray story and constant battle with Collin was hilarious! There were some definite laugh out loud moments for me – but that was secondary to the constant mystery of trying to figure out what the heck really had happened to Berry’s mom – they why, the who, all of it. My only negative – not too crazy about the cover – it could use an updated look. A great, great read for mystery fans – from Nancy Drew to Gallagher Girls to Veronica Mars - I definitely recommend this one!
Mrs. L, EMS Blogger
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I’ll be honest here, I HATE Historical Fiction. Therefore, when I fall in love with a historical fiction book as much as I did with One Dead Spy, I know that this book is something special. Why I’m tempted to use the world’s most clichéd phrase when describing this book: it truly does make history come alive.
One Dead Spy explains how moments before Revolutionary War spy, Nathan Hale, was executed, he said his last words and they were so awesome that a giant history book rose up from the ground, ate him, and showed him the future before returning him to the gallows. Admittedly, it seems a bit ridiculous, but it gives Nathan a way to explain stories beyond his own and allow for more books in the series, so it isn’t that bad. Besides, the book isn’t referenced that much after the initial shock wears off anyways. Nathan then begins to explain his life and how he ended up on the gallows. Book two takes place immediately after the first one and focuses on ironclads and the Civil War.
As I’ve stated before, the Hazardous Tales really bring History to life using a good dose of humor and action as well as fun character designs. But what really helps make the Hazardous Tales feel unique is that most of the historical figures have fun personalities. Whether it be Henry Knox who is a total nerd when it comes to guns and artillery, William Cushings who ended up getting kicked out of the U.S. Navy… twice… because he’s an avid prankster, or Gustavus Fox who, at the request of Hangman, is turned into an actual fox. Speaking of Hangman, another one of the series’ highlights is the peanut gallery style commentary that happens between the goofy Hangman, the hot-tempered Provoist and Mr. Hale himself.
As far as comparing the first book, One Dead Spy, to its sequel, Big Bad Ironclad, goes, the first one is better. The humor feels a bit more polished and the story feels told better overall. As for why this is, I have a theory. It turns out that Big Bad Ironclad was written AFTER One Dead Spy. So I think that it’s safe to say that Nathan Hale, the coincidentally named author, had gotten his sea legs by the time he wrote book one. Get it? Sea legs? The second book is about ships… yeah, it’s really a horrible pun when you think about it. Overall, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales is a fun, new look at American history, and I think that, overall, the series is nothing short of revolutionary.
Nick C., EMS Blogger
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“His eyes were wild again, like the morning the wolf went after the pups. His muzzle, mouth, and teeth were covered in blood, and with each step he left a crimson paw printed in the snow.”
In Legend of the Ghost Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Tee moves to Alaska for spring break with her father and little brother Jack while their dad completes research for his new book. Jack isn’t too excited, but Tee and her dog Henry are! She isn’t very social until she meets Quin, who is like her in lots of ways – they both like the same things and it’s natural that they become best friends quickly. One day they decide to venture down to Dorothy Creek with Henry, Tee’s dog. After walking for awhile, Tee wants to turn back. But Henry is reluctant, struggles out of his leash, and dashes over the hill. Not wanting to lose him in this new Alaskan territory, Tee and Quin follow. They eventually see Henry, sitting and shivering, staring at something. Tee instantly puts on the leash before Henry tries to run away again. They aren’t sure what he’s looking at, but then they see it – a shadow, more specifically a ghost, the ghost of a dog!
I have to say, I LOVE MYSTERIES. Mysteries always have chilling suspense and are always exciting. I also really like books that are about ghosts. Ghosts always scare me when I’m reading during the night. This book definitely has everything I love- suspense, action, and ghosts! I especially like how the author has a chapters from the perspective of another character – telling her story from the past to the present. It adds a whole new element to the story and keeps you reading. Kimmel does a really good job describing characters and showing Tee’s feelings and thoughts. Overall, I thought this book was a good read especially for you mystery lovers out there. Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is also the author of the book ParaNorman – that was recently out as a movie – which is a book about a kid who can see ghosts and has to save the world from zombies and a witch’s curse!
To find out more about the author and her novels, go to http://www.codykimmel.com/
Jake F., EMS Blogger
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WARNING…Since I can’t be certain that you read my first book about the night I found out I was a monster hunter, I should start out with a warning. First, monsters are real. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons; you name it. In fact they are more common than you could ever imagine. Second, this book is not make-believe. This is a truthful account of my life as a monster hunter and the mysterious circumstances that seem to constantly surround me. Third, reading this book makes you fair game for monsters. You heard me right: the simple act of reading this book will attract monsters to you and give them the go-ahead to attack. Usually, if you were under fourteen years old, you would be safe by the Law of Quattuordecim, an ancient truce between man and monster that protects non-combatant children on both sides until sundown on their fourteenth birthday. I blew it by attacking a monster that was trying to eat someone I knew the day before my birthday. You’re about to blow it by reading this book. If you’re over fourteen, you are already at risk for monster attacks, but in reality they are few and far between. Still, by reading this book, you are guaranteeing they will come after you. So don’t come crying to me if a rock troll chops off your feet or a harpy eats one of your eyeballs. The choice is yours. However, if you decide to turn the page, you’ll be reading about the Monster Hunter Academy, a place no non-monster hunter has ever seen or heard about before. What happened there is not for those with weak stomachs or for those who are easily upset. There is blood and gore and death and, like it or not, some kissing. But there is also an adventure unlike anything you have ever seen before.
So turn the page if you dare. The adventure starts now.
After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.
Back in December, Larkin’s Book Bloggers reviewed Book One in the Jack Templar series…read that review here…http://blogs.ellingtonschools.org/larkin/2012/12/17/jack-templar-monster-hunter-by-jeff-gunhus-a-guest-post-and-more/
We are pleased once again to be part of author Jeff Gunhus’s book blast and tour for Book Two in the series! So – here’s your SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, GO DO IT NOW! And then come back! Just like in Book One, I was drawn right into Jack’s story. Gunhus does an amazing job sucking the reader in through vivid details and descriptions and non-stop action! We pick up the story where the first book left off – with Jack, T-Rex, Will, and Eva heading off to the Monster Academy. After all, the boys have nothing left back home – Jack’s aunt has been murdered, Will’s parents are dead-beats, and T-Rex’s Grandma was taken by social services which would have left T-Rex in the foster system. And right away, on the ship heading across the ocean, the crew is attacked and the gang has to fly into action. Finally arriving at their destination, Jack’s meets Daniel, an instructor from the Academy, and the two immediately hit it off. Ha! Just kidding – they immediately hate each other and it definitely has something to do with Eva and Jack’s sudden, famous reputation as a Templar. Of course the action continues as they travel to the Academy and they are once again attacked – this time by wolves! After a mysterious encounter with the leader of the wolves, I was left wondering when Jack and Tiberon would meet up again – and what would happen between them. After finally entering the Academy, everything is not what Jack thought it would be. Impatient to find answers to the whereabouts of his missing father, Jack can barely contain himself and wants to forget about training and just start searching. And then there are the constant questions…is Ren Lucre really dead? What of the war? And is Jack’s father really still alive? All of this makes for an amazing story that I could not put down! And you won’t either! Guys especially will love this series as it features a great main character who will keep them interested. The battles, monsters, and non-stop action will also keep everyone reading until the end! So what are you waiting for? Go pick up the Jack Templar series and get reading!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. Jeff is also the co-CEO of College Works Painting, a national company with over 4,000 employees that has been featured in national media for its unique opportunity for college students to learn entrepreneurial skills. He is the author of the motivational career guides No Parachute Required (Hyperion) and Wake Up Call (Seven Guns Press). After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland by trying to constantly keep up with his kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.
Find him at…
Author website: http://www.jeffgunhus.com/
Book Website: http://www.jacktemplar.com
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/YA6Ui4
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/10caLMs
Mrs. L., EMS Blogger
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My vampire creator told me this: “Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understand?” I didn’t then, not really.
I do now.
In the book The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa, Allison lives in an abandoned schoolhouse with her “Fringer” friends Stick, Rat, and Lucas. The Fringe is the outermost circle of a city overrun by vampires. Once you live on the Fringe, not only is there no going back to your previous life, but you are also an Unregistered. An illegal life form. Food is scarce on the Fringe; therefore the Unregistereds are forced to hunt and gather. One night, Allison decides it would be a good idea to go in search of food in order to replenish her crew’s food supply, so she goes into the unknown, using specially made tunnels of course, finding her way out into the wilderness. Allison is elated when she comes across a building filled with cans and cans of food and more jugs of water than the whole Fringe city could drink! Knowing she couldn’t possibly carry all of this by herself, she settles on going back to her crew and returning with them, together. While in the tunnels, Allison runs into a fight between the mole men that live in the tunnels and a vampire. She stands by and watches the mole men die. After the vampire is done with them, he comes after Allison. She braces herself for death, but nothing comes. Surprised, she races back to her crew, brushing off her encounter with the vampire. Allison gets to the school house and her and her crew leave immediately. They make it to the food supply in one piece, but after they have a hearty meal and pile the food and water into their pockets, they run into a hungry group of rabids. Rabids are a form of vampire, only they have practically no human in them and cannot refrain from killing a human when they drink from them. After a vicious attack, Allison – injured – is shocked to see the vampire from earlier standing over her. “I can end the pain,” he said…
“Or?” Allison whispered. He sighed.
“Or…I can make you one of us…”
This one decision will change her life forever. Literally. I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gory and adventurous yet romantic and suspenseful book! An odd description, but Julie Kagawa makes it all work! One of the reasons I love this book is the adventure and also the underlying scheme that surprises everyone when it becomes so obvious. On page 151, Allison is staying with Kanin, her vampire creator, and she is planning to search through his office to look for something specific. “He probably wouldn’t care if I ventured down to the lowest floor, but I wanted to lie low for a few days, let things smooth over. I didn’t want to give Kanin any reason to suspect that I was planning to do something stupid.” Yup, some definite scheming going on! This is why I love this book! Another reason I love The Immortal Rules is because of the struggle that Allison goes through. It just seems so real and relatable even though vampires don’t exist. “My senses prickled a warning, and the vampire within urged me to attack, to silence her before she became a problem. I shut it down, hard.” Allison was thinking this after she started living with a clan of humans. It must’ve been so hard for her to be thirsty in a way only vampires can be and not be able to feed. Also, I absolutely love the character Zeke. I love him because after weeks of Allison lying about what she is, he still loves her. Every girl wishes for that special unconditional love, and, fortunately, Allison gets it.
This novel is amazing and if you read it and love it as much as I did, there is a whole series coming! The second book, The Eternity Cure, is due out on April 30th! So if you’re interested in a totally new and creative story about the life of Allison Sekemoto, “Fringer” turned vampire, then read The Immortal Rules!
To find out more about author Julie Kagawa, visit her website at http://www.juliekagawa.com/
And if you haven’t read her Iron Fey series – YOU MUST!
Lilly B., EMS Blogger
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