Posted by panaura on 23rd March 2010
This week I read two young adult novels: Superior Saturday (book 6 in the Keys to the Kingdom series) by Garth Nix, and The Viper’s Nest (book 7 in The 39 Clues series) by Peter Lerangis.
I have to be honest. I didn’t like Superior Saturday. Which is unusual because I love science fiction and fantasy books. But this novel really confused me. I haven’t read the first five books, which are all based on the days of the week (and if you look a little deeper, the seven deadly sins):
- Mister Monday (Sloth)
- Grim Tuesday (Greed)
- Drowned Wednesday (Gluttony)
- Sir Thursday (Wrath)
- Lady Friday (Lust)
- Superior Saturday (Envy)
- Lord Sunday (Pride)
So that might have been my downfall. By book 6, authors expect you to have some background knowledge of the plot and characters. So coming into the story with fresh eyes was not the best idea. The series follows 12 year old Arthur as he attempts to gather all seven Keys to the Kingdom–keys, which were left by the Architect, to a mortal heir. But Arthur is growing more and more immortal all the time. In this book, he must find the Sixth Key before his mortality runs out, and return home to stop a nuclear bomb from hitting his city. Those are some big orders to fill for anyone, let alone a 12 year old.
As a long time fan of The 39 Clues series, I really enjoyed The Viper’s Nest. I’m not going to give you too much info on it (the books are so short, I don’t want to ruin any surprises!). But I will say that Dan and Amy travel to South Africa following a clue left by their relative Irina Spasky before she gave her life for theirs. And Dane really steps up to the plate this book, using his awesome decoding abilities. That’s all I’ll say. Definitely check it out.
Tags: 39 clues, adventure, book series, fantasy books, garth nix, keys to the kingdom, kids book series, kids books, peter lerangis
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Posted by panaura on 1st March 2010
Books can really affect your mood. And this week my mood was fantastic! Both The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima and Possessed by Kate Cann were absolutely addicting.
The Demon King is set back in an unstated time–my guess is about 1000 years ago. The story follows two characters: Han, a retired thief and gang leader with a heart of gold; and Raisa, a princess who finds no luxury in the spoils of royalty and instead uses her wealth to help the less fortunate. The characters come from two completely opposite worlds: rich and poor, healthy and hungry. But their lives intertwine in a way that will change both of them forever. You’ll be hardpressed to find a historical fantasy-fiction novel for young adults that is more action-packed and easy to follow than The Demon King. I highly recommend it.
Possessed conforms to today’s trend of paranormal teen fiction. But this book gives readers more than just the typical “i-see-dead-people” plotline. Rayne is struggling with her home life and needs to get away. She finds the perfect opportunity to escape when she lands a job as a live-in waitress at an ancient estate called Morton’s Keep. But rumors about the estate’s horrific and bloody past makes Rayne question her safety, especially not that the past is resurfacing. Possessed will definitely keep you on your toes. It’s exciting, and most importantly it’s unique. Definitely worth a read.
Tags: book review, book series, fantasy books, ghost stories, historical fiction, paranormal books, recommended books, scary books, teen book reviews, teen books, teen ghost books
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Posted by panaura on 4th January 2010
This week I had the pleasure of reading two books in the same series: Tunnels and Deeper by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams.
They have the kind of covers that make you judge a book: they’re bold and striking, they’re thick and juicy. Well then, they must be good! But more and more lately, I’ve learned that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Not that Tunnels and Deeper were bad books, but Tunnels in particularly felt a little too long. (Even though Deeper was about the size of Tunnels and a half). It just dragged a some areas and could have been shorter.
The books follow Will, a budding archeologist, who follows an underground tunnel looking for his missing father. He and his friend Chester happen upon a dangerous underground world ruled by the Styx who immediately capture them. Will is released soon after, and discovers a shocking secret about his family. Chester, however, is held captive with the threat of being sent deeper into the earth, where the chance of survival is slim to none.
I definitely recommend these books to kids, especially boys, who aren’t afraid of a long read. The stories have wonderful characters, so as long as you can skim through the unnecessary description, you’ll definitely enjoy them.
Tags: book review, book series, kids books, preteen books, sci fi, science fiction books, young adult fiction
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