Posts tagged action
After rushing the most yards in a football game, 18-year-old Jack Danielson is living the life. He thinks he’s about to score with his girlfriend, P.J. The life of a typical teen, right? Not for Jack. His life is about to be turned upside down. After a lifetime of being told by his parents not to stand out academically or in sports, not to draw attention to himself, he finds out that his parents are not his actual parents and that his whole life is a lie.
His father tells Jack that “they” are coming and that he has to run. He tells Jack that he has to survive because he’s the beacon of hope. The hope for what? With no more information than this, he runs from whatever is now chasing him.
He ends up in Manhattan, where he inadvertently trusts the wrong person. What he thought was a cute girl turns out to be one of the creatures chasing him, called a “Gorm.” He gets more clues as well, but he has no idea what they mean. The Gorm called him a Prince, and they’re after something called “Firestorm.” After rescuing an overgrown mixed mutt of a dog that can talk to him telepathically, he thinks he’s found another ally. Man’s best friend, right?
After rescuing Gisco (the dog), he says he has answers, but little to none are forthcoming because Gisco’s been told not to say anything because Jack won’t be able to handle the information. (more…)
Hiccup is the son of the chief of the Tribe of Hairy Hooligans, Stoick the Vast, so shouldn’t he be as strong and fearless as his cousin Snotlout? Alas, Hiccup gets the moniker of Hiccup the Useless. Every Viking warrior needs a dragon, and during the Dragon Initiation Test all the boys of age will soon become full-fledged members of the tribe. Unbeknown to the tribe, an ancient Sea Dragon has been awakened and is mighty hungry.
Things do not go as planned for Hiccup during the test. The dragons from the nesting cave wake up and chase the boys. After failing so spectacularly to train their dragons, all the boys are exiled. On the tail end of this event, the Sea Dragon(s) cometh. It’s up to Hiccup and his “mighty” dragon Toothless to save the day.
I had put off reading this series for a while, because I tend not to read the uber-popular books right away. I’m glad I did, because now I have eight more great adventures to read! This book is chock-full of fantastic humor, characters (both human and dragon), and hilarious drawings. Hiccup and Toothless are the underdog heroes of this little saga, and they prove that when you have the brains, you don’t necessarily need the brawn to save the day.
Continue reading about Hiccup’s adventures in How to Be a Pirate, How to Speak Dragonese, How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse, How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale, A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons, How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm, How to Break a Dragon’s Heart, and How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword (coming out in October 2011).
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 2004)
Not available as an eBook at this time.
Image from www.goodreads.com
FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from the local library.
Subject Seven is a creation of science. In a mysterious compound controlled by a group called Janus, Seven has endured horrific tests to see how his body and mind responds. At the age of ten his rage has hit the breaking point, and he escapes, killing and maiming everyone in his path.
Five years later, Seven is on the hunt to find answers. He wants to be freed from the prison of his Other. The Other is his normal teenage half, the half who was allowed to live a life of ease and love. Seven has learned how to control the change from himself to his Other, and with this knowledge and freedom he learns there are others like him that were not destroyed. Considered failures by Janus, four Subjects survived and were secretly given up for adoption.
Seven, now calling himself Joe Bronx, gathers the others to reveal what has been causing their blackouts. The truth is that they were created to be the perfect military sleeper assassins—housed in the bodies of teenagers and awakened upon command. Awakened, they morph into another person altogether, a definite Jekyll and Hyde scenario. The Jekyll persona is full of rage, almost unchecked violence, and glee at finally being free. They are ready to find a way to banish their Others. (more…)
(Review based on ARC of the book.)
In this thrilling, debut novel of “cataclysmic natural disaster,” Alex Halprin lives in modern-day Cedar Falls, Idaho, playing video games and arguing with his little sister on a regular basis. One day when his family has left for the weekend to visit an uncle, the unthinkable happens: Yellowstone erupts in a volcanic super-eruption, leaving thousands of miles under layers of ash and projectile rock with no modern form of communication and few resources for immediate survivors. Alex begins the harrowing journey to Warren, Illinois, where his family is–he hopes–safely harbored with other relatives.
Alex’s journey is laborious and often heart wrenching as he cross-country skis through the ash. He makes his way through cities, towns, and open, desolated land, meeting friends and strangers alike and finds himself running from cutthroat murderers, looters, and others like him just trying to survive. At one stop, Alex passes out from injuries and ends up at a farm where strangers Darla and her mother nurse him back to health; a steady relationship begins to bond the two teenagers. When tragedy strikes again and forces them back on the road, Darla accompanies Alex on his journey to Illinois, and they continue to skirt danger, both environmental and man-made. (more…)
A word of warning: don’t let the cover fool you–this book is really fun!
Newbery Award-winning author Naylor sets off on a tale in the untamed west where Emily, a recently orphaned girl who has inherited an unexpected fortune, attempts to escape her greedy, conniving Uncle Victor. Though timid and used to sitting quietly indoors all day, she grits her teeth and sets off in a coach (with her trusty pet turtle in hand), hoping to live with her distant but kind-hearted aunt. Along the way Emily meets Jackson, an orphan and a street urchin, and together they find themselves running for their lives and working together to befuddle Uncle Victor. In Emily’s adventures she learns how to climb tall trees, sleep outdoors, and disguise herself as a boy, all the while growing from meek to self-sufficient, and it’s a fun transition to witness.
Fun illustrations appear throughout the text, as do enlarged captions and Wild West “rootin’ tootin’” phrases (such as “blinkin’ bloomers”) that lead readers from one chapter to the next. Naylor keeps the action fun and her characters funny, elaborating on genteel ladies as they complain about bumpy wagon rides and overly ambitious child-services agents. With smart, quirky character names like “Miss Catchum” of the Catchum Child-Catching Services and Emily’s helpful neighbors—Mrs. Ready, Mrs. Aim, and Mrs. Fire—Naylor maintains the ride throughout, keeping it entertaining. With the southern dialogue and western “slang”, it would make for a great class read-aloud. It’s a book that shows just how strong and smart a little girl can become without being too girly—and really, anyone who learns to appreciate a good tree climbing while “hootin’ and hollerin’” is a-okay by me! (more…)
In the not-so-distant future, climate change has taken over and the earth has been submerged, oceans covering the majority of land on Earth. The survivors are few and struggling, trying to live with limited resources and virtually no technology. There is one beacon of hope: Eck’s Island. Jokingly renamed X Isle, it is a place where a select few–young boys only–are taken to work and, as payment, are properly fed and cared for by the divers and salvagers who hire them.
When Baz is selected to board the Eck brothers’ boat, it seems like a dream come true. Along with Ray, another recruit, Baz excitedly awaits their arrival, only to realize that their paradise is tainted, not the safe haven they were promised. Clustered in disgusting conditions and forced to work on little food at exhaustive tasks, they take physical and mental abuse daily from their so-called saviors. Baz and Ray protect one another as best they can, and soon they bond with the other boys, trying to survive the brutal labor and the crazy sermons of “Preacher John,” the Eck’s father and manager of the salvage operation they run. As tempers rise and Preacher John’s religious declarations of the apocalypse escalate, the boys realize they’re in a dangerous game of survival, and they must plot a way to either escape or be the last ones standing. (more…)
Side note: I just finished Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull, author of the great juvie series Fablehaven. I think Mull has outdone himself, and I cannot wait to read the next installment in this new series! Since Ruby reviewed it a few weeks back, I’ve added my thoughts to hers–check out this amazing, incredible new fantasy (just released last week)!
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
(Review based on ARC of book.)
There seems to be an abundance of strong middle-reader fantasy books lately! John Stephen’s debut novel, The Emerald Atlas, has a great magical tingle to it. If you combined the Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Harry Potter, Fablehaven, and the Lord of the Rings, to name a few, you would have a really good feel for the spunky fun, adventure, and depth of The Emerald Atlas.
Atlas features three “orphaned” siblings–Kate, Michael, and Emma–who were long ago sent away for safe keeping by parents they hardly remember, and they are still waiting, years later, for their parents’ return. Kate and her siblings find themselves shuttled from orphanage to orphanage until they end up in a forgotten-looking mansion in a desolate-looking town with a strange old man as their caregiver. Upon searching the house, they find a magic book that resembles an album, and when Michael puts a picture in it, all three kids are magically transferred to the time and location of the photo! (more…)
(Review based on ARC of book.)
If I could tell you (the adoring public) to read a book and know–absolutely know–that you would pick it up and actually read it, this post would read; Divergent by Veronica Roth comes out in May. Read it. The end.
Sadly, my every whim does not typically get carried out by the rest of the world, so here are some plot points and other fun facts.
The world has changed into one none of us would recognize. In order to avoid wars and the negative aspects of humanity that go along with them, a dystopian American society has broken up into five distinct factions, each one a representative of a virtue that some people think can keep conflict at bay. In Candor, members strive to only tell the truth, hurtful or uncomfortable as it might be. Dauntless is for the brave, the protectors. Amity lifestyle is that of peace, no matter how it is obtained, while Erudites value knowledge above all else. And, lastly, there is Abnegation, dictating a plain, selfless lifestyle, others first at all times. (more…)
This book is a riot!
As Henry Mosely states pompously to his two friends Riley and Reed, “We may be the most boring twelve-year-olds on the planet.” Whether or not that’s true, the rambunctious trio agrees that something must be done so that they may become “Men of Action and Daring” in order to better “Impress Girls” and “Alter the Course of History.”
The first course of action, obviously, is to tie their friend Reed to a bicycle and have him attempt to ride down a neighbor’s roof, somersault in mid-air, and bounce off of the swimming pool diving board unharmed, all in the name of creating a new world record. (Kids: do not try this at home!) While Reed is amazingly uninjured by the stunt, he does end up deep in a dumpster and smelling pretty gross. (It turns out this is a theme.)
One crazy stunt follows the next as Henry, the architect and the logistics planner; Riley, the meticulous observer-and-reporter of all attempted manly exploits; and Reed, the hapless guinea pig, try their hands at bigger and better things, all followed by Manly pronouncements on Adventure and Fame (from their directing supervisor Henry, of course). Paulsen breaks the chapters down into individual adventures, three of which are based on previously published short stories for Boy’s Life magazine. There is an attempt at outdoor survival with only school supplies at hand (and an escaped circus animal), solving a local hundred-year murder mystery (in a haunted house), and being rodeo cowboys at a family ranch (involving a great deal of smelly manure), to name a few. (more…)
… and no, these vampires don’t sparkle in sunlight.
Cal is a 19-year-old Texan vampire living in New York City. Okay, so technically he’s a carrier for the parasite that makes people into full-fledged vampires, so as far as being infected, he’s sane and in control. Cal works for the Night Guard, an organization deep underground that tracks down Parasite Positives or “Peeps” for short (the preferred term for vamps) and medicates them so that they are no longer a threat to society.
Signs you may be infected? See in the dark: check. Start craving extra-rare meat: check. Shun the things you once loved: check. Of course, the eventual cannibalism and lack of conscious communication are pretty good giveaways too. Oh yeah, and the flock of rats, also carriers, that make up your brood. Pretty sexy lifestyle, right?
Cal is following a trail of his progenitor and of those individuals he accidentally turned (the parasite is transferred through saliva, blood, and sex-ed related bodily fluids). Once he tracks down his ex-girlfriends and some tenants who mysteriously disappeared from the same floor in a swanky apartment building, he starts to notice some anomalies: some of these Peeps talk, and some even seem to recognize him, which shouldn’t really be possible. Throw in a red-eyed, gloating cat that commands a group of thousands of rats in a subterranean complex and the unmistakable smell of ultimate evil. Then add the fact that only one out of one hundred people are supposed to be “immune” like Cal is, but somehow he finds four in the same contamination group, and Cal starts questioning everything he’s ever been told. (more…)