Posts tagged ‘sci-fi’

March 19, 2015

Read + Review — The Maze Runner by James Dashner

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

maze runnerThe Maze Runner is about a boy named Thomas who finds himself in a box surrounded by boys who say words that don’t make sense to him. Even worse, he seems to not be able to remember anything about himself, his age, family, etc. He can only remember his name and what he has learned, such as speaking or riding a bike; though, he doesn’t remember who taught him those things. The boys tell him that they have been there for two years and every once in a while, a new person is sent. Thomas most of the time gains vague answers to questions about the place but slowly learns that they are surrounded by a maze that keeps them from getting out. The next day, a girl arrives in the Box, who is unconscious and nearly dead. She is first girl, who Thomas seems to remember from somewhere, though that shouldn’t happen. She woke up immediately, declares that ‘Everything is going to change,’ and falls into a coma and the boys find a paper in her hand that says, ‘She’s the last one. Ever.’

I really enjoyed this book because of the suspense and writing style. There was so many mysteries that connected and lead to even bigger things that I could not put down the book. Everything came as a surprise and seemed so obvious later. The suspense of this book was thrilling and the writing style made the book enjoyable to read. I could picture everything that was happening in the book, even the slight, wry humor thrown in once in a while. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery, fantasy, and suspense.

One thing that is memorable and really stuck with me the entire book, was how all the boys, including those who were living near the Maze the longest, had developed a system of authority and sort of a government, really. I would imagine if you put a lot of boys ranging from the ages 10-18 all in one place and never let them out, I would think that they wouldn’t ever be able to organize themselves and be able to take care of everything, as well as develop a system of authority. All of them realized a lot of things really quickly, which really surprised me.

Reviewed by Ananya, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
0-five-stars

 

March 4, 2015

Read + Review — Fairest by Marissa Meyer

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

FairestFairest is a intriguing tale about a young princess who only wants to be beautiful and fall in love with an already taken man. Princess Levana was scarred as a child when her sister and crown princess, Channary, throws her into a fire. This is only the beginning of her troubles. It tells all about the Lunar Court and Levana’s role (or lack thereof).

I thought it was amazing. It reveals the calculating inter-workings of the Lunar Court. It helps explain some of the gaps in the earlier books, such as Levana’s connection to Cinder and the other characters. This is another great addition to the Lunar Chronicles.

Levana’s twisted mind won’t let you decide if you pity her or if you despise her.

Reviewed by Emily, grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library
0-five-stars       

March 4, 2015

Read + Review — A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

After the dThousand Pieces of Youevastating and sudden death of her father, Marguerite and one of her closest friends, Theo, race through multiple dimensions after the supposed killer. They utilize the strange device Marguerite’s parents invented, which is called the Firebird. This device allows one to travel through many different dimensions that are in existence. You can only travel through the dimensions when you are wearing the device around your neck, and only after it has been activated. These dimensions can be almost exactly the same as your home dimension or completely different and extremely dangerous. Here’s the catch — the Firebird hasn’t really been used before, so no one knows what could happen when you jump from one universe to the next.

Originally, I was captivated by this book because of its amazing description and beautiful cover. While reading it, I found myself getting lost in the fascinating characters and plot. I really enjoyed following the characters in their multiple life or death adventures. Some of the nail-biting moments in the plot made me not able to put it down! Since finishing the book, it has become one of my all-time favorites.

The different descriptions of the alternate universes and the well developed characters in this book really make it an interesting, fast-paced, unforgettable, and fun read.

 
Reviewed by Kayla, grade 9, Glen Allen Library  
0-five-stars

March 4, 2015

Read + Review — The Young Elites by Marie Lu

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

youngelitesA widespread fever, known as blood fever, infected and killed most of the population of Kenettra.  A few young children survived, and were left with strange markings on their bodies.  Among these survivors is Adelina Amourteru.  The Inquisition Axis, an agency that works for the king, is trying to kill every one of the survivors.  The people with markings are also known as malfettos.  The Inquisition Axis believes that malfettos could be a potential threat to the world.  A group of malfettos with exceptional abilities, the Young Elites, recruit Adelina Amourteru.  The Young Elites try to find others like themselves to destroy the Inquisition Axis and eventually rule Kenettra.

I think The Young Elites was an amazing book.  Some parts were full of tragedy, and others full of action, suspense, and love.  The Young Elites’ multiple genres kept my interest in the book.  Certain parts of the book could be improved in comedy, but overall, The Young Elites is one of the best books I have ever read.

One memorable thing about the book is Adelina Amourteru’s expression when she first meets Enzo, a Young Elite.

 

Reviewed by Atharva, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
0-five-stars

February 25, 2015

Read + Review — The Maze Runner by James Dashner

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

When Thomas wakes up, maze runnerhe has no recollection of anything, not even his own name. He finds himself in a strange place called the Glade where there are several other teenage boys. All of them have been sent to the Glade with none of their memories except for their name. The only way out and back to where they all came from is through the maze, an escape which the boys have been looking for, for almost three years. However, what none of them counted on was Thomas, someone who might finally be able to open the maze and get them out.

I really like the way the characters were crafted. Thomas was an interesting person and seeing things from his scope of view made you feel like you were actually in the Glade, going through all of these events. The situations could be terrifying at times and every chapter brought a cliffhanger of suspense, making me flip the page as fast as I could. James Dashner’s writing style makes you delve into the page and not come out which is what I most enjoyed. The Maze Runner gave me a break to run with Thomas and find out horrifying truths all at once.

The most memorable part about The Maze Runner is the knowledge of how everyone cared about all of them to try not to endanger their lives. The survival of everyone was taken into account instead of just certain people.

 

Reviewed by Mansa, grade 7, Glen Allen Library
0-five-stars

February 21, 2015

Read + Review — Silver by Chris Wooding

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

silverSilver is a book about a disease which practically turns the body into a robot. The disease spreads through animals and when they bite other beings, it spreads even more. The first few chapters introduce the reader to the main characters, who include Adam, Mark, Erica, and Caitlyn. All are students at Mortingham Boarding Academy, a classic English boarding school housed in a former workhouse.

I really enjoyed the idea of the book but I feel that it was conveyed in a weird fashion. A disease that turns people into robots seems like a very good idea, as it is impossible to happen in real life. But I think that it could have been used better; instead of animals getting it from bites, it should have also spread by the wind and the water. I feel if there was more action to the book, it would have been better. The characters were well designed and they were very good.

The most memorable part of the book is when the four have to team up to fight against the disease. The funny thing about this is that they would probably not be friends if the disease had not struck, it was just for that reason.

 

Reviewed by Abhinav, grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
four stars

February 19, 2015

Read + Review — The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

rules of thoughtThis book was the sequel to The Eye of Minds. It was about Michael’s life after he found Kaine. He ended up coming out of the VirtNet with someone else’s body. Sarah and Bryson’s lives are revealed, and apparently, Michael has a girlfriend. Who exactly IS Kaine, and what is his real motive?

I loved this book. It wasn’t as action-packed as Eye of Minds, but was still suspenseful. This book dealt with trying to find Kaine in real life and included a lot of real-life action. I didn’t really expect Bryson’s real-life appearance to be what they described, though. Sarah, I think, fit her character better.

The cover was gorgeous. The ending left us all hanging and waiting for the next book to come out.

Reviewed by Maggie, grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library
0-five-stars

February 12, 2015

Read + Review — Catalyst by S. J. Kincaid

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

CatalystTom Raines is not normal.  For a sixteen year old, he is tall, strong, and smart.  He is able to speak 30 languages, understand calculus and physics, and he can memorize a textbook in his sleep, not to mention controlling drones in space.  However, this is because of a secret he has hidden from his father.  Tom has a neural processor, a brain implant that allows him to download databases and control his mind more than any ordinary person.  In other words, he has a computer in his head.  After agreeing to have this implanted during a brain surgery, he trains and joins others just like him in the Pentagonal Spire, a training center for Intrasolar Cadets.  Upon returning after break, he finds a new general in charge, one who uses cruel methods and military tactics to ensure compliance and order.  Soon enough, problems arise as a mysterious figure, the ghost in the machine, annihilates thousands of technology companies and executives using methods shocking even to Tom. More and more difficulties arise.  The leader of the Obsidian Corp., Joseph Venegrov, attacks and discovers Tom’s secret, leaving him and his friends in danger.  Even with all the help he can get, the world is still doomed, for Venegrov, without Tom to stop him, can take over the world using a new system that no one has ever used before.

I feel that this is a very entertaining novel.  The plot is carefully developed, and the characters are well described.  Some situations in this book are serious, others humorous.  The writing style contributes to the quality of the book, and the suspense makes you want to continue reading and find the conclusion.  There is a thorough variation of vocabulary, and there are twists and turns that make you have to read until you finish the book.  Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I would recommend this to a friend.

There were many memorable parts of the book, but one part that sticks out in my mind is how Tom’s neural processor allowed him to slow down his comprehension of time, do calculus and advanced procedures, play instruments, control machines, download information, participate in simulations, go through firewalls, and many other feats.

Reviewed by Shivram , grade 7, Gayton Library  
four stars

 

February 12, 2015

Read + Review — Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

by AdrienneTheLibrarian

endgameThousands of years ago, an ancient race of aliens arrived on earth. They created the human civilization, obtained what they needed, and left. However, the aliens gave one clue: they would return. When they did, a tournament would be held. Now, after centuries, the time has come, and the games, which will define, determine, and destroy humanity, have begun. There are twelve players, related directly to the founders of the earliest civilizations. Each one is entirely normal. No superpowers, alien abilities, or magic. However, they are experienced, skilled, and highly dangerous. They all have their abilities, developed through training and hard work. The time to put their skills to use has come. It all starts with a set of meteors hitting different areas of Earth, killing, destroying, and causing carnage near the locations of the Players. Their attention is drawn towards these scenes, and they understand that the Calling has occurred; the members need to go to Xian, China, where they will each receive a clue from the gods. Using it, the Players of the different civilizations are responsible for finding three keys, the earth key, sky key, and sun key. The one to accomplish that feat gets the survival of themselves and their race. With no rules, the members do all they can to get hold of what they can, by killing, hacking, persuading, and betraying. The one thing no one is able to do is create peace. Therefore, all further meetings were destined to meet with bloodshed and pain. This continues, and only one player can survive. Everyone tries his or her hardest, to solve riddle after riddle, survive combat, and outwit the other. There is one reward for the winner. That person will be able to rule the world and everything in it. However, only one race will be left in the end. Everyone else is doomed to extinction.

I believe that this is a very entertaining read, with much detail in the plot, and well-described characters. The different situations are rather serious, and the humor is scarce, but that only establishes the overall mood and does not take away from the quality of the book. Along with that, the author’s writing style was well developed, and contributed to the overall quality of the book. The only factor of the book I felt could be improved is the beginning. For such a fast-paced novel, the first few chapters move too slowly compared to the rest of the book, and is uninteresting in comparison. Still, this was a very enjoyable tale, and I would recommend this to everyone.

There were many memorable parts of the book, but one exceptional factor is how the book is in the perspectives of all the Players. This gives insight on what they are feeling and explains events in different parts of the world, yet occurring at the same time.

Reviewed by Shivram , grade 7, Gayton Library  
four stars

February 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

by LisaTheLibrarian

Noggin, by John Corey Whaley

.. I was stuck in a mutated version of my old life where everyone had grown-up just enough to forget about me. Or, at the very least, move on to lives I could no longer fit into. My best friend had secrets and my girlfriend had a fiance. I came back from the dead for this? Joke’s on me.

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