Posts tagged ‘sci-fi’

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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December 30, 2014

Read + Review — Chasing Power, by Sara Beth Durst

by MandyTheLibrarian

chasingpower

Chasing Power details the adventure of a girl named Kayla, who was born with the power of telekinesis. After her father killed her sister, her mother took her and ran away. After training her power for several years, she became an expert shoplifter. She uses her skills for taking money that she saves up, in case she ever needs to go on the run again. One day, she meets a boy named Daniel, who has powers of his own. He enlists her help to find his mother, and the book is about their experience in doing so.

This book wasn’t exceptional, but it did try to set itself apart from all of the other YA novels. It had a well written, unique protagonist, which was something that I enjoyed greatly. However, the narrative felt stale, and lacking in color and description. The major plot twist was predictable, and most of the other characters fell into cliche roles, and had little character development.

One memorable thing about this book was the protagonist, who was strongly written and well developed. She was unlike many, many other YA novel protagonists, and was intelligent and straightforward, unlike the shrinking violets that are typically seen in these kinds of novels.

0-three-stars

Reviewed by Linda, grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

December 29, 2014

Read + Review — Divergent, by Veronica Roth

by MandyTheLibrarian

divergent

In Divergent, every person belongs to one of the five factions; Erudite, Abnegation, Amity, Dauntless, and Candor. Beatrice and her family belong to Abnegation. Each faction has a unique characteristic; Erudite are smart, Abnegation are the selfless, Amity are kind, Dauntless are brave, and Candor are truthful. Each year, at the Choosing Ceremony, everyone who is sixteen will decide which faction they choose to devote the rest of their lives to. Beatrice is forced to choose a faction not knowing what the outcome will be for her and her family.

I think that the book is really great, but the lack of humor and was noticeable. It didn’t really catch my attention like some other books do. Overall, Divergent had a unique concept, one that could be compare to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series!

One memorable thing about the book is when Beatrice wakes up Four from his mind-controlled trance.

four stars

Reviewed by Atharva, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

December 29, 2014

Read + Review — Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, Book Three), by Marissa Meyer

by MandyTheLibrarian

cress

The plot thickens as Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Captain Thorne attempt to rescue Cress from her satellite. This, however, goes all wrong when Cress and Captain Thorne end up in the desert. It’s a race against the clock to prevent Queen Levana from marrying Emperor Kai. The fate of planet Earth is at stake and only they can stop it.

My opinion on Cress is that it was the best book ever, next to Cinder and Scarlet. It is the perfect balance of adventure, science fiction, and humor. I especially enjoyed Captain Thorne and his frequent humorous comments. Even with that, he is as serious as everyone else.

One memorable thing was when Cress was kidnapped and taken to Doctor Erland.

0-five-stars

Reviewed by Ashley, grade 6, Gayton Branch Library

September 16, 2014

Read + Review: City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

by LisaTheLibrarian

For Clary and Jace fighting evil is the norm. They are shadowhunters and their job is to protect the world from demons and other monsters, but they have never experienced anything quite like this. Their society is falling apart, the good are becoming the bad; and it is all because of Clary’s brother, Sebastian. Together, Clary, Jace and their friends must adventure into an unknown world to find a way to stop Sebastian before he takes over the shadowhunter world.

City of Heavenly Fire is a fantastic end to The Mortal Instruments series. It had everything I wanted and more. The characters are compelling and full of personality complete with witty remarks and smart decisions. The plotline was action-packed and kept me on the edge of my seat, hungry for what happens next. This book craftily mixes all sorts of emotions into one book. I really enjoyed this book and I think most will agree Cassandra Clare is an ingenious writer. Take my advice, pick up this book today!

One memorable part is when Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and Alex travel into a new realm a demon shows them visions. This scene was really intriguing and gave the characters even more depth.

0-five-stars

Reviewed by Rylan, grade 7, Tuckahoe Area Library 

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