Some other books I have read…

Over the last year, I have actually done a lot of reading, but have not managed to post about all the books I have read… here are a few of them with very brief comments:

  • The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas

An interesting character – very vague seeming and often distracted, but logical in a weird and unnatural way! Thinking outside the square (or in this case – the circle)! Enjoyable but strange!

  • Mortlock by Jon Mayhew

Magic, curses, shapeshifters, the dead rising… Young Adolescent Horror (but not really THAT scary)!

  • Magic Under the Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Two young people meet, but one is under enchantment/curse and imprisoned in a clockwork body while the other is a young dancer who took a chance on a job with some very magical results. They must challenge society to remove the curse! A good read for younger Secondary and Upper Primary students.

  • My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

Vampire society is not what you think. There is a definite hierarchy with a mad woman at the top and human hunters attacking from the edge. This particular vampire family has an unusual ally in Lucy and an even more unusual daughter in Solange – who was born, not made – leading to all sorts of political and romantic mayhem! An easy read and enjoyable.

  • Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Book 1 in the Morganville Vampires series. Morganville is secretly run by vampires. Claire Danvers is a new College student who in an attempt to escape bullying, stumbles onto not only the truth, but an unusual house (and it’s occupants) which stands slightly outside of the rules! Enjoyable, but I don’t think I will worry about the rest of the series.

  • By Midnight by Mia James

April Dunne is forced to move to Highgate and attend a new school called Ravenwood. Of course all is not as it seems. Two hot boys vie for her attention. One could get her killed. The other could get her killed or save her – she is not sure which, especially after her father is brutally murdered and she becomes more familiar with her mother’s side of the family! Enjoyable.

  • The Keepers by Lian Tanner

Dystopian Worlds for Children and Young Adults. Goldie Roth does not fit into her world, and when she runs away and ends up at the mysterious Museum of Dunt she becomes involved in a world of secrets, threats and magic! Everything is not a s it seems and eventually
Goldie and her new friend, Toad, must stand up not just for themselves and the museum, but all of their loved ones as well! Great book!

  • Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Werewolves are real, but they are not bitten and they are not horrific slathering monsters. Hanover Falls begins to panic as people suddenly start dying, however as she reaches her sixteenth birthday, Claire discovers her mother’s secret and her own life changes irrevocably. Can she keep her secret, fall in love with the boy and save her mother from capture, torture and eventual death?! Loved this!

  • Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski

In a medieval Europe the sons of feudal lords train as knights. Etienne is sent to Lucanne to train with Lord Geraint, but soon discovers that Geraint is bisclavret – a born werewolf. When Geraint’s enemies take advantage of his disillusioned wife and attack, Etienne must decide where his loyalties lay – and face up to his own secrets as well! Good book for Upper Primary / Junior Secondary students.

  • Meridian by Amber Kizer

Meridian has always been different. Things tend to die around her… insects, animals and now people! In a desperate bid to protect their daughter, Meridian’s parents send her to stay with her great aunt, where she learns that she is only half human, half angel and it is her responsibility to help the dying pass over… but there are those who would stop her and enslave her for evil if they could… An okay book – I found the characters annoying – often whiny!

  • Shadow – A Dark Touch Novel by Amy Meredith

Eve Evergold is shallow and egotistical. Her life revolves around clothes and gossip. Yet somehow she has supernatural powers and is the only one who can identify and stop the demon who is trying to kill her… but what if he is really cute and a great dresser? Didn’t really enjoy this one!

  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah Williams is a habitual liar. This is her retelling of the events surrounding the death of her boyfriend, Zach… or was he? And just where does the family secret fit in? Is she really the latest in a family of werewolves?This book kept me guessing right up to and after the end! I’m still not sure where the truth starts and the lies end! Great Book!

  • White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel is not your average anything. His family are magic workers, which is illegal and spend their lives on the grift – working cons to live. Cassel is the only one who can’t do magic, or is he? and just what kind of magic can he do? Loved this!

  • Revelations / The Van Allen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

Two more of the Blue Bloods series… vampire elite in New York city – Blue Blood or Silver Blood? I’m not enjoying the series as much as I did the earlier books!

  • Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bryn is not a werewolf. She has been raised by werewolves, after the death of her parents, and is fully aware of their laws and customs. When she breaks those laws to find Chase, a newly changed werewolf, she must pay the consequences. When she challenges the pack and runs away with Chase to confront his make… is she really defying them? Enjoyable read!

  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Fairies rule! And when Meghan  turns that magical age – sixteen, she must follow her destiny, confront the father she never knew and journey into strange and dangerous fairy realms to confront evil and save a young Prince… Enjoyable!!!

  • Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

Before the dawn of time, there was evil. As the world developed and evolved, so did the evil. Now it is Savannah’s newly awakened powers that must save not only herself, but her family and new boy Reece. Savannah’s powers are based in her throat and are a new evolution or mutation as nature struggles to combat the evil. Struggled a bit with this one!

  • The Boy Who Wasn’t There by Michael Panckridge

Gabrielle has no memory of her past. She doesn’t know who she is, or where she comes from. She does know that there is something strange happening at her new foster home. Who is the strange boy she keeps seeing? Why do strange and awful things keep happening to her? Does she have a gift, or is she cursed? Good for Mid to Upper Primary.

  • The Secret Hour by Scott  Westerfeld

At midnight, most people are sound asleep or unconscious in the town of Bixby. New girl, Jessica should be too, but she isn’t, and the world she find outside at midnight is definitely not for the faint hearted! Can she and her new friends, especially Johnathan get to the bottom of the disturbances before the whole town becomes a victim? Enjoyable – I love this author!

  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Evie considers herself to be normal – or as normal as you can be when you are a secret agent who chases werewolves, vampires, faeries and shapeshifters for a living and live in a bunker surrounded by paranormal beings. When paranormals begin to die and disappear and then a young shapeshifter called Lend is captured… Evie discovers a few hard truths about herself! Enjoyable!

  • Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Mercy is an angel, exiled from heaven and doomed to return to earth endlessly, each time in a new body, taking over someone else’s life. This time she is in Carmen’s life, waking up on a bus on the way to a ‘cultural exchange’ of choirs in a small town where things are not what they seem! Carmen is staying with the family of a young girl who went missing years before. Now another girl goes missing and it is up to Mercy and Ryan (the first missing girl’s brother) to piece together the facts. A great read for Secondary students. Deals with bullying and guilt issues.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

Thomas arrives at The Glade with no memory of who he is or where he has come from, except his name.  The Glade is not a place for the faint hearted. Sitting in the middle of a huge maze and surrounded by massive stone walls, the Glade is inhabited by teenagers ranging from 13 – 17, who run their world to strict guidelines. Each boy has a job. The Keepers are in charge. The Runners run the Maze each day. No one stays out in the Maze at night. If you break the rules punishment is harsh and sometimes deadly!

Outside the Glade, the Maze is inhabited by the Grievers. Clanking, Grinding creatures who’w spongy flesh hides their viscous and deadly needles and appendages. No one stays out in the Glade at night! By the time Thomas has been in the Glade for a day, he knows he wants to be a runner. But then another adolescent arrives. The Next Day! And it’s a Girl!! Things are changing. This is not good, and somehow it is Thomas’ fault! Who is he really?

Very enjoyable book. The characters are believable and the vernacular they use instead of swearing is quite funny. All is not as it seems. Thomas is central, not just to the story, but to the Glad and the Maze and to the escape…

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Generation Dead

Generation Dead

Phoebe is your average adolescent… with a tendency to Goth clothing, loud music and top grades. She is also different because she is interested in a dead guy! All across America (but no the rest of the world), teenagers who die, do not necessarily stay dead! Many of them return as ‘Zombies’. Not the gross horror film version that eat brains and groan a lot, but as ‘Differently Biotic’ teenagers who, to varying degrees, return to their normal lives, attend school, enjoy music and have friends…

Zombies are not universally loved or accepted, but they are working to overcome that. Tommy Williams joins the Football team, much to the disgust of the coach and many of the bullies who are central to the team. Phoebe and her friend Adam are among the few who seem to be able to accept the ‘Dead’ for who they are, which puts them in conflict with those same bullies.

I enjoyed this book. Phoebe and Adam are great characters and thought Tommy can be a bit devoid of expression – he is dead so that must be excused! The book focuses on themes of friendship, individuality, bullying and guilt. A pretty hefty mix, but lightly dealt with and not too cumbersome!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent

Divergent

Imagine a world torn apart by war. One city in America still functions but all is not as it seems. Society has been divided into five Factions. Each Faction focuses on the traits and abilities they feel will best protect humanity from further war and destruction. Abnegation values selflessness and honour. Candor values truth. Erudite values knowledge. Dauntless values courage and bravery. Amity values happiness. All children are born into a faction and grow up according to those rules and beliefs. At 16, each adolescent is test using computers and a serum to determine which Faction they are best suited to. the next day, each adolescent is allowed to choose their future Faction for themselves. If they get past the Initiation period, they are then fully integrated into their new faction. If they do not pass initiation, they then become Factionless and live on the streets of the city doing menial tasks.

Breatice, who becomes Tris begins the story as Abnegation, but after her testing goes wrong and her results are inconclusive, she is deemed to be Divergent and urged to keep this information to herself as it is very dangerous! The next day she chooses Dauntless for her new Faction, much to her father’s disgust, and begins a whole new adventure!

But all is not as it seems. As Tris learns to jump on and off moving trains, fight, shoot guns and conquer fear, as well as earn the trust and love of her new friends (especially the young leader named Four), the government of her city is being challenged by an Erudite leader who uses the media for a smear campaign. Tris’ father is one of the targets. Eventually the challenge steps up a few notches and challenges not just the government, but the whole belief system of the Factions!

I love this book! The characters are very empathetic and the society is brilliantly drawn. The factions mirror many of the cliques and groups found within schools and society in general. This book is a Dystopian Fantasy. That means that it depicts a supposedly Utopian Society and then looks at it’s faults and how those faults impact on the lives and choices of the main protagonists! Very well done! I highly recommend this book!

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas

Three orphans, Kate, Michael and Emma P. are orphaned under unusual and difficult circumstances… and then over the course of ten years, are shunted from orphanage to orphanage until finally they end up at the strangest orphanage of all at Cambridge Falls!

While exploring their new home, they discover an old leather book, which when Kate places an old photo on one of it’s pages, transports them back to the time and place of the photo. A time and place where all children are prisoners of an evil but gorgeous witch who will stop at nothing to possess the old leather book!

The Leather book is actually the Emerald Atlas of the title, one of three powerful artifacts which were hidden, thought destroyed hundreds of years ago, and are now being sought by forces of evil. The three twins are each very different and lead by Kate, the eldest, they strive to understand the suddenly magical world they find themselves in, save the children and adults of Cambridge Falls, help the Dwarves,  keep the Atlas out of  the hands of the Wicked Countess, understand the mysterious hints and plots of Doctor Pym as well as stay together as a family and find their parents!

I enjoyed this book greatly, but found the start a little cumbersome! Suitable for mid to late Primary students.