Rick Dial was a star quarterback for his Putnam Hills High School team until a car accident crushed his legs and made him dependent on crutches to even hobble 100 meters. Unsure of who he is without his athleticism, and embarrassed by his physical weakness, Rick retreats to the safety of his bedroom where he throws himself into video games and masters them. One day, while hobbling down the street, he is abducted by a government agency who convince him that the skills he displays during video play; coolness, quick thinking, and fearlessness are exactly the skills they need to combat a Russian cyberthreat to America known as the Realm. They want Rick to enter the Realm, and defeat the crazy genius who is masterminding the plot to control and disrupt American computer systems.
The biggest drawback is that, although Rick's body is fully functioning within the Realm, any injuries he sustains while in there are real, and when he withdraws from the Realm, the injuries remain. If he is killed while inside the Realm, he will remain in a coma forever in the real world. In spite of the very real threats to his existence, Rick realizes that this is a battle he has to face.
This is book one of a trilogy, guaranteed to be loved by those who enjoyed The Matrix or Ender's Game.
Celaena Sardothian has spent a year in the salt mines of Endovier, a place where most perish in months, when she is suddenly removed from the mines and given the choice of remaining in prison, or entering a competition to vie for the position of King's Champion. She negotiates a deal so if she wins, her contract is for four years, and then she goes free. It's an attractive proposition, but first she has to beat out 23 killers, thieves and soldiers. She has other worries as well. The distracting attractiveness of Crown Prince Dorian, threatens to disrupt her training focus, and the mysterious unsolved murders of the competitors by an unknown assailant in the castle threaten her life.
Characters like Celaena, tough, resilient, intelligent yet kind deserve a place on the library shelves. I will definitely be recommending this story to some of my stronger readers looking for a strong female character.
The paperback cover claimed that fans of Game of Thrones and Hunger Games would love it. I don't think it has the intrigue or complexity of characters to compete with Game of Thrones, and it's less gripping than Hunger Games, but it was still a good read.
Prized is the second book in the Birthmarked trilogy and it is a thrilling read from start to finish. It is definitely a book for advanced readers, and I would also suggest it's best suited to girls. The book introduces several new characters who contribute significantly to the development of the plot. I was hooked on Prized for multiple reasons. First, there's Gaia's suitors and her responses to their advances. I felt the angst of having to make a decision, and I liked them all!!! If romance doesn't do it for you, then there's the scientific problems with the community of Sylum, and what can be done to solve the mystery of acclimation sickness and the infertile expoolers. Finally, there's the political problems associated with a community where women make the decisions but are outnumbered by males nine to one. I do not want to give any spoilers because this was a fantastic read. I cannot tell you when I've enjoyed a second book as much as I did this one? WARNING: You definitely need to have read Birthmarked before reading Prized. What are you waiting for?!?!?! Go borrow or buy it now! Thank me later.
I picked this book up because I enjoyed MacHale's Pendragon series, and I love science fiction.
Tucker is the back up player for a senior tailback named Marty Wiggins, and Tucker is one of the last people to talk to Wiggins before he dies on the football field of unknown causes. Freaked out by what Wiggins said and how he looked, Tucker convinces his best friend, Quinn Carr to go for a late night bike ride. The boys see some kind of huge dark shadow out over the water, and then witness an incredible explosion. The next day, military personal descend onto their island, and quarantine the entire island indefinitely. Shortly after that, a second citizen dies in a similar fashion to Wiggins. The boys want answers, but no one is giving them any.
This is a fast moving adventure - one that I think decent male readers will enjoy.
Sixteen year old Kyra is a feisty female potions master who determines that her best friend, Aria, who happens to be both a princess and the future ruler of the kingdom, has to die. When Kyra's assassination attempt fails, she flees the palace only so that she will be able to try again. As much as it will hurt her, Kyra can not let her best friend destroy the kingdom.
Poison moves along quite quickly, and is an entertaining and enjoyable read.
I was so saddened to learn that this debut novel was written by someone who suffered an untimely death. I'd have been very interested to have read more of her works.
Oh my goodness!!!! Stop what you're doing and start reading this book RIGHT NOW (unless you haven't read book one, in which case you need to do that first!)
So often, the second book in a series is extremely disappointing for me - the author can't sustain my interest and the story drags. Not so with The Prey. Book two is awesome. Seriously... stop reading this review and get started on it; you can thank me later!
Here's the first two opening lines just to tease you: We thought we were finally free of them but we were wrong. That very night, they come at us.
The Prey continues the action, the intrigue, and even the romance started in book one. I KNOW that Hunger Games aficionados will enjoy this series. Trust me people... this is the next big hit. My gut's never wrong. Get it on your shelves a.s.a.p.
Warning... definitely for mature readers.
It has been a long time since I read a book in one night, but Fukuda's "The Hunt" kept me reading into the early hours of the morning, and I didn't resent a single second.
In post-apocalyptic America there are very few humans left and Gene is one of them. He hides openly among the vampires who rule the planet, and with the early help of his father has developed an incredible regime to avoid detection. His routine and survival is threatened however, when he unluckily wins a lottery that places him in a once-in-a-lifetime coveted position as one of the "hunters" of the last remaining hepers (humans). His plan to break his leg just before the hunt doesn't work, and he is forced to train with a bloodthirsty crowd who are growing increasingly suspicious of him.
Readers will love:
The vampires whose characteristics are fresh and intriguing
The fast non-stop action of the story
The twists (and there are a couple)
The (dare I say it?) Hunger Games-like feel when Gene is being pursued and the romance, which I'm not going to tell you about.
Yes, there are a few questions that a critical reader will ask, and a few places where the ability to suspend your disbelief gets stretched a little thin, but overall, I think this is going to be a real winner with my middle school readers. My gut instinct says it will only take one or two signouts before this book is a smoking hot commodity in my library. :-) It's been a while since I felt so certain about a book, and the really surprising thing is that I really, REALLY thought I could not stand yet another book with vampires! I was wrong ... so wrong. Sadly, this is book one but happily, book two is supposed to be out very soon. I'll be in that line-up for sure.
16 year old Gaia Stone lives in a world where some live, as does she, outside the wall, in relative poverty, and some live a privileged existence inside the wall. She has followed in the footsteps of her mother and become a midwife, and is therefore required to "advance" the first three infants she delivers each month, which means take them from their mothers and give them to the Enclave where they will be raised by wealthy families and live a life of luxury. Gaia doesn't question this until her parents are arrested and she must get inside the wall to see her mother. What happens once she is inside the wall makes up the majority of the story.
Birth marked is an exciting read that I will definitely be recommending to some of the grade eights at my school. I think it would be enjoyed by lovers of dystopia as well as those who love a tough female character. Warning: This is not a stand alone story. There are questions left unanswered when this story ends. :-(
17 year old Kaya is a Healer, but her parents kept that a secret as long as they could because they didn't want her to have to fight in the war. When her talent is discovered, she is sent to Shadow Academy, to learn to heal. She is almost killed before she arrives, and then shortly after that she is almost killed again, but luckily is saved by Darius not once but twice. Kaya decides she has to learn to fight so she can protect herself, but Healers are not allowed to learn how to fight so she decides to enlist some secret help. She asks both the boy she is bound to, and the teacher who seems to hate her, to train her, but only one will help her and the consequences are enormous.
Sage is one of four orphans purchased from orphanages by Bevin Conner, a regent with plans to produce a false prince to impersonate Prince Jaron, who perished during a pirate attack four years ago, but whose body was never found. Conner leaves the boys very little choice about acquiescing to his plan, and thus begins their two week training in how to impersonate nobility.
This book reminded me of "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner, and would be enjoyed by middle school students who are decent readers and enjoy books set in medieval times.
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
Just didn't enjoy it as much as Shadow and Bone. I just felt like the author was really trying a bit too hard to draw this story out. I was able to put it down several times and I couldn't put Shadow and Bone down so there's the differen...
The Grisha triology is a fantasy series that I really enjoyed. I reread the last book because I thought I wasn't remembering something. I'm a bit confused because I've started King of Scars and Nikolai isn't as I remembered. Don't want...
by Tahereh Mafi
I’m not usually someone who enjoys a story that is predominantly about the attraction between two people BUT I did like this one. The setting is one year after 9/11 and 16 year old Shirin, an American born Muslim whose family moves freq...
I love a good mystery, and although I correctly guessed the murderer in the first chapter, I still thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns.