adventure

Book Review: The Secret of the Silver Mines (Dylan Maples Adventures #2)

I didn’t know that this was part of a series when I first requested it but luckily it was perfectly fine as a standalone read. It’s a young adult adventure novel, but I definitely got the feeling that it was aimed at younger young adults than myself. The main character is 12-year-old Dylan Maples, so I assume the target audience is around that pre-teen age, too.

Dylan’s father often moves around for his work, which is as a lawyer. They’re now moving to Cobalt, in north Canada. “Hicksville”, as Dylan calls it. It’s only for a few months, but Dylan is dreading leaving his friends behind. Cobalt is bound to be so boring. How will he ever survive?

But of course, Dylan finds adventure in this seemingly sleepy town. As usual, I won’t tell too much of the plot, but I will say that Dylan finds himself in the middle of the law suit his dad is working on.

Dylan makes a friend in Cobalt, too – Wynona. He meets her almost immediately, though they don’t become acquainted until a little later on. Their relationship remains platonic, though it is fairly obvious that there are some deeper emotions.

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

Personally, I found this to be quite a young book. It included a huge amount of similes and metaphors and what I’d consider ‘simplistic’ writing. It wasn’t bad, it just felt like it was a bit too young for me to enjoy.

For a younger audience I could see this as being quite interesting, though I found it a little slow at times. 3 stars.

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Graphic Novel Review: Adventure Time Volume #1

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Adventure Time Vol. 1 (Issues 1-4) by Ryan North – Paperback, 113 pages – Published February 1st 2013 by Titan Publishing Company

I love the show and just had to read this. Now I’m possibly in love with it.

The story is simple yet great; The Lich is sucking up the world into his bag and Finn and Jake must save everyone. They are accompanied by some fabulous characters – Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Lumpy Space Princess, Desert Princess, The Ice King – and there are some hilarious pieces of dialogue. All the characters have funny, well-developed personalities that you can’t help but fall in love with.

I also like how the fourth wall is often broken – Marceline moans at the readers, and fake “The End” pages are included for humour. It gives the novel a unique feel that I really enjoyed.

The artwork is amazing. Like, absolutely awesome. So much colour! And it’s all so clear and beautiful. The only problem with the appearance in this novel is that the text at the bottom of some pages is a strange, pale green that is pretty hard to read against the white background of the pages.

Toward the back of the book, there are also tons of different cover images, all in different art styles. I loved them all! They were a great touch to the novel.

 

I was very tempted to give this 5 stars, but I don’t think it’s quite there. But 4.5 stars for sure!866A98B32CBD639D32E20CEBF70E4491

Book Review: Splintered

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Splintered by A.G. Howard (Splintered #1) – Paperback, 377 pages – Published January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books

I first read this book earlier this year, and loved it so much that I went and ordered the whole series.

Look at that cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I absolutely adore it, along with everything else about this book. The purple font, the pattern at each chapter’s start, absolutely everything. It’s easily one of my favourite books, and I am dying to read the rest of the series!

Splintered is basically a modern, punky twist on the classic Alice in Wonderland.  I’m in love with everything to do with Carroll’s novel – I’ve even seen Alice Lidell’s grave, and am thinking of basing my bedroom on the novel – so when I saw this book in the library I just had to read it.

Alyssa is an almost-normal teenage girl. She’s a descendant of Alice from Lewis Carroll’s book, with a mother who’s trapped in a mental asylum. Her dad provides sporting gear for the inside skate park where Alyssa spends most of her free time, Underland. Her closest friend, Jebediah, also happens to work there. Oh, and Jeb’s girlfriend is the daughter of Underland’s owner (not to mention a major bitch).

For years, Alyssa has been able to hear the voices of bugs and plants around her. Afraid of suffering the same fate as her mother Alison, she’s kept this ability to herself, silencing the insects with death and using them in her artwork.

But one day she puts the pieces together, and realises that Alison isn’t all that insane after all. With a little help from her moth-like friend, Alyssa finds her way through the mirror and down the rabbit hole.

The tasks she completes with Jeb are just as eccentric as Carroll’s fairytale, with dark and strange twists on his characters and ideas. Zombie flowers, Rabid White, the octobenus, and, of course, Morpheus. Battling her mixed emotions, Alyssa is determined to do anything it takes to help her mother.

Little does she know, Morpheus is actually setting her up for the role of queen, not helping her escape Wonderland at all. Her final hope is her wish – a solidified tear given to her by a powerful netherling creature – but when she sees who freed Queen Ivory from the eternal imprisonment of the jabberlock box (therefore suffering that fate themselves) she is forced to rethink her plan.

I simply love this book. Alyssa is such a strong, funky character, and both guys are so different. Morpheus is full of tricks and deceives Alyssa on more than one occasion, but she still can’t let go of the admiration she’s held since the childhood they shared in her dreams. As for Jeb, Alyssa just can’t rid herself of her emotions toward him. He’s a sort of grunge/punk figure, who’s incredibly protective of his friend. When he finally admits his feelings for her, Alyssa can’t help but think of the girlfriend he’s left behind in the human realm.

Everything about this book is just so unique and quirky. Chessie, Rabid White, Grenadine, Ivory, the Twid sisters, Morpheus… Despite all the dangers Wonderland holds, I honestly want to go there even more since I read this boits,

I found this book so easy to read both times, and am simply in love with it. It’s funky, it’s full of amazing descriptions and imagery, and it’s a wonderful tribute to a fantastic novel. An easy 5 stars. I am so excited to read the rest of the series, it’s unbelievable!

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Book Review: Terminal

Terminal by Kathy Reichs (Virals #5) - Hardback, 380 pages - Published March 26th 2015 by Arrow (Young)

Terminal by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs (Virals #5) – Hardback, 380 pages – Published March 26th 2015 by Arrow (Young)

Terminal is the fifth book in the Virals series by Kathy Reichs. I know I’ve reviewed a ton of books in this series now, so I’ll try to keep this one relatively short!

The Virals gang are always getting into trouble. But this time, they have multiple severe problems to worry about: a rival pack and, worse, some mysterious black-suited men asking questions about them. Which was worse? Losing against the Trinity, or becoming a bunch of lab rats for some secret government agency?

First, Tory and her friends need to find out the identities of their opponents. While the first two seem to be somewhat easy to find, the third member of the Trinity – the mystery girl – brings quite a shock to every member of the Viral pack.

As usual, the Reichs’ bring tons of action, problem-solving and surprises in this Virals sequel. Nothing is certain: who are the Trinity? Who are these mystery detectives? Will this be their last adventure? 

I said I’d keep this short, so I’ll try to wrap this up now. I love this series. I’ve been looking forward to this book for ages, and I definitely was not disappointed. As well as the two main problems the pack is facing, Tory has another issue; multiple boys are after her, and she doesn’t know who she wants. I love how this book has teenage humour to it, a little bit of romance – the perfect amount, in my opinion – and tons of unexpected plot twists. 4 stars for Terminal!

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Book Review: Exposure

Exposure by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs (Virals #4) - Paperback, 432 pages - Published September 11th 2014 by Arrow (Young)

Exposure by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs (Virals #4) – Paperback, 432 pages – Published September 11th 2014 by Arrow (Young)

I know you’re probably getting fed up of me reviewing every book in this series, so I’ll (try to) keep this short.

Oh my God. This is definitely my favourite book in the Virals series so far. The Virals gang is drawn into yet more trouble, putting Tory and her new best friend in severe danger. Her relationship with Ben is wobbly, after the whole Gamemaster situation and his admission to certain feelings toward his packmate.

As usual, this book has the perfect mix or crime, problem-solving, adventure, humour, teenage input and a hell of a lot more. A strong 4.5 for this book! Can’t wait to read the final book in the series, Terminal.

Read my reviews on the first three books: Virals, Seizure and Code.

Book Review: Seizure

Seizure by Kathy Reichs (Virals #2) - Hardcover, 491 pages - Published January 5th 2012 by William Heinemann

Seizure by Kathy Reichs (Virals #2) – Hardcover, 491 pages – Published January 5th 2012 by William Heinemann

The second book in the Virals series by Kathy Reichs, Seizure, follows Tory, Ben, Shelton and Hi through their next insanely tough adventure. New characters and threats are introduced, and a certain character re-visited.

Even longer than the first book at a whopping 491 pages, Seizure an look a little daunting at first. However, the length makes it perfect for dozens of unexpected twists and hurdles for the Virals to overcome. The Prologue sets the book off to an interesting start, and connections are made throughout the story.

Relatively different to Virals, the group’s aim in this sequel is to prevent LIRI from being shut down, and keep Loggerhead available for them to visit. They put together dozens of clues to every unsolved mystery they come across, but I personally found the consequences a little too consequential and hard to believe and their ideas to be rather far-fetched at times. But hey, that’s what adventure books are all about, right?

Again, similar typos to before were found, and the writing style is obviously as straight-forward most of the time. Despite being so unbelievable throughout, everything is very cleverly planned and put together. It’s an exciting read that brings out both fear and joy for the group of Virals. I’m also going to give this Virals book 3.5/4 stars out of 5.

Read my review of the first book here.

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Book Review: Virals

Virals by Kathy Reichs - Hardback Cover

Virals by Kathy Reichs – Hardcover, 464 pages – Published May 12th 2011 by Arrow (Young)

Virals is the first book I have read by Kathy Reichs. The majority of the story is written from the viewpoint of 14-year-old Tory Brennan, the niece of Bones star Temperence Brennan, with a few chapters following a different character (or group of characters).

Tory and her friends face a series of challenges after unearthing some incredible mysteries on their beloved Loggerhead Island – where many of their parents work at LIRI, an animal research facility. At first glance, this book may seem like a typical kids-solving-problems kinda tale, which I feared at first, but it turned out to be far more. Due to the young gang of characters that lead this story, many younger readers will be able to relate to their troubles in the way that they are fed up of being looked down on by adults, with their revolutions and discoveries always being deemed as “childish ideas” or somewhere along those lines. The teen female protagonist also brings a lot of relatable content in the form of her language, actions and thoughts. However, Tory may be too young a protagonist for some readers.

One thing I really liked about this book was the scientific element. I’ve recently developed a love for crime novels and forensics, and this book has elements of both. It includes a decent amount of terminology and information rather than dumbing it down for “kids”. For some, this may not be such a good thing as it may be harder to understand or become emerged in, but I personally appreciate it. (Plus, I managed to use it as an excuse for reading instead of completing schoolwork. I mean, I was technically learning stuff, right?)

Another debatable aspect of Reichs’ writing style is the modernism. Again, I think this will appeal to the younger generation as they are accustomed to it, but there may be some readers who are not so keen on the modern terms and descriptions.

There were a few typos and mistakes that I noticed, but nothing hugely terrible. The writing is mostly quite to-the-point, which I wasn’t sure about at first, but it did grow on me as I read on. There were also some wonderful details and descriptions, though some aspects seemed a little repetitive. (I don’t know, maybe I’m just picky.)

Overall, Virals is a gripping, adventurous book that any science-nut or crime-lover should surely enjoy. It’s quite long at 454 pages, and the plot-line definitely thickens with each chapter. Seemingly individual story lines entwine later in the book to create a complicated, exciting scenario full of twists and surprises. I’m giving this book 3.5/4 stars out of 5, and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Seizure.

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