Friday, March 10, 2017

The Reader by Traci Chee

The Reader by Traci Chee is a fantastic start to the new series, Sea of Ink and Gold. Sefia, the main character who has been taught survival since before she could talk, flees with her aunt Nin after her parents are cruelly murdered. After Nin is kidnapped, Sefia must do everything in her power to find her and avenge the deaths of her family. Despite living in a society where she and everyone else are illiterate, she finds a strange object - a book. She learns to use the book to help and guide herself and the mysterious stranger she rescued from equally mysterious and dark circumstances.
There is never, ever a dull moment in this book. It sets a fast pace, without missing anything that the reader needs to know. Each character has an interesting backstory that intertwines with others to create the stunning story of this novel. The overlapping stories can get confusing, but somewhere near the end they all suddenly snap into place, like finishing a puzzle and being able to see the whole picture. Reading this book was just that satisfactory, and I loved it.
Traci Chee wrote Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs, a collection of short stories. The Reader is a YA fantasy novel, complete with assassins and pirates. Those who enjoy this book would also like The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine, and Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Angel Experiment By James Patterson

This book is about a group of kids, who were kidnapped from their families. They become scientific experiments and are genetically modified to be bird like. They have wings and can actually fly. They manage to escape from their captors but they are now being hunted down. Along the way, they find out about some other unknown and unique supernatural traits that they have..
I loved this book very much. It is a thrilling book that keeps you interested and springs surprises on you along the way. You always try to guess what is going to happen next and it is so fun to read.
This is a fiction book that has many other books in this series. If you read one, you will get caught up in the others in the series as well. I lost sleep trying to read all of them. The author James Patterson is a very well known fictional author. He is an author similar to Kiera Cass, who wrote the series The Selection, which is also about a future reality. If you like Kiera Cass, I recommend James Patterson!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Armada By Ernest Cline

Just a few short years into the future Zack Lightman is sitting in class staring out the window when he spots something that he never thought he would see. A spaceship from his favorite video game, Armada, is flying through the clouds. Zack was alarmed and thought he was having a nervous breakdown because no one else was aware of the unidentified fly object directly above them. Zack convinced himself that it was an illusion but the next day when the spaceship landed to take him away he wasn’t as sure. Zack was taken to a top secret government base for special training to prepare for an alien invasion. For years the government had been training the entire world through video games, movies and pop culture in preparation for the imminent alien invasion that only key members of the government knew about. Zack is now caught up in the fight to save Earth!
Ernest Cline’s Armada is his second novel. His first novel Ready Player One was a masterpiece of 90’s science fiction and comedic gold, but Armada is a shadow of what it could have been. Armada is worth the read if you are interested in videogames but if not, then you are better off saving your time and sticking to Ernest Cline’s first novel.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ready Player One  
by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is a dystopian novel about a teenage boy trying to find a hidden treasure somewhere in the Oasis, a virtual reality where much of society now functions. The Oasis employs, educates, entertains and controls many people’s lives. Ever since the Oasis had come out, the physical society had been in ruins.
The narrator of the story is Wade Watts. He lives in a tall block of stacked mobile homes and escapes to an abandoned van to enter the Oasis. He goes to school inside of the Oasis and his only friends are virtual friends he has met in the Oasis, who he hangs out with when not at school.
James Halliday was the inventor of the Oasis, and when he died every user in the Oasis received a video message invitation to James Halliday’s last will and testament. Halliday had no family to leave his fortune to, so he left the money, or as Halliday called it “the Easter Egg,” hidden somewhere inside of the Oasis. A great many egg hunters, known as “gunters” for short, do nothing but try to find Halliday’s eggs. They spend all their free time dedicated to the search for Halliday's fortune. Wade Watts, along with a couple of other hardcore gamers, goes on a fierce and dangerous quest to find Halliday's fortune. 
 Ernest Cline captures and holds your attention the entire time with his amusing jokes about 1980’s culture and classic video games. Ready Player One is a great book and I recommend it to anyone looking for a new favorite book.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

 Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo spans over six volumes and follows Kaneda Shotaro and Tetsuo Shima, members of a delinquent motorcycle gang who tear through the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo. During a violent chase with a rival motorcycle gang, Tetsuo is injured when a young boy with psychic abilities blocks his path causing him to crash. The accident awakens Tetsuo’s psychic abilities and he is then taken in by the government for testing. The graphic novel is reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow and Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White by Taiyo Matsumoto.

Akira throws us into a world of industrial capitalism, represented through the neon-soaked streets, and mega-corporations scattered all over the city.  It is a manga that will resonate with you long after it’s shocking conclusion. It is a frenetic, horrific and at times grotesque look at a very vivid and brutal future. Akira is a gritty, gloomy, cyberpunk masterpiece.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Balram Halwai grew up as just a poor boy living in a rural Indian village with his large family but he soon grows tired of the poverty, tradition, and disease of his hometown and relocates to New Delhi where he finds work as a chauffeur for a wealthy businessman.  In his new job he experiences classism and corruption as never before and after his master forces Balram to take responsibility for a death he didn’t cause, he quickly turns bitter and disillusioned.  Balram commits a horrible crime and flees to Bangalore, where he creates a new life for himself.

The novel provides an honest and realistic view of the brutalities of the class struggle in modern-day India.  The author’s dark humor, frankness, and vivid descriptions of Balram’s adventures make this book an entertaining and enlightening read that taught me more about everyday life in India than anything else.  Though it did take a little while for the storyline to get going, once it did I quite literally could not put it down.  The White Tiger is playful and sarcastic with serious topics but overall informative and eye-opening: a must-read for anyone interested in learning about India’s role as a nation steeped in the traditional caste system while trying to find its place in a globalized world.

If you are interested about learning more about life in the poorest parts of Southeast Asia, check out Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Imagine waking up in a world you don’t remember;  people call themselves your ‘family’ but you have no idea who they are. Who is Jenna Fox? She has only been told that that is her name and this is her life. Experience Jenna unravel clues and uncover disturbing information about the circumstances surrounding an accident. After waking up from a coma, her family shows her old home movies and tells her about her life. Things just don’t seem to add up; memories that come back in flashes seem unconnected to her present life. And the accident? Jenna’s parents aren’t too keen to discuss the details. “Car crash,” is all she knows. Logic tells her she shouldn’t have survived, so how is she standing here today?

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson is a riveting novel following Jenna’s recovery. The first book in a series titled The Jenna Fox Chronicles talks about what it’s like to completely lose your memory, trust a family who you know is keeping things from you, and regain a normal life after a devastating accident.