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5-glasses

 

Candlewick – September 9, 2008

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.  He is only a month away from becoming a man and he can’t wait.  Being the only boy left in town is lonely.  Most of the time, men don’t have much to say to boys.  The only constant companion he has is his dog, Manchee – a gift that he never wanted in the first place.  He would’ve much preferred to have a hunting knife.

Prentisstown is a settlement in New World.  The people have been there for about twenty years. Upon arriving on New World, the settlers encountered the aliens that lived there – the Spackles. The settlers also started suffering from the Noise.  The Noise allows everyone to hear everyone else’s thoughts all the time.  Even during sleep.  Animals even suffer from the Noise.  

One day when out gathering apples, Todd comes across a great surprise.  He finds a girl in the forest.  Todd has never seen a girl before since all the women in Prentisstown are dead.  He notices that there isn’t Noise coming from the girl – something that both scares him and intrigues him.  After making his way back home, he can’t keep the information about the girl’s silence away from the others.  His Noise gives it away and the people in town are interested.

Soon, Todd and Viola, the girl with the silence, are running for their lives.  Todd learns that nothing is what it seems. Everything he thought was true – isn’t.

Patrick Ness has created a fascinating dystopian world.  His use of unconventional spelling and long, run-on sentences are a little hard to get used to, but after a couple of pages the story starts to flow.  Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop. The story is set at a heart pounding pace and Todd and Viola are great characters to get to know.  A reader’s only complaint will be the cliffhanger ending.  It might literally make you throw the book across the room.

The sequel, THE ASK AND THE ANSWER, will be released in May in the UK, June in Australia, and September in the US.  I, for one, will run out to get it the day it is released.  Be sure to visit the author’s website for new information.

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The Knife of Never Letting Go:
Chaos Walking:
Book One

daniel-xDaniel X is an alien hunter from another planet.  He has powers that most people would consider pretty cool.  Daniel can create anything using his mind.  The most impressive thing he creates are his best friends.  During times when he is the most lonely, he has his best friends appear and join him for talks, meals, and games.  

Daniel is on a mission.  He is after Number 7 on the list of the worst aliens on Earth.  Daniel found the list after his parents were killed by the most dangerous alien on earth and took over their alien hunting duties. 

Number 7 is the Chairman of a corporation called the Game Consortium.  The Game Consortium makes its money by organizing brutal urban safaris.  It breeds and releases creatures into cities and some of the worst scum in the galaxy pay for the opportunity to hunt and kill the target.  Daniel gets more than he bargains for when he takes on the Chairman.  He’ll have to rely on wisdom his father passes down, his friends, and a new and unlikely ally in order to survive.

Daniel learns a lot about himself and friendship during his adventure to put a stop to Number 7.  James Patterson does a good job of giving a short recap of Daniel’s background without making it redundant.  The illustrations are great and the full-color panels really make the scenes come alive.  Reading the first book in the series, THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X, might be helpful to understand the entire background of the Daniel’s world, but it isn’t necessary in order to enjoy this graphic novel.

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3-glasses

 

 

Daniel X is an alien hunter from another planet.  He has powers that most people would consider pretty cool.  Daniel can create anything using his mind.  The most impressive thing he creates are his best friends.  During times when he is the most lonely, he has his best friends appear and join him for talks, meals, and games.  

Daniel is on a mission.  He is after Number 7 on the list of the worst aliens on Earth.  Daniel found the list after his parents were killed by the most dangerous alien on earth and took over their alien hunting duties. 

Number 7 is the Chairman of a corporation called the Game Consortium.  The Game Consortium makes its money by organizing brutal urban safaris.  It breeds and releases creatures into cities and some of the worst scum in the galaxy pay for the opportunity to hunt and kill the target.  Daniel gets more than he bargains for when he takes on the Chairman.  He’ll have to rely on wisdom his father passes down, his friends, and a new and unlikely ally in order to survive.

Daniel learns a lot about himself and friendship during his adventure to put a stop to Number 7.  James Patterson does a good job of giving a short recap of Daniel’s background without making it redundant.  The illustrations are great and the full-color panels really make the scenes come alive.  Reading the first book in the series, THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X, might be helpful to understand the entire background of the Daniel’s world, but it isn’t necessary in order to enjoy this graphic novel.

James Patterson has teamed up with Michael Ledwidge to write another young adult novel.  James Patterson has already been successful in the young adult world with his wildly popular Maximum Ride series. 

THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X is an extremely fast read.  Patterson’s traditional short chapters make you feel like your are flying through the pages.  The story is fun to read, but it doesn’t have a lot of meat.

Daniel X is the son of two Alien Hunters from the planet Alpar Nok.  They came to Earth to protect humans from the Outer Ones.  When Daniel was three-years-old down in his basement building replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World out of Play-Doh (you can already see that he isn’t like a typical toddler), his parents were both killed by an alien named The Prayer.  Daniel narrowly escapes and takes up his parents mission and begins to hunt down the most dangerous aliens on Earth.

The story is entertaining but it lacks character development.  You get a glimpse into Daniel’s life, but even with him it is just surface and what is happening in the present.  We never get to see how he survived from the age of three to his current age of fifteen.  This is clearly meant to be the first in a series of stories about Daniel X.  In the back of the book there are two BRIEF previews of two more stories.  Also, in December 2008 there is supposed to be a graphic novel version of THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X released.  For a book that is 238 pages and takes such a short time to read my suggestion would be to borrow it from a school or public library.  It definately doesn’t fall in my Needs To Be Read Again pile.

James Patterson has teamed up with Michael Ledwidge to write another young adult novel.  James Patterson has already been successful in the young adult world with his wildly popular Maximum Ride series.  James and Michael have worked together on two recent adult bestsellers – THE QUICKIE and STEP ON A CRACK.

THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X is an extremely fast read.  Patterson’s traditional short chapters make you feel like your are flying through the pages.  The story is fun to read, but it doesn’t have a lot of meat.

Daniel X is the son of two Alien Hunters from the planet Alpar Nok.  They came to Earth to protect humans from the Outer Ones.  When Daniel was three-years-old down in his basement building replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World out of Play-Doh (you can already see that he isn’t like a typical toddler), his parents were both killed by an alien named The Prayer.  Daniel narrowly escapes and takes up his parents mission and begins to hunt down the most dangerous aliens on Earth.

The story is entertaining but it lacks character development.  You get a glimpse into Daniel’s life, but even with him it is just surface and what is happening in the present.  We never get to see how he survived from the age of three to his current age of fifteen.  This is clearly meant to be the first in a series of stories about Daniel X.  In the back of the book there are two BRIEF previews of two more stories.  Also, in December 2008 there is supposed to be a graphic novel version of THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X released.  For a book that is 238 pages and takes such a short time to read my suggestion would be to borrow it from a school or public library.  It definately doesn’t fall in my Needs To Be Read Again pile.

 

Wanderer has just arrived on Earth and been implanted into her new host.  She has lived on seven worlds before coming here.  She is arriving toward the end of the alien invasion when very few humans remain.  The aliens are known as “souls” and are a peace loving type that don’t know of violence or lying.

Very few humans remain on Earth.  When the remaining humans are discovered, they are captured by Seekers – the closest thing to a police force the “souls” have.  Once captured, they are prepared for implantation where a small cut is placed at the base of the skull and the “soul” is put in the body.  The “soul” connects to the body and takes control.  The first experience the “soul” has is the receiving of the host body’s memories.  Typically, the host recedes and leaves the “soul” alone to continue life as usual.  For Wanderer, this didn’t happen.

Since the only humans left are ones that are rebels, placing a new “soul” into an adult has become risky.  The rebels seem to resist the implantation since they know what is happening.  The Wanderer was granted this request because of her experience on so many other worlds and has proven herself as a strong and brave “soul.”  Melanie is the name of Wanderer’s host and Melanie doesn’t go away quietly.

Melanie remains active and talks to Wanderer all the time.  Melanie bombards Wanderer with her memories of life so much so that Wanderer feels the same feelings that Melanie did when she had control over her own body.  Melanie hides the memories that Wanderer needs though.  A Seeker has been assigned to Wanderer in order to get information about the human rebels that worked with Melanie.  Melanie is strong enough to block those memories from her. 

Eventually, in a weakened state, Melanie allows something to slip through the wall she has constructed to keep Wanderer away from the people she loves.  She shows her memories of Jared, the man Melanie desperately loves, and Jamie, her younger brother.  These memories overwhelm Wanderer and she physically aches for Jared and Jamie herself.  Melanie knows where they might have gone into hiding since she was captured.  She convinces Wanderer to go search for them and when the chance presents itself she slips away from the Seeker and sets off to find the people THEY love.

When Wanderer finally stumbles upon the rebels she is both elated and terrified.  She is so relieved to know that Jared and Jamie are both alive and well, but at the same time, is frightened for her own life.  Wanderer endures weeks of isolation and deprivation once in custody while the rebels decide what to do with her.  Slowly some people warm up to her and begin to allow her some freedom around the hideout, but she is never alone.  They are afraid she is there to get information to take back to the Seekers and then come back and capture them all.  It takes a very long time for them to see that she has no intention of turning anyone in to the Seekers.

The story is complex.  Not only is there the issue of Melanie loving Jared and the Wanderer loving Jared because of Melanie’s memories; we also have Ian, another member of the rebels.  Ian takes it upon himself to become a permanent fixture in Wanderers life.  He is friend and protector and begins to have feelings for her and her alone (not Melanie since he didn’t know her prior to the invasion).

The story ends on a note of hope.  It is an emotional ride from beginning to end – all 631 pages.  Any science fiction fan will enjoy this story, but I think Stephenie Meyer may have done for science fiction what she did for fantasy when she wrote Twilight.  THE HOST is set in enough of a realistic setting that even people who aren’t sci-fi fans will enjoy this story.  I want to read it again, but I have so much else to read that I can’t right now, but THE HOST is definately on my “to be read again” pile.  I hope Stephenie Meyer writes another novel after she finishes with the Twilight Series.

 

Blacklisted is the second novel in Gena Showalter’s young adult Alien Huntress series.  In Red Handed, the first novel, we met Phoenix, a fiesty girl who was recruited to serve in the AIR – Alien Investigation and Removal – a law enforcement organization established to protect humans after aliens came to earth and started living side by side with them.

Blacklisted follows Erik, a recruit we met in Red Handed.  He finds himself on the other side of the law.  Erik now sells Onadyn, a drug needed by some aliens to live on earth and the drug of choice for teenagers in this future world.  Camille, a girl that has had a crush on Erik for a long time, gets sucked into his world and finds out sometimes you need to do bad things for a good reason.

Camille let her best friend talk her into going to a hot club because they overheard Erik and his best friend say they were going to be there.  Erik is extremely aware of Camille’s presence and inadvertantly pulls her into his fight against the AIR.

Aliens who need Onadyn to live in our atmosphere must get it from official dispensaries, however not all aliens can afford it and eventually they die.  Erik couldn’t stand by and watch this happen.  He developed a friendship with an alien whose father manufactures Onadyn illegally and begins to transport it for him.

The trouble is, the AIR knows what Erik is up to and now they think Camille is involved as well.  After many dangerous chases and escapes, Erik and Camille grow closer and attempt to right the wrongs of this futuristic society.

This series is a great choice for any sci-fi fan.  Gena Showalter is definately a young adult author to keep an eye on.  She has also written Oh My Goth which is also a sci-fi book.