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Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Code: a Virals Novel by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs  ISBN 978-1595144126 (read by Cristin Milioti )

When many people see the name Kathy Reichs, they think of “Bones” an adult mystery/suspense series revolving around a forensic specialist, Temperance Brennan.  Tory Brennan is the niece of the Temperance and in every book there is a phone call to the esteemed scientist for help with scientific information and translation.

cover art for Code by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

cover art for Code by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

This was a book that I thought was great because I like the concept of mutations and shape-shifting and extra powers; however my teenage son was less than thrilled about … but it could have been the reader that he really didn’t like.  Also, though the teens acquire the heightened olfactory abilities of the wolf and speed — they actually don’t change.  Their eyes just turn color and really where is the cool factor of yellow eyes?

I like this series because Tory and her friends are just your average every day teens who are smart and live in isolation on this island off the coast of South Carolina.  Their families live on an island owned by the University and their families are all co-workers.  The kids take a ferry to school on the main-land and they need to go by boat anywhere they want to travel.  This series shows a group of youth with initiative and intelligence.  A group of teens that like each other and though they may not always agree, willing to work towards common goals.  They overcome hardships and issues and remain committed to the pack.

I would recommend these books to tweens and teens who like to read about the what might have beens.  The ideas of science and questions of solidarity are important recurring themes.

These books are great and may fall under the category of best read if you are sensitive to voices on audio…

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-9-Months ago, 14-year-old Tory and her friends accidentally acquired supernatural abilities while attempting to solve a decades-old cold-case murder. Now, the group has discovered a geocache, left behind by someone they know only as the “Gamemaster.” The Gamemaster leads the gang on a scavenger hunt peppered with puzzles, codes, and riddles. As the treasures they find become increasingly dangerous, Tory and her friends suspect that one geocache may be a ticking time bomb. The Virals must race against the clock to find it before it detonates and kills innocent people. While this sci-fi/mystery mash-up has some plot inconsistencies and implausible moments, it will appeal to fans of the first two books. The four Virals-Tory, Shelton, Ben, and Hi-are well defined in the course of the story. Though they are all intelligent and protective of one another, their actions are not always prudent or legally sound. The group’s “save the world” mentality thrusts them into plenty of perilous situations, and simply letting law enforcement handle the Gamemaster is never a real consideration. Still, the friends admirably stick together and will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.-Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Intertwined by Gena Showalter ISBN 978-0373210121

Intertwined

Aden Stone has always had many problems: when he walks too close to a cemetery the dead wake up, he hears voices in his head and he has no family.

Aden has been shuffled from foster homes to juvie his whole life and he is trying desperately to stay out of trouble and pretend to be normal.

Aden has just been shuffled to one more home and his good behavior has been rewarded and he can go to public high school.  He is finally achieving his goals.

At school he meets someone he thought was impossible — a person who quiets the voices in his head.  He is enthralled and wants to spend as much time with her as he can because he is finally calm.  With much hesitation he reveals to her what is happening and so she begins to wonder about her own life and the death of her mother when she was a young girl.

This is a great paranormal story: vampires, werewolves, and speakers of spirits … a great combination and a story I will continue reading.

 

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Aden Stone is not your typical 16-year-old. Since birth he has had four souls trapped within him that possess special powers: the ability to time travel, raise the dead, possess a body, and predict the future. As a result, he has spent his whole life in and out of mental institutions diagnosed as a violent schizophrenic. Now able to control the voices in his head, Aden has moved to Crossroads, OK, to live in a halfway house for delinquent boys. His goal in life is to find a means to free these souls and at last be at peace. When he meets Mary Ann Gray, she miraculously acts as a neutralizer, and for the first time in his life, he truly feels normal. The two become fast friends, establishing a sibling-type bond. Little do they realize that when they first met, their connection sent a power surge throughout the world drawing every paranormal creature from fairies to vampires to Crossroads on a quest for power. To complicate matters, Aden becomes romantically involved with a vampire princess and Mary Ann with her werewolf bodyguard. Together the teens must figure out a way to protect themselves, and all of humanity. This fast-paced, action-driven plot has many unexpected twists and turns. Well written, with a unique story line and strong characters, Intertwined is fresh and original at a time when there is an overload of paranormal romances on the market.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

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Seizure (Virals Book 2) by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

cover art from Seizure by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

cover art from Seizure by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

I think this has become my new favorite youth fiction series.  I really like how the Reichs have developed this troupe of four teenagers and their personalities and dilemmas.

The LIRI Research Center is loosing funding because of the scandal in the first book.  This means that the workers will disperse to wherever the parents can get work, which means the troupe will be disbanded.  The four of them are disheartened and they need a plan to save their pack (which means saving the research center).

So the pack comes together and starts coming up with plots and schemes and eventually settle on one involving a local heroine — Anne Bonny.

There is great adventure: old submerged tunnels, headless skeletons, subterfuge and deception.  The stupid debutante misadventures and relational angst.  Tory gets to call her Great Aunt Temperance (of Bones fame) to ask for a Celtic translation found on the map that they “borrowed”.

But in the end … they triumph over the bad guys (and deceived guy) and are able to save the day and stay together.

This is a great series and I do recommend it to anyone who likes the super-hero mutant power crime solving.

This is just so cool.

Review

“I would highly recommend it … 5 stars” Guardian “If you like Bones, you’ll love Virals” James Patterson “Kathy Reichs gets it dead right with sharp writing and a plot that throws a bunch of very real teens into a deadly adult world … I loved it and I’m sure fans of Alex Rider will love it too” Anthony Horowitz “Mystery … fantasy … science … and heart-stopping action – this book is DANGEROUS. After I read Tory Brennan’s first adventure, I wanted more, more, MORE” R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1) by Brent Weeks ISBN 978-0316033671 (read by Paul Boehmer)

The Way of Shadows (The Night Angel Trilogy)

It has been a long time that I read (or heard) a book which when it finished it had such a cliff hanger ending that all I could think of was the next book.  This is one of those books and I highly recommend it.  It falls in the realm of fantasy with magic (or talent) quite prevalent throughout, but it is not so strong that I think it would turn off any reader that does not typically like fantasy.

The hero, Azoth (a.k.a. Kylar) starts as a street rat who is frightened of the bigger boys in his guild.  He has friends that he tries to help and when one of his friends is threatened he has to discover what he has within himself.  He apprentices with the most renowned assassin of the city and has very hard decisions to make throughout the whole story.

The story is very well written — the decisions that Azoth has to face are natural and thought out, despite some of the harsh situations there are moments of humor and adventure that help move along the possibly more angst ridden scenes.

This book could either be in the Youth Fiction section or in the general Fiction section.  I believe it holds the interest of both — and I will eagerly check out the next book on CD.  

It is read amazingly well by Paul Boehmer.

From Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Way-Shadows-Night-Angel-Trilogy/dp/0316033677/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259780575&sr=8-1#noop 

Product Description

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like being an apprentice to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

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“The Host” by Stephanie Meyer  ISBN 978-0-316-068048

The Host: A Novel

 

When I first bought this book for the library one of the first patrons to read it returned it saying, “Well, this was really science fiction and I don’t like science fiction”.  So it stayed and circulated a fair number of times but there was never a reserve list or people waiting eagerly for it to return.  I finally got to check it out — (I like science fiction usually) and even more miraculously it somehow got to the top of the pile of “Books to Read” at home. 

At first, I thought it was a little hard to get into … too many memories and people to be introduced.  However, after that first bit I was thankful that I stuck it out because I did enjoy the story.  It is part romance, part utopian occupation, and part adventure.  The Souls, an alien society that live within life forms of the planets they occupy, are a peaceful race that enter through a small incision made in the back of the host body.  The Souls have found the cure for disease, poverty, and war: yet they lack the passion for creative art and diverse culture.

Rebels fight against the take-over of the Souls and through the memories of the host Melaney (a specifcally resistant host) Wanderer, who has lived in 9 different worlds finds her way to the heart of a rebel stronghold.  At first she is threatened and treated poorly, but over time the rebels learn that she is not going to betray them and she truly wants to help them. 

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won’t surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie’s memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body’s longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it’s unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story’s end leaves the door open for a sequel–or another series. –Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly
In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie’s brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda’s whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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