A sparkling sequel in an original and magical series

Cracks in the Kingdom CVR.pdTITLE = THE COLOURS OF MADELEINE Book 2: THE CRACKS IN THE KINGDOM

AUTHOR = JACLYN MORIARTY

GENRE = FANTASY, FAMILIES, RELATIONSHIPS, ROMANCE, GRIEF, FATHERS, FRIENDSHIP, GROWING UP

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 9+

Jaclyn Moriarty has crafted a wonderful sequel in a clever and thoughtful series. Filled with a delicious blend of magic, science, adventure and romance…with credible characters who will draw readers into their stories. Again the book follows the stories of Elliott (in Cello) and Madeleine (in Cambridge, the World) but there is an added strand to the story in the sequel: the story of Princess Ko’s attempts to retrieve her royal family members who have been sent into the World by Hostiles (where they have forgotten their identities and ties to Cello). So there is an added political intrigue behind their new adventures, especially as Elliott is part of the team who have been nominated to help find the royal family … even though this means working with Madeleine to open up the crack between their worlds, despite the risk of death if he is discovered.

This book is about mirrors and cracks: in the world, in families and in individuals: he depths we will go to in order to find and/or protect our loved ones … the grief we will feel at their loss. It is also about politics and looking beneath the surface of people: spies pop up at every turn, allies and friends may have hidden depths of despair … no-one is quite as they seem.

Moriarty balances each strand of the story cleverly, with plenty of new twists and turns in the plot and in the characterisations.  As in the first novel (A Corner of White, read a review here), Jaclyn Moriarty’s writing simply sparkles: it is an absolute joy to read each line. Readers will be left asking for more, and impatiently awaiting the last volume in the series.

Read an interview with Jaclyn Moriarty about writing this series, here.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

A wonderful blend of spy action and schoolyard romance

TITLE = SPY SOCIETY: Hide in Plain Sight

AUTHOR = ROBIN BENWAY

GENRE = SPIES, SCHOOL, ROMANCE, ADVENTURE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7-9

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read largely because neither the author nor the narrator take themselves too seriously.

Maggie Silver is the daughter of two international spies and, since the age of 4, has been a safecracking genius. The family has just been sent to NYC on assignment but this time, Maggie is the key. Yes, she has her first real job as a spy: attend high school and befriend Jesse Oliver so she can break into his dad’s safe! Sounds easy?? Well, for a girl who has spent her life travelling the world accompanying her parents on their spy cases, attending high school is not as easy as you might expect. Maggie soon discovers that she is more adept at cracking safes than she is at cracking the teenage high school code of behaviour, let alone cracking the code of teenage boys.

Part mystery story (with just enough hints thrown in to keep the reader guessing), part teen romance story (as both Jesse and Maggie try to make sense of their equally unusual upbringings) and part high-school drama this novel is a thoroughly engaging romp from beginning to end. Robin Benway balances the demands of each element of her story cleverly and the teenage narrative voice is pitch perfect. With plenty of action, romance and just the right amount of teenage ansgst to keep young readers entertained, it looks like a delightful series is about to begin.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

The Cherub Series By Robert Muchamore

Series Title: 

CHERUB

 Books:

(1) The Recruit. (2) Class A. (3) Maximum Security. (4) The Killing.

(5) Divine Madness.  (6) Man Vs. Beast.  (7) The Fall.  (8) Mad Dogs. (9)The Sleepwalker.

(9.5) Dark Sun *Mini Book*  (10) The General (11) Brigands M.C. (12) Shadow Wave.

Cherub Covers

Author:

Robert Muchamore.

______________________________________________________________

CHERUB agents need to meet strict criteria for physical fitness and intelligence. They are usually orphans who do not have surviving aunts, uncles or grandparents (Exceptions can be made where a surviving relative is serving a long prison sentence, mentally incapable or barred from contacting their children by legal mechanism such as a restraining order).

The first CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore chronciles the life of James Adams, (Formerly James Choke), and his life in the top seceret United Kingdom based childrens seceret service known as CHERUB.

Through out the books James as well as the cast of other Agents continuously are working together to complete missions, excell on training excercises, or just get into trouble like normal kids.

The CHERUB series is one I would recommend to both boys and girls in all years. Its fast paced, exciting and a great highly addictive read.

Coming later in 2011 will be the first book of the second series of CHERUB.

For more information check out www.cherubcampus.com or to connect with other cherub fans check out www.cherubseries.proboards.com for the most awesome forums around.

Highly Recommended *****

Check out the graphic novel version of book 1 (The Recruit) in this exciting series: read the post on the Graphic Shelf blog.

Alex Rider working for Australia!

snakeheadTITLE = SNAKEHEAD

AUTHOR = Anthony Horowitz

GENRE = Action, Adventure, Spy Fiction

INTEREST LEVEL = Years 7 – 9

After surviving a brief stint in space on his last dangerous mission, Alex should be relaxing in Australia for a few days before heading home. But since when did Alex find life went to plan? Before he knows it, Alex is being asked to act as a teen spy for the Aussie’s on a very dangerous mission (previous spies up against the notorious “Snakehead” have not survived). The lure for Alex is meeting his godfather, Ash – can he finally find out the truth about his parents and if he does, will it bring peace of mind? Or does his desire to learn about his past simply lead him into more pain and death? Once again, Anthony Horowitz has created an action-packed novel that will keep Alex Rider fans guessing till the last page.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Alex Rider faces death .. for the last time?

Crocodile-Tears-PromoTITLE = CROCODILE TEARS

AUTHOR = Anthony Horowitz

GENRE = Action, Adventure, Spy Fiction

INTEREST LEVEL = Years 7 – 9

This is the eighth book in the Alex Rider series and once again it is filled with action aplenty. Alex can’t seem to stay out of trouble, even when he is not working for MI6 and is on holidays in Scotland. This time he is up against a journalist who wants to reveal his secret identity to the world, MI6 who send him off to risk his life whilst on a school excursion, a plot to use GM technology to create another plague in Africa and , of course, an evil psycopath who is hell bent on destroying this brave 14 year old. Will Alex be able to survive these threats to life and limb or will this truly be Alex’s last adventure as an MI6 teenage spy? We know that the authpr,  Anthony Horowitz tried to kill Alex off a few books ago, has he finally drawn the curtain on one of his most popular characters?? Fans will be on the edge of their seats from the first to last page of this adventure.

Why not check out the Anthony Horowitz book trailer and see the secret passage that leads to his study – where he has written all the Alex Rider series.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Other books in the se ries:

Stormbreaker novelPointBlancSkeletonKey novelEagleStrikeScorpiaArkAngelsnakehead