Final instalment was worth the wait.

TITLE = THE POWER OF FIVE: OBLIVION

AUTHOR = ANTHONY HOROWITZ

GENRE = FANTASY, ACTION, ADVENTURE, ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7-10

When we last left the 5 teens who represent “the Power of 5” they were racing against the elements – diving through a gate in Hong Kong, in the hope of saving themselves and the future of the world. “Oblivion” is the final instalment of this highly charged fantasy-adventure series. It is double the size of previous volumes for a very good reason: each of the 5 main characters has been separated as they travelled through the gate, so each of their stories is told separately. They have landed on separate continents, sometimes alone, sometimes with another but there is a certain unity to their situations: firstly, time has progressed at an alarming rate and secondly, they are also ALL in a life and death struggle – almost on a daily basis.

Matthew has been the leader of the group in past series and he shoulders this mantle again, somewhat reluctantly. Can the five meet in the dream world? Can they each survive, let alone find each other and save the world?

Or in this strange new world of the future, is it all too late? Are the human race saving? And will 5 teens really stand alone against their longtime enemy … or is help at hand? Each character will be tested… but who will win?

Another exciting instalment with action and drama aplenty, as is to be expected from Anthony Horowitz. A fitting conclusion to what has been an amazing journey for Matt and his peers … and for readers, too

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Part action, part thriller … all entertainment!

TITLE = LEGEND

AUTHOR = MARIE LU

GENRE = DYSTOPIAN FUTURE, ACTION, THRILLER, ROMANCE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 8 – 10

June has lost her parents so when her sole surviving relative (her beloved brother Metias) is brutally killed, she is keen for revenge.  As a prodigy in her republic she is a well-trained soldier, perceptive and courageous, a good match for the prime suspect in her brother’s death: fugitive and wanted criminal, Day. He is also a prodigy of sorts, having escaped capture for so long. Can June bring him to justice or will her search for revenge also lead her to more questions than she bargained for??

Action packed from the opening scene, with a strong female lead and an equally endearing male opponent, this novel is sure to be enthusiastically received by lovers of dystopian fiction and thrillers. The story is told in alternating chapters by the 2 main protagonists which readers will find very satisfying. Fans of “The Hunger Games” and the “Gone” series will love this book and be especially pleased that it is the first in a trilogy.

Recommended (dma) ****

A grim and violent future

TITLE = DARK INSIDE

AUTHOR = JEYN ROBERTS

GENRE = DYSTOPIAN FUTURE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 10. 11

This is a compelling and violent novel about a grim future. Told from different perspectives it may take some readers a few chapters to pice together the actual storyline. We follow a number pf different teenagers as the world around them begins to crumble, partly from natural disasters and partly from human interactions. A terrorist bomb in a school blows away Mason’s friends, whilst he is watching his mother die from a car accident in hpospital. Aries is on a bus that is damaged amidst an earthquake, losing her best friend in the disaster. Clementine watches in horror as her townsfolk turn on each other and kill her parents. Michael watches in shock as the police turn against a perpetrator of road rage. As these 4 teens struggle to make sense of the world around them and survive the violence, their journeys bring them together. Can they work together to survive? And who is the lone voice that bodes ill for the future?

A thrilling and compelling dystopian book that will have readers on the edge of their seats and craving the sequel.

Highly Recommended (dma) ****

 

Another action packed stage in the journey ….

TITLE = fallout

SERIES = THE PHOENIX FILES

AUTHOR = CHRIS MORPHEW

GENRE= ACTION, ADVENTURE, DYSTOPIAN FUTRUE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 8, 9, 10

This is the fifth book in “The Phoenix Files” series and like its predecessors, the action is fast paced and almost unabated. The clock continues to count down at an alarming rate and as the story begins, there are only 14 days left. What is intriguing about this series (and this book) is that the clock is now ticking on more than one level: it is not just signalling the end of the world, it is also ticking down towards the birth of Jordan’s brother or sister as well as Luke’s likely murder. So the anxiety levels have been significantly raised for both the central characters and the readers. The main focus of concern is still the future of Phoenix, and the wider world, with the imminent release of Tabitha. But there remains the daily problem of survival especially whilst living at such close quarters in an underground shelter. As Jordan and Luke are all too aware, just because everyone in the shelter shares a common enemy, this does not mean their motives, or the actions they are willing to use, are similarly shared. There is a constant undercurrent of distrust among many in the underground forces, a constant fear of betrayal. Morphew’s sense of pace and his ability to provide a cliffhanger ending is to be celebrated because it has certainly produced an exciting series and this instalment is no exception.

Recommended (dma) ****

An exciting start to a series

TITLE = GONE

AUTHOR = MICHAEL GRANT

GENRE = ADVENTURE, ACTION, SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7 – 9

 

 

Wow!! What a great book! It is the first in s eries of books too – so there is plenty more action to come.

 

Check out the book trailer below to learn more about this book – or look at an earlier posting about this book.

 

 

Music sourced from the Animoto site: “100 pianos” by July for Kings. Images from the Animoto site. All text created by claire.

Recommended (claire) *****

Time travel with action and danger

TITLE  = TIMERIDERS

AUTHOR = ALEX SCARROW

GENRE = TIME TRAVEL, FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, HISTORICAL FICTION

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 8 AND UP

This is the first book in an exciting new time travel series by Alex Scarrow. Join Liam, Maddy and Sal in a wild ride as they come together from the past and future to try and protect the present. They must travel back in time – never to change the past, only to protect history from change. But what will happen if others also ride time for less honourable purposes? Will Liam be stuck in a brutal dark past? Will the present-day be damaged forever? Can newbies Sal and Maddy rescue Liam and save the day?

This book is a deserved winner of the Calderdale Children’s Book of the Year.

Highly recommended (dma) *****

Why not check out the following book trailer to learn more about this great book:

All images from the Animoto site. Music also selected from the Animoto site (“Battle Song” by Vaeda). Text provided by booklover.

 

Action and romance a sure fire hit!

TITLE = THE HUNGER GAMES

AUTHOR = SUZANNE COLLINS

GENRE = ACTION, ADVENTURE, FUTURE

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7 AND

 

An exciting story set in a rather grim future – where even reality shows that are screened nationally appear to be a fight to the death. A strong female lead character, plenty of compelling action, twists and turns in the game play and just a touch of romance, ensure that this book will be enjoyed by teen boys and girls.

A fuller review can be found here.

Check out the book trailer below:

 

(Music by Mike Gallagher: “Free to fly”. Images and music provided from the Animoto site. Text by dma)

Why not check out the sequels to this book, too. A review of “Catching Fire” can be found here and one of ‘Mockingjay” can be found here.

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

 

Swashbuckling sword play galore

TITLE = THE WITCH HUNTER CHRONICLES 1: The Scourge of Jericho

AUTHOR =STUART DALY

GENRE = FANTASY, ACTION, ADVENTURE, HISTORICAL FICTION, SUPERNATURAL

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7, 8

The first in a new series of action packed adventures. Set in 1666 and focussed on a group of highly trained soldiers who must rid the nation of witches.  Lots of fast paced action, plenty of battle scenes, complete with swordplay, guns and the occasional bit of magic. Young Jakob is a new recruit in an elite team of soldiers …. But will he survive his first mission, when the stakes turn out to be even higher than first imagined? He may not have the skill of the rapier like his compatriots but bravery and quick thinking may just save the day…. But are their more enemies than they counted on?? Are they to be caught in a deadly trap … who can they trust and who may betray them??

Fast paced and set in an interesting time period – young readers are already showing their enthusiasm for this book… and they are sure to learn a lot about the period along the way!

Recommended (dma) ***

An exciting adventure … where horror lurks ….

TITLE = SHIP KINGS 1: The Coming of the Whirlpool

AUTHOR = ANDREW McGAHAN

GENRE = ADVENTURE, ACTION, FANTASY, HORROR

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7 AND UP

 

An entertaining first volume in what looks set to be an exciting series. Despite the adventure, there is a touch of darkness and dread in this book: Dow may long for the sea but there are dark forces at work which may end his dreams. And those forces may be deadly. To what extent can Dow make a future for himself and to what extent is destiny and family heritage going to shape his life??

Shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year 2012 (Older Readers)

 

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Why not check out this book trailer, too:

 


(Note: all images in this book trailer courtesy of the Animoto collection, music also provided from Animoto – Artist: His Boy Elroy Song: Kill Me Quickly(Or Not at All). Text created by dma)

And if you like this book you might also enjoy another seafaring adventure: “Brotherband: The Outcasts” by John Flanagan, reviewed here.

The Chain of Charms series

TITLE: The Chain of Charms series consists of, The Gypsy Crown, The Silver Horse, The Herb of Grace, The Cat’s Eye Shell, The Lightning Bolt and The Butterfly in Amber.

AUTHOR: Kate Forsyth

GENRE: Fantasy, Action, Adventure

AGE GROUP: 10 and up

RATING: **** and a half

The Gypsy Crown1. The Gypsy Crown– Emilia and Luka Finch’s family has been accused of vagrancy and murder, and thrown into gaol with only three weeks to live. Emilia and Luka’s grandmother belives that only the collection of six ancient gypsy charms will see them escape the hangman’s noose.

Thirteen-year-old Emilia and her cousin are now on a dangerous quest to find these forgotten charms. Their Baba has given them the first-an old gold coin-but now Luka and Emilia must flee from the brutal thief-taker, Coldham.

The Silver Horse2. The Silver Horse- Emilia and her cousin Luka have the gypsy crown, and are travelling with their menagerie in search of the Hearne tribe. They hope that this family, to whom they will soon be related, will surely help release their kin from gaol. Luka and Emilia find the Hearnes horseracing on the Downs above Epsom. But Emilia must compete to win their support. Will she have to give up her beloved mare in exchange for the Hearne family’s charm – a small silver horse? And can they escape Coldham again?

The Herb of Grace3. The Herb of Grace– Luka and Emilia must travel to the New Forest to find the Wood tribe, whose charm is a rue flower, the herb of grace. Its power is that of plants and herbs – which can both heal and poison. On the way, the two children tangle with an impoverished widow, the thief-taker Coldham, a highwayman and a witch, and find themselves caught up in a Royalist plot to restore King Charles II to his throne.

The Cats Eye Shell4. The Cat’s Eye Shell– Sussex was the first county secured by the Roundheads because of its iron foundriesm and it is here that Luka and Emilia must find the fifth charm. Amidst the smoke and noise of the Horsmonden foundry the gypsy children run into old friends… and old enemies.

The Lightning Bolt5. The Lightning Bolt– Emilia and Luka flee into Sussex with soldiers hot on their heels, in company with a Royalist duke, a Catholic priest, a highwayman and young Tom Whitehorse. Only the most dangerous religion in the time of Puritan rule can help them escape. And Emilia and Luka still must findthe elusive gypsy tribe of the cat’s eye shell, who, it seems, have turned to smuggling…

The Butterfly in Amber6. The Butterfly in Amber– Luka and Emilia travel to London to find the last of the Graylings tribe, who has married a Puritan lawyer and turned her back on her past.

As well as all the perils of the capital city, the children must escape the vengeful Coldham, and still get to Kingston-Upon-Thames in time to rescue their families. Then on the anniversary of his greatest victory; Cromwell is mysteriously struck down. Will anything change? And can the children save their family in time?

For more info on the books, check out the author’s website.