Posts tagged action

Seven Wonders: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis

Imagine that you were told that you woke up on a mysterious island, a place that few people know even exists, and told that you have six months to live.  You’re told that you have a special gene that gives you amazing powers, but the only way to keep those powers under control and keep you alive is to retrieve seven lost magical orbs.  These orbs have been hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and it’s up to you and your new friends to retrieve them before it’s too late.  This is the task that is given to Jack McKinley in Peter Lerangis’ new series, Seven Wonders. The first book in the Seven Wonders series, The Colossus Rises is out now.

The day after twelve-year-old Jack McKinley is told he has six months to live, he awakens on a mysterious island, where a secret organization promises to save his life – but with one condition. With his three friends, Jack must lead a mission to retrieve seven lost magical orbs, which, only when combined together, can save their lives. The challenge: the orbs have been missing for a thousand years, lost among the ruins and relics of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. With no one else to turn to and no escape in sight, the four friends have no choice but to undertake the quest. First stop: The Colossus of Rhodes … where they realise that there’s way more at stake than just their lives.

The Colossus Rises is an action-packed blockbuster of a book. From the first sentence you’re hooked into the story and, like Jack, you’re whisked from your normal, everyday life into a strange new world.  You’re taken to a place of legend, home to mysterious creatures, and where a group of kids have amazing powers.  The mystery of the unique gene that Jack and his friends have and the magical orbs draws you in and you keep reading hoping to find the answers.  Peter Lerangis is very good at only revealing little details throughout the story to leave you hanging and we’ll find out more as the series progresses.  There is definitely more to the island and their quest that Professor Bhegad isn’t revealing to Jack and his friends (if you read the free ebook prequel, The Select, you’ll see what I mean).

Peter really keeps you on the edge of your seat.  There is danger around every corner so you never know what to expect next.  I wasn’t even sure that Jack and his friends were all going to make it to the end of the story alive, as they have some very close shaves.  The second half of the book is especially exciting and fast-paced and had me engrossed in the story.

Like the Percy Jackson books The Colossus Rises is a mixture of adventure and fantasy.  Jack and his friends have powers that help them in in their quest to find the orbs and the island is home to mysterious and mythical creatures.  They have to fight for their lives with these creatures, both on the island and on the other side of the world, in plain view of normal humans.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series, Lost in Babylon.  The Seven Wonders website is awesome and definitely worth a look too (especially for the free ebook prequel, The Select).

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Phantom of Terawhiti by Des Hunt

It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild southwest coast. Then Zac and his dad witness a boat sink during a storm. Investigating further, Zac finds a set of unusual animal prints on the beach. Whose boat is it? And what creature could have made the prints? Soon armed men are prowling the coast, and threatening Zac, his friends and his family. He must do all he can to protect the Phantom of Terawhiti from those intent on hunting it down.

Phantom of Terawhiti is an action-packed adventure story, packed with mystery,  armed and angry Russians, brainless hunters, wild weather, a car chase, and a race against time.  Des Hunt is a gifted storyteller who never fails to write a story that grips readers and makes you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.  In Phantom of Terawhiti there are plenty of heart-stopping moments, especially when Zac and Jess clash with the Russians.  The mystery of the ‘Phantom of Terawhiti’ draws you in and, even when the creature is revealed, you wonder how it will survive in the wild with the hunters trying to track it down.

Like the main characters in his other books, Zac and Jess are just normal Kiwi kids, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe the right place at the right time).  Zac gets dragged by his dad to come and live on the remote Terawhiti Station, and it’s while he’s here that he discovers the wreck of the yacht and the paw prints in the sand.  When they discover the Phantom of Terawhiti, Zac and Jess know that they must do everything they can to protect it.

Phantom of Terawhiti is one of Des Hunt’s best books so far and I can’t wait to see where in the country he will take us to next.

4 out of 5 stars

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The Crystal Code by Richard Newsome

What do you get when you mix Tintin, James Bond, and The Famous Five together?  You get Richard Newsome’s Billionaire Series.  So far in the series we’ve followed Gerald, Ruby and Sam to England, France, Greece and India, trying to stay one step ahead of the notorious Mason Green.  In their latest action-packed adventure, The Crystal Code, we join our favourite characters as they make new friends and enemies.

Gerald, Ruby and Sam are meeting up with Alisha and Gerald’s Australian school friend Ox for two weeks of snowboarding in the mountains of California. It’s a dream vacation.

But soon after they arrive—by helicopter, with Gerald’s butler Mr Fry at the controls, of course—the private chalet is attacked. Gerald and the gang escape through a secret passage, only to be pursued on snowmobiles by men with guns across frozen lakes and into the path of a cascading avalanche.

Could this be the work of Gerald’s nemesis Sir Mason Green, recently escaped from prison? Or is someone else behind the attack?Does the old dry cleaning ticket Gerald found amongst Green’s belongings hold the key?And how does an invitation to join the secretive Billionaire’s Club land Gerald in so much trouble?

The Crystal Code is Richard Newsome at his best!  It’s chock-full of everything I love about the Billionaire Series – chases, fights, close calls, awkward situations, sarcastic remarks, laugh out loud moments and memorable characters.  From the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, to Prague, and a tiny island in Sweden, Richard Newsome takes us on a wild ride where the action never lets up.   As the characters grow up, their relationships change, so things become a bit awkward between Gerald and Ruby (especially when another girl, Felicity, gets thrown into the mixture).  I really liked the dynamics between the characters, and by introducing new characters into the original trio, Richard has refreshed the series and made it even more exciting.

Richard also introduces us to some new villains.  At the center of the story is a centuries old manuscript that nobody has been able to decipher, and there are two characters that are desperate to get their hands on it.  Tycho Brahe, the mysterious man with the silver nose, is a fantastically sinister character who will stop at nothing to carry out his plans.  There is a lot of mystery surrounding him and Gerald and his friends don’t believe that he can be the man he says that he is.  Then there is Ursus, the man with many names, a shadowy character whose motives are unknown.  They’re both really intriguing characters and I have a feeling we’ll meet them again.

The Crystal Code, and the rest of the Billionaire series, are a must read for anyone who loves action, adventure and mystery stories.  Grab it from your library now and dive into the adventures of billionaire boy, Gerald, and his friends.

5 out of 5 stars

Richard Newsome is joining us as our October Star Author.  Make sure you check out his posts and watch out for your chance to win a copy of The Crystal Code in this week’s Free Book Friday.

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The Phoenix Files: Contact by Chris Morphew

Contact jumps straight back into the story of Jordan, Luke and Peter, three of the inhabitants (or prisoners) of the town of Phoenix.  It starts off right where the first book, Arrival ended with Luke, Peter and Jordan hearing the ring of a phone and running off to find out who the phone belongs to.  You learn in the first book that the phones and internet don’t work in Phoenix so it’s strange to hear a phone ringing.  This mysterious phone sets off a string of events that Luke, Peter and Jordan get caught up in.  The people who are in charge of Phoenix discover that the three of them are snooping around, so their principal gives them tasks to keep them busy.  This doesn’t stop them investigating the plans of the Shackleton Cooperative to bring about the end of the world, and as they uncover more secrets they find themselves fighting to save themselves and the ones they love.

Contact is fast-paced and so suspenseful that I found I was racing to finish the book.  Luke, Peter and Jordan get themselves into some really tight situations in this book and you wonder if they are going to get out of them alive.  The part when they are in Ketterley’s office really had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that they didn’t get caught.  One of the things I liked best about Contact is that Chris Morphew told the story from a different character’s perspective.  We see things from Peter’s point of view, which is quite different from Luke’s in the first book.  Hopefully the third book, Mutation will be told from Jordan’s perspective.  I’m going to get started on Mutation straight away because I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Recommended for 12+.   10 out of 10

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The Phoenix Files: Arrival by Chris Morphew

What would you do if you found out there were only 100 days until the end of the world?

When Luke and his mum move to the town of Phoenix, out in the middle of nowhere, Luke knows straight away that something isn’t quite right about the place.  There are no cars, no phones and no internet.  All the houses look the same and the only way to get around the town is to walk or bike.  The town was especially built by the Shackleton Cooperative, the mysterious company that offered Luke’s mum a job, and their security officers roam the streets.  A coded message brings Luke together with Peter and Jordan, and when they decipher the message they realise they’re in serious danger.  Someone is plotting to wipe out the human race in 100 days and Phoenix suddenly becomes the safest and most dangerous place on earth.  When Luke discovers a note in his backpack inviting them to a secret meeting at the Phoenix Airport, they hope that they’ll get some answers.  However, their meeting at the airport gives them more questions than answers and as they hunt for information about Phoenix and the deadly plans, the more dangerous it becomes for them in the town.

Arrival is the first book in the action-packed, heart-stopping Phoenix Files series.  It’s one of those books that you just have to keep reading to find out what happens.  It grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.  You’re left with lots of unanswered questions about Phoenix and the Shackleton Cooperative, but this just makes you want to go and pick up the next book straight away.  Luckily there are 4 books already released (and in the library) of this 6 book series so I can read them all before Fallout gets released next year.  The Phoenix Files are perfect for those who like mystery, adventure and suspense, or books about secret agencies and the end of the world.  If you like Michael Grant’s Gone series, then you’ll love The Phoenix FilesRecommended for 12+    10 out of 10

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Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

Most booklovers know and adore Michael Morpurgo’s work. If you don’t, Shadow is the perfect book to get you started.

This stunning title is about a boy called Aman who is telling his story to his best friend’s grandfather at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, along with other Afghani refugees. This is a tale of courage, bravery, and one life-changing dog.

My favourite character was Aman’s mother because she is so incredibly brave and always believing; God is good, God will help us. She is a tremendously important character in the story.

Shadow is definitely a ‘must read’, so I would recommend it to ages 9+ because the reader would then be able to appreciate some of the situations more accurately.

Saoirse, 10

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Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

If you could have only one super power, what would it be?

That’s the question that Jacob Fielding asks at the start of Thirteen Days to Midnight, the dark new book by Patrick Carman.  One Saturday morning in search of breakfast, Jacob and his foster-father, Mr Fielding are out driving when they crash into a tree.  The last words that Mr Fielding says to Jacob are ‘You are indestructible.’  Mr Fielding dies, leaving Jacob completely unhurt and trying to figure out why. As he experiments, Jacob discovers Mr Fielding has transferred an amazing power to him – he is now indestructible.  The priests that run his school take Jacob in and he eventually goes back to school, where his best friend Milo introduces him to the new girl, Ophelia James (or Oh for short).  Oh is a bit of a daredevil and so she’s come off her skateboard and broken her arm.  She wants Jacob to be the first to sign her cast, but when Jacob signs it with ‘You are indestructible,’ the trouble begins.  They realise that by uttering those three words, Jacob can transfer his power to another person.  They test the power out and use it to help save others.  But with every heroic act, the power grows stronger and soon feels more like a curse.

I got totally engrossed with this story and couldn’t put it down.  The story twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat.  It’s a story that really makes you think.  There are lots of unanswered questions about Mr Fielding’s past and the power that Jacob has inherited, and you keep trying to put the pieces of the story together to answer these questions. One of the things I really liked about the story was the dark, creepy atmosphere , which tells you that this isn’t your normal story about a boy getting super powers.  I also loved the way that Patrick Carman weaved history into the story, with the connection to a famous magician.  Thirteen Days to Midnight is a story full of suspense, action, mystery, and a curse passed down through time.   Recommended for 12+   10 out of 10

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