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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Alex Rider – Scorpia Rising

It’s been five months since Alex heard from MI6. He doesn’t know if Mrs Jones has finally persuaded Alan Blunt not to use teenagers on missions, or they just don’t need him at the moment. But it doesn’t really matter, he was glad to be a regular boy again. But in the back of his mind, he wonders, does he miss it?  The excitement, the thrill, knowing what England was like behind the scenes? Of course not! But is that really the truth? Alex thought about what he wanted, but when you’re Britain’s most successful spy, there is no choice.

When Alex is almost sniped at school, he finds himself dragged back into the world of gangs, murderers, and secret society’s.

Meanwhile, Scorpia is offered a serious amount of money to steal from the British Museum. But after two previous failures, they decide to take out the only person who can stop them: Alex Rider. So they seek out the best person for the job. Somebody who hates Alex more than anybody else, somebody who is one of the smartest and most criminally insane people in the world, somebody, who wants revenge…

In need of answers, Alex goes to MI6, they would know what this was all about. But he comes out scheduled for another mission. This time Alex must travel to Cairo, to spy on a head of security of a school for they worlds richest kids. Although everything is not as it seems.

I really can’t give any more away for this book, it would ruin the whole story. But I can tell you this is one of the best Anthony Horowitz books yet. It’s fast paced, and you can’t predict what will happen next, as all of the Alex Rider books are full of clever twists and the plan only becomes clear at the very end.

I would rate it 7 or 8/10.

By Henry

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The Project by Brian Falkner

The most boring book in the world contains a dangerous secret that could destroy the world if it got into the wrong hands.  If only you could stay awake long enough to read it.

To get out of a punishment for pulling a school prank, Luke and Tommy must prove that The Last of the Mohicans is the most boring book in the world, but they discover that there is another book that is actually the most boring, a book called Leonardo’s River.  There is only one copy of this book left in the world, which has been lost for many years and it’s worth $2 million.  When Luke and Tommy help to rescue the rare books from the basement of the university library they can’t believe their eyes when they discover the most boring book in the world in among the other books.  The boys save the book but there are others who will do anything to get their hands on it.  They uncover the terrible  secrets of the book and if it falls into the wrong hands, the consequences would be disastrous.

The Project is a great read for anybody who likes history, science fiction, action, adventure and mystery.  You’ll get caught up in the story and taken along for a wild ride as Luke and Tommy race to save the world.  It is definitely NOT a boring book and you’ll be kept awake wanting to find out how the story ends.   Brian Falkner talked about The Project last month when he was our Star Author so if you’d like to know more about the story, check out Brian’s post about The Project.

Recommended for age 10+     10 out of 10

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Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Have you read the Hunger Games series?  No?  Well you should. They are a great series with plotting, fighting and a little bit of romance, all the way through.  The action never stops.

Prim Everdeen is chosen as a representative for the hunger games while she is still 12 years old, Katniss, her big sister, volunteers to go instead of Prim and she goes to save her sister. Without giving too much away being selected isn’t a good thing.

I reckon that they are a great series and that if you like fighting, romance (sort of) and cunning plotting you should read them.  I’d recommend them to anyone over 10.  They are great for adults too – my Mum is reading the second one now!

They are some of the best books I’ve read, and I have read some really, really good books.

If you really like the sound of the Hunger Games series you should SO read them. The first book is Hunger Games, the second one is Catching Fire and Mockingjay has just been released.

By Rhys

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Young Bond: Bloodfever.

Bloodfever is the second book in the Young Bond series.

In this book, James, the main Character, goes on a trip to Sicily but ends up Going to his cousins place. Then he gets captured and escapes but gets recaptured again and gets very close to death that is caused by mosqitos.

The end.

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Join the race to The Emerald Casket

In The Billionaire’s Curse, Gerald became a billionaire, was hunted by a maniac, solved a murder, and only just managed to get out alive.  Now Gerald, Ruby and Sam are back in the second book in Richard Newsome’s brilliant Billionaire Trilogy, The Emerald Casket.

In The Emerald Casket, the three friends take up an invitation from Alisha Gupta to come to India for a well-deserved holiday.  If only they knew what was in store for them in India!  A kidnap attempt on Alisha is only the start of their troubles and sees them mixed-up with a mysterious and deadly cult.  But what is the link between the cult and Gerald’s family?  Gerald’s old enemy, Sir Mason Green is still out there somewhere, looking for the second casket, but Gerald must get to the second casket before him.

Packed with action, adventure, mystery and intrigue, you’ll  love the second part of The Billionaire Trilogy.  To hear Richard talk about the series, come along to the launch of the Christchurch Kids Blog on Wednesday, 8 September from 7pm at Central Library.

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Tripwire – the explosive new book by Steve Cole


Name: Felix James Smith

Age: 15

Role: Entering battlespaces to disable improvised explosive devices (IEPs).

Training: tactics, firearms, physical fitness, advanced driving, military free fall parachuting,  boat-handling and vehicle hot-wiring.

Tripwire by Steve Cole and Chris Hunter (a bomb disposal expert) is the explosive first book in thrilling new series. Felix’s father was killed along with thousands of others in the Day Zero attacks, a series of terrorist attacks that destroyed London’s Heathrow Airport.  Felix wants nothing more than to fight back and stop the vicious terrorist organisation, Orpheus, from spreading their destruction.  He’s recruited by a top-secret organization called the Minos Chapter and sent to gather intelligence on the terrorists.  Felix has the skills but can he discover their plans and diffuse their bombs in time? 

The excitement and suspense keeps you reading and the chapters count down from 27 seconds so you know something big is going to happen at the end.  I found myself almost sweating along with Felix as he tried to defuse the bombs, taking them apart bit by bit.

If you like the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson, the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore, or Andy McNab’s Boy Soldier series you’ll love Tripwire.

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Ancient Egyptian gods rise again in The Red Pyramid

Percy Jackson fought Greek gods and now Carter and Sadie Kane battle to keep the Egyptian gods from taking over the world in Rick Riordan’s new series, The Kane Chronicles

The Red Pyramid is the first book in the new series and it’s totally awesome!  Brother and sister, Carter and Sadie Kane have lived apart since their mother died when they were young.  Carter travels the world with his dad who’s a brilliant Egyptologist, and Sadie lives with her grandparents in London.  When their dad destroys the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, he releases some dangerous Egyptian gods that have been trapped for centuries.  Set, the god of chaos, traps Carter’s dad in a gold tomb and Carter and Sadie have to run for their lives.  To save their dad, they must defeat Set and his minions.   Along the way they are helped by some powerful gods who help them discover the truth about their family and unlock the magic inside them.  

I love the way that Rick Riordan creates a story around myths and legends and The Red Pyramid left me wanting to know more about Egyptian myths and legends.  He makes the gods seem cool, particularly Anubis (even though he’s the god of the underworld). The Red Pyramid is exciting, action packed, and the perfect book for those who loved the Percy Jackson series.  I can’t wait for the next one in the series!   10 out of 10

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Books you can’t put down – what’s your favourite?

Cover imageThere are some books you read that you get totally engrossed in and you don’t want to put it down.  Everything else just blurs into the background and you don’t hear your parents telling you dinner is ready or that you need to clean your bedroom.   I find that books with lots of action, adventure and mystery are the ones that I just can’t put down because there’s always something happening.  Sometimes though it’s just that the characters are really interesting and I want to find out what happens to them.

Here’s some of my favourite books that I couldn’t put down:

  • Frog Whistle Mine by Des Hunt – a great adventure story, with a mystery running through it and set in New Zealand.
  • Boom! by Mark Haddon – teachers that are aliens, a weird alien language and cool alien gadgets – what more can you ask for?
  • Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner – messages sent from the future to help a group of kids save New Zealand and the rest of the world from a mysterious virus.
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – characters really come alive in this brilliant story about the magic of books and reading (also the start of the trilogy).

What are some of the books that you just couldn’t put down?  What made them so exciting/terrifying/action-packed?

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The Red Pryamid by Rick Riordan

I think the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan is a really cool book because there are lots and lots of gods from Ancient Egypt.  There is a girl called Sadie and a boy called Carter.Their dad is a scientist called Dr Kane.  Find out what happens to them as they dodge obstacles and swerve around gods from Ancient Egypt.

by Juliette

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What would you do with 20 billion dollars?

Cover imageWhat would you do if you inherited 20 billion dollars?  This is exactly what Gerald has to decide when he inherits a fortune from his great-aunt, in Richard Newsome’s exciting, roller-coaster ride of a book, The Billionaire’s Curse.  When Gerald’s great-aunt Geraldine dies suddenly, his family jumps on a private jet and races over to England for the funeral and the all-important reading of her will.  Gerald’s great-aunt leaves him her entire fortune, including houses, cars, her butler and lots and lots of cash.  As if he didn’t have enough to worry about with all that money, Gerald discovers Geraldine was murdered and a very valuable diamond has been stolen from the British Museum.  The two crimes are linked and it’s up to Gerald and his new friends to uncover the truth.  With villains around every corner, who can Gerald trust?

The Billionaire’s Curse is a fast-paced, mystery story with lots of action, creepy characters, booby traps, and close shaves with death.  It’s also the first book in The Billionaire Trilogy so watch out for book 2, The Emerald Casket, in the library soon. Perfect for 11+


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CHERUB series

The CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore is a fantastic read. It has action, adventure and a little bit of romance. I recommend these books to competent readers 12+. I rate this series 9 1/2 out of 10.Its a good read.

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Watch out for the Candle Man!

Search the catalogue for Candle Man by Glenn DakinImagine that you have been kept hidden away from the world for most of your young life, in a mansion with only three people for company.  There is your mysterious master Dr. Saint, your butler Mr. Nicely and your deaf maid Clarice, but these are the only people you have ever met.    The only times that you have been let outside have been your birthdays and even then someone is always watching you so that you can’t go far.  You can only read certain books, eat certain foods, and can only drink water, because anything else is too stimulating for you.  This is exactly how Theo has lived his life so far when we first meet him at the start of a mysterious new book called Candle Man by Glenn Dakin.

Theo’s life is turned upside down when a group of burglars break into his home, Empire Hall, one night and Theo discovers that he has a terrible power coursing through his body.  Thanks to a mysterious group of strangers who break Theo out of his imprisonment he learns of his ties to the legendary figure of the Candle Man and the destiny that awaits him.

If you like books with a bit of mystery, some superheroes and creepy villains, weird creatures, and people melting like wax then this book is for you.  The good news is that Candle Man is the start of a new series so we can expect to see more of Theo and his friends.  Have a look at Glenn Dakin’s awesome website here.  7/10

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