Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder.

January 14, 2020 Comments off

chasing ShadowsChasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder. Pub. HQ. Young Adult, 2019.

This is set on a Planet called Yulin on the outer area of the Galaxy. On this Planet is a human force preparing it for civilisation and carrying out archaelogical digs which are mysterious.

All over other Planets in the Galaxy are Pits containing Terracotta Army warriors like those in modern day China. The Warriors have magical marks on them and have hearts made from a substance not known on Earth. It is suspected that the Warriors have some power that can give supremacy to anyone who can crack the unknown markings on the Terracotta Warriors.

It is suspected that alien symbols on the warriors prove the Aliens believed in demons and used the warriors to protect themselves perhaps using an as yet unknown dimension.

On Yulin, Ara who is about 18 years old and was killed in the last book Navigating the Stars by a Looter named Jarren. She isĀ  secretly revived and learns security on Yulin while her parents work on the Warriors. But why was she killed and why was she secretly revived? Ara works on the giant Internet system called Q-Net and is able to go places no-one else can, even more so since she was brought back to life. She discovers that all communications between Yulin and DES or home base have been secretly stopped for some months probably by arch villain Jarren.

To lure Jarren out those on Yulin decide to open an as yet undisturbed pit full of Warriors to see what will happen. In the meantime Ara is having a first love affair with Niall and trying to break through the barriers on Q-Net that link Yulin to home base.

Lots of Internet type talk which is relevant to today’s world. It you are a techie you will love this Science fiction novel. I found it compelling and there is probably going to be another.

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera.

January 11, 2020 Comments off

infinity sonInfinity Son by Adam Silvera. Pub. Simon & Schuster, 2020.

This novel is mind blowing. Sometimes it reads like one of those super hero action stories when total chaos reigns, at other times it is a family story of brothers and kin.

The start is confusing as the reader is introduced to a New York world that is totally bizarre. The general human population are called Celestials and everybody is totally connected through social media. It’s how everybody follows the news and tries to earn a living.

Celestials aspire to have super powers and there are beings called Blood Casters who use an Alchemy like science by using blood of various creatures like the Phoenix and the Hydra to creature super power creatures called Specters and Spell Walkers. A gang like battle wages through New York between these creatures.

Then things come to a crisis. A new Constellation swims into the Earths skies called the Crowned Dreamer and weird things start happening. Twins Emil and Brighton are about to turn eighteen. Brighton is successful as a Social Media star and Emil has always dreamed of being a super hero.

In the middle of a weird battle Emil while under considerable pressure sees total rage and displays fire creating skills of a Spell Walker with Phoenix blood. His display is seen by everybody on Social media and he is an immediate star and all the groups want him.

It turns out that he is possibly the reincarnation of the man who created the Spell Walkers centuries ago and he is destined to play a critical role in the battles that are to come.

But that’s not all. He is gay. I can tell you no more, read it for yourself.

I was fascinated by it all, struggled to get a grip in parts but the action and the story is compelling. For senior students and young adults. It is like nothing I have read before.

 

Great Grandma’s Shed. Marcum Road Follies by Helen Nickolson, illus. Tanya Maneki.

January 7, 2020 Comments off

Grandmas shedGreat Grandma’s Shed. Marcum Road Follies by Helen Nickolson, illus. Tanya Maneki. Pub. Adelaide books New York, 2019.

This is a collection of old time shaggy dog type stories for juniors, the sort of story that only a grandparent can tell their grand child.

Essential to the story is for the child to believe that a car-Old Red, can be a human like being that can share their lives and do things that adults can do. Once that is accepted the car becomes a friend and a person like anyone else. Indeed he is. He takes them to the movies, he gets sad, the children play tricks on him but he becomes an essential part of the community in the farming area of north California.

Old fashioned story telling in short stories. My favourite is the unruly cows who can do Irish dancing and pester grandma by dirtying up her yard.

There are also other characters like Cutie pie the dog and Teepo the duck. I found it a good laugh. Great illustrations especially those at the end of each story.

A Day at the Zoo by Cassie Roberts.

January 7, 2020 Comments off

day at zooA Day at the Zoo by Cassie Roberts. Pub. Adelaide Books New York, 2019.

This is a picture book about taking risks and joining in.

William and Rose visit the zoo and watch the animals do an array of things. Monkey swings in the trees, Elephant rides a bike giraffe swims laps in his elongated bath and Zebra climbs a rope.

They all call to William and Rose to join in but they are diffident. Will they change their minds by the end of the book? Check it and find out.

Simple rhyming text, good for read aloud or personal reading for juniors.

A Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber

January 7, 2020 Comments off

robot heartA Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber. Pub. Adelaide books New York, 2019.

Jessie and her daddy are very lucky. They love doing things together and Robot puts it all down to heart.

Robot is told he hasn’t got a heart and can’t have one but he wants what Jessie and her daddy have so he looks for reasons why. Will he learn about a heart from books?or playing sports or helping others or going to school?

See how Robot gets on. One thing is for sure-he may not have a heart but he can learn to love.

Simple text, simple illustrations, big message.

Sweet Dreams are Made of This. A life in Music by Dave Stewart.

January 2, 2020 Comments off

sweet dreamsSweet Dreams are Made of This. A life in Music by Dave Stewart. Pub. New American Library, 2016.

I have read many books about Rock n roll music and the people that created it. One of the things that has always astounded me is that the music world is one big family. They all know each other and these relationships can be sustaining and toxic at the same time.

Dave Stewart is from Sunderland a town mad about football and filled with people who have one of the best accents in the world. they all sound immensely funny to me and I think it was this that endeared Dave Stewart to so many people. He could make them laugh and feel comfortable and make the task of song writing, producing and performing fun.

In this book he tells of his life and the personalities he met and it is a bio. of my favourite 80’s band The Eurythmics. Experimenting was always at the heart of the Eurythmics work. They had the courage to break rules and make something different. All their albums starting with Sweet Dreams were an experiment and this is what attracted other artists including Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Katy Perry and others to Dave Stewart’s door.

The strength of this book is it is all about the music. How the songs were written and produced. Dave Stewart’s big break came when he met Scottish lass Annie Lennox who has one of the most astonishing singing voices the world has ever heard. Their relationship was stormy but the music always came first. They wrote about their relationships and turned out some of the most astonishing songs in rock n roll – Here Comes the Rain Again, Love is a Stranger and others.

Stewart talks of all his wives and their children with great affection and the drug fueled world that he existed in. It will blow your mind.

I loved this book from start to finish and you will too. Just one little gem from the book- he co-wrote Don’t Come Around here No More with Tom Petty and directed and features in the Alice in Wonderland video that went with the song.

Mick Jagger writes the Foreword and he says “we’ve shared a love of beautiful women, blues music, films storytelling and the Caribbean”. You’re not wrong Mick.

Fart Monster and Me by Tim Miller & Matt Stanton

December 23, 2019 Comments off

fartFart Monster and Me by Tim Miller & Matt Stanton. Pub. ABC Books, Imprint HarperCollins, 2019.

When a Fart Monster crash lands at the back of Ben Dugan’s house leaving a bum shaped crater, he is in for a change of life.

Fart Monster comes from another planet and got to Earth as a result of a ginormous fart which carried him across the Universe. He is invisible to everybody but Ben and he farts all the time.

Ben has to put up with being accused of farting all the time at school, at home and even at his birthday party. There are some choice phrases in the book such as “doing farts and telling fart jokes are not the same thing”. “smell you later” and ” whoever denied it supplied it”

Guaranteed to get those reluctant boy readers into reading. For primary and intermediate readers.

There are actually four books in one, with easy large font and excellent illustrations. It is the BUM per Edition. Go on you want to read it.