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Posts Tagged ‘Action/adventure’

Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz.

March 10, 2020 Comments off

alex rider (2)Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz. Pub. Walker books, 2020.

Released 2 April

This is book number 13 in the Alex Rider series and this time it is serious. Alex is a little out of his depth as he tackles a secret organisation called Nightshade which uses children who have been kidnapped at age 4 or 5 years.

These children have been brainwashed into forgetting their past and trained to be ruthless and efficient killers. One of their number known to MI6 as Freddy is captured while assassinating an agent in Brazil but shuts down and cannot be broken. MI6 know that there is a secret plan to destroy London and that Nightshade are the culprits.

Freddy who is a heartless killer is locked away in a secret high security prison on Gibraltar and Alex is given the identity of another villain from the past called Julius Grief with the job of befriending Freddy in order to find out when and how the destruction of London is to be achieved.

How Alex attempts this is astonishing and beggars the question is he finally out of his depth. To make things personal Mrs Jones, Alex’s master at MI6, had her two children kidnapped at ages 5 &6. Could they now be members of Nightshade? Alex also has his doubters in MI6.

Brilliantly conceived story, action packed and thrilling to read. I can tell you no more but if you are a fan you will relish this novel and if you are discovering Alex for the first time live long and prosper.

The best action novel you will read this year.

 

 

The Book of Dust. vol 2. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman.

October 27, 2019 Comments off

DustThe Book of Dust. vol 2. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2019.

This is a superb novel for lovers of fantasy, of philosophy, of mystery, of adventure and those interested in the meaning and origin of life.

It has been ten years since Lyra returned from the land of the dead in The Subtle Knife from the His Dark Materials series. She is 20 and is in a melancholic disposition because she and her daemon Pan have fallen out and there is no trust between them. They are capable of traveling apart from each other and do so regularly. This was once thought impossible but their parting is an essential ingredient in this story. Read it and find out why.

Lyra still uses that mysterious instrument, the alethiometer, to find out information and has started to use a new and radical way of manipulating it. The bankruptcy of her friend’s father who is in the rose trade is a warning of major trouble and the murder of a botanist Rodderick Hassall has the world in an uproar.

Hassall has just returned from the desert of Karamakan in Central Asia where a certain rose can only be grown whose oil has been contaminated with that magical particle Dust from which all life emanates. How? The origin of this rose oil is a building in the middle of the desert that can be entered only by those who can separate from their daemons.

Where has Pan gone? Can he really believe that someone has stolen Lyra’s imagination?

I will leave it at that. Find out for yourself in this novel of nearly 700 pages that is totally compelling. I read it over 6 days reading and savouring about 150 pages per day. It is outstanding and even the deepest philosophical points are made easy to read.

The real skill of the author is to organise the plot so that the connections between the host of characters is made apparent, otherwise it could be confusing.

If you miss this you will kick yourself. Lyra Silvertongue is not only growing up and learns much about herself, she is on the run again in the land of fairies and ghosts, the secret commonwealth.

 

Midnight Ninja by Sam Lloyd

October 7, 2019 Comments off

ninjaMidnight Ninja by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019

This picture book is for that special person who likes secrets, martial arts, adventure, fantasy and kicking their legs out and saying hi yah.

At night a little boy and his cat Ginger become the Midnight Ninja and Ninja Master. Ginger, like all cats of course, is in command.

When the boy finds out that socks have been going missing off clothes lines Midnight Ninja springs into action  and is off to Baddie town. He finds spiders wearing socks on their legs and they have a lot of legs. The biggest spider is fierce and he traps Midnight Ninja but Ginger is on his way in a ninja cycle through  the teleporter.

The fighting is fierce but ends with a compromise. See what it is.

Very appealing illustrations showing the ninja hideout with hidden high tech gizmos, a Ninja Spy Cam and a teleporter.

Great read-a-loud with illustrations that will have juniors pawing over it for hours..

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell.

August 4, 2019 Comments off

good thievesThe Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

This is children’s story telling at it’s very best. I am pleased to discover Katherine Rundell.

Set in New York probably in the 1920’s it is a battle for social and legal justice in which the poor and downtrodden take on a rich villain and win.

Vita is a girl of 11 or 12 years old with reddish brown hair of a freshly washed fox. She goes with her mother to New York to help her grandpa who has been swindled out of his castle by a ruthless conman called Sorrotore. Not only is he a thug but he is of a class that is trained not to see the poor and the poverty around them. He doesn’t care.

Vita confronts him in his own apartment in the Dakota building on 72nd street where John Lennon would later be killed. In the process she meets an Irish girl called Silk who is an accomplished pickpocket and safe breaker and seeks her assistance to break into her grandpas castle and find a hidden emerald necklace. She declines at first.

Vita also meets two boys  from a circus playing at Carnegie Hall, Arkady and Samuel, who have trapeze skills and are clever with animals. They too are seconded to help Vita get the castle back for grandpa.

The adventure is gripping and the plot has a weasel like quality to it – cunning. Katherine Rundell has great descriptive ability in her writing and you will not put this novel down willingly.

For primary, intermediate and junior high school readers. The find of the year so far.