Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Random House
About the book: I thought I would review this book because ‘The Fever Code’, a second prequel to the original series, has just been released.
When Thomas wakes up in a strange maze, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He’s welcomed by other boys into The Glade, a camp in the middle of the terrible maze. Like Thomas, the others do not know where they are, why they are there or how they got there.
What I thought: This was a tense, gripping book, which had me wanting to read more and more, as more questions were answered – opening up new questions. I really loved how this book kept me interested and the quality was the same the whole way through (the pace is kept up from start to finish).
I recommend this book for ages 12+ as it contains confronting scenes and some grown-up themes, and may be thought to be a bit scary in places.
Buy The Maze Runner here.
Buy The Fever Code here.
Title: Artie and The Grime Wave
Author and illustrator: Richard Roxburgh
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
This week I am handing over to Book Boy Junior (9) for the review.
About the book: While Artie and his best friend Bumshoe are riding to town to replace Artie’s shoes (which were thrown on a power line), they stumble upon a cave of possibly stolen stuff! They try to get proof that it’s stolen and get themselves captured so they have to escape. Lots of other funny things happen.
What I thought: This book was exciting and very funny. The illustrations are detailed and really add to the book. My favourite character was Mary, who is a scary guy with a tattoo on his face.
I would recommend the book for ages 7-9. If you like Anh Do’s books or the Tom Gates series, I think you would also like this book.
Buy Artie and The Grime Wave.
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont)
About the book: When everyone over the age of 15 disappears, it is chaotic for everyone left behind. Sam Temple finds himself caught up in this mess, and must figure out where everyone has gone and how to get them back. This is the first book in a six-book series.
What I thought: This book was gripping and had me on the edge of my seat. The plot was fast-paced and you could really relate to the characters. I would really like to read the second book in the series (Hunger), but haven’t been able to find it yet at any of the libraries I frequent (I think everyone else must have loved it so much they kept it!).
I would recommend this book for ages 12+ as it contains scenes of cruelty (to people) and violence. It also has supernatural themes. Readers who like The Maze Runner by James Dashner would probably like this book.
Buy Gone here.
Title: The Turners
Author: Mick Elliott
Publisher: Lothian Books
I’m handing over to Book Boy Junior (aged 9) for this review.
About the book: Leo Lennox has an epic problem. You’d think that growing a tail in the middle of the school library would be the worst thing that could happen to you, but Leo is about to discover that things can always get worse and a whole lot weirder… (in a really funny way).
What I thought: Leo is funny – he’s not crazy, in fact, he’s sensible (kind of), but the way he thinks is funny. He’s surprised when a family secret comes out on his birthday, and the story is really adventurous.
I thought this book was really exciting because there were always shape-shifters and different surprises just around the corner.
Mick Elliott has a great imagination and I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
I recommend this book for kids aged 8-11.
Buy The Turners here.
Title: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan
Author: John Flanagan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
About the book: This book is a prequel to the very popular Ranger’s Apprentice series. It is about Crowley as a young ranger who is trying to thwart the plans of the evil Lord Morgarath. He is accompanied by Halt, a gruff Hibernian, and picks up other rangers along the way.
What I thought: I thought this book was really good. It keeps the same qualities of the other Ranger’s Apprentice books – adventure, good vocabulary, humour and a good story. I have often been disappointed by prequels, but this one really stood out. I really liked finding out more about Halt before he became a Ranger. You could start the series with this book, or you could read it after you’ve read all the others.
I would recommend it for good readers of 8+ and, really, anyone who enjoys a good fantasy adventure would love this book.
Buy Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan here.
Title: Countdown to Danger: Shockwave
Author: Jack Heath
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the book: This is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, part of the Countdown to Danger series. The story begins in a surf camp, and the reader has decisions to make at the end of each chapter. The book is written in second person, making the reader the main character of the story.
What I thought: The book is written well (I think books like this would be hard to write!) and I read it several times for different storylines. I thought that some of the decisions you had to make were quite difficult and it was a fun book – almost like playing a game.
I would recommend the book for ages 7+ – I think boys would enjoy these storylines the most. Kids who like adventure and making up their own stories will really like this book.
Buy Countdown To Danger: Shockwave here.
Title: The Impossible Quest series
Escape from Wolfhaven Castle
Wolves of Witchwood
The Beast of Blackmoor Bog
The Drowned Kingdom
Battle Of The Heroes
Author: Kate Forsyth
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the books: ‘The Impossible Quest’ is a series of books about four children, Tom, Elanor, Quinn and Sebastian, who must go on an impossible quest to save their people from the wicked bog-men. They must find four items: a unicorn’s horn, a griffin’s feather, a dragons tooth and a sea-serpents scale, to awaken the heroes that will save them.
What I thought: I thought that this was a really adventurous series that had me on the edge of my seat at every page. I loved how descriptive and interesting the books were, and the touches of humour. I liked the series so much I went as one of the characters (Tom) for Book Week last year!
I really loved the books and would recommend the series for ages 8+.
Buy The Impossible Quest series.