Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Maximum Ride Adventures by James Patterson

                                                                        *** Prologue*** 

The Maximum Ride Adventures By James Patterson

Life as Maximum Ride and her flock should be easy. No adults, no rules and hey, even wings (!); What could be better? Well besides the fact that they're MUTANT BIRD kids on the RUN for their LIVES, nothing.
The series centers around Max, a fourteen year old teenager who has taken up the role as leader of the flock - the name of their little group of seven - ever since their former guardian Jeb disappeared years ago. But life as Max is never easy for besides looking after the flock - fourteen year old Iggy, Fang also fourteen, eleven year old Nudge, eight year old Gasman (literally), and Angel who is just six. The flock are on the run from the place they grew up in, named The School. The School being a lab for evil scientists, that experimented on the kids as they grew up.
This young adult book is like nothing I've ever read before, and that's a good thing. Max is my kind of girl and nothing gets in her way. To anyone, male or female, old or young, looking for a few great reads, then this is the series for you.
My Rating of of five for this series of adventures is 4.5. They were some of the most fantastic reads yet, my only criticism would be the heart breaking ending of book six.
My favourite character and favourite book are one word and one word only: Max.


I picked up the first Maximum Ride novel, The Angel Experiment about six months ago. I'd never read a James Patterson novel before, although obviously I'd heard of him, and the subject matter was instantly intriguing ; children genetically modified, mixed with avian (yes, that's bird!) DNA. The novels, (there have been six so far, and a movie is also in the works), centre around the flock. Rescued from the laboratory that created them, called the school, by Jeb, the kids are led from adventure to adventure by strong rebellious Max. Fang, her friend (and maybe more) is a boy of few words, Nudge is a girl who enjoys a little attention, Iggy and Gasman are the jokers of the flock, and Gasman's little sister Angel may be just six, but she is anything but a helpless little girl, not to forget Total, the talking dog who becomes so much a part of the flock that he grows a set of wings.
The Maximum Ride series is full of action and excitement, which has you reading  just one more chapter, until you realise you're at the end. I'm not usually an action junkie, but the violence is not graphic or repulsive, and the tender moments are just quite lovely. The characters are engaging and amusing, and I couldn't help but admire them all, especially Max, who despite her lack of education and parenting, manages to keep her odd little family together and alive, while enemy after enemy launches the attack. With enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, these novels are one of the best YA series' I have read, definitely a 5 out of 5.
My favourite book so far has been Fang, although I have to confess to a few tears at the end, I can't wait for the next one, which I believe will be titled Angel.
My favourite character is so hard to determine, I love Max's rebellious spirit, Fangs quiet loyalty and Angel, well, just for being Angel. So I'll cheat and pick all three!

Keen? Check out the Website (if you get past level three on the game you're a legend!)

Friday, 18 June 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, a review.


It was the most exciting chapter yet, fan’s eagerly gripping the sides of the book as they read. Thoughts passed through their minds at lightening speed: Who was going to come out of the battle on top, Victoria or Edward Cullen? And finally what would become of Victoria’s soldier Bree Tanner?

If you’ve read The Twilight Saga : Eclipse you would already know the answers to all of the questions above, but would you know the answer to the question, what life did Bree Tanner live before she and the rest of Victoria’s army attacked the Cullens?

Well you’re in luck twi-hards because the Twilight Saga’s author Stephenie Meyer has released another Twilight Saga addition; a novella about Bree Tanner's life titled; The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

Newborn vampire Bree Tanner’s Seattle life is anything but simple. Besides dealing with the constant burning in her throat caused by blood-lust, Bree also has to deal with her growing feelings for vampire pal Diego, her master Riley’s ongoing orders and her, Bree’s mysterious and unknown creator.

What I thought about this book: Stunning. Marvellous. The Short Second life of Bree Tanner may just be my favourite book in the saga. Superb in every way, the only thing that let me down was the super tear-jerking ending.
My Favourite Character: Bree Tanner
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Congrats Mrs. Meyer you did it again

So, if four novels, one quarter of a manuscript and three movies weren't enough to sate your appetite for a certain vampire family, Stephenie Meyer recently released a novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Originally, like Midnight Sun for R-Patz, this was written for the actress playing Bree, Jodelle Ferland to help her really get into the character in Eclipse. Stephenie Meyer requested, as a thank you to her fans, that it be made free to read online. And it is, but only until the 7th July, so get to breetanner.com quick if you haven't already.
Maddie and I were skeptical about the word 'novella', considering how lengthy the Twilight Saga novels are, so were surprised to find that it was in fact just 178 pages, easily readable in an afternoon.
Bree Tanner is one of the newborn vampires, recruited by Riley, the leader of the vampire army and created by Victoria, who, in an effort to block Alice Cullen's powers of foresight, is only known to the newborn army as 'her' and is never seen by any of them. Bree develops a relationship with a fellow recruit, and together they begin to unravel the net of lies that has snared them. There are a couple of interesting scenes that shed light on the Volturi and Edward Cullen, that I wasn't expecting, but I definitely feel that Bree's story drew me in and the addition of the familiar Twilight characters added little to the story.
I've heard a lot of criticisms of Meyers writing, most written in that lovely shade of envy green, but for me, the one thing that she does superbly is to create characters that you want to invest in. With Bree Tanner it's no different, and although if you've read Eclipse you'll realise that the ending is not going to be pretty, I found I couldn't help but be pulled in to her story. Obviously this is meant to be a companion novella to Eclipse,but if you've never picked up a Twilight novel, as a stand alone story it's a worthwhile read, and perhaps a good first taste of Meyer's flavour of writing.
 I'd rate it a 4.5 out of 5. My favourite character was Fred, whose peculiar 'power' kept me amused through-out.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Our To-Reads this week.

(Right side)
Maximum Ride: Schools Out Forever By James Patterson YA fiction
The Vampire Diaries: Shadow Souls By L.J Smith YA fiction
Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports By James Patterson YA fiction
Maximum Ride: The Final Warning By James Patterson YA fiction
The Lonely Hearts Club By Elizabeth Eulberg YA fiction
Gifted: Out of Sight, Out of Mind By Marilyn Kaye Childrens fiction (had to check it out cause my lil' sis was raving 'bout them)
Nobodys Girl By Sarra Manning YA fiction
Beautiful dead: Book one- Jonas By Eden Maguire YA fiction
Jaquie Brown's Guide to Everything By Jaquie Brown Adult (non) fiction (Hay is reading this too).
And many more that are yet to release. At the moment I have started on five of them (I have a rather big memory) -Nobodys Girl, Shadow Souls, Maximum Ride: Schools Out Forever, Bree Tanner and Early to Death, Early to Rise. So far they are all great and hope to review some soon :)

Both Reading

The Short Life of Bree Tanner: A eclipse novella By Stephanie Meyer
(FREE online until July 5)
Madison Avery (cool name): (Book 2) Early to Death, Early to Rise By Kim Harrison YA fiction
Dark Guardians: Shadow of the Moon By Rachel Hawthorne YA fiction
(Both downloaded from Whitcoulls Ebooks)

(Left side)

Salem's Lot Stephen King (Recommended by Rick, thanks dude!)
Wolfcry Amelia Atwater Rhodes
Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger (I took a test on Facebook and it said I was most like Salinger, so I decided to check him out)
 Shadowkiss and Blood Promise (Vampire Academy Series) Richelle Mead
The Fury, Dark Reunion, and The Return Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries) L.J. Smith
Wings Aprilynne Pike (I don't *do* fairy stories, but Maddie insisted I try it).
The Devouring Simon Holt
I Lost My Mobile at the Mall Wendy Harmer
Lock and Key Sarra Dessen (Maddie's all time favourite novel)
Chosen P.C and Kristin Cast (Book three in the House of Night Series. I've read 1, 2, 4,5, 6 and 7 but somehow I missed number three).
Jatta Jenny Hale
Dark Secrets 1 Elizabeth Chandler (Maddie finished this and LOVED it).

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Den of Shadows Quartet

The Den Of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Four Complete Vampire Novels
One Captivating world

Random House Australia 2010 / 595 pages / ISBN: 978-1-86471-861-4


So a few weeks ago Hay and I were doing our regular browsing of our local library’s young adult section and we suddenly came across a quartet vampire novel by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes titled The Den of Shadows. Although the novels inside sounded great, I have to admit I was intimidated by them as I was about to read four complete novels by an author I’d never heard of before but Hay convinced me to give them a go and for that I thank her for they were....incredible.

The quartet starts off with The Forests of Night- Risika being the main character but unlike some vampire stories out there, Risika is not a human in love with a vampire, oh no, Risika is a three hundred year old vampire and perhaps she could fall in love with a human...if she weren’t to busy hiding from her past. But when memories from her past start to resurface so does Aubrey, one of the most powerful vampires Risika has ever known and the same vampire who took away her innocence and her soul. How far will Risika go to try and save her life and maybe, just maybe, gain vengeance for her human life.

What I thought about this book: It was a fantastic read with a great narrative by a powerful female vampire who proves you don’t have to be a male vampire to throw a good punch in a fight. Written by the author when she was just thirteen years old, Risika’s story is one you’ll want to read again and again. Totally recommended.

Favourite character: Definitely Risika
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Demon in My View- the second story in the quartet; High school student Jessica is a novelist who specializes in vampire fiction- but when new student Alex arrives at her school, Jessica swears he is one of her novel characters- but he couldn’t be, Jessica’s characters only exist in her books- don’t they? And as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, Jessica also has to deal with the mysterious Caryn Smoke and her apparent hatred of Alex.

What I thought about this book: A great read with an interesting plot and awesome characters. The ending was a little disappointing for me but all and the entire book was great and I would read it again.

Favourite character: Caryn Smoke.
My rating: 3 out of 5

Shattered Mirror- Sarah Vida is a vampire hunting witch and she’s after Nikolas, one of the only vampires ever to kill a witch in the Vida line. Christopher Ravena is a vampire...who doesn’t drink human blood and his past just happens to be connected to Nikolas’s.

What I thought about this book: BRILLIANT! Although I was disappointed with the ending in this book as well, I have to say this is one of the best stories in this quartet!!!

Favourite Character: Adianna Vida
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (would have been 5 but the ending)

Midnight Predator- Turquoise Draka and Raven Aniketos have never been the best of friends but when they are partnered up for a vampire assassination, they’re going to have to put their difference’s aside for their assignment just happens to be Jeshickah- the one time ruler of midnight, a vampire realm where is your human you’re either dead or a slave.

What I thought about this book: The best book in the whole quartet-even though Miss Atwater-Rhodes continued to disappoint me with yet another ending. But despite the ending, there’s nothing in this book I would change.

Favourite character: It’s impossible to decide between Turquoise and Raven.
My Rating: 5 out 5



Maddie and I happened across this one in the library a week or so ago. It was displayed with the new books in the YA section, and immediately drew us in with it's glossy black cover (art by Miranda Adria), which I thought was brilliantly done, but Maddie felt was a little too like Becca Fitzpatrick's, Hush Hush (art by James Porto), which is probably a fair call.

Although four separate stories, they are linked to one another through common characters and settings, which as well as being unique, was also quite satisfying and comforting as a reader. Sometimes it is difficult to embrace a whole new set of characters so soon after you have finished reading another story, so having at least (barely) met the characters earlier was nice. The first story is centred around Risika, a three hundred year old vampire, the second Jessica, an 'average' high school student (although how many 'average' high school students have published novels?), the third Sarah, a vampire hunting witch, and the final story is about Turquoise Draka, a vampire hunter.

What I loved about all these characters, as the mother of four daughters, was their fierce independence and strength, these ladies weren't waiting around for prince charming, they were kicking his butt! It was refreshing that none of the endings were tied up in happily ever afters, firmly ensconced in the bosom of the immortal hero who had saved the day. However, if I had one criticism of the main female characters it would be how similar they are, but perhaps that is more noticeable because they were published in one anthology, rather than separately as they had been previously.

My favourite character was Jessica, from the story called Demon in My View, mostly because she reminds me so much of Maddie, (though Maddie would never fall for Aubrey, of course *wink*), but my favourite story was Midnight Predator, the story of Turquoise Draka, and the rather gorgeous vampire, Jaguar. I just wish that story hadn't ended!
Averaging out across the whole novel, I'd give this one a 4 out of 5

The Word Party

Loving words clutch crimson roses,
Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
Sly words come dressed as foxes,
Short words stand on cardboard boxes,
Common words tell jokes and gabble,
Complicated words play Scrabble,
Swear words stamp around and shout,
Hard words stare eachother out,
Foreign words look lost and shrug,
Careless words trip on the rug,
Long words slouch with stooping shoulders,
Code words carry secret folders,
Silly words flick rubber bands,
Hyphenated words hold hands,
Strong words show off, bending metal,
Sweet words call each other 'petal',
Small words yawn and suck their thumbs,
Till at last the morning comes,
Kind words give out farewell posies....
Snap! The dictionary closes.