Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Doomsday Box by Herbie Brennan (Shadow Project book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The Shadow Project, Stop! I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

Danny, Opal and Michael are back and still work for the top secret Shadow Project. A new member, Fuchsia, has joined their team and possesses some mysterious abilities. Their newest assignment turns out to be for the CIA and involves a reclaimed military project from the 1960s, Project Rainbow. The project involved time travel and teleportation but unfortunately the space-time distortion that was created couldn’t be closed. The US government sealed it shut until recently when the decision to reopen it was made. But in drilling the concrete bunker open, an alarm from inside near the rift goes off. The Shadow Project is brought in to see what or who triggered the alarm.

Opal checks out the rift’s chamber in an out-of-body experience and gives the all clear. The decision is made to continue opening the chamber. Everyone is in awe of the rift except for Fuchsia, who fights the urge to be physically sick. Mr. Carradine, the CIA liaison to the Shadow Project, seems familiar with the rift chamber. Soon Colonel Saltzman, the US military commander of Project Rainbow notices a box at the rift and opens it. Carradine calmly and forcibly tells him to put it back. Fuchsia feels like “Pandora’s Box” was opened.

Several hours later the members of the Shadow Project are placed under quarantine with the sudden death of Colonel Saltzman. The suspected cause is the Black Death. Mr. Carradine decides the only way to stop Cobra is to send the Shadow Project kids back in time to talk Cobra from leaving the box in the future. But can the four of them find Cobra in 1962 and successfully talk him out of doing something 20 years in the future? Can they survive Moscow during the height of the Cold War? Will they be successful and make it back to their bodies as well as same the world?

Visit Herbie Brennan’s website.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

“There once was a shoemaker who worked very hard, but was still very poor … -The Elves and the Shoemaker"

Johnny and his mother run a shoe repair business at the Coral Reef Grand, a posh resort located on Miami’s South Beach. Times are tight as Johnny works eighteen hour days and his mother works at a hot dog stand in a failing attempt to keep their heads above water. His dream is to be a shoe designer and Johnny spends his free time creating shoes. One day a beautiful princess checks into the hotel. Her reputation as a spoiled socialite precedes her. Johnny’s friend Meg, who runs the coffee counter next to Johnny, is unimpressed with the princess but he is a bit smitten.

When the princess drunkenly visits Johnny’s shop one night to fix her shoe, he is excited by the opportunity to work on such an exquisite shoe. The catch, he must personally deliver it to her when he is finished. The next morning, Johnny goes to her penthouse and soon learns the princess created a ruse about herself. She is really in Miami to search for her missing brother, the heir to the throne of Aloria. He fell for a village girl who was really a witch and she turned him into a frog. The spell can only be broken “by ze kiss of one wiz love in her heart.” But he is kidnapped and placed on a ship bound for Miami. The witch promised to break the spell on her brother if the princess marries the Zalkenbourgian heir and combined their countries. Johnny has a hard time believing the princess but soon realizes that she believes she is sincere.

The princess confides in Johnny because she sees him as a hard worker and a good boy who would be willing to help her. She offers to pay him handsomely and even marry him if her brother is found. Will Johnny decides to help the princess find her brother/frog? Does his dream of becoming a shoe designer come true? And just which young lady captures Johnny’s heart?

Cloaked is a mixture of several fairy tales including The Elves and the Shoemaker, the Frog Prince, Six Swans, and several others.

Visit Alex Flinn’s website.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Delirium by Laure Oliver

“They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.”

In the future, the United States has closed off its borders. Love has been declared a disease and the root of all evil. Amor deliria nervosa is the “deadliest of all deadly things.” Boys and girls are under strict segregation policies most of the time until the cure can be safely administered. “The cured, incapable of strong desire, are thus rid of both remembered and future pain.” One cannot be cured until they reach their eighteenth birthday. Until then, one must be extra diligent not to succumb to the disease.

For Lena, her eighteenth birthday cannot come soon enough. An orphan since the age of six, Lena has lived with her aunt and uncle since her mother’s refusal to receive the cure for a fourth time and subsequent suicide. Lena walks a fine line in life, stay out of trouble, receive the cure and live her life. With her graduation looming on the horizon, Lena and her best friend Hana go to the labs for their Evaluations. Evaluation Day is the exciting rite of passage that prepares you for a future of happiness, stability and partnership.” Lena’s Aunt Carol has prepped her for years in saying the right things to get a good score and a better future. Lena’s nerves get the best of her during the Evaluation and her hopes for a good score are dashed until a disruptive demonstrative takes place in Lena’s Evaluation room. It seems the Invalids who live in the Wilds turn loose a trailer of cows in the lab facility to make a point. In the chaos, Lena notices a young boy grinning at her from the observation deck. All Evaluations are nullified and Lena breathes a sigh of relief.

Lena and Hana are distance runners. One day Hana decides they should look around the labs and see how the cows got in. Soon they run into a young guard named Alex and Lena realizes he is the same boy from the observation deck of her failed Evaluation. He claims not to know what she is talking about but Lena soon realizes he does. Alex does give Lena a cryptic message to meet him at the beach later that night but once she gets there, he is a no show. Later on Lena goes to Hana’s house and hears her listening to illegal music. Hana begs her to come to an unapproved party but straight-laced Lena refuses to go. Hana tells her she won’t end up like her mother, Lena’s greatest fear. After bed, Lena begins to question her decision and sneaks out to the party.

After finding Hana at the party, Lena soon realizes her mistake and turns to go home. On her way back to her bike, she encounters Alex once again. Lena questions him again about his appearance during her Evaluation, but is shocked when he asks why she didn’t meet him at the beach. Alex then tells Lena that he has noticed her for months on her runs and she just hasn’t noticed him. Soon they are dancing. Alex asks if Lena will meet him the next day and she agrees.

Soon Lena realizes that she is catching amor deliria nervosa or falling in love with Alex. She begins to question everything she knows. Is the cure all that the government leads its citizens to believe or is the joy and heartbreak of love and pain worth the risk? Only Lena can decide where her path will lead her.

Lena’s story will be continued in Pandemonium in 2012 and Requiem in 2013.

Lauren Oliver's descriptions are vivid and her writing make this a worthwhile read even if you are not interested in the subject matter. For those who are, one will throughly enjoy this cross between Matched by Ally Condie and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.

Visit Lauren Oliver's website.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

"Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever."

The town of Legend's Run is famous for its werewolf stories. It is also a place where cliques reign the town, the Eastside with it's affluent suburbs and the blue-collar, rural town of the Westside. The high school cafeteria is the same, subdivided by were you live. Celeste Parker lives on the Eastside and ngs out with her two best friends, Abby the athlete and Ivy the fashion plate. Their small clique is rounded out by their respective boyfriends. Celeste and Nash, the school jock, date but Celeste doesn't feel a connection.

In late October, a newcomer arrives at the high school. Celeste's friends raise quite a stink when Brandon Maddox sits at her desk in English class. Celeste wishes they would let it go and when he looks at her, she is completely smitten. When assigned a research paper on American folklore, Celeste decides on werewolves while Abby considers witches. One of the boys suggests seeing the witch doctor in Westside. In the end a bet is made to see if the girls are brave enough to go.

After school, the girls head to Penny for Your Thoughts to have their fortunes told by Dr. Meadows. After Ivy and Abby have generic readings in Celeste's opinion, Dr. Meadows turns her attention to Celeste. She is silent as she grabs Celeste's hand and warns her of the woods, sounds of howling and outsiders who turn under the glow of a full moon. The girls decide to leave but Dr. Meadows gives Celeste a final warning, "Beware of a kiss under the fill moon. It will change your life forever."

Abby realizes she is going to be late for practice so Celeste decides to walk home along the bike path. Soon she encounters a blizzard and becomes lost in the woods. With no cellphone coverage, Celeste begins to hear the howl of a wolf. She begins calling out for help when she realizes that a small pack of wolves has her cornered. Celeste feels a presence behind her and is shocked to discover that Brandon has come to her aid. Celeste is grateful and uses her scarf to bandage his bleeding hand. He walks her home but quickly disappears when she tries to thank him.

Celeste soon finds herself attracted to Brandon and even more disillusioned with Nash. Soon Celeste breaks up with Nash and decides it is finally time to thank Brandon properly. After spending some time together, Celeste craves a kiss from Brandon that she has wanted from the first time she saw him. But when the moment presents itself, Celeste flashes back to Dr. Meadows' prediction and wonders it's meaning. Soon afterwards, something goes horribly wrong from Brandon. Is Brandon transformed into a werewolf by her kiss under the full moon ir is it just a trick of Celeste's eyes?

Celeste and Brandon's story will be continued in Magic of the Moonlight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall book 2)

SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven't read the first book in the series, Hex Hall, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

 It has been six months since the tragic events at Hex Hall that Sophie Mercer was involved with. Archer Cross has left school and Sophie is patiently waiting her father's arrival to take her to England for the Removal procedure. When he comes to get her, Sophie is allowed to bring her vampire roommate, Jenna and her newly revealed betrothed, Cal, the school's handyman to England for the summer. But when they arrive at the Council's headquarter's, Sophie learns that someone is creating demons. Can Sophie and her father find out who is responsible for the demons before all out war breaks out between the Prodigium and L'Occhio di Dio? And just where does the reappearance of Archer fit into the grand scheme of things?

Readers will be left hanging for the next book in the series. Hex Hall book three will be out in 2012.

Visit Rachel Hawkins' website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

When Amy's parents sign up to be cryogenically frozen, the nonessential seventeen-year-old decides to join her parents. They expect to be awoken 300 years in the future when the massive spaceship, the Godspeed arrives on Centauri-Earth, a new planet. When Amy is unexpectantly thawed out fifty years too soon, she awakes to a spaceship where differences are nonexistant and society is ruled by a man named Eldest. Eldest is nothing more than a tyrannical leader and his monoethnic population are eager followers.

Amy soon discovers that her unfreezing may not have been an accident but attempted murder when another passenger is found dead in a thawed cryo box. Soon Eldest's successor, Elder, becomes Amy's friend. Elder immediately finds himself attracted to her and wished for more. He is fscinated by her differences and Sol-Earth background even as Eldest wishes to get rid of her. On a spaceship where being unusual can be the difference between life and death, Amy is not sure who she can trust. Is it Elder, the only person on the ship her age, or is he in on the plot to rid the ship of it's frozen passengers?

Book two in the trilogy, A Million Suns will be published in 2012.

Visit Beth Revis' website.
Visit the Across the Universe book website.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (Summer book 3)

SPOLIER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the series, The Summer I Turned Pretty and It's Not Summer Without You. Stop! I don't want to ruin a wonderful story for you.

It has been two years since the end of It's Not Summer Without You. Belly and Jeremiah have dated the entire time, including going to college to gether. They seem like the perfect couple until Belly learns at a frat party that Jere had a one night stand while they were on a break. Belly is heartbroken but accepts Jeremiah's apology when he proposes marriage. She and Jere begin to plan their lives together even though no one in either family is thrilled with the idea. Especially Conrad who still carries a torch for Belly and regrets how their relationship ended. Belly must figure out which Fisher brother is the one she is destined to be with.