Saturday, December 17, 2011

Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25

Richard Paul Evans

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

When I saw that Richard Paul Evans was trying his hand at young adult fiction, I was intrigued. He's a good author, but I wondered how he would fair in the ever growing popularity of fantasy and fiction. I shouldn't have worried about a veteran writer like Evans. This book was so fun to read, though I got a little bored as he was describing the big jewelers and such, but had to laugh when I was watching Jeopardy and there was a question about the hope diamond and I was able to answer it because of this book...everyone was impressed!
Michael Vey was a great character right off the bat. Take bullied megga-powered kid plus brain of the school, plus popular and beautiful cheerleader and you've got a good premise. Add in evil 'school' that actually tortures and murders and brainwashes, and you've got an exciting read.  It was fun to read, and though some turns were fairly predictable, Evans did a good job mixing up the genre just enough to satisfy a  young-adult fiction junkie like myself.
Michael's story is face-paced and action packed from page one to the end. I'm excited for the next installment and wonder what fun Evans will pull out of his hat for Michael, Taylor, and Ostin next.

The Golden Tree

By Kathryn Lasky

Soren and the Band are back. Coryn has retrieved the ember and it seems a golden age is dawning at the Great Ga’Hoole Tree. But all that is gold is not necessarily good. Soern, Twilight, Gylfie, and Digger face their biggest challenge yet as the young king, haunted by the suspicion that haggish blood flows in his veins, hunts for the truth. His wanderings imperil himself and the good guardians who travel with him.
Meanwhile, back at the tree, the influence of the ember is strong—and strange. The tree changes, as do the guardians left to govern in the young king’s absence. Otulissa objects to the strange new ways, and her outspokenness puts her in grave danger. Someone must get word to Soren and the Band. But who?

I have been searching two separate libraries for about six months for this blasted book. That is the frustrating thing about reading elementary size books. I can read them in about 2 hours but have to remember that kids take forever! This is I think book 11 or 12 in the Ga'Hoole series. Can't keep track needs numbers on the spine or something. Anywho, this book was fun. It continues with Coryn, the new King of the Great Tree and follows his fears of his bloodline and how he can measure up to be a good king. It's a fun story, and kids will really enjoy this series if they like animals and fantasy. They run about 150 pages.

Animorphs: The Invasion

By K.A. Applegate

Sometimes weird things happen to people. Ask Jake. He could tell you about the night he and his friends saw a strange light in the sky that seemed to be heading right for them. That was the night five normal kids learned that humanity is under a silent attack—and were given the power to fight back. Now Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco can transform into some of the most dangerous creatures on Erath. And they must use that power to outsmart an evil greater than anything the world has ever seen…

This is a series from the 90s that I fell in love with as a kid. There was something so extremely cool about kids who could turn into any animal that they touched and they fought aliens from taking over the Earth. These kids get a mission from a dying blue alien and their awesome morphing powers. They also find out that the Earth is being secretly taken over by gross little slug-like aliens that crawl into your ear and control your brain. (I wonder if Stephanie Myers read these...) I think this series is a great buy for boys and girls that are reluctant readers. The series goes up in the 50s I kinda got a little ridiculous like Goosebumps. But it was a great ride for me as a kid from about ageg 8 to the time I was 13 or so. My friend and I both found ourselves some morphing suits and pretended we were Animorphs too, though I probably looked ridiculous in a bright yellow-orange swirled swimsuit over top of blue leggings...Anyways it's a great book for kids in later elementary stages.
Only one warning: it does use H-E double hockey sticks (yes I still say that) and has some references to beer (drink responsibly and all that).
This is the newly released cover for the Invasion, which I find slightly disturbing. They are the pictures that you tilt and Jake changes into a lizzard before your eyes. Cool Beans.

Animorphs: The Visitor

By K.A. Applegate

If someone told you Earth was under a silent attack, there’s a good chance you’d think they were pretty strange. If that same person said Earth’s only means of defense depends on the actions and powers of five kids, you’d probably start to look for a quick exit. Guess what? It’s all true.

Rachel and her friends knew they were in for some pretty strange stuff from the very beginning. How often do you run into a dying alien who gives you the power to morph into any animal you touch? But that was before they knew what they would be up against. Now they know. And they know what they have to do. Before it’s too late…

This is the second book in the Animorphs series told in the perspective of beautiful, yet tough, Rachel. In this story the newly formed team of teenagers try to find out more about the plan of the evil alien Yeerks to take over their planet and the only way they can figure out how to do that is a covert mission to their assistant principal's house- a known leader of the Yeerks, and also one of Rachel's best friend's dad. Their mission is ever more clear as they face greater and greater dangers together, and the ever present fear of being trapped in the body of an animal...
New released cover-funny enough the cat is actually how it is described in the book versus the first release cover. Go figure.

Animorphs: The Encounter

By K.A. Applegate

When Tobias, Jake, Rachel, Marco, and Cassie were given the ability to morph, they were also given the ability to morph, they were also given one very important warning: Never stay in a morph for more than two hours. It seemed a small price to pay, since the kids know that humans everywhere are being forced to let slimy, spineless creatures creep into their brains. And the only way the kids can fight back is not to be human.

But Tobias stayed in his morph too long. And now he’s a hawk—with a boy’s mind—forever. Tobias knows they can’t give up. That they all made a promise. So now it’s four kids and a hawk against a force that is determined to destroy them. Or die trying…

This series is one that goes on and on, but having the story told from different perspectives each book is refreshing, even if the plot can get predictable. Tobias is my favorite character and always has been since I first read these as a kid. This book was great fun to see how Tobias lives as a Red-Tailed Hawk and the things he misses about being human. His struggles to determine if he really is still human is one of the most interesting aspects of this particular book in the Animorphs series. What makes a human, well, human? This is a great adventure series for reluctant readers ages 8-14 specifically, but still fun to read as an adult.
This is the new cover release for The Encounter