Archive for the ‘young adult’ Category

Four kids on a quest to find the legendary Mines of King Solomon… and their parents.

Bick, Beck, Storm and Tommy are navigating their way down the Nile, from hot and dusty Cairo to deep dark jungles, past some seriously bad guys along the way.

They’ll need all their survival instincts just to make it out alive..

Danger Down the Nile Treasure Hunters #2

James Patterson with Chris Grabenstein

Arrow

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

The children of the Kidd family continue to hunt for their main lost treasures, their parents, missing while on a treasure hunting adventure. If the first book was all about pirates and the Caribbean the second moves the action to Egypt. The children follow the clues left by their parents through hot dusty Cairo, fetid jungle and dodge bad guys and uncle Timothy who may or may not be CIA, at every turn. He cannot understand why, if they are searching for Kings Solomon’s Mines, why are they after a Chinese Ming Vase?

MAnother exciting adventure in  the Treadsure Hunters series that kept me turning pages eagerly.

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From the top ten bestselling author of Middle School and I Funny comes a brilliantly original new adventure series, jam-packed with action, humour, and heart!

The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and travelling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives.

They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure-hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents – and find out if they’re still alive.

Treasure Hunters: Treasure Hunters #1

James Patterson with Chris Grabenstein

Arrow

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

Bick, Beck, Tommy and Storm are searching for their parents who have gone missing while on a treasure hunting job. The Kidd family are full time treasure hunters but not all is as it seems and treasure hunting can get you in a heap of trouble. There are Caribbean pirates, gold, cryptic clues and an evil rival to contend with in the search. And then there is Uncle Timothy. Do they dare trust him? How much and is he really their uncle and how is he connected to the CIA? Is he all he seems? A cracking good story told in the “children out of any parental control” style of  the books I grew up with; if Arthur Ransome, the Famous Five, Pippy Longstocking and Rick Riordan had a baby…..

In this exciting sci fi graphic novel, Helen is kidnapped by time-travelling ninjas and finds herself in the year 2355. Humankind has been enslaved by giant ‘Peace Balls’ – and Helen holds the keys to their destruction . . .

Kidnapped by time-travelling ninjas, Helen is thrust into the year 2355 — a ruined future with roving gangs and ‘Peace Balls’, giant humming devices that enslave and control people’s minds.

The Go-Go Ninjas have one goal — to destroy the Peace Balls. They believe that Helen knows how.

Can Helen use her knowledge of the past to help them save the future?

An electrifying graphic novel by award-winning authors.

Helen and the GoGo Ninjas

Ant Sang and Michael Bennett

Illustrations by Ant Sang

Penguin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Dylan Howell

‘’Helen and the gogo ninjas’ is a 2018 graphic novel by co-authors Ant Sang and Michael Bennett. This novel tells a zany time-travel adventure with a crazy dystopian future and a dark truth about what price peace comes with.

Kidnapped by time-travelling ‘go-go ninjas’, Helen is brought to the year 2355 where she discovers that mankind has been enslaved by floating ‘peace-balls’ and these ninjas believe that she knows how to save the world.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. As an avid comic book fan I don’t always get the opportunity to enjoy an illustrated text that has a fresh idea. I can safely say I have never read a book like this. How often do you have an apocalyptic, time-travel action novel? Even though it was a short read, it provided a compelling story with excellent drawings with vivid and distinct images that leave a lot to the imagination. The story moved quickly but gave enough dialogue to keep me completely in time with the events in the story. There was not a moment when I was confused.

I would recommend this as a light read or to help a child get interested in reading. I certainly enjoyed it, however I would consider the age of a potential reader  as at points the action can get mildly violent or grim. So if you aren’t comfortable with blood and the idea of dismemberment or slavery, this may not be the book for you.  Read this book with caution.

That being said, I went back to read this book several times, the story and pacing was so light it was easy to pick up, but seemingly impossible to put down because the events happen so fluidly.

Dylan Howell

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blakwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid

Hexed: The Witch Hunter #1

Michelle Kays

Corgi Children’s

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

And it was all going so well. Indigo Blackwood is on the cheerleading team and has a devastatingly good looking football playing boyfriend. As far as teenage high school social status goes, she has it made. But then her Wiccan mother is murdered; she finds out she is supposed to be a witch; a tall dark stranger starts meddling in her life and the ancient book her family were entrusted with “The Witch Hunters Bible” goes missing; as a bunch of very bad spell casters want more power for themselves and will happily go through Indi, her family and friends, to get it.

Excellent read with likeable characters and believable dialogue.  I look forward to more of this world.  Recommended  for teens.

 

For over fifty years, no girls have been born – only boys.

The youngest and last generation of women alive are now in their fifties. Not only are their looks fading, but these greying women are humanity’s only hope for survival.

Until there is sudden hope: a girl is born. And in that moment, she instantly becomes the most important person in history.

She is their saviour.

Her name is Eve.


Penguin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Piper Mejia

Ahh young love, what could be more beautiful or exciting … only freedom.  In Giovanna and Tom Fletcher’s first foray into co-writing for a YA (young adult) audience, Eve of Man explores the idea of ‘what if you were the last woman on earth’. This novel could have been an opportunity to explore ideas of equal rights or gender roles in society, but instead the Fletcher’s focus their narrative on the power of lies. An event that so recently has victimised our own political world.

Eve, the main character, has spent her life protected in a gilded cage at the top of the tallest tower, not totally unaware of the lies that have entrapped her.  It is only with age that experience teaches Eve to take every opportunity to find the truth in her world, no matter the risk. But she is not as alone in her risk taking as she thinks.

With reminisces of Rapunzel meets The Handmaid’s Tale, this novel is the beginning of an epic journey to save the humanity from extinction. It is clear that the authors are appealing to their audience through a ‘boy rescues girl’ trope, with an illusion that Eve is the one in control of her own fate, however, there is nothing wrong with having hope that the future will be better for all of us.

When nine-year-old Vicki Wilson’s beloved lease pony is sold, she is heartbroken. Her family doesn’t have much money, and she is desperate to have a pony of her own so she can keep riding.

Then Vicki has the chance she has been waiting for, to tame and train her own wild pony! How will she earn the trust of her beautiful new chestnut? And will Dandy ever be quiet enough for her to ride at Pony Club or compete at Ribbon Days?

This story is inspired by the Wilson Sisters’ early years, where Vicki, Kelly and Amanda Wilson first encounter horses in the wild and learn what it takes to make them champions.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

This is a book from Kelly Wilson of the Wilson sisters who starred in Keeping up with The Kaimanawas. A family who have devoted their life to horses, they compete in show jumping as advocating for wild horses around the world.  This is done by taming and raising awareness about the plight of the American Mustangs, Australian Brumbies, and specifically the beautiful wild Kaimanawa horses near their home. They also run Showtym Camps, riding camps for young riders.

The sisters rescue and tame wild horses and this book, written at a young adult level is loosely based around a story from Vicki Wilson’s childhood. The family could not afford to buy fully trained ponies and if the children wanted to ride they had to learn to train horses from scratch.

Dandy the wild mountain pony must be properly trained and tame enough to compete at Pony Club and Ribbon Days. No easy task, as you have to be a special person to gain the trust of a wild horse and gently lead it to be good around other horses, as well as the small matter of being able to ride and show jump with it!

Fortunately most horses in a proper, caring, training environment, enjoy learning and love showing off. But there is always a risk when you start with a wild pony. Especially as Dandy was the first wild pony the sisters got to train. For all her courage and determination and skill, will Vicki be up to the task?

This is very well written and a very kiwi story that will inspire and delight.  Pony mad teen girls will love this book and their mums will enjoy it too

The smallest thing can change the path of history.

The year is 1976, and the British Empire still spans the globe. Coal drives the world, and the smog of it hangs thick over the canals of London.

Clara Calland is on the run. Hunted, along with her scientist mother, by Menshevik spies and Imperial soldiers, they flee Ireland for London. They must escape airships, treachery and capture. Under flooded London’s canals they join the rebels who live in the dank tunnels there.

Tim Barnabas is one of the underpeople, born to the secret town of drowned London, place of anti-imperialist republicans and Irish rebels, part of the Liberty – the people who would see a return to older values and free elections. Seeing no further than his next meal, Tim has hired on as a submariner on the Cuttlefish, a coal fired submarine that runs smuggled cargoes beneath the steamship patrols, to the fortress America and beyond.

When the Imperial soldiery comes ravening, Clara and her mother are forced to flee aboard the Cuttlefish. Hunted like beasts, the submarine and her crew must undertake a desperate voyage across the world, from the Faeroes to the Caribbean and finally across the Pacific to find safety. But only Clara and Tim Barnabas can steer them past treachery and disaster, to freedom in Westralia. Carried with them—a lost scientific secret that threatens the very heart of Imperial power

Pyr

Purchased from an Amazon Reseller

Reviewed by Jacqui

I probably should not review this book without first warning you that a physical copy might not be readily available, although Amazon has the e-book. But since I had already accidently acquired a second copy of the sequel, I thought I really ought to get hold of Cuttlefish and then read them in sequence.

Cuttlefish is very much a steampunk novel, but unlike most it is not stuck in Victoriana. Freer has created a solid scientific and alternate historical background, choosing as his turning point not the outcome of some momentous battle or treaty, but a simple pre-marital argument, which meant that the Haber process for the production of synthetic ammonia was never invented. And this changes the world. In the 1950’s when the novel is set, the world is still heavily dependent on coal, and global warming has drowned many of the world’s coastal areas. If there is a message here, it’s about consequences.

Enter our heroes. Clara must escape with her mother, a brilliant chemist who has discovered how to synthesize ammonia. Starting in Ireland they are chased by Mensheviks and Imperial British agents to London where they meet up with the rebels and smugglers who roam the canals of the flooded city. There they are taken aboard the Cuttlefish, a coal-fired sail-submarine. And there Clara meets Tim, a young half-Jamaican submariner, and initial dislike turns to eventual friendship as Cuttlefish battles her way to the other side of the world…

This is in many ways a simple and familiar story of young people finding themselves as they run into peril and adventure, escaping a relentless enemy. It’s the setting that makes it different, that adds both excitement and interest. Cuttlefish is a character in itself, a truly remarkable vessel, and her crew are a curious bunch as well. I can happily recommend this book to young adults, and to readers of any age who fancy something a bit different in the steampunk theme.