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The Last King of Angkor Wat

I was sent this book by the publisher
the-last-king-of-angkor-wat
By: Graeme Base
Tiger, Gibbon, Water Buffalo and Geeko are sitting around talking about who would be the best king. They each think they are the best for the role. An Elephant appears and sets them a task, if they truly believe they are worthy of being king. Each set off to the temple convinced they are the best. Throughout the journey each discovers more about themselves and about what it takes to be a king.
This is a beautifully illustrated (as always) picture book. The story can be as simple as a challenge between friends or a deeper lesson of working together and learning that it takes a collection of traits working together to make someone a good leader.
Highly Recommended.
Publisher: Viking Australia
Published: 24 September 2014
Format: Hardback 32 pages
Categories: Storybooks Fiction
ISBN 13: 9780670077151
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Storybook of Legends

the-storybook-of-legends
By: Shannon Hale
Ever After High bk 1
Raven Queen is one of the many next generation fairy tale characters who will grow to take their place in the fairy tales. The problem for Raven, daughter of the Evil Queen, the most evil Queen in the Land of Ever After, is that she isn’t so sure she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps. With Legacy Day approaching, the day the students sign the Storybook of Legends, vowing to continue the tradition Raven’s doubts increase. She struggles to find an answer to this dilemma. She likes Apple White, she doesn’t want to have to be the one who becomes her enemy. Apple on the other hand, wants nothing more than her Happily Ever After and will do everything she can to ensure that Raven falls into line.
I loved this book. Sure there are the goody two shoes characters, and Apple’s determined belief that the traditional happily ever after is the right way for everyone, even when not everyone gets a happy ending, does get a bit frustrating. However she is the perfect balance for the more complicated views of Raven. Raven is a strong and interesting character, I like the way she looks at what has been put in front of her and chooses to not be bad. The dynamic between the characters is a lot of fun.
I really enjoy the way Hale has put this world together. I like the darkness underneath, it gives what could have been a really fluffy concept, some real depth. Hale has managed to put the very modern concepts of high school interactions into a world populated with fairy tale characters. The sub-plots give this story something a little extra and I am sure much of this will play out in the individual stories that have been released, though I have yet to read them.
I can’t leave this review without say just how much I loved the characters of Maddie Hatter and Cerise Hood. I loved this book. It is one of the few that my Miss has devoured and I am so happy to recommend it.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Published: 04 October 2014
Format: Paperback 320 pages
Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy School Stories
ISBN 13: 9780349124261
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Hunted

I received my copy from the publisher.
hunted
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Spirit Animals bk 2
Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan are some of the lucky few able to summon spirit animals, in fact they are strangely gifted to have summoned four of the great animals. The problem is they don’t really know how to bond and work properly with their animals yet and they don’t have a lot of time to learn. They are charged with finding another of another talisman but the way is fraught with danger the enemy have found a way to force the bonding but it is a twisted thing and for Conor things are particularly difficult because the boy he used to be servant to has had a forced bonding and is claiming to be better than Conor ever could be, putting Conor’s home firmly on the other side of the battle. This also leaves him with a very difficult dilemma that only he can face.
The four youngsters are interesting for all their differences, the ways they struggle to interact with each other and their animals is what makes for such interesting reading. None of them find the journey they are now on easy. They each have their own choices and for Conor this instalment is particularly tough because his family are in such danger. There is plenty of action and a tight story that drags you in and keeps you interested. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 January 2014
Format: Paperback 208 pages
ISBN 13: 9781742839998
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Blood of Olympus

Heroes of Olympus bk 5
By: Rick Riordan
the-blood-of-olympus
The conclusion to the heroes of Olympus series and a book I have been waiting all year for. Yay! It’s here.
There are still some very hairy challenges ahead for our seven demigods. They have come so far and battled through so very much, the end is almost in sight but so much still hangs on their decisions. Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge are doing everything they can to get the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half Blood, it’s proving taxing, especially on Nico who has taken on most of the heavy lifting and the toll it is taking on him could be permanent. The others are on there way to the final destination but not without opposition as Gaia’s forces have obstacles and forces to push them back along the way. The demigods need to work together if they are going to win.
I loved this conclusion. It is action packed and moves all the way through at a lightening pace. Each demigod has grown throughout this story but this one is very poignant for Nico, Reyna, Leo and Jason. I particularly like the way Nico’s story is worked out but I won’t say any more about it. The blending of the mythologies works well, the twisted nature of Octavian who has a similar goal to the central heroes but he is driven by power and the desire to rule. The thing with a book like this is there really isn’t a lot to say at this point. The world is very familiar to those who have read the rest of the books, it is a well woven mix of the familiar and mythical. It is like stepping back into a place where you get to catch up with good friends. Riordan finishes this well.
The short story at the end with Annabeth and Sadie Chase, is a fun little teaser.
Loads of fun and if you haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson books, then I ask why not? Do yourself a favour and give them a try.
Highly Recommended
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 07 October 2014
Format: Paperback 565 pages
Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9780141339252
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Divergent

By: Veronica Roth
divergent
Tris is sixteen, and that means she has to make a choice that will dictate the rest of her life. She can stay with the family and people group she has always known or she can choose another. Whatever she decides she had best make the right choice because there is no returning if you change your mind. There are five families, each one has it’s place in the very organised dystopian society in which she lives, the problem is, Tris doesn’t know where she really fits.
Although it breaks her heart a little she follows her gut which tells her to choose Dauntless. It is a tough choice, and a tough group to become part of. Tris didn’t realise just what she was signing on for and as the testing and brutal challenges start to take their toll she has to wonder if she has made the right choice. It is all complicated by the fact that Tris has a secret. Her secret means she doesn’t really fit in one place and in a society ruled by strict boundaries this means Tris is a threat. Conformity means survival but if she is discovered it could be the death of her.
This is a tightly written story. Tris is a likeable character there are moments I was frustrated with her but you don’t always have to like everything about a character to like them. (It’s a bit like real life, even best friends can have annoying traits). The world Roth created is interesting on the visceral level and on a theoretical level. She has created something that you can clearly picture, the restraint of the Abnegation, the sterility of the Erudite, the chaos of the Dauntless. In some part of the mind though you may start thinking just where would I fit. And how much a structured world like that would really limit your choices. Four is an interesting character, his story is even more layered than Tris’s and it will be interesting to see how those layers impact on his arc in later books. Enjoyable read, well worth picking up if you haven’t yet. Don’t let your opinion of the movie colour your choice too much, like always there are differences, some I think for the better and some, well they always have to cut some subplots out when turning a book to a film.
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Published: 03 May 2011
Format: Paperback 496 pages
Categories: Fiction General
ISBN 13: 9780007420414
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

I was sent this by the publisher.
sam-and-dave-dig-a-hole
By: Mac Barnett
Illustrated By: Jon Klassen
Sam and Dave are on a mission. This mission involves a hole. They decide they are not going to stop until they find something spectacular. They keep stopping and changing direction. They dig for a very long time. In the end they agree they had a very spectacular adventure.
This is a simple, fun little story. Easy to understand text accompanied by illustrations of muted autumn colours. The illustrations though, somehow highlight the simplicity of how easy it is to have an adventure. A wonderful picture book.
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Published: 02 October 2014
Format: Hardback 40 pages
Categories: Storybooks Fiction
ISBN 13: 9781406357769
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of page

Midnight Mischief

By: Fiona Regan

Illustrated By: Louis Shea

Part of the Double Trouble series

midnight-mischief

Tommy and Coop are super excited. They love to prank and now they get to do it somewhere they haven’t had the chance to, and it is a place that will take pranking to a whole other level. The twins are going on their first school camp. They plan on making this the best camp ever. But what happens when they aren’t the only ones pranking?

A fun addition to this series. With it’s story lines filled with silliness and humour and the accompanying black and white illustrations, this series is full of appeal. It is particularly nice in this one to see Tommy and Coop on the receiving end of a prank. An easy read with plenty of laughs for a reader that might find books boring.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 June 2014

Format: Paperback 64 pages

Categories: Family, Humour, Twins

ISBN 13: 9781743623770

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page.

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