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Posts tagged ‘Crime’

Ready, Set, Spy

I received my copy from the publisher.
ready-set-spy
Frankie Fox Girl Spy: Book 1
Frankie Fox knows her Dad does secret work, she understands but misses him. Instead she is trying to teach herself to develop spy skills, she really wants to be a spy. Then the worst happens and her father is kidnapped by an evil group called the Alliance. This is when Frankie learns that she has been secretly trained to be a spy (all the prompts her father gave her were for a reason). It is up to her and her friend JJ to rescue him.
This is a fun adventure centred around a feisty heroine. Frankie is smart, observant and willing to learn. The story moves at a brisk pace and spy stories often do well with kids. They encourage them to push at boundaries and learn outside the normal skills (even just encourage them to work at their normal classes). Also they are simply fun reads. It is suitable for ages 7+ so is at the top end of 4-9 category and low end of middle grade fiction.
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Published: 27th January 2015
Key Words: Spy Stories, Adventure
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780734415684

The 100 Society

I received my copy from the publisher
the-100-society
By: Carla Spradbery

Grace Becker attends Clifton School, a school with a not so secret, secret. There is something that is part of the school’s history called the 100 Society and being part of it is something Grace is absolutely determined to do. The 100 Society isn’t just a game to Grace, the objective is to graffiti tag 100 specific locations around the city, each location has a risk often greater than the one before it. She has managed to convince some friends to help her achieve this goal even though it could result in suspension. The problem is what started as a sort of game has become something much more, someone is watching them, playing them, targeting them. Her friends are in the cross-hairs and Grace won’t stop. Will she be able to figure out who is behind it all before it costs her everything?
This is a tight, tensely woven story. One moment you think you know who it might be, then you’re not so sure. I must admit to getting a little frustrated with Grace at some point, her drive to do something better than her brother clouds her vision but this is her flaw and ultimately I prefer characters with flaws to the perfect ones. The characters all stand alone on their own merits and the darkness isn’t so overwhelming that it becomes detrimental to the plot.
An enjoyable read.
Publisher: Hachette
Published: 28th October 2014
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781444920086

Crooked Leg Road

I received my copy from the publisher.

crooked-leg-road

Jennifer Walsh

On the way to David’s house Andrea sees some strange men hanging around in the back lane. This freaks Andrea out, she thinks there is something very wrong with what she has seen but she has no evidence to back up her feelings. She tries to forget about. Then a few days later David has gone. He is just not to be found. David’s grandfather tells her not to worry but she can’t help it, something about this whole whinge feels very wrong. She ropes in Martin and Kitty to help. The first thing they need to do is find out some information about the new boy Skender, he is hiding something and his family speak the same language as the men Andrea saw in the alley. The friends are determined to find out what is going on and rescue their missing mate.

This is a tightly written mystery that wraps its fingers around you and before you know it, you too know something is wrong and you have to find out what it is. Each of the characters has strengths and weaknesses and they balance each other out. The addition of Sam, who comes across as very self obsessed, brings a strange kind of lightness to the tale. The underlying story has dark edges that can actually be a springboard to interesting conversations with your kids about what is going on in the world. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Recommended.

Publisher: Allen and Unwin Children’s Books

Published: 01 May 2014

Format: Paperback 216 pages

Categories: Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781743316931

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Poison Boy

I was sent this book by the publisher

the-poison-boy

By: Fletcher Moss

Dalton Fly has a job, it’s not one that guarantees a long life but for an orphan it is better than nothing. Dalton is a food taster for the rich. He has the unenviable job of testing to ensure food and drink on the tables of the wealthy is not poisoned. Dalton has had a narrow escape, his mate wasn’t so lucky. This though thrusts Dalton into a world he has only ever been part of on the fringes. Along with his best mate and Scarlet Dropmore, one of the rich and privileged, he sets out to find who killed his friend only to discover he has wandered into something far bigger and way more unexpected than his wildest dreams could ever have come up with.

From the first blood filled moments this book takes the reader on quite a ride. The world Moss has created is gritty, grotty as you would expect when the characters come from the poorer parts of the world. It is contrast to the the parties and lifestyle of the wealthy whose lives they end up meddling in. Dalton and his best mate Sal are a great team, Dalton’s courage and Sal’s smarts are a good balance. I like their loyalty, it is a thread that runs through the story and gives Dalton a more rounded character which he needs as the story progresses. The plot is tight and action packed. If you are looking for a mystery dashed in blood and back handed goings on, this is well worth a look.

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

Published: 04 April 2013

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Adventure, Mystery, Crime, Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781908435446

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Nowhere to Run

nowhere-to-runBy: Jude Watson

39 Clues Unstoppable series bk 1

Dan and Amy Cahill finally think it’s over and they can go back to having a normal kind of life, or at least as normal as can be. Then strange things start to happen, men attack them out of nowhere and suddenly their whole lives are under attack. A tiny mistake has lead them to a terrible catastrophe that could endanger the whole world. At first they think there is no way what they think has happened could possibly have happened, but when they put everything together, there is no way around it. Someone has stolen the serum and that someone will stop at nothing to rule the world and if that means getting rid of Dan and Amy permanently then thats what they will do. The Cahill’s find themselves on the run, just to survive before they can go on the offensive.

It is possible that you could think the 39 Clues franchise has run it’s course, but this takes it to a whole other place. The thing they spent so long fighting against is actually happening, from an unexpected direction. It will be interesting to see how this new enemy effects the group dynamic. Amy has relationships to work through as well as the responsibility of being the head of the family and she wants to protect as many people as she can, but that isn’t really possible. Dan has to decide if he really wants in this still. Loads of favourite characters are here, both good and bad ones as well as a new and powerful enemy. This enemy fights differently though, this enemy throws the media under his control at the problem meaning the Cahill’s have to fight this battle on two fronts, the one that paints them as tearaway, wealthy brats and the real fight.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 03 October 2013

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Family, Crime

ISBN 13: 9780545521376

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

 

Cold Fire

cold-fireBy: Tamora Pierce

The Circle Opens Bk 3

Daja Kisubo and her teacher Frostpine are wintering with friends of his in Kugisko. It is a port location made up of many islands. A strange place for fire mages to holiday. It is here though that a series of strange fires happen. Daja takes it upon herself to assist local firefighter Bennat Ladradun in fighting them. She soon realises that things may not be what they seem when it becomes clear that someone is setting the fires deliberately. Daja decides to use her magic to create something that will hopefully help in fighting the flames. All whilst finding tutors for the two young mages she has discovered. Daja then experiences something terrible, betrayal.

Daja’s story is a little different from the others who find themselves with students because she is somewhere where both young mages can find masters, even though she does for a while take over some of their learning. It is in this process she finds out more about herself, and a little about thinking outside the norm, something she should be quiet used to. It is nice to see Daja find someone who treats her more as an equal than a young girl who shouldn’t have the mage qualifications she does. 

The world Pierce has created is crisp and clear in its descriptions, all the snow and frozen activities, it is all so easy to picture. The complex nature of magic is given plenty of attention here as we see Daja’s skills, as well as cooking magic and carpentry magic bought clearly to life. Pierce also uses the juxtaposition of fire and ice effectively in this tale. This is a fitting instalment to the series. It is a pleasure to see each of these characters grow into their own. Once again Piece has excelled and given us a series I will no doubt return to again and again.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 March 2003

Format: Paperback 355 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Magic

ISBN 13: 9780590396561

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

Blood Eagle Tortures

crypt-1By: Andrew Hammond

CRYPT bk 4

Some parts of the coast of England are full of exciting things for divers. Dan Summers is one of those divers, he loves the sport, the thrill of the hunt and right now he he excited for the biggest find of his life. In disturbing what he has found he may have caused greater unrest than he could ever imagine. Dunwich used to be a Viking colony long before it was the modern town that marks the location now. When a body turns up with some of it’s insides on the outside it looks as though someone may have to go to Denmark. Luc and Grace are happy to take that part of the assignment whilst Jud and Bex are in Dunwich. These missions always have an element of danger but none of them could guess at how this mission could change things for them forever.

Jud is in a dark place in this story. His past, which he has so carefully kept hidden is struggling to push to the surface more than it has before and it’s not only Professor Bonati who has noticed. Bex won’t allow Jud to keep her out of what it going on in his mind when it is so obviously starting to affect his work. As if it wasn’t bad enough someone from Jud’s buried past surfaces unexpectedly and looks as though he might try to mess things up for all of CRYPT.

As always the historical aspects of these stories are fascinating. The Vikings were a powerful and gory race and as such their history is custom made for Hammond’s series. The details are gruesome as ever and bound to appeal to those who like the grosser and darker side of things. Hammond creates a detailed setting, full of bleak details that really draw you in, you want to find out what happened, both what stirred the paranormal up but also the darker parts of history that give the story its grounding.

The characters have gone from strength to strength as they have developed throughout the previous three books. It’s been interesting to see their flaws and strengths work in them all to give more detailed and complex relationships. The ending hit me from kind of nowhere and I am really looking forward to see where Hammond takes things.

Publisher: Headline Publishing

Published: 13 Sept 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Adventure, Crime, Vikings, Horror, Ghost

ISBN 13: 9780755378241

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

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