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The Walled City

I received this book from the publisher
the-walled-city
By: Ryan Graudin

There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: run fast, trust no one and always carry your knife.
These rules are always to be remembered. Living on the streets of the Walled City isn’t the safest place to be, but for some it is the only place they can be.
Jin Ling is doing everything she can to hide the fact she is a girl, being a girl in the Walled City is a death sentence but she can’t die because she has a job, a task, a mission. She has come her to find her sister. That is all that matters, that and surviving.
Dai has his own secrets. He survives by trafficking drugs for the most dangerous man within the Walled City, but to rise in ranks he needs the help of someone who can be invisible, he needs to find a partner.
Mei Yee is trapped. She hasn’t come to the city by choice, she was taken here and now is trapped in a brothel doing what she has to to survive. When she can, she dreams of escape no matter how futile that dream seems.
Together these three can pull off something that can see all of them move away from their past and have something more for the future, but how do you find trust in a city built on everything but?
This is a dark and murky tale. A tale of survival, of doing what you need to, of owning up to the mistakes of your past. These three characters work very well together, balancing each other out. They each have secrets, they each have issues and the only way they can truly survive is to try as part of a team. The city itself is drenched in dark tones that make you grasp at any sign of light. You are desperate for the underdog to win, to just get away. Each character has their own arc, there own journey and to reveal too much would be to detract from the story itself.
If you like or are looking for something gritty, intriguing, with characters you can’t help but invest in give this a go.
Recommended.
Publisher: Indigo
Published: 11th November 2014
Format: Paperback 424 pgs
Key Words: Crime, Survival, Family, Courage
ISBN: 9781780621999

The Fearless

I was sent this book by the publisher
the-fearless
By: Emma Pass

The Fearless are coming, and then suddenly they are here. Cassie’s life is torn apart that night. The Fearless are brutal, they destroy whatever and whomever gets in their way. Somehow Cassie and her brother get away. They get to be part of the small group who make it to the island. Her brother is the last person she has left in the world and she will do anything to look after him. When the island is invaded and he is taken, there is nothing Cassie won’t do to find him and bring him home. This includes making a deal with Myo, a strange boy who turned up on the island the same time as the Fearless. He came from the mainland and seems to think he knows where her brother is going to be taken. Myo though has secrets of his own. Secrets that will destroy their very fragile truce if Cassie was to discover them.

This is a zombie story with a twist. These zombies are man made and they are not totally brainless, some of them, they are however very driven. There is a lot of dark texture to this story. Cassie is tough and focussed but not as competent as she originally thinks. She also doesn’t know as much about what is really going on as she should. This narrow focus and interest is part of what will cause her big problems. Myo is just as driven as Cassie but his reasons are part of his big secret. This secret adds an interesting layer to the story. Cassie has to go through a big learning curve as she begins to understand that things aren’t as simple as she has been led to believe, the world she thought was black and white really has many shades of grey.

PUBLISHER: Random House
PUBLISHED: 1st May 2014
FORMAT: Paperback, 392 pages
KEY WORDS: Apocalypse, Zombies, Survival
ISBN: 9780552566155

Machine Wars

machine-warsBy: Michael Pryor

Bram was late home from music practice, these things happen but this time something is very wrong when he gets home. This is a moment he has been training for. For some reason a paranoid, super intelligence is out to get him. His mum always said she hoped this would never happen but she made sure he was prepared if it did. Thing is Bram really wasn’t expecting it to be today. The plan calls for Bram to scatter and hide. It sounds so simple but with so much technology around that the intelligence is able to tap into to use to hunt for him, that is no easy task. Bram isn’t alone in this, somehow his best friend gets dragged into his disaster. Also there is one piece of technology left that is on his side, a Roboduck called Bob. This unlikely group have to survive, if they can do that they will be instrumental in saving the world.

A fun roller coaster of a read. The pace of it does not stop. Bram is a bit of a loner, all his moving about has made it difficult for him to make friends. Stella gets through his defences by being herself. She refuses to let herself be boxed into one group, instead she goes out of her way to be friends with everyone. This is beneficial in this situation because she has learnt some neat little bits of information along the way. Bob is such a wonderful addition to the story. He is part comic relief, part necessary associate and a reminder of another robot with self esteem issues from another series of books.

The world Pryor has created seems not too distant from our own in many ways, just with an abundance of technology that we don’t live with.I enjoy the way Pryor has blended together the familiar and the not so familiar to create a place that is very easy to visualise. you can almost hear the machines, (though it’s entirely possible that that is my over active imagination). I also like the way the characters work together, how Stella is an equal partner in their survival. The story touches on some interesting ethical issues around the topic of artificial intelligence, but the ethics don’t bog it down.

Another wonderful read from one of my favourite authors. For ages 10+

Recommended.

Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s Books

Published: 01 April 2014

Format: Paperback 288 pages

Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Action

ISBN 13: 9780857982766

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

 

Claws of the Crocodile

I received this from the publisher.

claws-of-the-crocodile

By: Bear Grylls

Mission Survival series bk 5

Beck Granger has been in some tight situations all over the world, on this trip to Australia he has promised his Uncle that he will stay out of trouble. Then somebody lures him away from his uncle with information about the accident that killed his parents. Or at least that is what he thinks he will be getting, rather he finds himself swept up into corporate espionage. He sets out to find an Aboriginal Elder in the outback, who holds information Beck’s parents gave him. To track this man down and survive in the harsh environment Beck will need to use all the skills available to him.

An interesting story that has family, friendship, action and mystery. Beck is a mini Bear, imparting plenty of knowledge about surviving in extreme circumstances, throughout. The other thing this story has that is often missing is a respect for Australia’s natural heritage and those who lived here before Europeans colonised the country. Beck is adventurous, respectful, brave and resourceful, these books are entertaining and maybe a little bit of something educational will be imparted in the process of reading.

Publisher: Red Fox

Published: 01 August 2013

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Adventure, Action, Environment

ISBN 13: 9781849418423

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

The 5th Wave

I received this book from the publisher

9780141345833By: Rick Yancey

Life was all normal until the day it wasn’t. The first wave took out half a million people, not a very big number in the grand scheme of things. The second wave took out many more and the third took out billions. By then the survivors had no idea who to trust, this was the forth wave.

Cassie is running. Running from those who killed her family, funning from the thing tracking her down. She has no idea how many, if any, humans are left. She can’t trust anyone. Then Evan rescues her and she doesn’t really know if she can trust him. She still has a mission, she promised her little brother, the day they took him away, that she would find him. She is determined not to let him down.

Ben is being trained. Trained to become a killing machine. This does not make him unique many kids are being trained in exactly the same way. They are told this is their best hope for survival. Not every one will make it through the training though, and after the training then what? Just how are kids supposed to defeat an alien race equipped with vastly superior technology? And just what is the fifth wave?

This is a dark, gritty and in moments disturbing story. Cassie is a determined character who is driven to survive and because of the chaos around her doesn’t always make the right decisions. Sometimes she just reacts, and that’s how she gets through. This is not the life she had planned on having. She just wanted to be normal, get through school have a boyfriend. Instead she sleeps with her trusty M16 and has no idea how to trust any more.

Ben has been at his lowest and is determined to get revenge. He is determined to do what is asked of him. Somewhere in there he remains human and feels a responsibility to the youngest member of his team, Nugget.

This story is compelling. The normality of the characters thrown into this situation is what pulls you in. You think you see where it’s going and it then takes you in another direction. The world is ours but a desolate one. Yancey’s descriptions make it easy to see in your mind just what kind of devastation has happened. You feel for these guys and at no time does the author make it easy for them to make the leap from one place to another. They fight for their goals and that is what makes it so engrossing.

The central characters are surrounded by support characters who add depth and emotion to this story. The layers, moments of just being a teenager or small glimpses of humour make it seem all the more real.

If you are looking for a good read, with an alien or dystopian kind of theme then do yourself a favour and pick this up. Well worth spending some time with.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 07 May 2013

Format: Paperback 388 pages

Categories: Science Fiction, Aliens, Survival, Dystopian

ISBN 13: 9780141345819

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

Blood Red Road

By: Moira Young

Saba and her twin live with their father and younger sister Emmi, in an incredibly desolate place. Things are tough. Everything changes for Saba when her brother is kidnapped and their father killed. She is determined to save her brother, no matter what. She leaves everything she knows behind and races across the harsh dustlands, fighting for her very survival, filled with a red hot rage that fills her up and spurs her on. She can’t trust anyone, not even the boy who saves her life, there is something about hime though that draws her. To fulfill her task and rescue her brother, Saba must learn to trust, lead and silence the stirring in her heart.

A civilization destroyed, reduced to scavenging and violence. This is the world Saba draws us into. At first I have to say I found the language style (spelling as spoken) a little difficult to get through but at some point I realised the story had swept me up and sucked me in and I didn’t even notice the laguage anymore.

Saba is an interesting, torn and stubborn character. She is tough, really tough and her journey is engaging. The characters around her are wonderful counterpoints to Saba, equally strong yet able to draw more out of her. Young has painted a harsh, often cruel environment and planted in it tough and ruthless characters. Even their sense of humour is rough, though the playful moments are welcome, timed well in the text and help bring balance into the tense atmosphere. Young has done a great job weaving such characters into this world.

Saba, her friends and the world are tougher, certainly rougher than some of the dystopian worlds that are making appearances in YA fiction and there is something very appealing in its rawness. For a reader willing to embrace it, this book will be a rewarding read. Gritty and enjoyable.

Recommended.

Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books

Published: 02 June 2011

Format: Paperback 544 pages

Categories: Adventure, Dystopia,

ISBN 13: 9781407124254

Purchase: here or use logo on side of page to go to Booktopia

 

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

Welcome to the Hunger Games – winning will make you famous, losing means certain death. In a post apocalyptic world the districts are controlled by the powers that be through the use of a televised, unscripted event, The Hunger Games. Reality television to control the masses. 12 boys and 12 girls are forced, through a lottery, to enter the arena. Inside there is only one rule – kill or be killed.

When 16 year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take the place of her younger sister she assumes she is going to die. But challenging circumstances are a way of life for Katniss, surviving is what she does and there is more going on than Katniss could ever guess at.

A riveting read that pulls you into the dark and layered world of Katniss. This is a fascinating look at playing a game to survive, the cruelty of some and the disassociation of others. Highly recommended, though perhaps for older readers due to the violence of the games and some of the issues it may raise

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 05 January 2009

Format: Paperback 464 pages

Categories: Adventure, Science Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781407109084

Purchase here

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