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Posts tagged ‘Thriller’


I got my copy from the publisher


By: James Phelan

The Last Thirteen bk 2

Sam just escaped last time he followed his dreams, the dreams that lead him to The Star of Egypt. He finds himself heading to Egypt with someone he would never have expected. He is on the path to finding out why the Star was so important and discovering the rest of the last 13. This journey takes him to some unexpected places including a party of a pop star and high speed car chases through the streets of Italy and then running from pursuers below the streets. It’s difficult enough to do what he has been destined to do but it is so much harder when he can’t tell friends from enemies.

This is an action packed read. Sam slowly finds his feet as he comes to terms to what the prophecy means to him, he has to make fast decisions and learn to trust his instinct and rely on himself in a way he never has before. Meanwhile Alex’s journey takes him somewhere totally unexpected and it will be interesting to see where this takes him. The pace is fast, the setting varied as it takes into account not just the real world but also the dreamscape. A fun and escapist read in a short format that will be great for those who find larger books daunting.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 December 2013

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742831855

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Russian Roulette

I received my copy from the publisher.


By: Anthony Horowitz

Prequel to Alex Rider series

Yassen Gregorovich is an international assassin, he works for an organisation that wants Alex Rider dead. Life isn’t that simple sometimes as these two people who move in international espionage circles share a secret. This is a mission that forces Yassen to remember. He is forced to look at all the things that bought him to this point, the Russian town that no longer exists, the time spent living on the streets and doing everything he had to to survive, when in his first bosses employ. Yassen was trained to be a specific type of agent and some of that training holds the secret that he shares with young Alex.

This is a dark and intense novel. A look at the forces that can shape a young man’s life and lead him to a path of destruction. Yassen goes through some really horrible experiences but he is determined, in fact that is probably his strongest trait. So many stories look at the hero, the good guy, this one looks at the bad guy. It is an incredibly fascinating read.  The world created for this is so very knowable and thus believable. The things that take Yassen to the point where he faces Alex Rider and the secret that makes the decision for him. Horowitz has given us a tale that ultimately we know the end result of but knowing makes it no less engaging. You are drawn into wanting to know how Yassen gets from who he was to what he becomes.

Fans of Alex Rider will love this.

Publisher: Walker Books Limited

Published: 12 September 2013

Format: Hardback 416 pages

Categories: Action, Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781406350869

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

The Last Thirteen – 13


9781742831848By: James Phelan

The Last 13 bk 1

Sam is used to strange dreams, sort of, he is used to having them. The morning he wakes from a nightmare where everybody dies his world changes. Firstly he is kidnapped right form school, then he is taken to a different type of school where he is told nothing about his life is what he thought it was, including his parents. It turns out he is the start and people have been waiting and looking for him for a long time. It turns out Sam is part of an ancient prophecy, his dreams are special, they are real and they give him power, but it is a power he las to learn to master, for his enemy is plotting to destroy the world.

Sam is a teenage boy full of angst, confusing dreams and parents who worry about him. When he is ripped from the only world he knows he isn’t sure what to really do, he is thankful though that he isn’t alone because two others were ripped from their lives at the same time as he was. Together they form an uneasy alliance as they face all the weirdness that is thrust at them, including the knowledge that a whole group of people are trying to kill them. Alex is cocky and a character who breaks the tension with defensive humour. Eva is more sensible, she also has first hand experience of having a dream that has actually come true.

A fast paced, action filled story with a interesting twist of dream manipulation and scientific experimentation. It will be interesting to see where this story takes us.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 September 2013

Format: Paperback 216 pages

Categories: Action, Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742831848

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


By: Libby Gleeson

There was a storm, no a cyclone and Red was caught in it, now she can’t remember anything – not even her name. She has to figure out who she is, she must have come from somewhere. Then there is the nagging feeling that there is something really important that she is supposed to do. She meets Peri, who is also alone and he helps her seek out her past even when things start to get strange and a little dangerous.

A gripping thriller with an intriguing plot and interesting characters. I didn’t say much about the plot because it is a wonderful read and saying much more would have to contain spoilers. A character with no memory can be hard to define but Red is strong, she has to be to overcome the situation she finds herself in. Peri is a good offset for Red, he brings a wonderful dimension to a complex story. If you want something a little different and very compelling then definitely give this a try. It is good for advanced 10/11 year olds up to about 14.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 May 2012

Format: Paperback 180 pages

Categories: Fiction, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781741758535

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

The Hunting Ground – Book Trailer

So here is a little teaser of The Hunting Ground.

That isn’t the only horror novel for teens written by McNish, here is a short introduction about Breathe by the author himself.

The Name of the Star

By: Maureen Johnson

A Shades of London Novel

Aurora ‘Rory’ Deveaux has chosen to spend a year at Wexford Boarding School in London, when her parents are working in Bristol. her arrival coincides with the beginning of a series of brutal murders. Crimes that appear to have left no witnesses, not even the extensive CCTV systems have caught anything useful. These murders are brutal, mimicking the oft copied, never caught, Jack the Ripper, sparking a new round of Rippermania. In the midst of this Rory is trying to fit in to a new school and adjust to a different culture.

As if this isn’t enough, it seems Rory has seen the prime suspect on the school grounds but the strange thing is no one else has seen him. Rory doesn’t understand what is going on, but it appears this mystery man has taken an interest in her and she doesn’t know why, or what that means for her.

The Name of the Star is a mystery story with more than a touch of Ripper history. The addition of Rory being transplanted from the deep south to London adds an interesting and light hearted touch to a core story that would otherwise seem quite dark. The mystery is well fitted into the flow of Rory’s school adjustment and fledgling relationship. It is also pushed along by Jerome’s Ripper interest and budding journalistic drive.

Johnson has taken a story most of us think we know well and given it a modern twist and tweak. If you are looking for a mystery with a touch of the paranormal and a taste of London, then give this a look.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 29 September 2011

Format: Paperback 400 pages

Categories: Ghosts, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9780007432264

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Midwinterblood – Book Trailer

Here is the book trailer for the intriguing new book from Marcus Sedgwick.


This book was provided by the publisher.

By: Marcus Sedgwick

It is 2073 and journalist, Eric Seven, is visiting the remote and secretive island known as Blessed. Little is known about the island except a few rumours: no-one aging, no children being born and a very rare flower with unusual properties. Here Eric finds things not as they seem and he is inexplicably drawn to a young local woman, Merle. Things spin out of control as they rush to a chilling conclusion, one that echoes a moment 10 centuries earlier when a King and his Queen are torn tragically apart. Through the centuries their souls search for each other, reuniting in various guises – mother and son, artist and child, lovers, and victims. Is there a way for them to be together once and for all.

This is a YA book with a difference. It is like a series of short stories linked together by the thread of Eric and Merle searching for each other. Midwinterblood is a clever story that contains elements of so many things – a little gothic and gruesome, a touch of thriller and a dash of friendship and family. The relationships explored through each of the time frames are unique, no two are the same. Sedgwick has crafted a fascinating tale that goes back through the generations. It draws you in, you want to know, even though knowing takes you to dark places. There is a thread of inevitability and hope through each of the stories. It draws you to an end that is at once sad and hopeful. A different and interesting read.

Publisher: Indigo (an imprint of Orion Children’s)

Published: 06 October 2011

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781780621234

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

Play Dead

By: Ryan Brown

The Jackrabbits are Killington High’s football team and they are one win away from playing in the district championship, where they will face off against their most vicious rivals, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. In Killington Texas football is a religion and the rivalry gets bloody before the players even take the field. Jackrabbits quarterback Cole Logon is brutally attacked by three masked assailants but instead of backing down he sets out to get payback where he believes it will hurt most, on the field. Then a second prank goes terribly wrong, threatening the lives of the team. The help Cole, and a reluctant Savannah, seek is unorthodox and plunges them into a desperate race to control the team and their newfound craving for flesh. Cole must lead them to gridiron victory in a game where the stakes aren’t just bragging rights but a matter of salvation or damnation.

Cole is an arrogant loner with a dodgy family life and a dodgy reputation. For him football is the way out and he won’t let the Badgers ruin that for him. He reluctantly teams up with the coach’s daughter, Savannah who has her own secrets. Cole isn’t the sort of character that grabs me but neither did he repulses me, I think he was interestingly developed and played well off Savannah who isn’t as tightly cliched as she may first appear.

I have to say I am not a sporty type of person and wasn’t sure what to think when this came into my hands. Somewhat to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Brown starts in a place you think you know then gives it a little twist sideways. He has done a good job of balancing the sport, supernatural and humour aspects of this story. It is a tight, fast paced, darkly funny and entertaining read. If you like zombies, football or even something just a little different give this a shot, it might surprise you.

Publisher: Gallery

Published: 09 June 2011

Format: Paperback 344 pages

Categories: Thrillers Horror

ISBN 13: 9781439171578

Purchase: here or click on logo to go to Booktopia site

Divergent (Roth) – Book Trailer

It looks as though dystopia will be big and here is a trailer for the new YA thriller Divergent. I think this looks good. I’ll let you know when I read it.

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