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
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.
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
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
ISBN 13: 9781780621234
Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page.
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.
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
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.
By: Holly Black
Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of curse-workers, those who have the ability to change your emotions, memories, luck and life just by the merest tough. Cassel is an outsider in his own family, he has no magic, this makes him the straight kid in a criminal family for curse-work is illegal. He tries to live a normal life but fitting in at school isn’t so easy.
Cassel has started having strange dreams about a white cat, and he has started sleepwalking. He is also beginning to believe his brothers are keeping secrets from him and that other things are not what they seem to be. It’s as if he is living some elaborate con-game that he doesn’t understand. In order to get to the bottom of this he has to unravel his very confusing memories, face the fact that he killed his best friend and out con the other con-men, all while fighting for his place in school and keeping his bookmaking business thriving.
This is a dark and twisted thriller. A well crafted story, weaving together strands of fantasy, magic, cons, crime and romance. There are twists, turns and double-crosses abounding. This is a tightly written and thoroughly engaging read. If you like your stories dark and sophisticated, your characters intriguing and continually developing, I am sure you will love this. Black has written a masterful con. Recommended read.
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Published: 08 February 2011
Format: Paperback 310 pages
Categories: Fantasy, Family, Animal Stories Siblings
ISBN 13: 9781416963974
By Jackson Pearce
Teenage girls go missing and are brutally murdered. Sisters Scarlett and Rosie March know how they died – torn apart by Fenris (werewolves). They know this because they have seen it. They still remember their grandma and Scarlett’s scars from that day are physical as well as emotional. Side by side they train and fight, striving to protect others. Then Scarlett’s old hunting partner, Silas, returns and his arrival triggers a series of events that put them all in danger.
While Scarlett is driven to fight and hunt, Rosie longs for something more. Something she may find with Silas, if she dares. Then Scarlett uncovers something that could tear the sisters apart.
This is a twist on the Red Riding Hood fairytale. One where the werewolves are nasty and violent and it comes down to fight or die. Told in alternating chapters (which I thought could be frustrating, but wasn’t) from the point of view of each sister, the story unfolds in a way that allows you to understand both the drive and inner desires of each of them. Read this if you are looking for a darker twist on a werewolf tale.
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
Published: 07 April 2011
Format: Paperback 368 pages
Categories: Adventure Thriller Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9781444900606
By: Anthony Horowitz
Alex Rider is back and trying to fit back into school. He’s trying to juggle a double life and finding it difficult to adapt. he’s not left alone for long though as MI6 have plans for their teenage spy. This time it is Alex’s job to infiltrate the uber exclusive Point Blanc Academy. They accept only a very small number of students, troubled boys with very influential parents. But something has happened that has aroused MI6’s suspicions and they need Alex’s help. Equipped with a few new gadgets and his quick mind Alex has to get accepted in and find out what is really going on. In between getting drugged and the elaborate mind games they seem to be playing on him Alex finds himself stuck in the mountains with enemies closing in. His only way out is so risky he may not survive.
A fitting sequel to Stormbreaker. Alex’s annoyance and reluctance are creeping through and for me this makes him a more appealing character than if he did it and loved it. There is plenty of action, some fun toys that you’ll wish you could have and plenty of the suspense you want in a spy novel. A good read for someone who likes their spy stories but has out grown Zac Power.
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Published: 01 April 2005
Format: Paperback 288 pages
Categories: Action, Thrillers
ISBN 13: 9781844280933