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Archive for May, 2014


I received my copy from the publisher.


By: James Phelan

The Last 13 bk 5

Sam and Zara have been kidnapped by Hans, and the whole situation is shifting as Enterprise Agents and Guardians now find themselves working together to search down Stella and Matrix. Despite having lost Zara’s gear to Solaris the search for the other pieces continues. This is when the Academy’s London facility gets attacked. The group have to step things up, they are searching for things on so many fronts; they need to find Solaris, Stella, Mac, Hans and the gears. There is so very much to do and resources are now limited with the formidable Matrix on the opposing team.

Sam still has his dreams though and they lead him to South America. There he meets Rapha and their search takes them into the heart of the Amazon jungle. Things don’t get easier though because Hans and Stella are hot on their heels.

The action cranks up as the story action splits off to follow more directions. There are fun little information snippets for the different locations Sam finds himself in which add realism to the action. This series is fun and follows a formula that appears to keep readers interested, keep the instalments short. Avid readers will read these in amongst their longer reads whilst the shorter format encourages those who aren’t that keen on reading to pick up the books. Fast paced action in easy to digest instalments.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 April 2014

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Action, Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742831886

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas

the-boy-who-swam-with-piranhasBy: David Almond

Illustrated by: Oliver Jeffers

Stanley Potts lived with his aunt and uncle after his parents had died. His aunt and uncle had been so good to him but then things went really crazy when his uncle started a fish canning business. The craziness didn’t stop, and soon it got all too much for Stanley and he runs away. Stanley joins the fair and works on the hook-a-duck stall. He finds a place and new home, and then he meets Pancho Pirelli, the man who swims with piranhas and Pancho offers him a job.

This is a wonderfully woven tale that simply sweeps you along. Stanley is a boy with a big heart and a gift for dealing with fish. He is willing to do what he has to to survive and in his own way stands up for what he thinks is wrong (even to one of the people he cares most about in the world). The fair is a colourful backdrop to a story of adventure and discovery. The elements of humour and it’s subplot of DAFT give a fairytale feel bad guy to the story. This is a wonderful tale that shows even as a child you are capable of achieving things others say can’t be done. There is something touching here; truth, whimsy and encouragement of a a child’s belief in self.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 05 September 2013

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Categories: Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781406337464

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page


Mockingjay Part 1 – Pics and Casting

This series continues to draw great actors to fill rolls, truthfully I’m not sure about making it two films, it just seems to be the way they do things these days but we will see what happens.

Julianne Moore on the film and her character President Coin.

Here are some awesome pics from the upcoming Mockingjay film.

Not sure how much Phillip is going to be in it but here he is with the wonderful Julianne Moore as Coin.


Some favourite characters.

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The poster.



Secret Safari


Susannah McFarlane


Emma Jacks and her friends are trying out for the A netball team but there is a new girl in school who seems determined to make things harder for Emma. After what she thinks is a disastrous tryout EJ has to wait until after the holidays to find out about the team. Then she discovers her mother has won a family trip to Africa. This turns out to be a cover story for another SHINE assignment. Someone has been hunting wild animals for their horns and skins and EJ has been asked to look into it.

When it appears an evil SHADOW agent is always one step ahead of her, EJ has to find a way to outwit her opponent. It is the only way she can keep the animals safe.

Emma Jacks is a smart girl, she needs to be to juggle the life of a secret agent with that of a normal girl. In some ways the agent part of her life is easier to deal with than the school side and that is a touch I like. It somehow makes her that much more relatable. The other nice thing about these books is that she doesn’t have to face everything alone. The adventures and topics are interesting. These books are great for girls wanting to catch a little of that spy action for themselves.

Publisher: Lemonfizz Media

Published: 01 March 2012

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Spy Story

ISBN 13: 9781921684265

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters – Movie

So I did see it and yes I had issues with it but at least this time I didn’t quite want to throw my shoe at the screen like I did with the first film.

(Though I wouldn’t mind having one of these in my back yard)

The young cast seem more comfortable in their roles (though they are older than the characters are supposed to be) and there were a few casting changes, obviously some names didn’t want to come back. On the whole I think they did this book a bit more justice than the first, though there are plenty of things they miss out (Percy’s dreams of Grover), and they make loads of changes (how Percy and Tyson meet) both of which may very well be a bit annoying. I think with these movies they’d be better saying they are based on the books because as adaptations go they play fast and loose with quite a few details. Still an enjoyable way to spend a little time (unless you are a loyal fan of the source material), but the books are definitely better, sure that’s my opinion and you are more than welcome to your own.

Beautiful Creatures – Movie

So disclaimer to start, I’ve never read the books. They just never interested me.

This movie has a stella cast, I love Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and think Emmy Rossum and Viola Davis are pretty awesome too. This is a case of I want to see the movie because of the cast. I have to admit that the basic story line is pretty appealling as well – is the witch going to be good or bad, though with a boy involved it is also pretty predictable.

The movie itself is quite tight, quite enjoyable. Irons and Thompson simply rule the screen when they are on it. As a stand alone movie it does alright, as the first of a series I’m not so sure. It didn’t really leave me wanting to see another instalment. However it did serve to have me looking at the book series again to see if I might have missed something. Going back over stuff about the books I went back to my first decision to not read them, there is simply so much out there to read, I don’t have time to read something that seems frustratingly convoluted. I could be wrong, and I’m sure there are many who love the books, they just aren’t for me. The film though was a good introduction to the world and the characters and hopefully did it’s job in leading others to the books.

The Fault In Our Stars – Movie Trailer

Holy crap even this damn trailer made me cry. I am soooooooo looking forward to this film.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort look like they’ve done an amazing job with a couple of the most amazing characters I’ve ever read.

Divergent – Movie Trailer

The talk is good, the book sales are going well again, I’m seeing more people reading the books. I really want to see this one.

Also Shailene Woodley, two big YA films in one year. Two very different films too.


I received this from the publisher.


James Phelan

The Last 13 Bk 3

Sam reconnects with Xavier Dark and the two of them take the next part of the journey together to Berlin. Things are moving fast and having access to a private jet certainly helps when you have to journey all over the world. Through his dad Xavier has some good connections to information that will hopefully help. What happens though when some of those connections you thought were good turn out to be bad? The sides are becoming more and more blurred. Somehow they end up in an underground bunker at the Berlin Zoo and things get explosive.

The pace of these books remains fast, and tight. The historical aspects give it a greater dimension, reinforcing the idea that this the end play of a search that has been in place for generations. Sam is all action, there is not much else to him but it is action that drives the story. The dynamic between Alex and his mother is given a light brushing over, with them working on the same side. The story is fun escapism but there isn’t a lot of depth to it, which makes it great for more reluctant readers. The short length of both the chapters and the books is another thing that makes it a good choice for those people. Recommended for 10+.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 February 2014

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Thriller

ISBN 13: 9781742831862

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

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