June 20

‘Galax-arena’ by Gillian Rubinstein

“When you feel like giving up, look back at how far you’ve come. Be strong. Stay on your path. Never stop going.”

Do you like books that get you nervous but also excited at the same time? If you do, Galex Arena by Gillian Rubinstein is a superb book for you.

A sci-fi book filled with adventure and action, this book is incredible, from the start when the three siblings, Joella, Peter and Liane, get kidnapped by a man named Hythe, who was supposed to be picking them up instead of their Aunty Jill, was actually a kidnapper taking them to a rocket ship. The siblings felt like they were in the rocket ship forever and didn’t know where Hythe was taking them. They end up in space at some unknown planet. They have to perform deadly stunts in front of aliens. If you weren’t very good at gymnastics like Joella, you would become one of the aliens’ pets. To find out what happens in the end, you HAVE to read Galax Arena.

I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of adventure in it and it really gets you thinking about what’s going to happen next. I loved how Gillian Rubinstein involved a real life incident and a made up incident. This was that the children got kidnapped, a real life incident, and the kids being sent to aliens, the made up incident. I loved this book because it made me want to read more to see what happened next. It was very interesting and action filled through the whole book.

I think this book is suited for any gender since it includes aliens but also acrobatics at the same time. I recommend this book for mature 12+ because the book includes death worthy stunts, slavery and kidnapping. If you are interested in books that are thrilling and adventurous, Galax Arena is definitely the book for you.

Ella B, Year 8

June 20

‘Around the World in 80 Days’ by Jules Verne

The novel that I will be talking about is called, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, and was written by Jules Verne. The book was set in London, England, in 1872. The story begins at the Reform Club that one of the main characters, Phileas Fogg, regularly goes to. It is at the Reform Club that Mr Fogg places a wager of £20,000 on him being able to travel around the world in 80 days. Because of this wager and the adventure that Mr Fogg and his new servant, Passepartout, go on, the setting changes continuously. The pair visit places such as Paris, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, New York, Liverpool, and London.

There are four major characters: Phileas Fogg, Jean Passepartout, Mr, Fix and Aouda. Phileas Fogg is a rich man who is very punctual and has very high standards, which is shown as he fired his butler because he brought Mr Fogg’s shaving water in at a few degrees colder than he likes it. Jean Passepartout is Fogg’s butler, who is loyal to Fogg and always does as he is told. Mr Fix is a detective who suspects that Mr Fogg stole a lot of money. Aouda is a young woman from India who Mr Fogg and Passepartout rescued before she was sacrificed.

The four main characters go on an adventure that has many ups and downs. After Mr Fogg makes his wager, he and Passepartout start on their journey around the world only to be followed by Mr Fix. The characters travel through Europe and Eastern Asia only to make it to India to find that the rail line hasn’t been built yet. Mr Fogg then buys an elephant for them to ride on to keep their journey moving forward. It is also during their time in India that Mr Fogg and Passepartout rescue a girl, Aouda, from being sacrificed and she joins them on their journey. Passepartout and Mr Fogg are separated by Mr Fix in Hong Kong but they meet up in Japan before they head off to America. In America, the characters are travelling by train when it is attacked by Native Americans and Passepartout is captured. Mr Fogg then goes to rescue him. This meant that they miss their train to the East Coast, so the pair travel by sledge instead. They then miss their boat but Mr Fogg was able to take control of a small vessel to make the trip home across the Atlantic. Mr Fogg is arrested by Mr Fix in Ireland but is later released when the real criminal is arrested in London. Mr Fogg marries Aouda and ends up arriving a day early, winning his wager and the £20,000.

Overall, I would rate this book a 1/10 because I personally didn’t enjoy it because it isn’t the type of book that I like to read. The way the author wrote the book didn’t make much sense to me as it was written in ‘Old English’. I didn’t feel any emotions when reading this book, therefore, I would not recommend this book to my friends.

By Preston D., Year 8

June 19

‘The Last Dragon’ By C.A. Rainfield

The book I am reviewing is ‘The Last Dragon’ from the Dragon Speaker series. The author of this book is C.A. Rainfield and this is my first time reading one of his books. This book is a science fiction book. The illustrator of this book is Charlie Hnatiuk.

The main things that I am going to be saying about this book is that it is an exciting book and it is about the year 1144 and the world’s last dragon comes back. The evil lord is planning to use the dragon to rule the kingdom and the only person that can stop him is a 16-year-old boy called Jacob. The story is set in a faraway kingdom and it is very convincing. Jacob’s character does seem very real because when the dragon came he had to find a way to talk to the dragon. The ending is very satisfying because even though they had a lot of work ahead of them, everybody was happy. They had to rebuild their village but they were going to enjoy the sweetness of their success.

I liked this book because it was an interesting sci-fi book about a boy whose name is Jacob. He is the only person that can talk to the world’s last dragon and he must rescue the egg of the world’s last dragon. I would recommend The Last Dragon for any teen that likes to read sci-fi books. I would rate this book as an 8/10.

Josh T., Year 8

June 15

‘After Earth’ by Peter David

After Earth is a thrilling novel of action-packed bravery. Written by Peter David, the book is based on a story by Will Smith.

The story is set on another planet because we destroyed ours and made it uninhabitable. We populated and destroyed our planet, but we fled and made our home on another planet.

The main characters are Kitai and his father. Kitai is a determined boy who strives to be like his father and never gives up. But he is scared and panics when he is in danger. His father, on the other hand, is a strong and fearless man. He is a solider on this new planet and is away most of the time, but he loves his family.

The story is mainly about Kitai finding his courage. He and his dad have decided to go on one of the missions his father was assigned but they crashed and found our lost world. Kitai and his dad are the only two that survive the crash. But to get home they need a beacon to send for help, but the beacon was broken the only other working one is in the tail of the ship, but the ship’s tail was detached and is miles away. This is how the epic story of Kitai begins.

I really enjoyed this novel because it grips you and keeps you wanting to know more and more but you can’t take your eyes off it. I love how Kitai and his dad fight through dangerous tasks. I love how you can kind of connect to the story. You see Kitai grow slowly into a more courageous and intelligent man.

I would recommend this story for any age of reader.

Reviewed by Reuben B., Year 8

June 15

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, by author Suzanne Collins, is an interesting science fiction novel created in a dystopian world. This novel shows the life of a fictional society where young teens must fight until the death in the yearly repetition of The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is run by a wealthy city called Panem, which is surrounded by 12 districts. Each district is to put forward one female and one male aged 12 to 18 to compete in the game which is aired on every television over Panem. Katniss Everdeen aged sixteen willingly chose to volunteer to participate in The Hunger Games instead of her younger sister Prim (aged 12) who was chosen to be the 23rd member of the 74th annual hunger games. Katniss instead becomes the female tribute for District 12 along with Peeta Mellark also aged 16, who is the male tribute. Katniss promises Prim she will win after taking her place.

Katniss is against hurting or killing anyone but is pushed to fight for her life once the games start. Only one will win. Things get complicated when Katniss starts to catch feelings for a boy from her district who is also competing and she teams up with a little girl from District 11. Will Katniss kill the ones she loves to fight for her life? Or will she let someone else win so they don’t have to be killed. For Katniss to survive, she must kill.

I have read the first book to The Hunger Games three times, and the other books many times as well. I think they are all such thrilling and terrific novels it is hard to put them down. The series won many awards since the book was released in September 2008 such as “Best books of the year, Publishers’ Weekly 2008,” “New York Times Best Seller,” “The California Young Reader Medal”. The Hunger Games series has also been turned into a film series winning many awards also.

I personally think this book is one of my favourites and I hope that they continue to make more.  I liked it because it was different to most novels I have read, with good detail and interesting plot twists. I could picture it as if I was there in Panem when I read this book. I think this book is good for any gender, and from ages 12 and up as it can be quite graphic.

Millah P., Year 8

June 14

‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth

“Peter would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing.’
‘Well,’ he says, ‘I would only go if there was cake.”

‘Divergent’ is a science fiction book set in a futuristic Chicago, sure to keep you on your toes with plenty of interesting twists and turns throughout the whole book. It will keep you entertained and glued to your book, changing ideas and the way you think about ordinary life.

The story of ‘Divergent’ is about one girl named Beatrice who decides she isn’t happy with the faction which she was born into, so she decides to change into a separate faction to try and become a new person going by the name of Tris.

The story is set in a futuristic dystopian Chicago where things aren’t as they seem. ‘Divergent’ holds a host of many different characters such as Tris, Four, Caleb and a mysterious boy by the name of Four.

‘Divergent’ is a book about the choices of the main character Tris. The story delves into multiple subjects relevant to present day society. ‘Divergent’ is a book targeted at young teenagers through to old ones and it portrays a consistent theme of dystopia because of difference.

I believe ‘Divergent’ is an extremely entertaining book that I would recommend to people from the ages of 11-17. The character development makes you feel as if you are a part of the story; as though you are there with these characters.

Another reason why I believe ‘Divergent’ is a good read and would recommend it is because of the inability to put the book down I felt while reading it. ‘Divergent’ is a good book that I recommend because of its excellent story, plot, character development and immersing environment. I would rate the book a 5 out of 5 as it is an excellent read for a majority of teenagers.

Marco M., Year 8

…..

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that’s the point –Four in Divergent.

Tris is a regular teenager who lives in a world which is divided by factions. She doesn’t fit into just one of those factions. She is different. She is a Divergent. She could change everything.

Divergent is set in a dystopian future where you must pick your place in the world. Only being able to choose one faction, Tris Prior must pick her place out of five factions: Dauntless, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation and Candor. The factions were made to protect the world they live in from war and violence. After each person chooses a faction, they stick to the rules so it wouldn’t start any future conflicts.

‘What’s so bad about being a divergent?’ you ask? People who are Divergent have the power to corrupt society without even knowing it. Jeanine, faction leader of Erudite, believes in order and the abilities divergents hold frighten her, which pushes her to remove all of them from the divided society they live in.

What faction will 16-year-old Tris Prior choose, will she fit in or will the leaders discover she is a divergent and kill her?

This intriguing novel keeps you wanting to read it non-stop from the beginning right to the end. It is interesting to read how the different factions react and what they do in their daily life because it relates to different religions. Divergent has peaks of many writing styles with thrilling action, sparks of romance, bravery and mysterious characters which allow the plot to be enthralling. What I prized the most about this book is that It has many messages scattered throughout that have powerful meanings. For example, how you must pick a certain thing to fit into the society, such as choosing between what to do after high school and even picking different peer groups. These examples are accurate in the way they relate back to present day with teenagers who go through challenges like these in everyday life.

I would recommend Divergent to people who enjoy a mysterious yet excitement-filled story to high school students and young adults, both male and female from the ages of 12-25. Awarded with both Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction and Good Reads Choice Awards Favourite Book, it is clear that Divergent by Veronica Roth is an all-around great book.

Sophia L, Year 8.

…..

Do you want to read a great science fiction novel loved by the world? Divergent is a science fiction novel written by Veronica Roth. Overall the Divergent series made $6.7 million. This novel is a thrill-seeking adventures novel of a girl named Beatrice Prior who is different from everybody else. She is a divergent.

This novel is an enjoyable story set in the futuristic world where everyone is divided into five factions. In this world when you turn into an adult you must choose a faction and stay in that faction for life. Tris Prior chooses Dauntless, who are the clan of bravery but she discovers that she is Divergent. Divergents are rare and considered dangerous. Divergents are the people who cannot fit in just one faction because they fit in all factions. Tris discovers that she is a threat to everyone she loves. This novel is set in a land filled with war and factions.

Divergent’s main theme is of Tris Prior being a Divergent and how it is dangerous to everyone. This ends up turning everyone against her and all factions after her. It ends up starting a war because of the people helping Tris and the people wanting to find her and possibly kill her. Another interesting theme is Tris’s time in Dauntless as she completes activities and learns how to fight.

In conclusion, this novel can be enjoyed for its interesting themes and great character detail. The highlights in my opinion were the scenes where everyone is after Tris Prior and where she is sneaking around Dauntless. This book is great for teens to adults for it has characters of their age and themes they will enjoy. Finally, I rate this book 4 stars.

Tom F., Year 8

June 13

‘Extras’ by Scott Westerfeld

My chosen sci-fi novel is called ‘Extras’ by Scott Westerfeld. It is the fourth book in the UGLIES series.

What I like about the book is that it is thrilling and it makes you want to keep reading. It engages whoever is reading.

The book is about the world of uglies and pretties and popularity, for example, imagine that the world is a huge game of a TV reality show such as XFactor. Whoever gets the most buzzes gets the votes. Basically, in the book, people judge people by their looks and who gets recognition and who doesn’t. Personally this book really makes the readers understand how the ‘mind-rain’ affected people all over the world.

In conclusion the book was really interesting, and enjoyable and I would recommend it to people who love unexpected scenes in the book.

By Shanece P., Year 8

June 13

‘Cinder’ by Marissa Meyer

“Even in the future the story begins with once upon a time.”

Humans and cyborgs crowd the streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague breaks out in Beijing. In space, Lunar people (people who live on the moon for e.g. Aliens) watch them, waiting to make a move (plan of attack). But no one knows that Cinder is their Hero.

‘Cinder’ is a science fiction book that is about a gifted engineer in New Beijing who is a cyborg but no one knows. It is revealed that Cinder is a cyborg by her stepmother, who accuses her for her step-sister’s sudden illness (the plague, caused because she is a cyborg). Prince Kai visits Cinder himself at the weekly market for her to fix his broken androids.

This book is for adults because they would understand the story line a lot better than children. Personally I didn’t like this book because it was boring and there was no excitement and adventure. Science fiction books are books that are not reality and include science like engineering, utopia, dystopia, good and evil etc. In conclusion this book is for adults because they would understand the story line a lot better so I give the book a 2/5 stars.

By Reilly J., Year 8

June 13

‘Specials’ by Scott Westerfeld

This book is about differences and equality mixed with futuristic themes. Is that your genre? Well, this book is for you. This book is very jam packed with emotions and jaw-dropping moments.

The book is called ‘Specials’ by Scott Westerfeld. It’s a futuristic science novel. Overall I would rate the novel an 8/10 because it had interesting scenes and characters. What happens is a bunch of 15 year olds are made differently and what if someone is special? Would they be judged differently?

Tally has been made differently from the rest and she has been made to fight others. What happens next you’ll have to read to find out. It is set in a futuristic place which was pretty cool and well explained. Yes it was, it summed up the story so well. Tally had changed so much and I didn’t really enjoy her character but it was good to see Shay back in the book.

In conclusion, I thought the book was good overall. I could have been a bit better and more interesting but I did enjoy it and I hope that you read it too.

Mia A., Year 8

June 13

‘Jump: Twin maker’ by Sean Williams

If you could be anywhere in a moment where would you go?

If you could change your appearance in a minute, what would you choose?

If you discovered something was very wrong with this perfect world, what would you do?

This book has a nice combo of action and exporting the future of technology. I would recommend this book to young adults or teens because they can relate to the characters when they feel some emotion and what they do.

There are a few main characters in the book ‘Jump’. One of them is Clair, who is very cautious. She doesn’t really like to try things unless she knows everything about them. Then she will really give it a go. There is also Libby, who is always keen to give everything a try. She is funny and optimistic. Then there is Q. Q is very strange. Clair says he can’t be trusted. She doesn’t trust her, but then she slowly does.

In the future, technology can teleport you anywhere instantly, anywhere you want. Imagine if there was such a code that could change your height, strength, making you more beautiful.

Clair wakes up one morning and gets a call about this ‘offer’. She thinks the offer is too good to be true. Her friend Libby gets the same call. She is sure she wants the offer. She thinks it will be great to have a new and improved version of herself. Clair’s worst nightmare comes when her best friend Libby falls into a deadly trap. Clair needs help. She gets Jesse (the school freak) and a wired but powerful stranger named “Q” to help her. Clair tries to help and protect Libby, even risking her own life to save her. Clair is running out of time as she is getting chased across the world. Will Clair save herself or try to save her best friend.?

This is a novel by Sean William.

Ethan G., Year 8

 

Ethan G., Year 8

June 6

‘ Worldshaker’ by Richard Harland

‘Worldshaker’ is a meticulously crafted sci-fi novel by Richard Harland, published in 2009. The book features a flawed human civilisation that thrives on the unstoppable, pulverizing, steampunk juggernaut, rightly named Worldshaker.

The novel follows two main adolescent protagonists: Col and Riff. Col is the son of the Supreme Commander, and is in the position to soon inherit the role. It goes without saying that Col has lived a carefree, illustrious life of high nobility.

Riff, on the other hand, is a female slum-dwelling Filthy who has lived a troubled, unsafe life. From birth, all Filthies were shunned by society, and were required to toil away for the Worldshaker in order to live. Riff, however, was a Filthy who sought change and freedom. She denied her fate as a slave and pursued a better life. Upon discovering her actions, the governors soon took matters into their own hands, and Riff was on the run as a wanted offender, until she met Col. Through distasteful conversations and interactions that enthral the audience, the two soon become the most unlikely of friends. As they secretly spend more time together, Col questions the validity of all he has been taught in his life.  It dawns upon him that if it was all a lie, then he was the only one with the power to do something about it, even if it meant putting his eminent future at stake.

Jam-packed with action, adventure, realism and science fiction, Worldshaker invites readers of any age to follow Riff and Col, as she desperately fights to save her own life and the lives of her brethren, and as he supports her. Overall, Worldshaker is well worth the time taken to read it, and is a true page turner. Out of 5, I would personally rate this book a 4.5.

By Kurian J., Year 8

……

Have you ever doubted life on our earth?

If you have, don’t do it again. Imagine a world stuck on a gigantic mobile city, never being able to see the bright blue sky again or feel the fresh wind flowing through your hair ever again. That’s how the people are living on board the juggernaut Worldshaker in the novel written by Richard Harland called ‘Worldshaker’.

This is an eye-opening compelling science fiction novel about a boy named Colbert Porpentine who is lucky enough to live on the upper decks of the juggernaut with his family because his grandfather is the leader of the worldshaker.

There are two main characters: Colbert Porpentine and Riff the filthy girl from the lower decks. The story starts when Col (Colbert) is woken by a noise made by the guards outside his room, soon to find out a “filthy” from the lower decks has escaped up into the upper decks, moments later to find himself looking at a girl filthy named Riff. The filthy (Riff) then reveals to Col that the filthies can speak and communicate with others and that they are just poverty-stricken people that everyone thinks badly of.

This book was extremely interesting. In my opinion, the story took off straight away and then slowed down a little after the story started, which for me was a good thing. The highlight of this book, in my opinion, was the ending because it really showed the underlying message, which to me was that we are all equal and also don’t judge someone for how they look.

For me, this book is aimed to be read by teenagers as I think younger kids may not understand some words and the story might get a bit confusing. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars and I did really enjoy this book!

Jayda W., Year 8

….

I think the author Richard Harland’s message is to not describe someone by their looks or what they wear.

The book was alright. It could have been better. What I thought was an attention grabber was how the guy at the top of the machine was a Sargent or was in the military and I thought there was going to be a war with the people at the bottom of the machine.

It was a science fiction book and was simple and predictable.

It’s kind of convincing and engaging but not in depth.

It didn’t tell too much of where they were.

The top guy yes but the girl no. The guy wears a uniform and is distracted. He doesn’t have a clue.

I think the novel’s theme is “It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you wear, we’re all the same”. This was easy to know what theme the author was trying to give. Don’t describe someone if you don’t know them.

The book could have been a little better at explaining where they were. The author’s trying to say “It doesn’t matter what you look like were all human.” It’s not the best example but it isn’t bad either. I would recommend this book for kids.

Alex V., Year 8

June 6

‘A Toaster on Mars’ by Darrel Pitt

It’s the year 2509 and planet Earth is under major threat by “the universes’ most evil villain.” Can PBI (Planetary Bureau of Investigation) Agent Blake and new partner Nikki track Bartholomew Badde down and foil his plans before he destroys all the electronic devices on the planet?

Do you love mystery, crime, comedy and futuristic sci-fi books? If you do, you will love this book. In fact, you be the judge.  Read it yourself and make your own mind up.

This story is set in the year 2509 (26th Century) on Earth 500 years in the future, where everything is very smart and technology is in everything (except food). You follow the story of a middle-aged male named Blake, a Planetary Bureau of investigation (PBI) agent.

Blake is very mad when he is assigned a rookie cyborg named Nikki, so he does everything to try and get rid of her. When the head of Blake’s division tells him that she is there to stay, he just goes with the flow and helps save the world. Blake and Nikki are assigned to investigate a high threat coming from an evil genius Bartholomew Badde to destroy all the technology in the world. In the middle of the investigation, Blake’s ex-wife Astrid calls Blake to tell him that their daughter has been kidnapped, which thickens the plot for Blake and crunches more valuable time.

I think ‘Toaster on Mars’ is very well written and thought up but it wasn’t enjoyable for someone my age. For example, there is some out of this world things that probably won’t even happen for like another thousand years or more. Besides that, it was a very interesting book. I must say well done to the author for coming to such an interesting ending to the story and, I must admit it did leave me a little bit confused.

I recommend this book to ages 8 to 12 who are interested in futuristic mystery. I thought this book was little too young for me but I still enjoyed it. I rate ‘Toaster on Mars’ by Darrel Pitt 3 out of 5 stars.

Bryson R, Year 8

June 6

‘The Rise Of Nine’ by Pittacus Lore

“Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we’re looking for the others—including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York — but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.

But they’ll have to fight us first.”

Has this captured you? Do you want to keep reading? Or maybe find out what’s happening next?

‘The Rise of Nine’ by Pittacus Lore takes science fiction to another level! This book takes place on Earth after the Mogadorians have destroyed the Loriens’ planet. Now there are only ten left but after one, two, and three have been captured it’s up to the others to fight on.

This is an action-packed novel that always makes you ask what’s going to happen and before you know it, you’re halfway through the book.

I would recommend this novel for people over the age of 13 as there is some coarse language, and also for kids with amazing imaginations just like Pittacus Lore. Overall, ‘The Rise of Nine’ by Pittacus Lore shows captivating language to keep you reading, strong and action-packed events and an amazing storyline.

So do the Loriens get captured by the Mogadorians? Or do they fight them and win? This is where your journey starts, so get reading!!

Ted.L, Year 8

June 6

‘The Maze Runner’ by James Dashner

If trying to escape a giant maze filled with giant, gooey, stinging beasts is what you like, then the science-fiction novel, The Maze Runner ­by James Dashner is definitely for you.

The story stars a boy named Thomas who has just been dumped into the Glade, with about 50 other boys already there. But trouble is just around the corner. The first girl, Teresa, arrives at the Glade with the message that the Gladers need to escape the maze more than ever before.

The setting also adds interest to the story as you don’t know why they’re in a maze. A main character who stands out in Maze Runner is Teresa. As mentioned before, Teresa is a problem for the Gladers, not just because she is the only girl. During the book, you learn more about her as a character. This story is believable if you think into the future.

With the genre being science-fiction, this is a perfect theme for the novel. There are references to physics that the Gladers can’t believe. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be Newton to understand it. This book involves aspects of adventure and thriller. The Maze Runner is one of those ‘page-turner’ books that you simply can’t put down.

At the end of the first book in this epic science-fiction trilogy, we learn why the Gladers were placed in the maze. The ending convinces you to read Scorch Trials and Death Cure.

With a maze of emotions, problems and solutions, the Maze Runner is one of the best novels that I have read. I really enjoyed this book because I feel as if you are in the Glade with Thomas and Teresa. The Maze Runner by James Dashner is an a’maze’ing book that I would recommend if you like the Hunger Games or Divergent series. I rate the Maze Runner 4.5/5 stars.

Katie R., Year 8

…..

‘The Maze Runner’ By James Dashner

Remember, Survive, Run. These are three words James Dashner gives the audience to describe his action-packed book, ‘The Maze Runner’.

The Maze Runner is set in a Maze, and in the middle there is a small area where a group of teenagers live and work together to survive. Where they live, there are four towering doors open to the maze that close at sundown, but they should only open one at a time.

The main character is a boy named Thomas who wakes up in an old rusty elevator. Once he gets to the top he is surrounded by a group of people looking down, but just like everyone else, Thomas can’t remember anything about himself at first. He can’t remember his own name. Shortly after he arrives, he learns everything he has to know but then he must make a choice that changes everything.

The reason you should read ‘The Maze Runner’ book is because there is so much mystery that it makes you want to read on to find out what might happen and how it’s going to affected the characters. All the character has their own interesting story.

I would recommend this this book for people aged 10-25 who want a fast-past action-packed book surrounded by mystery. I rate ‘The Maze Runner’ four out of five.

Carter N., Year 8

…..

“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.”

That was the opening sentence for this marvellous book, The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner is the first book in a trilogy by James Dashner. The author of this book did an outstanding job of making this book such a good read.

The Maze Runner is an action- packed, dystopian, science-fiction novel. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was nail biting, mysterious and a little sad. This book was such a page turner, I just read one chapter after another.

He doesn’t remember how old he is, he doesn’t remember his family. The only thing he remembers is his name. Hardly knowing himself, Thomas finds himself fighting for survival. When Thomas wakes in a strange lift he ends up stuck in the middle of a maze, powerless to try and escape. He is forced to be surrounded by other males who have been stuck in the maze for two years. Thomas knows there is a way out somehow, but the only thing is where. until he sees the doors, but the doors only stay open for a matter of time. What will Thomas do? One thing he finds out is that there are animal machines called Grievers that guard the maze and come out at night.

This book has also been turned into movie. I read the book before I watched the movie. I am glad I did that because I could picture it in my head and have my own way of understanding it. The characters in this book were very well described and all played their own part. The ending of the book was very frustrating, because Thomas completed the maze and finds himself stuck in another one. I really like the quote by the author of the book, ‘If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.’ I liked this because it relates to this novel because it is about fighting for survival and being scared.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel because when I first heard of it I wasn’t interested because I am not I fan of science fiction, but I am so glad it read it. It was very engaging and it was described very well. I recommend this book for people between the ages  of 12-17 because any younger than 12 may not understand it as much as teens. I rate The Maze Runner 4 out 5 stars.

Lily S., Year 8

…..

First Hunger Games, then Divergent, now Maze Runner.

I’m guessing you would like at least of one these, and they all have something in common. They are all science fiction. Maze Runner is only the first book in this incredible series written by American author James Dashner. The author James Dashner has written many books in the past such as The Eye Of Minds, The Fever Code, The Kill Order etc.

This book is a very action-packed and interesting story. All the characters in the story are mostly teens around the age of 17. I think the character that stood the most for me was Chuck as we learned more about the story of his life than anyone else. Overall, I loved the book but hated the ending. How could you end such a good book like that?

There are many themes that are portrayed in this book, but I think they mainly wanted this this book to be mysterious and scary but still wanted a bit of comedy to keep the readers entertained.

To conclude, I really enjoyed this book as it kept me on edge and I couldn’t stop reading. The only things was the ending, but I still think that was how they wanted it to end so you would read the next one and I’m very persuaded to. I feel as if everyone should read it as it would suit everyone. 4/5 for this book.  

Jarvier, Year 8

…..

‘The Maze Runner’ is the first book in a series written by the American author James Dashner. I have read many books of his, such as ‘The Scorch Trials’, ‘The Death Cure’, and ‘The Eye of Minds’. ‘The Maze Runner’ was first published in 2009.

Thomas wakes up in a metal box with no memory of who he is. He only remembers his name. Electric doors open overhead, with a group of teenage boys peeking through. The environment they were living in was like a farm surrounded by very high walls. They call it the glade. Beyond the high walls was a complicated maze with traps and robotic beasts called grievers.

This book is convincing. It gets me on the edge of my seat with the action in the novel. The writer’s style is uncomplicated and straightforward. The glade is the main setting in which the majority of the book takes place. It is surrounded by massive walls that make up the maze. In the glade, they make their own crops and bunks there.

The character that stands out to me is either Alby, the leader of the group, or Thomas, the main character. Thomas arrives in a cage and he proves to be brave, loyal and clever. He has a very limited memory of previous knowledge of the maze. If they get stung by the griever it becomes extremely painful for days or weeks. At the end, they escape the maze and there are people at the end that pick them up in the helicopter and they take them into the scorch.

The theme is friendship and to work together as a team and stay together, this is key throughout this book as Thomas makes relations with Alby, Minho, Chuck, Teresa, and Newt. Bravery is key throughout the maze to help save Alby.

I liked a lot about The Maze Runner because of the action and how we work together no matter what. The day after Thomas wakes up, a girl turns up in the glade; the first ever. This book is a good example of sci-fi because it has futuristic scenes and creatures. I recommend this book to young adults 12+ because it isn’t really for children because there are too many scary action packed scenes.  I give this book rating 9/10 because I really enjoyed it and I thought it was well written.

Anthony M., Year 8

……

The Maze Runner is an action packed sci-fi book. In this story, a group of individuals are trying to cast their way out of the maze that has taken hundreds of lives. The author of the book is James Dashner, and it was published in 2014.The book is mainly based around sci-fi but it also has a bit of horror and romance. James Dashner has written all different types of books but this one is the most popular. I would like to say the novel is interesting and I would highly recommend it.

The novel is set in another world. You would have to work for the people first before they entered you into the maze. You wouldn’t know that you were going to the enter the maze. The land area in the middle of the maze is small. The people in the maze would have to work to survive and they only live in tree houses. Some people were trying to work a way out of the maze. They try and work out a pattern of the maze because it changes every night. Thomas, Teresa, Newt, Minho, Alby, Chuck, Frypan and Gally are the main characters trapped in the maze who are trying to escape.

I really enjoyed the book “The Maze Runner Scorch Trials” because it was engaging and has a head-turning plot. The strategies they used to get out of the maze were incredible. They all played a major role in the book and if none of them had followed Thomas’s ideas they wouldn’t have survived or made their way out. It was very hard for me to put the book down because of how interesting it was and the suspense of every page in the book.

I could highly recommend this book to 12 to 18 years old and people who have a strong taste of sc-fi and adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can understand why the book series is continuing. I rate this book a 9 out of 10 because towards the end I found it to be a rushed finish.

Jake M., Year 8

June 6

‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard

‘Red Queen’, by Victoria Aveyard is a story of a girl called Mare.

This is a world which is divided by the colour of blood, red and silver. Mare is a red, which is a commoner, and they are ruled by silvers which possess superhuman-like powers.

Mare is retrieved one day from her old rundown home and is ordered to work for the silvers in the palace. While in a royal ceremony in front of all the important silvers, Mare displays superpowers only a true silver could withhold. ‘The little lightning girl’ then was to act as a long-lost silver princess, as the queen orders.

The story was told that she was raised as a red but was silver by blood. Some questioned but most believed this and she was named Princess Mareena. She was forced to betray her family and blood and every day her true colours were hidden behind lies and makeup.  Mare is forced to fight mental and physical battles, but the physical were the dangerous ones because if ever her skin was pierced and her real self was revealed, her life would be in jeopardy.

This novel would suit readers of any age and gender. This book is good for people who like the genre of science fiction but not over the top with aliens and out of this world creations, so it is a balanced story with real life relations.

This book was filled with action and excitement on every page, keeping me intrigued. You will enjoy this book if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Selection, Graceling, or Divergent as it is a blend of these books as stated by the author.

This book was a great read and I rate it five out of five stars.

Alisha M Year 8

June 6

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

“Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison.”

This futuristic thriller is set in and out of a prison called ‘Incarceron’. In the prison, there are different groups, with some members willing to die for freedom. Outside the prison, there is a frightening hierarchy that no one dares to question.

There are two main protagonists in this book, Finn and Claudia. Finn is a prisoner at Incarceron and is eager to escape. Claudia, however, is on the outside, but she is also stuck in her own kind of prison and is being forced into an arranged marriage. In an interesting twist, Claudia’s father is the Warden of Incarceron. Finn and Claudia both happen to find a ‘Crystal Key’ to communicate with each other. Together they plot an escape, which is not without its obstacles.

This novel has themes that are very relevant to a teenage audience, such as loyalty, trust, desire, and friendship. With a fast-paced plot that readers will find entertaining, the structure of Incarceron is simple and easy to understand. The characters are also multi-dimensional and surprisingly relatable. I also found the themes to be thought-provoking and clever. As a fan of novels with a dystopian edge, I found this to be one of the best steampunk stories I’ve ever read. Although it’s probably unfair to compare this novel to red hot page-turners like ‘The Hunger Games’, this book is right up there with some of the best dystopian novels on the shelves today. This was the first Catherine Fisher book I’ve come across, but it certainly will not be my last.

I would recommend this book to guys and girls over the age of 11, just because it takes a while to understand the storyline, and the themes may be too dark and mature for younger readers. This book is a must-read for those who enjoy high-tech, dystopian, steampunk, and sci-fi novels.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would rate it four out of five stars.

Cody C, Year 8

June 6

‘The Ropemaker’ by Peter Dickinson

“Nothing. Only you can hear what the cedars say. I can’t. And you know the way to the lake. Not me. And one day it’ll be you singing to the cedars, like Ma does. Not me.”  The Ropemaker (2.40).

Do you like novels that pull at your heart strings, tickle your funny bones and awake your inner sense of adventure? If you do, this book is a perfect read for you! “The Ropemaker,” by award winning author Peter Dickinson is a gripping novel with every page packed with mystery and a coming – of – age theme, through finding who you are. The Ropemaker is a Speculative Fiction / Science Fiction novel.

The Ropemaker is an unpredictable and unforgettable book with a complex storyline. It is a compelling and engaging story with a strong message for young readers, packed with depth, engaging challenges for sentimental characters from cover to cover. This is because main character Tilja, Urla’s daughter, did not inherit her mother’s power, but her sister Anja does. Tilja doubts her self-worth but doesn’t realise the power she has and its importance in the journey she will undertake.

The first setting we come to know is the Valley. It is a convincing environment that helps build the background of the characters. The Valley’s sense of a poorer, rural place scattered with farm land and nature’s beauty contrasts greatly to that of the hostile environment we grow to fear called the Empire. The ending is extremely satisfying as everything works out for the time being. Even though Tilja will eventually have to leave the farm to find her sister, everything ended in a peaceful manner for the time being. It was also a clever ending because who would have guessed that Tilja’s stubborn little horse, Calico would have played such an important role in the war between the Valley and Empire at the end?

The novel’s theme is the power within us and whether we use it for good or evil purposes. For example, the Empire and its security guards, individuals called “Watchers,” use their power for the evil bidding of the Emperor, and to harm anyone who uses their power in the Empire for any reason other than to profit the Emperor. He does this because he is evil and ambitious and doesn’t want any power greater than himself, thus the reasoning for the City of Death. This city is “warded” by Watchers because when you die in this book, your inner power is released. However, the inhabitants of the Valley like Tilja’s and another main character named Al’s family and their very significant descendants, use their powers to protect their fellow inhabitants of the Valley from war with the cruel Empire. When Tilja, Urla’s daughter, believes she has no power, she continues to doubt her self-worth, which is the message Peter Dickinson has expertly conveyed to young people through this novel.

Though I did thoroughly enjoy The Ropemaker, I found at times the writing too complicated and unclear, though I rate The Ropemaker 4/5.                                            

The highlight of the story was when Tilja discovered her true self and helped a character called Faheel bring down the Watchers. I believe this book is on the verge of being a fantasy novel so if you are looking for a futuristic completely Science Fiction novel, I would not recommend this for you. I do recommend this book for young adult readers who enjoy a range of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels with thrilling adventure that will keep you turning pages.

Ava H., Year 8

 

June 6

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

Imagine your home planet had been destroyed by aliens. You are living on earth still being chased by those aliens. Although you can leap buildings, run faster and punch harder than any human you can’t defeat them. Imagine you’re running away from them but no matter how fast you run you can still feel their breath on your neck, their hands reaching out for you. What do you do?

This is what the book ‘I am Number Four’ written by Pittacus Lore is all about. ‘I am Number Four’ has mystery around every corner and will keep the reader hooked.

It takes place mainly in Ohio and is seen through the eyes of John Smith, the fourth out of nine Lorien that have escaped their dying planet. They can only be killed in order, and the first three are already dead, killed by the Mogadorians who are responsible for killing Loric (the planet which John came from). Some other characters in the book are Henri Johns, John Smith’s guardian, Sam whom he befriends and Bernie Kosar. The Mogadorians track John to Ohio and bring a beast with them to kill John. A final battle breaks out that will decide the fate of the world.

The theme in the novel is good and evil. Many times in the book we see good go up against evil. The novel also tells the reader that even if you are different, people will help you.

In conclusion, I think that ‘I am number Four’ is a great book that has mystery, science fiction, aliens and good versus evil and will keep the reader hooked. This is a great book and one that I would highly recommend to read no matter how old or young you are.

Jack S., Year 8

…..

Aliens with super human powers flee to the earth but an evil one sees to it that they are sought out and the future of the Loric race hangs in the balance. This is the sci fi thriller by Pittacus Lore ‘I Am Number Four’. ‘I Am Number Four’ is an interesting book which follows the story of an alien boy called John Smith accompanied by his older, but loyal companion Henri, his protector. They transverse the asphalt of the USA running from a constantly lurking enemy.

‘I Am Number Four’ is a slow paced action suspense drama where any disaster could occur. The book engages the reader while keeping a very real and modern theme. This keeps the book believable and doesn’t turn into simply fantasy wandering into the impossible like many other sci-fi books like ‘War of The Worlds’ and ‘Divergent’. How the book develops and bonds the characters together is done well with memorable characters that feel realistic, especially Sam, a conspiracy theorist with a knack for aliens along with a very memorable and likeable personality. While the book does follow a decent storyline, its ending is quite generic. It may leave the reader disappointed, wanting something more interesting and different.

Throughout the story it addresses the theme several times about overcoming adversity while always remaining hopeful.  John saves his friends from a threat that destroyed his people. Hope is shown from the start to the end of the book and it leaves the reader with a morale of the story, that gives the book more of a memorial note.

To tie off the end of this review, the book contains a lack of original thoughts and plots.  It heavily suffers from a lack of quality and descriptive writing and the predictable plot fails to maintain the interest of the reader. On a good note the interactions and dialogue between the characters was done quite well, especially between Sam and John later in the plot. If you enjoyed books like the Percy Jackson series, you will likely also enjoy this sci-fi adventure which has an interesting but predictable plot.

In my total score rating, I scored ‘I Am Number Four’ 7/10. This book may only appeal to some readers more than others, so opinions may change between each individual.

Samuel P., Year 8

……

“IN THE BEGINNING THERE WERE NINE OF US. We left when we were young, almost too young to remember”.

“Almost”!

“I am told the ground shook, that the skies were full of light and explosions. We were in that two-week period of the year when both moons hang on opposite sides of the horizon. It was a time of celebration, and the explosions were at first mistaken for fireworks. They were not. It was warm, a soft wind blew in from off the water. I am always told about the weather: it was warm. There was a soft wind. I’ve never understood why that matters”.

This amazing Sci-fi thriller full of action about aliens with all kinds of superpowers has even been given a review by the Director of the Transformers, “Number Four is a hero for this generation.”

– Michael Bay.

The story is set in a world where aliens and intergalactic wars have been fought. This book is set in the country America. It is about the war on Lorian, the former home planet for a good alien race. With their whole population gone it is up to the nine Lorians left to protect their race. Number 4 is the alien that we see the most in the book. With his guardian Henri also from Lorian, they flee from city to city seeking safety from the alien race that destroyed their home planet, but that is difficult if you’re next in line to be slaughtered by the violent and evil aliens.

John Smith (AKA Number 4) is what was known as a Garde on Lorian. He can develop legacies (powers) that no other man or woman on earth can. He uses these abilities to kill the Mogadorians (the aliens that destroyed his race) to regain his freedom and live a normal life.

Henri on Lorian is called a Cepan (Guardian). They each are assigned a Garde. The Cepan train them on how to use their powers, and to teach them about their planet’s history.

I would recommend this book to people ranging from 10-23 years as it is a book more for mature audiences. The book involves lots of killing and a few violent sections that people under the age of ten may not like or be able to read, but is an amazing read because of the way the book was very carefully made so that it made me feel like it was actually real and it is a perfect example of a science fiction novel. I would also recommend I AM NUMBER 4 THE MOVIE also for people mainly between the age of 11-25 years as the same examples above apply for the movie as well. I give this book a rating of 5/5 stars.

– Jarome S., Year 8

June 6

‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ by John Marsden

“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”

Wirrawee, the setting in the book, is covered by large farmlands, a small amount of industry and well known town residents.

Ellie, the main character, is a caring innocent teen who wants to go on a camping trip to Tailors Stitch with her six friends during the school holidays for a week. They found Hell, as the locals call it, a secret campsite that’s unspoilt. It can be accessed by the Steps of Hell.

During a quiet, damp, cold shivering night, Ellie is woken by the loud growl of hundreds of jets flying by at a low height leaving her and her friends confused the following day. Not long after, they slowly walked back up Hell’s Steps to the Landrover to return home to what they thought was going to be a normal afternoon. They first arrived at Ellie’s house to find her dogs dead, no connection to any radio or power, which left them unable to call anyone. Wirrawee was a ghost town. Do you think the town has been over run and in conflict? Are they in War? Is the life of many people dependent on them? Will there be another living day for anyone?

Tomorrow When the War Began most certainly is one of the best books I have read. It’s the touching story of an overwhelming experience, romance, action and friendship, a story that made it hard for me to put the book down whilst sitting on the edge of my seat the whole way through. This book teaches you the meaning of friendship, and how important it can be for you and your friends to stay together in times like this.

This book is not gender specific. Anyone who reads the book will enjoy the adventures, the breathtaking moments that will keep you hooked. The suitable age for this book would be from twelve years of age to eighteen. If you have read John Marsden’s books you’ll find this similar. I rate Tomorrow When the War Began a definite 5 out of 5 because it has been written very maturely and was so enjoyable to read.

Lilly-Rose H., Year 8

June 6

‘Ship Breaker’ by Paolo Bacigalupi

Imagine you’re in a world divided in two. There are those who are rich who sail around the world in huge clippers trading spices and making more money, and there are others who live in shacks made of anything they can get their hands on, tearing apart ships for a living. 15-year-old Nailer is the shortest person on his light crew which gives him the job climbing through the power ducts collecting as much copper wire as he can.

Are you the kind of reader who is interested in action-packed sci-fi novels? If you are, this is the kind of book for you.

This book is set in a dystopian world on the Gulf Coast of New Orleans where oil is limited and uncommon and stripping beached oil tankers is a common sight for 15-year-old Nailer Lopez and his light crew who work hard and endless hours to make a quota, until a massive storm hits the coast. With Nailer only just surviving, he finds a clipper ground and untouched by anyone and its only survivor, a young girl, could be his ticket out of his job. He would never have to go in or out of an electrical duct again.

Overall I enjoyed this book ‘Ship Breaker’, because of its interesting and bizarre plot and with its mysterious characters. I recommend this book for people who enjoy dystopian stories and are aged 10 – 15. I would rate this book 5 stars.

Seth O., Year 8

…..

“Killing isn’t free. It takes something out of you every time you do it. You get their life; they get a piece of your soul. It’s always a trade.”

Nailer is running out of time. He is getting too big for his work. Once he is sent off the crew he will be on his own, left with his drug driven, violent father in a beach shack with no food or supplies. One day a deadly hurricane hits the coast killing three of Nailer’s crew, but did this hurricane also wash up the “lucky strike” he was wishing for?

The novel is set in a dystopian future on the Gulf Coast of New Orleans, stripping old, rusty oil tanks that leak all over the beach. Nailer Lopez at the age of 15, and the rest of his crew, work long, hard hours to make quota and stay alive. Nailer and his crew struggle to survive off the tiny wage of pay and forever-lasting hours of work.

Since Nailer is small, he works in a dangerous environment, stripping copper wire from the old, ruined ship vents. Nailer knows he will soon be too big for his job and his only hope for survival is hitting a lucky strike.

A disastrous hurricane strikes and leads him to an unknown clipper ship, which has on board a young, rich girl. Nailer has two extremely hard decisions: should he proceed to live a bland, boring life, stripping ships, or should he take the biggest risk of his life and save the strange girl (Nita), to live an adventurous and wealthy life?

The novel “Ship Breaker” is an awesome read! The strange characters and amazing plot is what caught my eye. The suspicion kept carrying on page by page which is why I just could not stop reading.

This is definitely the most eye-opening novel I’ve read yet! If you’re into a book packed with action, quirkiness and darkness, this is most definitely a book that your heart will treasure.

I definitely recommend this book for teenagers (aged 13-18) who show interest in Science Fiction and strange, dystopian novels. This is one of my favourite books yet!

– Jay W, Year 8.

…..

‘Ship Breaker’ is an amazing Sci-Fi yet romantic book. It also has a lot of adventures and troubles along the way.

This Sci-Fi fiction book is about Nailer, his crew and drug addicted Dad, going on a big adventure on Nailer’s boat. On their trip Nailer leaves his violent, drug driven dad on a beach with absolutely no food or water and he had to figure a way to live.

If you love Sci-Fi and love action packed adventures and problems, then ‘Ship Breaker’ is the perfect book for you. It includes amazing things that nearly everyone could possibly like! ‘Ship Breaker’ is also about romance, loyalty, braveness and more. In the book the characters are very brave and smart because they do quite a few difficult things along their journey around the world.

I really enjoyed the book ‘Ship Breaker’. It’s really a good book about all kinds of themes, moods and set in different places, although it’s not my type of book.

I would recommend ‘Ship Breaker’ to people who absolutely love books set in different places, with variable themes and mood changing chapters. I would recommend it to readers over 10 years of age.

Kayla J, Yr 8

……

‘Ship breaker’ is a book that is action packed Sci-fi. Somewhat romantic, and mysterious, this book is also to do with engineering and craft ship.

A good quote from ‘Ship breaker’ would be “I’m a chess piece. A pawn,’ she said. ‘I can be sacrificed, but I cannot be captured. To be captured would be the end of the game.” This quote signifies that Nailer never gives up and he is determined to win the ‘game’.

This book is set one hundred years from now and trouble is happening with the ice. It is a very gripping and suspenseful book as in some parts of the book it makes your heart beat a little faster.

This novel is set one hundred years from now when the ice is melting, oil is scarce and work is tough. The 15-year-old boy Nailer and his crew work hard hours from day to day, willing themselves to live another day. Nailer is getting too big for his work as a copper stripper who works on wrecked ships, but he doesn’t want to let his friends down as he knows if he stops his work he and his crew will be struggling to survive. Later on in the story, Nailer finds a young and wealthy girl that was the only survivor from a terrible hurricane that happened to a ship. He is torn apart as to which road he should take, whether it is to go with the girl or to stick with his crew and help them survive.

‘Ship Breaker’ is very interesting and in some places gripping and suspenseful. This book was really good because of its plot, having mysterious characters and its brilliant way of describing the experiences the characters are having. The book has a confusing but exciting start because you can’t really tell where it is going until the characters start to get involved. During the middle of the book it was so gripping that I didn’t want to put it down because there was something that made your heart race from page to page. It is a really good book for readers around 12-15 because it involves romance, suspense, thrill, survival and family.

In conclusion, this book was amazing and a really good experience to read. I recommend people to read it from the ages of 12-15 who are interested in a mysterious book that can take them places they thought they would never go. I rate this book a Four out of Five stars.

Olivia H., Year 8