Neal Shusterman: Unwind

Unwind is a futuristic thriller where teens in between the age of thirteen and eighteen can be “unwound”. During the process the teens organs and body parts are transferred to different donors so life never technically ends.

I found this book to be very suspenseful and it had a couple of unexpected plot twists that I really enjoyed. While reading Unwind I thought that the plot was very unique and was unlike any other book that I have ever read. I also liked the way that the author developed the characters and how likeable they were. This book was not as action-packed as some books but the plot turns and the suspense helped make it one of the more interesting and enjoyable books I have read. If you like interesting characters and plenty of surprises, I would recommend this book. 

Read More

Sharon Cameron: Rook

Years in the future, the honeycomb of tunnels, quarries and catacombs underneath Paris have slowly collapsed, creating the Upper and Lower Cities. The rich live upon the ridges of the Upper, while the poor scramble for existence in the Lower. The class tensions have resulted in a horrible repetition of the French Reign of Terror.

But history repeats itself in more ways than one. Taking a page from the French Revolutionary adventure The Scarlet Pimpernel, (both figuratively and literally, because a few pages of the tale are all that have survived) a new hero has stepped in. The Red Rook leaves a scarlet-tipped feather behind each time an innocent victim is spirited away from the Sunken City.

When one of the Rook’s lieutenants is mistakenly arrested in place of his leader, it starts a timer on a keg of gunpowder (again, both figuratively and literally) in the heart of the Sunken City.

Booksellers dream of loving a book as much as I love this one. It combines my obsessions with history, dystopia, adventure and romance, plus it has a relationship with one of my favourite tales from years before.

See the book trailer:

Read More

Nicola Upson: The Death of Lucy Kyte

Lovely prose and subtle plotting makes this a mystery reader’s delight.

When Josephine Tey inherits a Suffolk cottage, she learns some unsettling details about the circumstances of her godmother’s death. She also digs up some dark secrets about a real-life murder that took place on the property years earlier. Upson lays out the suspicious events gradually, but readers are rewarded for their patience with a terrifically terrifying ending.

Read More

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

This is our first review from our new honourary Owl, Jack B.  Jack is in Grade Six, is a member of Senior Owlets and has graciously agreed to review books for the store.  

This story is about a thirteen year old boy named Steven who loves to play the drums and has a crush on the hottest girl in school. The story starts with Steven’s annoying younger brother Jeffery falling seriously ill, leaving Steven to deal with the family crisis.

This is a book that will make you laugh and also cry. This book explores the challenges of adolescence, the relationship with ones parents, and the bond between siblings. I liked the main character because I saw him as a role model and even though he didn’t have a ton of friends and wasn’t getting enough attention from his father he still stood by his brother.

Anyone who enjoys realistic fiction will really love this book.   I know I did, having read it in two sittings. One being the first five pages and the second being the rest of the book!   

Read More

The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I've long been recommending The Inheiritance Trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen, and I'm pleased to find that her new series The Praetor War is starting out with similarly strong writing and characters.  

The Mark of the Thief will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson, as it brings together Roman history and Nielsen's own brand of magic.  Our hero, Nic, is a Roman slave working in the mines outside of Rome.  When a cave rumoured to contain the treasure of Julius Caesar is unsealed, Nic finds himself in possession of two things: Caesar's bulla, an amulet given to the emperor by the Gods, and a new mark on his shoulder, that of the Divine Star.  Both contain magic that many Romans would kill for.  

Incoporating both the beauty and the brutality of Ancient Rome, The Mark of the Thief is an adventurous tale and a fine follow-up to The Inheritance Trilogy.  Highly recommended for all, but particularly for kids aged 10 to 14.  

Read More