Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category
I really enjoyed the book Moirai, which is the sequal to Aberrant. It’s got a fair amount of everything a good book needs … suspense, humor and a down-to-Earth attitude. AND I love the end … it’s got a big cliffhanger (but we will get to that later).
At the beginning, Olivia gets “attacked” by her mentor in an attempt to train her against sneak attacks. Her mentor tells her that Chancellor Collins has called a meeting. At the meeting, Olivia discovers that another rebel city has been attacked by fighter planes. What happens next is Olivia and her “frenemy” Cate are being sent to it in the morning to look for survivors. They meet Adelaide, a little girl and two other adults.
Olivia and Josh (her fiance) take Adelaide in and treat her as their own. Sadly, this new family is short-lived when they discover one of the two adults is Adelaide’s Aunt. And, of course, Adelaide and her Aunt return to their family. At first Olivia is sad, but then Olivia becomes distracted on a new mission when she is sent to a another rebel city. Here she is helping to look for a cure for infertile women. Why is this important, because the cure for the ”Red Plague” made women infertile – thus, there was a threat to the human population. While there, she discovers that not only is her father is alive BUT he is married to another woman. Olivia is so mad, she won’t even look at her father (and to be honest, I don’t blame her). Next Olivia helps a woman deliver baby by using a new hormone supplement .
Olivia is next sent to Genesis, her hometown. Here, she infiltrates the government by going to the Governor’s house as a slave. That was until the Rebels came back and attacked the city. Since Joshua arrived with the other Rebel attackers, they head for home and Joshua surprises Olivia with a wedding ceremony (romantic, right)!
However, the former Governor of the city the Rebels totally annihilated and takes Joshua. [See, I told you it was a cliffhanger!] I look forward to reading what will happen next …
I recently read Aberrant by Ruth Silver. I really enjoyed the book, for several reasons. To me the book was about breaking free from the regulations and rules AND being yourself. The book starts out in an era where there is only one way to do things and, if you do it a different way, your are considered an “outsider.”
Our main character in Aberrant is Olivia. She is a “normal” girl who lives in a house with the same floor plan as every one else in the city except the Governor, because of government regulations. She has same style clothes as every one else, because of government regulation and although everything else seems normal, to her it does not. She is in a forbidden relationship with a boy (Joshua) and her usually “open-book” mother is acting oddly quiet and reclusive. But, since Olivia is 18, she must marry someone the government choses. Because, you guessed it, the government regulates everything and everyone. Anyone who defies the government is sent to the gravelands, a hostile land outside the city (where living is next to impossible). She is escorted to the ceremony in her government issued white dress. The ceremony begins … the girls sit on one side of the stage and the boys on the opposite side with Governor Craynor in the middle.
One thing I noticed that, throughout the story that Olivia had a strong dislike top Governor Craynor. When she talked about him, it made him seem like an aristocrat and a good for nothing jerk. [So there may be a back story we don't know about quite yet.] Ok, back to the story.
As the teens sat on the stage, their names get called and paired with someone on the opposite side of the stage. Finally, Olivia’s name is called and she is happily paired with Joshua. They proceed with the ceremony which includes doing a combination of exchanging vows and doing a quick dance number, and Olivia and Joshua head to their new home.
Olivia’s mother comes over and asks Olive to leave the door to her house unlocked because she has something important to tell Olive. Now, she thinks this is odd because Olivia’s mother is usually very open. But as Joshua and Olivia go to bed the Police come and arrest Olivia for unknown reasons. During the night, Joshua and his mother show up and bust Olivia out of the jail and lead her to a set of tunnels that will take her to a city in the gravelands (so it turns out that Joshua’s family is not as normal as we thought either ) and they begin their trek to the mysterious city …
On the way to the city, Joshua reveals that he found Olivia’s Dad’s secret diary in her cellar when he was getting supplies for the trip. Then Olivia discovers that she was a regular born child, not like the children who are made in “breeding camps” and sold in the lottery. Once they arrive in the city, they meet the “High Council.” It is there that they learn that Olivia will be required to mate with another person for several years to show their loyalty to the Counsel. This is heartbreaking to the young couple. Soon they flee to a nearby city.
I really enjoyed the individualism of Olivia in the book because she really showed that she is no girl to mess with and she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.
Today, we thought that we would do something a bit different to memorialize the end of the summer break … yes, we start school on Monday (but I will save that for another blog)! So, we decided to wonder around South Congress (in Austin). Our first stop was a we went to Big Top Candy Shop … because I am like an other tween, I happen to LOVE candy. My Mom said that both my sister and I can pick one thing. We spent quite a while looking around. I had a hard time deciding between the 1 pound Sugar daddy, a HUGE gummy bear, and a stick of gum that was a full yard long, I was a “kid in a candy store” – ha ha ha!
As we were continuing our “adventure”, I saw this on the side of South Congress Book store. And, how appropriate is that for me?! I think the deers’ heads are big because they’re taking in knowledge and the bats stand for Austin (because the bat population is huge).
For lunch, we stopped by Home Slice (the logo is below). I really like the moustache because it kinda reminds me of Mario (from the video game). While we were waiting for our pizza they brought us these balls of pizza dough (I think it was to keep the “little kids” entertained and I did not want to make my sister feel bad so I played as well). I had a HUGE slice of sausage pizza with extra garlic. It was tasty. They also had these really cool t-shirts but they did not have one small enough for me.
We saw this sign beside the Hey Cupcake food trailer. I think this goes for those people who are always negative. (I probably should try to do this more!)
Does anybody get this picture? My Mom did not and I had to explain it to her! There is a song by The Beatles called “Lucy in the Sky.” They owners of this costume shop were making a pun/joke. I happen to really like the Zebra’s dress.
And, of course, this is the State of Texas capital building. I thing it is very pretty and I happen to like the pink color/tint of the building.
That was the little “adventure” that we did today. We had a really good time and look forward to doing more exploring soon.
Recently, a friend loaned me a book to read. Actually, she loaned me three books to read (all combined into one) which include the Fallen, the Stolen, and the Chosen. Combined, they make the 9 Lives of Chloe King Trilogy. Instead of rushing and trying to squeeze all three books into one post. I will start with the Fallen (Book 1). Here we have a big mix of supernatural stuff and a boat load of confusion (for Chloe).
The story starts off with Chloe falling 200 feet from the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Of course, Chloe should have died, but miraculously she survived. From this point forward, strange things begin happening to Chloe. She now has claws and she can see in the dark really well. Soon after, a boy from her school (Aleyc) confronts her and tells her she is one of an ancient race with “cat-goddess” given gifts. Aleyc is also one. Aleyc takes Chloe to Firebird Real Estate Headquarters, which is really a front for the ancient race (Mai) headquarters. [So, right now the book is kinda James Bondish.]
Upon getting to Firebird, Chloe meets Sergei, the Mai’s Leader. Sergei teaches Chloe the “dos and don’ts” of a Mai. She also discovers the “Pros and Cons” of being a Mai. The “Pros” are: claws, night vision eyes, and flexibility. The “Cons” are being hunted by a psychotic group called the 10th Blade. The 10th Blade believe the Mais are a disgrace to the Gods. Can you guess what happens next … you guessed right - Chloe was attacked by a psychotic 10th Blader. Who, after the fight, falls off the Golden Gate Bridge.
I felt the moral of Book 1 is that against all odds, you will fight for the one you love and stop at nothing to prevail. This Book had a lot of good detailing and it was easy to picture all of the action as it was happening. One thing that I didn’t like about this Book was the ending. I felt the ending was a bit too much of a cliffhanger (trying to figure out what Chloe will do next); however, I only had to turn a few pages and was able to start Book 2!
This book, Remarkable, is about finding your special gift. I found this to be a down-to-Earth book about life. Here we have Jane Doe, an “orindary” girl who lives in a town called Remarkable. In Remarkable, everyone is really good at something … it would seem, everyone but Jane. For example, Jane’s brother is an artist, her sister is a genius at math and her Mother is a famous architect.
Over the course of one day, Jane has dinner with a pirate and learns that Remarkable’s very own Ysquibel (a famous musician/composer) is missing and that her Grandpa is best friends with a monster, named Lucky. It is rumored that Lucky is bigger than the Lochness Monster and that he has a weakness for beautiful music which is a problem because the town is building a bell tower to play Ysquibel’s music. This creates a problem because if Lucky is exposed then the town’s monster hunters will hunt him. which is because the town is building a bell tower that will play Ysquibel’s most beautiful composition; Which would bring Lucky out of the water and bring monster hunters from around the country to try to get him.
In the span of little time, we meet evil twins who nearly destroy the town by building a machine to control the weather. Jane’s Grandpa is charged because he stole the ropes from the bell tower to save Lucky. We finally also learn that the good-mannered pirate and the composer are one and the same. Jane learns that she is a good-people person and that everyone likes her because she sees the good in all things and everyone.
I enjoyed this book and it makes you think about never underestimating yourself. Everyone is good at something, you just have to figure out what it is. It is also important to try new things so that you can find a variety of things to do well and learn, without selling yourself short.
I recently read Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris. This is a semi sweet novel which emphasizes that love will always find a way. I also liked that twists and turns were added to a normal fairy tale plot.
We have Christian, a slightly odd inventor. For starters, he lives with his foster-father, a troll. He lives in a cave along with his two dogs. Did I mention that the dogs can”sing”. One day he finds a telescope near his home. Upon figuring out how to use it, he spies on the princess of the kingdom, Marigold. He falls in love with her. He decides that he will work as a servant in the castle so that he can be closer to her.
Let me introduce, two of Marigold’s suitors – Prince Cyprain and Sir Magnus. Sir Magnus is pretty much a ”normal” guy with the Sir title in front of his name. Characteristics which would describe Sir Magnus could be wimpy and useless guy. Prince Cyprain, on the other hand, has to be in the center of attention. Marigold realizes these gentlemen are not for her plans to reject them.
One day, while cleaning the Queen’s chambers, Christian overhears the Queen plotting to eliminate Marigold and Marigold’s father so she can have the throne all to herself. Christian rushes to tell Marigold but is too late the queen just announced that Marigold and Sir Magnus are engaged!! Marigold is outraged at first. However, she gets over it as she realizes that if she marries Sir Magnus, she will get to stay with her Father.
Christian discover that he is a prince. This happens when one of the guards calls him a murderer … because the necklace that he has had since his childhood is the royal crest and only the royals in that kingdom can wear it. So on the day of the wedding, Christian crashes it and announces the he is a Prince and marries Marigold. I enjoyed this book because Jean Ferris really made a good book with a tablespoon of ingenuity. That’s what people want in a book.
I recently read this book called Origin by Jessica Khory. This book is about NOT being perfect and letting your heart lead your life instead of rules. It is really interesting … this girl is used to being called perfect. However, in reality no one is ever perfect … even though they seem to be.
Pia is a perfect immortal hidden in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. She lives with her family (Scientists who are mostly aunts and uncles). They have always called her perfect and demand a lot from her. They expect her to start a whole race of immortals – which is not an easy job. One day while Pia and her Uncle Paolo were doing an experiment on a bird using one of her Uncle’s serum the bird dies. At that moment, something in Pia snaps and she decides to rebel.
Pia finds a hole in the fence which surrounds the camp and goes though it. She soon meets Eio. He is a boy from the neighboring tribe of Ai’oans. They instantly fall in love and Eio takes Pia to his tribe’s camp. The tribe’s Shaman comes out to meet Pia and announces that she is the Kapukiri, the person who is destined to save the tribe from the Scientists.
Pia easily finds the weakness in the Scientist camp - the fence. It looks really strong but is actually really weak. Pia, Eio, and the tribe raid the Scientist camp and win but they do not kill the scientists. The Scientists come after Pia. To make sure they don’t make another immortal she drinks Elysia (the very essence that can destroy her immortality). Pia dies as an immortal BUT awakens as a mortal! Pia and Eio can live together FOREVER … untill they pass, of course!
I liked the torn feelings Pia has. She had to decide between love or the path the Scientists made for her. I am happy she chose Eio over the Scientists!!!
To Catch a Mermaid by Suzanne Selfors was a book that just about anyone could savor. It was a book which contained a bit of humor, a bit of mystery, with a bit of fantasy weaved in there. Ms. Selfors created a book about self-discovery and the feeling that comes from achieving a seemingly unreachable goal.
Boom Broom thinks his life can’t get any worse. The nightmare all began for him when his mother was swept away by a twister and his father locked himself in the attic, leaving Boom to care for his little sister Mertyle (who has acted out every possible sickness including spots, the common cold and even brain farts). She did all of that just to avoid school. Low on money, Boom brings home a feisty, seaweed covered fish home which had been reject seafood market but when Boom puts it on the table, he and Mertyle find that it’s actually a living, breathing, foul-tempered merbaby.
Boom wants to use the creature to get rich, but Mertyle won’t hear of it. She loves the mud-scented baby and wants to keep to herself. But when strange things began to happen … one of those being Mertyle begins to grow a white fuzz all over her arms and legs … they realize that may not be possible. The siblings soon rely on their viking housekeeper, Halvor and his secret society to navigate them to an almost unknown island where the fisherman probably caught the merbaby. By the time they get to the island, tt is midnight and they quickly fall asleep. While they were all asleep the mother of the merbaby comes and takes away the fuzz on Mertyle . The group then returns home and Boom and Mertyle’s father decides comes out of the attic and they all go on happy.
I enjoyed the book because Ms. Selfors made it so that you couldn’t tell what happened next. I also enjoyed how the author used the humor in the story to her advantage because right during a sad part of the story she used humor to enlighten the story.
The moral of the story is that if you can find the will to do anything you can do anything. Boom made a fantastic demonstration of that when he found the will to save his sister to care for his sister/family when he was still a child himself. This week, I am going to find one selfless act and do it – I don’t know what it is yet but I will do it!
Kat, Incorrigible was a good book … if it were food it would have been chocolate cake under a dark chocolate fountain (I am not the biggest fan of dark chocolate but I am of chocolate cake!)
Picture this - its nineteenth centry in England it is the ages of big dresses and every girl MUST be proper and presentable. This is not the time to be practicing witchcraft or magic. But that is what Kat must do if she is to help her family. Her older brother gambled them into a huge debt and her family has seemed to lost hope and is very unhappy. Kat thinks the only way to help the family is to use her magic; unfortunately, her stepmother has other plans. Her stepmother believes that if Kat’s older sister is to marry the mysterious Sir Neville (who murdered his last wife) it will fix all of the family’s problems. After hearing this, Kat is determined to make sure that her sister won’t have to married to Sir Neville.
Fortunately, Kat gets her chance almost immediately. It happens when Kat’s stepmother’s cousin is hosting a ball and Sir Neville is attending and she uses this to her advantage. Kat is going to attend the ball. On the first dance, Kat accidentally rips a woman’s dress by stepping on the hem. Kat soon discovers that Sir Neville has some magical powers of his own (which he got his from his late-wife). As soon as she find out about this it dawns on her Sir Neville will take her sister’s powers. Kat confronts Sir Neville, his plot is uncovered, they battle and, of course, Kat wins. She and her family live happily ever after.
I enjoyed the book because it has a bit of magic and the happily ever after. I also liked how Author Burgis used a bit of modern thinking … if I had an older sister I would probably try to save her. Some dislikes I had were that the Author used some words that I didn’t know off the top of my head (such as a “reticule”…. which I now know that I do with my little sister). Another was that once or twice the story felt as if it was moving way to fast and I had to stop and take a breath.
The moral is that you sometimes have to take in guidance because in the beginning of the story Kat always hated for people to even try to give her guidance but in the end she was almost always ready to take in guidance and since she realized the more she took in the wiser she got. I may need to practice that too.
I thought this was a spectacular book caught somewhere between “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Twelve Darling Princesses”. The Princess Curse was full of mystery and tricks which left me taking the book anywhere my parents allowed (and also getting up in the middle of the night to read)!
The book is about Reveka, a herbalist apprentice. It is her dream to become a kingdom known as herbalists but she is very poor. Once day, she gets an idea…she hears that the princesses in her kingdom are suffering from a puzzling curse and there is a HUGE reward…if she can solve/cure the princesses she would have enough money to become a master herbalist. While on her mission, Reveka meets Dindina, a worker at the palace who givers her a paper holding the ingredients that create invisibility to anyone wo wears the cape (so you know, of course, Reveka creates this cape).
One night, Reveka follows the princesses in the land of Thonos where they dance with a zema (a dragon). It is there and then that her father is taken prisoner and Reveka knows that she would do anything asked of her to make sure he was safe. She is told she has to eat five pomegranate seeds and say that she will return to Thonos to stay.
I really enjoyed this book. I admit it, I LOVE fairy tales because anything can happen. I also happen to really enjoy reading about mythology and this book had a bit of that (Thonos is part of the underworld). The origin of myths date back to the Greeks and Romans who assumed dead souls are guided by Hermes, God of Trickery)…and that is where the princess go. I believe the moral of The Princess Curse is that we need to be able to sacrifice yourself for the good of the greater others. Here Reveka sacrified herself to save the princesses and her father. Makes you wonder … what it would take for you to do that?!?