Archive for the ‘Mystery’ Category
One of the reasons I enjoyed Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu was that it reminds me of the The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan…which is one of my favorites. The theme “Thing are not always as it seems,” is also an attribute that I like. When things are not as they seem, that leads to questions and causes you to think and be creative.
When we enter the story, we meet Charlotte Mielswetzski. She is a redhead with a very negative attitude. She is walking home from school on a normal day and comes across a cute little kitten. Well, you know what happens when you see a kitten, you instantly falls in love with it! I guess the kitten felt the same way because the kitten followed her and howled until Charlotte picked him/her up (we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl yet). At first Charlotte’s parents are appalled. Then an offer is made, if she is polite to her Cousin Zee, she can keep the kitten. She names her Bartholomew (it is a girl) … with the nickname being “Mew”.
Zee is a soccer star at Exter, a school for boys and girls, although most of the time the boys and girls are separated. One day, all of a sudden most of the school falls ill. The people do not look ill, there is nothing physically wrong with them; however, they are shadows of their former selves. Zee tries to tell Charlotte what has happened and they both agree to talk to their Language Arts teacher Mr. Metos - who is a greek history fanatic. The girls talk with him an discover that he is a son of Prometheus (the ancient God that protects man). He says the kids are getting sick because an evil demigod (half mortal half god) named Philonecron has been using the kids’ shadows to create an army to overthrow Hades (God of the dead), so he can be the king of the Underworld. The missing shadows are what is making all the kids weak.
So, Zee and Charlotte go to the Under World and discover that Philonecron (Phil) can’t touch the ground or else he will be incarcerate (because he was banished). So, what do they do … they push him to the ground! This releases all of the shadows so all the kids can get better.
I enjoyed this book because of the suspense it makes you want to read more. I also liked the verbage Mrs.Ursu used because it painted a visually stunning world .
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!!!
An analogy I would use to describe Wilma Tenderfoot and the Case of the Frozen Hearts would be similar to putting chocolate on celery. Chocolate is a “food” that most people like but celery is an acquired taste. This book had some really hilarious parts but there were also some really gory sections.
Wilma is a determined and enthusiastic 11 year-old orphan at the Cooper Island School for Woeful Children (a/k/a an Orphanage). Wilma, unlike other children, can’t wait to get out and become a detective so that she can find out who her parents were. Soon Wilma is “bought” as a maid by a mysterious mistress … little does she know that her life is about to drastically change.
One day while running an errand for her mistress, Wilma’s hero (Detective Theodore) is having an argument with Inspector Lemone. The argument is about the Katzin Stone (a newly discovered artifact). The owners of the Stone are found dead with sprigs of lavender in their hands and the Stone is missing. Wilma asks to help out but, of course, the answer is “NO!” Does Wilma listen to them – no and she follows them to the museum. When she arrives at the museum, she finds forged sugar which is an attempt to look the Stone. This clue leads the sleuths to the only Forger on island. Upon arriving at the home of the Forger, they find another body!
While Detective Theodore searches the body, he finds an unusual dart lodged into the body of the Forger. The Detective sends for the museum Curator who specializes in antique weapons. The Curator brings his dog to the crime scene but that only complicates things more … the dog eats the dart right out of the Curator’s hand.
The next day Wilma, Inspector Lemone and Detective Theodore go to the lab and determined several things. First, the lavender had knock out gas in and; next, the hearts of the owners of the Stone were frozen solid. There was only one person that had access to a freezer large enough to put two human bodies in it … the Curator. The Curator wanted the Stone for himself! We learn that the Curator paid the Forger to make the fake Stone. He then killed the Forger with the dart and put corn kernels in his hand so that his dog would attempt to eat the only evidence. The Curator took the real Stone and put it as decoration on the end of his cane. The Detective is sooo impressed with Wilma’s maturity and skills that he grants her an apprenticeship.
Ms. Kennedy used such detail and descriptions that in my mind I could see the story unfolding very easily. I enjoyed this book because Wilma showed determination and continued working toward what she believed in. I believe the moral of the book is that people may try to stop you but you should always do the right thing. It is not always the easiest thing to do but we all should try it!
Gilda Joyce: Pyschic Investigator was another good book. Ms. Allison seemed to add her own twist to this mystery novel. It almost appeared that events were happening to our main character and she was not even sleuthing! Since almost any thing can happen in life, I was left to my own devices and trying to guess what was going to happen next…and I was wrong on more than one occasion. For a brief minute, I got bummed but that quickly passed.
In this book, Gilda Joyce is a 13-year-old who spies on many people (including her neighbors)! One day she receives a letter from a distant relatives (an uncle) who invites Gilda to come spend a few weeks with him and his daughter (Juliet). As soon as she arrives, Gilda realizes that her Uncle’s house is quite gloomy, almost as if a weight of regret is holding down the house. At first Gilda and Juliet did not get along well but as they get to know each other it got much easier. Juliet soon reveals that the “weight” holding down the family was that Juliet’s Aunt Melanie jumped out of the large tower in the backyard. Of course, Gilda decides she is going to “solve” this mystery.
After a bit of investigating Gilda discovers a few things. Aunt Melanie ”fell out” of the window the night before she was supposed to go to a retirement home … Aunt Melanie was going into the retirement home because she had a mental problem. Gilda continues to find out more information because Juliet speaks in her sleep and one night Juliet said that when the angel talks that is when the door will open on the tower. Juliet and Gilda go investigating and find a key in the mouth of the angel in the backyard. They open the door to the tower and discover that Aunt Melanie painted all over the inside of the tower. It is through the Aunt Melanie’s painting that we learn that she was sooo unhappy about being sent away that she threw her self out the window. She did not realize that her brother (Gilda’s Uncle) was sending her away because he loved her…she just thought that her brother was trying to get rid of her. That is the close to the mystery. Gilda goes home a few days later, but her mystery solving career has just began.
The author made this book very easy to understand (yet you did not feel as if the author was talking down to you). Ms. Allison also impressed me by using so many descriptive words that a picture of each scene was painted din my mind (kind of as Aunt Melanie painted the tower). This book also had quite a bit of humor in it.
The moral is that anything can be discovered by hard work. It is through hard work, that just about anything can be accomplished.
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?!?
The Lost Hero was an amazing book that was like pop rocks – unexpected pops when you read every scrupulous word. Some thing I liked about the book was that Mr. Riordan used modern thinking rather than what you would probably in greek mythology. Another reason I liked the book was that I didn’t have to look up the definition or description of the god or goddess because they explained it without making it too obvious so it was not like a mini dictionary. The only aspect I was not thrilled about in this book was that it was a little speedy at points in the story.
The Lost Hero is about a boy named Jason who wakes up on bus not knowing who he was! Apparently, he had a girlfriend named Piper and a buddy named Leo. Piper and Leo say they have known Jason for years but he thinks he just met them. Since Jason doesn’t know who he is Leo and Piper fill Jason in. They go to Wilderness School for “bad kids”, they are going to a museum to study an exact replica of the Grand Canyon.
While on the “Grand Canyon” a venti or storm spirit attacks Leo, Piper and Jason. Jason attacks the storm spirit as if he had been in battle before. Annabeth (a consoler from camp) (who is also a half-blood) comes to take them to camp half-blood. When they get to camp, Annabeth tells them that they are demi-gods or people who has 1 parent who is a god and the other one is a mortal.When you find out who your god parent is the god or goddess an action or symbol will be done on the demigod. For Leo, a fire burst upon his head, for Piper her old clothes were replaced for new clothes, and last but not least, Jason had a wrath of lightning on his head. Which means, Leo’s father is Pephaestus, Piper’s Mother is Aphrodite, and Jason’s father is Zeus, the Kind of the Gods.
Later at a campfire meeting, the trio find out about a prophecy and they fit in the descriptions. They are then given a quest which is to locate the Goddess Hera who is trapped by Gaea, who is “Mother Earth”. Gaea wants to raise some of her kids, the giants, to be exact but the worst part of the prophecy is that if Gaea wakes the world will be demolished. so once the trio pack all of their supplies they are off to save the world.
While on his journey, Jason gets some of his memories back. He remembers he has a lost sister named Thalia who thought he was dead and his mother was driven mad by his father’s visits. They eventually find Hera but at the same time they also learn that the giants are about to be reborn. Piper then uses her charmsspeak to make the cage holding Hera disintegrate … but not in time … the giants are reborn. After the giants were unleashed, Hera uses her energy to try to vaporize them (the giants) but they get and are on the way to Greece to destroy Mt. Olympus…yes, there will be a sequel. It is due to be released VERY soon!
The book had an awesome moral. The moral is that you need to gather all clues and information before you rush to judge someone. If you blame people unjustly then they might be offended so if you ever get blamed they would probably say ”I told you so.” I probably need to work on that myself because a blame my sister and my mom little bit.
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester was an easy read for me…a bit t0o easy (my Mom picked this out to “give me variety”). The words in this book were very simple; however, the book seemed to lack the amount of detail that I am used to and like.
In this story we have Owen who has a pet frog named Tooley. Tooley as a big red heart between his two eyes. One day, Owen hears a big “bang” behind the house (by the train tracks). The following day, he notices that Tooley’s colors are fading, his skin is not as green and the heart is a lighter shade of red. He calls his friends and the boys make a cage for the frog so that they can put him safely in the pond. Once Tooley was back in the water, Owen decides to let Tooley free.
Next, the boys go to investigate what the big “bang” was and they find a submarine. After a lot of thought, Owen and his friends come up with a plan to get the submarine to the pond (the same pond where Tooley is). They lay pipes on the ground, use bungee cords to attach the sub to the pipes and roll it to the water. Once at the pond, Owen takes the first ride in the submarine. He spends time wondering around looking for his pet frog. When he finds Tooley, the frog presses up against the window – as if they are communicating. When he returns to the surface, Owen finds a bunch of angry people there (including his parents and the owners of the submarine). The boys become famous for a short period of time (they are interviewed by several reporters) before everything returns to normal. Some time passes, and one night Owen hears something outside of his bedroom window. He goes to check and finds Tooley there.
The moral of this book is that you can do anything you set your mind to. The boys initially thought they would not be able to move submarine to the pond but after a bit of thought and work, they accomplished what they wanted to. I think this could be very helpful for me as I am getting ready to go back to school … fifth grade!