So now that Adult Coloring Books are a thing, the scifi genre has to participate in the fad too. This training manual for fighting a variety of undead, is displayed in a fun coloring/activity book. Vampire fans will enjoy the humor. And the images are mostly violent, so it’s definitely for adults. The book is 64 pages of hunting, training, and explanations of the best weapons to fight certain undead. If you enjoy (or used to enjoy) the quiet pastime of coloring, humor, and hunting the undead – you may want to check this out.
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld
Don’t call them heroes.
But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart.
Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.
Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the recue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. At the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.
Ethan/Scam can talk his way out of almost anything, until the voice in his head gets him in serious trouble. The Zeroes must come together to help him escape a police interview. But the rescue gets out of hand and dangerous criminals escape and innocents are hurt.
The Zeroes include super-powered teens who have a variety of unique powers, some more of a curse than an ability one would covet. At times the teens seem younger than their ages, but they’re all kids with good hearts who just don’t always make the best choices. Full of suspense, intrigue, and mystery – this is a highly entertaining start to a fun, new series for Young Adults.
The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven Written by Brandon Mull and Illustrations by Brandon Dorman
The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven is the first visual discovery of the creatures in the series and is written as if the reader is the new caretaker of the Fablehaven preserve. It has all sorts of insider’s knowledge the new caretaker of Fablehaven would have to know, such as dragon tears are very powerful in making potions but they are extremely difficult to come by and cruel people have been known to torment young dragons just to collect tears! So don’t YOU want to be their caretaker? Entries detail important information about artifacts large and small, a complete bestiary of creatures (from fairies to trolls to satyrs), a guide to identifying demons, dragons, and wizards as well as valuable insights into the other magical preserves. Scattered throughout the book are colorful fairies that also mark some of the characters, artifacts, and creatures that will be featured in the upcoming sequel series, Dragonwatch.
I was offered a ebook to review, which was unfortunately not complete and wasn’t easy to view o read on a kindle app. I don’t think it did the book justice. The images I’ve seen of the finished book look incredible, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Fans of Fablehaven will really enjoy this book. From incredible illustrations of unique creatures to fun details on familiar (and some obscure) items that Fablehaven Caretakers and adventurers need to know.
If you haven’t read one of the best children’s series out there (Fablehaven by Brandon Mull), then make sure you do. You won’t be disappointed.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry
Princess Leia returns for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, the story follows the warrior princess as she leads a ragtag group of rebels on a dangerous mission against the evil Galactic Empire. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!
Months ago, when I saw that Disney Hyperion was coming out with middle grade novels set in the Star Wars universe and starring the main characters, I knew I had to read them. In this story, Leia and C3-PO join a crew on a subversive mission to thwart the Empire. Preteens to adults will enjoy this novel, as it’s not really a children’s story. Though, I loved the fantastic illustrations. It’s a morally ambiguous mission that leads to some soul-searching from Leia. It’s a bit dark, with plenty of suspense and fun characters.
The “hints and clues about the upcoming” Force Awakens probably stem from the interludes that are set years in the future, when Leia is being interviewed about her past. Even if there aren’t actual clues, these are entertaining enough standalone stories on their own.
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka
Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee team-up for an all-new adventure in this thrilling upper middle grade novel. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story follows everyone’s favorite pair of smugglers as they fly the Millennium Falcon on a top-secret mission for the Rebellion. Hidden in the story are also hints and clues about the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!
Months ago, when I saw that Disney Hyperion was coming out with middle grade novels set in the Star Wars universe and starring the main characters, I knew I had to read them. In this story, Han and Chewie are sent to rescue a spy for the rebellion as the Empire closes in. Preteens to adults will enjoy this exciting adventure, as it’s not really a children’s story. It’s a fun, heist with my two favorite characters, but edgy. The main villain is a new character and was well-developed. I’d love to see her in future stories as well.
I’m guessing the “hints and clues about the upcoming” Force Awakens, is stem from the interludes that are set years in the future, when Han and Chewbacca are older. Even if there aren’t actual clues, these are entertaining enough standalone stories on their own.
Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and invention is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.
Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on and quite possibly their very lives.
Trenton and Kallista hunt for clues and slowly assemble Leo Babbage’s invention. Meanwhile, Trenton tries to hide his secret life from his friends and family. Trenton is a genius with machinery, but a bit dense with his relationship with girls. Kallista has a brusque and standoffish personality. She’s not really likeable at all. You feel bad for her home life and past, but it’s obvious why she doesn’t have any other friends.
Fires of Invention is the first in an exciting new scifi/fantasy series for middle readers. The world is fascinating and inspired. The mystery behind Cove is well worth the wait and completely unpredictable. The story is evenly paced, as suspense builds the longer it takes Trenton and Kallista to build the machine. And the finale is thrilling and captivating. I look forward to the next in this series.
The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.
It’s not easy for Call… and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.
Call escapes to the Magisterium – but things only intensify there. The Alkahest – a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic – has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes – and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.
Call was told he he’s actually not some innocent boy, but supposedly an evil magician reborn inside his body. But he doesn’t feel evil. And he has no memory from this other person. He cares about his family, friends and chaos-ridden wolf. And when Call hears that the Magisterium may kill his father for stealing a dangerous artifact, he decides to flee school and help his father.
The Copper Gauntlet is the second installment in the Magisterium fantasy series for middle readers on up. Harry Potter fans will definitely want to check out this series. With engaging characters, quirky creatures, and fascinating magical worldbuilding – this series is now a must-read for me. The sequel is just as fast-paced and exciting as the first novel. The next book can’t come soon enough.