The Crowfield Demon by Pat Walsh
In the mid 1300’s, young orphan Will is a servant for monks at Crowfield Abbey in England. Something is awakening underneath the abbey, causing a devastating collapse of the tower. While the monks rush to repair the abbey, Will searches for a way to rid them of a monstrous creature that haunts the abbey and their dreams.
Following the events in The Crowfield Curse, Will has learned that he has the gift of magical sight, able to see the magical world when normal humans cannot. The exiled fay Shadlok is now bound to Will as his sworn protector. And Brother Snail and the hobgoblin Brother Walter are Will’s only other friends and confidants.
Just as dark and mysterious as its predecessor, The Crowfield Demon is fast-paced and full of adventure. With vivid characters, a compelling story, and plenty of magic, this sequel is completely enchanting. Fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this highly entertaining story.
The Crowfield Demon releases from The Chicken House (Scholastic) on February 1, 2012.
The Clone Codes #3: The Visitors by The McKissacks
Carlos Pace is a 10-year-old boy genius. His best friend is RUBy, the entity that everyone thinks is the ship’s computer. But when the O visits Carlos, he is told that RUBy is not just a rock but something much, much more. Meanwhile, the World Federation is about to attack, and Leanna and Houston are still wanted fugitives. And the O have said that humanity must prove that they are capable of freedom and equality for all sentient beings if they want to explore the galaxy. But with the Clone and Cyborg regulations, that seems impossible.
In this conclusion to the Clone Codes trilogy, the story is narrated by young Carlos. The only “Wholer” (first class citizen) among his group of friends, Carlos has an understanding of Clones and Cyborgs that few do. He is sympathetic, loyal, and brave for someone so young.
This short, fast-paced science fiction trilogy for young readers is creative and inspiring. Each novel in the trilogy is told from a different character’s point of view, giving distinctive insight into their perspective and situation in the unfolding drama. As events unfold, the anticipation builds to an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Full of mystery, futuristic science and technology, aliens, blended with historic significance, young science fiction fans will surely enjoy.
The Clone Codes #3: The Visitors releases from Scholastic Press on February 1, 2012.
Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins
On a break from school, fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to stay with an uncle and aunt he doesn’t know, while his father is stationed in India. After befriending an orphaned that his uncle doesn’t approve of, Sherlock is assigned a tutor, a fascinating American named Amyus Crowe. When two men in town are found dead from what looks like the plague, Sherlock is immediately suspicious. As Sherlock begins to investigate the strange clues left behind, he stumbles upon a nefarious plot and a ruthless man who sets his sights on young Sherlock.
Teenage Sherlock does not have many friends. He is bright, logical, and a natural at deductive reasoning. But his education with Amyus Crowe is a turning point in his learning and detection skills. Several details about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes little-known early life and family information are carried over into this new series debut.
The Justin Bieber look-a-like on the cover may only appeal to little girls, but mystery fans of all ages will appreciate this fast-paced adventure. Full of mystery, brilliant detection, drama, and intrigue – Death Cloud is an enjoyable and gripping tale of a beloved character’s coming-of-age. I’m excited to see further adventures of young Sherlock
This audio book is read by Dan Weyman, with a unique voice for each colorful character. Weyman’s clear and concise narration made for easy listening and added immensely to the tone of the story.
The Roar by Emma Clayton
Mika is the only one who doesn’t believe his twin sister is dead. Mika shares a unique bond with Ellie, who begins to show up in his dreams. When Ellie tries to escape her kidnappers, Mika feels her distress and becomes more convinced that he must find her. When the government provides a competition in the form of a flight simulation game, Mika is a natural. But he soon discovers that this is not a game to the government. And they have plans for Mika and his friends.
Mika and Ellie live in a dystopian future England where a plague infected all animals, and a wall was built around America and Europe, keeping out the animals. But the twins both learn the truth and the startling vast conspiracy. Clayton’s worldbuilding is fantastic; the imagery of the city is vivid. Though, more time could be spent on character development.
Fans of Ender’s Game will see similarities in this science fiction thriller. Full of adventure, suspense, and intrigue – this debut is exciting and engaging. The excitement builds to a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers wanting more. Clayton’s sequel The Whisper is set to release this February from Scholastic.