Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: Clone Codes #3: The Visitors

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.

Mystery – Audio Book Review: Death Cloud

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.

Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Under Attack

Under Attack by Hannah Jayne

Sophie Lawson is the lone human working for the UDA (Underworld Detection Agency), with a special immunity to magic. But when new management arrives, Sophie is laid off because she is not one of the undead majority. Meanwhile, her former flame and fallen angel, Alex Grace, is back and asking for her help to find a missing Vessel of Souls, which will supposedly help break his curse and give him back his wings. But in their investigation, Sophie learns a surprise about her own past and her dark family connection to the Vessel of Souls.

Sophie is a quick-witted, emotional, spitfire and is completely endearing. Her chemistry with Alex is steamy, until we discover his ulterior motives. Then, his appeal quickly fades. Jayne’s urban fantasy world is fairly similar to others in the genre, but her humor and eccentric characters make this series stand out. I absolutely love the characters and the banter and camaraderie between Sophie and her roommate/best friend.

This is the second novel in the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles. But Under Attack is a wholly standalone novel. I haven’t read the first, but had no trouble catching up with the characters; and the plot was entirely self-contained. Though, after having read this fast-paced, exciting story, I have no doubt I’ll continue reading this incredible series. The humor and pacing reminds me of one of my favorite urban fantasy series – Laura Resnick’s Esther Diamond novels, which is high praise in itself. With plenty of mystery, romance, humor, magic, and mayhem – I was captivated till the very end.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: The Roar

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.

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