Archive for the ‘good and evil’ Category


Book three of the Truesight Trilogy delivers. Definitely a “Guys Read” book that can rest of on a young man’s reading shelf along with “The Vampire’s Apprentice,” “The Ender Wiggins,” “The Ranger’s Apprentice,” “Alex Rider,” Matt Cruse, and “Mortal Engines” series. Jacob faces danger from the Foundation who see him and all seers as things that need to be destroyed. A young boy in his visions urges him to join other seers at a secret location in the otherspace through wormholes. Xander hires a Hans Solo-type, Captain Bennett, to ferry Jason to his new life on his smuggler ship. Jason’s adventures multiple throughout the trip, and spin out of control to a dramatic climax. I admit, I am hoping for a fourth installment.

ENDERS Rating: Exciting, inventive!



In a dismal tale strongly replicating the social revolution in Russia, young Yuri lives a life of suspicion and dread, escapes from his village, finally is taken as “an enemy of the state” and pulled from his cushy agricultural experiment position to forced labor camp in a Siberia-like location. The dehumanizing horrors of the camp are described in detail. Escaping with two inmates, thanks to the help of a swindling guard, Yuri discovers that his companions invited him along as provisions. His ability to act the idiot and fool them saves his life. As the book ends, he has become a leader of the resistance movement, and the long soliloquy at the end of the book is prophetic of his grandmother’s oft-quoted statement: “Only a fool cheers when the new prince rises.”

ENDERS Rating: I know you don’t like depressing books, but this is a must-read!

Anne Fine’s Website

As Chris left our high school he handed me the galley of AM. (Page numbered? Whew, we are good!) Enter a new anger management therapist, Nak, a Japanese cowboy therapist who has seen far too many teenagers suffer from AM, the name of his counseling sessions dedicated to a young man who always called the sessions Angry rather than Anger.

To begin each novella, Nak writes therapy notes on the young adults: Sarah Brynes and Angus Bethune, Montana West, Matt Miller and Marcus James. And then, let the emotion, the anger, the pathos, the epiphany begin!

As I read I said, “Oh, this is my favorite,” three times. Chris’ writing has never been better: eloquently sparse and band-aid-yanking raw. Love? It’s here. Prejudice? Oh yes. Hypocrisy? On open display. Strength? An upper-cut worth.

If you are a YA librarian, just save yourself some time and buy multiple copies. If you have been under a rock and are not a Crutcher fan yet, get your copy pre-ordered now!

ENDERS Rating: Beyond loving these haunting stories!

Chris Crutcher’s Website

After reading the third book in The Last Apprentice series, I was really looking forward to this sequel. I wasn’t disappointed. While the comparison is once again drawn to the Harry Potter series, it’s a bit like comparing a Porsche to a Corvette. They’re fast, they’re cars, they’re expensive, but there the similarities end. Like Harry Potter, Tom Ward is learning his craft. Like the Harry Potter series, the protagonists of this series are battling darkness, but rather than magic, Tom Ward must battle evil using old folk remedies such as salt, iron, and silver chains. In the last book, Tom’s father had died and, in the will, left Tom one room of the family house and the contents in it. Tom’s mother had told him that the room was a safe haven and that the trunks in it would help him. In this installment, Tom is being trained to bind witches. His master, the Spook, has become aware that three covens are preparing to conjure up the Fiend—the big One, Satan. If the Fiend is released, he can be controlled for three days and then is able to run amok. In a series of gut wrenching twists and turns, the Malkin clan (one of the covens) kidnaps Tom’s oldest brother and his new family (Tom’s sister-in-law, his young niece, and the unborn baby) and holds them hostage in exchange for the trunks that Tom’s mother left to him as part of his inheritance. As the story unfolds, Tom must choose between family loyalties, integrity, and choosing what is best for the country.
REVIEWER: Jodi Kruse, R. A. Long High School
Kruse Rating: *recommend

Web Site:


Spook’s Apprentice Website (British name for the series)