Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Iris impulsively trusted complete strangers at the end of Iris Brave and was sneaked into the safe house of The Sixteen, sixteen soul jumpers who rebelled against the tyranny of the powerful soul jumper Council.  A plan is devised to deliver her to The Council, have her jailed in “the tunnel”, and to help Jared spring her dad from the prison.  The plot becomes dark quickly, to the point that Iris and her father are tortured.  Why Iris?  It seems that she has the soul jumper genes also.  In a daring escape, things do not go well.  Iris and Lewis, a man with a six-year-old mind, end up in the middle of a horrible freeway accident.  Her life is forever changed.  I was shocked at the intensity of the tension and severity of the brutality.  I was happily surprised by the twists and turns in the plot and the pace of the narrative.  My guesses as to what was next could not keep up with the inventiveness of Ali.  Awesome second novel in the series.  I am looking forward to the third.  I also recommend the book for upward to tenth grade level.  The only reservtion is that Iris is only eleven years old.  It is unfortunate that some teen readers will reject reading it due to the age of the protagonist.

ali b

      the sixteen

Let’s be real.  Don’t we all have to love a book by an author named Alibi, er, Ali B.?  I need more information!

Iris mourns the death of a father whom she cannot remember, but about whom her mother and Grandpa Hank weave memorable stories about his love of people.  His reputation was tainted and his life ended when a young driver, Kyle Grant, caused an accident that also takes his life.  As the story unfolds Iris is traveling to spend the summer with Grandpa Hank who always has a smile and a song on his lips.  This summer is disturbingly different.  A slouching guy in a gray hoodie bothers her parents’ friend Sarah, who gives Iris a flimsy story about him wanting to sell her online services.  He crops up wherever Iris goes.  He leaves notes with her name.  Finally Iris can take it no more and agrees to meet him.  The motivation:  knowledge to clear her father of driving drunk the night of the wreck, and to stop the book publishing of the senator who just happens to be Kyle Grant’s father.  Iris, age eleven, is a pretty brave girl, taking it upon herself to solve the bizarre mysteries.  She has no idea what she is getting into.  Iris Brave is an excellent fantasy for middle readers.  Oh, I  must confess.  It is a page turner.  The second in the series, The Sixteen, will be reviewed next week.ali b  Ali B’s Facebook Pageiris brave

A Web of Air is the second book in the Fever Crumb series, a prequel series to the “Hungry City Chronicles.”  Owning all of them are mandatory for middle school and high school libraries.  What other fantasies have ravenous, power hungry, moving cities?  That rocks on so many levels.  After the conquest of London, Fever travels with a very irrational theater troupe to Mayda in Europa.  Her engineering skills have helped them with producing electricity for night shows, but she sees them as frivolous and asks to stay in the fascinating city and join them later on their return.  I loved the funicular houses that Reeve must have invented after riding the funiculars of Paris, (just a theory).  Fever searches out the young genius recluse who is trying to construct a flying machine like in the ancient days.  An array of bad guys try to stop him, to the point of assassination.  He and Fever escape to his ancestral island home with the help of the strange albatross-type “talking” birds.  As the enemies close in it appears hope is lost for both of them and the dream of flight.  It was an enjoyable story and it shows the lust for power can stop any advancements.

Philip’s Website

Have I mentioned that Lauren is one of my fave authors?  And how does she speed-write?  But on to the book YOU. MUST. READ.

Lena finds herself moving toward revolution with the other citizens of the wilds, infiltrating and sabotaging.  Meeting the underground people who were the rejects of those above was a moving part of the novel.  I kept thinking there was something else brewing as Lena begins her relationship with Julian.  The surprise ending was ruthless and miraculous at the same time.  I found it incredulous that someone could survive the onslaught of  Delirium.  This was a bridge novel and I cannot wait for the next.  I do have one question:  Is the Northeast USA covered with succulent flowers as depicted on the cover?

Lauren’s Website


Oh no, another Cinderella story you may say. But read on! Cinder is a cyborg and a mechanic, and the sole source of income for her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Even a disguised Prince Kai is a customer. Her adoptive father brought her home from Europe when she was eleven, newly injured but repaired with computer and mechanical body parts. But since his death her 17-year-old life is in jeopardy. Living in a kingdom of New Bejing, all the inhabitants live in fear of a plague that has swept through earth the last ten years. When Prince Kai’s father dies of it, as does one stepsister, Cinder is faced with an over-eager scientist looking for a cure, and seeing her as the key. King-apparent Kai is attracted to her and her smarts, not knowing that she is a dreaded cyborg, considered a dreg of society. Add an eminent invasion and enslavement of the planet by the Lunars and there is ample tension in this plot. But Cinder is more than a human repaired. The surprise ending really does make me, the sequel-hater, eager for the second volume! This is the new, hot series on the planet, and maybe the moon.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Marissa’s Website

Locke and Kara’s intelligences have been kept in high-tech black boxes for 260 years, long after Jenna Fox was reconstructed into a minus-0%-original human being. They have been BioPerfect specimens for a year now, Locke is new and improved with even his cowlick missing. Kara is even more beautiful, but angry. Once they discover that they are prototypes for rich customers, and that their “shelf life” is undetermined, they stage a bloody escape. Locke to reuniten with Jenna. Kara to find Jenna to revenge the years spent in a box. The book stands on its own even if you have not read The Adoration of Jenna Fox. High tension, inventive technological future, great characters, and an America I hope is not part of our future. What is the inheritance?

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Mary E. Pearson’s Website


Spoiler for those who have not read Shiver or Linger

Just as Sam is “cured” of warping into a wolf’s body, Grace becomes infected and changes at a dizzying rate, never knowing where she will show up as a scratched, naked teenage girl. Cole has thrown aside his passion for drugs and rock and rock and embraces research on himself for “the cure” to be perfected. But all is not well. A renegade wolf has just killed a new changelings and community leaders are outraged. Isabel’s father amasses state support for exterminating the wolf population. Coupling the werewolf phenomena with the controversy of wolf control in the United States is a great addition to this final, dramatic installment.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Maggie’s Website

Beth says that she writes “speculative literature” and indeedy she does! Move over Brave New World.

Amy’s scientific mom and military dad have chosen to be cryogenically frozen to be transported via space globe across the universe to settle a new world. In a nauseating first chapter Amy and the reader witness the freezing of her parents. After that Amy stills chooses to be preserved for 300 years. Meanwhile, on the space vessel, Godspeed, a tense change in leadership from Eldest to Elder, who is Amy’s age, is developing into a chaotic finale.

An inter-galactic “who done it” begins when someone opens Amy’s cube and begins the thawing process, that can kill without proper medical assistance. She is saved by Doc and immediately adored by Elder. Acclimating to the vessel is impossible as Eldest marks her as a freak to all the inhabitants. She witnesses disgusting mating habits. She discovers what really happens to the grays as they age. She finds out why the people blindly obey. She finds out important information about those in the mental hospital. Most importantly, she discovers that as she coninues to age, her parents will not.

Will the murderer be found before her parents cubical are switched off? What is Eldest hiding from everyone?

Riveting, horrific and thoughtful all at the same time.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Beth Revis’ Website

Book Tour in TN


Here is a controversial book!
Discuss among yourselves…

Controversy #1: Young people watching the suicide of a young woman on the internet
Controversy #2: Parents buying one young man a robotic, yet very life-like, companion with which he is to learn sensitivity
Controversy #3: A companion that wants to be closer to the young man
Controversy #4: A companion discovering the horror of being a robot
Controversy $5: A young man discovering that his companion, indeed, is a robot
Controversy #6: The companion and new boy buddy trying to do something about it
Controversy #7: Is there life after pixellation?

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

John’s website
Great YouTube


I love this series about a far-too-full moon and its effects on the world. When Susan visited my school years ago she told students that she loved creating “what if” situations. She has outdone herself with this excellent series.

A year has passed since the moon has tilted into a closer orbit around the earth affecting weather, power, and food production. Miranda and her brothers spend their days fishing and searching for food, fuel and anything else they can scavenge. Matt gets married. Her father, with his new wife and child, show up to complicate the situation more, along with three new strangers, Alex, Julie and Charlie. Alex wants to enter a monastery, but his feelings for Miranda are getting in the way. Another horrific disaster surfaces.

(Spoiler coming! STOP reading if you can). As the story ends, Miranda, who has fallen in love with Alex, is ending her diary and ready to start the trip to a safe city for which Alex has a ticket. My vote is for a fourth book, which student reviewers believe will happen, and are looking forward to reading. Susan never disappoints readers who expect the unexpected from her.

ENDERS’ Rating: *****

Susan’ Blog