Tag Archives: Young Adult

Trailer for “Ready Player One”

Trailers – This trailer for the young adult science fiction film “Ready Player One” looks very interesting. The fact that it is directed by Steven Spielberg also makes me think it will be a good movie. The synopsis (from IMDB):

When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

The movie opens late this coming March. I think that this will be one I want to see in the theater.

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Review of “An Alien Perspective”

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Book Reviews – “An Alien Perspective” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Roxanne Barbour (https://roxannebarbour.wordpress.com). Ms. Barbour has published five novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. The story is set in contemporary times, though it takes place on another planet. The primary character is 17 year old Cyn-Tia Silverthorne. She wakes up to find herself with seven other Humans and 24 aliens split between three other races.

None know why they are there. Alien tech allows them to communicate easily with one another. They are given a number of challenges by their abductors that they must complete as a team. Silverthorne finds herself on the managing committee for the group. She encounters many issues and experiences a variety of emotions. She also finds herself drawn to one of the males from another species.

I spent 4+ hours reading this science fiction young adult novel with a touch of romance. I liked the characters. I also thought that the plot was interesting. It was a story dealing with how teens must adapt and learn to cope with their unwanted situation. I felt it was a little weak, but then again I guess that is part of being a young adult novel. The cover is OK, but one showing a scene from the story would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 3.8 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Mask of shadows”

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Book Reviews – “Mask of Shadows” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Linsey Miller (http://www.linseymiller.com). This is Ms. Miller’s first novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and a little Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where magic is possible. The main character is young Sallot Leon.

Leon is a thief. S/he (Leon is a bit gender fluid) wants to get away from robbing the nobles. From one young woman victim, who Leon is quite taken with, she finds a notice of an upcoming audition to become a new member of the Queen’s Left Hand – the Queen’s personal assassins.

Leon sees the audition as a way out. This is not an easy competition. Leon is the last of 23 to be accepted. Not only must the competitors prove their abilities, but assassination of fellow competitors is not only allowed, but encouraged. Leon must use skills learned fighting on the streets to survive. As the audition progresses, a tutor is assigned to Leon to help with reading and language skills. The tutor turns out to be the young robbery victim and before long feelings develop between the two.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 352 young adult fantasy. I liked the characters that were developed in this novel and the plot. It is never clear what gender Leon is, so this should be considered a LBGT novel. This is a miner point and doesn’t really impact the story much. I liked that it was a world of magic, but the magic is now just part of their history. The cover art is OK, but something relating to a scene in the novel would be better in my opinion. I think that Ms. Miller did an excellent job on her first novel and I look forward to reading the second book planned for this duology. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “A Wrinkle in Time”

Trailers – This trailer for “A Wrinkle in Time” based upon the book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle (available on iBooks). The synopsis (from IMDB):

After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

This looks like a good Young Adult Science Fiction story. I look forward to it opening in March 2018.

Review of “Nyxia”

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Book Reviews – “Nyxia” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Scott Reintgen. Mr. Reintgen has published two novels. This is the first novel in his “The Nyxia Triad” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is teen Emmett Atwater.

Atwater is one of 10 teens recruited by Babel corporation for a three year long deep space mission to the planet Eden. The teens have been recruited as the inhabitants of Eden will accept them far more easily than adults. Babel wants the teens to mine an extremely rare and valuable mineral found on Eden in abundance. But the journey to Eden is not easy.

Babel sets the teens to competing with one another in various challenges during the 6 month trip to Eden. Only 8 of the 10 will actually go to Eden and receive the benefits promised by Babel. Atwater finds much to distrust Babel about. Atwater must struggle to stay ahead of the other teens so that he will receive the promised rewards for the mission.

I enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 386 page Young Adult Science Fiction novel. I liked the overall plot and the characters that are part of this story. I think that the cover art is supposed to represent the rare mineral Nyxia. Given the story, I think better art work could have been chosen. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Waking Land”

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Book Reviews – “The Waking Land” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Callie Bates (http://calliebates.com). This is Ms. Bates first publication, but a sequel is planned for the spring of 2018.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in another land. The primary character is twenty year old Elanna Voltari. She had been taken hostage at 5 and raised almost like a daughter to the King.

Now thought the King is dead, and she is the primary suspect in his murder. She flees and is soon embroiled in a rebellion that her father wants to reignite. At first she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but as she learns more, she realizes that rebellion may be the only way.

She had hidden her magic abilities her whole like, but now she finds that she needs to use them. She also finds herself drawn to a young man who is also hiding his magic abilities. While she likes him, she is not sure if she can trust him.

Elanna wants the rebellion to win, but she wants to unite the lands she was born in and grew up in, not divide them in civil war. Will she be able to assist the rebellion, yet maintain the country she loves.

I enjoyed the 12+ hours I spent reading this 402 page Young Adult Fantasy. I liked the characters that were developed as well as the plot. The cover art is OK as her magic is related to the earth and growing things, but I do think it could have been better. I give this novel a 4 out to 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Digging in the Stars”

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Book Reviews – “Digging in the Stars” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Katherine Blakeney (https://katherineblakeneyauthor.wordpress.com). This is Ms. Blakeney’s first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set is the far future. The primary character is 16 year old Carter Vanadian.

Vanadian, five of her fellow Archeology of Outer Space students and their professor are about to set off on a month long apprenticeship trip. Vanadian’s close friend, Conrad, has recently gone missing while on the planet Thror. Vanadian manipulates the travel reservations so that her group goes to Thror as well.

The planet is a chaotic place with the resident “Furry Giants” hosting visitors in spa hotels with much flirting with the female guests. As Vanadian begins to dig into the disappearance of Conrad, she inadvertently drags the rest of her small group into the mystery. She also finds that there is the real possibility that she may be on the trail of a truly significant archaeological discovery. This knowledge and the efforts to discover what has happened to Conrad do not go without risk to her and the others.

I thought that this was an interesting 10 hour read of a 344 page Young Adult Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. Beyond the fact that Vanadian and her companions travelled to a remote planet in just a day or two, this was a pretty hard to accept story. The basic concept was OK, but to me, the novel was contrived and weak. The cover art is OK, but could have been better. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?”

Book Reviews – “Does a Bear Shoot in the Woods?” is a free, Young Adult fantasy short story published on the Baen website.  It was written by Wen Spencer and published in 2017. Ms. Spencer has published four novels and several short stories.

In this story, Dugan Harman is a High School Junior with an odd past. All in the little town he has grown up in know about him and his family. They have a history of being odd . . . more like insane.

While in the woods experimenting with his camera, Dugan runs across a bear. Not just any bear, but a huge brown bear . . . that can talk. This begins a trip for Dugan where the world he has been told is his psychotic imagination, begins to become real.

While I am not much of a short story fan, I feel that the 90 minutes invested in this short story was well worth the time. I give this a 4 out of 5 evaluation.

Review of “Burntown”

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Book Reviews – “Burntown” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Jennifer McMahon (http://jennifer-mcmahon.com). Ms. McMahon has published eight novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a New England college town. The primary character is young Eva “Necco” Sandeski.

Sandeski and her mother have been living on the streets hiding from “Snake Eyes”. At first Sandeski didn’t believe in Snake Eyes, but now she knows that he is real and after her. If he finds her she will die like the others.

Her father was a college professor and inventor. Today we would call him a “Maker”. He had plans for a novel device, supposedly designed by Thomas Edison, which would allow communication with the dead. Once he built the device, he found that it worked, but he heard from more than just the one he wanted to hear from.

That device led to his death. Sandeski and her mother ran away from their home. Sandeski lost memories of the tragic day due to a bump on the head or the anguish of the event. Now her mother is gone too. The police think Sandeski is responsible for a murder, and Snake Eyes is on her trail. She is running for her life.

Drawn in to this is 17 year old Theo Sweeny. She has the reputation as a squeaky clean young lady, but she has been convinced to sell drugs at her High School by the college age woman she has become romantically involved with. But then she looses the drug money she had collected and the dealer is after her. Sweeny and Sandeski become allies through unexpected circumstances.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 304 page Mystery Thriller. I would also say that this is a Young Adult novel at least in part due to the age of the girls, but it deals with serious topics. While not quite as intense, this novel felt a bit like I was reading a Dean Koontz novel. I liked the characters involved with the story. They are a mix that you would not normally think of as being allied together. The cover art is OK as it depicts the shack where Sandeski lived for a time beneath the bridge while she hid out with her mother. A lot does happen there in the story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two”

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Book Review – “Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Rodi Szoke. This is Mr. Szoke’s first novel and the first in his planned “Our Young Guardians” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a mythical land. We are reading the account of what happened set down in a first person ‘diary’ like tale. A young 13 year old boy, Jonek. is the primary character.

Jonek’s life has been as normal as one might expect growing up in a small village. He is suddenly thrust into the role of protector of both his family and strangers he encountered on the way home. This propels him into an epic quest where he faces many opponents with both sword and magic.

I enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 329 page Young Adult Fantasy. While the challenges encountered on the quest are not unusual, some of the characters encountered and allies made are. This novel did arrive at a conclusion of sorts, but the way is prepared for sequels, which I look forward to reading. I think the cover art chosen could have been better. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).