When 14 year old Everett Singh watches his father’s kidnapping in front of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, he doesn’t quite know what to do. He’s very sure of what he saw, but the police don’t seem to believe him and his own mother is not even quite sure what to believe. See, Everett’s dad is a theoretical physicist, and it’s possible that he’s discovered something that some people will do anything to get their hands on. When Everett receives a mysterious file on his computer (which he calls Dr. Quantum), he realizes that things are about to get bad, and it will be up to him to save his dad.See, Tejendra Singh has discovered the multiverse; many, many universes running parallel to our own, different versions of Earth, or “planes” (hence the name Planesrunner.) Everett has unlocked the secret to mapping the universes (the Infundibulum), and using an invention called the Heisenberg Gate, scientists are able to travel to these alternate planes. There are 10 (E1-E10) main planes (including our Earth, the newest member) that have been deemed safe for travel, and it turns out that back and forth travel has already begun. Emmissaries from E3 are determined to capture Everett, and he knows that he must travel to their plane to get his father back.
There is really nothing about this book that I didn’t like. As soon as Everett jumps to E3, he heads to the library, where he does a bit of brushing up on this new, alternate London, and finds out that oil has never been used, and electricity is king. Everett calls it Electropunk. He describes E3 as what people in the 30’s imagined our time looking like, and immediately notices the smoky, chemical smell that envelopes him on the streets. After securing some funds by way of a pawnbroker, he takes to the trains, where he meets feisty, beautiful Sen Sixsmyth, who immediately tries to pilfer Dr. Quantum. Sen really means no harm and overwhelmed with loneliness, Everett confides in Sen. It’s soon after that we meet her adopted mother Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth and the crew of the airship Everness. Yep, I said airships. I’m kind of a sucker for a book with airships, and if you are too, you’ll LOVE Planesrunner. When Everett and Sen meet, the book takes off like a rocket. Don’t let the idea of multiple universes scare you. I admit, when I start thinking about stuff like countless parallel universes, my brain begins to ache just a bit, but kinda in a good way, because the thought of it is frankly awesome. In Planesrunner, Everett only explores one, but I’m hoping, and suspect, we’ll get more in the next book. Sen’s world is one of brutality, living by one’s wits, and the hustle and bustle of an alternate London that’s very different from Everett’s, but it’s also one of fierce loyalty, friendship, and swashbuckling adventure. I fell in love with the charming Sen from the get go (and I suspect Everett did too). However, as fun as hanging with the crew of the Everness is, Everett’s ultimate goal is to rescue his father, and he’ll call on his new friends to help. Hampering his efforts is Charlotte Villiers, Planepotentiary (sort of like an ambassador), and stone cold killer, and her cadre of thugs. They’re after Everett at every turn, but Captain Sixsmyth is larger than life, as is her crew, and they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves. Will Everett rescue his father from the evil Charlotte Villiars, and keep the Infudibulum out of the wrong hands? If I told you, that would spoil all the fun of this wonderful book! You certainly don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy this book, and lovers of sci-fi, adventure, and steampunk won’t be able to put it down! Not to be missed!(less)
Are you a mum, or a dad? Do you have a boy (or girl) child that doesn't want to read (better known as a reluctant reader)? If so, Lockdown is the book for you! This is boy fiction at it's best! I say boy fiction...let me explain: I LOVE boy fiction! I define boy fiction (loosely) as a book that's primarily about boys: check, hardly a girl in sight: check, lots of gross awesomeness (queue the bodily fluids)check, and is probably a young adult book: check! These are all wonderful things. I am a tried and true fan of the boy book (I LOVED The Maze Runner). I personally think that Lockdown will also appeal to many adults (I was one of these), and I could hardly put it down! I won't rehash the plot (see synopsis), but I will say that the book starts out with a bang and doesn't let up! I don't know about you, but the thought of being thrown in a hellish prison for a crime I didn't commit, with no release in sight, terrifies the living crap out of me! Throw in the gas mask guys (shudder, then shudder some more), and dogs that frankly, made me think of the inside out dogs on Resident Evil, and you've got a mile-a-minute frightfest that doesn't let up! I realize that I have lots of exclamation points in this review, but the book certainly warrants them. There are some truly terrifying, edge of your seat moments in this book, but I just loved these characters (Alex Sawyer makes a wonderful hero for teens to root for), and the author never forgets to offer us a light at the end of the (admittedly horrid) tunnel. It's a wonderful start to what I know will be an awesome series! Keep an eye out for my review of Solitary (Furnace: Book 2)!(less)
Well, we’ve finally gone and pissed off Mother Earth. We finally mucked up the planet enough and The Flood was sent to put us in our place. Never fear...moreWell, we’ve finally gone and pissed off Mother Earth. We finally mucked up the planet enough and The Flood was sent to put us in our place. Never fear, because the Corporation and the Earth Mother are here to save the day! “The Other Side of the Island” by Allegra Goodman takes place in the eighteenth year of Enclosure (where it’s always sunny and green under the dome), long after Mother Earth dumped on us in the form of the Flood. This is Honor’s story (silent H, which is a no-no, since she was born in an H year, and, you know, we should be able to hear that H). Her name alone already gives you a good idea of Honor’s parents and their subversive ways. I’m not going to dance around it; this book is depressing. Allegra’s family is forced to move to Island 365 from the North (a wild place and full of Partisans-dissenters) by the Corporation, and thus begins the gradual muting of her world’s colors and the end of her family’s personal freedom. I love Ms. Goodman’s use of dark humor here, especially when reading excerpts from their “educational” pamphlets. It’s a life full of structure, propaganda, and everything and everyone in its place, and the story is told in a fairly straightforward, uncomplicated manner, and it really works here. The Corporation reminds me of my Homeowner’s Association except I haven’t known them to “disappear” anyone’s parents for not keeping the weeds out of the tree well. At least not yet.(less)
At the tender age of one, Modo is rescued from a traveling freak show by the mysterious Mr. Socrates, who takes him in and raises him to be well read and knowledgeable in the fighting arts. Deformed and never knowing his mother and father, Modo comes to rely on Mr. Socrates, the kindly housekeeper, Mrs. Finchley, and his fighting instructor, Tharpa, who was also taken in as a child by Mr. Socrates. At age 14, Modo is taken into London (his first time outside of his rooms), and given his first “assignment”: to survive on his own. Mr. Socrates assures Modo that he will find him when the time is right, and, terrified, Modo sets out alone. Six months later, after discovering he has a talent for finding lost things, he sets himself up in a modest room upstairs from a pub and begins taking on clients under the name Mr. Wellington. Modo has another talent too. He can transform himself, for hours at a time, into someone completely different , escaping from the hunchback and hideous countenance that has haunted him his whole life. When he meets the beautiful and mysterious Octavia Milkweed, also an agent for Mr. Socrates, he’s drawn into a shadowy world of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder.
This was just a delightful steampunk adventure! Combining elements of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Hunchback Assignments takes its readers on a romp through a gaslit London full of treachery, secret societies, evil scientists, and clockwork monstrosities. Modo is an endearing character, and Octavia is a spunky delight as our heroine and Modo’s crush. If you like your adventures with 19th century flair and Dickensien touches, you’ll love this book. In The Hunchback Assignments, Arthur Slade has created a world that I’ll look forward to returning to time and time again! (less)