Evie is 17 and her mother has just died so she's living with her mother's twin sister, Miriam. She'll be seeing her best friend, Kitty, soon, which is...moreEvie is 17 and her mother has just died so she's living with her mother's twin sister, Miriam. She'll be seeing her best friend, Kitty, soon, which is going to help just a little in dealing with her grief, but she's glad she won't be seeing Kitty's brother Jamie whom she has avoided since he humiliated her 3 years ago.
So we have the set-up for some predictable angst-filled teen romance, and yes, there's plenty of that. But what makes this book is the suspense and the action - the author really pushes that along, and it kept me snatching time to read 'just a little bit more'. The suspense is not only connected to finding out who the person is who's trying to kill Kitty, but also in whether Evie can manage to hold herself together against the fear and confusion as her body reacts to the genetic programming that has turned her fiercely protective (and with awesomely enhanced physical abilities).
The explanation of the 'science' is a little clunky, and the words turned into initials (but not even acronyms that you can say as a word) are annoying. I guess the author wanted things to sound scientific rather than fantastic - but kinetic memory harvesting (KMH) really is just telepathy. And what the heck was AFS again?
That aside, however, this is a great teen-read, and I'll be looking out for the next episode.(less)
Ancient history brought to life! We'd just got this book and its sequel into the bookshop, and instead of adding it to my to-read shelf, which could h...moreAncient history brought to life! We'd just got this book and its sequel into the bookshop, and instead of adding it to my to-read shelf, which could have meant it was eight or nine years away from being read, I immediately went onto the library website (yes, a little personal time stolen from my boss) and reserved a copy. It just seemed it would be such a great read, and it is!
Written for younger teenagers, this is being taught in schools locally (that's local to the author, not the people in the book), and I could only wish that I'd had such an opportunity when I was a schoolgirl. The author's blog and (her website) give lots of information about this book and the next, about school resources and some work that pupils have done in response to reading this, and about the research that goes into writing. It's excellent - I recommend it highly.
The book has some great action scenes, and excellent exploration of friendship and family relationships. The two youths, Odysseus and Menelaos, are moving from boyhood to manhood, and it's a pleasure to journey with them in this exciting tale of political manoeuvrings and secrets over 2000 years ago.(less)
The blurb on the back says: Readers nostalgic for the juvenile SF novels of Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton will find much to enjoy, and I agree t...moreThe blurb on the back says: Readers nostalgic for the juvenile SF novels of Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton will find much to enjoy, and I agree that the style is similar. Apparently Turtledove writes alternative history (again, according to the blurb), though I hadn't come across him before (So many authors! So many books to read!). My father found this book and recommended it.
Annette is 17 and has been with her parents in the Kingdom of Versailles, in character as Moorish merchants. They're on the last leg of their time in this alternate, but on the voyage back to Marseilles and the transposition chamber, their caravan is attacked by bandits and Annette is captured. She is sold as a slave, in itself a frightening situation, but then her hopes of being rescued by Crosstime Traffic are dashed when she and a large group of slaves and taken through an illegal transpotition chamber to work in an unregistered timeline.
This book tackles the subject of slavery, but also looks at people's warped ways of getting their kicks. In societies where violence is outlawed, how do those with violent natures cope? Is it possible to channel that energy into something else, or must society find a way to allow them to be violent? But is a controlled avenue, such as video games or Paintball, sufficient? And for those who seek controlled masochism, what happens when the control is no longer there?
If this had been a book written for adults, those questions could have been delved into more deeply, but then it may no longer have been an entertaining read. As it is, for the teen reader this book touches the issues while telling a good story, and the older reader can follow the ideas further at will.(less)
I’m not sure when I got this book but it’s been hanging around in my must-read-then-move-on- along box which has been taking up room on the wardrobe f...moreI’m not sure when I got this book but it’s been hanging around in my must-read-then-move-on- along box which has been taking up room on the wardrobe floor for nearly a year now. Having a day sick in bed has its advantages … so far I’ve read two books and there’s still time to start another before real sleep takes me for the night.
Anyway, you don’t want to hear that – you want to know what I thought of this book. Well, I really enjoyed it. Clearly, when I picked it up from wherever it was, I must have found something in the blurb that intrigued me, but today it was almost sight-unseen and I just went straight into it.
The story is told by a 17-year-old boy who has been moved from foster home to foster home for too long. Sure, he’s been at this one for 3 years, but he’s never let himself trust them entirely, and they knew his reputation before they took him on, so have never entirely trusted him. And there is something he’s been hiding from everyone, something that has him spending all his money on butchered pigs, something that is now causing him sleepless nights.
This book has a great pace, a fascinating story, believable characters, and a heart. I enjoyed it very much.(less)
I'm pretty sure it's not a new idea - people being sorted into groups (factions, in this book) according to their personality, and then certain people...moreI'm pretty sure it's not a new idea - people being sorted into groups (factions, in this book) according to their personality, and then certain people gaining leadership who twist the ideas behind one or other of the groups. Of course, it's all about power, and when it's well-written it always makes a good story.
Roth has chosen good names for the factions - Amity, Abnegation, Dauntless, Candor, and Erudite - nice, old-fashioned words that contain solid meaning (and that perhaps are new for a number of the teenage readers, which will increase their vocabulary a little) and one can see how the futuristic products of our modern school systems, with their frequently one-minded directions on what is supposedly called an education, could imagine that a person would fit comfortably into a one-size-fits-all box.
So, the premise is moderately possible, but then we get the story itself and it's all action. Great stuff. Lots of daredevil stuff, which appeals to the thrillseekers and the couch-potato thrill-readers alike; plenty of conflict, both internal and with others; a love-interest that isn't too full of unbelievable confusion (like some silly book I read recently) nor goes straight into anything full-blown. I enjoyed it very much, and have my name down already on the library waiting list for the next in the series.(less)