Nil by Lynne Matson

Image result for nil by lynne matsonNil by Lynne Matson

One minute you are in a Target parking lot and the next you are naked in a rock field on what appears to be an island..  That’s what happens to Charlie.  Apparently she isn’t the only teen that has been abducted by some mysterious force.  Nil is the name they’ve given this place and the force. Each person has exactly one year from the date of their arrival to make it through the gate that opens for them sporadically and without warning.  After that you die. With the, to be expected, tensions and attractions between characters as well as the dangers and unexpected events the story makes for a very good read.

Reviewed by Ms. Brenner

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

 

color-of-magic

The Color of Magic  by Terry Pratchett

Fantasy, science fiction, humor and magic mix together in this wildly inventive tale of Rincewind, who has failed his wizard’s training at Unseen University. Through complete coincidence Rincewind finds himself traveling around Discworld w/Twoflower, who has come as a tourist to the city of Ankh-Morpork from the Counterweight Continent. They escape from Ankh-Morpork as the city begins to burn from a fire they were involved in, only to continue encountering threatening characters and situations. Rincewind keep panicking at the danger they’re in, while Twoflower treats each episode as a grand adventure. In addition Twoflower brought with him Luggage that has legs, follows him through all his travels and attacks anyone who tries to steal any of its contents.

As the first title in Pratchett’s celebrated Discworld series, The Color of Magic provides hints of the zaniness to come in more than two dozen titles. Even readers who have read other books in the series will enjoy this introduction to the physical characteristics of Discworld and those who live on it.

 

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

 

 

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

big-over-easy

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

When Humpty Dumpty is found dead in many pieces among the dustbins at the bottom of a garden wall in a seedy part of town, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt of the Nursery Crimes Division investigates with his partner Sgt. Mary Mary.

They find Humpty was involved in shady and mysterious dealings, had an exwife and numerous girlfriends and had not been seen in public in the past year. The coroner finds several possible causes of death, but everyone in town seems to have liked Humpty, even the possible suspects. As they investigate Jack and Mary uncover more puzzles, including ties to previous cases that had been assumed solved. In this alternate universe of England where Nursery Rhyme characters live side by side with real people, everyone accepts this situation as perfectly ordinary.

Loaded with tons of humor and imagination, The Big Over Easy has laughs aplenty and constant surprises. This new series follows author Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, also based in an alternate England where real characters track literary crimes and are able to move from the real world into books. Just when the reader thinks the murderer will be revealed the plot takes another U-turn. Nothing is resolved until literally the last page.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

 

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

furtistic violence

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

What a roller coaster of a ride this book is!!!  If you love science fiction-action movies, this is the perfect choice for you.  Zoey Ashe is a normal teenager living in a worn down trailer with her mom, who hardly talks to her.  She barely even knows her her biological dad is, some rich guy she’s seen twice in her life who her mom says is a major douche bag mafioso type.  When he dies and leaves everything to Zoey, her world crashes in.  Suddenly, all the crazies in the world are after her for the $5 million dollar bounty on her head.  Of course she is kidnapped by her father’s henchmen immediately, but then becomes a media star because the whole thing (which took play in the subway) was streamed live on the internet using Blink, a GoPro type device almost everyone wears.  She’s immediately taken to a lawless city called Tabula Ra$a, which is like Las Vegas on steroids.  Here chaos ensues, with Zoey trying to trust the “Fancy Suits,” who are her father’s closest advisors and don’t really seem to be on the up and up themselves.  They’re fighting against a genetically altered crazy man, think Robocop, for control of the city and the future of mankind.

This was a super fun book which I could hardly set down while reading.  I want to give readers a warning that there is some extremely graphic violence which was difficult for me, but I have trouble stomaching “The Walking Dead” zombie show on TV.

I would recommend this to readers who like high action books and movies, and those who like fast-paced adventure stories.  If you love the Matrix movies, Ernest Cline the Maze Runner books, this is your perfect next book.

Men At Arms by Terry Pratchet

MenAtArmsMen At Arms by Terry Pratchett

When the 37th Lord d’Eath dies, his oldest son Edward, who has just graduated from the Assassin’s Guild school, sells what’s left of the d’Eath estates and enrolls in the post-graduate course at the Guild school. He conducts extensive research, although he’s not sure what he’s looking for, until the day he meets Corporal Carrot of the Night Watch on the street of the city of Ankh-Morpork. Cpl. Carrot, a human orphan raised by his adoptive dwarf parents, has come to Ankh-Morpork and joined the guard. He has a positive outlook on life and believes the best about everyone. At the same time Captain Sam Vimes is leaving the watch to marry Lady Sybil Ramkin, a rich woman who spends her days at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons. While Captain Vimes loves Lady Sybil, he is regretful about leaving the Guard and even more hesitant about having to socialize with the upper level of Ankh-Morpork society. When a series of mysterious and unexplained murders starts happening, coupled with Edward d’Eath’s belief that Cpl. Carrot is really the rightful king of Ankh-Morpork, the Guard has its hands full investigating, especially since they are training new recruits, including a troll, a dwarf and a werewolf. Fans of Pratchett’s phenomenal Discworld series will love this episode. Newcomers to the series will enjoy this introduction. In the end, everything makes sense in typical Discworld fashion.

Review by Ellie Goldstein Erickson

NEW ARRIVALS from Terry Pratchet will hit the BHS Library shelves soon!

 

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

glory o'brien

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

This unique story shows off King’s skills as a writer of unusual protagonists who find themselves in ever more bizarre life circumstances.  Glory is about to graduate from high school, but has no real plan since she’s been shut off from most of life since her mother’s suicide 12 years ago.  Her dad is a painter who is likewise depressed and has refused to paint or do much of anything since his wife’s death.  Ellie, Glory’s only friend, lives across the road in a hippie commune which may be a cult led by Ellie’s mom.  Add to the the fact that Glory isn’t sure she even like’s Ellie anymore, and is beginning to wonder if their relationship has just become something that is convenient.  One night at Ellie’s insistence the girls drink a gruesome cocktail of beer with powdered mummified bat in it, and both begin to see glimpses of the future of people they look at.  Let’s just say that the future in NOT bright and includes a second civil war, internment camps and an abrupt erosion of the rights of women that may bring Margaret Atwater’s Handmaid’s Tale to mind.

If this sounds like there’s a lot going on in this book, you’re right, there is.  But King deftly handles her plot twists as seen from Glory’s perspective in a manner that will keep readers enthralled and needing to read on.  I loved the originality  of this story and appreciated the uniqueness of the main character.  I think dystopian readers, science fiction fans, and readers who have liked A. S. Kings other books will relish this new title.

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Click on the book covers to see our reviews of her other titles.

Inhuman by Kat Falls

inhuman

Inhuman by Kat Falls

This title begins a trilogy set in a dystopian future where a mutating virus has turned much of the population into savage zombie-like creatures.  Lane McEvoy lives with her father inside the the walled safe area west of the Mississippi River.  People are forbidden from crossing into the Feral Zone, but sixteen year old Lane rudely discovers that her father is not an art dealer like she though all long, but a “fetch” who smuggles long lost art out of the Feral Zone to sell to wealthy patrons  in the safe area.  But Lane’s always been interested in what might be on the other side of the massive, guarded wall.  When Lane finds out her father has been secretly a fetch all along, she is given the choice of going into the Feral Zone and completing his last job, one for a corrupt government official who is blackmailing her.  She ends up with two co-conspirators, Everson who was a guard on the Wall and the mercenary named Rafe who is comfortable on both sides of the country.

This book is an action-packed adventure full of twists that please readers looking for a fast-paced story.  It will also be great for fans of science fiction or dystopia.  I highly recommend it to teen readers looking for a fast, suspenseful read.