Monday, April 8, 2013

The Warlock, by Michael Scott

The Warlock, by Michael Scott, is the fifth book in the series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel which continues the story of the two twins of legend, Sophie and Josh Newman, that are on they're quest to learn all elemental magics and retrieve the ancient codex Dr. John Dee had taken from Nicholas Flamel, the guardian. The book begins with Josh being kidnapped by Dee and his semi-faithful servant Virginia Dare. She proposed the magic of Air to Josh and ,unknowingly and under her spell, accepted. Sophie, Nicholas and Perenelle, Nicholas' wife, went to acquire help from Tsagaglalal, a powerful enchantress and wife of legendary King Gilgamesh. She also offered Sophie the final magic of Earth, leaving Josh behind. Meanwhile, Dee secretly plans to betray Dare and use Josh to summon the Dark Elders, a race of immensely powerful and intelligent beings, to destroy all worlds. Keep in mind Josh still has the two torn pages to the codex, which are t he final ingredients for the final summoning. Will the gang rescue Josh? Can Josh be freed of Dee's trap? Will this be the end of all reality as we know it? All answers will be revealed in the book.

My opinion of this book was pretty good. As mentioned in my last review for The Necromancer, I kept high hopes for this book. I liked how they kept the same elements as the previous book, but it didn't feel the same. By now, this book would be loved by the people already in the series. Honestly, this particular book wouldn't make sense if one just read as a new reader of the series. This book made me reflect a little less than the previous and I thought more of the story than the message, but I digress. I had tons of fun reading the five books, and I am aware of the final sixth book of the series, although I plan to come back to this series a bit later. Personally, I could never finish a series without taking a break from it and experiencing other novels. I don't see this as a goodbye, but more as I'll be back. However, I should not stop others from reading the sixth book, I'm very certain it is amazing judging from th e other books in the series. It's been great and hopefully, other novels will be posted besides the current series.

Reviewed by David, grade 9.
Central Library

The Other Boy, by Hailey Abbott

"The Other Boy" by Hailey Abbot,  is about a spoiled girl who has everything every girl wants. Rich parents, a wonderful house, a gorgeous boyfriend. Everything is going well until her Dad makes her go to a farm-kind of a place to do work! She hates working, of course. She got everything she wanted without working, but now she has to learn. The first day of that farm she calls "hell", she meets a nice guy who helps her to get used to the new place. After being very good friends, they develop feelings for each other and the book ends at a very happy note.

This book is the most fun and "girly" book I've ever read. It's considered Romantic Comedy. I just love that kind of books and movies. This book will never let you be bored. I think girls will enjoy it more, because the narrator is a girl and she describes all the feelings she has at the moment and I think us, girls can relate to them. The best part is that she falls in love with a new guy and realizes that her spoiled boyfriend is not as good as this guy. Maddie, the narrator becomes a better person after all these adventures and I think this book teaches us that happiness is NOT only in being rich and having everything given to you without working to get it.

Reviewed by Iren, grade 9.
Central Library

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"EAT THIS MEAL," WIRED Magazine October 2012

Rachel Swaby, goes over the things you should and should not eat, and the reasons behind them. She discuses how feeding yourself is easy, but you have to pull yourself from fancy flavor combinations. She first starts up by giving an example of a great meal, which will help you outperform and outlive those who eat unhealthy meals. It has grains which prevents heart disease and diabetes, and also has fiber and nutrients. There is also fillet of salmon which has omega-3 fatty acids which help in several different ways one is reducing your risk of heart disease by 36 percent. Another part of a meal which most people forget is fruit. She sugests eating 2/3 cup of berries which provide vitamins A, C, and E. Even more forgot in common meals are Vegetables they lower blod pressure, and help ward off stoke and cancer. The final thing that almost everyone forgets to be health conscious about is the drink. Surprisingly its just water. It aids digestion, gets nutrients efficiently to your cells and protects your organs and tissues.

This article should be a must read for every one. It is very well organized and has excellent graphics so even children can comprehend it. Yet it has detailed information fit for a nutritionist. It gives and over all summary for what should be ate and shouldn't. Then it goes into a more in debt view and shows you a great example of a meal fit for a king, a healthy king. It tells you the reasoning behind every group of food. It also tells you why its a healthy choice. In conclusion i would highly recommend this article for everyone to read.

Reviewed by SSN, grade 9.
Montrose Library

Ten Things We Did, by Sarah Mlynowski

Then Things We Did, by Sarah Mlynowski, is about typical teenagers who like to party and ignore their parents. April, a 16 year old girl, doesn't want to move to another state with her Dad, so she convinces her Dad and her Stepmother, that she will behave and live in her friend's house until she graduates her High School. Her whole life pretty much becomes a mess after all the fun she had after her parents left the state. She is not doing good at school anymore, her boyfriend cheated on her and she loses some of her friends. Pretty much she did 10 things that she shouldn't have done, so she pays for her mistakes.

"Ten Things We Did" is a fun and great story. It teaches that we shouldn't lie to our parents. The truth is going to be revealed sometime. Sometimes we think we're mature enough to make life decisions, but at this age, we change our mind about something very easily, so we have to think about something for a long time then go for it. April wanted a carefree life, without parents, but all she got was problems. Many of them. The story does not end on a sad note, but she realizes her mistake, which is the best part of the story.

Reviewed by Iren, grade 9.
Central Library

"Phanteks PH-TC90LS small and quiet," Maximum PC's Holiday 2012 edition


Phanteks has been making fans for a while but this one os certainly special. Next to the Intel stock CPU cooler it looks small. Jimmy Thang reviews the new small and quiet CPU cooler which is great, but only in some circumstances. A big plus to the cooler is its size, it can easily fin into HTPCs or Home Theater Personal Computers. They are small computers that are usually connected to T.V.s and used for viewing movies or shows and light weight applications. When compared to the intel stock cooler it looses in thermal tests by several degrees Celsius. In conclusion, it is quiet, small and will fit in HTPC chassis, but the intel stock cooler cools better. Jimmy Thang gave it an 8 out of 10.

In my opinion i do not agree with Jimmy Thangs review. Although the cooler is small and quiet it should not have gotten an 8 out 10. However, if it was a 7 out of 10 I would of agreed. The cooler clearly can beet a simple stock intel cooler, now this is ok if you were going to do a small HTPC build but if it was a full size PC i would not agree. He should of stressed this in the article. Also i would give it the 7 and not a 8 because of the problems they ran into when installing the cooler. In conclusion i would recommend this article if you are planning on building a HTPC and need to do research on a CPU cooler because of its in debt review of the cooler and the valuable information it provides.

Reviewed by SSN, grade 9.
Montrose Library

The Sorceress, by Michael Scott

The novel, The Sorceress by Michael Scott, is the third book in the series of The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel. Our previous heroes, Sophie and Josh Newman, are chasing Dr. John Dee, an evil man plotting to destroy all worlds. They are accompanied by Nicholas Flamel, a powerful alchymest aiding them on their quest. Sophie has unlocked her full magical potential, however Josh has not been enlightened, until another elder, Mars of Ulaktor, awakened him. Normally in eternal debt, Josh back stabs Mars and returns to his sister. Their quest continues up until they meet King Gilgamesh, a powerful king, former king of ancient Egypt, and oldest immortal. As the first immortal, he was flawed in the immortality process, and it has gone insane. However, he manages the two twins the magic of water and returns to hiding. Dee, returns to Mars and resurrects the dead elder for a dirty proposition. What will become of the twins? What did Mars and Dee plan? Where is Perenelle and is she alive?

I really enjoyed this book along with the other two. This book was much more slow than the two others and I sometimes found it hard stay on the same scenario for several chapters. Although I was disappointed by the lay out, the story was great, regardless of how it was told. I think this book would be loved by people familiar with the series and adjusts on the different layouts of each book. This book was slow paced, so it gave me a lot of time to think things through. I recommend this book to those in the series and the mythology type. It is an amazing book part of a great series. Many wonders await me in the next book.

Reviewed by David, grade 9.
Central Library

The Magician, by Michael Scott

The novel, The Magician by Michael Scott, is a sequel to the first book, The Alchymest, which told of two twins Sophie and Josh that were accompanied by Nicholas Flamel and life long friend Scatach of the shadow to stop the vile John Dee. The story begins with Sophie being awakened, or having magical properties, but Josh does not. They searched many worlds and destinations to find a teacher of the element Fire for Sophie and someone to awaken Josh. Along the way, they find a teacher for Sophie, Saint Germain, and is taught the magic of Fire, however Josh remains not awakened. The newly formed pack explored many sites searching for Dee. Meanwhile, Dee is forming an evil army to snatch the last two pages from Flamel. Will Josh be awakened? Will the gang retrieve the stolen codex? Will evil triumph and steal the remaining pages? The answers may be revealed in the next book in the series.

I, for one, loved this book. As a fan of the other book, I found this book much like it and better than the first. Its use of suspense and historical figures kept me from putting it down. I believe this book would be amazing for all those action seekers and for those who need a book series that eventually doesn't turn into a love story. It made me think about how the people in the stories impacted history. For some characters, I researched them and found how their behaviors impacted their portrayal in the book. This book is recommended for the action seekers and suspense lovers. I do not hesitate to read the third book in the series!

Reviewed by David, grade 9.
Central Library

"Hitachi Fills Its Drives with Helium," Maximum PC's Holiday 2012 edition.

We all know that Helium is less dense than air, but only Hitachi finds a way to make that useful when it comes to computer hardrives. Hitachi spent the last six years researching how to apply this in the fine art of Hard drive crafting. The reason they use Helium is actually pretty simple. a hard drive has spinning platers and if the air inside creates drag on the platers and heads over them. So if there is less resistance they can move faster and need less energy to do so. This is very energy effect and great for computers. these drives will be available to buy in 2013, this will be another small improvement in the quickly changing world of computer technology.

In my opinion this article is very well written and interesting. Advancements in Hard Drive technology is very important in the consumer computer market, but they it matters more for big companies like Google which have giant server farms with tens of thousands of Hard Drives. So having drives be for example 40% more energy efficient can save a lot of money per year. Now even though it will be huge for server owners. I dont really think Helium filled drives will be big news for consumers. So i dont agree completely with the article, Maybe because im slightly biast towards Solid State Drives for their speed and performance. I do think the article is certainly worth the read if you are interested into computer Hard Ware.

Reviewed by SSN, grade 9.
Montrose Library

"Borderlands 2 The shoot-and-loot format (almost) perfected," Maximum PC's Holiday 2012 edition

The original Borderlands came out in 2009 developed by GearBox studios. It was a great game but lacked a few simple things. The story felt like it was added just to be there, without much though. The main problem was the PC port. It was so bad the company had to issue a public apology, and promised to make it right in Borderlands 2. Fast Forward to the present of 2012 and the company has kept its promise. The game not only is great on PC's its amazing. It has great graphics and uses NVIDIA's PhysX. It is a big recourse hog once you play on displays higher than 1080p. During the tests Josh Norem stated, "The game was unplayable at times at 2560x1440 with a GeForce GTX 670 with all PhysX effects on High." For most of you that don't know the 670 is a graphics card thats almost $400. So not only did they make sure PC's had better graphics, but Borderlands 2 is a challenge to run on even the best of PC's. Besides this the game is fun to play, It has billions of gun combinations, and a great story. Josh does not forget to mention the hilarious writing, great story and lots of reparability. They gave it a 9 out of 10.

In my opinion the game deserves a 9/10 but i do not agree with the reasons Josh Norem stated. Although the game is a graphical recourse hog i would not say that that is a negative. From my point of view thats a positive because it utilizes higher end hardware better. Also he says the menus are not greatly suited for PC's because they overlap each other. I understand why he says this but in my opinion its a design decision and gives the game a special look. I would also state that the game needs a better checkpointing system. Also it does not do a good job of changing the gameplay as much, but it is an interesting game and I would recommend reading this article for anyone who is interested in buying Borderlands 2 or PC gaming.

Reviewed by SSN, grade 9.
Montrose Library

The Necromancer, by Michael Scott

Necromancer, by Michael Scott, is the fourth book in the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Our story continues with the twins returning to their aunt's house. They knew they would be fluttered with questions, so the prepared in advance. The second they entered they see Scathach, vampire that was killed in the third book. Unfortunately, it was her twin sister Aoife who, wrongful kidnapped Josh. Sophie immediately contacted Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel to find Josh. After numerous hours, they locate Josh, Aoife, and Niten, Aoife's guardian, and decide to join along in the search for Dee, the evil thief of the Book of Abraham the Mage, a powerful codex containing the power of immortality and unspeakable power. What will become of the newly formed gang? Will they retrieve the codex or fail in their mission? Who will teach the twins the final magic of Earth? All secrets will be revealed in this book and the next.

This book was the best by far. Honestly, my expectations of this book were high as is but were raised immensely with the books amazing descriptions and tone. By now, I believe this book would be great for the series lovers. Due to this book being the fourth in the series, it would be helpful to know the other three novels the fully understand the novel. However, if one is familiar, this book would blow one's mind. This book, in particular, really made me think of the human existence. The story involves many jumps through time and relativity and it made me think of how my past may have lead to many potential events. Strange how humans think about events until it is too late. Overall this book blew my mind and this book is made for everyone; action lovers or suspense lovers, the book contains all! This really sets a high bar for the next book.

Reviewed by David, grade 9.
Central Library

"Will your next game 'Console' be a PC?," Maximum PC's December 2012

Gordon Mah Ung writes about how the current generation of consoles are very old in comparison to PC's. The Xbox and the PS3 are both 6 hardware generations behind modern PC's. While most computers play modern games at 1080p at 60FPS, consoles are struggling to keep up. They are behind, at around 720p at 30FPS. Not to mention the scaling down of the details in graphics and the longer load times. But there is now an option for gamers who want to play on their couch and in their living room. Valve is coming out with a new UI, or user interface, for their digital game distribution software Steam. It is called big picture mode and its made for computers to be connected to T.V.s, much like consoles. It is made to be used with console controllers and be on a large display. This offers users the option of using a console controller and the comfort of the living room, yet you wont sacrifice load times and graphics like you do with consoles. So your next console may be a slim gaming pc, like an AlienWare X51 or Falcon NorthWest Tiki using Valves big Picture mode on Steam instead of a PS4 or Xbox 720.

In my opinion I completely agree with Gordon Mah Ung. The current generation consoles are already old enough, Gamers shouldn't have to sacrifice being comfortable to enjoy their hobby. I am very glad that Valve made this move and created this User Interface. It may not be very useful for someone like me who has a gaming mouse and keyboard but it will for people who are old console gammers coming into PC gaming, enticed by its power and flexibility over consoles. In conclusion, I would highly recommend reading this article if someone is interested in converting over to PC gaming or is a PC enthusiast thinking about making a new HTPC for gaming.

Reviewed by SSN, grade 9.
Montrose Library

The Pigman , by Paul Zindel

The Pigman, by Paul Zindel, is a story which comes from John’s and Lorraine’s point of view, two sophomores who were just making a practical joke on a complete stranger named Angelo Pignati. After befriending him, it turned out that slowly they became more comfortable in his home than their own. But now Mr. Pignati is dead. Now John and Lorraine find relief by writing their story of the Pigman.

It was such an inspiring book and I wouldn’t dare put it down. It wasn’t your usual romantic, adventure-filled, and tacky book. It was such an unusually brilliant story that only comes by once in a lifetime I’d have to say. It had so many emotional effects on me which is a big thing because I’m not really known to be an expressive person. When the characters in the story were sad I’d be sad, if they were happy I’d be very joyful, and so on.

Reviewed by Anne.

Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous


In Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, Alice is a regular American teenage girl who kept a journal and worried about what every girl her age worries about, such as popularity, boys, and diets. Alice’s family decides to move to another town, Alice was very unhappy with this because she finds herself even less popular than ever before due to the fact that she’s new to the place. As summer came by, Alice had the choice to return to her old town and spend her time there with her grandparents. During the stya Alice decided to throw a party that didn’t end so well. Without knowing she drank a cup of Coca-Cola that had a certain type of drug in it and was given out to the guests. And this is where it all begins, Alice started to get addicted and dependant on drugs and spent time with the “drug crew” because she felt accepted. Alice lived her life for a while dealing with drugs and so forth. Even when she tried to escape from the drugs, they always found a way back to her.

My opinion of the book would be that it’s an intense story that gives the readers a wakeup call. It gives you knowledge on how something so small can turn into such a threat and cause harm to your life. That every action you take will make an impact. This story is a perfect example of why everyone should think twice about the actions they take and who they trust. Even when you least expect it, the small choice you make can be a big part of your life.

Reviewed by Willian, grade 12.