Friday, November 8, 2019

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase, a homeless teen living on the streets of Boston has few friends other than Blitz and Hearth, two homeless guys that always seem to be hanging around and protecting him. Magnus' mom is dead, killed by a pack of wolves that attacked his apartment a while back. Magnus is a demigod, the son of an ancient Norse god, who came to Earth and decided to have a kid. Because of his connection to the Gods, he is killed... but is then sent to Valhalla, Odin's hall of fallen heroes, where he decides to escape, and go on a quest to find his father's lost sword, The Sword of Summer.

I really liked this book, it has the same feeling as one of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, but with different characters, and a bit of something else that I just can't put my finger on. One thing that I really enjoy about this book is that I learn a lot about the mythology, and the culture of the Norse. This is similar to how I learned about the Greeks with Percy Jackson books, and the Egyptians with the Kane Chronicles series. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read stories by Rick Riordan, or people who just like fantasy or mythology.

Reviewed by Julio B., Grade 10
Downtown Central

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer is an interesting reimagining of Twilight. The main character, Beau Swan, moves from where he lived with his mother in Phoenix, Arizona to the small town of Forks, Oregon to live with his father. He is enrolled into the local high school, where he sees the Cullen family- all of them are extremely beautiful and seem to keep to themselves. He is enthralled by Edythe Cullen, the youngest in the family. He becomes friends with Edythe, and she somehow saves him from a car accident and a mugging, showing unnatural abilities. Beau, knowing that Edythe is something more than human, finds out that the Cullens are actually a family of vampires- however, they restrain themselves to only hunting animals. Trouble strikes when another vampire coven moves through the area. One of these vampires, named Joss, decides to hunt Beau. The Cullens try to hide Beau in Phoenix- however, Joss tricks Beau into thinking that she has his mother as hostage. Beau agrees to meet Joss, and realizes that Joss never had his mother. The Cullens find him and kill Joss, but not before she bites Beau, causing his inevitable transformation into a vampire.

I really enjoyed Life and Death. In my opinion, the story was good- having plenty of romance, action, and tension. I enjoyed how some parts of the book were drastically changed from Twilight, especially the twist ending where Beau becomes a vampire. However, I didn't like how some parts of the novel were literally just copy and pasted from Twilight. I think that people who liked Twilight and people who like action/romance novels would enjoy this book, but I would suggest reading the Twilight series first- this book is more like an add on. The book tackled an interesting point- a universe where Edward was Edythe and Bella was Beau. Overall, I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it.

Reviewed by NK, Grade 10
Montrose Library

Monday, November 4, 2019

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead is the second book in the Scythe series. It follows the same characters from the previous book, Rowan, and Citra. Rowan has gone rogue, and now hunts down corrupt scythes, and ends them for good. Meanwhile, Citra is a influential new member among the scythe community. She openly opposes the new order, and is considered to be a supporter of the old guard ideals. The newest character that we see is a young adult named Greyson Tolliver. Greyson is a ward of the state, who was abandoned by his parents and taken in by the Thunderhead. His hope of becoming a Nimbus agent is cut short when he is told to interfere in the world of the scythes.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It is a good, fun read, and gives a new element to what you would think the world of scythes is like after reading Scythe. Like the previous book, Thunderhead is set in a Utopian future, where there is no pain or disease. To anyone who likes fiction, futuristic novels, or whoever just wants a nice, engaging read, I do indeed recommend this book. Neal Shusterman is an author who just knows how to craft a good story in a new reality, and how to grab a reader's attention. I am really anticipating the release of his next Scythe novel, and after reading the Thunderhead, you will be too.

Reviewed by Julio B., Grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library