Thursday, June 23, 2005

Warriors: The New Prophecy #1: Midnight

The forest is home to four different clans of cats. However, they are all in grave danger. Their only hope lies with four chosen cats, one from each clan. These chosen cats are given a prophecy through a dream, and although they are from rival clans, they must learn to work together to defeat an unknown enemy or face a terrible fate - the destruction of all their clans.

This book is a wonderful story for young and old. It is a little confusing in the beginning and the plot is slow to develop. However, the further you read, the clearer and more addicting it becomes. The end is a real surprise. After reading this book, you find yourself wanting to immediately pick up the next book in the series to find out what will happen next. If you have not yet begun this series, this book is a great place to start.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewed bt a Flamingnet Student Reviewer (

A.D. 62: Pompeii by Rebecca East

Miranda, a Harvard scholar volunteers for a time travel experiment back to the ancient days of Rome. Equipped with only a signal device implanted in her arm to return home and a wooden flute, Miranda is whisked back to Pompeii where she is given the opertunity to study ancient life as a slave in a wealthy household. Although promised that she'd be able to return home at any time, Miranda soon realizes that she is trapped in the ancient world. As she works her way from a laborer to a musician and storyteller of the household, Miranda falls deeply in love with her Master. Eventually her intelligence and spirit earn his adoration in return. Miranda learns to love her new life in Pompeii, earns the respect of her fellow Romans, and gets the biggest reward of all, a loving husband.

A.D.62:Pompeii was a magnificent book. It kept me reading until the very last page. I loved the heroine of the story, she was very likeable. The author painted a very good picture of ancient life in Pompeii, I felt like I learned a lot of history, but the history made it all the more real. The ending of the book was perfect, not your typical happily ever after, it was unexpected, but still cheerful. I think the author could have done more with the women's rights part of the story. The title and cover were very deceiving. It looked like an average history book, but it wasn't at all like that. Overall, I think that this was a great story. It is so unique, that is why I really loved it.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10

Reviewed by a Flamingnet Student Reviewer

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sign of the Raven

Tom isn't pleased when his mom's recovery from cancer takes him from his home to his grandmother's. Soon memories of Tom's first visit to his gram's begin to surface. What did he see in the basement? What did he hear down there? Now, he thinks he's seeing the raven on the neighboring pub sign move! Is Tom going insane, or are strange things happening? Stranger still is Tom's gradual discovery of "the gap", a portal in time that allows Tom to travel back to the year 1717 where he stumbles into a group of prisoner circus attractions. According to Tom's new friends he is their only hope of getting their deceased friend, the giant, to his wanted resting place, but should Tom trust them?

Hearn's novel is excellent. In my opinion, I agree with Hearn's placement of the secret Tom discovers early on in the book. On the other hand, others might think it was given away too early. I could go on and on about the ending to Sign of the Raven, but talking about it might give it away. Understand this, if you don't understand the ending read it over until you do! It is hidden well, but it is easy to give away. This novel was spectacular the whole way through, and I've never read anything like it, so I declare it my favorite book of all time even with some English sayings and passages that are difficult to understand.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10

Monday, June 06, 2005

Jay by W. Royce Adams

Four years have passed; more than can be imagined has changed. Jay, now sixteen, is a hobo living a life on the tracks. Having nowhere to live after the death of his mother, the only remaining member of his family, he must ride the freight trains to escape a foster home. After being caught by the bulls, or Freight Train Police, he needs to be more careful on the tracks. The bulls robbed him; he was left with no money, food, or weapons to defend him or to cut food. He hops a train to escape the bulls and jumps on a flatbed car. He tries to hide under a tarp so he is not seen, and in the darkness of it, he feels a leg. “Hey!” is all that is said. A hobo, called by the name of Liberty Two, is the leg’s owner. They are introduced to each other and they are astonished to find that the two of them are the same age. They befriend and start out a life of hobos.

Jay, the sequel to Me and Jay, is a very good piece of children’s literature. This book is not as graphical as Me and Jay, so it is a book that a child can read without getting frightening images in his head. From the ending to Jay, it is obvious that a sequel to Jay is in order. Jay, the sequel to Me and Jay, should be a book on everyone’s bookshelf because of the unforgettable characters, their friendship and shared adventures.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewed by a Flamingnet Book Reviewer

Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers

When Jesse meets his friend Rise, they become more than friends. But when Rise leaves his side and orders shootings and deals blow, Jesse gets out of Rise's company. As more and more tragic events happen, Jesse, an aspiring artist, continues drawing. But when he compares his drawings of Rise with memories of his past, Jesse starts questioning this change of persona. Little does he know that tragedy will soon be present once more.

Autobiography of My Dead Brother was the best book I have read this year. The beginning was slow and boring, but that soon changed. I enjoyed the emotion poured into the book and I almost cried at several parts. The "blackcent" was accurately portrayed. The ending especially tugged at my heartstrings. Despite the young-looking cover and "cartoony" art style, this book is very mature with a lot of violence. I just can't believe how emotional this book was.

RATING (out of 10): 9

Flamingnet Reviewer: Josh McLucas

Dragon Blade By: Andre Norton and Sasha Miller

Nordon rulers Gaurin and Ashen have thought that the Great Foulness is over. However, when they get a present for their new son, they find out that they were wrong. The Ice Dragons they faced in the war were just babies, and the mother still lives. Gauring immediatly sets out to destroy the Mother Ice Dragon, hoping to find a certain sword that will help destroy her. After Gaurin leaves, Ashen finds new information about the Dragon Blade. She rides out to try and find him and give him this new piece of information. Meanwhile things back in Nordornlands aren't going to well. A huge troll is attacking and destroying everything in sight. Ashen finally catches up to Gaurin just in time. The next day they battle the Mother Ice Dragon. Even with the legendary Dragon Blade, will Gaurin be able to kill the dragon?

This book was very exciting and full of adventure. You switch off between the Nordornland affairs and the Mother Ice Dragon affairs. Normally it would be confusing, but with this author it wasn't. There was a mystery involved also. You never know a huge part of the story until the end. This book had me reading hours at a time. The author had a great flow of words, which kept me intrigued.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10

Review by: MY

Sam I Am By: Ilene Cooper

In this book, a boy named Sam has a very diverse family. His dad is Jewish. His mom is Christian. His grandmas are very religious, and don't appreciate the other religion. Sam is very confused about his religion, and trys to talk to God. He doesn't get the answers he expected. Then Sam's class starts learning about the Holocaust, which greatly upsets him. Meanwhile, Sam is acting like any other teenage boy. He is fantasizing about going out with a girl (he eventually gets his dream), who everyone else thinks is snobby.

This book was all right. I liked it because I can relate to Sam because my household has two different religions in it, and I think that other people could also relate to Sam in this way. The book had faults though. There were parts where it could have ended, and I would have been pleased. It just seemed to keep going on and on.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Review By: RC

Trick of the Mind By: Judy Waite

This book is about the lives of two teenagers, Matt and Erin. Erin is a magician and loves being one. Matt is a sensitive boy, who is considered by basically everyone he knows a stupid troublmaker. Then one day Matt and Erin both go to the castle, a popular hang-out place, Erin goes to the castle to put on a magic show and Matt goes to see the girl of his dreams. At first sight of Matt, Erin sees love, and at first sight of Erin, Matt sees a very good magician, and nothing else. Matt starts to hang-out with Erin out of pity, and Erin, in hopes of getting Matt to like her teaches him magic tricks. But when life at home takes an unexpected turn for the worse for Matt, he runs away, and finds the only way of survival for him is to use the magic tricks Erin taught to him. During Matt's time on the streets, he starts to learn of a special talent he has. However, Matt is in deep trouble at home, and the only person who can defend him is Erin.

I thought "Trick of the Mind" was a very well written book that had many surprises in it. The parts after Matt ran away really shocked me, and those parts really showed you what the characters in the story were like when they were under pressure, caught off guard, or had their feelings hurt. When those things happened, you would get more insight into what Matt and Erin were really like. The best part of the book, in my opinion, would have to be the ending, mainly because it never explained what would happen to Matt or if the police would believe Erin. The book left you to imagine what would happen next. The only thing that I didn't like about the book was the fact that Erin kept falling for Matt and then how that love she had for Matt ended up hurting her. The book really shows you that things aren't always as you want them to be no matter how much you try to make them that way.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Review by: VB

Friday, June 03, 2005

Small Eternities by Michael Lawrence

What if there actually are realities existing at the same time as ours? What if that one choice you made so long ago created another world of simultaneous but slightly different events that overlaps your own? And what if you somehow found a way to cross over to that parallel universe and meet someone on the other side?

That's exactly what happened in the first of Michael Lawrence's trilogy of novels, "A Crack in the Line," where Alaric and Naia – two teens with the same parents, same house, and only slightly different lives – accidentally and irreversibly switched places. In the sequel, "Small Eternities," each is living the other's life, and they're the only ones who remember the way it used to be. Three months after they switched, Alaric is happier than he's ever been, but Naia is barely learning to survive. At the same time – but in a different time – a young boy named Aldous unknowingly moves along toward a fate that seems inevitable, existing only in a "small eternity," a short time in 1945 right before he dies. Or does he? Because Alaric and Naia have met up again, within this small eternity, and anything they do can change the future of the past.

Sound confusing? It is, at first. "Small Eternities" asks a lot of its readers. You might have to re-read a few pages every now and then, or go back and check something you thought you noticed a couple chapters ago. In fact, the moment I finished the last page I just had to start again with the first page, reading with a new understanding.
This isn't some lazy summer read, but it's definitely worth the extra work. This is a book to read with a couple of friends; a book that inspires discussion; a book that you'll have to set aside a few hours to finish because you won't want to have to put it down; a book that definitely deserves praise.

Rating (0 - 10): 9

Reviewed by Beckie Sheffield for Flamingnet Book Reviews

The Ranger's Appentice by John Flanagan

Will's life is a complete mystery. Other than the fact that his father died a hero, he knows nothing about his parents death or life. Hoping to follow in his father's footsteps, he asks to get into the Battleschool. Unfortunately, he gets refused. As he is about to steal a paper that could possibly change his life, he learns something that will. The Baron and Halt (the Ranger) catch him, but that's not the reason for their interruption. Will shall have to face his fears in order to become a Ranger's Apprentice.

The Ranger's Apprentice was an extremely well-written story. The descriptions of objects were excellent. I enjoyed the freshness of the character's personality. The clashes of that sort were exceptional. I can't seem to place critisism on any specific part, so the book was consistently good. I think the only bad things were the extremely slow first 75 pages and the annoying British spelling and lingo. You need a VERY extensive vocabulary to get through it. I would have preferred a more in-depth look at the final battle. With all that said, this was one of my favorite fantasy books yet.



Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Waterless Sea

Calwyn and her other chanter friends are out on a routine
run. Their job is to put an end to piracy. Heben is a captive on a
pirate ship. His goal is to find chanters that can help him free his
twin siblings. They meet.

Calwyn has never been herself since Darrow left. When Heben
comes to her and her friends with his request for help, she can hardly refuse.
Maybe it will take her mind off Darrow for a while. She has no idea
what she is about to begin. Rescuing chanter children is no easy
matter. Especially when, as Calwyn eventually finds out, one is
being held in a palace and the other is in the lair of the iron chanters.
Darrow knows he has to help her. He knows what it is like to live in
the Black Palace and the dangers that come with it. When Calwyn
rescues the children and, using new-found powers, begins the healing
of Merithuros to prevent a war, she doesn't realize what she is about
to lose. Her worst fears might have become reality after all.

The Waterless Sea is suspense through and through. Fantasy,
love, danger, and friends intertwine to create a masterpiece. Kate
Constable paints vivid pictures in your mind. She shows you
everything, even the character's expressions and feelings. You feel
as if you are three different people all at once. You feel different
emotions; you see different things, and yet it's as if you aren't in
the least confused by it. It seems natural. The Waterless Sea is so
different from any other book that the reader almost expects the same
feelings the next time he/she picks up a book. You love the tons of
different feelings running through you, and yet you hate them too. You
want something to happen; you're sure it's going to; every sense in
your body encourages the words to be as they want them, but it is
never as you want. Something different and unexpected happens each
time. When you come to the end of the book, which is by no means the
end of the adventure, you reread the end again and again, unbelieving.
You almost feel like if you read it again, it will change, but it
never does. Readers will have a hard time waiting for the third in
the Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy.

Reviewed by a Flamingnet Student Reviewer