After being kept away from technology for 10 years, Hedda finds herself suddenly having to confront the devices of the modern world when her mother must travel to Australia. The only choice Hedda has is to go live with her father, his new wife and her half-brother. Almost immediately she encounters a bizarre situation in which a young girl supposedly commits suicide. Something seems off about the death. and Hedda tries to figure out what really happened. Other inexplicable violent deaths occur, and they seem to have some connection to an online- game. If the player dies thirteen times on level thirteen, they die in real life. Oddly enough the game is tied to Hedda. Her discovery of the truth ultimately tears her life apart. This is a thought-provoking novel. Can computer programs actually infiltrate the mind of the users and cause actions that they would not otherwise take? That is one of the questions the reader must confront. I found the story interesting, but I did have a big question about one scene. The story line moves through Hedda’s eyes – for the most part. There are some scenes which show action from another person’s viewpoint. These situations are indicated by a different font in the book. One situation which involved Hedda and her viewpoint I found implausible. Hedda goes to her father’s office and meets Kai, the receptionist. In this scene and only in this scene, Hedda refers to Kai as “they” not “she” or “he.” This is a very new transgender usage of pronouns. If Hedda had been socially isolated for ten years, she would NOT have had any knowledge of that particular pronoun usage. It appears to be a gratuituous reference to transgendered people. It does not fit into the story in any way. I found that disturbing. Also, when Hedda goes to live with her father she and her mother leave their farm. I could not find any reference to a caretaker or another farmer who helped them. When Hedda and her mother return to the farm, the animals and chickens are there, but the question remains: Who took care of them? If you can overlook these little problems, you might want to add it to your collection of modern fiction.
This book is actually a sequel to The Forgetting, but it can totally stand alone. In this story over 300 years have passed since the first pioneers from Earth arrived aboard Centauri I at the planet they had called Canaan. Now explorers from Earth have once again arrived on a ship called Centauri III. Their job is to see how the original pioneers have done in building a new civilization on the new planet. They are directed not to interact with the inhabitants – only to observe and report their findings.
Of course, Beckett and Jillian, the two young observers from the ship, find themselves in a situation that demands that they get involved. How they interact with Samara, a girl from the city of New Canaan, moves the story along to a most unexpected conclusion.
The people who live inside of New Canaan are incapable of forgetting anything – even pain and emotions. They remember everything except for what happened 300 years ago. This constant bombardment of remembering leaves them incapable of developing emotional attachments because the loss of someone they love causes them tremendous emotional pain every time they think about that person.
On the positive side, they never forget anything that they have read, seen or heard which makes Samarra extremely important as Beckett and Jillian as they try to find out what really had happened to the people on Canaan and to keep the rest of the explorers on board Centauri II safe.
There is nothing about this book that would cause reservations about its purchase for the high school library. It does contain violent scenes, but sex and language are absent. If you have not already read The Forgetting, you will want to do so after reading this book.
The author leaves the reader wondering about what happened to the ship Centauri II. Another spellbinding tale must be forth-coming.
Cardinal Cassidy is one of the lucky ones in Black River. He has managed to escape the virus that has ravaged the town. This virus causes amnesia of events in people’s lives without destroying their scholastic ability. Families have been torn apart because they no longer recognize each other, and Cardinal’s family is no different. No one, except Cardinal, remembers who they are, where they worked, or what the world outside of Black River is like.
The National Guard has been sent in, wearing haz-mat suits, to keep the town in quarantine until the scientists can come up with a cure or, at least, a vaccine so that the rest of the world will not be infected by contact with the survivors. If no cure or vaccine is found, the National Guard is going to insure that no living human being leaves Black Falls.
Hector Gonzolez finds Cardinal living outside of the town. He realizes that Cardinal is not infected, so he gives him a breathing mask to enable him to go into the town and look for his family. The mask also enables Cardinal to help little children who cannot remember their families, but they are so young that they need help in surviving.
Cardinal takes these children to his hideout on the mountain because it is not safe for them to be in the town. Hector keeps Cardinal’s secret, and even helps him with some necessary supplies, but one day the National Guard is ordered to pull out and a private company comes in to take over the control of the quarantined town. This new group has a totally different approach to solving the problem of the memory virus.
This is a very good sci-fi story, and will cause the reader to examine the possibility of a man-made dangerous virus. It is written for middle school and/or high school readers. I definitely recommend it for those readers.
This is number 6 of The Alien in My Pocket series. Zach McGee and Amp, the small alien that lives with him go on a family camping trip. Amp wasn’t supposed to go, but Zach’s little brother left the door to his room open, and Amp came along without Zach knowing it. Zach’s friend, Olivia, who knows about Amp, was allowed to come along with the family on the trip. Zach, Amp, and Olivia manage to get lost in the woods, but Amp teaches them how to make a compass that works, and they find their way out of the woods.
While the story, by itself is a interesting, I like the extra science information given both in the story and at the end of the book. Elementary readers will enjoy reading more of the adventures of Zach and Amp, and they will learn more about science as they read.
Miranda has given us a new take on reincarnation. What if, instead of being reincarnated to be able to better one’s soul, everyone were reincarnated with the same soul they had before – evil traits and all. Alina has spent her life on a secluded island – not for what she had done in her present life, but for what she did in a past life. She is being secluded to protect others from her. In her previous life she committed a serious crime and caused the death of a young man. They know it was her because they were able to test her soul’s print through a lumbar puncture done 12 hours after she was born. It matched the criminal’s print , and so Alina was separated from society for society’s sake. Only, she has people who want her to be free, and they help her escape; but, can she trust those people?
I don’t believe in reincarnation, and I don’t think this book will influence young people to begin believing in it. If anything, it probably will have the opposite effect. So, Christian parents, rest easy in allowing your young ones to read this story. I am saying it is science fiction because of the “science” in it. It is also an exciting mystery/adventure tale. It is sure to please readers in grade 10 and up. And, it would make a good movie.
Set in the far distant future, this science fiction tale is about a civilization on a planet similar to ours. It is part of an alliance of other planets that have agreed not to colonize or to enslave senescent being of other planets. Aden Pendar is a young lieutenant whose job it is to undertake a top secret mission to find a star ship called Dragon of the Stars. This ship was developed by scientists on his planet, but on its maiden voyage, the man who had developed it took off with it. It supposedly has the ability to destroy any other starship, and other members of the Alliance are determined to keep it from being found. Aden eventually finds the ship after several close calls with Alliance ships. But what he finds out about the ship and its inventor will leave the reader stunned. When I first began reading this book, I had trouble getting into it because of all the military and space jargon, I even began to wonder if it were worth my time to read it all. Then, all of a sudden – there it was – a turning point that I had not expected and from that point on I couldn’t put it down. Readers of science fiction will definitely enjoy. I would recommend it for readers in 7th grade and up.
I have always liked science fiction, but lately I have not been able to get that type of book to review. Science fiction has often given rise to actual scientific inventions. Someone reads a book or watches a movie and begins to think, “Why couldn’t that really happen?” The biometric machines that are common-place in our hospitals had their inception in Star Trek. A machine that could travel to the moon and another that could go deep under the sea was born in the mind of Jules Verne. These are only a few examples of how science fiction has influenced reality.
The concepts that Helvig proposes in Burn Out are somewhat terrifying, yet intriguing. Could it be possible to develop suits that would be totally heat resistant and self-repairing? Is it possible to travel deep into space through a type of worm-hole? This particular story was a pleasure for me to read, not only because it is well-written and thought-provoking, but also because it promises more to come.
It is 300 years in the future, and seventeen year old Tora lives all alone in an underground shelter. The earth is quickly dying because the sun has become a red giant and is burning up everything as it dies. Her mother and sister were killed when they ventured outside and were burned alive by the sun. Her father, an engineer for the government, was killed by that government, so Tora can trust no one. She knows that her only hope is to escape from Earth to someplace else in the Universe, but she has no idea where to go and no spaceship – only the deadly weapons that her father had created that only she can fire because he set them to her biometrics. She doesn’t know if anyone else is even alive on Earth, but she sends out a broadcast every day, just in case. A family friend, Marcus, appears one day; and her world actually becomes worse.
Any high school Sci-Fi reader will love this book. It is also a type of political commentary because the government that is supposed to be trying to save the world is actually out to save themselves. I recommend it for high school readers and up because it is rather violent and there are sexual references.
Zach is injured when Amp, the alien he is hiding, borrows the brake cable from his bike. Amp used it to work on a machine he needs to get back to his home planet. While he is incapacitated at home, Zach has to figure out how to do his homework, how to help Amp get back to his home planet and stop the invasion of Earth, and how to keep his nosy little brother from finding out about Amp.
This is a funny, fast-paced little book for grades three through five. Nate Ball, a mechanical engineer, introduces the reader to several science concepts and vocabulary that supports the concepts he has introduced. He has also, at the end of the book, included an experiment on building an egg decelerator. The information is easy-to-read and should be fun for any student interested in science
The reader is also given a preview of the next book in the series following the experiment. This preview will cause young readers to beg for the next book in the series. I would recommend the purchase of On Impact! for any elementary library.
The reader or teacher can also find Common Core resources for this book at http://www.readcommoncore.com .
Get ready to be afraid – very afraid!
Jeff has just had his world come crashing down around him. His father explains that all he ever knew about himself was a lie. His mother did not die; she didn’t even really exist. His father wasn’t his real father; he wasn’t even really fourteen years old. He was part of a secret government project, DSTI, to create killing machines using DNA from serial killers, and he is a clone of Jeffery Dahmer. Then, his father leaves him and, for whatever reason, sets free all the clones still living at the Massey Institute, which he succeeds in doing; thus setting a group of killer clones loose in the U.S.
A rogue agent from DSTI, named Castillo saves Jeff from being taken by either DSTI or the killer clones. The killer clones begin a killing spree across the U.S, and Castillo and Jeff have to track down the killers using the notes Jeff’s “father” left. Jeff also has some type of psychic connection to the killers, but he begins to realize that the connection works two ways. There may be more to this story to follow.
Nature or Nurture has always been the big question about criminals. Girard has given us a thought-provoking work couched in the plot of a horror sci-fi book. He also tells us about real secret government projects that have involved using humans as guinea pigs – some of which the reader may know about, and others, which- after a good internet search- the reader will come to realize are only too true. Could the events really happen? The answer is, unfortunately, a resounding YES. The story is written for high school students, but although it is dark and somewhat violent, it could be read by a good middle school reader.
I don’t have a picture for this book because I read a “prepub” edition, but I think it deserves to be looked at when it is published. Here is the review I sent to the publisher:
Alexander has given us a whole new way of looking at aliens – both human and non-human. Gabe is an ordinary boy who thinks his summer will be the usual thing of playing with his friends and helping his parents care for his twin siblings. His world is turned upside down when an alien named the Envoy invites him to be Earth’s ambassador to the Universe and thus to save the Earth. This excites Gabe, yet he doesn’t understand how he, as a boy, can help save the world.
At the same time, his parents are arrested because they are illegal aliens and his parents are in danger of being deported. A neighbor offers to take care of Gabe and the twins because they are American citizens. His older sister has gone into hiding because she, also, is an illegal alien. Gabe had no idea that his parents were not American citizens, and he also has no idea how to save his family.
As an ambassador, Gabe learns about conflict resolution, about talking of similarities of the inhabitants of the universe, and about trying to solve problems rather than fighting. He still doesn’t know what he can do to save his family, but he knows that anger will not solve his problems.
This is an excellent book to help younger readers see that they are not alone with their conflicts. It may help readers learn methods of communication, which are so very necessary in our world. It would appear that there may be more stories of Gabe, the ambassador to come. If that is true, I trust they will continue along the same line. I recommend this book for the elementary library. The publisher is Simon and Schuster.