Friday, 29 April 2011

The Lost Island





Primeval: The lost Island by Paul Kearney

The team from the ARC, (Anomaly Research Center) have traveled to the old Guns Island, with a back-up team from some other place. They mainly are going to the Atlantic to discover who killed the trawler in the sea. They find out, and it's a 50 ft long Liopleurodon! So, they arrive at the island, and a raft sinks and they lose half their gear, including weapons. But, what they dread is climbing the 1000 ft mountain, which they do anyway. Meanwhile, a member of the gang has joined the Navy, and when she boards the plane, as soon as they reach Guns Island, they crash, and Jenny is injured, and a man is killed. A Eotyrannus attacks, but Stephen kills it. They all travel together, and attacked by more Eotyrannus, and Farnsworth, a boring man gets killed, and Anita Watts, the signaler, gets her bones crushed. So, they find the old Monks place, and go inside. Stephen and Abby guard, and a Eotyrannus attacks, gets shot, and squashes Stephen, and breaks his ribs. The others save him, but they couldn't save Bristow, the...I have no idea what he does. Anyway, they escape the lizards, only to find themselves in a stuffy room. They open a door, and an anomaly awaits them. Cutter gives them a choice:Go through the anomaly, suffocate or get eaten alive. They choose go through, only to find more danger.
Who will get killed next? Will they get out alive?

You might like this if you also like...: Dinosaurs, and M rated movies

Name: Moonlar
Age: 11

Stack is the New Black




Stack is the New Black by Short Stack

The band members, Shaun Diviney, who is the singer and electric guitarist, Andy Clemmensen, singer and bass player, and Bradie Webb, the drummer. Any way, this CD includes the songs Ladies and gentlemen, Princess, Shimmy a go-go, Sway Sway Baby, In this place, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Counting the stars, Before Angels fall, Back of my Head, One step closer, It's 4 U, 17, We all Know and Thick as thieves.

Their songs have been on the radio before, and they are REALLY good!
PS, the rating is M

You might like this if you also like...: Good Charlotte, Blink 182, The Veronicas

Moonlar
Age: 11


Monday, 25 April 2011

Interview - Chris Morphew



The Phoenix Files: Underground, the fourth title in Chris Morphew's popular series, is due out in May. You can read a review of the first book in the series here.

What authors/books did you read as a child? When did you first discover your love of books?

My parents read to me long before I could read to myself, and had excellent taste in kids’ books (A.A. Milne, Beatrix Potter, Alison Lester...) When I first started reading on my own, I developed a bit of a non-fiction obsession (six-year-old Chris was often seen lugging children’s encyclopaedias to school for silent reading time). Then came Roald Dahl, Colin Dann’s The Animals of Farthing Wood series – and then Animorphs, my great introduction to the world of sci-fi and serialised storytelling.

When did you first realise you were a writer? What do you hope your readers will take away with them from reading your books?

I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember, but I was always hesitant to label myself a “writer” until I was actually doing it with some kind of consistency. I still do a bit of a double-take whenever I walk into a bookstore and see something I wrote sitting on a shelf among all the real books.

One of the incredible privileges you have as a storyteller is getting to hold up a mirror to the real world and let others see it in a new light. The world of
The Phoenix Files is a dark and broken place, but it’s a place where the darkness and the brokenness do not have the last word. I’d love for readers to come away with some sense – or some hope, even – that that could be true of our world as well.

Do you find it difficult to read purely for pleasure? Does everything you read come under your ‘writer’ microscope?

I certainly read differently now that I’m a writer. I’m quicker to notice clunky storytelling and dodgy prose – but I’m also slower to criticise these things, because I know how hard they are to get right! Sometimes all of that falls away, though. I think the sign that I’m really enjoying a book is when I stop analysing it and just enjoy the story.

Do you have to avoid reading certain types of fiction while writing your own? Does what you read while writing have an effect on what you write? In what way?

Usually I work the other way – I will quite often read within the genre I’m writing, just to see what else is out there, and to make sure I’m not inadvertently doing something that’s already been done.

Name five authors or books that have influenced or inspired your own writing in some way.

J.K. Rowling has probably taught me more about plot and character than any other writer I’ve read. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more invested in the fates of fictional characters than I was when I read the Harry Potter series for the first time.

C.S. Lewis has an incredible ability to infuse his stories with a kind of awe and wonder that makes the universe seem more beautiful and profound to me than it did before I started reading. I don’t know if I’m capable of writing like that, but I’m more than willing to give it a shot!

K.A. Applegate/Michael Grant, the authors of the Animorphs series, kept me completely engrossed in a book-a-month series for about four years in high school. I can’t pretend the books were high-brow literary fiction, but I’m sure they’ve influenced my own writing more than I even realise.

Don Miller is one of my favourite non-fiction authors. He’s written quite a bit about the connections between story and life, which has really helped to crystallise some of my ideas about the way I approach my writing.

I have a love/hate relationship with Stephen King’s writing. The journey is always so compelling, but I’m often frustrated by the destination.

If you were travelling and were told you could only take one book with you, what book would it be and why?

The Bible, because it’s the only genuinely life-changing book I’ve ever read. Or, if I was restricted to fiction, probably The Stand by Stephen King, because it’s a massive brick and I keep meaning to read it but haven’t got around to it yet.

What makes a book ‘too good to put down’?

Characters I can care about, a plot that feels like it’s headed somewhere, an ending I don’t see coming, and something to make me think, without telling me what to think.

What makes you put down a book without finishing it?

Usually some combination of the opposites of a too-good-to-put-down book.

Do you have a favourite author? Who is it and what is it about their writing that draws you to them?

It’s a toss-up between J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, for the reasons I talked about above.

What was your 2010 ‘best read’? What was it that made it number one?

My favourite novel of 2010 was probably Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. Pulling off a really satisfying ending to a trilogy or series is a huge challenge (one that I’ll be staring down the barrel of myself in the coming months), and I think Ness managed to tie everything together brilliantly.


What do you think of the non-traditional publishing methods – eBooks etc? Do you think the new technology will encourage more people to read? Do you think there’s a future for print books?

We’ve already seen how the internet has democratised the distribution of music and video through services like iTunes and YouTube, and I think we’re going to see something similar happen in the book industry. There will still be a place for print books and traditional publishing, but where these have generally been the only viable (or at least the most viable) means of distributing books, I think they’ll be increasingly seen as just one of a broader and more accessible range of options for people looking to get their content out there. Whatever happens, writers will keep writing, readers will keep reading... and I’m happy to just wait and see about the rest.

Born in 1985, Chris Morphew spent his childhood writing stories about dinosaurs and time machines. More recently he has written 12 titles for the best-selling Zac Power series, and is now working on The Phoenix Files, his first series for young adults. Chris lives in Sydney, where he balances his time between writing and casual teaching. He thinks talking about himself in the third person makes him sound like a tool.


To find out more visit Chris's Blog at http://chrismorphew.com/

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Afterlife

He’s a vampire,

She’s a wraith,

Can their love survive even in the afterlife.


For those of you not already addicted to the Evernight series may I advise you have a read of my Evernight review and get addicted. For those of you already on the Evernight bandwagon with me, brace yourselves, the fourth and final instalment is here and all I can say is… WOW!!! Afterlife picks up where Hourglass left off with Bianca a wraith and Lucas a vampire. The Black Cross is after them and the only safe place is the one place they’ve been running from…Evernight Academy and even there might not be safe. What does Ms Bethany want? What are the wraiths plans for Bianca? And what does the future hold for the star crosses lovers, both embroiled in their own Afterlife.

Claudia Gray is back with a bang and as the last in the series there is great expectation on Afterlife to live up to the brilliance of its predecessors (Evernight, Stargazer and Hourglass.) It’s safe to say it defiantly does that. Gray’s writing remains as enticing as ever and you’ll be page turning for hours just to see how it ends. As for the ending all I’ll say is it’s perfect, in my opinion and Claudia’s as well. While this may be Goodbye to Lucas and Bianca, Claudia is by no means finished. She has two books in the works and the first one which takes place on the Titanic is set for release in 2012. So watch this space because Gray’s compelling writing style will suck (pardon the pun) you in no matter the subject matter. Her writing is just that good. So grab a copy of Afterlife ASAP and set aside a good block of time to read it, you won’t be able to stop, it’s guaranteed to become your favorite read of 2011.




Courtney :)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

THE DOUBLE LIFE OF CASSIEL ROADNIGHT


'The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight' is another winning novel by Jenny Valentine.

The story begins when fourteen year old Chap is handed a news clipping. The clipping is of a missing person - a teenage boy called Cassiel Roadnight - who looks identical to Chap.

What does Chap have to lose? He has been brought up in foster homes and is desperate to be part of a real family. So he pretends to be Cassiel and tries to blend in to the family.

But where is the real Cassiel? Is he likely to reappear or has something sinister happened to him?

Cassiel sets out to discover the truth. The more he discovers, the more danger he places himself in.

-Ann

Monday, 11 April 2011

Linger


Linger by Maggie Stiefvater Linger is the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It follows on from Shiver…where Sam and Grace find each other. Grace who loves the woods, and Sam once so at home in them. Linger is the story of how they struggle to stay together. Sam, now totally human, can begin to imagine a future. For the first time in memory he can make plans, plans for himself and Grace. But there are new wolves, one of them Cole, struggling to lose himself in the world of the wolf. Once such a famous face, if his identity is discovered, it can tear their secret apart. Yet Grace feels that all is not right. The wolf within her is calling and a part of her is eager to welcome it.

This book, like Shiver, was a great read. It is more than a boy meets girl love story, even if the boy was a werewolf. It is the story about losing yourself and of discovery. I’m eagerly waiting for the third and final book in the series, Forever. Eager to find out whether Sam and Grace will stay together, whether as human or wolf.

Vicki from Pak

Friday, 8 April 2011

Interview - Michael Pryor


Michael Pryor is the best-selling author of the Laws of Magic series. Hour of Need, the sixth and final book of the series, is due for release in May.

What authors/books did you read as a child? When did you first discover your love of books?

As a child, I was a hungry reader - and I still am. I read everything I could get my hands on, but I was particularly excited by fantasy books. CS Lewis was an important early find, and Tolkien's The Hobbit, but also books of folk tales from around the world, myths and legends, King Arthur and Robin Hood stories. I also loved Pooh, The Wind in the Willows and the great Enid Blyton.

When did you first realise you were a writer? What do you hope your readers will take away with them from reading your books?

While I was at school I always thought I could write, and tell a story (they don't always go together) but I didn't really think about writing seriously until I was older, after I'd been teaching myself for ten years or so. After I had my first few short stories published I still didn't think of myself as a real writer, but when I had my first novel in my hands, that's when I thought that I was a true and proper author person. I hope people will enjoy reading my books - and want to read another one of mine. That might sound simple but I prize the quality of engagement in books. If a book doesn't engage it can't do anything else. It can't entertain, it can't amuse, it can't change someone's life if it has been put aside because it didn't engage.

Do you find it difficult to read purely for pleasure? Does everything you read come under your 'writer' microscope?

I can, and do, still read for pleasure but I find myself at times examining sentence structure, or word choice, or dialogue, either in admiration or with a shake of the head. I think about my writing deeply and I can't help but do that for other people's writing.

Do you have to avoid reading certain types of fiction while writing your own? Does what you read while writing have an effect on what you write? In what way?

I can't read anything that's too close to what I'm writing. Currently, I'm writing in the steampunk mode, which means I can't read Scott Westerfeld's newest work, or Richard Harlan's. This is a pity because they both sound just like the sort of thing I like to read. When I'm writing historical or historical fantasy, however, I do a great deal of deliberate background reading to help me develop a style which is suitable to my current project. For instance, I read the complete Sherlock Homes stories before embarking on writing the first of The Laws of Magic series to help embed a sense of vocabulary and the rhythm of dialogue. Other reading is more deliberate research, but this osmotic method - where the language seeps in - is an important part of my writing method.

Name five authors of books that have influenced or inspired your own writing in some way.

Tolkien/Lord of the Rings - for showing me that made up stories could be grand, adventurous and moving. CS Lewis/Narnia - for showing me how our world and a fantasy world could be linked. Tim Powers/The Anubis Gates - for introducing me to Steampunk. Terry Pratchett/Discworld - for showing me that funny stories could still be serious. Robert Heinlein/his early stuff - for showing me the importance of story.

If you were travelling and were told you could only take one book with you, what book would it be and why?

The Complete Works of Shakespeare. So much in one volume - romance, tragedy, comedy, with some of the greatest language ever to be spoken.

What makes a book 'too good to put down'?

Story. A book can have interesting characters and an intriguing location but if nothing happens then that book is all too easy to put down. A story must have a narrative drive, a compelling beat that makes the reader desperate to know what's going to happen next. Naturally, good characterisation and a strong sense of location are impotant and will help keep a reader interested, but the vital third leg of a good book is that narrative impulse.

What makes you put down a book without finishing it?

If it's boring. Life is too short for a boring book. Having said that, I find it's much easier to read a fat interesting book than a skinny boring book. I get impatient with pretentious writing where the author postures about, drawing attention to themselves, where characters moon about, contemplating things and where interior monologues masquerade as characterisation. I'd much rather lear about characters by what they do rather than by their thinking about what they'd like to do.

Do you have a favourite author? Who is it and what is it about their writing that draws you to them?

At the moment (and this changes the more I read) it's a toss up between Neal Stephenson and Tim Powers. I'll buy their next book, whatever it is they publish. Both of these writers are astoundingly inventive, astonishingly erudite and language craftsmen, but they never let any of this get in the way of telling a rattling good yarn.

What was your 2010 best read? What was it that made it number one?

Anathem by Neal Stephenson. An epic story (900 odd pages) which brought together higher mathematics, philosophy, the fate of the human race, the ethics of engineering and the role of self-determination. A mind-expanding book.

What do you think of the non-traditional publishing methods - eBooks etc? Do you think the new technology will encourage more people to read? Do you think there's a future for print books?

I think print books and ebooks will exist side by side for the forseeable future. Ultimately though, the medium isn't important - the Story is.

Michael has published over twenty popular and critically acclaimed novels and more than forty short stories, and has over one million words in print. Along the way his work has been six times shortlisted for the Aurealis Award, shortlisted for the WAYBR Award, longlisted for an Inky Award and been five times listed as Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Books.

Find out more about Michael at http://www.michaelpryor.com.au/

 
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