Hi guys! Welcome back to the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown! We’re on day three, action and adventure. We’re also ten days closer to Christmas! I hope you’ve enjoyed the Christmas Countdown so far. Today, we’re starting off with an author and a series that’s been huge in the YA spy scheme of things for a while.
They told him his uncle died in a car accident. Fourteen-year-old Alex knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in his uncle’s windshield confirm his suspicions. But nothing prepares him for the news that the uncle he always thought he knew was really a spy for MI6–Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. Recruited to find his uncle’s killers and complete his final mission, Alex suddenly finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
For a long time, this was the most popular book among my friends. The amazing thing about it to me was that even though I am not, they were diehard Harry Potter fans back then, and STORMBREAKER was the first book in a long time to grab their attention after reading the HP series. So I decided to check it out, and despite my best efforts–I fell in love with this book as well and what ensued was my fascination with spies and assassins. Spies, assassins and pirates. Who knew? I love this book, and it’s really popular among both the YA and the MG audience.
Fame has arrived for rockers Blaze and Roger! Just married, leaving Los Angeles, and touring the United States with teenagers Q (Quest) and Angela in tow, the excitement heightens in Philadelphia when Angela realizes she’s being followed. Q soon learns the secret about Angela’s real mother – a former Secret Service agent.
Readers are thrust into current issues affecting the world in this edge-of- your-seat, modern-day mystery adventure. I, Q readers will be immersed in the work of U.S. Secret Service, the Mossad, and the MI5. But who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? What happens to this newly formed family if Angela’s mom is not dead?
I’ll admit. I rolled my eyes the first time I read the blurb for this book, but I still read it as a way of humoring my friend. He was right. I didn’t regret reading this book. I didn’t really think that I would be ‘thrust into current issues effecting the world in this edge-of-my-seat, modern-day mystery adventure.’ But that’s exactly what happened. This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I loved Boone and the reasons of the S.O.S. I suspected the series wouldn’t be as good, but I was proven wrong once again! If possible, I like the second book to this series even more than the one before. This is a great MG introduction into the YA spy world, and–dare I say it?–I believe it is better than a lot of the YA espionage out there.
Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that’s just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don’t know where they come from, who’s hunting them, why they are different from all other humans… and if they’re meant to save mankind—or destroy it.
So in actuality, this is the second book in this series. The reason I’m putting the second book up and not the first book is because I thought that the first book was really, really boring. I almost didn’t read the rest of the series because of how much I disliked the first book. Originally, I thought this was just me but a lot of my friends have felt the same way so I’m here to tell you: READ IT. But proceed with caution.
If you’re reading to read and you know you have a short attention span, start off on the second book. You can go back later, but the second book is a great introduction and one of the things I love about James Patterson is how, almost no matter what book in the series you start off on, it still makes sense to you. However, if you still want to start off on the first book, I wouldn’t say you’re making a mistake because there are some small things in the first book that you’re missing by skipping it. So it’s your decision, and while I don’t regret reading the first book, I kind of wish I had started off on the second and come back later. A great series, with a lot of action and adventure, but near the end it got too romantic for me. Favorites are books two, three and six. To read my full review, click here.
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?
The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.
But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?
Seriously, I think I need to re-evaluate this book. I dunno. Maybe I’m just the odd one out and didn’t like this book, but I think there were some things I didn’t note about this book and therefore did not enjoy this story as much. I mean–I liked it. I thought there were some cool concepts, I thought the characters were great and the romance was good. Maybe it’s just because I don’t usually like paranormal. However, even though I may just be the black sheep here, I can definitely see the appeal to this book and I think that it deserves all the praise it’s getting right now. A great read and awesome for people who like paranormal and darker fantasy.
REBELS OF THE KASBAH, the first book in the series, is where you meet Aseem, Margaret, Fez and Tariq; four kids who have been kidnapped and sold as slaves to a man named Caid Ali Tamzali. Tamzali owns a sprawling kasbah and forces his slaves to compete in deadly camel races. The four kids bond and become friends, forging an alliance that they hold on to even as they suffer the abuse of their slave masters and travel from the Moroccan desert to the waters of the Mediterranean.
THE WRATH OF THE CAID picks up after REBELS, finding the four friends scattered. Margaret returns to her normal life after escaping from the Kasbah only to find that she can no longer see things and fit in the way she did before her adventures in Morocco. Meanwhile, Aseem, Fez and Tariq are trying to find ways to overthrow the Caid and how to stop him–if he can be stopped. All the while, the Caid is infuriated with recent events and enlists the help of the Black Mamba and the French Military to destroy all those who defy his rule.
These are some of the most unique and surprising middle-grade adventure books I’ve read all year. The RED HAND ADVENTURES series is truly satisfying and extremely fun to read. I didn’t think I would like them as much as I did because I didn’t really understand the blurb when I first read it. I loved the descriptions of the places that the four kids traveled and went, and I really liked the ideas behind Margaret, because she brings so much diversity and change into the story. WRATH is equally as special as REBELS, and I’m eagerly awaiting LEGENDS OF THE RIF, the third book in the series. Follow my other book blog, Tweens Read Too, for more information on the books. You can read my full review here. You can read my interview with the author, Joe O’Neill and see some sneak peeks of the artwork for LEGENDS here.
What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.
But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.
When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help.
For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all.
I don’t think I truly knew how much I appreciated this book until I reread it several months after I reviewed it for Netgalley. The action and adventures themes here really stood out to me as I read more and more MG through the year after I reread this book. Hope is a really likable character and I enjoyed her journey as I read through this book. She grows a lot and the lesson this book teaches is a simple but nice one, that the talents you have and what you bring the world is important. A great debut from Peggy Eddleman. Looking forward to the rest of the series. You can read my full review here.
A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.
Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.
Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?
I did not see this book coming. When I got HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME, I definitely did not expect everything Kristen Miller ended up giving me. All the characters, the plot line and the way that Miller wrote this story clearly defined everything exactly the way I had envisioned it being from the blurb. Not only that, but the twists and turns to this story constantly kept me guessing as I made my way through it. Both Flick and the villains to this story were amazingly real and complicated. I felt like I was right there beside Flick and before I knew it, I began to really care what happened to him. I also loved the great bits of humor and fun to this story. A truly great thriller read. To see my full review, click here.
Well, that wraps up day three. If you’re a dystopian action/adventure fan and you haven’t already read these, I suggest you try DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, LEGEND by Marie Lu and/or ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre. If you think some books should be on here that aren’t, shoot me an email or put in a comment down below. Keep in mind that a lot of the action/adventure books I like have great characters or fit into another category better so they may pop up later in the countdown. Hope you enjoyed today! Stay tuned tomorrow for Day Four, Graphic Novels.