The Hunt Trilogy by Andrew Fukuda

thehunt_andrewfukudaAnother world of fantasy is combined once again with modern science-fiction. Andrew Fukuda’s three book series (The Hunt, The Prey, and The Trap) adds a little more suspense, imagination, and creativity to the bestselling genre. Just think of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, The Maze Runner, and the Twilight series blended together into 960 pages of extraordinary story.

Seventeen-year-old Gene wakes up every night before going to school, frightened of his true identity being revealed. Once dawn arrives, everybody calls it a “day” to sleep, unless they want to be burned alive by the scorching sun of daylight. As you may have guessed, this is a story about a race of vampires. They are classic vampires that despise sunlight and water, have super strength and speed, fangs to bite down on the rawest meats, and most of all, a delectable craving for the blood and flesh of humans. Of course, Gene is a human out of the millions of vampires around him, and little does he know about the cat-and-mouse game he is about to take part in.

With a Hunger Games-like setting of participants being picked into joining a Heper Hunt, also known as a human hunt, Gene and a few others are chosen to hunt humans and eat as many as possible to be crowned the victor. Obviously, Gene is the only one who cannot eat someone of his own kind. During the training sessions before the hunt, Gene goes unnoticed and is able to communicate with the humans that will be eventually eaten by the vampires. He finds answers to his many questions and is even more curious about the history of the two races. Is there something missing from the evolution of humans and vampires?

The Heper Hunt is only a part of Andrew Fukuda’s trilogy, and he takes you into an amazing world of vampires, similar, yet quite the opposite to human society today. This is a plot that will keep you reading until the ultimate finale that holds all of the unanswered questions. I would recommend this book to ages 13-16 and give it an eight out of ten for its shocking conclusions and mysteries.

-Riley W.

Andrew Fukuda’s Hunt Trilogy is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton

endgame_jamesfreyAs a prominent novel of thriller and fiction, Endgame: The Calling brings a simple treasure hunt to a whole new and different level. With teens fighting teens, the entire world has no chance but to rely on the victor.

In a modern day setting, twelve teenagers carry on with their normal lives until each of them are by a meteor, a warning sign to these twelve “players” for the beginning of what may be the world’s end. Representing the twelve so-called original lines of humanity, these teenagers must play in Endgame, a hunt for three significant artifacts (this book is on the first one) that will save their lines from chaos and disaster while condemning the other eleven.

Through the eyes of each of the twelve players, authors James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton incorporate adventure, action, romance, and much more all into just a three book series. Characters like Sarah Alopay, Jago Tlaloc, and Christopher Vanderkamp share their perspectives on their journeys throughout the continents and how they must survive when problems and troubles arise. As clues are hidden inside the novel itself, readers are recommended to try and solve the mystery themselves, being part as one of the players on a mission to save all of humanity.

Endgame: The Calling is a suitable read for young adults ages 13-16, and with my rating of 8.5 out of 10, this may be one of the very best plot lines that I have read.

“Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil?”

…I guess you will have to read and find out.

-Riley W.

Endgame: The Calling is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Legend by Marie Lu

legend_marieluAs we all know, traveling into the future is not easy. However, Marie Lu’s book, Legend, goes against this theory, by letting us interpret her version of a dystopian Los Angeles. Told in the perspective of two characters, this book introduces two different sides of society and how changes made in the present affect the future.

Day, from the poor areas of Los Angeles, is the government’s most wanted criminal. With cunning skill and determination, he steals medicine to treat his brother from a miserable plague that is killing civilians. June, on the other hand, is the government’s prodigy, whose brother appeared to have died at the hands of Day. To avenge his death, June goes out on a mission to hunt down this criminal and bring him to justice. However, the two enemies unexpectedly join together as allies through a little romance and shared curiosity of the government’s secrets. Together they realize that the government has been corrupting all of its people, and June and Day are only pawns in the entire plot.

Similar to that of The Hunger Games and Divergent series, Legend is set in a futuristic vision of the United States of America. Marie Lu really emphasizes her understanding of the book’s setting by describing the whole scene of the dystopian world and offers a little background to describe what happened between our present time and book’s future setting. In addition, the Legend series is much more intriguing to read than other dystopian series because the novella itself is easier to relate to and is as action-packed as The Hunger Games. Even better, the action occurs in the busy streets of LA rather than an enclosed arena. On a scale of one through ten, this book is a nine and a half because its description is wonderful. There are some cliffhangers, especially leading into the next books of the series (Prodigy and Champion). I would recommend this book to those who have read The Hunger Games or Divergent and would love to compare the stories and share what you think in the comments below!

-Riley W.

Legend is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library

Book Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

shelter_coverHave you ever felt like you have been betrayed, and overwhelmed with nothing but lies? In the realistic fictional book Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel, by Harlan Coben, a teenage boy named Mickey Bolitar has to persevere through hardships to save his loved ones. Throughout his journey, Mickey must survive surprising challenges and overcome his fears in order to succeed.

Starting a new life at a different neighborhood and new school, Mickey moves in with his only other relative, his uncle, because his father died in a car accident and his mom moved to rehabilitation. Mickey meets a girl named Ashley who soon becomes his girlfriend. She suspiciously disappears and her permanent record is erased without a trace. Near his house, Mickey meets a person called “Bat Lady,” who turns his life upside down again when she tells him that his father is still alive and well. Confused and anxious, he wants to figure out how and why his loved ones vanished. Thrown into a life-threating mission to solve the crime, Mickey learns that he can’t trust those closest to him, let alone himself.

Harlan Coben, the author of Shelter: A Mickey Bolitar Novel, tells the story in first person, where Mickey is the narrator. I like how he expresses Mickey’s feelings and thoughts, which gives the reader a closer view and helps them relate to Mickey as a teenager. However, even though Mickey is the protagonist, he does seem like the villain sometimes, because he forces his friends to help him, even though their lives are put on the line. I would rate this book a 7 out of 10 because I liked the setting of the mystery, but there wasn’t enough action involved into the story. Suspenseful and fun to read, this book is for young adults who prefer a good mystery to get their minds thinking and plenty of detective work that leads to an unexpected ending.

-Riley W., 7th grade

Book Review: Eyes of the Emperor

eyes_emperorRunning for his life and scrambling for shelter, Eddy Okubo tries to avoid the Japanese bombs raining down on Pearl Harbor. This is how he chooses to live his teenage life, being a U.S. army soldier in World War II.

Eyes of the Emperor, written by Graham Salisbury, is about a sixteen year old boy who signs up to serve in the U.S. army to fight for his country. But, in doing so, Eddy has to survive harsh conditions and will his physical and mental ability be enough to impress his training superiors?

Eddy Okubo wants to prove to his father that his loyalty lies with his homeland, America, by enrolling to be an American soldier, even though his heritage is Japanese. After the Pearl Harbor bombing, Eddy and his comrades are sent to Cat Island, where they are supposed to test a secret project assigned by President Roosevelt, to defeat the Japanese and win the war. Even after grueling hard work and dangerous obstacles to face, Eddy still wants to become a U.S. soldier, who must survive the task in the dense jungle on Cat Island. Eddy needs to prove himself through these challenges until the army accepts his loyalty. Will he prevail and will his talent be recognized by the country that he believes in, or will he have to go back to his family without honor and dignity?

Graham Salisbury is an American author born during the time of World War II. He wrote many great books such as Under the Blood Red Sun and The Millennium. In my opinion, I would rate this book an eight out of ten and would encourage young adults to read this great story of historical fiction. It provides a lot of information about World War II, involving Japan and America. The way Graham Salisbury describes the characters and setting is also very deep and gives you a vivid image of the whole story, as if you were the main character himself. In addition, he uses a lot of personification and metaphors to describe major events. This is a great novel of a boy who follows his beliefs and carries them out persistently to achieve his goals.

-Riley W., 6th grade

Book Review: Midnight for Charlie Bone, by Jenny Nimmo

charlie_boneImagine having a unique talent which nobody else has, and you have the choice of using it to save the world! Written by Jenny Nimmo, this novel, Midnight for Charlie Bone, tells a story about a young boy who thinks he is a normal person with a normal life who has a normal friend. However, when Charlie starts to hear voices from the people in various photos and pictures, his life suddenly changes and becomes very complicated.

Charlie Bone is then forced by his wicked aunts to attend Bloor’s Academy for talented students in the areas of music, art, or drama. He is like some other children at this school who have an endowment of magic, and he is descended from the Red King, a ruler from the past with unimaginable powers. Myths say that these descendants would each possess one of those magical endowments, and that is why Charlie is able to hear people in non-motion images. One day while visiting a book store, he stumbled upon a mysterious, metal case containing something that might save the bookseller’s daughter and family. In order to do this though, he needs to find the courage to stand up to the Bloor family, whose evilness is lurking behind the doors of their academy.

Jenny Nimmo is an extraordinary author who writes several fantasy books for children and young adults. This series, Charlie Bone and the Red King, has a total of eight amazing novels, and I am currently reading the third book, Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy.

I think Charlie is the perfect character, since he has the right personality and characteristics for this series. What makes him so special in the book is that he has a knack for getting in trouble, but he can somehow always get away with it, whether it is having friends help or by using his brain to get out of tough situations.

My recommendation for this book would be to anyone between the ages of ten to sixteen who like to read about fantasies and mysteries. I would rate this novel a nine and a half out of ten, because it drew me into the story, as if I was part of the setting. This would be a good book for you Harry Potter fans out there, for this series depicts a war of good versus evil.

-Riley W., 6th grade

Book Review: The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore

power_of_six_coverIn The Power of Six, the sequel to the book I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, aliens called Loriens move to Earth to escape the evil Mogadorians, who have already destroyed the planet Lorien and plan to take over the universe. The Loric are each named after a number and possess superhuman abilities called Legacies. Protected by a special charm, they can only be killed off in their numbered order. In I am Number Four, the Mogadorians have already terminated numbers one, two, and three out of the nine Loric. If all of the Loric are killed, there is no telling of what the future of Earth, let alone our universe, will be like.

After destroying a school and leaving Paradise, Ohio, Number Four and Six both go to Florida to flee the Mogadorians. On the other side of the world in Spain, however, Number Seven is trying to find her chest of Lorien because she knows that it is time to find the other Loric and face their enemies. But when the Mogadorians grow stronger and start to hunt down the only survivors of Lorien, there is nowhere else to hide from death and destruction.

Pittacus Lore is a pseudonym for the authors of the I am Number Four series. The authors are still in progress of finishing the series, which many young adults love. I would rate The Power of Six an eight out of ten because there wasn’t much action compared to I am Number Four. I would certainly recommend it to young adults and teenagers who love action and adventure, and can’t wait to finish reading the series!

-Riley W., 6th grade