Book Review – Runaway Storm

January 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , , , )

Runaway Storm

BY: D.E. Knobbe

PUBLISHED BY: Emerald Book Company

PUBLISHED IN: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-934572-35-1

Pages: 223

Ages: Young Adult

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In the first book of the Runaway series, author D.E. Knobbe introduces us to an almost fifteen year-old boy named Nate. He’s a troubled kid who’s having problems adjusting to his parents split and the recent move to New York.

Nate decides he needs a break from his life and comes up with the prefect scheme. He’s going to go kayaking by himself. He tells his mother that his dad wants him to fly to Vancouver while she is away in Paris. He forgot to mention that his dad is on a business trip.

He is quickly on his way to Vancouver with two hundred dollars in cash and his mother’s credit card. When he arrives at his father’s place, he finds his birthday present – a brand new, yellow kayak. Two of his friends, Mike and Eric, helps Nate buy supplies and helps him get to Galiano Island.

Nate launches his Kayak into the waters unaware of the adventures and dangers ahead of him. From drug dealers, to runaways and even a goth girl, this is a journey Nate will never forget.

“Runaway Storm” is an exciting coming to age story. Male readers will easily connect with Nate and relate to some of the problems he faces. I will warn you that there is some mild language in this book. Overall, I enjoyed reading “Runaway Strom” and will look forward to the second installment in the series.

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Book Review: Cirque Du Freak: Hunters of The Dark

January 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult)

Cirque Du Freak: Hunters of The Dark
BY: Darren Shan

PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company

PUBLISHED IN: 2002

ISBN: 0-316-60709-6

Pages: 213

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

With the Vampaneze Lord soon to rise, Mr. Tiny visit’s the Vampire Mountain with a message. The War of the Scars will be a bloodybattle between the vampires and vampaneze. The Vampire clan will die if the Vampaneze Lord is not killed before he is fully blooded. 

The Hunters of the Dark is different than the previous installments in the series. It was nice to have Darren return to the Crique Du Freak for a short time.

They link up with the Cirque Du Freak where they run into a group of Vampaneze.

Mr. Crepsley, Harkat Mulds, and Darren leave Vampire Mountain after living there for six years. Vancha would join them later. They meet a witch, Lady Evanna. She could see the future and gives the warning that two of them would be dead by the end of their quest. She travels with them.

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Book Review: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire Prince

January 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult)

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire Prince

BY: Darren Shan

PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company

PUBLISHED IN: 2002

ISBN: 0-316-60709-6

Pages: 195

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

After barely surviving the Trials of Death, Darren Shan finds himself cold and alone after escaping the huge waterfall. Two wolves, Streak and Rudi, nurture him back to health.

Kurda, the vampire that betrayed Darren and killed one of his friends, plans on becoming a Vampire Prince soon. Kurda is secretly hiding the clan’s enemy, the vampaneze.

Darren gets help from Seba Nile and is able to tell the Vampire Princes of Kurda’s plan. A blood battle takes place between the clan and the vampaneze. Another friend of Darren’s is killed in the battle.

At the Hall of Death, the Vampire Princes and Generals have to a discussion that Darren should be put to death!

The Vampire Prince is a exciting sequel!

 

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: Trials of Death

January 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult)

Cirque Du Freak: Trials of Death
BY: Darren Shan

PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company

PUBLISHED IN: 2001

ISBN: 0-316-60367-8

Pages: 207

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In the fifth chapter in the series, Darren must pass five dangerous trials to prove himself to the Vampire Princes and Vampire Generals or face death by the stakes in the Hall of Death.

Darren passes the first three trials, but not the fourth. Harkat interfered and saved Darren from a wild boar. This broke the Vampire Clan’s rules. The Vampire Princes and Generals began to discuss where or not Darren should continued or be put to death.  
 
Trials of Death is more fast-paced than the previous book and ends in a great cliffhanger.

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Book Review – First Night

November 7, 2009 at 2:38 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , , )

First Night

BY: Tom Weston

PUBLISHED BY: tom weston media

PUBLISHED IN: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-981-94130-1

Pages: 253

Ages: Teen & Up

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Author Tom Weston brings us an old fashioned ghost tale in First Night. The story begins with Sarah Pemberton who has caught the small pox. A family friend, Captain John Ayres, gives her an ivory bracelet to wear. Sarah dies.

The story skips to the present day. Alexandra O’Rourke and her younger sister, Jackie, are spending their New Year’s Eve with their aunt and uncle in Boston. They’re California girls and rather be home partying than spending their vacation in Boston.

Their aunt and uncle let them go out on their own and explore Boston. They come across a teenager wearing a 1600’s dress. Her name is Sarah Pemberton. The same Sarah who died many years ago of small pox. The Court of Spirits have accused her of being a witch and release her into our world to find a lawyer.

Alexandra and Jackie think nothing of it because they’re in the historical part of Boston. They change their minds when Sarah runs through Alex.

With time running out, Sarah takes Jackie back to the Court of Spirits to help defend her soul. Alexandra stays behind and searches for the Devil’s Book.

Tom Weston has written a fun, original novel while blending in some historical facts and locations about Boston. Alexandra and Jackie are believable teenage characters with cleverly written dialogue. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good ghost story.

 

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain

October 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, )

Cirque Du Freak: Vampire Mountain
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2001
ISBN: 0-316-60806-8
Pages: 195
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Half-vampire Darren Shan, Mr. Crepsley and three of Mr. Tiny’s Little People leave the Cirque Du Freak. They journey to the Vampire Mountain. Gavner Paul, a friend Mr. Crepsley also travels with them. One of the little people reveals his real name as, Harkat Mulds, and he has a message to deliver from Mr. Tiny to the Vampire Princes.

Many dangers confront them on their way. The purple-skinned Vampaneze are close by.

The Vampire Mountain is a network of tunnels and caves where the vampires live. Darren makes friends with several of the other vampires.

The Princes and Generals weren’t impressed with Darren. They thought he was too young. Now Darren must prove himself to them.

I found the fourth book in the series to be boring and not enough action.

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Book Review – The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

October 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm (Book Reviews, Children, teen) (, , , )

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
BY: Fiona Ingram
PUBLISHED BY: iUniverse
PUBLISHED IN: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-595-457168
Pages: 258
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this first chapter of the Chronicles of the Stone, Adam and his cousin Justin are invited to go on a trip to Egypt by their Aunt Isabel and their Grandmother. The boys are excited about visiting another country. Their Aunt tells them that the archaeologist, James Kinnaird, has disappeared while looking for the tomb of the Scarab King. The tomb of the Scarab King is just a legend and has never been proven to exist by any archaeologist.

When they arrived in Cairo, they joined a tour group. A stranger gives three tiny scarabs to Adam. More odd things happen. Their aunt’s camera is switched with Dr. Khalid’s camera. Adam then discovers a fourth scarab in his back pocket. What are theses mysterious scarabs? Is someone one following them? Is the legend of the Scarab King real? Adam and Justin must try to solve the mystery.

Author Fiona Ingram mixes history and legends in this fast action adventure that keeps you reading till the very end. The characters are cleverly written. Young readers can easily step into the shoes of these two cousins and experienced this exciting adventure that takes you into the heart of Egypt. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood

October 9, 2009 at 12:26 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) ()

Cirque Du Freak: Tunnels of Blood
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60763-0
Pages: 229
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this fast-paced sequel, Mr. Crepsley is on business in the city and takes Darren and Evra with him. Christmas is just around the corner and Darren is the only one who wants to celebrate. He goes shopping for a present for Evra and bumps into a teenager, Debbie. He soon begins dating her.

Meanwhile, there are strange deaths in the city. Is Mr. Crepsley? Or is there another vampire hiding in the tunnels of blood.

I read this in one night. It’s a lot better than the second book. It’s exciting from the very beginning to the heartbreaking ending.

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

October 9, 2009 at 12:24 am (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , )

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60684-7
Pages: 247
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

In this sequel, Darren is adjusting to his new life as Mr. Crepsley’s assistant. They return to the Cirque Du Freak. Darren becomes good friends with Evra, the snake boy.

While traveling with the freak show Darren meets another friend, Sam. Sam wants to leave home and join the Cirque Du Freak. Darren, now a half-vampire, must learn the hard way that he can never have a normal life.
I thought this the 2nd book in the series was boring and a major letdown.

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Book Review – Cirque Du Freak

September 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm (Book Reviews, teen, Young Adult) (, , )

Cirque Du Freak
BY: Darren Shan
PUBLISHED BY: Little, Brown and Company
PUBLISHED IN: 2000
ISBN: 0-316-60340-6
Pages: 266
Ages: Teen & Up
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

After seeing the movie trailer, I checked out the first three books at my local library. I have never heard of the series before now, and was surprised to learn that there are twelve books. I read the first book in one night.

Two teenagers, Darren & his best friend, Steve, sneak out and go to the mysterious Cirque Du Freak, a freak show. Mr. Tall, Snake boy, a wolfman, Alexander Ribs and Mr. Crepsley.

Mr. Crepsley is pale faced, redheaded man. He is a real vampire and the owner of Madam Octa, a spider. Darren loves spiders and steals Madam Octa. This causes a chain of events that will forever change Darren’s life.

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