Posts Tagged ‘Mystery and suspense’

A place of Stone and darkness

by Chris Mousdale

ISBN9780143773122

Penguin Random House

 

 

Chris Mousdale’s book A place of Stone and Darkness had me hooked right from the start.

It is a stylishly produced hardback novel which crosses a mix of genres. There is fantasy, adventure and mystery all in a wonderfully imagined, dystopian underground world. Chris Mousdale  also illustrates the book and includes maps of the Striggs world, a glossary of their language, and character portraits, as well as a number of gorgeous earthy illustrations.

Deep, deep down underground is the world of the flightless Striggs.  They have lived there for thousands of years after being forced from the surface by savage humans. The Striggs have adapted to life underground but their world is threatened with pollution to its water and members of the flock are becoming ill and dying. While exploring in one of the tunnels Ellee Meddo, finds a human, a Toppa, as they are known, who has fallen through an old unused well. Toppas are known to be dangerous and feared at all costs but this Toppa is young and hurt and Ellee can’t just leave him. With the help of her brother Sidfred, Ellee hides the boy but eventually he is is discovered by other Striggs and that creates friction and more action. One Strigg in particular, Kass, wants to just kill the boy. The action is fast paced, even nail-bitingly at times, so that it was very hard to put the book down. I just wanted to keep reading.

In order for the community to work and survive, the Striggs believe in the mantra; “Be one, be all, be everything”. When the group decide that they must return the boy, to the surface, this mantra becomes more important, especially when faced with danger from other humans. The world of the humans is violent and one of social decay. If the Striggs are discovered by humans it could mean the end of their world. I can tell you, their worlds do collide and the suspense built so quickly I was almost holding my breath wondering what was going to happen next. 

I loved this novel for so many reasons. The fast-paced action, its total believability, its warmth, the friendships, the loyalties and even the subtle messages. Yes, there are messages about our environment, trust, human kindness and taking risks. This is a wonderful read and one that I predict will go far. Great for older readers and with its buff coloured pages is ideal for children with dyslexia.  Loved it!

This would make a good class read aloud and teacher notes can be found here to explore this novel further.

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The last thirteen
By James Phelan

This is one of those series which builds on each book keeping you coming back for more.
Thirteen strangers and thirteen books. And just out now is Book number three. I know a couple of 12 year olds who are right in to this series so they will be ultra pleased. In fact their excitement is catchy and I am going to have to grab these books myself before anyone else gets hold of them.

For Sam, life has been turned upside down. No-one, including his parents is as they seem. He has had to endure a kidnapping and a race to save his own life. Everything is tied up to an ancient prophecy and at every turn, there is danger.
Sam is part of the last thirteen.They are a group of special teenagers who have the scary ability of dreaming dreams that come true.
It is this ability that puts them in desperate danger and leaves them on the run from an organisation who will do anything to catch them. It is up to Sam to find the group and save them all before it is too late. Short and sharp chapters but fast-paced action. But do start at the beginning. Don’t skip the order of the books.

The troubletwisters
By Garth Nix and Sean Williams

Jaide and Jack Shield are twins, who after a series of strange events are sent to live with Grandma X. Grandma X is strange enough on her own but throw in talking cats and wild weather and you have a mix of fantasy and mystery just ripe for readers age 10 upwards.
It isn’t long before the twins discover they have magical powers and they are suddenly forced to use their powers to fight evil and protect the world.

Evil continues to follow the twins and create havoc but this time they must search Rourke Castle for the mysterious Golden Card of Translocation. Will they be able to defeat evil or will survival cost them everything.
Grab the first book in this series and start on this scary adventure.

The mystery of the Golden Card
Book 3 is out this month!
Allenandunwin

The monster
Book 2

Troubletwisters
Book 1

All the wrong questions : who could that be at this hour
By Lemony Snicket

I am currently reading this book and enjoying the rather dry humour which is so much a signature of Lemony Snicket’s books.
Questions – so many questions but are they the right ones. Love the way the author talks to the reader explaning the meanings of words. The whole interaction between reader and writer is one of the things that make Snicket special.
Lemony Snicket is 13 and begins recounting his early experiences as an apprentice to S. Theodora Markson, a rather unpleasant and pretentious woman who isn’t quite as intelligent as she thinks she is. They are investigating the theft of an heirloom from a house in the town Stain’d-by-the-Sea. It used to be a seaside town but the sea was drained! Will continue reading as am enjoying it and want to see how it ends. It is book one in a series of four.

Noah Barleywater runs away
By John Boyne

I am also reading this book at the moment – well listening to the audio book in the car on the way to work and when I am out and about. (I “read” so many books in the car these days – great way to catch up on books I have missed). Noah Barleywater is a fairytale of sorts with wonderful humourous characters. Noah is running away from all his worries and problems and heads down an untrodden path through the forest. He meets an unusual toymaker with a story to tell. Together life will change forever for Noah.
The good thing about the audio book is the narrators accents. Brilliant!

Seconds away
By Harlan Coben
Book 2 in the Mickey Bolitar series

In Shelter (book 1) 15 year old Mickey believes danger weaves its way into his life if he lets anyone near. His father has died, his mother is in rehab and his girlfriend has gone missing.
In Seconds away the action continues and so too does the belief that not everything is as it seems to be. Twists and turns, fast paced action continues. For more check out the Mickey Bolitar site.

Night school
By C. J. Daugherty
Atom Books

I was recently given this book by a friend (thanks, Zac) and it is by my bed waiting to be read. Mind you that pile is almost as tall as me but I’m on holiday for a week at Easter so I hope to get stuck in and shrink the pile a little.
I’m intrigued that this book has twists that offer something different. After Allie Sheridan is arrested yet again, her despairing parents send her off the mysterious Cimmeria Academy. It doesn’t take long before Allie begins to suspect something is not quite right. Mystery, suspense and a little romance just for good luck.

Sherlock Holmes

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Intermediate, Secondary
Tags: ,

Two different takes on Sherlock Homes.
The House of Silk
By Anthony Horowitz

Fans of Horowitz’s Alex Rider series are sure to enjoy this book although aimed more at the young adult reader and adults alike. Anthony Horowitz reads from his new book in this trailer.

Young Sherlock Holmes
Death cloud
By Andrew Lane

This is where the legend begins.

Tunnels

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Intermediate, Secondary
Tags: ,

Tunnels

By Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Tunnels is the first book in this series. It is follwed by DeeperFreefall and Closer. And about to be published this month is the 5th book, Spiral.
Will Burrows’ father goes missing down a deep dark tunnel. Will and his mate Chester go in search but life deep underground is dangerous especially when there are the Styx plotting to destroy the world.

Deeper
Book 2