Review: Wax by Phil Duncan

waxReviewed by Cap’n Evelyn Knifenose

Title: Wax
Author: Phil Duncan
Format: Ebook
Page Count: 272 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 13+

Summary: Yancey Muncey is a geek. And he is also dead. Then Dr. Blankenship offers to bring him back to life again, in what becomes known as the Frankenyancey Project, and how can his family refuse? But now his eyes are yellow, and his skin is blue — and he is indestructible. If you lop off a limb (as his friend does) it grows right back. But Dr. Blankenship wants Yancey to steal information from his competitor and also murder him. In exchange, he will get Yancey’s family out of debt.

Why I started this book: I was offered the book to read for free.


Likes:

  • I loved the basketball scene, shades of our own son’s time on the court.
  • His family is almost comically dysfunctional. His sister Ruth uses a tape recorder to record all the experiments she does with the new Yancey. His brother Martin wishes him out of the way. His parents…
  • In the meantime, there is a girl that Yancey liked, but didn’t have the nerve to ask out.

Dislikes:

  • It took me a long time to get into this book. I was about half way through when it began to pick up for me.
  • It was confusing for me at first, because I would set the book down, then not know the time frame when I picked it back up again. A chapter would be titled: before (or) after. And the following chapters would still be in that time frame until the next chapter which would reverse it.
  • I did not like the end of the book. It’s a bit dark. Until then, from the second half on, I liked the book a lot. I would have liked it to have ended on a happy note. Maybe there will be a sequel. I don’t know that I would read it.

Final thoughts: Towards the end of the book, you find out how Yancey died. If I had known how the book ended, I seriously would not have read it. I hated the ending.

Buy: Wax

Rating: 3 Treasure Chests

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Review: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, Book 3) by C.C. Hunter

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, Book 3)
Author: C.C. Hunter
Format: Trade Paperback
Page Count: 400 Pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+

Summary: Kylie Galen wants to know what she is more than anything and the answers are so frustratingly close. With help from friends, she tracks down her real father’s adopted parents and hopes to gain from them access to her real grandparents. Maybe they have the answers she seeks. People in her life pressure her from all sides… each wanting her to be like them. Lucas, her werewolf boyfriend, hopes she’s a werewolf. Rejected Derek still hops things can work out between them, but with his bringing an ex-girlfriend vampire back to camp, that might not happen. And to top it all off, Kylie is trying to mediate and match make between her witchy friend and a shapeshifter while struggling to figure out what happened to an amnesiac ghost and avoid getting killed by strangely behaving local wildlife.

Why I started this book:

I read the first book, liked it and was offered the second two books in the trilogy for review by the publisher.

Likes:

  • Perry really stepped up in this book. He’s got the serious hots for Miranda, but every time they might get together something pulls them apart… mostly themselves. Very frustrating for Kylie and Della, but Perry’s jealousy is adorable. I love it.
  • C.C. Hunter has flipped my ideas on the love triangle again and that is pretty hard for an author to do when it comes to my opinions on which guy a gal should wind up with, so props to her for that. I almost wish Kylie was with Perry at this point because I can’t decide if I like Lucas or Derek more. Tough choices ahead for you Kylie, choose wisely!
  • What Kylie winds up being… woot!

Dislikes:

  • I had to stop a few times at night while reading because I had no idea how gory the ghost storyline was going to be and was worried about taking some images to bed. The ghost in this book has a long stitched scar on her shaved head, switches back and forth from being pregnant or having a bloody abdomen, and was murdered, which Kylie experiences at one point in something like a first hand account. Pretty gruesome, but the background of the ghost and what really happened to her was different from the gorier idea I was putting together, so that’s a relief. I have a vivid imagination it seems. It’s still pretty bad, but it could have been worse. But there are some definite horror elements to this series which you should be aware of as readers.

Last Minute Thoughts: Next book, is it out yet? Lol

Buy: Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls)

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

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Review: Lost in the Bayou by Cornell de Ville

Reviewed by Tavern Wench Maisie

Title: Lost in the Bayou
Author: Cornell De Ville
Format: E-Book
Page Count: 187 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12-14

Synopsis: People were warned about the Voodoo Swamp, but no one seems to take any notice. Others have visited and disappeared and left no trace. After a plane lands in the swamp some years ago with her parents inside, Robin Sherwood is hurt and shocked that they were never found. Robin has to escape before her uncle Conrad finds her, so Voodoo Swamp provides her the best ever distraction.

What made me want to read it:

It was recommended to me, yet I had heard about the novel from a friend of mine and it interested me enough to want to review it.

Good points:

  • It has a great introduction that sets the scene for the story and gets the horror element into it with no messing around.
  • It is wonderfully spooky.
  • Gets to the point and takes the reader on a journey they will never forget.
  • Convincing characters.
  • There were plenty of scary and fun moments.
  • Liked the characters, they were perfectly realised in the story.

Bad points:

  • It ended!
  • Wanted to know more spooky things about Voodoo Swamp.
  • Uncle Conrad’s clawed hand!

Last minute thoughts: Would love to see a second novel to this one come out with more about the previous victims of the Voodoo Swamp, and any more who decide to be foolish enough to wander into that kind of dangerous territory.

Lost in the Bayou

Rating: 4.5 Treasure Chests

Review: Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman

by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: Dread Locks
Author: Neal Shusterman
Format: Paperback
# of pages: 176
Grade Reading Level:

Summary: Parker Baer is spoiled. He has everything he’s ever wanted and then some. But the only problem is that he thinks his life is dull and boring. He rethinks this observation after a girl named Tara moves in the house across from them alone. If that wasn’t suspicious enough, she has hair that is almost lifelike, as if she has snakes for hair. She always wears sunglasses and claims she has a bad eye condition. Her house is full of beautiful “sculpted” statues… with fingerprints? She stares people down as if they’re prey and she changes people with her eyes. All Tara wants is a friend and that friend is going to be Parker, whether he likes it or not. Once Tara (Medusa) takes Parker under her wing and changes him into her kind he becomes immortal. But he realizes that he doesn’t want this! Can he escape and change what Tara has done? Will Tara get her friend? Will the people she’s changed be turned back to normal?

Why I Started the Book:

I started this book because it was assigned as a school reading book.

Likes:

  • I enjoyed the reading this book. I was kept on the edge of my chair in suspense. I’m defiantly going to be reading the sequel and other books by Neal Shusterman!
  • On the back of this book it said it was a mix between the three little bears and Medusa. And I love how these different stories joined together.
  • This book was both predictable and unpredictable. It was predictable because I knew it was Medusa and she was going to do bad and turn everyone into statues but besides that I had no idea what else would happen. Since we were reading together as a class we weren’t allowed to read ahead. It was terrible! The waiting was killing me!

Dislikes:

  • I wish the ending was different and that Parker’s choice had been something else. I can’t say what without giving the ending away.

Buy: Dread Locks #1 (Dark Fusion)

Book Rating: I give this Book 4.5 Stars!

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Review: Open Minds (Mindjack, Book 1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Open Minds
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Format: Digital ebook
Page Count: 338 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grade 7+

Summary: Kira Moore is an outcast in a future where mind-reading and telepathy are traits everyone can do… everyone except her. This makes her a zero and zeroes can’t be trusted. She hopes her mind-reading skills haven’t developed yet because she’s a late bloomer, but it’s not looking so good for her. If she stays a zero, Kira can’t be with her best friend, Raf. And even though he’s willing to risk it for a chance between the two of them, she’s not. When Kira—without meaning to do so—mindjacks Raf and controls him for a few moments and nearly kills him, she discovers being a zero is the least of her worries. In fact, Kira is not a zero at all, but a mindjacker, a hidden mutation in the gene pool, and for good reason. If anybody found out mindjackers existed they’d be sent to camps designed to keep them separated from the general populace, just like how the first readers were rounded up.

Why I started this book:

I started this book because I was offered a free copy for review.

Likes:

  • The worldbuilding on this is excellent! It’s a little creepy, a lot interesting, and always moving. It doesn’t slow down for a minute.
  • Can you imagine teachers passing lessons to you directly into your mind? Or that they’d know if you weren’t paying attention because they could read your thoughts? Wow!
  • If you could control people’s minds and actions by manipulating their thoughts, would you? How would you protect yourself from being controlled in return?
  • Kira is a strong heroine, willing to stick her neck out for the right reasons and to protect the innocent.

Dislikes:

  • That a key character of the story died. In doing so they were redeemed, but it’s still sad.
  • There wasn’t more Raf! A relationship is hinted at, but it’s not there yet. Maybe the next book?

Buy: Open Minds (Mindjack #1)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

Review: Freeze Tag by Caroline B. Cooney

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: Freeze Tag (Point Series)
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 176
Grade Reading Level: Grade 7+

Summary: When Meghan, Lannie, and West were kids they played freeze tag. When Lannie was it and tagged somebody they actually froze! She didn’t want to un-tag Meghan because she absolutely hated her! She would unfreeze Meghan only if West promised to ALWAYS like her more! West struck the deal with Lannie, making the promise Lannie demanded. That was a couple years ago, and now West and Meghan are in love. West has forgotten the promise he made that night, but Lannie didn’t. And she will anything to get West back, even if it means killing Meghan.

Why I Started the Book:

I started this book because I had looked up a list of books by Caroline B. Cooney at the library and this one sounded really interesting, so I put this book on hold and got it!

Likes:

  • I Love how Caroline B. Cooney always leaves you hanging. You want to know what happens next and end up devouring a book. It took me about an afternoon to start and finish this book!
  • I so glad that Meghan ended up doing to right thing in the end.
  • Kind of like in Dreadlocks by Neal Shusterman, West and Parker both end up getting the antagonists’ evil power. (Lannie and Tara.)

Dislikes:

  • Lannie is too creepy for me! For example: Meghan and West are waiting in the parking lot at school and Lannie just appears out of thin air from behind them and freezes Meghan and reminds West of his broken promise. Whoa!!! A little psycho there!

Buy: Freeze Tag (Point)

Book Rating: I give this book … 4.5 Treasure Chests! What a great book!

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