Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review: Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle - Bob Pflugfelder, Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle:  A Mystery with Spy Cameras, Code Wheels, and Other Gadgets You can Build Yourself - Bob Pflugfelder, Steve Hockensmith
Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle: A Mystery with Spy Cameras, Code Wheels, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
In this third installment of the series, 11-year-old whiz-kids Nick and Tesla discover that someone in the quiet town of Half Moon Bay has placed their beloved Uncle Newt under electronic surveillance--but who is spying on him, and why?  To expose the secret agent, Nick and Tesla build all kinds of outrageous contraptions.  Throughout the book, the narrative is interrupted by blueprints and instructions so that budding young inventors can follow along.  Science and electronics have never been so much fun!

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I received this book from Quirk Books to review.  This is the third book in the series that my son and I have read.  My son is 9 years old and loves this series and he was excited when we received it.  He read the book first and he told me that it's his favorite one in the series.  He especially likes the instructions in the book for whatever gadget they are making.  After he finished the book I was able to read it.  It was a great story and I kind of suspected who the spy in the book was but the way that person was uncovered was great.  I also love that we found out more about Nick and Tesla's parents and why they are staying with their uncle Newt.  I like all the characters in the book from Nick and Tesla's friends to Uncle Newt.  I can't wait to find out more about Nick and Tesla as well as their parents.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Review: City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity.  But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass: Jace, the boy Clary loves, and Sebastian, the brother Clary hates, have disappeared.
The Clave's magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can't stay away from Clary.  When they meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that Lilith's magic has bound Jace together with Sebastian, and Jace has become a servant of evil.
The Clave is out to eradicate Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.  Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle scheme and bargain to save Jace, but Clary is utterly alone, playing a dangerous game.  If she loses, her life--and Jace's soul--are forfeit.  She'd do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him?  Or is he truly lost?

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Poor Clary and Jace, they just can't get a break!  Seems like things will be "normal" for them and they will finally be happy again and then something else happens.  Clary's evil brother who is just as bad, if not worse than Valentine comes back from the dead.  Along is Jace, who has his life tied to Sebastian's life because of the mark that Lilith left on him.  So you can't kill Sebastian without killing Jace.  He is gone for weeks and the Clave decide to end their search.  Of course this is not good enough for his family (Alec & Isabelle) and Clary.  Of course since Jace is so important to Clary, Simon will do just about anything for her.  So even though this book is about Jace and what can be done to save him, so many other side stories occur.  Such as Maia and Jordan and having to work together and talk about what has happened.  Also Simon no longer living at home since telling his mother that he is a vampire and avoiding calls from his sister Becky.  Alec and Magnus are also a big part in this book.  Alec who is so afraid to grow old without Magnus will do just about everything he can.  I hope their relationship is in the next book as well.  Seems like so many things happened in this book.  I can't wait to read the next one!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman

The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Tess Monaghan, #11)
In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile.  Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes...like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day.  Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen.  Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom.  But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths...and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I borrowed this book from a friend and did not realize it was part of a book series until I finished it.  All the while I was reading I was thinking that this would make a good book series.  This book was pretty short and a fast read.  I wanted to see how things played out and what really happened to the Girl that is "missing".  Tess along with her friend Whitney are interesting characters, even the dog in the green coat was interesting.  I would definitely check out more books by this author.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: The King - J.R. Ward

The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12)
Long live the King...
After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father's mantle--with the help of his beloved mate.  But the crown sets heavily on his head.  As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.
Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it.  But when she decides she wants a child, she's unprepared for Wrath's response--or the distance it creates between them.
The question is, will true love win out...or tortured legacy take over?

3/5 stars (liked it)
Hard to believe this is the 12th Black Dagger Brotherhood I have read.  Did not think that another book was needed on Wrath but I was proven wrong.  This story is about Wrath the king and Wrath the husband.  This book also contains many other characters and possible pairing.  Such as Sola and Assail, whose story began in the previous book and continues in this one.  Also the shadow brothers Trez and iAm and the chosen Selena.  Xcor also going after Layla and her being pregnant the entire book, no mention of her at the end which I thought was strange.  Something going on with John Matthew and some seizures he's having, not fully explained.  Overall a good book but wish some things would have been resolved, I guess that will be left for another book. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Mr. Popper's Penguins - Richard and Florence Atwater

The story of a poor painted named Mr. Popper and his family, who live in the small town of Stillwater in the 1930s.  The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of a penguin, Captain Cook.  The Poppers then receive a female penguin from the zoo who mates with Captain Cook to have 10 baby penguins.  Before long, something must be done lest the penguins eat the Poppers, out of house and home.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I always wanted to check this book out.  I was at my son's school helping with state testing and so I had two hours sitting there in case someone had a question or needed the bathroom and this book was in the classroom library.  So glad I read it.  It's a very cute story filled with the fun and chaos these little penguins cause the Popper family.  After reading this I asked my son if he had read it and he hadn't but he promised me he would.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Book Review: Panic - Lauren Oliver

Panic - Lauren Oliver
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher.  She'd never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out.  But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic.  His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game,  he's sure of it.  But what he doesn't know is that he's not the only one with a secret.  Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them -- and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

3/5 stars (liked it)
The game Panic seems like a dangerous and intriguing game for kids to play and something very believable.  Heather and Dodge are not friends but they both decide to play Panic along with Heather's friend Natalie.  Also along for the ride is Heather's best friend Bishop who does not play the game but is there for support.  Heather has a really crappy life at home and a little sister, Lily to take care of.  Natalie wants to be an actress/model.  Dodge has a sister, Dayna that was in an accident and is paralyzed, not a great home life for him either.  Heather, Dodge and Natalie decide to form an alliance to get to the end of the game.  But so many things go wrong, and so many secrets are kept.  I wish we could have gotten to know Anna better, the only adult in the book really.  Lauren Oliver does not disappoint, so good to read another book by her.  

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...