‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline

This is one of my all time favourite books. I think Ernest Cline has done incredible work in this novel. The book makes you want to sit down on a couch and just read the whole thing in one go. The book shows what could happen in the future because it is set in the year 2045. I recommend it to anyone over 12 who likes Sci-Fi. Ernest Cline has written it in such a way as to make you believe this could be a true story. It sets out a future where pollution and climate change have taken over the world and everything is overcrowded. Wade Watts is 17 years old (nearly 18). He lives in a mobile home stack (a stack of mobile homes) with his aunt, her boyfriend and two different families. Wade goes to school in the Oasis, a vast virtual world where almost anything is possible and most of humanity spends their days. When the creator of this virtual world died 5 years earlier, he left behind a trail of clues and challenges in the Oasis for someone to find an Easter egg. Whoever wins inherits his giant 240 billion dollar fortune. When Wade cracks the first clue 5 years later and surpasses the first challenge, it turns out he is in the lead. A company called IOI (innovative online industries) will kill to take that lead and they’ve already done a bit of that. The prize will be incredibly hard to get to and Wade will need to team up with a band of friends to win; there will be casualties in real life too: can they do it? I don’t want to spoil the rest, so you’re going to have to read the book. There’s a lot of detail to the plot, so get reading! I think the book is being made into a film. I hope so.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck

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‘Artemis Fowl’ by Eoin Colfer

This is a fast-turning twisty kind of a book; it mashes two different realities together to create something epic. Eoin Colfer’s storyline in this book and in every other book in the series is fantastic.  I’ve since tried other books he’s written,  but  they are pretty boring in comparison to Artemis Fowl. Reading this book, you can understand why it was so successful and why it’s now being made into a film. I recommend the book to the sort of person who likes fantasy and sci-fi.

Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old child genius whose family business is sort of like the Irish mafia. He has a bodyguard called Butler. His father has disappeared and so have some of the family’s wealth. Artemis is about to change this; he has found out how to do it. He has identified ‘The People”!

The People, known in this book as fairies, are four foot tall folk. They all carry a book (‘The Book’) with them which holds all their magical secrets. If a fairy breaks any of the rules in The Book they lose their magic forever. Artemis blackmails a drunken fairy into giving him their book. He photographs every page and translates ‘Gnommish’, the fairy language.

He finds out that the gold in the fairies’ stories is actually a ransom fund for kidnapped fairies (as you do … !). The only way to get the gold is to kidnap a fairy. Artemis gets more than he bargained for when he kidnaps fairy police officer Holly Short by subduing her powers. Holly’s boss Julius Root launches a rescue mission, then Holly gets her powers back, A dwarf called Mulch Diggums is sent to see where Artemis is getting all his information.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, some fairies think stopping time and setting a troll loose in Artemis’ house is a great idea. As you might have realised by now, Artemis’ plan has gone absolutely mad. Butler, his bodyguard, almost dies. But all ends well for Artemis’ plan and he wins according to fairy rules and gets to keep the gold.

This probably sounds a bit crazy and involved (and yes, there is a lot going on!). All I can tell you is that it works. All these new characters, bizarre ideas and the nutty storyline all makes sense when you are reading the book. I can’t wait to see the movie version. It’ll be hard to make it because this is one book where you need to use your imagination.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck

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‘H.I.V.E Higher Institute of Villainous Education’ by Mark Walden

This is one of my favourite books. I find it so crazy good. You’ll want to read it all the time, wherever you are. It’s a series as well and all the other books are fabulously good. The first book (this one) doesn’t have much of a plot, but is still great. The rest of the books in the series have better plots. The story’s about a 13 year old boy called Otto Malpenese. He has surprisingly white hair and is extremely and amazingly smart – not in the nerd sort of way! He is smart in a devious, technological, analytical (my Dad spelt that word for me) and Mi6 agent sort of way (if you know what I mean). Otto makes a device which can control someone via a teleprompter. He uses this on the Prime Minister who was in the middle of a meeting at the time; actually while giving a country-changing speech. Let’s just say, things don’t end well for the Prime Minister. Now, a school called H.I.V.E. – the Higher Institute of Villainous Education – has noticed what Otto did. They kidnap and transport him to their volcano island school where he has to spend 6 years learning about villainy with no link to the outside world. They are trying to make super-villains. He soon wants to escape, so with his friends, Wing, Laura and Shelby, he plans an escape. It goes well until they get to the part involving getting off the island. They have been tricked – it turns out that the Headmaster, Dr Nero, knew all about what they were doing all along. After the attempted escape, their friend Nigel shows him Wing, a carnivorous plant, which is quite small but it grows at an incredible rate in the middle of the night to become huge! It will destroy H.I.V.E if Otto doesn’t manage to stop it. This is going to be extremely hard! I don’t want to spoil the rest, so you’re going to have to read the book to find out what happens. This is an all-action easy to read book. You need to read the whole series to really know what’s going on in Otto’s world.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.

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‘My Brother is a Superhero’ by David Solomons

This book is based on a weird idea; this doesn’t stop it being absolutely hilarious, with a crazy storyline of superhero madness. The way David Solomons has set it up the storyline is so amazingly good. The story is about a boy called Luke from a town called Bromley. Luke and his older brother Zack were sitting up in their tree house one day, Luke goes for a pee. He’s thinking what could happen in the time he is gone to the toilet, well, a lot. He comes back and his brother has super powers (what?!). Luke thinks he doesn’t deserve these powers because he has never ever read a superhero comic! Well, his brother is now the world famous Star-Lad, a superhero who draws his power from the sky and stars. Then they find out a meteor with the power to destroy Earth is approaching fast. The world needs Star-Lad, but he  has been kidnapped by the scientific genius Christopher Talbot. Talbot is a villain who is planning to use Star-Lad to harness the power of the meteor to give himself unstoppable power. Luke and his friends can’t just stand on the side-line watching, they have to help defeat Christopher Talbot. Does Luke manage to free Star-Lad and defeat Talbot? Read the rest yourself … I’m not giving any more away. This is an easy to read book. It’s funny and holds your interest. I have read other books by David Solomons and I’ll read more. I’d recommend the book for under 13s. Any older and I think you might think it’s a bit silly!

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.

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‘Take Back the Skies’ by Lucy Saxon

This is a great book. It’s choc full of  rebellion and adventure. I highly recommend it to science fiction nuts. It is a fantasy book about a world amusingly called Tellus (Tell us!). It brings Steampunk, modern and weird technology together – I find this really awesome because it makes you use your imagination to picture how everything would look. It’s about a 14 year old girl who hates her life of wealth and her arranged marriage. She decides to run away. She stows away on a ship called the Stormdancer, but the crew find her and think she is a boy because of her short cut hair. She goes along with this. But they find out she’s a girl and then they have to regain their trust in her. She proves herself to them and becomes their friend. They find out the Government is making cyborgs out of children (half child / half machine) and they look hideous. So the group have to stop the Government from doing this or the whole of Tellus will be thrown into war.  Read the book to find out if they can find and stop a flying ship full of children who are being experimented on. This book has somne gruesome bits so it might not suit younder kids. I’m 12 and I was ok with it.

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck.

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‘Conquest’ by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard

This book is viciously good and I would highly recommend it to so many people. I think this is a story of survival and hope and it leaves many cliff hangers keeping you reading on. The book is about an alien race called the Illyri who invade earth. The first one of the race born on earth, called Syl, is 16 years old and has a best friend called Ani. Meanwhile, a resistance group has been formed and 17 year old Paul Kerr with his 15 year old brother Steven have joined. But when bombs go off on a street, Paul and his brother, guide Syl and Ani to safety. But the Illyri police find out that they are in the resistance and they sentence them to death. Syl and Ani rescue them and they all go on the run. Now they must use every last ounce of their strength to stay alive!

review by 12 year old Finn Buck.

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