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All Book Reviews by Genre: Adventure

Book Review: Don Quixote
Cervantes, Miguel de
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Written in 1605, and translated in at least 50 languages, the novel Don Quixote has often been considered the father of western literature. And for good reason. Coming in at around over 900 pages, this novel is an amazing read. This book follows the hilarious journey of Don Quixote and his portly sidekick, Sancho Panza, as they travel around Spain searching for adventures. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys long novels, humor, or anything like Princess Bride.

Reviewer's Name: Peter C.
Awards:
Story Thieves
Riley, James
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Story Thieves, by James Riley, is an adventure novel that deals with a book-ception type of concept. Owen, one of the two main protagonists, meets Bethany, the other main protagonist, while he catches her mysteriously disappearing into books. He agrees to keep her power a secret on one
condition: he gets to visit his favorite Kiel Gnomefoot series. They both go on a quest through several books to try and find Bethany's missing father, but end up messing up the book series. The duo encounters all sorts of baddies, and the many plot twists keep the reader on the edge of their seat.
The uncomplicated storyline keeps the plot straight forward and allows for good development of the characters and settings. The novel is a pretty entertaining read, and I would recommend it to people who just like a good, solid, and basic adventure novel.
Steven L, 8th Grade.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
City of Rats
Emily Rodda
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book City of the Rats in the Deltora Quest series, by Emily Rodda, takes place in the mythical land of Deltora, and sends you on a quest with the three main protagonists, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine. The novel is a classic adventure quest, where the protagonists face off against the truly evil Shadow Lord. This particular book brings you along with the characters, as they are forced to enter the forbidden City of the Rats in order to find another lost gem to restore to the Belt of Deltora. In it, Emily Rodda succeeds in developing the characters and setting. The monsters and magic have a certain sincerity in their wrongdoings that you don’t find in many adventure tales. The protagonists also have this relentlessness for stopping the Shadow Lord, and the despite their fears, push on through the most dreadful of times. Overall, the book is meant for people who like fantasy adventure novels, and I would recommend not only this singular book, but the entire Deltora Quest series to anybody willing to read it. Steven L, 8th Grade.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
Awards:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Adams, Douglas
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is witty, genius, and an example of common English humor: dry, but hilarious.
Seconds before Earth is blown away to make way for an intergalactic freeway, Arthur Dent discovers galaxies and planets, lightyears beyond his own. He hitches a ride with his best friend, Ford Perfect. Ford is a cleverly disguised alien, who has been stranded on Earth for the past 15 years as he writes a revised guide to the galaxy. Arthur and Ford happen to hitch ride with the most disagreeable and intolerable creatures, the Vogon. They are then discovered and thrown into the soul-sucking abyss of space. Seconds before they suffocate, Ford and Arthur are picked up by a recently stolen ship, stolen by the president of the galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and his girlfriend, Trillian. The ship is on an improbability drive, which is why they crash land on a long believed mythical planet, called the Heart of Gold.
The planet was in a hibernation-like state, and has only just awoken recently. Trillian, Ford, and Zaphod explore while Arthur meets Slartibartfast, who explains that the Earth was a test, run by mice, to discovery the Question of Life, since they know the answer is 42. However, Earth was destroyed seconds before test completion. Trillian, Zaphod, and Ford are captured by the mice and kept in a dream-like prison. That is, until Arthur is brought to the mice and the group is reunited. The mice explain that they are interested in harvesting Arthur’s brain as organic evidence.
So, naturally, the group manages to escape in the knick of time, avoiding both the mice and the galaxy police, who are searching for Zaphod.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Awards:
The Book of Lost Things
Voigt, Cynthia
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Max's parents have dashed off on an unexpected adventure and left their 12 year old son Max behind, alone...well, his grandmother is around to watch over him, but she is busy being a librarian. Max has to fend for himself and picks up a part time job as a solutioneer (sounds like engineer, but much more mysterious). His first task is to find a lost pet and this snowballs into many intricately involved adventures that will keep readers turning pages with anticipation to find out what this determined young man will do next. The Book of Lost Things, by Cynthia Voigt, is sure to please children 9 - 13 who enjoy a good mystery.

Reviewer's Name: Barb
Terminal
Gordon, Roderick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the sixth and final book in the Tunnels series. The adventurer will find their heart racing often during the amazing, fast-paced, roller-coaster ride these characters are involved in from Tunnels until the final pages of Terminal. The historian is excited about the creative use of many myths and legends of the world. The dreamer wonders if some of this book is based on fact and finds themselves thinking about the possibilities throughout the day as their whole mind is consumed by the characters and stories that weave throughout this series.

I found myself ordering books and doing research on many of the ideas in this book to see what else I could find.

But most importantly, this series ends in a way that was unpredictable and THAT made this whole reading adventure WORTH EVERY MINUTE!

Reviewer's Name: Rachel W.
Divergent
Roth, Veronica
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When I first picked up this book, I was skeptical, because I'm not normally a fan of dystopian novels. But I LOVED this book, I read it in three hours, I could not put it down. This fast paced thriller drew me in. When I was finished I found my self picking it up various times and rereading my favorite parts. I would for sure recommend this book to everyone I know.

Reviewer's Name: Emma R.
Don Quixote
de Cervantes, Miguel
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Aside from the “Cliff’s notes” version presented on the TV show, Wishbone, I knew enough about Don Quixote to be dangerous without having actually read it. After all, this book has spawned such words and phrases as “tilting at windmills” and “quixotic,” as well as a Broadway musical. But how does this 17th-century classic hold up in today’s world? One would argue that chivalry was already dead by the time it was written, so it’s not likely to be an examination of chivalrous attitudes and how they’d benefit society. As far as I see it, Don Quixote is a bit like a romantic comedy in the vein of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Probably the first-ever recorded instance of a dedicated live action role player (LARPer), the character Don Quixote borders on that line between comedy and tragedy. If I were to give a medical explanation for his actions, it’s either severe delusion and dementia or a high-functioning psychosis. And yet, his dedication to his chivalrous quest is charming if not slightly amusing when he comes face-to-face with reality. The fact that many characters go along with his delusion to work out some relationship issues shows that this book enjoys the lighthearted nature of chivalrous nostalgia.

When it comes right down to it, Don Quixote is a comedy of errors. The long series of mistakes and awkward situations brought about by the titular character’s delusion merely highlights the contrast between the fictional worlds of the books that influenced his demeanor and the real world around him. In fact, one would almost say the moral of this story is being able to distinguish fiction from reality, of which Don Quixote is unable to do. Such as it is, Don Quixote is a fun read, especially if you don’t try to read too much into it.

A comedy with some potential takeaways, I give Don Quixote 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin
Awards:
Wolf by Wolf
Graudin, Ryan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Wolf By Wolf is dystopian and historical fiction novel. The author
writes what would happen if Hitler and his Nazis won WWII. Yael is a death
camp escapee. While in death camp, the ‘doctor’ experimented on her and
several other test subjects. The result was both a gift and a curse: Yael is
a skinshift, meaning she can distort her features to look like other people.
Using her unlikely power, she escapes. She joins a secret resistance, aiming
to demolish the Nazis and Hitler. Using her power, she competes in a
motorcycling race across continents. The prize? A dance with Hitler… and an
opportunity to kill him. I’m giving this book 4 out of 5. I thought the plot
was really cool, as well as the writing, but when Yael is competing in the
race, all you get to read about is her riding on a motorcycle. Overall, I
really liked the book.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T.
Awards:
Genres:
The Mark of the Dragonfly
Johnson, Jaleigh
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Piper lives in a dystopian planet far away. Almost every night, meteors shower down in her hometown, sometimes destroying homes and lives. The selfish King Aron turns a blind eye to their suffering. But when Piper finds a lost girl who can’t remember a thing about her past life, the adventure begins. The lost girl, Anna, has the mark of the dragonfly on her; an elite tattoo, only given to the most high class and honor worthy citizens, granting them the King’s protection. Piper and Anna embark on a quest to find out who Anna is, and return her to her home and family… if she has one. I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars, because I thought the plot was great, but it was just poorly written. Also, some of the ‘twists’ were predictable, the main character (Piper) made some really stupid decisions, and the romance between Piper and another character was sappy and cliche. Overall, it was a pretty good book, and I don’t regret reading it.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T
Awards:
Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

What is the Heart of Darkness? Is it a metaphorical thing such as thoughts and mindsets, or is it a literal tangible place? Joseph Conrad’s novel follows the story of Marlow, an introspective sailor, who recounts his journey up the Congo River to five men who are on the same ship as Marlow:
the Director of Companies, who is also the captain and host, the Lawyer, the Accountant, Marlow, and the unnamed Narrator. What’s interesting is that the story is told from the point of view of the unnamed narrator who is conveying to the readers what marlow is telling him. Marlow explains in detail of his journey into the African Continent and his venture up the Congo River. He tells of acts of imperialism, acts of racism, and acts of evil commited within the region. The Heart of Darkness has gained much praise and criticism since its release, nevertheless it explores Conrad’s view of evil and darkness, but also leaves it up to the reader to make their own conclusion. I recommend this novel to readers who are seniors in high school or above because this novel is extremely difficult to read as Conrad’s style is very complex. To fully experience the novel, one must read it multiple times.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Joe T.
Beowulf
Heaney, Seamus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The mighty hero triumphs over evil and saves the people from utter destruction. Sound familiar? Of course it does, it’s the basic plot line of the cliche hero’s tale that everybody knows. However, all of these tales most likely spawned from Beowulf, the oldest surviving English poem written in Anglo - Saxon around the 11th Century A.D. Beowulf is an epic poem that begins with Hrothgar, King of the Danes. Hrothgar’s people live in peace when they are attacked and threatened by a monster named Grendel, who kills off the Danes everynight in their mead-hall, Heorot. So in comes Beowulf son of Ecgtheow, a mighty warrior from Geatland who promises to defeat Grendel and bring prosperity back to the Danes. Beowulf is an amazing poem as it not only tells the classic tale of the epic hero and his journey, but contains hidden meanings aside from literal. Beowulf has no known author, but contains elements of factual history, which tells us this may be a tale describing actual events. This piece of literature is a traditional master piece and should be preserved as an example of how words and tales can evolve over decades. Reviewer Grade 12.

Reviewer's Name: Joe T.
Awards:
The Girl in the Tower
Arden, Katherine
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Katherine Arden's The Girl In The Tower is just as good, if not better, than the first book, The Bear and The Nightingale. Filled with more Russian Fairy tales, atmospheric literary prose, rich and strong characters, and the same enchanting setting of Medieval Russia, this book picks up right where the first one left off. It follows the story of Vasya, now a grown up woman she, instead of conforming to the role woman in her day usually play, of marriage or life in a convent, chooses instead a life of adventure. Leaving her home and traveling the vast Russian Wilderness while dressed as a boy, she soon is called upon to defend the city of Moscow and finds the threat greater and more deadly than she imagined. While fighting this threat, only she can stop, she is also forced to protect her secret as she comes upon her brother and attracts the attention of the Grand Prince of Moscow.

Part of what drew me to this book is the fairy tales, yes, but also the historical setting of Medieval Russia. Katherine Arden does a masterful job of weaving fantasy elements with real life historical details only a great historian would discover. Blurring the line between history, fantasy, and reality this book and, more importantly this series, is contemporary historical fantasy at its best. It is a sketch not only of real life in Medieval Russia, but also displays the power of story and demonstrates the importance of fairy tales and the lessons they can teach us.

Reviewer's Name: Tawnie M.
Awards:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Twain, Mark
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a great book, and could definetly be on ones list to read. One thing you need to know about this book, is that it uses a lot of slang. So in order to fully understand this book and its contents, you have to understand that during the era it was staged people used very different wording than we use in our modern day language. Tom Sawyer reflects many of this worlds youth today aswell, young, rebellious, wild, wanting nothing more but to be free. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer brings the thrill of running away and the crazy adventures he goes through to stay alive. If you're looking for a truly funny, adventurous, and crazy book, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer is just for you!

Reviewer's Name: Elijah A.
Awards:
Kidnapped
Stevenson, Robert Louis
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Another one of those “short adventures” that I have finally gotten around to reading, Kidnapped doesn’t suffer from some of the attributes that I found irritating about Captains Courageous . Sure, some of my qualms with Captains Courageous came from the audiobook itself but Kidnapped managed to have an easy-to-understand narrator as well as some sound effects and music that added to the experience of the book. As for the book itself, Kidnapped is pretty basic despite its title being only a small fraction of its plot.

Even despite its short length, a lot happens in Kidnapped. Aside from the obvious kidnapping, many events transpired because of it, including escaping and returning home. Of course, partly because of the short length of the book, the action moves at a pretty quick pace that was sometimes difficult to follow (which may also be an artifact of the time when it was written). The language in this book was easy to understand and is appropriate for young boys who want to dip their toe in the wide world of reading.

Part of me almost wanted the plot to focus more on the kidnapping since that’s what I expected the book to be about. Of course, perhaps my preferences are tainted by modern literature and the almost over-explanation of situations and scenarios. Kidnapped does a lot, but if it went more in depth with a few of the main points, it could have been a little more fascinating. As it is, the kidnapping itself happens so quickly that the reader hardly has time to understand what has happened before the main character has escaped. A little more time spent in the midst of the kidnapping would have added some excellent tension to an already adequate book.

A good short story for all ages, I give Kidnapped 3.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin M. Weilert
Saucer
Coonts, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Saucer is an amazing Sci-Fi, Adventure, Thriller, and suspense book.

Stephen Coonts is a very talented Author who uses very good word choice. This is quite evident in his Saucer Trilogy, he seems to use the best wording at the best possible time. This book is definitely a great choice for all 13+ year old Audiences. Young Rip Cantrell is put under difficult circumstances numerous times. When his life and the life of Ex-Air Force Test Pilot Charlie Pine, and his grandfather are at stake, he makes a choice that will change his life from that point on. This Novel brings not only the thrill of life and death so many times, but amazing science fiction story line for us Sci Fi geeks. Obviously this book involves a saucer, Hence the name "Saucer", and this saucer appears to be lodged in that sandstone for over 140,000 years.

Now this saucer isn't made from man, as proven when Rip and his companions explore the object after days of digging it out. Over the course of this book, action escalates quickly, as Rip ends up across the world in Australia trying to save Charlie from the 2nd richest man in the world... Saucer is a stunning, action filled, adventurous book, at what might have been and what be. Go check this book out for yourself! I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Reviewer's Name: Elijah A.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Verne, Jules
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

They're attacking our vessel Captain! Those savages want to kill us!", "Leave me Conciel! Save yourself my friend!". No doubt these few short phrases from the amazing novel strikes great interest in your mind. 20,000 leagues under the sea is an Adventure Fiction novel written by Jules Verne, and is by far 1 of the best books I have ever read. Professor Aronnax and his faithful servant Consiel board american frigate Abraham Lincoln to embark on a long journey back to France. On the way though, they spot a creature, a monster unlike anyone has ever seen up until that point. After a fierce battle with that monster Pierre Aronnax, Consiel, and a Canadian Harpooner are thrown overboard their frigate lost in the middle of the Vast Atlantic.

Later refuge is found aboard a metal island... Wait? Metal Island? In the middle of the atlantic? Something isn't right. Alast Captain Nemo and his crew surface the mighty vessel and capture Aronnax and his companions.
Sometime later Pierre and his companions alike, awake in a small, pitch black room, not knowing what had happened, or what is about to. Want to find out what happens next? Well go and find this book for yourself! Getting stuck underneath an iceberg in the antarctic! Battling 1 of earths mightiest creatures! Experience the great suspense, action, and adventure this novel brings to you!

Reviewer: 9th Grade

Reviewer's Name: Elijah A.
Captains Courageous
Kipling, Rudyard
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Captains Courageous is one of those classics that I just haven’t read, for whatever reason. I got the sense it was about being at sea, probably in the same vein as Moby-Dick or Treasure Island. And yet, I don’t know if I could tell you what happened in this book. Sure, the main character was picked up by a fishing vessel, and eventually, they learned how to deal with the harsh job of being a fisherman, but that’s pretty much it. The series of fishing adventures seem to be loosely tied together, and the overarching plot was weak at best.

Part of me wonders if the audiobook version of this classic was to blame. Not only did the narrator have a bit of an accent, but she did all the different dialects of the various characters based on their ethnic origins. While I would usually love this attention to detail, more than half the time, I could hardly understand what was being said. Furthermore, the amount of sailing/fishing jargon this book had completely lost me at times, as I have no experience or knowledge of this profession to understand what the characters are talking about.

The two aspects I did enjoy as part of this audiobook were the songs and the length. While I likely would have just read the lyrics of these sea shanties in the book with no understanding of how the tune would go, the narrator sang these songs, thus allowing me to appreciate them more than just the words would have provided. Secondly, while I didn’t understand what was going on for most of the time I was listening to this audiobook, it was still a short book. Therefore, I didn’t waste too much time listening to this book and could move on to different books that much quicker.

A classic that probably hasn’t aged well with time, I give Captains Courageous 2.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin M. Weilert
The Song From Somewhere Else
Harrold, A.F.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

He was bigger than anyone else in Francesca's class. He was funny looking and he smelled weird. Why, oh why did he have to be nice to her and get her bag for her that the bullies had thrown into the stinging nettles? When the bullies chased them both to Nick's house, why hadn't she run somewhere else? Ugh, she would never live this down at school. A.F. Harrold's novel, The Song From Somewhere Else, will enchant readers age 9 - 12 with a story of another world, just waiting to be discovered.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Moby-Dick
Melville, Herman
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Mobs-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville is a novel, in which the narrator, Ishmael, befriends Queequeg, a South Seas harpooner, and together they look for a whaling crew. Eventually, they join Captain Ahab aboard the Pequot.
Ishmael soon finds that Ahab had lost his leg and vessel to a powerful whale, who is called Moby-Dick. The captain and his crew sail around the world to hunt down the whale for revenge. The book does have a very deep and ambitious theme, as Herman Melville addresses many controversies throughout his writing, with subtle remarks. The characters and plot fit perfect together and everything is well developed with some sort of backstory. My only problem with this book is that it includes many useless and boring chapters. They don't add anything to the story, and while they attempt to bring up a deep topic, they completely and utterly fail to. Overall this book is decent and definitely aspires to be the "mighty book" that it's meant to be. I would recommend it to people who like high seas adventure novels.

Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Steven L.
Awards:

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