Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Adventure

SYLO book jacket
MacHale, D.J.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is the first book of an awesome Apocalyptic trilogy. This book starts out with a high school football player named Tucker Pierce, who lives a quiet life on Pemberwick Island,Maine. He is also perfectly fine being the backup for a kid named Marty on the team. As a game goes on, Marty seems to be having the best game of his life, when he scores a touchdown and just drops dead. The narrator describes the whole story in past tense, and describes that as "the first death". This is the start of a "real page turner" of a story. As that week goes on, Tucker and his friends (Quinn and Tori) find out that a U.S. military branch invades his island.This story goes on to describe how The trio find out what the heck is going on, and in three books! It is a very good book, and I strongly recommend it. Just don't read it if you do not have access to the other books, because you have to read the whole series.

Reviewer's Name: Zachary
Life of Pi book jacket
Martel, Yann
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel recounts the major events of Pi's life before going into detail about him being stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger. It has frequent anecdotes about zookeeping and religion, especially near the beginning. The main character, Pi Patel, is an extremly likable main character. Though he is not particularly colorful or eccentric, his devotion to God and resilience make the audience instantly emphasize with him. Richard Parker, the tiger, is also made interesting. Though he doesn't do anything out of the realm of possibility, it's always left unclear how he's going to respond to the current situation. The rest of the characters are not particularly deep, but they all serve their purpose.

The plot is fairly simple, focusing more on describing Pi's struggle in detail than twists and turns. Sitting on a boat for seven months is hard to make interesting, but this book rises to the occassion. Every change in circumstance is explored, and Pi has to respond in creative ways. In between the speeches about how to train a tiger and why a hyena is dangerous, there are themes about faith that are masterfully done. While I can't say I agree with everything that's said about religion, I do appriciate how it is explored.

I would reccomend this book to animal lovers, people who enjoy survival stories, and anyone looking for a unique story that will keep them hooked.

Reviewer's Name: Rose
Gregor the Overlander
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I read this book during middle school and recently reread the series. The book is about a boy named 'Gregor' Gregor falls into a laundry shoot with his sister and finds himself in a new world with a quest. He searches for his dad. He's learns to survive in this new environment picking up new skills and learning this new worlds rules.
I loved the idea of the 'Underland' a world with completely different creatures and how they interact with each other. I loved the story filled with giant animals like bats, rats, and cockroaches. How it goes into detail how Gregor and the people of the Underland get around in the dark. And how the lack of light affects their appearance. The book is very detailed and the well thought through.
The book is definitely worth a read. This book is a part of a 5 book series. Each book provides a new challenge for Gregor. And the last book just leaves you wanting more
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Hana
The Call of the Wild book jacket
London, Jack
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"The Call of the Wild," written by Jack London, is a novel set in Yukon, Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush. Buck, a rather large, domesticated dog, is stolen from his comfortable life and sold into the brutal world of sled dog teams in the harsh wilderness. Buck quickly learns to adapt to his new environment, tapping into his primal instincts as he navigates the challenges of survival. He forms a bond with John Thornton, a kind-hearted prospector, but Buck never feels free, and he contemplates breaking his friendship with John Thornton to escape into the wild. I enjoyed the book because I am an animal lover and I liked reading about the events that Buck endured. Subsequently, I would recommend this book to animal lovers because, after all, it is about a dog and his strive for freedom.

Reviewer's Name: Finn
Robinson Crusoe book jacket
Defoe, Daniel
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Robinson Crusoe" is a fictional novel by Daniel Defoe; telling the story of Robinson Crusoe, a young Englishman who becomes stranded on a deserted island after a shipwreck. The novel follows his solitary existence as he learns to survive, building shelter, finding food, and adapting to the challenges of his new environment. Over the years, Crusoe encounters both moments of despair and triumph, offering readers a captivating tale of resilience, self-reliance, and the indomitable human spirit. I was fascinated by this book; if I were to compare it to another book I would say that it is the grown up version of Hatchet (written by Gary Paulsen). I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good adventure novel.

Reviewer's Name: Finn G.
Holes book jacket
Sachar, Louis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Holes by Louis Sachar is a piece of young adult fiction that weaves together elements of mystery, adventure, and coming-of-age themes. The novel's plot centers around Stanley Yelnats, a young boy who is sent to a juvenile detention camp after being falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes. At Camp Green Lake, Stanley is forced to dig holes in the desert as part of a rehabilitation program, leading him to uncover a mystery that has haunted the camp for generations. Sachar's portrayal of Stanley and the other boys at Camp Green Lake is one of the novel's strongest qualities. Through their interactions and experiences, Sachar explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. Stanley's transformation from a timid and isolated boy to a confident and capable young man is both inspiring and heartwarming. This novel is very appealing due to is humor, unexpected backstory, and suspense that kept me hooked throughout. The novel's themes of friendship, perseverance, and the importance of doing what is right resonate with readers of all ages and make it a true gem of young adult literature, I'd recommend it to all!

Reviewer Grade: 11.

Reviewer's Name: Addison
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you have read the Hunger Games series, then you know that President Snow is the main villain and set a iron grip on the Districts of Panem. I you haven't read the trilogy, then might I highly suggest you do.
This book takes place decades before the trilogy starts and we read through Coriolanus Snow's eyes before he becomes the president and monster of Panem. Coriolanus has already set himself up to be in a position of power even as a young adult, and after his city was besieged, and his parents died, the Snow name and fortune left in ruins. Coriolanus Snow has decided that he will never be the weaker side again. The Hunger Games were not a new event for Panem during the time yet they were never popular, now though Coriolanus and his class are each assigned a tribute to make the Games finally noticed. Coriolanus has been assigned the girl of District 12, perhaps the worst choice available, or so he thinks.

Reviewer's Name: Xzavier
The Hunger Games book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins is a suspenseful novel about 16-year-old Katniss in the dystopian land of Panem. In this world, the 13 districts protested against the government. In punishment, they must provide two tributes (one boy and one girl) from each district. When Katniss's sister was chosen as tribute Katniss stepped up to protect her. Now she must fight to the death with the other 23 tributes for a chance to continue with her life.

Reviewer's Name: Cailyn
Tress of the Emerald Sea book jacket
Sanderson, Brandon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book "Tress of the Emerald Sea" was a brilliant standalone book set in Brandon Sanderson's "cosmere" (his unique term referring to the general world where most of his books take place). I didn't actually choose to read this book; my uncle lent me this book because I love nearly all of Brandon Sanderson's books. After reading this magnificent book, I am very thankful for his generosity. I enjoyed the development of the protagonist, Tress, over the book the most. Tress stays kind throughout the entire book, but her bravery develops as she grows from a timid cup collector to something I don't want to spoil, but she gains a massive amount of bravery in the pursuit of kindness. I didn't enjoy the ease at which the final boss was dealt with, but the conclusion was relatively tidy and neat. This is the type of book where I constantly need to ask myself, "How did the author think of this"? Spore oceans that kill you but still float ships? Cup collectors creating chaos? Nothing was offensively predictable, and the little twist right at the end reminded my instantly of Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away's little twist at the end regarding the protagonist's parents. I won't say this has been the best book that I've read this year, but that is only because the year is still young and Brandon Sanderson's kickstarter had 3 other books in it.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Ryder
The Core book jacket
Brett, Peter V.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"The Core" by Peter V. Brett is the finale for The Demon Cycle, a great series of books about demons and religion. I originally began to read The Demon Cycle because it was recommended for fans of "The Lies of Locke Lamora", another fantastic book that I will likely review at a later time. My favorite part about The Core was absolutely the lengths that Peter Brett went to in order to ensure an emotional journey. Without spoiling anything, beloved characters have surprising and drastic events that grip you and force you to keep reading. It's hard to pinpoint an unenjoyable part, but I do wish that the ending had more that I could read; I was dissatisfied when there was no more for me to read and that some characters were not developed to the levels I wanted (e.g. Abban and Roger). A few criticisms are as follows; some characters feel intentionally undeveloped just for the sake of a more impactful climax. Arlen, for example, appeared to achieve near godhood across the last 4 books, but he struggles unnecessarily with things that he proved he had mastered earlier in the series. Regardless of all of this, I still believe that The Demon Cycle as a whole has been one of the greatest series I have read this year.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Ryder
Hatchet book jacket
Paulsen, Gary
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hatchet, written by Gary Paulsen, is a fictional account of Brian Robeson. Brian, traveling by bush plane to see his father, is quite nostalgic and sad, as his parents had recently divorced. However, this all changes when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. Having no clue how to obtain help and low on gas, Brian, with little previous experience, manages to crash land the plane into a lake. Brian swims to shore and collapses, exhausted. Brian spends several days recovering from the crash before realizing his extreme hunger, which motivates him to be proactive and use all of his resources, including a hatchet, to find food. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure, as well as those who are (and are not) resourceful. Paulsen teaches the reader that it is not what one physically has that determines success, but rather, what one mentally has.

Reviewer's Name: Finn
Six of Crows book jacket
Bardugo, Leigh
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In light of the Netflix series getting its second season, I decided to pick up Six of Crows. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised.

This is a fantasy heist story, which is already a standout. Kaz Brekker and his gang are tasked to steal from the Ice Court, one of the most secure places in the world. If they succeed they’ll get unimaginable amounts of money. Each of his crew members have a different motivation as they head in to break out a prisoner.

The characters are all well developed. Kaz is the standout, with a nice mix of mastermind villain and sympathetic protagonist. Inej and Nina are the most sympathetic, each having somewhat altruistic motivations. Matthias is horrible, but his redemption arc is interesting. Jesper and Wylan are a bit flat at times, but are both fun enough to make me ignore that.

The plot is easy to follow, while still having a reasonable amount of twists and turns. The main problem I have comes up late in the story. I won’t spoil anything, but two characters are set up for a betrayal. When it’s time for them to follow through, they just don’t. I’m sure it gets explored more in the sequel, but it rings a bit hollow for now.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book. Especially if you like morally gray protagonists.

Reviewer's Name: Rose
The Initiation book jacket
Babu, Chris
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The moment you open the book your going to be immediately thrown into the story. A deadly plague has overtaken the world and the few thousand humans left reside in what used to be Manhattan; now called New America. From Drayden (the main characters) perspective we get to see that New America has a tight hierarchy. All citizens of New America get one chance to elevate above the area they were born, and the stories spread around this "chance" make most pass it up. Drayden though, he has decided to play New Americas deadly game.

Reviewer's Name: Xzavier
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is a masterful prequel to the wildly popular Hunger Games trilogy. Set 64 years before the events of the first book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes explores the origins of the Hunger Games and the rise of the villainous President Snow. The main character, Coriolanus Snow, is a fascinating and nuanced character, with his motives and actions constantly shifting throughout the novel. His relationship with his fellow tribute, District 12's Lucy Gray Baird, is particularly compelling, with Collins exploring themes of loyalty, trust, and love in a way that is both nuanced and emotionally resonant. The plot of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is both gripping and thought-provoking. Collins deftly weaves together political intrigue, personal drama, and action-packed set pieces to create a narrative that is both thrilling and emotionally engaging. The Hunger Games themselves are particularly well-done, with Collins using them as a vehicle to explore the darker side of human nature and the impact of power and privilege on individuals and society. Collins's descriptions of the Capitol and the districts are vivid and immersive, offering a richly detailed portrait of the world of Panem. Her use of foreshadowing and symbolism, such as the mockingjay, adds depth and meaning to the story, inviting readers to reflect on the deeper themes of the novel. This book was a stellar prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy that adds a lot of perspective and background to the original story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the original novels and wishes to explore more of the Hunger Games world. Reviewer Grade: 11.

Reviewer's Name: Addison
Gone book jacket
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Gone, written by Michael Grant, is an action-packed dystopian novel that explores the struggle for survival in a world where all adults have vanished. The story takes place in a small California town, where everyone over the age of 15 has disappeared, leaving the children and teenagers to fend for themselves. The protagonist, Sam, is a relatable and sympathetic character who is thrust into a leadership role as he tries to keep the remaining kids safe and find out what has happened to their families. The world-building in Gone is impressive, with the small town and surrounding wilderness being vividly realized and full of danger. The supernatural elements of the story, such as the strange powers that some of the children possess, add an extra layer of intrigue and mystery to the plot that I very much enjoyed. Additionally, the novel explores a number of themes including moral and power struggles that the characters must face head on, and the shifting of the narration between several characters allows for some really good insight into how the characters' fight for survival has affected them each. Overall, Gone is a well-written and engaging novel that is sure to appeal to fans of dystopian and action-packed stories, and leaves off on a cliffhanger that encourages readers to read the remaining eight novels in the series. I personally enjoyed the plot and its many twists very much, and have read the rest of the series as a result. Reviewer Grade: 11.

Reviewer's Name: Addison
The Merciful Crow book jacket
Owen, Margaret
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was unlike any other I've read before. I got it annotated by a friend as a Christmas present, and it was the best gift in the world. The first line alone shocked me, and made me want to keep reading. I love when a book starts off really interesting, and Margaret Owen nailed it. The characters are so funny, especially Jasimir, and Tavin is a wonderfully written brave and witty character too. I felt like I lived in the book, it was so vivid and the imagery was amazing. The gore was just enough to have an impact, but not be overwhelming. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. Can't wait to read the sequel!!!
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Divergent book jacket
Roth, Veronica
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Divergent is a book that really drew me in as I was reading. The story starts from Beatrice Prior’s (also known as Tris) point of view. Within the world that she lives in, there are five factions. These factions being dauntless, candor, erudite, abnegation, and amity. Tris ends up choosing to go into the dauntless (the fearless) faction. Among being placed into the dauntless faction, Tris Prior meets Four. Four and Tris “hit it off” after seeing each other and the fall in love quickly. The two have different personalities which seems to click. The novel follows Beatrice and Four as they laugh, love, keep secrets, butt heads, and much much more.
I really like the variety in genres of this book. The book does have romance, humor, fantasy, but it also has action and mysterious elements to it. The short chapters make this book really good at keep the reader’s attention span. The scenes described in vivid detail allow you to feel like part of the story and envision it in your mind. This book is the first of three books. The three books were turned into movies and the first one being Divergent. If you’re looking for a read that is compelling enough to keep your attention span, have a little of every genre, and describes scenes in extreme detail, this book is for you!
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Abigail
Watership Down book jacket
Adams, Richard
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a book designed for lovers of Xenofiction (books from non-human perspectives). "Watership Down" is a book about a warren of rabbits. Hazel's brother Fiver has a disturbing vision that prompts him and others to leave the warren. Along the way they run into other, sinister warrens. Interwoven with the story, short segments describing the mythology of El-ahrairah ( a figure similar to Robin Hood).

Some may be familiar with the violent reputation of "Watership Down". This is an earned reputation. Although no main characters die, they do suffer grievous harm. Aside from that, there is a vivid and disturbing description of the original warren's description. However, I felt that the most disturbing parts of the books were the parts exploring the almost dystopian warrens the group meet. If you plan to read this book, keep this in mind. Do not read this if you are sensitive to violence.

If you can get past the disturbing content, this is an excellent read. The characters are incredibly charming. Hazel is an inventive leader, who sometimes acts recklessly to show off. Fiver is a timid rabbit who has glimpses of the future, based on the famous Greek oracle Cassandra. Bigwig is a gruff ally, who occasionally doubts Hazel's leadership, but has a big heart. The plot is equally as interesting, leaving me anxious at parts when things seemed to be going eerily well. The segments regarding El-ahrairah are also entertaining, giving insight into the rabbit culture.

All in all, if you aren't sensitive to violence, I would definitely recommend trying this book.

Reviewer's Name: Rose
Fairy Tale book jacket
King, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia have already won the hearts of millions of readers of all ages. Fantasy novels with complex plots, written in the understandable even for the youngest readers language, keep older generations excited and thrilled as well. The Fairy Tale by Stephen King can definitely be included in this honorable list. Describing the incredible adventures of Charlie Reade, it takes us to the mystical world and introduces to the ancient evil monsters and brave fighters for freedom.
Everything starts simple enough. The characters are living their ordinary enough lives and dealing with their down-to-earth duties and routines. But everything changes when a 17-year-old Charlie Reade decides to help his old grumpy neighbor. He discovers the door to the hidden world, where life is paralyzed by a curse that erases people’s faces and takes their sensations away from them. An evil tyrant Flight Killer and is the one who stands behind it. And, as it normally happens in fairy tales, Charlie turns out to be the one, whose mission is to defeat the evil, liberate the city of Lilimar and save the fallen princess. Is it truly up to a high-schooler to beat the powerful monster? And what does it have to do with an old ill German shepherd? The Fairy Tale has the answers for all these questions.
The audience gets a chance to dive into the exciting and cozy atmosphere of the good old stories, heard in childhood, and, at the same time, enjoy the complicity of created by King universe and charm of human feelings and behaviors. Classical fairy tale plot and motives make the novel easy and pleasant to read, however, as any fairy tale, it contains hidden moral and promotes eternal values.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Oleksandra
Wings of Fire Legends: Dragonslayer book jacket
Sutherland, Tui T.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A quick summary of this book is that three kids, Wren, Leaf, and Ivy, all live in a world filled with dragons. Wren was sacrificed to the dragons by her village leaders but she escaped and befriended a dragon named Sky. Leaf wants to slay a dragon and take revenge on the dragons because he believes that the dragons ate his sister, Wren. Ivy is the dragonslayer's daughter and she starts finding the truth about what happened when her father slayed the dragon. Ivy starts to realize that her father is the entire reason the dragons hate humans. When Leaf comes to Ivy's village to seek out the dragonslayer, Ivy and Leaf decide to go to the desert dragons stronghold to find Ivy's lost aunt Rose and return the dragons treasure to them. On the way they meet Wren and together they find out the truth about how the dragonslayer actually killed the dragon and try to make amends for it.
This book was one of my favorite books of the entire Wings of Fire series. It has a ton of amazingly portrayed action scenes. Tui T. Sutherland, the author, did a marvelous job of using imagery to make you feel as if you are in the book. I also really enjoyed how all the books in the series are connected. You see characters from other books such as a Nightwing named Deathbringer, who is from the Dragonet prophecy series and also the second Winglets book. My favorite character is probably Wren because she is so brave, courageous, resourceful, and smart. I also love Sky, Wren's dragon, that she befriends. He is so adorable and kind of funny at times. There was nothing in the book that I didn't like. Over all this book is one of the best ones I have read this year. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dragons or fantasy/adventure. (8th grade)

Reviewer's Name: Alex