Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

The Stand
King, Stephen
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The book "The Stand" by Stephen King is a novel about a disease. It starts out at a gas station where the disease is first seen in the novel. This book has many different characters as it progresses. The main antagonist is the embodiment of evil. He is basically the Antichrist. Although I didn't like this book as much as some of Stephen's other works because I have a short attention span and some parts are not attention grabbing. It is still a very good book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes horror. This novel is very unpredictable which is one of the main reasons I like it as much as I do. Because there are so many characters in this book, it was very easy for me to relate to their situations.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Tabitha V.
Awards:
The Conquest
Coonts, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In this Sci-Fi thriller sequel to the first Saucer book in the series, Stephen Coonts brings back ex-air force test pilot Charley Pine, Rip Cantrell, and some new key characters. Charley Pine is hired to fly a french spaceplane to the moon, where she finds a french Millionare by the name of Pierre Artois. Charley soon finds out what Artois and his conniving wife Julie are actually up to. A massive Anti-Gravity gun is stationed on the moon, Pierre and his wife have been planning for years for their ruler ship over the earth. All the while this is going on, Rip's uncle, saucer expert, Egg Cantrell is kidnapped by mad scientist Newton Chadwick and is forced fly him to the moon in another saucer... Rip Cantrell and Ms. Pine find out about this and steal another saucer from a Smithsonian. Soon a fierce battle in outer space takes place. Who will come out on top? This sequel to the first Saucer book should definitely be on everyone's radar. Young or old, this book will leave you all wanting more more every page you turn over!

9th Grade Review

Reviewer's Name: Elijah A.
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.
Stranger
Brown, Rachel Manija
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book Stranger, by Rachel Brown, tells of a post-apocalyptic town called Las Anclas and its citizens. The people in the world have been affected by a solar storm, which has caused them and the environment to develop mutations called "The Change." These effects can either harm or benefit the people.
The story is told through the perspectives of many other characters, and it gives a lot of insight and information on the characters pasts and thought.
This allows for excellent foreshadowing, which is one of the biggest strengths in the book. The novel describes the dystopian world mainly through the eyes of a young teenage boy named Ross Juarez, which develops the plot, romances, and details of the town and its people well. The book also places action nice and evenly throughout the story, so that it can focus on the story telling and background of the town and characters in other parts.
Overall, the book Stranger has been one of my favorite reads, and I'd recommend it to people who like dystopian worlds, action, and adventure books.
Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Steven L.
Frankenstein
Shelley, Mary
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a book about the horrors of creating life. The book succeeds in developing most of the sidecharacters. You learn in depth about all of their pasts, and the story fits together well. The tragic plot line of the book shows how the decisions made by Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, comes back to haunt him. It almost becomes a game of cat and mouse when Frankenstein chases around his creation for revenge when really, the monster is haunting Frankenstein for his own revenge. Most of the book's themes include loneliness and rejection, and are explained well throughout the back stories of the characters. I feel that the book's only weak point is how the characters face their end. While the characters do indeed learn many life lessons, they never really accomplish anything. None of the characters have sentimental deaths, other than Frankenstein; the book just tells the reader that the character you have just grown attached to...well, dies. The book moves on from their deaths, and then the cycle repeats for the rest of the book. Overall, Frankenstein is a really good book, and I'd recommend it to people that like horror or mystery fiction.
Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Steven L.
Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Ender's Game is an enthralling and thrilling sci-fi following a young boy as he is prepped to save the world. Ender departs for battle school at the ripe age of 6, where he is thrust into a world were children go head to head in a competition to be the best, fight in an all out war, and earn all the glory.
Although young and inexperienced, Ender is the best. But things seem to be stacked against him....
Orson Scott Card writes with incredible dexterity and Ender's Game pulls you into a new world.
(Reviewer Grade: 12)

Reviewer's Name: Lynzie M.
The Ask and the Answer
Ness, Patrick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Ask and the Answer is the second book of Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series. In this continuation, we see the original characters Todd and Viola venture farther from home as they try to outrun the lies of their previous lives. This book is a wonderful mix of brilliant, sad, courageous, and painful. As soon as I finished this book, all I wanted to do was pick up the next one. Ness's writing style is unique, and the characters are relatable and real. The events that transpire throughout The Ask and the Answer provoke a wide range of emotions, which makes it engaging. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has read the first Chaos Walking book, which is called The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
The Angel Experiment
Patterson, James
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment" by James Patterson is about a group of kids (called the Flock for their avian abilities) who were experimented on, but escaped. When one of their own is kidnapped, they go on a mission to get her back. I found the concept of this book interesting, and the characters had a lot of potential, but I feel there was an element missing from the story. Max, the protagonist, didn't seem to develop throughout the book. Nor did her love interest Fang. There were parts of this story that didn't make sense plot-wise either. But, I don't regret reading it
-- it's a fun adventurous story with lots of humor. I'd still recommend it regardless.

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
Awards:
Carve the Mark
Roth, Veronica
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Carve the Mark" is by Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series.
I really liked the Divergent books, but I felt this book wasn't quite as gripping as her previous work. The plot was slow-moving, especially in the beginning. I also found the world confusing, it was difficult to keep track of it all. The characters, I felt, were also a little one-dimensional. It had potential, but I felt it didn't live up to it. I'd recommend reading the Divergent books instead. Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
The 5th Wave
Yancey, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy is a dystopian novel set in modern day. It follows the main character Cassie as she survives alone during the alien invasion of planet earth. I read this book in 8th grade and to this day it continues to be one of my favorite takes on the dystopian “genre.” I think what makes this book interesting to read in the fact that the author does not shy away from showing how awful Cassie believes her life is. Instead of focusing on hope and the characters figuring out how they are going to single handedly save the entire human race, Yancy instead makes his characters sarcastic, selfish, angry at the world and just overall very “human”. It makes the book feel less cliche and as realistic as the alien invasion of earth can I guess. For anyone who wants to read a dystopian novel (minus *most* of the cheesy romance and heroics) and I definitely recommend.

Reviewer: Grade 11

Reviewer's Name: Gabrielle K.
Fish Tails
Tepper, Sheri S.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I decided to choose the book because it looked like it would tell a great story and it did. I liked the book due to its great lessons inside about the imperfections of our minds, but the greatness of them too. The part I enjoyed most was the journey f the main characters and how they didn't change their personalities and stayed focused on the topic. The part I didn't really enjoy was that the story went kinda slow. The book was pretty predictable, but the lessons and thoughts behind you need to think more about to get, so it was still entertaining to read. It was an amazing book to read and I definitely recommend it.
Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Inayah V.
the maze runner
Dashner, James
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

In recent years, the "Post-Apocalyptic" book genre has taken the world by
storm- filling book shelves and enthralling readers all around the globe. But with the rising popularity of this market, an influx of new books have followed, and as such, it has become harder and harder for readers to find good post-apocalyptic novels. For the case of "The Maze Runner", one of the most popular novels in the genre, James Dashner has managed to exceed the status quo and produce a tremendous read.

The story is set in a distant future, where a group of teens are mysteriously teleported into a giant, stone maze. Not only has their memory been cleared, but they also have no indication as to why they have ended up in this position and what means they must take to escape.

Their situation complicates even further, given that the maze doors close every evening. During the night, vicious monsters roam free and devour any humans in their way. The teens, who have declared themselves “Grovers”, attempt to map the maze, but doing so poses obvious threats to their safety.

Enter Thomas, a new “Grover” arriving in the maze. As he learns his way about this new reality, the story follows his point of view in first person perspective. Thomas eventually comes to terms with living as a Grover, but one night, as he crosses into the outer layer of the maze, his world is turned inside out.

Over time, Thomas must confront these imminent struggles, while also attempting to solve the grand puzzle of the maze. Readers are kept on edge through the entire novel, with hidden twists and turns on every turn of the chapter.

I would certainly recommend this read for teens and adults alike. While it’s true that the novel is aimed at a young demographic, its plot is engaging for even some of the most mature readers. The ending simply cannot be predicted, leaving readers to make their own speculations about the mysterious origins of the maze.

One complaint I might file is that there is somewhat of a lack of character development. The plot is so action-packed that it would see Dashner decided to leave out some of the more subtle nuances of a good novel.

If you decide to not read this novel, I would suggest as an alternative “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. The plot bears some parallels to that of the Maze Runner, but makes up for a majority of its imperfections.

Overall, “The Maze Runner” stands to be a top-quality post-apocalyptic teen-novel, making for an engaging read. The story sheds light on the natural instincts of teens under true isolation. In doing so, it echoes a number of themes which leave readers to draw meaningful questions about life, nature, and the purpose of humanity.

Reviewers Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Ethan M.
Awards:
Frankenstein: or, The modern Prometheus
Shelley, Mary
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Frankenstein was a disappointment to me. As per the Romantic period, this novel used lots of scenes in nature to explain the characters’ emotional states. I do not mind a few good cries in a storm, but this novel borders on incessant outdoor melodrama. I decided to disregard both the plot and the setting in a vain attempt to enjoy the novel. I would only focus on the characters. As this was written by a female author, I looked forward to the female characters, which were awful. One, Justine, is a servant and seems only to exist in order to die. Elizabeth, who also seems to share this quality, is regarded as an object to be owned in a creepy incestuous manner by her cousin; she is apparently superior and virtuous only because of her noble birth. So, I dismissed the female characters to focus on the males, none of which were believable. Victor, his friend Henry, and his monster all were overly emotional, and they inspired no sympathy from me. With no likable characters and emotions running everywhere, I would only read Frankenstein if required.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
The One
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The third book of “The Selection” will keep you on your toes. This book may be the third book in a five book series however, it is the last book about Prince Maxon’s “Selection”. The entire book (until the end, of
course) you will be asking what happens next. If you enjoy romance books READ THIS BOOK!!! Since this book is apart of a series if you read the books in order it will make a lot more sense. This is a completely unpredictable book, you will never know what will happen on the next page. It was definitely one of the best books I have read EVER!
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth C.
The Scorch Trials
Dashner, James
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Scorch Trials, the second book in The Maze Runner series, was very good. I enjoyed the book because it was very interesting, and the book had lots that surprised me. This book is about when Thomas and his friends, or the "gladers," finally find a way to escape the maze, and are led to a place they can sleep in, eat, and relax. The gladers are shocked when, just a while later, they are locked in and can not get out. A strange man arrives a couple days later when they are confused, hungry and have no idea what is going on. The man tells the gladers that they need to go through phase two of something called the Trials. This part of the Trials is when they are forced to walk across a scorching hot desert, with people called "cranks" who are people who have an illness that makes them go crazy. The gladers were all threatened that they have the virus, and they would get the cure when they finish. All of the gladers decided to go, because if they didn't, someone would execute them. The story is told by Thomas's point of view, and what happens to him while he is completing phase two of the Trials. This book wasn't predictable to me, and it definitely surprised me with some things happening in it.
Reviewer grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Riley C.
A Game of Thrones
Martin, George R.R.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

“A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin tells the tale of various clashing households and their quest to conquer control over the seven kingdoms. Set in a distant, but vaguely familiar medieval-Europe, the story bears parallels to England’s “War of the Roses,” while also introducing its share of unique fantasy elements. As the reader progresses through the book, they follow the politics of the Iron Throne- a metaphor representing the complete and utter control a King possesses in a feudal government system. Furthermore, the reader tracks 8 character perspectives, which are alternated through passing chapters.

As the King rides north to Winterfell to meet with his trusted vassal, and friend, Eddard "Ned" Stark, he strikes up an agreement to anoint Eddard as the hand of the king. Reluctant, Ned follows the King back to the South, but as the plot continues to unfold, Eddard learns of a secret unbeknownst to the King and some of his most trusted advisers. With the death of the King and the ruin of Eddard’s house, war rages in Westeros- as several characters attempt to strike their claims on the Iron Throne.

I initially picked this book up after finishing J.R.R Tolkien’s, “Lord of the Rings” series and have been pleasantly surprised with it. Many fantasy readers have speculated that the literary masterpiece of Tolkien’s novels could not be out done, but I am now inclined to disagree. I thought the book was well-crafted and engaging as an intermediate to advanced reader. However, I would file the complaint that the book moves a bit slow for my taste. Some may lose interest in its plot, especially considering the sheer volume of the book series. The old-language also adds to this effect, as it may cause some readers to struggle following along.

Overall, I would say that this book is certainly worth a try for someone who enjoys medieval-fantasy novels. Admittedly, it will take a while to read and is certainly no small undertaking, but by sticking with it, I found myself enjoying every page more than the last!

Grade 10

Reviewer's Name: Ethan M
Awards:
The Knife of Never Letting Go
Ness, Patrick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

What a fabulous beginning to a fabulous series. Todd, the 13-year-old main character, has lived in Prentisstown all his life, but he soon discovers he knows nothing about the city at all. In fact, his whole life has been a lie.
As Todd and his dog, Manchee, run from the dangerous truth, more and more of Todd's presumptions about the New World are busted. This book is gripping, enticing, and heartbreaking all at once. I adore all the characters, and after having read the entire trilogy, I feel as if I know the characters like siblings.

However, there is one problem for me with this book. One of the antagonists is extremely exaggerated, to a point that it almost seems goofy. This interrupts the heroic and innocent tone. Despite this, I would absolutely recommend this book; you will be immediately sucked in to Patrick Ness's world.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
The Maze runner
Dashner, James
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I first picked up this book expecting a lot. I was not disappointed. The Maze Runner is about a group of boys stuck at the middle of a dangerous and foreboding maze in a synthetic world. This has been the same for as long as the oldest ones can remember, but upon Thomas's arrival to the maze, strange things begin to happen. This book is full of twists and turns, and Dashner writes with an amazing aptitude for suspense and surprise. I have not read the following books yet, but I intend to, as this book was more than worth reading. I strongly recommend it, as it is powerful, suspenseful, and just downright intriguing. As of right now, it is one of my all-time favorite dystopians.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Sabrina J.
Awards:
NERVE
Ryan, Jeanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nerve is about a coward named Vee who decides to try this game online called NERVE. In this mysterious game, you can either be a player or a watcher.

Watchers must pay money to watch, and players get paid to do dares. Vee thinks this is a stupid idea, but then begins to wonder if it actually a fun thing to do. She decides to try it out. One challenge leads to another, and the dares begin to become deadly. Should Vee risk her life for a good prize, or will she lose NERVE?

This is a great book for anyone obsessed with online games, or thrills in general. I definitely recommend this book for any thrill seekers.

Reviewer's Name: Kristin V.

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