Author Archives: Robbie

Book Review: Alien on a Rampage by Clete Barrett Smith

AlienRampage

Alien on a Rampage by Clete Barrett Smith Recommended Ages: 12+ In his second summer at the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, David (formerly “Scrub”) Elliott expects to enjoy his time with Grandma, his sweetheart Amy, and a houseful of extraterrestrial tourists. But things get off to a disappointing start, and get worse from there. First, he suspects that the new alien handyman is up to no good. But far from being able to convince anyone ... Read More »

Book Review: Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney

Blood-Oranges

Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney Recommended Ages: 16+ Siobhan Quinn is a runaway, a junkie, and a tough chick, living by her wits in the streets of Providence, R.I. Things start to get really dark for her when she sees her girlfriend being eaten by a ghoul. She kills it, of course. Under the patronage of a flamboyant character whom she calls “Mean Mr. B,” she soon sets out on a career as a slayer ... Read More »

Book Review: Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell

RiseHero

Rise of a Hero by Hilari Bell Recommended Ages: 13+ The legend says that the great hero Sorahb will return when his country has need of him. If ever Farsala needed a hero, it is now. The Hrum Empire has destroyed its army and taken possession of most of its major cities. They still have most of a year to meet their deadline, when they must either subdue all resistance or abandon their plan to ... Read More »

Book Review: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

AliensonVacation

Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith Recommended Ages: 12+ “Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast” is the name of the series, as well as the place young David “Scrub” Elliott finds himself visiting over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. It isn’t that Scrub is into science fiction, so much. His main interest is basketball. He would rather be back in Florida, trading insane dares with his best friend and training for the all-star team. ... Read More »

Book Review: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Untold

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan Recommended Ages: 13+ In Book 2 of “The Lynburn Legacy,” a dark ultimatum looms over the outwardly charming town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. The evil sorcerer Rob Lynburn means to return the town to its old ways, in which the sorcerous few held power over the non-magical many—an arrangement whereby good weather and prosperous fortunes were given in exchange for blood sacrifice. Rob and his sorcerers demand a victim—a human victim, mind ... Read More »

Review: Railsea by China Miéville

Railsea

Railsea by China Miéville Recommended Ages: 12+ I’m just going to come out and say this. It’s Moby-Dick, only without the boring bits. Well, no. What I just described would be an 80-page novelette. This is a full-size book, filled wall-to-wall with thrilling action, squirm-worthy tension, weird discoveries, and warm, appealing characters. Also, instead of water, the ocean in this version of Moby-Dick is a seemingly endless landmass filled with merging, splitting, tangling, and criss-crossing ... Read More »

Book Review: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Memoirs

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle Recommended Ages: 12+ Already in the Table of Contents of this book, we encounter a mystery. The Kindle edition that I read includes eleven Sherlock Holmes Adventures in this book, as do most American editions and some British editions of this book. The very first edition, however, contained twelve stories. Fear not; “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” will eventually turn up, most likely in His ... Read More »

Book Review: Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson

EmpireBones

Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson Recommended Ages: 12+ The third and final book of “The Ashtown Burials” features so many characters, doing so many things at once, in so many places, that even quite close to the end I couldn’t believe it was going to conclude the trilogy. I fully expected another cliffhanger, hooking us for a surprise fourth book, à la Brisingr. The good news—if you’ll pardon my relief—it really does end ... Read More »

Book Review: The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner

DashnerJournal

The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner Recommended Ages: 11+ Atticus Higginbottom, Tick to his friends, is a 13-year-old science geek who gets bullied at school, trips over his own feet, and plays champion-level chess. Few people would guess that such a boy would have the makings of a hero who might one day save the world. Somebody seems to have guessed, however. Somebody calling himself M. G. (short for Master George) begins sending ... Read More »

Book Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

AdventuresHolmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle Recommended Ages: 12+ Sherlock Holmes had already appeared in two novels, but his popularity did not really take off until the brief “adventures” collected in this book began to appear in monthly issues of The Strand Magazine, from 1891 to -92. And though there are two novels and three volumes of short stories still to come, these twelve mysteries include some of Holmes’ most memorable and ... Read More »