The Hidden Oracle

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Review by: shipperprincess52

How do you punish an immortal?
By making him human.
After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.
But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

The Hidden Oracle takes place after The Blood of Olympus and around the same time as The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book #1). It’s a really good book and it’s interesting to read a book written from a god’s point of view instead of a demigod’s. If you haven’t already read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase , I highly suggest reading them before you read The Hidden Oracle.  Rick Riordan is an amazing author and The Hidden Oracle is just as good as all of his other books.

Umberland( Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Umberland, the second book in the Everland series, by Wendy Spinale is a remade version of Alice in Wonderland. This series is about the deadly Horologia virus ripping through the world. The English were working on the virus in a lab but the Blooded Queen of Germany strategically bombed this lab so that the virus got released into the air. Everyone is falling ill and there is no end in sight.

In this book, Doc finds the Professor’s journal that includes a missing ingredient of the virus. This ingredient is a poisonous apple from a tree that supposedly no longer exists. With this new information, Doc realizes they aren’t sick at all – they are poisoned. He needs this apple to make an antidote. Countless people are depending on it and he must enlist the help of someone crazy to retrieve the apple. Since Doc needs to stay and care for the ill, Duchess Alyssa of England goes to the Maddox Hadder, who knows how to get the apple. The apple tree is in the middle of the Bloodred Queens labyrinth. This is already extremely dangerous, but with two of the Bloodred Queen’s men looking for the same thing, it is even more so. With the Duchess gone and the Queen too ill to rule, England goes into chaos.

I liked this book because it was a twist on regular fairy tales and it combined a lot of different fairy tales into one interesting story. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and you will not be able to put it down.

Story Number One: The Fire and Shadow Inn

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Now, Nicky Reynolds was just your average city rat. He did have a few special qualities, though: unerring common sense, stubbornness only equaled by an enraged cave troll, and a sense for magic that saved his life approximately sixteen times, even before he was kicked out of the orphanage.

His common sense prompted him to tell his trade-titan father that he should move all his investments out of sugar before war broke out in the Canelzke Islands. When his father didn’t listen, Nicky’s stubbornness took him to his mother, who moved all her shares out of sugar. And when he sensed magic outside his father’s window one rainy day in April, he took his mother and ran before the assassins sent to kill his father got them too.

That was when his mother sat him down and explained her plans. She’d start up an inn in the middle of the city with some of her money and Nicky would go to an orphanage.

But why? Nicky asked.

Because, Nicky, back when I was Polly Wharf-rat and not Patricia Reynolds, I learned how to be tough and relentless. Now, you can already be relentless. But you can’t be tough. So go learn how to be tough.

Nicky did learn to be tough. It helped him in the orphanage, where a quarter of the kids had magic and swanned around like they owned the world, the work was hard, boring and endless, and the kids sleeping next to him were an ifrit who breathed fire when she snored and an unendingly hyperactive pixie. Toughness also helped him wage prank war against the magical kids who ran the place, with the covert assistance of Connor, a mischievous selkie who helped him fill the sirens’ beds with seaweed in return for his shower time. By the time he was kicked out, he ran the place. And Nicky found that not only did he like being tough, he knew how to handle people. If a werewolf needed to find a silver-free place to transform, he could do that. But if they only wanted to talk about their problems, he could do that too.

When Nicky staged his “accident” after three years in the orphanage, a lot of people were surprised. The ifrit Nita, who had claimed the position of Nicky Reynolds’ Trusted Lieutenant, took over with only a little fuss, while Connor and the sirens had a few more questions about how to keep the inspector off their backs. The orphanage director was not a factor in Nicky’s equation, as he’d sent her off on an archaeological expedition to Old Sehherika.

But Nicky, with a suspiciously “broken” leg and a lot of new friends – but he’d never call them that, they were allies, stop looking at me like that, Mother – went to the three-year-old Fire and Shadow Inn.  And that’s when Nicky sprung his bombshell – he wanted to hire Connor and Nita from the orphanage.

Oh, Nicky, his mother said exasperatedly while she dumped out the dishwater. I’ve already hired them.

So Connor, with his magical good looks and charming wit, ran the bar, while Nita waited tables and doubled as the bouncer, and Nicky added up the finances. His mother did the cooking. When the nixie twins showed up and wanted jobs, Nicky put them on table-waiting/bouncing duty and moved Nita to the kitchen where she whipped up tasty, sinus-clearing spicy food.

Eventually, some of the other orphanage kids showed up – werewolves (bouncers), vampires (wait staff), ogres (cooks, actually). They were never turned away.

One day, due to the largely magical staff, the clientele of the Fire and Shadow started to become more magical too, with hags with platters of raw liver, fairies playing politics, and itches discussing the latest fireproofed cloaks. Nicky’s mother knew they’d made it when the High Warlock and his friends in the magical city guard began showing up every week, and retired, leaving Nicky the inn.

The Fire and Shadow, Nicky’s baby and the magical community’s crown jewel of clandestine information, would also become the starting point of the Dragon Rebellion.

Well, I’ll tell you that one tomorrow night.

The Selection Series (last two books)

 

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WARNING: THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET READ OR HAVE NOT YET FINISHED THE FIRST THREE BOOKS IN THE SELECTION SERIES SHOULD NOT READ THIS, FOR IT CONTAINS SPOILERS.

The Second part of the Selection Series is about Eadlyn Schreave, America’s daughter. Eadlyn has heard about her parents love story and how they met in the Selection, but that does not mean she wants a Selection of her own. Eadlyn thinks her parents love story is wonderful, but she finds it hard to believe that she will ever find that kind of love for herself. Besides she is a very powerful person, and who needs a husband when you are going to be Queen?

Eadlyn’s dream of ruling by herself is momentarily shattered when her parents talk about her having her very own Selection. Eadlyn protests against this, but when her parents explain that there has been an uproar about post caste discrimination, and that the distraction of the Selection will help calm the people down, Eadlyn reluctantly agrees to her parents idea, but she has a few conditions of her own. The most important one being that if after three months she does not find love with any of her 35 suitors, that she can call the whole thing off.

Although Eadlyn tells her dad that she will try to find love in the Selection she has no intentions of doing that. Instead she begins plotting how she will make all of the 35 boys so miserable that they will want to leave.

Once the Selection starts Eadlyn begins to put her three month plan into action, but she has a hard time not becoming attached to the boys, but that does not mean she is going to start searching for a husband. Eadlyn’s mind does not change about the Selection even when her twin brother Ahren, who is like another piece of her, begins to encourage her to look for love with one of the Selected. It is only when the uproar in the Illéa community becomes even louder, and when her mother has a heart attack, that Eadlyn decides that she will end the Selection with a ring on her finger.

 

I found the last two Selection books to be enjoyable, although not as amazing as the first books in the Selection series, but it was practically an impossible task for Kiera Cass to write something more entertaining and intricate than the original story of the first three Selection books.

The Selection Series (first three books)

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The first three books in the Selection series are about America Singer who was born a Five in the caste system. In the country of Illéa being a Five is not easy, money can be tight at times. In the caste system Ones are the highest, being the royal family, and Eights are the lowest, the homeless. America’s parents, like all of the other parents would think it would be great if she married someone in higher caste so that she could move up a caste, but America is in love with Aspen Leger, a Six.

At nights she sneaks away from her family to meet Aspen in a tree house, she loves all of the moments she has with him and cannot wait until they can start their future together. This is why she was uninterested when she heard that the prince was ready to start his Selection, bringing 35 girls to the palace so he could find a wife among one of them. Even though America has no interest in going, Aspen strongly encourages her to do it. America eventually agrees, for she seriously doubts she will be chosen.

To America’s surprise, and horror, she is chosen as one of the Selected girls. Although, America has no interest in trying to win prince Maxon’s heart, she goes to the palace and tries to stay anyway. She does this so that her parents can get the money that all of the Selection members receive. Of course she is upfront about this with Maxon, not wanting to lie to him. After America tells him this and that her heart is already taken, she offers to be a friend to him through out the Selection. Though as the Selection goes on it becomes hard for her to see him as just a friend.

America gains another reason to stay when Aspen is drafted and begins working as a guard at the palace. Once again America can see her life with Aspen, the life that she has wanted from the start, but maybe she wants that future with Maxon after all…

 

This story is so fascinating and captivating that I found it hard to put down. Kierra Cass creates characters that you will be angry with at times for the choices that they make, but in the end happily ever after is achievable, at least for most people…

Harry Potter and the Protective Parents

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The Harry Potter series is one of the biggest hits in our world today. It has been read the world over and kept bookstores in business for another ten years. J.K. Rowling, the author, has become extremely rich and need not ever pick up the pen again. This happy story has a seemingly sad lining. Many parents have seen the back of the book, seen the words “witchcraft and wizardry”, and deemed the fantastic series inappropriate for their children.

This is one of the saddest true stories in the history of books. I even have a friend going into high school who says her parents won’t allow her to read them. The reason this story is so sad isn’t just because they’re missing out on the wonderful, moral books about Hermione, Ron, and Harry. The saddest part is that these children have not been introduced to reading in the unique way that authors such as J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan present it.

You see, when I was seven years old, my father read me the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was so delighted with it that I promptly read the second book. And the third. In fact, by the time I finished fourth grade, I’d finished the whole series… multiple times.

The point of this anecdote? The Harry Potter series caused me to fall in love with reading for the first time. It made me want to be an author. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing fanfiction and short stories, and discovered what would become my passion and dream: writing children-to-young-adult-level novels… just like my heroes, Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.

Now, I am a Christian girl. My parents are very devout. But they read the whole series and knew that it wouldn’t cause me to become a real-life, demonic witch. They knew that it would foster in me a love of reading, and it did! It made me look upward and onward, going on to read books in elementary school that kids in middle school would hesitate to crack open. Harry Potter did this. I have J.K. Rowling to thank.

So, please, please, parents, if you’re reading this, give Harry Potter a chance. It’s a moral, wonderful book that’s totally clean even on Catholic standards (which isn’t always easy to reach, believe me!) that won’t teach your children to worship demons. Some lessons in this series include: Don’t focus on yourself. Be selfless. Think of others before yourself. Be a good friend. Don’t kill people (an obvious one). If you treat others the way they want to be treated, most likely they’ll treat you with respect. Justice is good, but mercy is important too, even if you don’t always get something from it.

Harry Potter made me turn to my parents eagerly, and ask, “What else can I read?” One of the best moments, I’m sure, in parenting, is fostering a love of something good and beautiful, such as reading. Do your children a favor and let them read Harry Potter.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

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The Rose Society

By: Marie Lu

Diseases everywhere, that’s when it all began. The blood fever struck everywhere leaving its impact on the world, Malfettos. Special powers were given to some Malfettos now known as the elite. There is one very special elite, THE WHITE WOLF (Adelina). She is outcast with what once were her friends, the daggers including Lucent, Raffaele, Enzo, and Gemma. She is now alone with her sister in the world because she led to the death of Enzo, her prince and lover. The daggers left her with her sister as they ventured to Bedlin to seek protection from the new Queen there, Maeve, from the inquisition and Enzo’s sister, the Queen. Adelina and her sister Violeta then leave for Sunland, on their way they look long and hard for a young elite going by the name of Mangiano. When they find Mangiano they both learn of each others’ powers and the girl’s plan to wipe out the inquisition.

If secret powers of invisibility, illusion, imitating others powers, and bringing back the dead intrigue you then you are ready to read the Rose Society and you will learn of the secret powers of the Elite.

You will also learn if The White Wolf and her sister are able to extinguish the inquisition.

You never know what may happen until you pick up the Rose Society.

Erin 7th grader