Review by James Essex
Outbreak is an adventure novel written by Chris Ryan, a former SAS member from England. He is the only surviving member from the secret service mission Bravo Two Zero from the first Gulf War in Iraq. He has written his novels from personal experience.
He knows what it feels like to hold a gun, and you can really feel this in his writing. He is able to realistically describe the many emotions running through the character’s head when he is about to shoot.
Outbreak has a contemporary setting in Africa. It is about a boy called Ben and his father who travel to Africa. They stay in a village called Udok. When the whole village falls ill, it is up to Ben and his new friend, Halima, to save millions of people from a deadly virus. There are some huts in the village and a mine, which is the source of the virus. It is also next to a jungle where Ben and Halima spend a few nights, with some close encounters with wild animals.
I like this book because the author writes from the perspective of the main character Ben, making you feel nervous and worried at some points. Ben is a very dynamic character. At the start of the book he is very keen to go to Africa and does not believe anyone when they say it is dangerous. Ben soon develops some maturity. After his Dad dies he is very set on stopping the virus, he is willing to die to save others. So he has gone from a cocky boy to a mature hero.
There is a lot of conflict throughout the book between Ben, Halima and Somalian. The conflict between Ben and Halima is normal arguing over small things. On the other hand, the conflict between Somalian, the antagonist and Ben is very aggressive with lots of shooting and hatred because Ben is stopping him from running his business.
The good parts of the book are that it is very tense, so you do not want to put the book down, and you cannot get bored because the setting and story is always changing. The not so good bits of the book are that it takes a while to get to the climax, but then when the climax comes you are glad that you have waited.
I would rate this book very highly. It is a good read for war and adventure lovers., for teenagers looking for an exciting story. When you feel bored with all your devices, I recommend you pick this book up and immerse yourself in a great adventure.
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You
Review by Emily Varley
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter is about a teenage girl who attends a spy school. The plot is creative and exciting and makes you want to keep reading. The theme of this book is friendship, sisterhood and the genre is young adult romance fiction. I think the book audience would be ages 11-18 girls, because of the plot and theme.
I like the way that Ally Carter has written the book in the point of view of the protagonist and has made each character unique.
Cammie Morgan is an outgoing, adventurous girl who doesn’t know anything about boys and loves her friends. I relate to her because I am also adventurous and I daydream a lot.
There are two main settings: at the Gallagher Academy and in town. Gallagher Academy is located in the fictitious town of Roseville, California. It is an all girl’s school where they are trained to become exceptional spies. The fictitious town nearby is small with many friendly people.
In the town is where Cammie meets Josh, a normal village boy. They fall in love and start secretly dating. The town thinks the Gallagher Academy is for snooty, rich girls. Josh is an exception because he doesn’t really think much about the school.
He and Cammie are both round characters but Josh’s friend Dillon is a very flat, close-minded character. He thinks that all girls from Gallagher Academy are rich girls that don’t care about anyone else but themselves, even though he is wrong!
Cammie’s character changes in the book; at first she is very self-conscious about herself and her knowledge on the outside world then she gradually gets more confident because of the experience she is having with Josh. Cammie also realizes that no matter what happens you should never forget about your friends when it comes to boys because they’ll be there when you need them most and they’ll love you for you and never break your heart.
This novel doesn’t really include any physical conflict but I think it has some hidden conflict which is person vs. self, where Cammie has a struggle to decide between sticking to her friends or going on dates with Josh.
This is a great novel and I would definitely recommend this book to all girls who love adventure, romance and friendship because this book has all the creativity and imagination to never want to put it down. You’ll love it!
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Review by Ben Colthorpe
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, by Nahoko Uehashi is a fantasy/ adventure story about Balsa, a Spear wielding woman that has to protect the Chagum, the Second Prince. Originally the book was written in Japanese but was later translated to English by Cathy Hirano.
Balsa is a fighter that protects children and adults, the rich and poor in a quest to redeem eight lives lost for her sake. The Second Prince is the Moribito, the Guardian of the Spirit. He is rumored to have a creature/spirit inside him that would bring a drought to the fields of New Yogo.
Balsa and Chagum have to travel across the country meeting and acquiring help from many different people to learn more about the spirit and if Chagum will survive or not. The story is about two worlds, the world of Sagu (the visible world) and the world of Nayugu (the invisible world). When these worlds interact with one another strange things happen.
Balsa is a master of the short spear and expert in the martial arts, dazzling her opponents with her fearlessness in combat. She was a foster child who was taught to fight since she was small. Chagum is a royal prince and has to learn how to be a normal boy when traveling with Balsa and not expect the privileges of a prince.
Balsa is very brave and agile in combat and out of combat she is very kind and thoughtful. Chagum on the other hand is a selfish boy who thinks he can do whatever he wants but throughout the story he learns and understands how to be a normal, kind boy.
Moribito is a very interesting book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, fantasy and epic fight scenes with swords, shuriken and of course spears. It is written in third person omniscient narrative, so we know what all characters are thinking. It changes setting and introduces characters throughout the story.
This book is great for all ages; it is a book about friendship and it also has some humor. Moribito is the first of a ten book series; it is also a major television series. I can’t wait to read the second book. Hope you enjoy the first!
Review by Emily Matsui
After is a young adult novel written by Sue Lawson about a teenage boy being banished to go live with his grandparents. He has issues that many other teenagers face. The author, Sue Lawson, grew up on a farm in Western Victoria. She was the eldest of four siblings.
The book is set in an Australian town in the countryside. The town is tiny, so gossip travels fast. This is the reason why Callum starts to find out little bits about his father who he has never met. Lawson writes flashbacks after each chapter in Callum’s view, which helps you find out what he’s been through in the past.
The theme of this book is starting over and getting over the past. The plot has both good times and bad times so it never gets boring. Callum is forcefully sent to his Grandparent’s house by his mom to start over and get over his horrible past. He tries to avoid thoughts coming back but no matter what he does, memories keep haunting him. He faces problems at school, which help him slowly open up to his Grandparents about his past.
I like how the book is written in first person, so I know how the main character is feeling at all times. I relate to Callum most because I feel like I understand his feeling towards his past.
The main antagonist is Jack Frewen; he lives in the countryside and goes to the same school as Callum. He is jealous of Callum because he thinks Callum is going to take over his popularity at school. He is flatly drawn, the stereotypical bully. The other characters include his grandparents: Nan and Grandpa, who get closer to Callum as the story continues. I really liked this book.
I recommend it to teens my age and those a bit younger. Personally, I think both genders would enjoy this book.
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