Tuesday 23 December 2014

Review on Balky Point Adventure #1 The Universes Inside the Lighthouse

After 17 year old twins Emma and Charlie explore a lighthouse on the island they are vacationing on, their lives change forever. With help from their friend Ben, a resident of the island, they must discover the truth behind a man and a young girl who seem to never age, and what truly lies beyond a seemingly normal storage closet in the lighthouse. Emma, Charlie and Ben must travel through the universes with their new companions in search of Vik, a man who has been terrorizing the Universe. But is there more to Vik than meets the eye, and does Emma truly need to use the elevators to traverse the Universes?

I thought this book was really interesting and I loved the Sci-Fi theme of it. I loved the idea of the Hub, and felt that it was quite similar to the TARDIS from Doctor Who, as the twins gained access to it from inside a storage closet. The imagery for the Hub was fantastic and I had a clear picture in my head of what it would look like. I also loved that the Hub did not seem to have a fixed space, as the twins were able to access it from other planets.

The characters were interesting and well thought out. I particularly loved Dr Waldo who seemed like an eccentric mad scientist. I also loved Charlie as he was funny and quite sarcastic at times, and nothing ever seemed to phase him. His relationship with his sister was sweet, although I did find it strange that he was willing to leave her instead of staying around to protect her. I also felt that the alien characters were a little too familiar with Earth, and didn't stand out from the crowd. I felt that some of the adult characters such as Milo and Ed were a little one dimensional, but the teenagers were perfectly written.

I loved that the romantic sub-plot wasn't too much of a major theme, and didn't come up too often. I always feel that YA Sci-Fi and fantasy books include too much romance, but with this book it wasn't a problem, as the teenagers were more interested in exploring the Universes than dating each other, which I think made it seem more realistic to the situation.

The exploration of the planets was interesting, and I particularly loved the ghost planet. I did find myself wondering if there was more to the water and dead planets than met the eye, and would have liked to have seen the characters try to explore these more instead of leaving again right away.

One of the main themes of the book was loneliness, which I thought was interesting and relatable, as everyone feels that they are alone and no one cares about them at some point in their life. The explanation of The Void creating these feelings was a unique look on it, as sometimes we can still feel alone even if we are surrounded by friends and family.

I recommend this book to fans of Doctor Who, and anyone who loves to read Sci-Fi novels.

You can purchase The Universes Inside the Lighthouse HERE

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Review on 'Roots Entwine'

15 year old Joaquin is a Phoshat, a boy with a powerful gift which allows him to heighten his senses past that of a normal human. Joaquin's gift allows him to hear a person's movements from miles away, he can see much further than anyone else, and can smell what someone had for their dinner just from the scent left on their clothes. However, Joaquin's gift comes at a price, as the longer he uses it, the weaker he gets, causing him severe headaches and requiring him to sleep for long periods of time. After a stranger named Kallum arrives in Joaquin's village, his quiet life is turned upside down. Joaquin agrees to go on a mission with Kallum and his friends set by the King to track down Scarvus, a man who has been terrorising the country and is rumoured to be in hiding. With Joaquin's help, it should be easy to track down Scarvus, but will Joaquin's gift become more of a hindrance than a help?

This YA fantasy novel was an interesting read. I loved the protagonist, a teenage boy named Joaquin who has been shunned his whole life for being and looking different to the rest of his family. He is a strong character who stands up for what he believes in, and is a loyal friend. Joaquin often puts the safety of his companions before his own, and is sometimes wreckless, but he is also brave and kind. I loved watching the relationship between Joaquin and Hesir progress, as Hesir dislikes him at first, and I loved finding out the reason why Hesir was wary of Phoshats.

I felt that the book started out quite slow, and it did not really start to pull me in until Joaquin and his friends had entered Shenandya. The company travelling and stopping at inns did not grab my attention, as not a lot else was progressing apart from the relationship between Joaquin and his companions. However once they had entered Shenandya I was gripped by the story and couldn't wait to find out what would happen when they tracked down Scarvus. I loved the names of the characters, as they were so unusual and helped to give the story a mystical feeling.

I felt that the book lacked female characters, as Maylaya was the only one that stood out to me. Although I loved Maylaya's tomboyish attitude and refusal to be left behind by her father and the scouts, I also found her to be quite annoying at times, as she seemed to be quite spoilt and childish. Although she is the same age as Joaquin, I fel that Joaquin seemed to be a lot more grown up than Maylaya, and overall a much more likable character. I felt the romance between Joaquin and Maylaya seemed to be quite forced and unnecessary, and I would have preferred it if they had remained friends instead of turning it into a romantic relationship a couple of chapters before the book ended.

Overall I loved the book and this fantasy world, and would recommend it to fans of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, or anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre in general.

You can purchase Roots Entwine HERE