Archive for the ‘Aliens Among Us’ Category

Blue Beetle: Shellshocked, Road Trip, Reach for the Stars, End Game

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

By Keith Giffen, John Rogers, Cully Hamner, Rafael Albuquerque, et al [Blue Beetle on LibraryThing]

Jaime Reyes was an ordinary kid, until a piece of advanced alien tech shaped like a scarab attached itself to his spine, giving him superpowers, and the Justice League dragged him into space to fight an evil satellite. Now he’s back in El Paso, trying to put his life back together after being missing for a year – and trying to learn how to control the scarab in his back, which wants to turn him into a killing machine. Oh, and the scarab’s creators, the Reach, have arrived on Earth, and Jaime’s the only one who knows they’re here to take over. Can the new Blue Beetle stop an alien invasion, protect his family and his city, and survive a legacy that’s already killed both his predecessors?

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The True Meaning of Smekday

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The True Meaning of SmekdayBy Adam Rex [LibraryThing]

After the Boov aliens kidnap Gratuity “Tip” Tucci’s mom (and oh yeah, invade and take over Earth, renaming it Smekland), things get… Weird. Tip decides to travel on her own to the human reservation in Florida, rather than taking the alien transport, and on her way she meets a Boov named J.Lo who might not be all bad, and she discovers her mom might still be alive somewhere. But nothing is what it seems, the humans aren’t in Florida after all, another alien race is threatening humans and Boov alike, and Tip, J.Lo, and Tip’s cat Pig might be the only hope for humanity.

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Bookathon: My Teacher is an Alien

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Book Eight
Starting Time: 6:44
Ending Time: 7:47

Title: My Teacher is an Alien
Author: Bruce Coville
Genre: Aliens Among Us
Pages: 123

Summary: Susan doesn’t like the substitute teacher who’s taken over her sixth grade class — and she finds out he’s not just strict, he’s an alien! Now she and Peter, the smartest kid in class, have only a few days to expose him, before he kidnaps some of their classmates and takes them off to space forever.

Thoughts: What is there to even say? Bruce Coville is the reason I love reading, and the reason I love sf/f in particular. This was the most formative series of my childhood. The first book is pretty light and silly (the end of the series is quite a bit heavier), and utterly delightful.

Four and a half cupcakes.

Bookathon: Little Brother

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Book Two
Starting time: 9:57 PM
Ending time: 3:26 AM

Title: Little Brother
Author: Cory Doctorow
Genre: Contemporary, borderline Aliens Among Us
Pages: 380

Summary: Teen hacker Marcus is in the wrong place at the wrong time, gets accused of terrorism, and is dragged off to a secret facility. When he gets back, his home town is a virtual police state. After everything he’s been through, Marcus can’t handle that, and he declares war on the Department of Homeland Security.

Thoughts: My feelings about this book are certainly mixed. I liked the characters — a stunning success on the race, gender, progressive lefty scorecard — and the prose, though there was something mildly off with the pacing. This book was recced to me as both good and important, and it is both of those things. That said, I didn’t enjoy it very much. I had a visceral reaction to the terrorism at the beginning, but beyond that… Hm.

I read mostly for escapism; that’s why so much of what I read is sf/f. When I’m looking at things like race and gender, I’m much more comfortable with looking at story subtext and seeing how that reflects the culture. But there is nothing sub about this text, and while important and engaging, it’s also a bit lecture-y. I agree with it, and I’m glad it was written, but it was an obvious case of story built around an agenda, not agenda built craftily into the story. So while it’s a good book, and I will happily loan my copy out to anyone who is interested, I doubt I will read it again.

Final thought? My favorite bits were the asides on math and cryptography. Sort of Neal Stephenson for the YA crowds.

Four cupcakes.

And now, because it is 3:30 AM, I shall go to bed. I think tomorrow I shall start with something light-hearted and whimsical.

Bookathon: The Invasion (Animorphs #1)

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Book One
Time starting: 8 PM
Time finished: 9:45 PM

Title: The Invasion (Animorphs #1)
Author: K. A. Applegate
Genre: Aliens Among Us
Pages: 184

Summary: Evil, mind-controlling slug-aliens are trying to take over Earth. A good alien dies trying to stop them — but not before giving five ordinary kids the power to morph into animals. And now those five kids are all that stand between the rest of the human race and total enslavement.

Thoughts: Apparently, all my friends grew up on this series, but I totally missed it somehow. It was definitely the shortest of the books in my TBR pile, and the one aimed at the youngest crowd. The prose was very clean, and the change in narration styles when the POV character became an animal was really well done. The cast is multiracial, with girls kicking as much butt as the boys, so it gets a thumbs-up on both of those counts. A fun, fast read. I’d give it to my younger relatives for sure.

Four cupcakes.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

themelancholy By Nagaru Tanigawa [LibraryThingAmazon]

Kyon just wants a normal high school experience, but that all changes when he meets the beautiful but highly volatile Haruhi Suzumiya. Soon he’s drawn into her S.O.S. Brigade, a club on the lookout for quest for the supernatural, the paranormal, and the extraterrestrial. But as he quickly discovers, the other members of the S.O.S. Brigade are precisely the paranormal beings Haruhi is looking for. Even more alarming is the news that Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe, if she so chooses – and Kyon is the only one who can stop her.

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I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill YouBy Ally Carter [Carter at LibraryThingCarter at Amazon]

Cammie Morgan is a normal teenage girl… Or as normal as any of the girls who attend the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. It may look like a high-end boarding school for spoiled heiresses, but Gallagher Academy is actually a school for spies. Cammie and her classmates all speak fourteen languages, can disarm a bomb in seconds, and can kill with their bare hands — but sophomore year is the beginning of something new for Cammie and her friends. It’s their first time taking Covert Operations, a class that teaches them the real ins and outs of being a spy. Cammie’s doing great on her first homework mission, until she hits a snag she never counted on. Cammie gets sighted… by a boy. And none of her training has taught her how to handle a normal relationship.

(Mild spoilers after the cut.)
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Two Mini-Reviews: Bruce Coville’s “Alien Adventures” and “Unicorn Chronicles”

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

By Bruce Coville [Coville at LibraryThingCoville at Amazon]

I’m going to do something a little new, here. It’s no secret that Bruce Coville is my favorite author, and I can’t pretend to be objective about his books — I get too caught up in fangirling. I read all of these books in marathon sessions over the course of a week, so I wasn’t pausing for deep thoughts. Basically, I just want to get these book reviews out there, so I’ve decided to include two short reviews here: one of Bruce Coville’s series The Unicorn Chronicles — including the newly-released book Dark Whispers — and one of his Rod Allbright’s Alien Adventures series.

The Unicorn Chronicles: Into the Land of UnicornsThe Unicorn Chronicles: A strange man begins following Cara and her grandmother, and the incident sends her from her home town into a whole new world — literally. Cara finds herself in Luster, the land of unicorns, where she must deliver a message the unicorn’s queen. But that’s harder than it seems: not all of Luster’s creatures like humans (or unicorns). Cara soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old war between the unicorns and a clan of humans who have sworn to hunt them into extinction.

Aliens Ate My HomeworkRod Allbright’s Alien Adventures: Rod Allbright is a typical kid — albeit a clumsy one. Then a group of aliens crash-lands in his science project, and reveal that the school bully who torments Rod is actually a villain wanted galaxy-wide for crimes of unspeakable cruelty. Things get even worse from there when it turns out Rod’s enemy may be the only one who knows what happened to Rod’s long-missing father.

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Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Maximum RideBy James Patterson [LibrarythingAmazon]

In the final book in the Maximum Ride trilogy, it’s do-or-die time for Max and her flock: the bird kids versus the badguys. Unfortunately, tension in the flock leads to the team splitting up, the boys going with Fang and the girls with Max. While the boys are off dealing with killer robots and rallying an army of kids to their cause, Max and the girls are in Europe, breaking down the doors of the villain’s headquarters—and solving mysteries. Like who the heck is Max’s real mom, anyway? And why were they created?

And the big one: is there still enough time to save the world?

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment and School’s Out—Forever

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Max Ride 1 By James Patterson [Book One: LibrarythingAmazon / Book Two: LibrarythingAmazon]

Her name is Maximum Ride. She’s 98% human, 2% bird. And the girl can fly.

Max and her flock—that is, the other five mutant kids with wings—are on the run. They escaped from the despicable School where they were created, kept prisoner, and experimented on, but their only human ally, a former whitecoat scientist named Jeb, has gone missing…or gone back to the badguys. No matter where they go, the Erasers (bloodthirsty human-wolf hybrids who obey only the whitecoats) are after them, trying to kill them…or worse, bring them back to the School.

Max Ride 2For the last few years, they’ve been safe. But when the Erasers show up from nowhere and kidnap Angel, the youngest member of the flock, Max has to do what she’s always feared and go back to the School. The only upside? They hope that somewhere at the School is information about why they were created, and who their parents are…if they even have parents. In the second book, the search for information on their origins continues, but this time a Voice in Max’s head complicates matters by insisting that she’s wasting time which would be better spent, you know, saving the world.

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