Sunday, March 20, 2011

Genius Suad by Catherine Jinks

The Official Blurb:
Will Genius Squad be the answer to all Cadel's prayers? Or is he right to question their motives? Deciding what's good and what's bad is more difficult than he could ever have imagined ...

The Book:
I don't remember reading Evil Genius, but the scenario isn't hard to catch onto, Catherine pretty much spells everything she needs to at the beginning of the book.  So much so that it felt like I'd read the original - or maybe that was just Artemis Fowl messing with my mind.  After all Artemis Fowl is pretty much along the same lines -  except Artemis doesn't seem to have quite so many daddy issues.

The Plot:

The absolute best thing about the book is the plot.  Just when things can't possibly get any worse, they do. I was on the edge of my seat (well the edge of my sickbed) almost to the very last page.  

you want more than that? ok.  The once evil genius Cadel is in a foster home, but jumps at the chance of being able to change the life of a friend, by joining Genius Squad where he finds his skills at lying and deception to be most useful.  After all he's working for good isn't he?  trying to bring down an evil organisation... but is that really what Genius Squad is about, or is there some more sinister purpose? 

Everything Else:
hey what else matters in an evil genius story besides a good plot, and in this case a great plot?  Not much.  But for the record Catherine is a great writer and kids stop reading here, because if you do it will put you off worse than the lame trailer.  Yes it's those daddy issues.  The whole trust thing.  It makes the adults happy that you're being slapped in the face with "good" and "bad" yes you know the difference.  And that the bad guys always lose.  That's why stories are so great.  They can make mistakes you don't have to, but on occasion this book seems to preach - that's not for you, not really that's for all the adults, some of whom are probably wondering why I'm addressing you guys because they didn't figure out "no kids past this point" really meant "kids, listen up." 

Anyway it's a good read.  Lots of fun.  Not too hard on the brain.  Enjoy!  I'm looking forward to the next one, Genius Wars.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Towers of Midnight, by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan

The seals to the Dark One's prison are crumbling the pattern is unravelling etc etc...

The Wheel of Time is full of hefty tomes, many of which could quite frankly have done with an edit. A bit of red line through say - a couple of hundred pages and book number thirteen would have been a real page turner.  As it is, there is plenty of worry and a modicum of hair pulling (thank goodness), some meetings, afew repetitive wolfy bits, and as per usual the majority of the action is left to the end.  Still, if you've made it this far don't give up now because the last book has been set up as a real page turner.  I only hope that it lives up to my expectations in a way that this book did not.  It's not nearly as good as book twelve, instead the sole purpose of this penultimate book seems to set up the finale due in America some time around March 2012 although I hope it is late and that they use a few weeks -- months even, to sort out the typos and plot loops where the story stagnates, and just stick to the plot, which is very strong when it doesn't get bogged down by all the infinitesimal details of it's own grandeur.

Review by Alicia Ponder.


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