Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of Nature by Ryan Winfield

Book #3 of The Park Service Trilogy

Jimmy has warned Aubrey repeatedly that he can’t trust Hannah. After the horrific ending on Isle of Man orchestrated by the Professor and Hannah, they must confront Hannah, free the people trapped in Holocene II and disarm the unmanned drones.
They are unprepared for what they find when they reenter the Foundation in the submarine! Hannah has recreated Eden. There are Tunnelrats from the lowest level of Holocene II who have repaired everything! Jimmy and Aubrey are in a state of shock! They find Red dehydrated, beaten and locked in a room. Hannah manages to trick them. By holding Jimmy hostage in the chair in Eden, she pressures Aubrey to lie to the people of Holocene II. Hannah is not the only crafty one, however. Jimmy and Aubrey manage to escape from Holocene II.

They find there are others who want freedom, too. They have been planning and plotting the right time to strike.
Jimmy and Aubrey travel to the jungles of South America, to China, and back to a peaceful valley reminiscent of Jimmy’s original home.

This third book is filled with twists in the plot, betrayals unimaginable and lots of suspense.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Isle of Man by Ryan Winfield

Book Two of The Park Service Trilogy

 Aubrey, Jimmy, and Hannah reenter The Foundation by boat to see the results of the flood set off in Book #1. The bodies of most of the scientists who resided on that level are floating in the receding waters. One scientist has survived, but he seems a bit touched in the head. Luckily, he usually does finally remember the access codes to secure areas.
A plan is hatched to get the master codes that control the unmanned drones terrorizing the remaining humans on the surface of the earth. Hannah argues that they can’t free the people in Holocene II until the drones are controlled.

In their journey to the lower levels of Holocene II, Aubrey meets “Red”, the boy who used to bully him on Level 3. Red returns to The Foundation with the professor, Hannah, Aubrey and Jimmy.
Nothing is easy! The clue to cracking the code is complicated. They need an encryption key! They must first solve a riddle! “Where man rises from the sea, in the right hand of David, you shall find your key.”

Where does man rise from the sea? Could the David mentioned in the riddle possibly be the statue of David by Michelangelo? Here’s a hint: the professor, Jimmy, and Aubrey with Junior travel in the submarine to the Isle of Man. Read Book #2 to find out if they succeed in their mission. You will be surprised at what they find!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Park Service by Ryan Winfield

How would you feel if at the age of 15 you discover that everything you have been led to believe is a lie?

Fifteen-year-old Aubrey VanHouten has only known life with his father in Level 3 of the Holocene II. Holocene II is a society built underground in what is presently North America nine hundred years in the future.
All fifteen year olds in Holocene II take a test to determine where they will work and live as they mature to adults. The highest level is Level 1 and the lowest is Level 6. The miners reside in Level 6. No one from Level 3 has ever been to Level 1. Retirement occurs in this society at age 35 when you are transported to Eden.

The eight-hour long computer-generated test ends abruptly for Aubrey when he makes a random guess on the question regarding what should be done if plague strikes. Aubrey’s computer screen shuts down and the message, “You will report to Level 1” is revealed. Everyone in Level 3 celebrates Audrey’s good fortune!
Parting from the only home he has known underground is bittersweet for Aubrey and his father. But since Aubrey’s dad is soon turning 35 and destined to go to Eden anyway, they are accepting of this fate.

When the magnetically powered train taking Aubrey to Level 1 crashes due to an avalanche of rock debris, Aubrey realizes that the mountain scenes he has been seeing outside the train’s window are not a virtually created movie. Instead, they are the surface of the earth! Everyone residing in Holocene II has been told that an ice sheet covers the surface.
Aubrey is filled with questions: What in the world happened? Why have we been lied to? Who lives up here? How will I survive?

I loved the first book in The Park Service trilogy! Fans of The Hunger Games and the Divergent series will be able to escape to another dystopian world!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Champion by Marie Lu

Before you choose to read this title, make sure you have read the previous two books in the series! Read Legend followed by Prodigy. Then, finish the series by reading Champion.
It has been eight months since Day left June in Denver. The Republic is in much better shape than it was under the young Elector Primo’s father. Even the Patriots feel that the common man is being treated more fairly. However, the military is not very strong. Thomas and Commander Jameson are to be executed for killing June’s brother.

Daniel “Day” Wing and his dearly beloved younger brother Eden are living in San Francisco. Lucy is the caretaker for Eden who remains blind from the aftereffects of having been infected by the plague. When Day is summoned to a banquet to be held in Denver, he is suspicious. The young Elector Primo (Anden) has asked June Iparis to convince Day to travel to Denver. Despite not having seen each other for many months, Day can’t resist the invitation.

The Colonies have threatened the Republic. If the Republic does not send a cure for the newly released plague to them, there will be war. The Chancellor of the Colonies insists that Anden hand over Eden so that their doctors can determine a cure for the plague. Day will never let that happen!

Before anyone can believe it, the Colonies stage an all-out attack on Denver. They have hired the Confederate Nations of Africa to bolster their military. Thomas and Commander Jameson escape during the attack! The Patriots reunite to help the Republic attack the Colonies.  Everyone in Denver is evacuated to Los Angeles.
Will the Elector Primo be able to get help from Antarctica to fight the attack from the Colonies? Will Day be able to keep Eden safe from harm? Will June and Day (the star-crossed lovers) be reunited?

Read this fast-paced ending to the Legend series to find out!

Monday, January 6, 2014

These Broken Stars by Annie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Imagine the newest, fanciest, luxury spaceliner to come out of orbital docks!  Icarus is so massive it has been compared to the size of a large city. With over 50,000 souls on board, it is the best spaceship in the universe. Created by the wealthiest man in the entire universe, Roderick LaRoux, it has decks for the privileged class, lower decks for military and service decks.

Major Tarver Merendsen would never have had the privilege of seeing the upper, elite deck if he wasn’t being honored for his heroism.

Nothing about the upper deck is real—the smells, the views, the people who populate the deck with their redone faces and bodies. It has all been created to appear perfect. The string quartet is really a hologram! The hover trays deliver food or drink as you summon them.

Tarver sees a beautiful redhead--a real knockout! But he can’t place her. Her face is so familiar. Later he realizes that she is Lilac LaRoux, the only child of Roderick. Tarver is smart enough to know that he has no right to pursue such a woman. He is low born, a military man—not suitable for the class of society to which Lilac has been born.

In a cruel twist of fate, the two star crossed lovers are the only survivors from the crash of the Icarus. How will they begin to trust each other in order to survive the terraformed planet upon which they have crashed?

I especially liked how each chapter was preceded with the interrogation of Tarver Merendsen. The story unfolds as each character, Lilac and Tarver, tell the story of their exploration of the planet, the discovery of the wreck of Icarus and their unfolding relationship.

If you like science fiction, don’t miss this first book of a planned three part series.