Lockdown, written by Alexander Gordon Smith, is the first of the Furnace series. This was a really interesting book.
It takes place in modern day England. A few years prior to the start of the book, teens across the country banded together in anger and went on murderous killing sprees. England calls this the Summer of Slaughter. Since then, whenever a teen commits a crime, they are treated very harshly in the eyes of the law. The prison Furnace was build alongside a mountain, underground, to house these teen criminals.
Alex, the main character, began his life of crime as a petty thief. As a teen, it escalated to breaking into homes and stealing. But, he always got away with his crimes. That is, until the people at Furnace figured out what he was doing and murdered his best friend and framed Alex for it. With the quickest of trials, Alex is convicted and sentence to life at Furnace.
Since teens are all given life sentences, they aren't really cared for, as no one cares about their rehabilitation. They're overworked and given horrible food. But, those are the best parts of Furnace. At night, they come for you. Strange creatures mark your cell and drag you away to an unaccessible area and experiment and torture you. Life in Furnace is rough, and Alex thinks he can find a way out.
This book was really cool. I'm looking forward to reading the others in the series.
My latest read, The Kill Order, is the prequel to the series that starts with The Maze Runner.
In case you forgot, that series focused around Thomas and his friends, called Gladers, who were trapped in a maze and being studied by a group called WICKED. This group was working to find a cure to the Flare, which is an airborne illness that wiped out Earth's population after sun flares destroyed much of the planet.
In The Kill Order, we learn how the Flare started and spread across the world. And, even how, before WICKED was formed, the government started paying close attention to people who were immune to the Flare.
This was such an interesting last book to the series. It was nice to understand where and how everything was started.
This last book, The Isle of Blood, is a part of a series known as The Monstrumologist series. It is book 3 of 4 (book 4 is due to be released in September).
****In case this series interests you, I'll keep the spoilers to a minimum*****
This series is quite interesting. The first book is called The Monstrumologist and follows the life of Will Henry, starting when he is 12, who, after the death of his parents to a fire, comes to work for his father's previous employer Dr. Pellinore Warthrop. Dr. Warthrop isn't an ordinary doctor. He's a monstrumologist. He studies monsters.
At first, Will Henry thinks Warthrop is crazy, until he starts assisting Dr. Warthrop at work in his basement laboratory and begins going on expeditions to strange places and fights/hunts monsters.
For this third book, Will is now a teenager and a new monster has been delivered to Warthrop: the nidus. This creature, when touched, infects the host in a way that is most gross. The skin falls off, bones break through muscle, and you become a cannibal. (That's one great thing about this series, so many gross monsters!) The nidus is sent to Warthrop via someone who became a bad guy in the second book, and Warthrop must travel to where he believes the nidus is to stop this bad guy, and contain the infection of the nidus.
Lots of fighting, death, and loss of limbs in this book. It might be the best one yet, since Will Henry is older and Dr. Warthrop lets him do more monster hunting stuff.
The Death Cure is the finale in this trilogy.
*******SPOILER ALERT***DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED THE TRILOGY YET********
Crazy stuff is going down. First, WICKED wants to play nice and give all the teens their memories back, so they can help figure out the cure for the Flare. But, of course it isn't that easy.
Everyone breaks out of the facility, and head to Denver, a supposed safe city. It's entirely corrupt. Police officers are taking people who are immune to the Flare, kidnapping them, and selling them to WICKED. No one can be trusted.
Yet, this is the last book in the series, so clearly something big goes down. But, I won't spoil what that something is. Lets just say, there's lots of fighting, battling, and stuff getting blown up.
A prequel was recently released for this series. I think I'll read it soon!
City of Ashes is the second book after City of Bones. The first book was pretty decent, so I gave the second book a go. I wasn't disappointed.
*****SPOILER ALERT***IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST BOOK, AND YOU INTEND TO, DO NOT READ THIS******
Not to give too much away, but the second book leaves Clary and Jace, who now know they are brother and sister, faced with knowing their father, Valentine, is an evil mastermind. He faked his death to come back with the fiercest BANG and he succeeded.
In this book, Valentine is trying to summon every terrible demon he can to kill all the Shadowhunters. He thinks they've got everything wrong and instead of protecting the Downworlders (Vampires, Werewolves, Faeries, etc.) the Shadowhunters should kill them because they are superior. Valentine keeps trying to get Jace to side with him, meanwhile, the people in charge of the Shadowhunters already think Jace is spying for his father and throw him in jail. Crazy fights happen. Some people die. Some people have worse things happen to them than dying.
Read this series. It's pretty cool. I'm picking up book 3 at the library tomorrow!
Since Sharon Draper is such a popular writer, I thought I would take a chance on one of her newest books, Out of My Mind.
This book was hard to read; not because the reading level is high, or the vocabulary difficult, but because of the main character. Melody, the main character, has Cerebral Palsy, which she's had since birth. CP makes most motor function impossible. Melody can't talk, walk, dress or feed herself. Her life is spent in a motorized wheel chair, which she can operate, due to the fact that she has full use of her thumbs. She's also 11.
Many people would see someone with CP and assume, with the drooling and lack of motor skills, that the person is mentally handicapped. The thing is, Melody is brilliant. She has a photographic memory, so everything she watches and hears, she remembers forever. But, she can't tell anyone what she knows because she can't speak.
It's hard to imagine what people who can't speak are thinking. Society usually assumes they are mentally handicapped or less advanced for someone their age. But, Melody proves that this isn't the case. It isn't until she acquires a computer attached to her wheelchair, like her idol Stephen Hawking, that she finally has a voice and can tell the people around her what she's thinking.
I was really frustrated for her as I read this book because of how closely people stayed to their assumptions regarding people with any sort of disability. Even when Melody started being mainstreamed into regular classes at school, and did well, her classmates and her teachers still assumed she would fail.
Either way, it was an awesome book. It's going to help me to remember not to make quick judgements about people, and, if I do make those judgements, to make sure I am open to changing my mind.
Beautiful Darkness is the sequel to a book I read last month called, Beautiful Creatures. You may remember the many movie trailers for that book when the movie came out last Spring.
*****SPOILER ALERT***IF YOU DON'T WANT ANYTHING FROM THE FIRST BOOK RUINED, DO NOT READ ON!*****
In Beautiful Creatures, Lena, who is a Caster (a type of witch) isn't claimed on her 16th birthday as she was supposed to, so now there's all sorts of dread about her 17th birthday, as that will be the next time she should be claimed (by claimed, I mean either good magic or bad magic will claim her).
I would be a liar if I didn't admit that I was frustrated while reading this book. I'm drawn to this story because of all the supernatural elements--there's spells and witchcraft, Ethan's house keeper is a seer, and all sorts of other mystical elements that are pretty neat. BUT, the teenaged angst is a little much for me.
Let me explain. Lena is going through a lot. She feels responsible for the death of her Uncle, she fears she will be claimed by the Dark (bag magic), and has it in her head that she will kill all the people she loves. So, she starts to push Ethan away. She could easily have told Ethan that she is hurt/confused and is worried and thinks she needs some time to herself. Instead, she ignores him and treats him like crap. I felt like I was reading an episode of Teen Mom. Imagine this: new teen parents have had their baby home for two weeks. The mom and dad are fighting and screaming and threatening to leave every five seconds, meanwhile, there's a screaming baby in the background. Instead of being jerks to each other, they could easily just admit that the lack of sleep and stress of being a parent has been a lot, and they don't mean what they say. Except they don't, because apparently that's only something crazy old people like me do. Simply communicating their feelings would solve all the fighting. It's the same in this book. If Lena would just TALK to Ethan about her fears instead of constantly telling him that he has no idea what she's going through, half the problems in the book wouldn't happen.
Maybe I'm too old for this story. The lack of communication, mean behavior toward each other, and instant forgiveness is a little hard for me to accept. But, the magic stuff is pretty awesome.
I'm not sure if I'll continue reading this series. I'll keep you posted.
I'm an avid reader. One thing I've learned in my many years on this Earth is that no matter what is happening in your life, you can always benefit from temporarily escaping life in order to become absorbed in a make believe story.