Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I had some trepidations. When you like a book as a kid, you find that your tastes change as an adult. Books that were real page-turners turn into poorly written pieces of trash. Boy, Dangerous Summer and Carolyn Hart did not let me down. The story was just as gripping and thrilling as I remembered. Nan Russell's parents are going to South Africa to do some geological work for an energy company. While they are gone, they plan on sending Nan to spend the upcoming school term with her grandmother in Scotland. Instead of sending Nan directly to Scotland, they plan an Atlantic cruise and European tour with other teens. Nan travels to New York meet up with the tour. Of course, she goes to a museum to pass a few hours, and notices a woman and a man behaving strangely. The woman acts like she doesn't know the man, but then picks up a brochure the man leaves behind. Imagine Nan's shock when one of the tour guides mysteriously drops out, and the woman from the museum takes her place. Nan is suspicious and keeps an eye on the woman. When Nan hears the woman talking with the other tour guide, Dr. Yates, and telling him that there is a kidnap plot, Nan, and her friends Leslie and Jack decide to keep an eye on the situation. There is a kidnapping, and not what was expected, an escape, and a plot to unveil the hidden agent.
All in all, I loved the book. I am so glad that I found the it, and that it turned out as good, if not better, than I remembered. I know plan on reading more of the early Hart books because I am sure there are some other real gems hidden there.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The book is a real page turner, and the twists and turns were unexpected and well-done. I found myself wanted to read ahead to see how things were going to end. The book is a great addition to the biological/scientific thrillers that I love to read. I just wish that Preston and Child would write more in this vein both together and individually. They don't churn out enough books in my opinion. If you haven't tried Preston and Child, what area you waiting for? Go to the library or Amazon right now, and start with a copy of Mount Dragon. You won't be disappointed.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The story is thrilling. I found myself really liking Pierce, who was the hero of the story, and wishing that things would work out so he could win out in the end. Things look bleak, and then ending has a very interesting twist. So far, I think that it is my favorite of the John Lange books that I have read in recent months. The characters are well drawn, and the plot moves along at a fairly good pace.
Friday, February 7, 2014
As I started to read the book, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that the book was eerily similar to the Harry Potter stories. Instead of being an orphan, David Eliot is the seventh son of a seventh son. HIs parents make the Dursleys look like ideal parents. As David is expelled from his most recent boarding school, his parents receive an offer from Groosham Grange to take on David. David is quickly bundled off to the school, which is reached by a train ride, and the school itself is on a secluded island. The students and teachers at the school are strange, and as David nears his thirteenth birthday, he feels the tension pick up.
Notice any similarities yet? Yep, it was very like the Potter books in spirit. It turns out that Groosham Grange is a school for wizards and witches. The teachers include a werewolf (named Leloup, French for wolf, like Lupin) and a ghost. Hold on a minute! I went to look at the publication date, and (strong>Groosham Grange came out in 1988. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone came out in 1997. Horowitz didn't go to the lawyers and sue. Instead, he just thanked J.K. Rowling for contributing to young adult fiction in the UK. How do you like them grapes?
Groosham Grange is a good read. It's much shorter than any of the Potter books and much darker in tone. Read the book yourself, and see what you think. All the Potter readers should give Groosham Grange a try. You will not be disappointed.