February 16

Hyperspace High. Crash Landing

John Riley says goodbye to his parents, and sprints down the road, already late to catch the bus which will take him to his new boarding school.  As he boards, just in time, he briefly reflects that the teacher standing at the bus looks a little different, perhaps a little taller than most.  Taking his seat, he knows that something is definitely odd when the seat belt activates, pinning him very firmly to his seat.  As the bus manoeuvers to a 180 degree upright position prepared for take off, he definitely knows he’s made a mistake!  Too late!  John Riley is about to take the trip of a lifetime, to Hyperspace High – an amazing school for superior students which is on an enormous space ship!

At first John is lonely, realizing that he’s light years from home, with no hope of returning quickly.  But gradually he makes friends with beings from all over the universe, as well as the ever present computer, Zepp.  He begins to enjoy the wonderful things he is involved with on Hyperspace High.  Where there are friends, there will always be enemies, and on a field trip gone disastrously wrong, John and his friends quickly learn that they must work together to survive, whilst others selfishly only try to save themselves.  The exciting finish sees John and his friends return victorious to Hyperspace High, earning high praise from the principal.  This is only the beginning of John’s adventures on board the inter galactic high school.  A great read!

hyperspace1 Hyperspace2

July 1

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

Long Lankin

Long Lankin

When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to live with their great aunt Ida, who they have never met before, they quickly come to realise that they are not welcome.  Already in a difficult situation, with an absent mother and a father who is too busy to care for them, they must also deal with their eccentric aunt and an enormous, intimidating and ruinous old house which holds many secrets, which Cora in particular comes to realise will become a direct threat to their safety.  Without the kind attention of their neighbours, their stay would be intolerable.  Why is it that village children are not permitted to go anywhere near the old church, and why is it that Aunt Ida insists that all doors and windows in the house are bolted and never opened?  Why too does she insist that Mimi must never be left alone?  As Cora and her friends delve deeper into these mysteries, they uncover an age old secret that has threatened the safety of village children for generations.  It is a malevolent threat that is alive even to the present day.  As danger creeps closer and closer, many of the main characters attempt to thwart the growing threat, with varying degrees of success.  What follows is a gripping finale, sure to rattle the boldest reader.

April 3

Deep fried by Bernard Beckett and Clare Knighton

Pete doesn’t mean to start anything. One irresponsible act in a fast food store brings him notoriety and publicity. It also gets him expelled. What he doesn’t expect is that it also attracts an online stalker. When he and his new online acquaintance delve into the private files of the mighty PB company, neither of them expect that their small act of defiance will bring about such dire consequences. This novel is a true senior read, combining a tangled Internet friendship with the revenge of a powerful corporation. The result is an adrenaline fuelled thriller for the twenty first century.

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January 23

The Chronicles of Rosie Black

Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”. Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and they’ll kill to get it. Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss? From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box. Before it’s too late. This fast paced futuristic novel is a must read for anyone who likes science fiction and adventure. It’s written by Lara Morgan

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July 7

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

This holidays I have enjoyed getting into this, the first book in Philip Reeve’s 5 part series. Set in the future, where towns and cities move across and above the desolate wastelands upon which they were once established, preying upon and devouring one another, salvaging anything of use, in particular, highly prized “Old tech”. Apprentice historian, Tom Natsworthy finds himself enmeshed in the adventure of his life when he is cruelly shoved from the bowels of London by Thaddeus Valentine, his hero. From here, Tom’s one aim is to return to London to find out why his one time hero has tried to kill him and what secrets link him with the mysterious Hester Shaw, the terrifying Shrike and the fate of the city of London. This is a definite page turner, almost impossible to put down. Take a look at the following link which outlines the five books in the series.

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June 1

The billionaire’s curse

Billionaire_B-format8cI’m currently enjoying this first in the series book by Richard Newsome, who is a Brisbane author. James Moloney recommends this book on the back cover. Its the story of a Gerald, a boy like any other, who has to miss a skiing trip with his friends to attend his great aunt’s funeral. Little does he know that his great aunt was enormously wealthy and that he is the one she has left her fortune to – totally unexpected. However, his new wealth comes with new danger, and in the days after the funeral, he discovers through a letter from his deceased great aunt that her life had been threatened. Indeed she suspects that she will be murdered and that he also will become a target when he inherits her money. This first book is about Gerald’s new wealthy life, a couple of new friends and a mystery to solve. It flows along well and is easy to read.

January 10

Magic or Madness trilogy by Justine Larbalestier

Magic or madnessI became interested in Australian young adult author Justine Larbalestier and decided to read her Magic or Madness trilogy over the holidays. This Australian author set these three novels in both Sydney and New York. 15 year old Reason Cansino has lived most of her life travelling with her mother, Sarafina. They’re on the run from Esmeralda, Sarafina’s mother, who possesses magical abilities and uses them for wicked purposes. When Sarafina becomes ill, Reason is forced to live with Esmeralda, and comes to questions everything she’s ever been told about her. She meets new friends and is beginning to enjoy her new life, but when she walks through Esmeralda’s back door and finds herself in freezing New York, she realises that magic is real, that she is magic and that life is about to become very interesting! Reason, with her friends Tom and Jay-Tee, becomes caught in a desperate world where magic power can be stolen and used by others. As Reason faces dangerous challenges to keep herself and her friends and family alive, she also begins to unravel the secret to using her talents wisely and for the good of others. If you like fantasy, this series is definitely worth a read.

October 17

100 Cupboards by A.D. Wilson

100 Cupboards
100 cupboards might be very useful in any house, depending on how much storage space you might need. However the cupboards in this novel are of a very different nature – they lead to other times and other realities. Henry York has just arrived to live with his Uncle and Aunt and three cousins. His parents have been taken hostage in Colombia, and until their release, home will be with this extended family. His new home is unfamiliar, but he can’t help but notice when one morning he awakens to find plaster scattered throughout his bedroom and in his hair. Upon investigation behind the plaster wall, Henry discovers the knobs to two doors protruding from the wall. Through one door Henry can hear falling rain. Through the other, he views a glowing room with a man strolling back and forth. Henry and his cousin come to understand the these doors lead not to other rooms, but to other worlds. This fantasy adventure is the first book in the series.