45. Standard Hero Behavior

By: John David Anderson
Level: YA

Mason and Cowel come from a town bereft of all heroes but one. The one hero of the town, Duke Darlinger, tells fantastic stories of how he slays the goblins, orcs, trolls, and ogres. Then Mason finds out that the duke is a fraud and has been paying off the various monsters for years but now they want more money and the duke is broke. Mason sets out with a borrowed horse and one hundred gold coins as well as his best friend to find heroes to help protect the town from imminent doom. To pass the time along the way Cowel reads a book written by Mason’s father titled Quayle’s Guide to Adventures for the Unadventurous. The book gives all of the tips and advice you might need for SHB (Standard Hero Behavior). The quest for heroes has many false starts and not a lot of luck finding real heroes but more importantly Mason seems to be on the trail of his missing father. Finding out why Edmond Quayle left his family ten years previously is almost as important a question as how to find heroes who can help the town.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

44. The Truth About Horses, Friends, & My Life as a Coward

By: Sarah P. Gibson
Illustrated by: Glin Dibley
Level: J

Sophie Groves feels that it is her duty to warn all girls that horses are more than just a riding fantasy. She is always pestered by the girl that thinks she is so lucky because she owns three horses, and can that girl ride one of them? Sophie knows the truth about her horses though. Really is should actually be named Really Mean, Sweetheart is just that, a sweetheart, in the ring, but if you leave the ring watch out for tree branches. Fancy Free is the largest horse Sophie has ever seen with pie pan feet and no brain. Sophie becomes well aware of all the attributes of each horse be the negative or positive. She also will not enter the ring for anything. This is a funny book about a girl who grows up with eyes wide open and learns a lot about life through avoiding her horses as much as possible and ends up loving them.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

43. Necropolis

By: Anthony Horowitz
Level: YA
Series: The Gatekeepers, Book Four

All Five Gatekeepers were revealed in Book Three. In Book Four there is a race to gather all of the Gatekeepers together so that they can overcome the Old Ones. Scarlett grew up in London but shortly after she turns fifteen her father has her come to Hong Kong where he works. Scarlett is afraid because she knows that people are watching her. In the meantime, Matt and the other Gatekeepers are trying to catch up to Scarlett but the Old Ones always seem to be a step ahead and thwart any attempts at contact. Finally Matt, Jamie, and Richard arrive in Hong Kong to find that everyone seems to be sick and dying. When all of the Five come together the book ends on a doomsday cliffhanger.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

42. The Killing of Worlds

By: Scott Westerfeld
Level: YA
Series: Book Two of Succession

A self-proclaimed space opera the Succession series follows a futuristic empire where two people who love each other are trying to stay alive. Captain Laurent Zai is aboard the Lynx, a new type of battle scout ship. He has already rejected committing suicide after the Empress was murdered. The Emperor is not happy and has sent the captain and his ship on a suicide mission in retaliation. Meanwhile, Zai has fallen in love with Senator Nara Oxham, who is in the capitol, where she is on the emperor’s war council. Nara is fighting to keep Zai alive and thwarting the emperor who is so afraid that he will destroy worlds to keep one big secret. Nara is an empath, a side effect of a graphical implant called synesthesia. She can tell the feelings of those around her and sees a war with the Nix as inevitable when there is so much anger in the capitol. But what happens when that anger is aimed at the Senator because she reveals the Emperor’s secrets. This second installment in the series evolves the storyline to a much more complicated universe, I can’t wait to read the conclusion in the third book.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm  Leave a Comment