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BOOK REVIEW – Destination Earth by Ali Sparkes

Lucy is alone, after successfully surviving an attack on her home planet she is now wondering the solar system in her spacecraft, only accompanied by her ever faithful Mumgram. Ten years have passed and she now has all of the necessary skills and knowledge to be a real human! Her next stop? Earth!

Unfortunately as we thought earlier, she isn’t in fact alone. An alien responsible for the disaster that wiped out her planet has managed to secure a ride to Earth and is quickly setting its sights on wiping out the whole of life as we know it! Luckily Lucy finds friends and people that she can trust….and that eventually trust her too. Along with her new found group, can she finally destroy what has been destroying her?

I must admit, I didn’t think that I’d like this. I’m not entirely sure why but there was just something about it that didn’t sit right with me, but like I’ve said before…I was proven wrong. This book was honestly, really good. Having never read any Ali Sparkes before I didn’t quite know what I’d let myself in for but the surprises came thick-and-fast. The writing is excellent, it doesn’t aim too high but also doesn’t sell itself short either and the characters are equally as good too. Lucy is admirable and you can really feel the thoughts that are going through her friends heads.

Destination Earth is somewhere between a typical ‘younger-teen’ novel and a hardcore Sci-Fi book. There is enough of the human emotion aspects to keep everyone happy but the twists that you hit and the style in which it is written is really where this shines. Not at all what I expected, but a very good book indeed. A brilliant book to ease younger teenage readers into the world of Sci-Fi without scaring them off!

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192733443

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GUEST BOOK REVIEW – Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Guest Reviewer: Ami  (@mama_roach)

Following on from the popular ‘Divergent’, the second book in the series picks up just as the last book ended. We already know that the series is set in future Chicago, where society is divided into ‘factions’ of human traits, such as the Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Amity (peace), Erudite (knowledge) and Dauntless (bravery). However, in this book, the factions are on the cusp of war, so most of the book is based around Tris, Four and their allies trying to find out the truth about their society.

The story is still gripping, with lots of action scenes and rebellious characters and it was also interesting to read about the other factions and how they live. However, I thought that the romance element was a bit over-exaggerated in this one (TMI!) I didn’t really want to read over-descriptive scenes of kissing and cuddling – not my thing! I found Tris and Four’s relationship to be a little frustrating and feared Tris would turn into a mopey lovesick teenager. When will they actually be honest with each other? However, Roth just about gets away with this, as she provides enough action with the uprising of the factions. The important thing to remember is that Tris and Four don’t just have to contend with their changing relationship, they have to deal with the Factionless and hunt the truth about who they really are, which is really where my interest lies.

After getting over the amount of futile character deaths, I did enjoy the book, despite its predictable ending. Just like Tris, I am on the ‘fence’ with this one, but I do recommend it as a gateway to the final book, which is the one I am most looking forward to reading and hopefully find out what is really on the outside of the ‘fence’.

Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Harper Collins Childrens Books
ISBN: 9780007442928

BOOK REVIEW – Replica by Jack Heath

Imagine waking up on a normal day…any day of the week, totally at random only to find out that all of your memories have been erased? That alone is scary enough, but then to find out on top of that, that your one hope in the world is another person who is the exact replica of you. The same as you in both appearance and sound, this other person practically is you, they’ve got all the traits that you used to have and so much more.

Who is this other person and why is this happening to you? For Chloe that is the mystery that she must solve before its too late. Nothing is quite as is should be, or at least she thinks it isn’t, if you can’t remember anything…how would you know? Simply put, Chloe isn’t ordinary.

The opening chapters are honestly some of the best of any book that I’ve read and it doesn’t really relent right up until the end. Chloe (which ever one, trying to the review as spoiler free as I can) is an admirable character, she is a ‘machine’ with strength and determination that you will not believe. The only thing that let this down for me was a bit of a lacklustre ending, however I’ll let this off as I’m almost certain that this was done to allow for a sequel, that would tie-up some of those loose ends.

With incredibly striking cover art, Replica is exactly the type of book you’ll highly recommend to friends and then you’ll soon realise that you’ve started a trend! The style and pace of the book means that you’ll probably read it in a few sittings or even one long night if you’ve got the stamina, which I don’t! This is a smart YA novel that is action-packed and thought provoking, that raises some really interesting debate.

Pre-order from Waterstones.com
Out 07/08/2014 from OUP Childrens
ISBN: 9780192737663