Review: Brain Jack

Brain Jack
Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Have you seen the movie "The Net"? The one with Sandra Bullock? If you watched that and thought, "Wow, hacking is really cool" then this book is for you. If, on the other hand, you laughed yourself out of your chair at the ridiculous way hacking was portrayed, you may want to give Brain Jack a pass. The story builds momentum well, and there is plenty of action, but there were times when I thought my eyes were going to roll right on out of my head.

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Review: A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In my experience, YA books fall into a handful of categories: short books with remedial language intended as throw away entertainment, coming of age stories that identify with the readers experiences, and thinly veiled parables. However, that doesn't mean YA books can't be enjoyed, and I did enjoy this book. Don't let the 3 star rating fool you, it is really more of a 3.5. A Wizard of Earthsea, for me, falls in the parable category, but it isn't heavy handed at all.

I wish I would have read this prior to reading [b:The Name of the Wind|186074|The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)|Patrick Rothfuss||2502879] as it has many of the same concepts. The two books provide a very clear picture of the different of writing for a young audience and a mature audience. Rothfuss's world is so much richer. I really appreciated the afterword in Earthsea by Le Guin where she talks about her initial reticence to do a YA book, and how she approached it. It's nice to see that the author is consciously making certain decisions in the writing of the story.

In a few years, I'm sure I'll be recommending this book to my kids.

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Review: The Dead of Night

The Dead of Night
The Dead of Night by John Marsden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I concluded my review of Tomorrow When the War Began with "I'm eager to see what happens next." Apparently I wasn't that eager, as it is now three years later and I'm just now finishing the second book in this series. This is a very brief episode wherein Ellie and her friends continue to adapt to life as guerrillas in an occupied nation. We get a bit more depth from each character, and the group goes on a few outings for both reconnaissance and attack. If you enjoyed the first book, you will certainly enjoy this one as well.

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Jade Mason