The Revelation of the Sage (Jenna Glynn Ghost Stories Book 6)
Kristoff is a master at writing an engrossing, engaging rollercoaster ride of a book. This time Lemon is the main character and readers will be holding their breath as she lurches from one adventure to another, with the enigmatic Major perhaps holding some clues to her background. The Brotherhood is described in detail and readers may find some parallels with religious cults of today. Cricket continues to add humour to the story and his friendship with another robot adds zest to often dark occurrences in the book.
But the one theme that really runs through the book is the importance of friendship and loyalty.
Lemon, Cricket and Ezekiel are all determined to find and help each other, and new characters introduced also show these traits. It is best to have read the first book in the series to understand the background to Babel and why Eve is acting like she is. Action galore, explosions, humour, religious fanatics, corporate baddies, robots, wild chases across the desert, sacrifice and a cliff-hanger of an ending make this a must read for adrenaline junkies and readers who like to think about artificial intelligence and robotics.
Pat Pledger. Fremantle Press, Themes: Aboriginal stories, Pilbara, Western Australia. Eight stories about the environment from Helen Milroy descended from the Palyku people of the Pilbrara region of Western Australia, adds to the number of stories told with an Aboriginal perspective which encourages people to more appreciate our shared heritage. These stories, from Wombat appreciating Mother Earth and her allowing him to burrow deep down into her soil to let him sleep, to the Mudlark singing to the Sun each day as he warms the pool to let the bird splash in the mud without getting cold, each story tells of the relationship between the animals and their environment in which they live, detailing their friendship and dependence one upon the other, underlining the fact that we are all responsible for our environment and at the same time giving a social dictum for younger readers to live by.
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The book is one of a group published by Fremantle Press, Eagle, Crow and Emu Cyclones and Shadows and Bush and Beyond each presenting Indigenous authors and their stories. Traditional Indigenous stories share information about their cultures, wrapped in a story that captivates, enlightens and amuses.
So we see how animals came to be, their link to the Mother Earth, the Sun, Moon and Comets, and learn a little of the spirituality of their beliefs. But at its heart is a good story well told and these four books offer stories that present basic understandings to the readers. In the story, 'Gecko and Big Rock', for example, the two are friends, and when the sky darkens and blocks the sun, Gecko is cold. He asks his friend, Big Rock to help, and he goes off to bring back many rocks to pile on top of each other to reach into the sky, allowing the lizard to access the sunlight to keep warm.
The story tells of the relationship between the animals and their environment in a way that everyone can understand, emphasising the need one for the other, giving reasons why these things occur and how they evolved back before time. Each of the eight stories gives new life to a tale of the environment, helping readers see how each can apply not only to the animals but also the people who inhabit this country. Macmillan Australia, I loved how I was taken on a journey through the adventures of the two main characters, Essie and Dr. Benedict Hitchens. This was one novel I really enjoyed reading.
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If you like historical fiction with an archaeological feel, Meaghan Wilson Anastasios brings her second novel in the Dr. Benedict Hitchens' series alive with a treasure hunt for The Emerald Tablet. Wherever Benedict and Essie go, danger follows them. This kept me reading into the late hours.
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I found that there was an Indiana Jones or Lara Croft feel while reading this adventure. Anastasios takes us to the Suez Canal in The world is on the brink of a nuclear war while also at the same time Benedict and Essie are on a race against each other and other parties, on who will to locate and unearth the secrets of The Emerald Tablet.
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If the Tablet falls into the wrong hands it could mean the annihilation of humankind. I was kept guessing on who the other parties were working for: Nazis, Russians or villains that wanted to control the world. And yes, the Tablet is a real artefact that I googled once I finished reading.
I liked how both characters past kept coming up along the way to haunt both and which made me understand who they were. I want to learn more about them both and now am interested to read the first book in the series.
Throughout the book you could see how Anastasios' knowledge as an archaeologist and working in Mediterranean and Middle East made this novel come alive as she took me on a journey through Turkey, Egypt, Israel and parts of Europe. Oh, I nearly forgot. If I ever see the main villain Garve in real life, I'm running.
I do warn that there are few graphic sexual activities mentioned. If you are looking for a book with drama, action, history, love, loss and greed, then I recommend this novel. I am so looking forward to the next book in the series. Maria Komninos. When Joey must move to the city with his mother from his grandfather's farm, he is devastated. He knows that Mum must find work, times are tough and the farm must be left behind. But Joey must also leave behind his dog, Riley, his best friend, the one he does everything with.
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They hunt mammoths, ride a rocket ship to the top of the hill, do their ABC's together with distance education. Each day holds a different treat for the pair until the day Mum announces that they are moving to the city. And Riley cannot come. Joey is inconsolable until his grandfather tells him that he will write everyday telling Joey what Riley is up to.
So begins a series of letters telling Joey what Riley is doing on the farm. These delightful slices of farm life will enthral the mainly urban audience, entranced with the images of Riley drawn over a sliver of the letters Joey receives.
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Each double page illustrates Joey in the city, contrasting his city life with the of Riley back on the farm. Children will love looking at the differences the lives these two friends now lead, to be brought abruptly to an end when Grandfather must tell Joey that Riley has disappeared after a frightening storm. A lovely ending will have all readers sighing with relief as the two find their way to get back together. This is a charming story of the relationship between a boy and his dog, sure to please all readers who will scan the wonderful illustrations to see the sort of life led on farm.
I was entranced with Foot's illustrations of rural life and the pages comparing the life of the dog on the farm with that of the boy in the city through evocative letters and soft edged illustrations, all revealing the emotional ties between a boy and his dog. Penguin Books, Board book. Quentin Blake's marvellous illustrations are on display in this alphabet book which will be fabulous for young children. The famous enormous crocodile from Roald Dahl's book is featured, bringing lots of humour and excitement to the book. Anteater B is for.
Books C is for. Crocodile D is for. The background against which each letter is situated is done in bold colours so that the letter stands out well and this will make it easy for children to gradually learn to recognise them. The board book is very sturdy, and should hold up to a lot of use from young children. Of course the drawings are wonderful.
As well as the fun with the snapping crocodile, children will delight in the 'F is for fox', that has the fox chasing a terrified chicken, and the 'U is for upside down' is hilarious.
Not to mention the 'V is for vegetables' that has an elderly man spitting out a cucumber and will have children and adults in stitches. The 'X is for xenopus A particular sort of frog' is also cute and children will love to try and say the new word out loud.
The familiar illustrations have come from Roald Dahl's books and will be recognised by adults and will be a pleasant introduction to the books when the young child grows is old enough to read them. This is a lively ABC book that should prove to be a keeper. Fox and O'Hare book 6.