Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

GREYSON GRAY: FAIR GAME

Tweedt’s (Greyson Gray: Camp Legend, 2012) preteen hero returns, this time combating terrorists that are planning an attack at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s been less than two months since 12 year-old Greyson Gray foiled a terrorist plot in his previous adventure. He’s now under the protection of FBI Agent Kip, who guards Greyson against possible retaliation from Everett Oliver Emory, the notorious terrorist brother of the man whose plans Greyson ruined. The boy is allowed to attend the fair with his friends, but it’s not long before Pluribus, an anti-government group with a possible connection to Emory, makes its presence known. There are four presidential candidates at the fair, which leads Greyson and his pals to expect the worst. This second book in Tweedt’s series has a similar plot to the first, in which Greyson fought terrorists at a sports camp, but a decidedly darker tone: Not everyone makes it to the end, and not everything is neatly resolved. Greyson, still sporting his trademark fanny pack, shows some new signs of maturity as he questions what, if anything, lies beyond death. There are some other familiar faces, including meek, stuttering Liam; twins Jarryd and Nick; and romantic interest Sydney. This time, Greyson has competition for Sydney’s affections in the form of Sam, the charming son of a governor. Jarryd, as in the previous book, provides comic relief even when he isn’t trying to do so; his text to Greyson to let him know he’s at the “rondayvoo” is particularly hilarious. But many new characters are just as memorable, including an unnamed assassin whose peeling skin (from radiation poisoning) is reminiscent of a snake’s; his creepiest moment comes when he asks Greyson, who’s watching Sam and Sydney on the dance floor, “Something troublin’ it?”—“it” meaning Greyson. The book’s final third is almost exclusively made up of action scenes, as it bounces among the perspectives of different characters, including Greyson, Kip, Greyson’s mom and Jarryd, while maintaining an impressive, tireless pace. Overall, this novel is both an improvement over the last installment and a fitting lead-in for the next in the series.

Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4936-5677-6

Page Count: 340

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The satisfyingly cataclysmic showdowns yield to peaceful resolution at last; here's hoping it holds this time.

THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS

From the Heroes of Olympus series , Vol. 5

With just 12 days to go until Gaea awakens fully on Aug. 1 and brings an end to the world as we know it, two groups of demigods struggle to stop her.

Aboard the Argo II, Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Frank, Hazel and Leo race to Athens for the final showdown. Meanwhile, three formerly supporting characters struggle to haul the ancient and massive Athena Parthenos statue from Europe to Camp Half-Blood: son of Hades Nico di Angelo, daughter of Bellona Reyna Ramírez-Arellano (and former praetor at New Rome) and satyr Coach Hedge. Coach Hedge is there mostly for comic relief, but his anxiety for the welfare of his very pregnant wood-nymph wife at Camp Half-Blood, where rogue New Rome augur Octavian has massed his armies to attack on Aug. 1, is touchingly genuine. The story of the demigods headed to Athens focuses on Jason, Piper and Leo and offers what Riordan does best: comedic, action-packed encounters with deities most readers—and sometimes characters—have never heard of. Goddess of victory Nike is particularly funny as she rails against "namby-pamby ideas of friendship and everybody wins participation awards." The story's emotional heft mostly comes from Nico's and Reyna's arduous and heartfelt journeys to self-acceptance. Readers who haven't made a point of revisiting The House of Hades (2013) before starting this may find themselves wondering just why each group's mission is so important, but there's no questioning that the characters think they're vital. And ultimately, any prophecy-driven adventure is at bottom arbitrary anyway. The story's occasional ventures into romance are stilted and awkward, but fortunately they are brief.

The satisfyingly cataclysmic showdowns yield to peaceful resolution at last; here's hoping it holds this time. (Fantasy. 10-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-4673-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A well-knit debut generously stocked with chills, thrills, and chancy exploits.

MONSTROUS DEVICES

A young British teenager’s ordinary world takes a sudden spin to the dark side with the arrival of an antique toy robot that turns out to conceal a terrible, and terrifying, power.

Hardly has Alex unpacked the robot sent by his grandfather than he cuts himself on a sharp edge so that a little blood seeps into its workings. Cue the weirdness, starting with a homework assignment he doesn’t remember finishing and a bully who inexplicably beats a sudden retreat. It quickly escalates into a headlong flight with his grandad and a running fight with a squad of varied but uniformly scary automatons fueled themselves by blood. What’s up? Alex’s robot, it turns out, was crafted to hide a tablet inscribed with the secret name of God that Rabbi Loew used to animate his legendary golem…and nefarious parties are out to revive the clay monster for—well, nothing good. Confused, terror-stricken, and inarticulate throughout, Alex comes off as a pale character next to his creepy adversaries and, in particular, his dapper, glib, secretive, martially adroit, scene-stealing grandfather. Still, as events move along apace, he proves surprisingly resourceful. Love tucks in plenty of icky bits, along with cinematic set pieces and hairbreadth escapes, and he strews enough tantalizing hints about his protagonist’s murky past to excite interest in sequels. The human cast presents white.

A well-knit debut generously stocked with chills, thrills, and chancy exploits. (Horror/suspense/fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47858-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more