Thursday, July 4, 2013

5 eBooks you have to try

It might be news to you that Auckland Libraries offers a huge selection of eBooks and eAudio books that you can download. Items are issued for a limited time (three weeks for eBooks) and then magically disappear from your eReader or whatever you’ve downloaded it to, in my case the tiny screen of my phone.

The following reviews are for books available from the library’s digital resources page, (or in print if that’s what you prefer). One of the great advantages is that sometimes there are much smaller waiting lists on the eBooks than the regular print version.

All this could end by Steph Bowe | Book | eBook
The author, Steph Bowe is 19 years old. I know, that doesn’t seem right, but it should be inspiration to any young aspiring writers out there, there is no reason why you can’t do it too! Nina’s family move around Australia pursuing her mother’s unconventional “career”. Dragged into the family trade, which without giving too much away, involves balaclavas, Nina is sick of the weirdness and wants to escape. When she meets a Spencer, her determination grows. A good story with an interesting premise.

Dance of shadows by Yelena Black | Book | eBook
This book has a beautiful cover which I know I’m not supposed to care about, but secretly I always do! Vanessa Adler moves to New York where she has a place attending the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Several years earlier her sister, Margaret disappeared while attending the very same school and Vanessa is determined to find out what happened to her. Vanessa is an extraordinary dancer with the strange ability to feel the world fall away and spin when she dances perfectly. The mystery deepens as Vanessa and her friends discover Margaret is not the only female dancer to have met with a strange end. There was fabulous balance of dance, friendship, romance and mystery to make this an excellent read. My only complaint, which seems to be happening to me a lot lately, is that there is clearly going to be a sequel...

Curse of Kings by Alex Barclay | Book | eBook
As I read this book I tried to pigeon-hole it and come up with a similar feeling story. The best I could do was the Skulduggery Series by Derek Landy, which is pretty funny because on the cover of “Curse of Kings” is the following quote: "Fiercely imaginative, with razor-sharp twists and a plot that moves so fast it ignites," written by none other than Derek Landy! It's a dark story of a boy, Oland Born who grows up in a castle, the servant of the evil Villius Ren and his cronies, the "Craven Lodge". Villius murdered the king of Decresian years earlier and his taken up rule of the nation. Bleakness envelops the world Oland lives in, a place where at night, the souls of a thousand human “experiments” howl in horror at what they have been subjected to in the interests of science. When Oland discovers a letter left for him by the murdered King Micah, written on the day of his birth, his adventures begin. Full of appealing characters and an action-packed story, this is a great book for anyone who likes their fiction a little on the dark side.

What we saw at night by Jacquelyn Mitchard | Book | eBook
I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes when I’m reading a really good book, one that’s written beautifully, I feel like I’m not actually reading, the experience is so effortless and enjoyable. This is one of those books. I’m not saying it’s the best book in the world, it probably wouldn’t even make it into my top ten, but I admired the way it was written. Set some time in the future, there is a weird phenomenon known as Xeroderma Pigementosum, which forces its sufferers to stay permanently covered up during daylight hours. It creates a class of people who live their lives at night. Allie Kim and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet are part of this unlucky minority. Juliet seeks adventure at any opportunity, and when she discovers the art of parkour, in typical fashion she drags Rob and Allie along for the ride. Accidentally witnessing a violent event causes the fabric of Allie’s world to fray and her friendships begin to disintegrate. What we saw at night is a great read.

All good children by Catherine Austen | Book | eBook
This was another original dystopian tale, set in a future where the world has deteriorated to a point where the wealthy only feel safe in massive gated towns. Biochemical hazards have created a town of misfits known as “Freaktown”. Citizens become so insular that they have no idea what is really happening in other parts of their own country. Enter Maxwell Connors, a teenage boy with a passion for graffiti. Something weird is beginning to happen in his town; the kids are turning into well-behaved clones who don’t like anything unusual or different. Max’s probing reveals something disturbingly wrong in his world, his only hope is to escape. The writing is good, the characters are entertaining, and the premise is seriously disturbing. Enjoy!
 - Lucy


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