Monday, November 23, 2015

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey takes you on a dangerous action packed roller coaster where nothing is as it seems. The story follows a 16 year old girl named Cassie Sullivan who is trying to survive the unknown, or as they are called “Others”. Aliens perhaps? It is unclear to Cassie as it is to the rest of the human population.  The Others wipe out majority of the population, in the process taking control of the planet. They do this in waves. First wave takes out the electronics killing many. The second is a massive tsunami, the result is obvious. The third wave kills the remaining with disease where only the strong survive. The fourth wave makes it clear “not all humans are humans”. All that Cassie knows is that she may be the last survivor and must do exactly that, survive. And find her younger brother who has been taken to a refugee camp which is the fifth wave’s aim, to capture all the children. Along the way Cassie meets a boy named Evan Walker. He will help her in saving her younger brother as well as be her lustful eye candy of the book. The Others are out for human blood, and when disguised as humans Cassie Sullivan realizes that she can not trust anyone. 


Friday, November 20, 2015

The Nest - Kenneth Oppel

Ten days after Steve's new baby brother is brought home "angels" appear to Steve in a dream and offer to help the baby.  There is something wrong with the baby, but nobody can figure out what it is.  On a Sunday as his parents and his sister Nicole are outside enjoying the day.   Wasps circle around the drinks they have, and one stings Steve.  His dad takes him to the hospital and Steve had a mild to moderate allergic reaction to the sting.  He's prescribed EpiPens and the doctor recommends desensitization shots so he doesn't have to rely on the EpiPens.  That night he dreams of a cave-like area where the "angels" come to him again.  The "angels" say they can fix the mistake in the DNA of the baby.  They say it will be fixed soon, and then Steve wakes up.  It takes him three days to tell his mom about the dreams.  She says he has the most interesting dreams.  While Vanessa, their babysitter, is watching them she spies a wasp on the table biting the wood.  Steve and Vanessa follow the wasp back to the nest which is on the outside of the house above the baby's room.  At dinner Steve tells his parents about the wasp nest and his dad says he'll call someone out to take care of it.  After dinner he and his dad talk about the baby.  His dad tells him the baby has a very rare disease affecting the baby's DNA, and the baby could be low-functioning later in life.  After he falls asleep he dreams of the "angels" again.  They tell him his baby brother will be good as new with no defects.  The next night while his parents are out with the baby at a specialist and Vanessa had taken Nicole to a friends house someone comes and pounds on the door.  This frightens Steve and he tries to see if his neighbor sees/hears anything.  His neighbor is running the lawn mower so they are no help.  Once the person leaves Steve finds a sickle left on the front doorstep.  After his parents come back home and he tells them what happened.  They contemplate calling the cops, but decide not to.  His dad puts the sickle away in a safe place.  Later that night he dreams of the "angels" again and he tells them the baby need a heart operation, and that should make everything right.  The "angels" tell him that they are working on replacing the baby.  Steve doesn't understand, the baby is in his crib.  The "angles" tell him they are replacing him all together, and he is growing in the nest outside of his house.  The next night he dreams about the wasps and the queen shows him the larva that will become is new baby brother.  The next day Steve decides to take care of the nest on his own.  He grabs a ladder and climbs up with a broom.  He takes a swipe at it and the wasps come out.  They gather on the broom and land on him.  He drops the broom and climbs down the ladder slowly as not to agitate the wasps.  When he gets to the bottom all the wasps are back in the nest.  His parents are furious when they get home.  A neighbor called them because they had seen Steve on the ladder.  He then tells them about his dreams, and they suggest he talk to Dr. Brown about all of this. Steve goes the next day and talks to Dr. Brown.  He talks to him about how the summer has been and the dreams of the wasps he's been having.  They have a good session and Steve agrees to come back in a few weeks.  Three days go by with out the wasp dreams.  After he goes to bed on the fourth night he dreams of the wasps again.  He is in the nest where the new baby is out of the larva stage and is pupating. He and the queen argue about which one is the real baby.  She then tells him the wasps will take care of the sick baby once this one is done pupating.  All Steve has to do is say yes.  Yes will make everything right, and Steve's baby brother will be healthy.  Steve eventually says yes, but when he wakes up he regrets it.  What will happen to Steve now he's said yes to helping the wasps?

I enjoyed this book and it felt like a horror movie while I was reading it.  This book reminded me of the horror movie The Unborn, which came out in 2009.  In it Casey is having dreams of a boy.   The boy turns out to be the spirit of her twin brother who died in the womb.  The ghost is trying to use Casey to be born into the world.  This is similar to the wasps using the nest to make a new baby to replace the sick one.  


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Star Wars Princess Leia by Mark Ward

This comic book is aimed for not just fans of Star Wars, but any little girl looking for strong female to look up to. The comic is about girl power and fighting for what matters, even if the odds are against you. 

This comic book comes into play after Star Wars A New Hope. After the Death Star has been destroyed, the rebels have to regroup and start over. Among those is Princess Leia who finds herself without a home planet after the Empire destroyed Alderaan. However, as the only remaining royal of that planet, the Empire would like to see her destroyed, along with whatever other people from that planet remain. Leia, though, is not the type to just sit back and do nothing. She makes it her mission, along with an outspoken pilot (who also happens to be female), to find the remaining people of Alderaan and get them some place safe. It's not an easy task, especially with a bounty on her head and traitors in their mist, but Leia will not give up on her people. 

The pace of the comic is perfect with the right amount of ups and downs. We obviously know that she's going to get out of the tricky situation, but there's enough suspense to wonder how it will all work out. With the title character being female and her main companion also female, this comic becomes very empowering to girls. These are both strong women who won't back down. At the same time, being Star Wars it will appeal to all fans - male and female. In no way is it "girlie". This is Leia showing girls are just as tough as the boys and she shouldn't be forced to sit back and let others do the hard stuff. The comic is even more than that. It's about how all lives matter. It even touches on racism and fighting for what matters.

You might not expect much from a comic other than an engaging story, but this comic pulls through with more. It has a message and hope and a strong female character - one that you don't see a lot of in comics. This comic is very successful and enjoyable.