Tag: 3 stars

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Trapped
Author: Michael Northrop
Published: February 1, 2011
232 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 2-6, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive. . . .

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision. . . .

Jessica’s Review:

Trapped is a short and quick read that I enjoyed until it abruptly ended.  Were the last few chapters accidentally left out of my copy?  Nope, that was it!  Who lives, who dies, and what’s going to happen next?  I will have to decide that on my own…

I was pulled in from the beginning wondering what was going to happen.  I knew it was going to be a bad storm, but the snow just would not stop!   These poor kids just kept getting worse off as the novel progressed.  For a YA novel that has boys and girls stuck alone together, there surprisingly was not much teenage drama: They were focused on survival. 

If you like quick YA reads, give Trapped a try. Our narrator is a boy, which is a rarity in YA novels.  *Disclaimer*:  Going in keep in mind that the novel ends with no conclusion/ epilogue.

Northrop wrote another novel which interests me called Surrounded by Sharks.   It is similar to Trapped in that it deals with survival, but I doubt I will read it.  It is about the same length as Trapped and I am afraid that there will be no conclusion, and my thinking is this:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

If you have actually read Surrounded by Sharks, I would love to know if there is a conclusion to that novel!

Other than the lack of conclusion, Trapped would be perfect to read while it is snowing: I just hope you don’t end up in a blizzard like our poor teens!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The God Game

The God Game
Author:  Danny Tobey
To Be Published: January 7,  2020
496 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 18-28, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

Jessica’s Review:

We are beginning to get more novels that reflect the way society is heading and The God Game is one of them. The God Game is an Augmented Reality game that you play on your phone, such as Pokémon Go and its predecessor Ingress. I played Ingress for a while and enjoyed it and the beginning of the novel seemed like ‘what if The God Game was Ingress but thought it was real and thought it was actually God???’  That is what interested me in reading The God Game.

Charlie and his small group of friends, The Vindicators, are tech savvy misfits who all have various negative home issues. A lot of the book dealt with coding, which I know nothing about so that all went over my head.  The characters are YA but this novel is not.  This will be for the older and more mature teens (16+) as the themes and language reflect.  There are a handful of anti-Trump references throughout the novel, which shows the teens maturity level.  But I have to admit, the first couple of references were entertaining in how they got the game’s attention. ( I don’t really like politics showing up in the novels I read).

Once our group realizes how much the game affects real life and the consequences of playing they begin trying to beat the game.  But can you beat the all knowledgeable and all-powerful god?  Or at least an AI that believes it is God?  There are Bible references throughout as the AI quotes verses.

Tobey did a great job with developing this group of misfits and building his story. I found myself more connected with The Vindicators home issues and wanting to see what would happen there.  The last 50-60 pages really moved for me. It definitely picked up and I wanted to see what was going to happen. But the ending and this novel were really just not for me.  If you are a gamer, coder, or have more than basic computer knowledge I can see you enjoying this novel more. 

**Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an arc to read and review.**

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Out on January 9, 2020)

[Top]

Good News! It’s Christmas!

Good News! It’s Christmas!
Author: Glenys Nellist
Illustrator:  Lizzie Walkley
Published: October 2, 2019
18 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: December 15, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Explore the Christmas narrative with your children! Whimsical illustrations pair with skillful rhyme as you follow Mary and Joseph on their adventure to becoming parents to God’s own son. From the donkey and animals in the stable, to the angels and Heavenly hosts, this story is a celebration of the good news that came down to earth as Christ entered into our broken world to become its Savior. Whether you add this to your family’s advent tradition or gift it to another growing family, it is sure to delight all the little ones in your life.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a very simple illustrated children’s book that is aimed at the very young (about ages 2-3) to help them understand the story of Jesus’ birth. It covers the basics without too many details and offers gorgeous illustrations that enhance the story. There are animals throughout pages and they even help in sharing of the story and celebration of Jesus’ birth. 

Many thanks to the publisher Discovery House for granting my a copy via NetGalley.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

[Top]