D. Robert Pease's Blog

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tween the Weekends - Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Today is my first post for the Tween the Weekends feature over on the Emblazon blog. It's a day when all the authors on the site stop and write a post dedicated to tween readers. Today I wanted to start with a great series for kids that I just finished reading.

Review of Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

Not only do I like to write for tweens (those ages somewhere between a child and a teenager,) I also love to read books that fall into this category. Recently I read the Leviathan Trilogy by Scot Westerfeld. I would put these books smack-dab in the middle of this age group. I loved how masterfully Westerfeld created a world that is wholly believable, yet fantastical at the same time.

Leviathan begins at the start of World War I. Of course it's not called that in the books. It follows the adventures of Alek Ferdinand, a prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Deryn sharp, a commoner from the British Empire. Deryn is a girl, but disguises herself as a boy to join the Royal Air-service.

What makes this series so darn cool is that this is not history the way we learned it in school. Sure, many of the names are the same. Many of the events are similar, but there's one huge difference. The world is split into The Clankers, and the Darwinists. The Clankers are people who use steam-power to drive great machines: fighting Mechs, walking machines, and contraptions that are fashioned like animals. These are primarily the German powers. Then there are the Darwinists who fabricate great beasts with all kinds of cool abilities. Large creatures that pull their trucks, small ones that can speak and carry messages, and the largest creature, the Leviathan, that is like a huge whale that floats in the air; a living airship. The Darwinists are on the British side.

So you have Alek, a Clanker, and Deryn, a Darwinists who are not only supposed to be enemies in the war, but also don't understand each other culturally. Of course they end up being thrown together. It's a great read that takes the pair all around the world, meeting real people that do unreal things. I really loved these books. And what made them even better were the great illustrations throughout by Keith Thompson.

I highly recommend them for kids, maybe 10 and up. And for adults who like grand adventures like I do.

Book 1, Leviathan
Book 2, Behemoth
Book 3, Goliath

For more great posts for Tweens, visit the Tween the Weekends page over on Emblazon. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 10:16 AM   7 COMMENTS

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jump Boys: SOS by Alex Banks

I'm excited to introduce you to my friend's new book for Middle Grade readers, Jump Boys: SOS by Alex Banks. It's great to see fellow writers stepping out into one of my favorite genres (obviously one of my favorites.) I'm excited for her, and I hope her book sells millions.

My Review of Jump Boys: SOS

This was a thoroughly enjoyable little book. A quick read, but a lot of fun. I especially loved the author's ability to put me into this future world through the use of slang she developed and interesting technology. If I had to pick out one complaint, it was that it was too short. I wasn't ready for it to be over when it was. So here's hoping she's got more adventures in store for the Jump Boys. Because that would be totally molten!

Jump Boys: SOS
by Alex Banks
MG Science Fiction

A dare gone terribly wrong.
An SOS from another universe.
A threat from right next door.

Thirteen-year-old twin brothers Jayce and Val are about to jump the multi-verses on a dangerous dare, but true danger is closer to home than they realize.

The Jupiter Prime colony has been orbiting the stormy gas giant for nineteen years and all anyone wants is to get back to Earth. Sent to preserve the best and brightest of the population, a grievous error in the Prime’s navigation coordinates sent the colony to an alternate dimension with no way to return to the Earth they call home.

In a society where technical expertise is valued above all else, Jayce and Val are among the most privileged—until they uncover their uncle’s plot to claim dominion over space and time. While attempting to rescue a lone girl from a post-apocalyptic earth, Val will come face to face with space pirates and Jayce will lay his life on the line for the sake of his brother and the little girl who holds the key to time itself.

Pick up a copy for yourself right now!

About the Author

Alex Banks doesn’t live on Planet Earth. Alex lives on the Prime Colony Ship orbiting Jupiter or on a pirate ship off the Nova Scotia coast,or on a world called Insulunda where the land masses shift and move like clouds.Wherever there are dreams to be charted like stars in the sky or fun to be had just down that street . . . that’s where you’ll find Alex Banks.

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 3:42 PM   3 COMMENTS

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wool - Proof Indie Authors Can Write

Wool is one of those stories that sits with you long after you finish reading. I'm glad a I came late to the party and actually got to read this all in one sitting (practically) because I would have been going nuts waiting to find out what happened next. That's not to say I'm not looking forward to more, but the story does end really well, with enough closure to be satisfying, but enough intrigue to want to read more. Hugh Howey created such an amazing world with characters I immediately felt for, that I was hooked after just a few pages. This is right up there with my favorite books of the year. Thanks Hugh. And thanks for showing the world you don't have to be published by the big six publishers to create fabulous stories. Keep up the great work!

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5)

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 11:29 AM   4 COMMENTS

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nate Rocks the World

One of the great things I've discovered about being a published author, is all the cool people I get to meet. Someone who definitely falls into that category is Karen Pokras Toz. It seemed everywhere I was hanging out online, she was there. So I decided I must check out this lady's work, and I bought Nate Rocks the world. I found it fun and a great book for kids who maybe aren't that big into reading themselves. I'd highly recommend it for those kids who are ready to move past the picture books their parents read them, but maybe aren't quite ready for the longer reads such as Percy Jackson or Artemis Fowl.

Here's my review:

Kids Will Love It!
Nate Rockledge isn't your typical ten-year-old. Even when life throws him curve balls (or kick balls as the case may be) he knows exactly how to have a good time. His imagination takes him from hitting the winning home run, to the wild west, to the reaches of space. Your kids will love riding along with Nate as he jumps from one adventure to the next. They'll enjoy every minute of it, because quite simply, Nate Rocks!


Website: www.karentoz.com
Blog: http://kptoz.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenptoz
Twitter: www.twitter.com/karentoz
Amazon: http://amzn.to/txbX0Z
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/uviYpn
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5009570.Karen_Pokras_Toz

Author Bio:

Karen Pokras Toz is a writer, wife and mom. Karen grew up in Orange, Connecticut and graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Finance. She also attended the University of Richmond, where she studied law and business, receiving both a JD and an MBA. Karen has spent the last several years working as a tax accountant, writing in numbers. She recently discovered a passion for writing with words. In June 2011, Karen published her first children’s novel Nate Rocks the World. She is currently working on the second book in the Nate Rocks series to be published in 2012.

Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Association of Independent Authors (AIA), and the Independent Author Network (IAN). Karen enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three children.


Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 9:33 AM   4 COMMENTS

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Death Cure

By James Dashner

The final book in the Maze Runner Trilogy ended the series nicely. It didn't have quite the punch the previous two books had, but I'm not sure what else he could have done. I certainly don't think he should have just stuck them all in another test like he did with book two (the same way The Hunger Games did with book two... I see a trend here). But one thing I struggled with throughout all the books is the big question of why. Why were these kids subjected to these horrific acts inside and outside the maze? And I don't feel like Mr. Dashner quite answered that question satisfactorily for me. Too much of the plot seemed forced. Sure it's cool to put kids through all this torture (from a reader's perspective), but I never felt the reasons were solid enough. BUT if you ignore all that, and just enjoy the ride, it was a fun series. I would still recommend reading it, just be aware that it may not be all tied up in a neat package by the end.

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 9:05 AM   0 COMMENTS

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

By Elise Stokes

I have a confession to make. Somehow, when I bought this book I had no idea what it was about. I never read the description text. I only looked at the cover and title and thought it'd be something I'd like. From those two pieces of information I decided it was a Nancy Drew type mystery. Boy was I wrong. In a good way. It was so fun to read along expecting one thing and then have the book go in a completely different direction. I found myself glad I didn't know Cassidy Jones was going to turn into a teen-age superhero with super powers and all the stress that goes along with it. I love stories like this! The characters were authentic, mysterious, likable and just plain fun to get to know. I find myself, just like Cassidy, really interested in what superpower she was going to discover next. I also enjoyed her interaction with Emery, a geeky fifteen-year-old genius. I, just like Cassidy, had no idea what to make of him at first. It seemed like he was (and is) hiding something. So much that I didn't know if he could be trusted, but Cassidy and I both decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Just a really well written book, and I'm happy to have read it. I also hear the sequel is due out soon. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Check out the Author's site here: www.cassidyjonesadventures.com/

Buy at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GB1FIK/

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 10:40 PM   1 COMMENTS

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

I toss and turn. A yellow parakeet stands on my head and whispers in my ear. What's that? Far-what? Farsighted… Farsighted… I leap out of bed and run to Amazon. Sure enough it's true. I've seen into the future. Farsighted is climbing the charts, destined to be a number one seller. Was it a vision? Am I a psychic? Nah, I just know a good book when I see one.

Farsighted was a fun read, that kept be guessing. It was rich with texture. Most notably it filled me with sounds and smells like no other book I've read. Our hero, Alex, is blind. But that doesn't mean he can't see. He sees all around him, using his heightened hearing, he can see blades of grass spring up beneath him as he stands. With his sense of smell he can see exactly where people are in a crowded room. And all of this is even before we find out he can also peer into the future. I really loved how the author got me inside the head of a blind person, then took it a step further and got me to see into the future through his heightened senses as well.

Farsighted has well developed characters, and doesn't just leave them where she introduces them. Each character grows and changes as the story progresses. This is a very difficult thing to pull off. Characters I didn't like in the beginning, became my favorites at the end.

All in all this was an enjoyable read, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA, paranormal book, with a hint of danger, and a dash of romance thrown in for good measure.


Blog Tour Notes

THE BOOK:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

THE CASH PRIZES:  Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.

THE GIVEAWAYS:  Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

THE AUTHOR:  Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

MORE FUN: There's more fun below. Watch the live action Farsighted book trailer and take the quiz to find out which character is most like you!  



Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 9:29 AM   3 COMMENTS

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