Rave Reviews Log: Science Fiction

May 30, 2007

Atherton: The House of Power

By Patrick Carman
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

The author of the Land of Elyon fantasy series returns with the beginning of a science fiction series. Edgar is a boy living and working in the fig tree grove in Tabletop on the planet of Atherton under cruel Mr. Ratikan. But Edgar has a secret--a man he barely remembers from his childhood told him that there was a treasure hidden for him in the forbidden cliffs that separate Tabletop from the priveleged Highlands above. So at night, Edgar climbs, looking for the treasure, and one night, he finds it. But to his disappointment, it is a book; and no one in Tabletop is allowed to read. To find someone who can read the book, Edgar does what none imagined possible--he climbs the cliffs to the Highlands. There he finds a lonely boy named Samuel. But the book reveals a terrible secret--the Highlands are going to crash into Tabletop one day, perhaps bringing the threat of war to Atherton. Edgar and Samuel are separated before Samuel can tell Edgar about the most devastating secret on the last page of the book. Will Edgar be able to help stop what is happening to his planet before it is too late? This fascinating story includes mad scientists, men hungry for power, brave heroes, Dark Planets, horrible monsters, and lots of action and adventure. Readers will be anxious for the second installment to arrive!

May 10, 2007

Only You Can Save Mankind

By Terry Pratchett
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is the first book in the Johnny Maxwell series. Johnny is an ordinary 12 year old, a bit of an outsider even. His parents have been fighting a lot, so Johnny has been taking refuge in playing video games that his friend Wobbler gives him. It is while he is playing the space game, Only You Can Save Mankind, that the message appears on his screen:"We wish to talk." Johnny plays along and finds that the aliens in the game want to surrender to him and are asking for safe conduct back to their home planet. When he sleeps, Johnny finds himself in a real cockpit in space, talking to the captain of the ScreeWee, and protecting their fleet. Because when Johnny's ship is blown up, he wakes up in front of the computer. But when a ScreeWee ship blows up, they die for real. What do you do when something you (and everyone else) thought was a game, turns out to have real consequences? Can Johnny step up and be a hero? And will anyone else even believe him? This is a funny and inventive bit of science fiction that is enjoyable all the way through.