Rave Reviews Log: Science Fiction

February 19, 2008

The True Meaning of Smekday

By Adam Rex
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

If you like to read a funny, snarky, adventure-filled book about aliens (two separate races!) invading the Earth, this is the perfect book for you. Gratuity Tucci (AKA "Tip") is an 11 year old girl determined to drive to Florida from Pennsylvania with her cat, Pig, after the alien race called the Boov have taken over the planet. The Boov quickly rename the planet Smekland. All the humans in America are supposed to be sent to live in Florida on group transports, but Gratuity feels a strong need to drive herself (even if it isn't allowed) and find her mom who disappeared the day the Boov invaded. Along the way, she picks up J.Lo, a Boov who is on the run from his people after committing a blunder on the job. J.Lo soups up the car so it floats, and the pair make it to Florida, only to discover people were sent to Arizona instead. Both are trying to keep a low profile from the Boov, but as they try to make their way to Arizona, they discover a second race of aliens have arrived. The Gorg, also know as the Takers, plan to take the planet from the Boov. Now with nothing but an outcast Boov, a cat, and a car that hovers, Gratuity decides it is time to fight back and save the planet. There are plenty of chases and escapes and really funny scenes in places like Happy Mouse Kingdom and Roswell, New Mexico. Readers will laugh out loud as they follow the fast-moving story of a girl and a Boov on a quest, and grown up readers will chuckle at some parts that kids might overlook. If there could be a funny tale of invasion, this would be it. Enjoy!

February 08, 2008

Mortal Engines

By Philip Reeve
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is the first book in the Hungry City Chronicles. In the future, there are traction cities and towns--literally on the move with wheels and engines. Larger cities hunt and "eat" smaller ones when they can get them--it is the law of Municipal Darwinism. In the great traction city of London, an evil and secret plan has been hatched by the head historian, Valentine, to rebuild an ancient weapon and give London a leg up over the larger cities that would eat her. Then one day, while in the Gut of London, a girl with a scarred face attempts to assasinate Valentine. He is saved by Tom Natsworthy, a boy with aspirations to be a historian himself. But instead of basking in glory for saving his hero, Tom is pushed out of London by Valentine because the girl, Hester Shaw, claims Valentine is the one who mutilated her...and Valentine can have no witnesses to his past deeds. Hester and Tom both survive their tumble from the city, and find themselves unlikely allies when they discover the plan to unleash the weapon MEDUSA upon the world--and they are the only ones who can stop it. With great, layered characters and a deep, dark plot, readers will be riveted to this book and will eagerly read the equally good sequels: Predator's Gold, Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain.