Monster Blood: Choose the audiobook for this one

Monster Blood by R.L. Stine

Monster Blood (1992) is the third short children’s horror novel in R.L. Stine’s GOOSEBUMPS series. It’s a stand-alone, so no need to read the previous books.

While his parents are out of town, Evan has to go live with Aunt Katherine. She’s a scary one — a large hulking deaf woman with a deep voice who is often seen carrying her meat cleaver. Evan hates living at Aunt Katherine’s house, especially because she insists that his elderly dog stay chained up outside and there are bullies in Aunt Katherine’s neighborhood.

Things get a little better when Evan meets a girl named Andrea who likes to do the kinds of things that he likes. One day Evan and Andrea are shopping in a shabby toy store where they purchase a can of a slimy substance called Monster Blood. It provides h... Read More

Blue Mars: A must-read work of science fiction

Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Earth is powerful but overpopulated, and its many billions of people now look at the Martian frontier with desperate envy and resentment. Is war inevitable? Peace in the short term will require a delegation to co-opt the "feudal capitalist" Earth's selfish politics, it will require history’s most ambitious Model United Nations committee to create a Martian government, and it might also require Mars First’s intelligence community to build an extra-terrestrial alliance against the home world. If that plot summary sounds sprawling, I’m afraid it doesn’t even approach a comprehensive list of what Kim Stanley Robinson explores in Blue Mars, the concluding entry of his Martian trilogy.

Blue Mars is a philosophical work of science fiction and it is sometimes crit... Read More

Sin City (Vol. 3): The Big Fat Kill by Frank Miller

Sin City (Vol. 3): The Big Fat Kill by Frank Miller

The Big Fat Kill is the third volume in Frank Miller’s SIN CITY series, featuring Dwight McCarthy, Marv, and the ladies of Old Town delivering justice with extreme prejudice to some very deserving goons. It’s another celebration of violent revenge against some pretty reprehensible people, so it goes down fairly easily. It’s also the most creative storyline of the first three volumes, and is featured as the middle segment of the first Sin City movie.

The story begins with four drunken men banging on the door of Shellie (Brittanie Murphy), one of the waitresses at Kadie... Read More

Impulse: Typical high school drama + teleporting

Impulse by Steven Gould

Impulse is the third book in Steven Gould’s JUMPER series. The first book, Jumper, which was more thriller than science fiction, told the story of Davy, a teenager who discovered that he could teleport. He used his ability to fight the terrorists who caused him some personal pain. In the second book, Reflex, Davy is captured by people who want to use his power for their own purposes and Davy’s wife Millie sets out to find him. Both Jumper and Reflex were exciting stories.

Many years have passed and now Davy and Millie have a teenage daughter named Cent (short for Millicent) who has just learned that she can jump, too. Davy is still paranoid because of the kidnapping ordeal he experienced so the family lives in a remote cabin in the Yukon, jumping in and out to travel the world and do humanitarian work. Cent, a very bright girl, is home-sch... Read More

The Eagle’s Brood: Fine historical adventure

The Eagle’s Brood by Jack Whyte

The Eagle’s Brood, by Jack Whyte, is the third book in the A Dream of Eagles series (Camulod Chronicles, in America) and it does something that up to this point has been unthinkable: characters that are recognizably from Arthurian legend take center stage.

For two novels, Whyte’s take on the Arthurian legend has focused on the exploits of Publius Varrus and his visionary general Caius Britannicus. Now, a new generation has taken over, one including Uther Pendragon and Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Still known as Caius, our narrating Merlyn is decidedly surprising. He’s young, he’s a warrior armed with a sword, and he’s into debauchery. He and Uther are the princes of Camulod, and they know it.

However, they haven’t let power go to... Read More

The Power: Stands up to adult eyes and a second read

The Power by L.J. Smith

The Power is the third and final book in The Secret Circle trilogy by L J Smith. In this story, the Circle are shattered by Faye's revelations at a time when they need to be at their strongest. Black John is back, and Cassie is horrified when it is revealed why she feels such a strong connection with him. He has returned to claim the Master Tools and become the leader of the coven of twelve that he had such a hand in creating — which means that one member of the Circle must die...

L J Smith writes perfect teenage escapist fiction — as long as you suspend your disbelief and don't look for the plot holes. Although the first two books in the trilogy (The Initiation and The Captive) are pretty strong, and thoroughly enjoyable reads, The P... Read More

The Emperor Mage: Couldn’t put it down

The Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

The Emperor Mage is the third book in Tamora Pierce's The Immortals Quartet, and by this stage if you haven't read the previous installments (Wild Magic and Wolf Speaker) I heartily recommend that you don't start here — you'll be completely baffled. A peace delegation including Alanna the Lioness, the Gareths and other nobles from Tortall have been sent to the hot, swampy Charthak Empire in order to negotiate peace with the war-mongering Emperor Ozorne. With them is Numair, once the Emperor's best friend and now his sworn enemy, Daine, who has been chosen to come in order to heal the Emperor's beloved and sickly birds, and Kitten the baby-dragon, whom the Emperor is intensely curious about.

Although the negotiations intensely important to Tortall, considering that war with Chartha... Read More