Archive for the ‘Both Action AND Adventure’ Category
#28: Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware by MT Anderson:
“Perhaps,” said Jasper shyly, “you would like some Gargletine Instant breakfast Drink?”
Katie fixed him with a long, level stare. Gargletine caused hysteria in lab rats and took the brown off horses. “Maybe not,” said Katie. “But thanks.”
Synopsis: Jasper Dash, hero of a long forgotten series of children’s books, inventor and stare-eye champion extraordinaire, is joined once again by Katie (herself the heroine of the Horror Hollow YA books) and Lily (no books to speak of) on an adventure to help an old friend in the legendary Vbngoom monastery high in the mountains of Delaware. At night, the dinosaurs come.
Whatever adult made up the idea that these books are targeted for a YA audience is lying through their adult teeth simply so that other adults will be denied the sheer unmitigated joy of reading them. Because adults don’t just lie, they like to suck all the fun out of life for other adults, too.
When they’re not changing into snakes and selling priceless religious artifacts, that is.
These are just some of the many valuable lessons I have learned from the Pals in Peril series, where Jasper Dash, a boy hero who outlived his books and found himself a terrible mismatch for the modern world, cynical-beyond-her-years Katie, herself a book series survivor and their bookless friend Lily team up to — say it with me: fight crime. And sometimes kangaroos. But mostly crime.
In this third installment, the Pelt Middle School’s Stare-Eye team is soundly defeated by a spooky team from Delaware. As stare-eye is not the most thrilling sport imaginable, Katie sneaks off in the middle of Jasper’s match and witnesses Delaware’s Team Mom selling priceless artifacts out of the back of the Team Van. As a dedicated crime fighter, she’s just about to intervene when her own mother arrives and is really really embarrassing.
But she survives the ordeal and when she recounts the tale to Jasper, he realizes that something rotten is afoot in the state of Delaware, probably involving the mystical monastery of Vbngoom (where he learned his stare-eye powers), and which will entail the three chums sneaking over the Delawarian border and making their way through the jungles, swamps, mountains and nefarious capital of the state, Dover. Yes, Dover. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers.
And if you’re sitting out there thinking yes, that’s all very well and good but Delaware doesn’t have any jungles, swamps or mountains and actually Dover’s only slightly dodgy after dark, let me simply say that even if you can’t see the dinosaurs, my friend, there is nothing to say that the dinosaurs can’t see you.
Five stars. Any book that begins with a swarm of mysterious beetles and ends with flying monks is all right by me. I just hope next time they go to Cleveland.
# 82: Polar Shift by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos:
Unfortunately for Grisha, he and his men stood between the rampaging herd of mammoths and their goal of freedom.
The Russians raised their guns to fire at the crazed animals, but the herd was almost on top of them. They turned and ran. They got only a few steps before they were knocked to the ground and trampled underfoot by tons of mammoth flesh. Grisha had sprinted past the others, his eyes frantically darting from side to side as he looked for an escape route, but he slipped and fell under the furred onslaught.
Synopsis: Kurt! Austin! must foil an evil plan involving geophysics, arctic volcanoes and miniature woolly mammoths.
# 72: Deep Storm by Lincoln Child:
Crane frowned. “It’s your call to make, of course. But seventy-two hours ago, this ‘simple mood disorder’ took a hostage, then jammed a screwdriver into his own throat.”
Corbett took a sip of his latte. “Waite clearly has some issues to grapple with.”
Synopsis: Well it was this or another Dirk! Pitt!
#69: The Navigator by Clive Cussler:
Carina was sitting up on the edge of the bed, trying to put a shoe on her foot. She was having a hard time with her hand-eye coordination. She seemed angrier at her foot than at anyone in particular.
Austin stood in the doorway. “Need a hand?”
Synopsis Naval whatnot investigator Kurt Austin (say it with me: Kurt! Austin!) gets sucked into solving a thousand-year-old mystery by the sight of a beautiful woman in distress.
#65: Grave Descend by John Lange:
The ocean around him was noisy. It was something you noticed on a night dive–the sea was alive with night creatures, eating and clicking with a strange, almost mechanical sound, like a giant bank of electronic relays far off.
Synopsis: Salvage diver McGregor senses something sinister’s afoot when he’s hired to dive a luxury yacht a few hours before he sees the yacht sunk before his eyes.
#51: Oceanspace by Allen Steele:
Judith abruptly realized that she had seldom thought of Peter since she had departed Tethys nearly two days ago, even though she had left him in the company of a woman who was clearly interested in him. Between fruitless searches for sea serpents and hyperthermophiles, he had given scarce thought to her own husband. Perhaps this was forgivable in an ambitious marine biologist, yet nonetheless the pursuit of science was no excuse for negligence.
Synopsis: Toolbox ex-Navy sub pilot accompanies his marine-biologist wife and a journalist 350 feet below the ocean’s surface on the chance of seeing a giant eel and running it down with his new experimental prototype sub. Instead, he chases after the evil French and sticks his hand down the journalist’s pants.
#47: Riddle of the Sands by Geoffrey Knight:
Will looked at Daniel, then at Shane, then shook his head. “No offense, dude, but we’re on a very tight schedule here, our friend has just been shot with poison darts, and I don’t know who the hell you are.”
“I told you,” Shane said. “His name is Daniel West. He’s a–”
“Reporter. I know, I heard you the first time.”
“You were the one who said we need to rewrite history. Who better to help us than a goddamn writer!”
“Who’s to say he doesn’t work for Perron? How do we know his pen isn’t filled with poison?”
“Actually, I prefer to use pencil,” Daniel interjected matter-of-factly, adjusting his glasses. “And I work for the London Town Crier.
Synopsis: A band of plucky gay adventurers race around the globe to save one of their own from a deadly poison. Bonus points for hot man-on-man blowpipe action.
My review’s up Three Dollar Bill Reviews.
Trevor Bostic had been deliberately vague about what had happened inside the Tank, although the evidence of it was abundant. Painted in dull remnants of drief crimson were gaudy reminders that no one there had met a peaceful end–least of all the last man to pay a visit. In spite of efforts to clean it up, a hazy smear still clung to the transparent walls of the air lock outside the laboratory chamber. It wasn’t easy to wash away so much blood.
Synopsis: Unlike soulswallo, I shamelessly count rereads as part of my yearly tally, especially when they’re books as good as this one is. Fast-paced and gender-interesting scifi about the quest to escape the failing meatsacks that hold people’s souls and live online fulltime. As you do.
Full review later.