Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wow! Coolio!

I've just found a cool new fan-made series. It's a spin-off of Harry Potter. It is about the adventures of Harry's son, James. It's called James Potter and the Hall of Elder's Crossing, and it's available to read online or print out at elderscrossing.com! I haven't quite finished it, but so far it is very, very good, and the site is quite professional. I highly recommend it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan


A lot of books are billed as, "The next Harry Potter." Are there any real "next Harry Potters"? No. At least, I don't think so. The book Tunnels has been long billed as that. This is Scholastic's attempt at the next HP. I guess, it's working, since two of the series are already on the bestseller list.

The idea of the series is total interactivity. You are part of the most powerful family of all time (my branch is related to Neil Armstrong!). You are on a quest for the 39 Clues, which lead you to the greatest secret of all time. To find the clues, you need to read the books, collect the cards, and play the online games. I already have 2 clues! Oh, and you're also competing for over $100,000 in prizes. Hooray!

The first book in the series is written by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (btw, the fifth book is called the Last Olympian!). Other guest writers will be in further books.

On the book itself, I really enjoyed it. Not as good as Percy Jackson, but the author's style really shone through. I woudn't recommend it fully on its wonderful writing, but for the awesome idea of the whole interactive aspect.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

You know those books, the rare ones where you literally cannot bring yourself to stop reading them? This is one of them.

The author, Suzanne Collins, is the author of the hugely popular "Gregor the Overlander" series. This book is waaay beyong that.


The plot is, the main character lives in the future where there are 13 districts. Each district sends a boy and a girl in to compete in "The Hunger Games", a 2-week battle to the death. The last one standing is showered with gifts. The main character is chosen, and has many conflicts to deal with, including possible romance and friendships.


This book has a very strong storyline, but that's not the strong point. The best part is the incredibly strong characterization that happens in the story. Katniss, the main character and narrator, has very strong feelings and opinions. The whole book reads like a great action movie - no end to the action, no slowing done. Loved it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer


I have to say, I have lost faith in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. I thought the first two were great. The third, by far the best, left me wishing for more. I loved it. But the fourth, the Opal Deception, was lackluster - relying on an old villian and no funny parts. The latest one, the Lost Colony, was abysmal, confusing and with no character development.
But then this one changed my view.
The Time Paradox is a very, very good story. Yes, in the beginning I didn't like it. But it catches its stride in the middle with action, breathless pace, and bang-up suprises. I loved it.
The story is that Artemis Fowl, a teen genius who is less-than-good, has a mother who is dying with a rare disease. The only cure is the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur, which Artemis made exctinct a few years back. Naturally, they go back in time to save it, but one person gets in the way. Artemis himself.
Yes, the plot sounds a little outlandish, but Eoin Colfer not only pulls it off, he entertains us and leaves us laughing along the way.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Game of the Month for August...

AIR HOCKEY!!!
(I made it to level 7, but lost to Finland. Rats.)

Fun on the Web

Found lots of coolio stuff on the web this week. For one, there's a hilarious webcomic called "Garfield minus Garfield" which has all the Garfield comics without Garfield!!! C'mon, give it a chance. Find it at www.garfieldminusgarfield.net!
Another cool webcomic is Palindramas, which creates a comic centered around a palindrome (a word that reads the same forward and backwards.) For example, one is where some punks ask a nerdy-looking kid "Yo, B'Ball, Lab boy?" (same backwards!) He then creates a potion that gives him superpowers. Love it.
Oh, and finally, Bibliophobia has made the pledge to break the bottled water habit (see the little bleeper to the left.) You can join the team (and win cool prizes) by going to http://water.newdream.org/campaigns/water/register/5bd5c53faf5a913c045305ae10eb5e7d/, kay?
As spry as ever,
Bibliophobia

Monday, August 4, 2008

THE GAME? WHAT GAME?

OK, so people have been asking me why I've been so lax on the game we were playing. Two reasons: A: I discovered it was not a great idea to put my email address online, and B: I forgot! So now the poll is up.
For those who forgot, people sent in fake definitions for the little-known word PASSADO, and now you have to pick the real one!
Is yours there?
-The Bibliophobia Staff (All 4 of us! yay)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: Gone, by Michael Grant



The dust jacket flap best sums it up:

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.
Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...

Wow, just... where to start. This book (which reads like a movie, which I liked) never wastes time on introducing characters - just launches you head-on into the action. There ARE some dull moments, but this book - a tour de force of the imagination - just blew me away. Kudos, Mr. Grant.

It's like Lord of the Flies, but more interesting. By the end of the book, you're not really sure what's going on, but you know that this book is one heck of a ride. It has perfect good guys, really nasty bad guys, and a constant urge to learn what in the world is going on. (No, you don't get all the answers in the end.) But the final battle is awesome, and the end is very nice. A sense of finality, which is needed.

All in all, a great, great read - one of the 08 Greats!!!!!

(I would rate this a PG-13 book for violence, complex subjects and some romance. Not all that bad.

OK, Jukebox Update

We've got NEW MUSIC!!!!!
Yeah, I love all the songs, but they kinda have to relate to BOOKS, ya know? So here's a secret - all of the songs have a connection a book I've reviewed or to books in general. If you can spot all of them, you'll earn the respect of everyone here (and I'll throw in a few more reviews as bait.)
Oh, and Pendragon 9 came out already, so I took that countdown widget down too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flora Segunda, by Ysabeau S.Wilce



Okay, first things last. Just kidding. First things should always come first (except when eating desserts before dinner, where first things definetly should be last.). The full title of the book is:

FLORA SEGUNDA: BEING THE MAGICKAL MISHAPS OF A GIRL OF SPIRIT, HER GLASS-GAZING SIDEKICK, TWO OMINOUS BUTLERS (ONE BLUE), A HOUSE WITH ELEVEN THOUSAND ROOMS, AND A RED DOG.

Yes, this book has all that and more.

The story is centered around 14-yr-old Flora Fyrdraaca (Feer-draw-cuh), who lives in a sort of alternate-dimension Mexico/California. They speak English, but all the names are Spanish (therefore, Segunda!). For instance, they live in the country of Califa. She lives in a house kinda like Hogwarts - things always change, rooms move around, the bathroom is never in the same place. So one day she takes the Elevator of Doom, and it takes her to Valefor, the denizen of the house. All houses have denizens (aka butlers), but Flora's mother, the general of the army, banished their butler to the library. So the house (aptly named Crackpot Hall) is in a state of general disrepair. She and her friend Udo have to save Valefor, Udo's hero the Dainty Pirate, and maybe even themselves!

The book has spunk. Flora, as the narrator, shows emotion in a unique way. It never gets that dull, but there is virtually no real action in the story. Things don't become clear right away, and you may be left wondering "What is this?" It's very intriguing and thought-provoking, however. The sequel, "FLORA'S DARE" is coming out September 1st.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pendragon, Book Nine: Raven Rise by D.J. MacHale


Pendragon is a big story.
First off, I have to brag. Pendragon is the best series I have ever read (and I usually don't pick favorites.). It can be faster-paced than Harry Potter, more insightful then Artemis Fowl, funnier and wittier than the Percy Jackson series, and more thought-provoking than Terry Pratchett. It is the single most underrated series today.
The basic story goes like this: Bobby Pendragon, 14, finds out he is a traveler. Travelers keep Halla (Halla is everything there will ever be, it turns out Earth is just one "territory" out of many) from the evil traveler Saint Dane. Along the way, Bobby learns more about himself and what the heck a traveler really is.
So. Book nine. Bobby comes home to Second Earth to find that the turning point is about to happen. He must fight for the traveler's last stand. Along the way, he meets old friends and enemies.
The book is awesome. A fast pace, great problem and solution and TERRIFIC ending set the series finale up for greatness. Although we are left with a lot more questions than answers, I am sure D.J. will pull through. Now, how do we last the year or so until book 10?
(PS-I strongly recommend you read books 1-8 first, or you will not get ANY of this one.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Review: Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan



Okay, sorry for the lack of reviews lately. This is because we are doing a revamp, and we're now featuring 3 REVIEWERS!!! What does this mean to you, the casual reader? Well, we'll be reviewing a whole lot more books, and many new types and genres. Yay-hoo!
So this is a book I was VERY excited about. I love this series, and the action really heats up in book four of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
I never really got "into" this series, but now these books are so good I am treating it like Harry Potter. It has the same type of breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat adventure, with diverse characters. If you're not caught up, try the Lightning Thief, book one in the series.
So, in book 4 Percy and his friends are attacked by cheerleaders. They then go to find out that Luke and his army are planning to get into Camp Half-Blood by using the Labyrinth, an underground maze spanning the entire USA. They are then sent on the quest (with an unlikely hero) to find the maze's creater, Daedalus, and ask for help.
With an amazing ending and a chapter called "I Open A Coffin", this one surely lives up to expectations, and gives enough answers to satiate readers before the final book comes out in 2009. This is a MUST-READ book. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Review: Barnstormers Game 2, by Loren Long and Phil Bildner

Hi, guys. This is my first time reviewing on Bibliophobia. so bear with me. This book is book 2 in a series called Barnstormers. It is about baseball in 1880, and has all sorts of cool trivia and facts.

I think this book is a great follow-up to book one. More strange stuf is happening, and it's up to the Travelin' Nine to figure out just what. This story has more "meat" in it (it's also much longer) and you'll enjoy it more. The pictures on almost every page are very neat, and at the beginning of each chapter is something very cool (you'll have to get the book to figure out what...). All in all, a great book.

I can't figure out anything innapropriate about this book. Sorry.

100 views and new game

Hiya, evrybody!
Today is a day that will go down in history as the day we reached 100 views on Bibliophobia. Yes, I know. Very touching. In honor of that, I've decided to add the new game of the month a day EARLY (I know, astonishing) so here's PAC-MAN!
-Greg
(P.S. Coming up is a review of the new Maximum Ride book and Barnstormers, and I'm currently reading Whales on Stilts by M. T. Anderson. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Review: Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley



Okay, first things first: I didn't finish this book. So if there is some amazingly unbelievably good ending to it, tell me and I'll change the review. But there's a reason I didn't finish.

This book was recommended to me by a friend. Right now, I'm considering that friend's sanity. Robin McKinley is a fairly well-known author, so you would think her books would be tolerable. Think again.

I'm sorry. I really am. I hate bashing books. But this one was very... boring. It's about a boy who works at (what else?) a haven for dragons in... some where. The thing is, by the second chapter (47 pages in), you have no idea what is going on. Characters are introduced, but you are very confused as to who they are related to or what they are. The author attempts to go back and summarize it as an afterthought, but it is very confusing.

The writing is slow and monotonous, as if when the writer finished she had 100 pages to fill and put mindless mush in it for the publishers. You'll not find your self connecting with the narrator, but with me, who is asking him to please stop whining. Do yourself a favor and don't even try it. This book also has WAY too many curse words than necessary. I suppose this is to make it more teen-ish? Who knows.

New Stuff on the site

Just wanted to make it aware that I have added some new features to my site - like a clock and Game Of The Month. The game of the month will change - you guessed it - every month! This month's is the Red Button Game. Enjoy!

Review : Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney



I have long been a fan of the first book


in this series, Diary of Wimpy Kid (not in the least because the main character's name is Greg.) I think it is very funny and is written very convincingly in the mindset of a teenager.


I was lucky enough to get my hands on an Advance Readers Copy, so this is an old review. This second book in the series puts Greg in a bad situation. His brother has been blackmailing him to do his every whim after he finds out one of Greg's most embarrassing secrets (yes, you find out what it is, and you'll be suprised). This book is probably the funniest book so far. The author really flexed his creative muscles on this one. I actually laughed out loud on this one, and I'm very hard to please. There are as many classic moments in here as the first one. If you liked the first one or are a sucker for the funnies in the paper, this one is definetly for you!

This book doesn't have any innapropriate words or subjects, but you can tell it was written for teens. It is suitable for all ages, but I think teens would "get it" more. Nonetheless, my nine-year-old neighbor loved it. Go figure.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review: Tunnels, by Brian Williams and Roderick Gordon

If you haven't heard about this book yet, you will!
This book is about a kid named Will Burrows who likes to dig - you guessed it - Tunnels! He and his dad use it as a sort of hobby. But there are strange clues around the town of Highfield and underground, clues that just don't add up. So when his dad dissapears he takes matters into his own hands and discovers - well, I won't spoil the suprise.
I absolutely ate this one up. You will too. The one thing this book doesn't have in at all is romance - some might like that, others might be put off by it. I didn't care. There are a bazillion suprises in this book - I was known to stop reading and gape at the wall of my room. "Wait a minute.... did that REALLY happen?" You'll like it. Another thing I might add is the publishing genius behind Harry Potter has put his faith in this book. It was first self-published with a print run of 200 and now they are on eBay for thousands of dollars (try it: search "Highfield Mole" on eBay. I dare you.) This is my pick for BEST WINTER BOOK and BEST BOOK OF 2008 SO FAR.
This book is okay for all ages, but there are things kids wouldn't understand till maybe 5th Grade.
Also remember that we have one day until the game is up... I've got 10 more entries since the last post! :o)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Airman by Eoin Colfer




Finally, my first review! Alright, this book was the first book I read after HP7, so I knew it couldn't beat that. But this is a great book. Some things that I like about it are...
1) the author created a fantasy masterpiece, but it is written as a biography-a nifty touch that adds to the splendor.
2) The characters all have cool names (I know, not much to go by, but...)
3)The action scenes are actiony - there are a lot of them, too!
This book centers around 15 yr old Conor Broekhart (see, I told you the names were cool!), a boy who was born IN a balloon. He lives in the Saltee islands, off Ireland, in the 1890s. He and his french tutor have always dreamed of creating a flying machine. But in a turn of events (you know, the oh-my-god-did-that-just-really-happen kind) he is left convicted of a terrible crime and sent to prison by the evil Hugo Bonvilain (another cool name.).


This book has a great beginning, ok middle and fantastic end, so I heartily recommend it. I would say this is without a doubt the best book of 2008 so far. The author, Eoin Colfer (say "Owen") is the author of, among others, one of my personal favorites, the Artemis Fowl series. But I enjoyed this book twice as much as I did any of those. So even if you're not a Fowl fan, grab this one!


Grade: A-


Age Group: I don't think you will enjoy this as much if you are not in middle school (there are some slow parts in the middle, and some violent parts), so confirm w/ your parents if 10 or younger.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Welcome!

I'd like to personally welcome you to Bibliophobia, where II'm going to review most (not all, that would be ridiculous) of the books I read! I hope you enjoy it... Oh-and I'm going to get a game up here sooner or later. I'm also planning on a list of author's websites, and... well, you'll just have to see!
-Greg

Just Call Me KittenBoy.

I am 0% evil! Are you an Evil Genius?

This Day in History

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