The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch


Summary: In Jeff Hirsch’s novel The Darkest Path, In a dystopian version of America’s future,  Callum Roe, a sixteen- year-old former child soldier struggling to survive in the midst of the Second American Civil War, which is between the Glorious path who wanted total control over America, and the U.S federal army who wants to restore peace and is the remainder of America’s army. Callum and his brother (James Roe) were taken away from their family 5 years ago and were forced to serve in the Glorious Path, but when Callum finds out what is in store for them in the future, he escapes into a long and tiring journey to seek his long-lost parents with the odds of survival stacked against him. Sadly, his brother James doesn’t believe him and decides to remain in the Glorious path. Along Callum’s 2,147 mile journey from Arizona to New York (location of the U.S federal army) he befriends a dog named Bear and murders his Commander/trainer who was going to train him into a killing machine. Together, they must overcome fate’s test for friendship, betrayal, and loyalty in ways you would never think were ever possible.9780545512237_xlg

 I decided to read this book because of its positive reviews by the people who read it and an interview of Jeff hirsch talking about the book. Another reason is because Jeff Hirsch is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books, one of his most recent books was the eleventh plague, which received some rewards and a lot of amazing reviews for it. Amazingly, The Darkest Path showed some signs of similarity to the eleventh plague genre-wise, which made me think Jeff Hirsch likes post-apocalyptic subjects. One reason why I kept reading The Darkest Path was because I was so intrigued with the plot due to its fast paced/heart pounding events and how it kept me at the edge of my seat…literally. Secondly, The Darkest Path got me so emotionally hooked, I had to shed a few tears along the way to process the unfortunate moments the book has to offer which was not common when I read books! Lastly, as I continued to read Jeff Hirsch’s story, I got pulled into Callum’s point of view and felt, saw, heard, smelled, and tasted throughout his journey. I believe this is for anyone who wants a face paced, heart pounding, and emotional ride into a post-apocalyptic version of America’s future. I would also recommend this book for fiction/adventure readers, if you are not looking for any of these, I would definitely still pick it up because trust me, you won’t be disappointed!


Reviewed by Edmund W.

Maze Runner by James Dashner


 I really liked this book because it was action packed, and the main character does not have his memory so it made me want to continue reading to see if he ever gets his memory back.I enjoyed this book a lot, and I want to continue reading the other books in the series. Overall I believe that this is a great book and that everyone should both read and watch the movie. My brother brought this book from his school library and it seemed really interesting so after him, I picked it up and started reading it. I kept on reading this book because I wanted to find out if the characters would survive and if the main character would get back his lost memories. I would give it to my friends, because they enjoy books that are action packed and have some mystery to them.

Reviewed by Oleon

Prey by Michael Crichton

Prey is about a man named Jack Foreman, who has recently been fired from his job as software developer working in a time period in which the computer industry made a huge boom. Now a house-husband, Foreman deals with the kids and also with having a wife that works long hours. The company that Julia Foreman, Jack’s wife, works for is Xymos. This company is currently working on microscopic cameras that can be used by the military. These cameras can’t be destroyed, and they are controlled by algorithms that were written by Jack and his team at his former company. When the code goes wrong, Jack is called to Xymos on a contract to work to solve the problem. The problem seems to have no solution at first, as it seems that the company knew about the problem but never did anything to solve it. Instead, it continued to build the cameras without fixing those problems. Unfortunately, those cameras escaped, and due to the software algorithms that Jack writes for his old company, they are able to reproduce and also grow by feeding on live prey. The cameras have become an indestructible killing machine and it is up to Jack and his former team, which has actually moved to Xymos, to solve the problem in 24 hours or less…

I was able to relate to this book a lot, as I work on scripting algorithms myself. I apply some of the programming methods vaguely referenced in this book to my own code, and as a result, my programs run a lot more smoothly now. As someone who works on a team with the occasional fool in the tech world (robotics), I enjoy relating to Jack’s problems with people on his team. The thriller in this book is that of a whole new level. As a reader of many fiction books, I know that in most cases, the characters will solve the problem no matter what. The thing with this book is, though, that you never know what Xymos has hidden from us next. The problems keep on piling on, and as the situation becomes more desperate, a reader like myself truly enjoys poring over the plot and soaking in the mystery. This book has truly changed a lot for me this past month. I can write algorithms a lot smoother now, and I learn from Jack that working on a team is more than just carrying when no one does anything. It is more about trusting your teammates that the job will be done. I learn from this book that during stressful situations it is important to remain calm but it is understandable to break down at times. It is all about getting up and continuing to work harder, putting in as much steam as you can. I truly enjoy thrillers, and Michael Crichton has written several other amazing thrillers that I have read as well, including Jurassic Park, and I was truly looking forward to this experience. The book looked like it would be about aliens based on what it said on the back cover, and as a result, I was very excited, as I always am at the mention of anything unusual, including the extra terrestrial. The book contained a lot about the writing of algorithms, and as that is something I do, I wanted to see more references to that. I was in luck, as Crichton continued to include code bits and pieces here and there across the book. The thriller got to me, yes, but it was primarily the programming portion of the book I enjoyed the most. I would give this book to a person that loves technology, loves programming, or just wants to read a thriller in general. If you love seeing characters deal with problem after problem, this book is for you. People who love books about family and how it must stay together would love this book as well. Prey contains a lot about office politics and busy life in an industry, so adults can relate to this book as well. Any of the people mentioned above really would be possible people I would give this book to next.

book reviewed by Deep Sethi

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

41F0ANC74bL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Miss Holmes, niece of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Stoker, the vampire hunter find themselves hired by Irene Adler, the Princess of the Wales to solve a case regarding a clockwork scarab. Numerous deaths coincide, Miss Homes and Stoker must solve the mystery before the next death.

This book is very interesting and I definitely recommend it to those who especially like mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This book can be appealing to others with different interests of genres like Sci-fi or romance. I found this book very interesting because the author manages to tie in many genres into one; such as action and murder, love and friendship, time travel and vampires. I agree with the authors opinions about this vamped up world of Sherlock and Watson twisted into a story of his niece and her partner in a womanly perspective. This book is very fast paced and many courses of actions take place quickly but not many questions can be raised as the author uses great descriptions and analysis.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the way Gleason links multiple genres into one book and especially how she incorporates this book in the 1880s of London. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in detectives, time traveling, romance and friendship, and action and adventures.

I picked out this book because it referred back to the familiar world of Sherlock and Watson which I really enjoyed so I thought it would be interesting to read something similar in a different perspective.

I kept reading this book after I first started because this was one of those books that once you start reading, you can’t stop. You become part of the book and you don’t want to abandon it.

I’d give this book to someone who’d like to experience the same situation I experienced while reading this thrilling book.

Reviewed by Khushi



Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

51D8kyeINAL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Sixteen-year-old Miranda finds her world thrown into chaos when an asteroid hits the moon and shifts it out of orbit, closer to Earth. The increase in its gravitational pull causes massive tidal waves and tsunamis that decimate many of the world’s coastal cities. Power is disrupted, phone and cell lines work only sporadically and the nation’s supply lines are in shambles. After all this action, Miranda’s mother stocks up on food and all the other necessities to live. The book then shows a life of a family through the hard times and how they survive.

The book is sad, since many characters die in the book. It tells a sad story about a girl and a family going through hard times.

I honestly did not enjoy the book since it was too family involved. There was no action, just how a family survives as all the world around them was getting destroyed. I did not like the book since it was too slow for me.

The reason I kept reading is because, it had a good cover page and a great summary. I really like books with a theme of the world ending so picked this book up.

I would give this book to someone who likes a very touching family story.

Reviewed by Pranav




The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

5ithThough named after a beautiful queen, Cassiopeia prefers to go by Cassie. She grew up like any normal kid. But in those few years, the Earth is attacked by aliens. Not green aliens or huge eyed aliens, but aliens that look just like any other human, and they didn’t just attack once and wage a war. The Others, attack in waves. After the first wave there were no lights. After the second wave, only the lucky survived. After the third, only the unlucky survived. When the fourth wave hit, the only rule that applies is; trust no one. The fifth wave is coming,and Cassie must rescue the little brother that was taken from her.

This book was a quintessential mix of mystery, drama, romance, humor and action. It makes sure that you know the feeling of the characters and their views on the situation. It is very interesting because it shows how even if you might be the only human alive in the universe, there is still hope. The author made sure to show that both men and women have equal power, which I thought was really cool. This is one of the few books that shows the equality between men and women. The intense circumstances may raise confusion, for example in one part of the book, Cassie is living with another person. Rick Yancey potrays her feelings as conflicted between safety and mistrust. While I was reading that part, I was very confused about whether that character was a good person or not. But as I moved through the next chapters, it became very clear.

I loved this book because of the humor, especially in the first few pages. It starts of hilarious and only gets better. I found it cool how the author mixed the humor and the action in a way that kept you on the edge, yet laughing at the same time.

I picked this book up because my friend, a great book lender, told me that this was my kind of book. She just handed it over and I thought, why not?

I kept reading this book because of its grip on the reader. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The mystery about what was to come and the humor was just capturing.

I would give this book to anyone who loves romance, mystery, war/action, aliens, sci-fi, humor or all. This is a great book which I think anyone with even the slightest interest in reading, would love.

Reviewed by Prathista


The Host by Stephenie Meyer


     Set in a world taken over by aliens, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, demonstrates the strong values of love and kindness that can be seen through “the Wanderer’s” interactions with the humans her host considers family. In this story, Meyer has woven an intricate web in which an alien species takes over the Earth. These aliens are silvery parasites who take over a host’s body in order to connect with others. These creatures keep coming until humans, the once dominant species, start to take refuge in obscure places to keep them from becoming a host themselves.

     This book explores the love triangle between Jared (a human), Melanie (a host), and the Wanderer (an alien). An alien is surgically placed into Melanie’s body; however, the doctor in charge of the operation did not get rid of Melanie completely. The alien inserted into Melanie calls itself, the Wanderer, because it changes bodies constantly. The Wanderer finds that Melanie can still project her thoughts and occasionally take control of her former body. At first, they are both wary of the other and are not okay with the arrangement they were forced into. However, the Wanderer gets assaulted by Melanie’s memories of Jared, a human boy she hid out with when they were running from the aliens. Once she realizes that Jared and other humans are alive, she decides to take her life into her own hands and help them.

     This book was definitely interesting because Meyer struggles to keep a strong female character throughout the book. Occasionally, she slips and the lead female suddenly goes from independent to completely reliant on the male characters. I was a little annoyed by this because I was hoping read a book without a girl who moped over two boys who left her for her own good. Thankfully, by the end of the book, the lead female makes her own choices and decides to take her fate into her own hands. Even though I didn’t agree with some parts of this book, I really liked it. It had a different vibe compared to Twilight. There was no melancholy teenager who was in love with the people who could possibly kill her, instead there was a teenager who stood up for the people she felt necessary to protect. This change was what made me like this book a lot more than the Twilight saga. I strongly recommend this book because it shows a lot of different themes such as: “Don’t judge people by the way they appear” and “Everyone has a little good in them.”

The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington

Summary: A construction worker, Toni V finds a water can while he was digging. Inside there was a diary that belongs to a girl named Pelly D. The construction workers are not allowed to keep what they find but he becomes curious and starts reading it. At the beginning, Pelly seems like a really shallow girl. She only cares about her image and popularity. One day, the place where she lived made gene testing/genetic testing mandatory and  the types of people were broken up into Atsumisi, Galrezi, and Mazzini. Atsumisi is the highest ranking and Galrezi is the lowest. Pelly discovers that she is a Galzeri along with everyone in her family except for her dad. Everything in her world changes. People at school who are in a higher rank start looking down on her and she loses all the great things she had. This was first an ordinary diary but soon becomes a war diary.

Why I picked it up: The dark cover and the font of the title caught my attention. Also the summary on the back did not give away much information so I became curious what it was about.

Why I kept reading it: The beginning was a little confusing for me but towards the end everything became more clear. Also I wanted to know the ending of the book.

Who would I give it to next: People who like war diaries and sci-fi. This book is pretty unrealistic with things being in the future, but it made me think that this could happen to anyone. Somethings like gene testing can change someone’s life completely and it was interesting to see how it happened.

Reviewed by Amy H.

The Colony by: A.J. Colucci

The colony cover imageSummary: The Colony was a book that I read outside, outside of my usual interests. The theme was pretty obvious, it was about a form of “super-ant” colony uprising and putting the world into a ant-plagued-apocalyptic state. Not usually my style, but if you enjoy bugs, ants, or a tale of Apocalypse like survival and prevail, then The Colony makes an excellent and suspenseful read. If you’re disturbed by images of ant waves engulfing and devouring people, I think this would make an EVEN better read.

Why I picked it up: It was a new book at the library, and it was recommended to me, but the reason I decided to accept it was because I am normally used to reading about zombie apocalypses or other sci-fi style waste lands, but never ants!

Why I kept reading: Well, the way the ants were described, was pretty eloquent, and the fact that the dialogue in the book is very rough and slang at times and “urban” (which I guess makes sense seeing as how the book takes place in new-york area). It was almost poetic how the attacks of the ants were described and how “their black armor glistened in the moonlight”. Plus the fact that, there were attack scenes to keep my interest.

Who would I give it to next: Anyone who is afraid of bugs. Specifically ants. To truly enjoy this book, it must inspire that fear, that fear of imagining many tiny insects nipping and stinging every square inch of your body. Well, most people don’t like that but if you truly despise bugs, this book would be the perfect horror!

Reviewed by: Nima A.