- Nyxia by Scott Rientgen.
- Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie.
- The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell.
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. (Review by Mark O’Brien)
In the not-so-distance future, Babel Communications dominates the world of business. The multi-billion dollar company swallowed Google in 2036 and has been the Goliath of space travel for decades. After discovering the existence of a habitable planet 63 years ago, Babel decided to keep their discovery secret. The best kept secret in the world, or the more precisely, the galaxy has finally been revealed after a world-wide recruitment of young astronauts to travel to the new planet.
The planet was called Eden, after God’s paradise. A new hope for humanity, Eden is rich in resources and can fully sustain human life. It even has its own species, aliens if you will.
Ten young astronauts around the age of 15 were recruited to travel to the new planet for reasons they were not told till they signed their names across a dotted line. Why does Babel want to send adolescents to Eden? How developed are Eden’s species? Babel, is not all what it seems, infested with secrets and lies, Babel will do anything to succeed in becoming the most powerful company in the galaxy.
Emmett, an american teen was one of the recruited candidates. He doesn’t come from privilege or money, his dad works three jobs to put food on the table and his mom has been ill for quite some time.
TEEN RATING: If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be ‘diverse’. One of the most outstanding books that I’ve ever read, Nyxia is a must read for fans of The Maze Runner and Ender’s Game. Nyxia’s characters are diverse and feel real, I felt joy and sadness for Emmett and the rest of the recruits. Tense, exciting and immersive, Nyxia is definitely one of my favourite science fiction books. 4.8/5 11+
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. (Review by Mark O’Brien)
As the sun rises, passengers on the Orient Express clamber out of their beds and realize that something is not right. The train has been stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. During breakfast, Detecive Hercule Poirot is called to the dining-car. Upon his arrival in the carriage he is told of the murder of one of the passengers on the train. Dr Constantine believes the death occurred between the hours of midnight and 2 a.m. However, at this time the train had come to a standstill due to the snowdrift. The victim was found in his room stabbed a dozen times with the door locked from the inside. Poirot immediately comes to the first of many conclusions, “The murderer is with us – on the train now…”. Every passenger is a suspect; old or young, wealthy or poor. The train appears to have little chance of advancing on its course anytime soon; Poirot must discover the identity of the murderer before he or she strikes again. With no way to access the outside world, Poirot must use sheer skill and deduction to catch the murderer. Poirot’s interrogations of the passengers uncover unnerving secrets both of the passengers and of the victim. Who aboard the Orient Express is a murderer? Why was the victim killed? And perhaps most importantly; will they strike again?
Teen Rating: Ingenious, Murder on the Orient Express is a must-read for fans of murder mysteries. 4.6/5 12+
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. (Review by Cianán Martin)
Travelling back to 1923, to steal an invaluable jewel from the most secure safe available on the market in the 1920’s, is a no brainer for Esta, a trained thief and a picklock but, best of all, a time-traveller. Her partly natural, partly artefact induced powers are what allows her to slip in undetected and steal literally whatever she may want from under people’s very noses. Yet as much as jumping from one time period to the next is a part of her everyday life, coming back to see nothing much changed and her friends, which probably feel like family to her, still alive and well, why, if ever, would she have suspected that a simple mishap on one of Professor Lachlan’s carefully selected targets, would lead to the nonexistence of Mari, her lifelong friend? Or that the very artefact which allows her to channel her powers would simply disintegrate upon her arrival in the time period of her latest assignment? An assignment, which if The Professor is correct about, which he usually ends up being, could be the most important she’d embarked on to date and which could ultimately decide the fate of the entire magical people, her people, The Mageus.
This is why Esta can not afford to be distracted, even by her latest target, The Last Magician. No matter how enticing or refined The Last Magician may seem, Esta must keep her head in the game and can not afford to lose focus on the her most important objective of this mission, obtaining a book of mere legend, The Ars Arcana. She must do so before he steals it during a raid . With it’s secrets, Esta, along with the help of The Professor and the rest of the crew, could take down the ever-present barrier which surrounds Manhattan, preventing any Mageus who’ve ever entered into Manhattan, from leaving… well still alive that is! In order to do this Esta must steal The Ars Arcana from the very people who claim to have created the barrier and to do so during the height of their power. Otherwise The Ars Arcana will be lost forever and any hope of freedom lost with it… No pressure!
Teen Rating: A witty, action packed adventure, which doesn’t allow you even a single second to put the book down. All in all a magical read (please excuse the pun). 4.8/5 13+