The Children of Swan: The Land of Taron by Coral Walker

It’s another adventure that sci-fi fans should not miss. Children of Swan is indeed an awesome read.

REVIEW

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What is it about?

Jack awoke one morning with his sister Brianna pounding on his door to tell him their mom and dad are missing. Much to his surprise, his parents’ bedroom are left with no trace – no bed, no furniture, nothing. So they decided to report the incident to the police and soon, Jack and Brianna, along with their little brother, Bo, find themselves being hauled away by the social services. Only they were brought in a strange facility where they learned the truth about their parents – they were from the land of Taron and was never really Earth inhabitants.

What I Think About It

The “parents are missing” part of the book reminded me of one of R.L. Stine’s YA novel, Missing (I must be reading quite a lot) and since I am R.L. Stine’s big fan, I went under the impression that The Children of Swan is going to be as impressive. Well, my first impression lasted. I like the super creative imagination of the author, like the Land of Skorpias, the Wona woman with mystical superpowers, and two teenagers whose parents are actually coming from a different planet. The entire universe is just too big and I can’t help but think that maybe, everything that’s been mentioned in the book are totally possible.  Jack and Brianna’s situation is unimaginable though. In real life, I mean, how can you possibly accept the fact that your parents are alien?  Are they considered humans?

Recommendation:

Sci-fi fans out there, do not miss this gem! You have to read this for that another superb space adventure.

(This review also appeared in Amazon.)

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Shock Collar by Darren Van Gramberg

Shock Collar is the second installment of Trauma Baby which is a trilogy by Darren Van Gramberg. In this second book, we are taken in the further realms of David’s deep and intellectual thinking.

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What Is It About?

After what happened between David and Isaac which left Lucy in a coma, they were being sent to juvenile jail. David was assigned to Manrazor, a juvenile prison which is known as the place for the most delinquent of all. There he meets the different kinds of juvenile delinquents, a pretty therapist and a woman from his past that would help him figure out what to do once he gets out of jail.

What I Think About It?

The setting strongly reminds me of Last Night I Sang to the Monster, most probably because of the jail, and also because of how the author narrates from David’s point of view. It seems to me that the children in Manrazor are all well taken care of, considering that they are in jail. Imagine a good set of meals three times a day, a place to sleep and to shower plus monetary allowance – if I am a teenage recluse, I may just want to commit a crime and be brought to prison than stay out cold and hungry! 😂 But this is not what David expected. People should be harsh and misbehaved, considering that he’s with kids who supposedly committed crimes. He eyed some potential bullies, like Frank and Antonio, both of whom he made peace in the end. He didn’t fully rest though, in finding out who’s behind the “tax collection” among the inmates.

Being in prison gave David the time to contemplate about his life, and h even considered his future once he got out. With the help of the young therapist Emma and his former teacher Ms. Ellison, he was able to map out what he was going to do. Certainly, fiction or not, this only signifies that all of us deserves second chances. I can’t wait for the final installment and see what happens with him and Lucy.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDATION:

This book could be your bedside table read. You won’t even know you have to read a prequel in order to follow through which I think is fantastic. I think this is something that should be asked to be read by students in school.

Get it from Amazon for $0.99.

Trauma Baby by Darren Van Gramberg

Young adult books were my favorite genre back in 2015. I don’t read much of them anymore thee days, though I still have a lot of them in my stash. Reading Trauma Baby somehow reminded me why I liked them in the first place.

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REVIEW

What is it about?

David is surrounded by naughty school girls his age – bullying is just one of the many mischiefs they do. Though he does not completely agree with what they do, he just watches them play with other people in and out school, including even him. While he needs to avoid getting himself into trouble (having been admitted to foster care and having committed an offense the previous school year), a new girl comes in to the scene catching his interest. As David finds himself being attracted to the girl more and more, he must decide to sever ties with his friends to protect her – or not.

What I think about it. 

The story was captivating and caught my interest big time. I think it had me at “hemophilia”. Delilah was this classic bitch you see walking down the school corridor looking like she owns the world. Well, it wasn’t how she was described in the book but I imagined her that way anyway. When Samuel pops up, I feel like I am reading a story specifically intended for middle-schoolers, and so with Megan. There were lots of elements in the story that I had to figure out myself because they were not given proper or maybe deeper emphasis in the book.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I was looking for a deeper connection from David to me, as the reader. When I read books, I usually feel what the character feels, like I am being put directly into the scene. It could have been better if David talked about more about his pain over his mother’s death. Or maybe a bit of remorse when he learned that one of his friends died. And I was expecting more anguish when he learned what happened to Lucy.

I loved the story – it was definitely something that brought me to the realms of teenage angst and high school survival. But of course, it could have been better if I was able to connect more to the characters.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDATION:

If you are a teenager that normally deals with high school trouble, or parent that needs to understand more of your teenage son/daughter, then I highly recommend this book for you to read.

Get it from Amazon at $0.99.

(This review also appeared in Amazon)