Alex and the Other

March 28, 2018

Alex and the otherAlex and The Other by Philippa Dowding

illustrated by Shawna Daigle

Published by: Dundurn Press, c2018; 137p. [ARC]         Series: Weird stories gone wrong     

From back cover:
“Beware the haunted bathroom mirror. Beware strangers in overcoats and dark glasses. But most of all, Beware The Other…..”

Alex and The Other is the fourth installment in Philippa Dowding’ spooky series “Weird stories gone wrong“.  This series is like a mash-up of the TV shows ‘Urban Legends’ and ‘Ghost Adventures’! Every tale is filled with heart-stopping pauses, thrilling psychological twists, yet each of the central characters has a unique humanness to them… and the character of Alex is no exception.

Alex is a loner and likes to stay to himself. This penchant for solitude has him seeking out the only place in school that he can be alone and that is the supposedly haunted boys bathroom. His retreat to this basement refuge is disrupted by an unexpected occurrence after looking at his reflection in the mirror. Fear and confusion start to seep into his psyche bit by bit, and he begins to wonder if  he would know if he was going crazy or not! Then green fog, strange voices, infiltrate his hideaway and an overpowering fright launches him running home. Once again, Alex is left questioning if this was all his imagination or not. Then Alex meets The Other and the struggles with himself, begin in earnest.

Author Philppa Dowding has created a narrative that is gripping page-turner where readers will be engaged and mesmerized from beginning to end!

Every school library should have this series and reluctant readers will vanish!

I cannot wait to read her next installment in this series!

Highly Recommended for grades 4-7!     Five Stars
five-stars

 

 

 

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End of Days by Max Turner

March 27, 2011

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312592523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312592523
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  • Turner’s runaway hit Nightrunner is followed by this action-packed sequel and enough of the first novel is intertwined and disclosed within these pages that this title can be read as a stand alone book.This book continues where the first left off, with Zach Thompson and his two friends, Charlie and Luna all trying to come to terms with being  vampires and all the changes and implications that this transformation has brought into their lives. After attending a rave-like dance, Zach and Charlie become part of an altercation and have to run for their lives. It is while they are on the run that they witness a strange wolf-like creature making short work of the vampire that was chasing them.  It is this mysterious creature that begins a systematic dismantling of the network of support that enables Charlie and others like him to survive, which throws the “underground” into chaos. As the turmoil around them increases , Zach and Charlie are forced to hide, and stumble upon an ancient prophecy that hints at the “End of Days”. Zach takes it upon himself to find out answers and with the help and courage of his friends begins on this path of good at a time when it seems only the ruthless can survive.I truly like the plotline of this story and found that the characters were well developed and that the relationship between Zach and Luna was also blooming.  The reaction of Charlie to his transformation into a vampire was also different…much more human in his anger, resentment and rebellion at being a vampire…just realizing what he has lost in becoming a vampire. This is an action-packed urban thriller that I think will appeal to young adult readers!
  • Reading  ability:  Grade 7,8, 9

    Genre: Supernatural urban-fantasy thriller

    Who would like this book?

    Readers of books like: The Darkest Powers series by Kelly Armstrong;  Deception by Lee Nichols;  Angel ( Maxium Ride 7 ) by James Patterson

    http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780312592523&m_type=6#widget


    Night Runner by Max Turner

    November 25, 2010

    Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level:   Q      Grade Level:   5-7  

    Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure/Horror

      Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available  at  Classroom Support Centre

    Red Maple Nominee 2010 ,  261   pages

    “Orphaned Zach lives in the hospital, a friend (Charlie) and an allergy he never questioned…until a stranger broke in and told him to run.” http://accessola.com/forest2010/redmaple/rm5/about.php

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    Review by Karen:

    When I first saw the cover of this book….I hesitated to pick it up…..but was immediately swept into Zack Thomson’s strange life at the Nicholl’s Ward.  This debut book by Canadian author Max Turner is definitely a new spin on an old theme that is currently sweeping Young adult fiction…vampires.

    Zach’s story is told in the first person. His use of  short sentences both in narration and dialogue result in a plot line full of fast paced action, suspense, danger and adventure.  This has definite appeal for boys, but teenage girls will also enjoy the thrill of danger — who can resist the combination of an unconventional young vampire making a break for freedom from the police, being hunted by vampires and vampire hunters that are on his trail?

    Highly recommended!!!

    Book two: End of Days by Max Turner


    The Fallen (and Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski

    August 5, 2010

    The stark simplicity of the black and white photo and the singular title is what captured my attention as I scanned the book racks looking for another interesting read….a quest for redemption and a mystery… to me this became an irresistable combination and a must have read!  I was NOT to be disappointed!!

    The Fallen 1 and Leviathan are the  first two books in a four- book series by author Thomas Sniegoski.

    Usually I am a little leary of books that have angels in the forefront….but this author truly surprised me !   The angels in these series of four books are like no angels that I had ever read about.   Angel mythology and prophecies…and very potent combination in my opinion!    

    As an onlooker you see how over time human vices such as jealousy, prejudice, indecision, anger impact upon the ‘Fallen Angels’ and this then sets the stage for conflict and possible resolution. 

    Orphaned since birth, Aaron Corbet has finely found a measure of security with the Stanleys and their autistic son Stevie.    Aaron has just turned 18 and is plagued by intense, vivid and often violent dreams — that upon waking leave him disturbed and shaking.  It is the power of these unsettling dreams that have Aaron begin to question  his sanity and he tries to dismiss the heavy foreboding feelings that begin to plague him.  He wants to confide in someone, like Vilma the cute girl in his class, but his fears keep him silent.  He copes by working at his after school job, the  West Lynn Veterinary Hospital and talking to Gabriel, his attention craving yellow retriever. Then two  mysterious strangers approach him, telling him that he has a destiny like no one else…. that he is the chosen one …  the one that was prophesied  millenia ago…that his role will be as a liaison between angels, mortals, and Powers both good and evil ….  it is not a destiny that he wants and he fights to remain a normal teenager! 

     Sniegoski skillfully keeps this wonderful  plot moving by sprinkling great action scenes throughout.  I was really connecting with Aaron and Gabe and definately ‘boooing’ Verchiel, the angel that put himself incharge of hunting Aaron down.  I am very glad that I had the the two-in-one version of the book — and am almost finished with the second two-in-one “ The Fallen 2 : Aerie and Reckoning “!   

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants  to read about angels in another light… so to speak!!

    Author Wedsitehttp://www.sniegoski.com/fallen/

    Added Reviews and discussions:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7171880-the-fallen-2