Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko Published in 1998 Andrew Bromfield Translation Pages: 455 Genre: Supernatural “The escalator crept along slowly, straining upward.” So begins a tale of Others; supernatural beings that range from magicians and shape-shifters, to vampires and werewolves. Sergei Lukyanenko’s 1998 novel, Night Watch, tells the story of a member of the Night […]

via Night Watch – Review — The Past Due Review

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Tears of Heaven

by R.A. McCandless

Review by Jacob Pelley

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Book Blurb

They obey, or they’ll be destroyed.

Normally, banishing a rogue demon back to Hell wouldn’t be a problem.  Del and Marrin have a few centuries of experience.  It’s all part of the job description.  But when Ahadiel orders them to take down three demons at the once the job goes from bad to worse.  The demons, with supernatural powers and their own agenda, have kidnapped children for their own nefarious ends.

With angels breathing down her neck, children to save, and demons gunning for her blood, Del is running out of time.

That’s exactly where she wants to be. (more…)

Day 98

Even with it  still running Mom kept us busy. Today in class we went over how to insert an IV again, splinting and  human anatomy. Then we cataloged and organized all the medical supplies for the medical station. After that we remade all the first aid kits and placed them in key spots around the camp. On foot in the rain to every corner of the camp. Once all that was done she ran a mock medical code. Mom made us do five full cycle of CPR each. Doing CPR is one of the most intense workouts ever!  Why can’t Mom give us a easy task. Good news the dummy made it. Then we spent the rest of the day making bread for everyone in camp. Dad did not check in at night. Mom tried for a good long while to reach him and only got static. From last night’s talk they should have reached the Gonzales today. I hope Dad is safe wherever he is. 

Day 97

There was a giant lighting storm today. Mom finally let us have a day off due to the weather. We got to play board games all day today. Will was able to kill the vampire strahd and the people of Barovia are safe for now. It got scary near the end and Courtney did a great job Dming. Beth is now hooked and wants to play another campaign. I think Will is a little more interested in Lily. Which I don’t like the idea of someone dating my sister. Though since Lily has recovered from being mauled she has been self conscious on her looks. Having someone pine over her has helped her with that a little. I think Will is going to stick with Dnd for a bit to, but only so he can be close to Lily.

 

Dad called in later that night. They made contact with the Gonzales and are in route to go pick them up. The charred attacked them again last night in numbers. Had it not been for the beasts gun turret they would have not made it. Dad kept cutting in and out because of the storm I think? The Gonzales are hiding out in one of the temp shelters that are along the way to the cabin. Fremont has them all over the place incase people get stuck and can’t make it to the cabin right away. I think I know the one they are at and that one is bug city. I can’t wait for them to finally be back here only a few more days! Now back to bed I am sure Mom is going to give us double chores tomorrow to make up for today.

Review Jacob Pelley
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Book Blurb

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite. . .

Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

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Settings

Modern Fantasy is one of my favorite settings when done right. This book did it right. It took the things we enjoy in the modern world and put them in a cabin like setting. The grounds of Fablehaven feel like that park you visited as a kid and always found something new about it. There was the safe area you parents told you to play in and when they were distracted had the fun adventurous parts. Brandon Mull does a excellent job  of world building while letting the reader still imagine what the world could look like. It feels like you could spend your whole life in Fablehaven and never see it all.

Main Characters

There are two Main characters and a host of support characters. Even though the story is around Seth Sorenson and his sister Kendra all the supporting characters are well done and relevant to the over all plot. If you have a high energy little boy in your life you can relate to Seth character easily. Kendra is a little dry, but will grow on you. She is the kid that never leaves the safe zone of the playground unless she knows for sure can get away with it. I feel like all the mistakes Seth makes in this book I would have made them too.

(more…)

96

Chopping wood is the worst thing ever! It wouldn’t have been so bad, but the wood splitter broke down. That is when mom pulled out  the mauls and we had to do it the real way. Dad, David and I had to this back at home, but doesn’t mean I liked it then. Mom, Lily and Courtney got the easy job of stacking wood in the shed. Will was here to help out while Dad is gone. He is in great shape so I thought it would go a lot better, but no. This was the first time he has ever chopped wood. Again another thing he has never done! I am so jealous of gridey life. Then again he lost almost everything when this disaster happened. The best part of today was when the girls were stacking the wood and found a snake. Courtney and Lily  both ran out of the woodshed screaming. Courtney I expected it from, but Lily was a surprise. Lily has chased down the charred, but was scared of a little old gopher snake. Mom chased the snake out so the work could finish. I was so sore I could barely move. At least that was all the chores for today.

 

Everyone was too sore and tried to play some DnD tonight. We got to watch some old movie in the mess hall with the other families here.  Mr. Mills put on the movie spaceballs. It was like a knock off of star wars, but boy was it funny. Mom checked in with Dad during the movie. I snuck away to listen in. They ran into a large group of the charred and Fremont was injured. Dad said that after that they made camp for the night to tend to him.. Tomorrow night they should be in the area of the last location the Gonzales. There is a chance they might find other survivors to. Which bring back more people than planned would be  like a present in this new world we live in.

95

It was raining when Dad left to go find the Gonzales.  I think it was the first time I have seen rain since this whole ordeal started.  Courtney was all tears watching him leave. Once you could no longer see them in the distance Courtney latched on to me and did not let go.  She crushed all the air out of my lungs with inhuman strength. Lily had to step in to break it up. Once she saw me go from bright red to blue.  Pretty sure Courtney bruised one of my ribs. Lily lead Courtney back inside the cabin. Mom had to go inside once Dad got into the Beast Brooke was a mess too.  I even saw a few tear from Lily. Going to be a lot of emotions in the cabin. I wanted to warn Will a head of time before he came over. Sure he has a sister, but only one sister.  He has never witnessed the storm emotion from three at once.

 

Jobs still needed to be done even though Dad was leaving and it was raining.  I managed to save Will from the estrogen onslaught once he arrived. Each person deals with stress in their own way.  Crying and a lot of hugging was not how I handled it, but it worked for my sisters. Today’s job would have been to cut some firewood, but I talked mom into letting us clean the kitchen in the mess hall. Little did Mom know is that I cleaned most of it already. Giving Will and I some free time after we finished what was left.  The mess hall has a large screen tv and a few arcade games cabinets in it. We got a few hours of goofing off in and none was the wiser.

 

Will and I headed  back to our cabin in the early afternoon.  Mom and Lily cooked dinner which was fantastic.  Courtney, Brooke and Beth baked a large cake for dessert.  Everyone seem to be over this mornings ordeal. While we ate Courtney went of the basics on how to play DnD with Will and Beth.  Then later in the evening Olivia and Megan came over. Will got strong armed into playing a fighter while Beth the cleric. We played long into the night until Mom broke up the fun. Tomorrow was still a school day and that stack of firewood still needed to be chopped.  Mom checked in with Dad once everyone left. It seems everything is going to plan on their end. The rescue party should reach the spot where the Gonzales last checked in sooner than expected. I still have a bad feeling about them being out with all those charred. Who knows how bad things have gotten close to the main city.

 

 

World War Z:
An oral history of the zombie war
By Max Brooks
 Review by Jacob Pelley
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Book Blurb

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years. (more…)

Day 94

I guess  getting back to a normal life will have to wait again.  The charred attack a last night. They injured two people bad enough that surgery was needed.  I don’t know the people that were attacked, but Dad seems upset about it. Where do these things keep coming from?  To make things worse the Gonzales have still not checked in and a search party is being formed to go look for them. The beast is back to running shape again and Dad volunteered to drive.  Mom was not happy with that. I didn’t think a person face could turn that color when she found out. In total six people will be leaving to try and track them down. Dad, Mr and Mr.s Robinson, Fremont, Miller and Mr.Jack.  Miller is a retired US marine and one of the nicest people in the world. Mr.jack is the second in command of security and is not a fan of kids.

 

The plan is to go where the Gonzalez last checked in and try to track them down.    Their route was the back road that I am really really thankful we didn’t take. It is way to windy for my stomach.  The trip there and back should only take a week, so Mom will be incharge while Dad is gone. Which isn’t she always incharges anyways?  Cars have been know to break down on that route, so I hope that is all that happened. Though that was before the charred. When we broke down the longer we stay put the more we were attacked.  Will and Beth will be staying with us while the Robinsons are gone. At least there was that good news. Though having Beth stay the night might be a bit challenging. I still don’t know who read my journal, but I am sure my crush on her will be brought up sometime this week.  Courtney is going to start a D&D campaign tomorrow night. Can you believe both Will and Beth have never played before. Megan and Olivia are going to join us to! At least there will be something to take my mind off Dad being gone. For their first campaign Courtney is going to run Ravenloft.  Will and Beth are in for a treat! Now to get some rest. Because even though Dad is leaving doesn’t mean I will get to sleep in tomorrow.

Journal Entry Day 93

The last two weeks  have been normal. Other than the purple colored sky and having to live in a old summer camp. Will and Beth started to join us on our home schooling. The Robinson’s are needed elsewhere, so Mom took over their training. I was surprising what they didn’t know. Like how to splint a broken arm or how to filter water. To be fair everyone struggles their first time trying to make a fire with just sticks and no matches. Mom definitely kept us busy. We learned  to make soap, aspirin from willow bark and how to make a bow. Also the boring stuff like math, book reports, learning latin and some PE. mens sana in corpore sano!

On the job training has gotten a little better. I  followed Dad for a few days, learning on how to repair the solar panels. It was a lot of setup, but these things need to run for a long time. Dad was strict on me, but it was to make me understand the importance of the job. On the last day of following Dad we had to repair main refrigerator for the cafeteria. A rat got inside the wiring and shorted it out. While it was down Dad decided it was a good time to do the yearly maintenance. I didn’t get back to our cabin until almost morning. Then they made me get up early for school the next day to! At least it has been quiet around the cabin. The charred have not attack in days. Only one more family has shown up and the Gonzales are overdue to check in. Though with the way the roads are they should be here eventually. Them not checking in the last couple of days has not sat well with Mom and Dad though. There are talks of sending a rescue party to go find them. Using the route they last check in on. I hope I don’t get volunteered for that.