One Minute Rundown : Ghosts of Heaven (Marcus Sedgwick)

The Deets: 
Audience: older readers, YA
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781626721258
Publisher: January 6th 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
Genre: short stories
Source: e-ARC from Netgalley









The Ghosts of HeavenA bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession. 




 



Sometimes there are books that go beyond words. The Ghosts of Heaven is certainly one of those books.  

I honestly cannot even tell you what I thought of this book. It was both bizarre and poetic at the same time. I wanted to love and hate it instantaneously. So many emotions were stirred within these pages. 

I don't think I would consider this a light read. It's not fluffy by any means. I found myself reading one story at a time and pondering the events at each ending. When you read this book, don't come looking for happy endings either. You won't find them. Instead, you'll find humanity's darkest corners lurking. 

There is a lot to discuss in each story, and I could easily see this being a book club pick. Or, the stories could be used to spark a very interesting discussion on human nature. (I'm thinking in line with Lord of the Flies, here.)


Blog Tour for COUNTDOWN ZERO (The Codename Conspiracy #2) by Chris Rylander

The Deets: 

Audience: middle grades
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780062120113
Publisher:  February 3rd 2015 by Walden Pond Press
Genre: action/adventure
Source: publisher provided ARC in exchange for honest review





Countdown Zero (The Codename Conspiracy #2)From Chris Rylander, author of the breakout hit Fourth Stall saga, comes the second book in the Codename Conspiracy series, an incredibly funny and clever mash-up of middle grade school story and spy adventure.

Ever since Carson Fender was let go by the secret agency that had enlisted his services to help foil a nefarious plot perpetrated by one of their former agents, he's been back to hanging with his friends, pulling pranks, and not having to lie to everyone about how he's spending his days. And that's for the best, isn't it?

Of course, this was all before a note showed up in his school lunch, informing him that Agent Nineteen had three days left to live, and that there might still be someone inside the Agency working against them. Carson has always been able to rely on his friends--but what happens when there's no one left to trust?















In a nutshell The Codename Conspiracy series is James Bond for kids. It is packed with secret agents and double agents; plot twists and miscues; narrow escapes and plenty of peril. It is the perfect book for a reader that adores action and adventure.

Countdown Zero continues Carson's story from the first book in the series, Codename Zero. This time, however, he has to save on of his former partners. Danger lurks at every corner, and Carson has plenty of tough choices to make.

My biggest take away from the book was Carson himself. He was maturing at a rate that might have been a bit faster than his friends. Pranks were becoming childish, but yet he's still a kid. His double life creates many situations that he wishes to share with his friends. Unfortunately, he cannot do that because he doesn't want to endanger their lives. That leaves him a bit lonely and frustrated at times. I could appreciate his struggle. It's not easy carrying a secret that you want to share with those closest to you but can't. Anyone that has found themselves in that situation-- or one similar to it-- will be able to relate. You'll also be able to relate to Carson's voice. He is super witty and observant. I do not know what it's like to be a young boy, but I'd imagine his thoughts are spot on. The way he describes the people he encounters and the situations he finds himself in are hysterical. Of course, that could be because I have the sense of humor of a middle school student.

There is plenty to find in the books that will intrigue younger readers. If you have a fan of adventure stories that enjoys a likeable and believable (albeit a child spy) main character, definitely check out Countdown Zero.



Author Bio: 




Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall Saga and the Codename Conspiracy series.  A fan of brown shipping boxes turned on their sides, dance-offs to win a girl's heart, and rice, he lives in Chicago.  You can visit him online at www.chrisrylander.com and on Twitter






Oh, there is a giveaway too! I'll make it super easy to enter this one. :)
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