Thursday, 28 February 2013

Metawars - Fight For The Future by Jeff Norton

Metawars: Fight for the Future is a story about a boy named Jonah Delacroix who lives in a dystopian future where, due to immense technological advances, he can not only spend his time in the real world, but in a virtual one too!  Although Jonah finds the virtual world better than real life, it is not perfect, with two opposing sides, the Guardians and the Millennials, fighting over control of it.  Jonah has never doubted his allegiance in this war, having suffered extreme loss because of it.  But one day, in the basement of the family shop, he makes a surprising discovery, which forces him to reconsider his ideas and become involved in the huge conflict.
I thought the concept of having a virtual world considered far superior to reality was a very clever idea, as many people are already addicted to technology today.  The elements of economic collapse and climate change make this a realistic interpretation of how the world could be in many years to come.  Another concept I liked was “uploading,” in effect a form of suicide- your being and memories are uploaded onto the virtual world, where they stay forever.  Norton uses dramatic irony well throughout the book, giving the reader an idea of how both sides are progressing.
Although this book did have an excellent setting, I didn’t find it as exciting as I’d hoped, since it took a lot of the book to get to the climax.  I would have liked more scenes in which the two protagonists took control of their situations, because those were the scenes which I enjoyed the most.  I would also have liked to find out more about the two protagonists, in order to be able to relate with them more.
I would give this book 3/5.  

Review written by Caroline Carter, Year 10.   Thank you to Jeff Norton for sending us a copy to read.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer

“Romeo and Juliet meets Twilight by way of the Godfather” is how the Guardian describes the first book in the Arcadia Trilogy by the best-selling and award-winning German author, Kai Meyer, whose other works include the Wave Runners Trilogy.

Though from the beginning of the book, including the blurb, themes aimed at teenage girls were presented, I still saw it as appealing to both genders, the “Romeo and Juliet” of the novel’s romance not taking an integral role in the plot line, yet nevertheless dipping in and out of the storyline to complicate matters and to generally wreak emotional havoc. The part that I saw to appeal to boys more was how Meyer wove in the Mafia families of Sicily, a few flecks of doubtful mysteriousness and the occasional dollop of casual violence in gang fights between the main character’s families.

Some may liken this book to Twilight  spouting that it’s the same except they’ve all got supernatural powers (spoiler alert! though if you’re smart enough you’ll guess by the blurb). Whilst it can be compared to Romeo and Juliet slightly and only because of the main character’s situation, Arcadia Awakens can only be compared to the wrist-slitting read of Twilight by what Stephanie Meyer should have done, lessening the theme of romance for the sake of a better book, Kai Meyer (no relation) being arguably the better Meyer.

The book follows main character teenager Rosa Alcantara as she escapes her life in New York to stay with family in Sicily. However, little does she know as she stumbles into the sinister Mafia underworld that the Alcantara clan has surrounded itself in, rivalries and corruption running deep in the clan’s relationships with one another. And as she arrives she encounters mysterious stranger Alessandro, soon to become enemy as he is about to become capo of the Carnevare clan, though bitter and hateful uncle, Cesare, stands in the way of his inheritance. And at the heart of it all sits the ancient myths and legends of the once-mighty island empire of Arcadia, its people cursed by the old gods themselves to walk as both man and beast.

Review written by Rory Hawkins, Year 10.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Creative Writing: Last and First by Rory Hawkins

This blog is not just a celebration of reading, but also somewhere we can showcase some of the creative writing that is produced at Charters School. This piece is by Rory Hawkins in Year 10, a member of the school's Creative Writing group.

If you find it easier to read as a PDF then you can download it to your computer by clicking here.