DEC Scan Journal : February 2012
84 JINKS, Catherine The paradise trap Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2011 (Crows Nest) ISBN 9781742375748 In this story of adventure and fantasy, Marcus, the 11 year old protagonist, declares that the real world is not as good as a fake world. His words are prophetic as the Bradshaws and Huckstepps are drawn into the dangerous world of Miss Mople. With allusions to computer games and Greek mythology, the characters soon realise that dreams and fantasies can turn into nightmares. This is an action-packed, plot driven story, as the incum- bents face a rogue fairground, Diamond Bay, a sinking ship, and an airport terminal, all potentially life threaten- ing environments. For the reader, there are the concepts of reality versus virtual reality, irony, and good versus evil to be explored. The characters themselves are not well developed, but are the vehicles of the action. Readers who enjoy fantasy and action with unexpected plots twists will find this an exciting read. B. Hull USER LEVEL: Stage 3 Stage 4 Paper $15.99 SCIS 1512591 KLUVER, Cayla Legacy Allen & Unwin, NSW, 2011 (Crows Nest) ISBN 9781742372402 With its Medieval setting, this novel spans the romance and adventure genres. The kingdoms of patriarchal Hytanica and matriarchal Cokyia are at war, the reasons for which are long buried in the past. Princess Alera has to face the prospect of marriage to Steldor, as her role in the kingdom requires. She also encounters Kyern, to whom she is attracted. Alera begins to challenge her society's expecta- tions. The book explores the themes of family, duty, loyalty and love. Kluver has established the juxtaposi- tion of two societies' beliefs and customs, and posed questions that will no doubt be answered in the sequels. The plot is suspenseful and the reader is left wondering about the fate of the well developed characters. At times the descriptive passages, such as those of the palace rooms, can be excessively wordy. This is a book that would be enjoyed by readers who have a penchant for historical, romance or adventure novels. B. Hull USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Paper $19.99 SCIS 1491765 MEAD, Richelle Vampire academy: a graphic novel Razor Bill, Vic, 2011 ISBN 9781921518997 Based on the first book in an extensive vampire series by Richelle Mead, this richly coloured, glossy graphic novel captures the intrigue and suspense surrounding the inmates of the academy. Feisty Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, part human and part vampire, and is dedicated to protecting her best friend Lissa Dragomir from the fierce strogoi vampires. This volume reveals the significant characters, their talents, problems, and fears. Conveyed predominantly through skilful artwork and irregular panel layouts, the tale is fast moving. Written text is brief and much of the exposition is embedded in the facial expressions and body language. The use of caption boxes for Rose's inner dialogue is disconcerting as it breaks the fluidity of the visu-verbal text which can be compelling at times. Implicit and explicit sexuality and strong language pitch the publication at mature readers. While there is an interesting blend of manga and Western comic styles in this graphic novel, the story is somewhat clich d and uninspiring. C. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 6 Paper $16.95 SCIS 1520953 The Penguin book of Victorian women in crime: forgotten cops and private eyes from the time of Sherlock Holmes / edited by Michael Sims. Penguin Group (USA) Inc, 2011 ISBN 9780143106210 Despite the lack of actual female detectives during the Victorian era, this exceptional collection of eleven short stories places women and their crime fighting exploits at its heart. The stories are products of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Each protagonist is a feisty, sassy woman who always manages to solve the crime. Readers can delight in the disguises employed by Loveday Brooke, or revel in the sleuthing of Dorcas Dene, Violet Strange and others. Alongside the stories, a comprehensive introduction offers insight into the emergence of detective fiction and the role of women within it. A helpful list of suggested readings, including websites, is an interesting addition. This versatile anthology would be a most worthy reference for Extension English 1, particularly in support of the Crime writing elective. H. Gardiner USER LEVEL: Stage 5 Stage 6 KLA: English SYLLABUS: English 7--10; English Stage 6 Paper $19.95 SCIS 1497638 PIERCE, Tamora Tortall and other lands: a collection of tales Omnibus, SA, 2011 ISBN 9781862919167 For those who enjoy the fantasy genre, this collection of eleven new and old tales set in the land of Tortall is sure to please. Fans of the author's previous works will recognise a number of the characters in these stories. Please be aware that the price of a text may change between the time we receive the resource and the publication of the resource review. Prices include GST.