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Theodore Boone
John Grisham
Progress: 70/270 pages
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 54/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages
Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist
Richard Dawkins

Dolly Parton Gives The Gift Of Literacy: A Library Of 100 Million Books

A gift of books for children is a great idea.

Reading progress update: I've read 70 out of 270 pages.

Theodore Boone - John Grisham

Young Theo like to be a lawyer like his parents. 


He has a small office at the law office with outdated law books that his parents firm thrown out. 


And he gave advise to his classmate. 


There is a trial coming up. A man was accused of killing his wife.  A field trip is being organized to allow students to see a criminal trial taking place. 



Not book related post: Sashimi art

I like eatable art. 








Ethan got kidnapped to catch a real bad guy

Terminal Velocity - Andy McNab

The team is trying to infiltrate an illegal underage cage fighting ring that kidnapped street kids and force them to fight to their death. 


Johnny was supposed to be the one who got kidnapped. He got hurt and Ethan took his place. The tracker in Ethan got lost and now he was on his own.


The plot is a bit too much as responsible adults in MI5 to put teenager at risk. 


A much better way is to capture anyone who try to kidnap them and take them into custody. 


Anyway, the plot go on with Ethan escape and then try to get intelligent from the site of his captivity. 


Too outrageous and less fun.  



Ethan is a teenage skydiver

DropZone - Andy McNab

Skydiving is kind of awesome. Dropping from thousand feet and open canopy in three thousand feet to a drop zone is also pretty good. 


The whole book is mostly about a 17 year old escaping from a dysfunctional home. He is working a part time job at a sky diving shop. One advantage is that he got free sky diving lesson for free.


He loves it.


So his boss Sam gifted him with a free course in skydiving. 


He did really well. 


He then found out his fellow coworker Johnny, Luke, Kat are all part of a teen sky diving team for the MI5. 


The story told with the perspective of a teenager who need an escape from his home situation, and accidentally pumped into an opportunity to be working for the good guy, the government to do dangerous task.


The sky diving part exercise bit is pretty good. The no weapon part of the mission is pretty good too. It is not plot driven enough as most of the focus is on how to do sky diving. 


Going to read the second one after this. 


4 stars read as it hit the right spot for teenagers. 



Jack Jr joined the training camp

The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy

Jack Jr was recruited to join a training camp for black op assassins. 


His cousins, the twins are joining the same camp.


The setup take over half the book and there is very little tension or happening. 


The bad guys were terrorists who have coordinated attack in shopping malls. The twins run into one team of terrorists and able to stop them in the middle and reduced the total body bags count. 


Jack Jr is doing forensic accounting to see who is funding these terrorist acts.


The whole book is as dull as blank paper towel. It is functioning and logical, yet lack texture or anything interesting or meaningful.


The only interesting bit is when they talked about other black op operative that is more or less psychopath that could kill and sleep well after killing on order without knowing the full details on how they are so sure that this is the bad guys. 


For a long time, I was looking for a twist. That Jack Jr was an undercover agent to go into this secret camp to shut it down. No such lack. So 2.5 stars for being okay written. 


Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 640 pages.

The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy

The son of Jack Ryan is now a fine young man who is being actively recruited into a black op government agency. 


Still not seeing where this is going. 


Some other characters also introduced, and most likely to be Jack's coworkers. 


Image result for where is this going gif

The Old Ones has turned Hong Kong into a Necropolis

Necropolis (The Power of Five, #4) - Anthony Horowitz

The book is reflecting what is happening in Hong Kong.

The Old Ones, the evil China government is poisoning the Hong Kong air and slowly killing off seven million Hong Kong people, turning some as slaves while killing their spirits by violating their rights. 


Of course, the book is about another type of evil. But it is close to the truth. 


Scar was kidnapped. The one who betrayed her is her loved one. 


Matt and Jamie are on their way to Hong Kong to save her. 


But Matt got captured too.


The story is pretty good, and it is pretty dark with children have to find help in the strangest of places, like the triad. 


Not a bad read. The places in Hong Kong that were mentioned were mostly tourist attractions. Don't matter. Hong Kong is a small place, and if it is a movie, it would be pretty. 


4 stars solid read. 

Jamie and Scott are two of the Five

Nightrise - Anthony Horowitz

Jamie and Scott are twins. 


They got a birthmark that looks like a tattoo.


Jamie and Scott were under an abusive man Dan White who forced them to participate in a circus. 


Their performance is not a trick. Jamie and Scott is telepathically connected. 


So someone want to kidnap them. Scott got caught while Jamie escaped. 


Jamie met a woman who has a missing son Daniel. Daniel also has power. 


The rest of the story is how Jamie trying to find Scott. 


But wait. 


In the middle when Jamie got hurt, like a bullet entered the body kind of hurt, he dreamed of another world.


This world has 5 special children. These children are the Five many years ago. 


He got into this world because one of the five is dead. And he is the replacement. 


Things go really weird. 


It is a teenagers saving the world kind of book. 


The first book introduce Matt

The second book introduce Pedro

The third book introduce Jamie and Scott 


Continue reading to Book Four. 


4 stars solid read. 


Reading progress update: I've read 309 out of 400 pages.

Nightrise - Anthony Horowitz

Jamie is one of the five. 


When he found out that his brother is in juvenile detention center he tried to get in to free his brother. 


He found another boy. And they did try to escape. 


Then the change of scenery. He was walking in his dream where the other three met him and  fight against the great evil one.


The plot is simple. What is unclear is where he is, or is this a dream or is this the reality. 


Pretty fast read for a thick book. 

Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 368 pages.

Nightrise - Anthony Horowitz

Jamie and Scott are twin brothers. They fall through the gap of the social welfare system and found a bad person Don White as their guardian. He abused them and forced them to perform in his so-called circus. 


The show include Jamie asked for audience item and Scott could tell what it is even if he wore a blindfold. 


The twin could talk to each other in their minds. 


Don White sold them out to some strangers for money. 


Scott got kidnapped while Jamie escape with one of the audience. 


Jamie goal is to find Scott. 


Interesting. As bit surprise that this book has no mention of Matt or Pedro. 

Matt get into trouble in Peru and found one of the five

Evil Star - Anthony Horowitz

Matt was in school and he got into trouble with kids bullying him.


School children are so mean. 


Then, he got into serious trouble when his witch persuaded horrible aunt tried to kill him and many other children. 


So he got out of school. Nexus heard of a book of prophecy and want him to meet the book seller. 


He was on his way to Peru. Only to almost got kidnapped on his way to meet on of the Nexus guy. 


Matt was alone as he got separated with Richard. 


He met a kid Pedro and helped him.


Now he found out that he could talk to Pedro in his dream. Someone is trying to do something evil based on the knowledge from the book.


Matt is running around to find a way home. In the meantime, he found out more on the second gate that is going to be opened soon.


A deformed rich guy is funding this evil plan and also trying to kill Matt. 


The story is fine and the running around on his own part is kind of kid fantasy. It is nice enough to have people to help. so it would not be too dark.


The evil persons stay evil. It is kind of strange to think what is the rich guy motivation for doing this evil plan. 


Still, good enough to read the next one of the list. 


4 stars solid read. 

What in God's Name: A Novel - Simon Rich

New TV series that I would looking forwards to. Based on Simon Rich's book "What's in god's name'. 


Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 320 pages.

Evil Star - Anthony Horowitz

Matt is in a new school and got bullied. 


Words got out that he has troubled with the police before. 


Now, there is an incident at school. Someone bullied him and he reacted supernaturally. He has no control over his power yet. 


So he got even more trouble.


When he was back to school, he felt his power coming on. 


So why? 


The plot to kill him is on the way, and it is going to kill his school mates as collateral damage.


It is similar plot of reluctant hero. 


Still pretty readable and engaging. 


Orphan with power series book one

Raven's Gate - Anthony Horowitz

Matt lost his parents at age of 9 and lived with his mother's half sister who only after his inheritance. 


He was being neglected and not being taken care of by his aunt and now he got into trouble with a friend who broke into a warehouse and got caught by a security guard. This is not the worst. Worst is that this friend stabbed the guard and now they were in really serious trouble.


He was sent away into a LEAF problem that supposed to put children in facility instead of detention center. Even the police admit this is politics and not really working.


The new guardian was a horrible woman, with a lot of hints that even a young reader could get that she is villain. 


He was brought into the country side where he was put to work on hard labor without even a chance to go to school. 


Things get even worst. 


The new guardian has dark plan for Matt. 


Now back to Matt. He was a special child who were unhappy given that he lost his parents and no one care for him. Worst, he was haunted by nightmares where the nightmares would become reality. 


Yes. Matt has premonition about the future. He now has a new mystery. What is Raven Gate. It is in the book title so it must be important to the plot. 


He tried to runaway in the night only to be lost in the wood that he was in. 


He met with a strange farmer who is willing to help. He found another journalist Richard who thought he is a nutcase.  


The book is fast pace and Matt is in enough trouble that it is nature for the readers to feel sorry for this boy. 


I like this one. It is not the best work as the story is a bit predicable at times. As for the story on the whole and setup, it is pretty okay read. Matt is likable enough and he is in so much trouble that it is easy to feel sorry for him.


This is book one of the Power of Five series. I got the fourth book in a book sale and then found the first 3 in another book sale. This is probably why I have these books. Book sales did have an influence on what books I read. 


This is a solid 4 stars read. Recommended for even preteen to teenage readers. 

Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 283 pages.

Raven's Gate - Anthony Horowitz

Matt is an orphan and he wasn't happy with his guardian who didn't really care for him.


He hanged out with a friend who is a delinquent. They were just going into a warehouse to commit robbery when Matt was caught. 


Even at 14 yr old he would be in trouble. 


The security guard got stabbed by his friend who was caught and put the blame on him.


He is a big trouble. Luckily the security guard didn't died and told the truth. He wanted to stay and helped the injured guard.


He was sent to a LEAF program. A strange woman now become his new guardian. 


Too bad that she was a villain and Matt was in trouble.