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Sci-Fi & Fantasy

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Holly Helscher

Holly Helscher Cincinnati Member Since 2008

Holly

HELPFUL VOTES
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REVIEWS
170
95
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7
  • "One of the Best in Fiction"

    Overall

    It is not unusual these days to find a book written for the young adult that has appeal to an older audience. Some of the best fiction these days is in the young adult genre. The Hunger Games falls into this category. Katniss and Peeta are District 12 children, aged 16, who are selected to participate in Panem's annual hunger games. 22 other tributes/contestants are also drawn - 12 boys and 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The objective for the tributes is to be the last one standing. The objective of Panem is to remind all districts that they may not rebel against the Capitol. The book is about the games themselves. If the reader is looking for a fast paced, action driven, gory, bloody plot, this is not the book. The violence of the games is not masked by Collins, but she treats it in a PG13 way, alluding at certain events that cause the deaths of the tributes. After all, it is written for the PG13 audience, not for the mature adult. But certainly a young adult sees and hears far worse on the evening news. The action of the book is far more about strategy, problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, and the wisdom, or not, of rebelling and why. These are the common themes that young adults face in the teenage years. But they are couched in a plot that contemporaries can relate to. This cleverly created book is well written with good character development. It is respectably read by McCormick and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone and have purchased it and the sequel (the final book in the trilogy will be available in print 8/2010) for two young adults I know. I have also recommended it to my adult friends, who were quite puzzled by my droopy eyes all week as I stayed up until 2:30 or later in the mornings reading the book. Although they know I am a voracious reader, they recognized this as a highly unusual book that fully engaged my attention.

    More

    The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34167)
    Performance
    (25324)
    Story
    (25667)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
  • "Excellent"

    Overall

    This is the first book I have read by Tamora Pierce. When I purchase audiobooks, I usually throw in a few young adult titles so that I know what I'm recommending to my grandchildren. I thought this book was engaging and the full audio cast presentation was outstanding. Evvy and Master Louvo, "Fuss pot" and Rosethorn take their magical skills to an island to determine what is killing the plants. From there we learn the problem and are involved in the magical solution. For an audience aged 12-14, this book is delightful, especially for fans of fantasy. But it is equally enjoyable for the adult if one is willing is suspend the belief system. I like that a female saves the day, so this book would be particularly interesting to girls. And one learns something about rocks and volcanoes along the way. After this reading, I immediately went to my local bookstore to purchase it for a young teen who I know loves to read. I was shocked to learn that it is still only available in hardback and they were all sold out. So she'll have to wait. Nicely done and nicely read.

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    Melting Stones

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tamora Pierce
    • Narrated By Grace Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (75)

    Evvy, the fierce young stone mage introduced in Street Magic, has accompanied her guardian, Rosethorn, on a mission to study a mysterious plant die-off. With the help of Luvo, who is the living heart of a mountain, Evvy discovers the real source of the threat, which is far greater than anyone had imagined. Preventing a natural disaster may cost Evvy her life.

    Julia says: "Great story, great performance"
  • "Capitvating"

    Overall

    (Warning: Review contains slight spoilers for The Hunger Games.) The second in a triology, Collins continues the story of Katniss and Peeta. The first dual victors of the Capitol's Hunger Games, the plot picks up with them living in the victor's village. Katniss struggles with her relationship concerns between Gale and Peeta and finds herself bored without the constant struggle to survive. However, the Capitol is not pleased with her and it doesn't take long for action to begin as tension rises in District 12, most of which is centered on or around Katniss. Like the first book, conflict rises gradually, and steadily increases throughout the book until the end. And, as in most "middle books" of any triology, it does its job in continuing the story to prepare the reader for the last book. I found the book to be equally well written and just as captivating as The Hunger Games. I read it straight through in two days. If there is any real criticism of this book, it is in the critical thinking skills of Katniss. Chronologically she is a year older, yet these skills as they pertain to relationships do not improve as one would expect. And this encroaches slightly on her ability to determine any revenge the Capitol will take on her and what role she may be playing for any rebellions afoot. In this regard, the reader would like to slap some sense into her. But it doesn't minimize the well written tale, again respectfully read by McCormick. The description of violence is somewhat more graphic than The Hunger Games, but still handled in a way that young adults should be able to manage. I recommend this book as highly as The Hunger Games and even suggest that if you haven't read either them, buy them both together. The cliffhanger at the end of Catching Fire will make you impatient for August 2010, the scheduled release date for the third book, title as yet unknown.

    More

    Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28909)
    Performance
    (22120)
    Story
    (22265)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Melting Stones
  3. Catching Fire: Hunger Gam...
  4. .

A Peek at maricarmen arriola font's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
46
 
Mexico City, Mexico Mexico 8 REVIEWS / 37 ratings Member Since 2012 2 Followers / Following 0
 
maricarmen arriola font's greatest hits:
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    "I can't believe it ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    NO SPOILERS
    I simply don't know were to begin the story was slow pace, repetitive and It had nothing to do with the previous books (witch were great) I kept waiting for the story to pick up but it never did. And although I really wouldn’t have minded the slow pace and the turn the author gave to the story to explain what was outside the city in exchange for a great ending what I got was just so, and I mean, SO disappointing that I can't believe it . WHY? What was the point to end it that way? So to answer the question I would say that in order to give 3 stars to this book (don't think it could reach 4 stars) I would definitely change the last chapters.


    What was most disappointing about Veronica Roth’s story?

    The ending.
    IT. IS. NOT. FAIR. I feel betrayed, angry, sad and frustrated.


    Have you listened to any of Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I’ve heard Emma Galvin in other audio books and I think she’s an exellent performer.
    I haven't heard Aaron Stanford before but think he made a good job.


    What character would you cut from Allegiant?

    All the characters in the bureau, specially David


    Any additional comments?

    I definitely DO NOT recommended this book I just can’t do it.

  • Ignite Me

    "Great Conclusion !!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ignite Me again? Why?

    Mmmmm.... yes I would.
    The 3 books in the serie are very good, although there were times in the story that I got very annoyed with the characters specially Adam and sometimes Juliette too.
    But Warner definetily overshadowed the other two. What an amazing character !!!
    I wouldn't have given 4 stars to the book if not for Warner.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love dystopians. Everything about the end of the world as we know it, a new regime and how the main characters survive the challenges set upon them is very apealing to me.
    So for that reason only this books had me from the first chapters of the first book add to that the well develope plot, the settings and the interaccion between the 3 main characters and you couldn't go wrong with the books
    This was a good ending for the trilogy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Julliete finally tells Warner how she feels.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes there were several.
    The best one for me was the ending.
    I simply love happy endings.


  • Horde

    "Wonderful conclusion !!!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Horde in three words, what would they be?

    GRIPPING, FAST PACE AND UNFORGETTABLE This book has everything, it's the right combination of romance and action with an amazing ending. Actually all three books are great.Well done, it was worth the wait.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoy stories where you forget all that is happening around you. Stories that are so well written that you start to empathize with the characters and their journeys. Stories that made you laugh and cry. Stories that you just CAN NOT turn off.
    This series is one of those and this last audio book is the perfect conclusion for an amazing Trilogy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last one. I LOVE happy endings


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it made me cry and laugh


    Any additional comments?

    I happily recommend this book

  • Immortal Beloved

    "Not what I expected"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book defenitetly wasn't for me. The premise is really good but by the middle of it I started getting really annoyed by all the flashback in the story.
    I like to have a little background on the characters in order to understand them better but in this case it was too much.

Crystal

Crystal Robertson, Australia 10-22-11 Member Since 2011

I read and review Young Adult lit!

HELPFUL VOTES
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8
  • "Didn't see it coming!"

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    I have to admit I didn't see the twist coming. Yeah, maybe it was a little silly but it was interesting enough to make me want know more.

    That is why I am *really* annoyed with the cliff-hanger ending. It is such a cheap crutch for writers to use that on principle I usually give the book very low marks for it and don't bother with the rest of a series, knowing I'll get more of the same.

    However, I might give the next book a go when it comes out because I am genuinely curious!

    More

    Variant

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Robison Wells
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (346)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (309)

    Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape - his only real hope for survival - may be impossible.

    Crystal says: "Didn't see it coming!"

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    • By Michael Buckley
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    Todd A. Hamblin says: "Great Book - Crappy Audio"
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    The world is in flames. You look behind; there's nothing but smoke. Ahead of you the future has just burst into flames. Your life is on fire. The world's an inferno. You're burning with passion and fear, with love and rage. You're burning for revenge.

    Guin says: "Loved it - cant wait to start next book"
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  • Divergent (






UNABRIDGED) by Veronica Roth Narrated by Emma Galvin

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    • By Veronica Roth
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    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
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UNABRIDGED) by Veronica Roth Narrated by Emma Galvin

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    • By Veronica Roth
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UNABRIDGED) by Veronica Roth Narrated by Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford

    Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

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UNABRIDGED) by James Dashner Narrated by Mark Deakins

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    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James Dashner
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
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  •  
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UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Ron Rifkin

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    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
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    Performance
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    Story
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    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

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  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games (






UNABRIDGED) by Suzanne Collins Narrated by Carolyn McCormick

    Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
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    Performance
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    Story
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    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    Sue Schreiber says: "A very satisfying ending"
  • The Hunger Games (






UNABRIDGED) by Suzanne Collins Narrated by Carolyn McCormick

    The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
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    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
  • Four: A Divergent Collection (






UNABRIDGED) by Veronica Roth Narrated by Aaron Stanford

    Four: A Divergent Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Fans of the Divergent series by number-one New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Collection, a companion volume that includes four pre-Divergent stories told from Tobias' point of view. Listeners first encountered Tobias as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Listeners will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection.

    Isabella says: "I would have gone on listening forever!"
  •  
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Suzanne Collins Narrated by Carolyn McCormick

    Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28909)
    Performance
    (22120)
    Story
    (22265)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by Orson Scott Card Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir

    Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (21573)
    Performance
    (13040)
    Story
    (13171)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
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UNABRIDGED) by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant Narrated by Ray Chase

    The Dream Engine: Blunderbuss, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
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    When Eila Doyle first sees the strange boy beckoning in whispers from somewhere deep in her imagination, she questioned her sanity. She was used to seeing strange things with her eyes closed - that's what Eila did all day while strapped to the Blunderbuss, building whatever the Ministry of Manifestation required - but never before have those images felt so real, or so dangerous. After Eila learns the terrible truth about her reality and the monsters inside it, she thinks that maybe madness might be her only escape.

  • Prototype: Archetype, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by M. D. Waters Narrated by Khristine Hvam

    Prototype: Archetype, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs)
    • By M. D. Waters
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past - both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents' whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family. But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there's nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he's got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

  • Fable: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Chanda Hahn Narrated by Khristine Hvam

    Fable: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chanda Hahn
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
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    When something precious is stolen from 16-year-old Mina Grime, she will do anything in her power to get it back, even if it means traveling to the dangerous Fae plane and battling one of the strongest fairy-tale villains yet. However, nothing can prepare Mina for the dangerous obstacles she will face in the Fae world - or the choices she must make when love and life are on the line.

  • Promises: Syrenka, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Garr Narrated by Elizabeth Phillips

    Promises: Syrenka, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Amber Garr
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Phillips
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    Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. When 17-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiance, would make a wonderful husband - except that she's been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids.

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  • Little Knife (






UNABRIDGED) by Leigh Bardugo Narrated by Lauren Fortgang

    Little Knife

    • UNABRIDGED (36 mins)
    • By Leigh Bardugo
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
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    In this third Grisha Trilogy folk tale from Leigh Bardugo, a young girl's beauty causes discord in her small town, but her father's solution may prove far more dangerous. "Little Knife" is a companion story to the third book of the Grisha Trilogy.

  • The Fire Wish (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Lough Narrated by Luci Christian

    The Fire Wish

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Amber Lough
    • Narrated By Luci Christian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In this romantic and evocative fantasy, Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad - which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form - as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered - enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.

  • Anais Butt and the Heavy-Handed Gent (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate Welshman Narrated by Federay Holmes

    Anais Butt and the Heavy-Handed Gent

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kate Welshman
    • Narrated By Federay Holmes
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    When 17-year-old Anais Butt is expelled from her fifth boarding school in three years, she expects her parents to slap her on the wrist and send her to another expensive school. However, her fed-up parents have other ideas. They decide to exile her to the isolated mountain town of Glenorie to labour for her child-hating maternal grandmother, Nanny Pam, and her hostile cousin, Josephine, who operate a riding school on her 3,000-acre ranch on the Turon River.

  • I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy (






UNABRIDGED) by Pittacus Lore Narrated by MacLeod Andrews, Johnathan McClain

    I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Pittacus Lore
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews, Johnathan McClain
    Overall
    (2)
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    (2)
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    You know we have been betrayed. You must discover why. They have put a plan in motion. They have infiltrated your government. They have already turned some of you. They will do whatever it takes to have your planet. The battle lines have been drawn. Whose side are you on?

    Shane says: "A little weak compared to the other books"