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The Demonata Book 5: Blood Beast by Darren Shan

blood beast    The Demonata Book 5:  Blood Beast by Darren Shan

The Demonata Book 5: Blood Beast by Darren Shan is the fifth book in the twelve book long series by Darren Shan, who also wrote ever-popular The Cirque du Freak books.

However, while The Cirque du Freak was a hero’s journey about vampires, this is a non-linear story about mankind’s last stand against the foul race of demons, centered around three teenagers: Grubbs Grady, whose story is set in the modern day and also concerns a family genetic curse involving werewolves, Kernel Fleck, a depressed mage whose story began in the 1980s and has the power to create portals with almost no effort, and Bec, a young priestess from old Ireland who sacrificed herself long ago to stop the demons the first time they tried to overtake the human universe.

Like the first book, Lord Loss, and the third book Slawter, Blood Beast centers around Grubbs Grady, who so far has been the center point of the series.  However, though the other two books concerned mostly with his relationship with his uncle, Dervish, and the evil demons, this one puts a lot more focus on the curse that affects his family.

Not his best idea.

Not his best idea.

 

At the end of Slawter, it’s implied that Grubbs does have magic abilities.  That being said, there hasn’t been any indication of his abilities in the months since Slawter ended, thus leading him to believe that it was just a onetime thing. That being said, he has a little bit more to worry about, considering he thinks the family curse is finally affecting him, meaning he only has a few months left before turning into a mindless beast.

Yeah, that’s the thing about this series… the werewolves don’t just wolf out during the full moon, once they completely change they’re stuck that way forever, which Grubbs isn’t ok with, as one can imagine. So far the only true cure that they have been able to find for the curse is from the crazy-scary demon Lord Loss (whose the main villain of the series), but he only does it if you beat him in a do-or-die game of chess and, since Grubbs has beaten him twice before, isn’t exactly jumping to help him. If anything, Lord Loss is super keen on killing the poor guy.

There’s also a group made up of family members who have lost loved ones to the curse that call themselves the Lambs that are dedicated to finding a cure that doesn’t involve demons, but they mostly are there to put the turned family members (all of them teenagers) out of their misery. So Grubbs and Dervish aren’t keen on calling them either.

It’s pretty much a bad situation all around.

Though all of this is going on, most of the book focuses on Grubbs’ social life: his rocky friendship with his half-brother Bill-E and the bully who torments him, Loch Gossel, along with his hopefully-soon-to-be-girlfriend, Reni Gossel.  To be honest, it makes since that almost the first half of the book focuses on these fairly mundane problems (comparatively), as Grubbs himself is pretty much in denial about the whole thing. Personally, I don’t really mind it because it’s the first time we have seen Grubbs in a fairly normal setting and not being chased by demons.

This pretty much takes up the first half of the book, and the story line with Loch and Bill-E comes to a head, and the book picks up the pace and ties back into Bec, the fourth book in the series.

 

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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100 Banned Books Series: The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

    100 Banned Books Series: The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

 Diary of Anne Frank

The Holocaust left a deep scar on the world’s recorded history. The enormity of what happened is overwhelming when teachers tell you in history class. The Diary of Anne Frank helps middle school students to understand how exactly the holocaust happened. This book details how different people were forced into concentration camps, as well as demonstrates how people looked out for one another in a time of great danger and turmoil.

 

The Diary of Anne Frank is a diary of a young girl who hid in an attic for two years during the holocaust. The book starts with Anne as a normal Jewish girl who has friends, goes to school, and has boy troubles. The main point comes when the Franks, Anne and her family, were forced to go into hiding. Anne remains in hiding for two years. The Diary of Anne Frank is a firsthand look at what it was like to be a teenage girl in hiding during the holocaust. This book is literally a diary. It talks about Anne’s problems with her mother and her feelings of isolation. Because this is non-fiction, the Nazi forces that found the Franks determined the ending. There is not an author hiding in the background with symbolism and foreshadowing, it is simply a personal account of a tragic time in a family and a country’s history.

 

This particular book is one of those books read in schools, so by default, it has been challenged. Parents considered this thirteen-year-old girl’s diary to mature for their thirteen-year-old children to read. Some of the chapters of this girl’s DIARY consist of her growing knowledge of puberty and sex. Parents say they want their children to be exposed to such themes at home. I, personally, think this is ridiculous. KIDS TALK. I first learned about sex and what it entails from a public school system and the talk of my classmates. Parents should talk to their kids about these things, yes, BUT a parent should be aware that they should start young if they want to ingrain their notions of sex and such on their child. So, this is an inadequate reason for the book to be banned or censored.

 

This book is historically significant. Something so historically significant should not be banned for a reason so trivial as parents fighting over who gets to tell their kid that sex is a thing. It is about the HOLOCAUST. IT DOES NOT HAVE A HAPPY ENDING. The Diary of Anne Frank forces children to look at the fact that this tragedy happened to PEOPLE. I personally have gained a better understanding of what exactly the holocaust was and the many ways it impacted people’s lives. The Diary of Anne Frank has a way of impacting people with its raw realism. It puts you in the holocaust in a way only rivaled by the museums dedicated to the deceased. The diary of a girl hiding from murderers of her race is a book everyone should read.

 

Rating: on a scale of this is my for fun for fun reading TO this book will change your life I give it about a 7. I think everyone should read it to be an educated human being.

 

 

(Also: There have actually been some adaptations of The Diary of Anne Frank: a stage adaptation and two movie adaptations.  However, these versions tried their best to make Anne seem more innocent and less worldy as she does in her actual diary. Because of that, we do not recommend watching the adaptations in place of reading the book.

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The Demonata: Bec by Darren Shan

The Demonata: Bec by Darren Shan

 

The Demonata: Bec is the 4th book in the ten book long series by Darren Shan, who also wrote the twelve book long series The Cirque du Freak. Unlike The Cirque du Freak, which was a linear hero’s journey about vampire, The Demonata is a non-linear story of three young teens as they try to keep the world as they know it from being overrun with horrific demons.

So far, we have met Grubbs Grady, a kid whose family is cursed with some of their family will turn into ravenous wolf-monsters when they hit their teens (including his sister and half-brother) and may or may not have magical powers; and Kernel Fleck, who was born with the ability to see special lights that could be put together to make a portal to the demons’ dimension. Neither of them make a appearance in this book, which makes sense, considering Bec is set thousands of years before either Grubbs and Kernal are born.  Instead, the protagonist is a young blossoming priestess girl named Bec.

 

At the start of the novel, Bec lives in her clan in ancient Ireland, where she was adopted by the priestess Banba as an apprentice. However, Banba is now dead, and ever since then, Bec has been trying to keep up with her studies, but it’s almost impossible without a teacher. Worse, the demon attacks on her clan are slowly getting worse and worse and the clan is slowly getting killed off.

One day, after a particularly bad attack, a young and simple boy with inhuman speed runs into the camp with a message that his clan has been attacked.  Bec, along with several other warriors, decide to go help the other clan and to figure out why the demons are attacking so viciously lately.

Though they are too late to actually help the clan, they do meet the boy’s master, Drust, who tells Bec and the warriors that he knows of a way to stop the demons for good… if they can trust him that is.

After this, the book turns into a game of who-can-you-trust, with Bec being thrust into a more powerful position that she ever wanted to be in.

 

As you probably know from this blog, I really, really like fantasy novels, and this was closer to fantasy than anything else in the series so far.  It starts out like a typical fantasy story, but it also has the same twists as the other books in the series have so far.  Interesting to note, all of the books have a sort of hopelessness in them: though the characters try to fix the break between the two dimensions to stop the demons from coming through, it doesn’t matter. Eventually, they will fail, it’s when they are going to fail is the question.

Now, I know that doesn’t sound very interesting scenario: why would you want to keep reading something when you know the characters you are becoming attached to will eventually perish? The thing about it is, you do have hope that the characters will survive, that something good will finally happen to them. There are hints that something will finally help the human race beat the demons, and that bit of hope is why I continue the series.

 

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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