Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Darkdeep and Sven Carter and the Android Army

37542247Condie, Ally. The Darkdeep (Darkdeep #1)
October 2nd 2018 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
E ARC from Netgalley.com

When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to Nico) they spend some time cataloging the creepy items and checking out the pond in the middle of the island that is especially alarming. When Emma dips her toes into the "Darkdeep", it sucks her under the waters. Luckily, she emerges, but so does the embodiment of her worst fears. As the group continues to return, more and more creatures are brought to life. Logan's father's logging business has been negatively impacted by Nico's father's work protecting an endangered owl in the area, and since jobs have been lost, the townspeople aren't overly keen on Nico. Logan's father works behind the scenes to get Nico's father transferred, which is certainly upsetting. At the same time, the town is preparing for the Radish Festival, and the children get drawn into this as well. They are getting closer to figuring out some of the mysteries of the Darkdeep, but will the monsters break away from Still Cove?
Strengths: Nicely creepy, with fairly scary monsters and the overwhelming feeling that at some point, someone will get sucked into the Darkdeep and not come out. Condie's Matched is very popular in my library, so her fans will check it out, and readers who enjoyed Neal Shusterman's dark tales or McHale's Morpheus Road Trilogy will enjoy it as well.
Weaknesses: Paranormal forces preying on people's worst fears has been done a few times, most notably Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) and Shusterman's Full Tilt (2003). Of course, the target demographic has probably not read those.
What I really think: Will definitely purchase, although for some reason, this didn't seem at all scary to me. On the bright side, I usually can't stand books where there is an overwhelming feeling of damp and decay, and I was able to get through this!

Vlock, Rob. Sven Carter and the Android Army
October 16th 2018 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Haven't read the first book in the series, Sven Carter and the Trashmouth Effect? Definitely take a look. It's funny and goofy and perfect for middle grade readers.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of reading this during the first week of school. Once I get the book in the library, I'll have to wait until summer to get my hands on it! With my fantasy amnesia, there's no way I can write a convincing review, but trust me. Just buy these. They'll get read. Just look at the covers! Perfect cartoon-type illustration for middle school!

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