Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review- The Secret War

Published by Aladdin Paperbacks
To Be Released on August 9th, 2011
Ages 8-12
Source- ARC from publisher for review
5 stars- It's a Great Sequel

Picking up a year after the events of Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation, Jack and his fellow students are now well into their School of Thought training and are "sidekicking" for official, card-carrying super heroes. But, even though Jack feels more at home in the Imagine Nation, he's still hiding secrets from his friends Skerren and Allegra, both about his shocking connection to their enemy Revile and about his "Top Secret" school assignment, which involves investigating the RÜstov computer virus that affects the Mechas.

Jack is busy trying to find out how far the RÜstov sleeper virus has spread, working to find a cure, and striving to avoid the dire future that Revile warned him about. Meanwhile, Jonas Smart is working just as hard to discover what Jack is hiding from everyone. When a rogue Secreteer--the protectors of secrets of inhabitants of the Imagine Nation--starts selling secrets to the highest bidder, Smart is ready and waiting.

Jack knows that if Smart finds out the truth about him and Revile, he's as good as dead. When Jack discovers that the Secreteer causing all this trouble also has information about his father, the distractions really start piling up. If Jack is going to help prevent a second RÜstov invasion, keep Smart from discovering his secrets, and find out what a shadowy, half-mad Secreteer knows about his long-lost father, he'll need to learn to trust his friends, and to find the true path toward becoming a hero himself (quoted from Simon & Schuster's site).

Picking right up where Jack Blank left off, Jack finds himself in a new adventure that will teach him an important lesson about hope, honesty, endless possibilities, and the courage to take hold of his future. With the growing threat of the Rustov attacking, and his secret being leaked, Jack crosses the line with secret keeping into lying, not only to himself, but to his friends. In this fantastic action filled sequel to The Accidental Hero, Jack Blank once again proves why he's earned the title hero.

I loved the first book in this series (you can read my 5 star review here) and I've been anxiously awaiting to find out what was in store for Jack next. One of the things I love about this series is the way in which Matt has created a realistic, relatable hero in Jack for younger readers. Even heros make mistakes, fall from grace and learn their lessons, which Jack does. Jack Blank has a secret that ties him to the Rustov, only this time his secret isn't just a threat to him, it's a threat to everyone around him and their future. Not to mention Jonas Smart still despises him and will do anything he can to remind the people that Jack has ties to the Rustov. For these reasons alone, I completely understood why he was afraid to tell anyone about it. As the plot twists continue and the war is getting closer, Jack learns the importance of honesty, trusting in those closest to you, and believing in himself.

One of the characters I love in the series is Stendeval. What Yoda is to Luke in Star Wars, Stendeval is to Jack. He's full of wisdom and advice, often says things that readers can also take away from the story like:

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." -page 109

" Whenever you encounter a problem in life, it simply means that your situation has changed. What you need to do is take steps to deal with the new situation." - page 269

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are small matters when compared with what lies within us." - page 510

I also love the fact that Stendeval "knows" the people he quotes, and he mentions that before he quotes them. Stendeval's wisdom isn't only a source of wisdom and a confidence booster for Jack, but to those in the inner circle who sometimes get blinded by their own desires and fears. Most importantly he teaches Jack to not fear his future.

With out giving away too much of what happens in The Secret War, I really enjoyed the direction that the story took. There are new characters introduced that pose a big threat, there are valuable lessons that are learned and some fabulous twists with the plot and characters that kept me glued to the story. I loved the twist towards the end of the book when a character is re-introduced into the story. All I can say is wait to find out who it is!! I've said this before in my review for Jack Blank, I love that there's a place were super heros live and that there's a book were anything is possible and that allows readers imaginations to take flight. Even though I'm not in the targeted age range for this series, I love being swept up into it's world. I can not wait for son to read these books. I highly recommend picking this series up this summer. It's a fantastic story with heros, action and learning to believe in yourself.

Go here to find out more about:

Thank you Simon & Schuster we have an ARC of The Secret War we're giving away! I'm really excited about this giveaway! Not only is it a great read, but Mundie Kids is mentioned on the ARC cover!

To ENTER please fill out the form below:
- This is open to all of our follower worldwide
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter
- 1 entry per person/per email
- This giveaway will end on July 17th, 2011

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~