Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Tarzan Edgar Rice Burroughs

Rating: 2.5 Stars ★★★☆☆

I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.

Plot

A mutiny on board their ship leaves Lord and Lady Greystoke stranded on a desolate African beach with their newborn son. Soon after, the aristocratic couple perishes, leaving the boy an orphan–until the she-ape Kala rescues the infant, names him “Tarzan” (“white skin”), and raises him as one of her own. As he grows, Tarzan schools himself in the ways of both man and beast and rises to become king of the jungle. But when he falls in love with Jane Porter, a beautiful American explorer, he is forced to choose between the two very different worlds.

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box Josh Malerman

Rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★

Malorie stands in the kitchen, thinking.

Plot

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

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Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

Grunt Humans at War by Mary Roach

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

The chicken gun has a sixty-foot barrel, putting it solidly in the class of an artillary piece.

About

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, in East Africa, we learn how diarrhoea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee.

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Mortal Engines Philip Reeve

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.

Plot

London is hunting again. Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon, London will feed.
In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage–and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.

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The World of Lore Volume 1: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

The World of Lore Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Hollywood is obsessed.

About

They live in shadows–deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves.

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Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island Stevenson

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17_ and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.

Plot

A voyage for buried treasure spells trouble for cabin boy Jim Hawkins, who finds himself in the middle of a mutiny with some of the nastiest pirates to ever sail the seven seas.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted Naomi Novik

Rating: 4.5 Stars ★★★★☆

Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.

Plot

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

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