Isle of Swords (Pirate Adventures Series #1)

Isle of Swords (Pirate Adventures Series #1)

by Wayne Thomas Batson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400313631
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/09/2008
Series: Pirate Adventures Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 193,611
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Wayne Thomas Baston is the author of five best-selling novels:Isle of Swords, Isle of Fire, and The Door Within Trilogy. A middle school reading teacher in Maryland for eighteen years, Wayne tailors his stories to meet the needs of the young people he cares so deeply about. Wayne writes adventures set in imaginative locals because he believes that on a deep level, we all dream of doing something that matters and that we all long for another world.

Read an Excerpt

Isle of Swords

By Wayne Thomas Batson

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2007 Wayne Thomas Batson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1018-0

Chapter One

A Black Bird in the Storm

Papa, I'm scared!" the little girl cried out as she slid awkwardly across the deck. Before she could regain her balance, she crashed into her father's arms.

"Oh, Dolphin!" he said, shielding her from sheets of rain and sea spray. "What are you doing up here?"

She looked up at him. "I heard a monster out in the sea!"

"A monster? My darling daughter, you heard the thunder and the wind, that's all." He snuggled her in close beneath his coat. "There are no monsters in the sea. It's a storm."

"But it's a big storm!" she whimpered.

"No, not big. Just noisy." But this voice was not her father's.

Dolphin peeked out from her father's coat and grinned. It was Brand, the young ship's mate she'd teased since they left port. You're my blond monkey, she'd said to Brand. And most times, he'd laugh, make chimp noises, and scurry up the nearest rope ladder or rigging. Now, the wind whipped his long hair about his face. Dolphin saw him wink and felt her heart flutter.

"I'm still scared," she said.

"It's just a squall," Brand said confidently. "Captain Halifax will see us through. And the Trafalgar is the pride ofHis Majesty's fleet! Now, you mind your father and go back to your quarters 'til it blows over." And just like that, he was gone across the deck.

"There, you see?" said Dolphin's father. "No monsters. Just a storm." He looked down at his precious little girl. Her bright coppery locks were matted against her pale cheeks.

Dolphin stared back, but up beyond her father, following the mainmast through shrouds of rigging, past the crow's-nest, and into the turbulent gray sky. Lightning slashed overhead, and Dolphin ducked again into her father's coat. Thunder crashed, and the entire ship trembled.

"Papa!" she cried. He gave her a brave smile and cradled her head against his chest. He hoped she couldn't hear his heart hammering away. "There, there, my Dolphin. Remember what Brand said. It will all be over soon. Now, let's get you back to our quarters and snug in bed."

"But, Papa, I want to stay here with you!"

"No, you will be much safer below," he replied, a slight edge to his voice. "I have work to do. I'm helping the quartermaster. He's waiting for me ... see?" He pointed to the grizzled graybeard sailor near the mast. He nodded and grinned at Dolphin. Suddenly, Dolphin clutched her father's leg. She stared, pointing past the quarter-master, past the mainmast, out into the rolling sea. "What's that?"

An enormous ship appeared in the distance. It was tall, with at least three masts, and narrowed sharply at the bow. It knifed through the waves, driving toward them.

Dolphin's father bent low and held his little girl by the shoulders. "Stay here," he whispered urgently. He ran to the quartermaster and pointed out into the sea.

"Pirates," hissed the quartermaster.

"Pirates? In the middle of the storm?"

The quartermaster did not reply immediately. He stared out into the sea. Abruptly, he took in a sharp breath and went very rigid. He grabbed Dolphin's father by the shoulder of his coat and practically dragged him back across the deck. "Get your daughter down below," he said as they drew near the ship.

"Come, my child," Dolphin's father said, his voice taut. "We must go to our quarters."

"But, Papa, the ship ... who are they?"

"No one to worry about, Dolphin."

"You best not lie to your daughter." The quartermaster's voice was flat, terrifyingly void of emotion. "That ship ... it's the Raven. Bartholomew Thorne."

Dolphin's father felt the blood in his veins turn to ice at the uttering of that name. He whisked his daughter off the deck and raced for the cabins. He banged awkwardly through a door. "I'm so sorry, Dolphin," he managed to say. He could feel her trembling against him. He held her close and continued running. A hundred thoughts raced through his mind: memories, hopes, regrets.

"Papa!" she pleaded as they plunged into their cabin.

He sat down with her on the bed and snuffed the candle in the lantern. As darkness enveloped them, he said, "Don't worry, my precious daughter. It will all be over soon."

And he began to pray.

Chapter Two

Echoes of Cannon Fire

A cannon shot, deep and sudden, trailed off like a peal of thunder. Something cold touched his fingertips. Another shot. Run them all out, boys!

Water trickled over his hand. She's taking on something awful! Bosun, pitch that leak! Another shot, nearer still. Water surged into his mouth and nose. A wave partially submerged his head and sprayed his back.

He woke, jerked his head up from the surf, and flailed onto his side. His face, his arms, his back all throbbed and burned. "What happened?" he moaned, coughing up seawater and grinding sand between his teeth. He could not see. Has someone cut out my eyes? Hands trembling, he reached up. His eyes were swollen and caked shut ... but at least they were there.

After several painful attempts, he managed to pry them open. Brilliant white light knifed in. He clutched at his face. His head throbbed, sun blazed mercilessly off the white sand, but slowly his eyes adjusted. He squinted under a cloudless blue sky and saw water. As another wave raced toward him, he rose to one knee. That little bit of movement brought tremendous pain. It felt as if there were shards of glass embedded in his skin.

With another groan, he stood. He reached over his shoulder and, between the tatters of his shirt, felt ripped flesh, sticky and wet. His fingertips came back glistening with blood, and he became light-headed. He swayed for a moment, then steadied himself and looked around. Across a slope of white sand there stood a deep copse of trees-mostly tall palms, surrounded by sea grape and divi-divi trees. He stared at the leaning, gnarled trunks. Divi-divi trees always leaned to the southwest. That meant something ... he felt sure it did, but he could not grasp what. He looked along the tree line, up and down the shore, and, again, out to sea. "I don't know this place," he whispered.

He grabbed fistfuls of his matted blond hair. His welted face felt foreign ... like someone else's. A sharp ringing came to his ears. The world seemed to spin. "Who am I? Why can't I remember?"

A flash of green racing across the sand drew his attention, and he turned. At his feet, a large iguana sat gnawing at the leather drawstring of a pouch that lay half-buried in the sand.

Brushing aside the lizard, he picked up the fist-sized pouch. It had some weight to it. "Is this mine?" he wondered aloud. He thought it had to be, but nothing about it seemed familiar. Still, when he loosened the drawstring and began to pour out its contents, he couldn't help but feel a strange gravity weighing upon him.

A sparkling green stone fell into his hands first. It was shaped like an almond, but much larger. The brilliant sun flickered within it as if the stone were alive with fire at its core. Next, a lock of lustrous red hair dropped out and lay in his palm close to the jewel. The hair was a little damp but still very soft. He ran a finger lightly over it, wondering....

The surf raced in and covered his feet, just as the last item-a tarnished silver cross-fell into his palm. Ancient it looked-and not just from the tarnish. It bore strange markings and a script of some design, but he could not read it.

He dropped the three tokens into the pouch. He did not recognize any of these things. Nothing made any sense! His head ached. Weak and confused, he watched as an iguana scurried away and disappeared over the slope. Then he froze, for nearby the lizard's trail was a trail of footprints. They wound away from the trees, down from the slope, almost directly to where he stood. A wave crashed with a sound like a cannon shot ... or maybe, more like the crack of a whip, and he jumped.

The ringing came back to his ears, and he felt dizzy. As his vision blurred, he looked at the footprints leading up to where he stood. The thought I am not alone flashed into his mind before everything around him faded into darkness.

Chapter Three

The William Wallace

What is it now?!" bellowed Captain Declan Ross. The pounding on his cabin door had made him knock over his mug. His lightning reflexes had just barely saved the sea chart from the spill. Only one sailor aboard the William Wallace would have the nerve to bang on the captain's door like that.

The quartermaster, a West Indian sailor named Stede, threw open the door, blatantly ignoring the custom of waiting to be asked to enter. "This old ship will burst at the very hull-if ya don't find us a place to careen her!"

Ross raised a coppery eyebrow and glared at his longtime friend.

"She's taking on watah below decks, mon!"

"What?" Ross stood. "I thought Midge patched those leaks."

Stede's nostrils flared. "Him did, mon, but it b' gettin' warse. The ship has four days ... a week tops. B' true."

"I know," Ross replied with a shrug. "You're right. You're always right when it comes to the Wallace. Is the wind still light?" he asked, knowing the answer already. He could feel the ship rolling heavily on the ponderous swells of the sea.

"Just a breath," Stede answered, shaking a fist at the ceiling. "I think we may b' on the edge of the doldrums.... just b' a feeling."

Ross frowned. Stede's feelings were usually right too. If they were caught in the open sea with no wind and the ship coming apart at the seams ... he shook his head. "I hope you're wrong. I have no desire to dance with the sharks anytime soon. Come here and look at this," Ross said.

Stede joined him at the desk. "Given the wind and the time you gave me, we might be able to get to this little group of cays."

Stede whistled. "They b' Thorne's isles."

"He can't cover them all!" Ross exclaimed. "He doesn't have enough ships ... at least not yet."

"Life's hard," Stede said. He whistled again. "So, we'll make the hard choice. But we better pray that we don't get caught ashore by that wicked mon."

Stede left without another word. Captain Ross knew he didn't have to give the command. Stede would plot the course. Sure enough, in just a few minutes, Ross felt the Wallace slowly turn to the south.

Another knock-this one more a tap-at the cabin door. The door opened, and there stood a dumpy man with a walrus of a moustache and with just a stump at the elbow to serve as one of his arms. In his one hand, he held a wooden spoon. He stood there waiting.

"Come in, Nubby. What can I do for you?"

"Well, Cap'n, you could get me to port so's I can get some fresh meat! No fish is hitting the nets. We've got nothin' left but hard- tack and some moldy vegetables!"

Ross stared down at his sea chart. "What happened to those dog-sized rats you've been serving?"

"Cap'n, we ate 'em all. All's left is them little boney ones, and the men'll complain if I have to start serving those!" Nubby replied.

"The men will eat what they are served and be glad to get it," Ross stated without looking up from the chart. "And Nubs, cut the rations."

"This'll make the third time, Cap'n."

"Do you see a choice, Nubs?" Ross asked, looking straight at the cook.

"Nay, Cap'n." Nubs frowned dejectedly and beat a hasty retreat.

Declan Ross leaned back in his chair and exhaled loudly. He shook his head. Let's see ... the Wallace is about to fall apart in shark-infested waters, the only place close enough where we can ground the ship and make repairs is in the territory of the most ruthless man alive, and, oh yes, we're just about out of food. At least it can't get any worse than-

SLAM!! Ross's cabin door flew open and in stomped a lass with flaming red hair barely concealed beneath a black bandanna. At her side was a silver cutlass. "FATHER!! You have got to let me sign!!"

"We've been through this before, Anne," he replied, rubbing his temples. So much for it not getting any worse.

"Well, I don't care what the crew thinks about having a woman aboard! I'm here, aren't I? I've brought no bad luck, have I?"

Ross started to say something about the lack of wind and their diet of rats, but bit his tongue. "What's this about, Anne?"

"It's Henrik and Jules-they follow me around everywhere just so they can give me something to do!"

"Henrik? Jules?"

"This time!" Anne shouted, one hand on the hilt of her sword, the other waving a finger in the air. "Yesterday, it was Red Eye.


Excerpted from Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson Copyright © 2007 by Wayne Thomas Batson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Isle of Swords 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Rowan_Dumas More than 1 year ago
I wasn't expecting much. I had been disappointed by so many high-sea adventures that I had given up with expectations. This didn't make much of a difference, because Isle of Swords would have exceeded them all. From the beginning, you are immersed in the tale of Delcon Ross, a pirate struggling with his morals, Anne Ross, a rebellious soul who only sees the novelty in pirating, and Cat, a mysterious boy found without his memory on a deserted isle. Add a nefarious pirate villan fit to rival Blackbeard and you have the incredibly epic adventure that travels across stormy seas and through human hearts. As readers, we watch in agony as characters make very human mistakes, and cheer in ecstasy as they triumph against the overwhelming odds. Isle of Swords has a sound, faith-building foundation that encourages as much as it entertains, and my dreams were fueled imagining myself into this magical world. Wayne Thomas Batson has created an epic worth rereading, and everytime I open it I am taken again to a world that I am left wishing never had to end.
Nessa-Cakes More than 1 year ago
Scotsman Captain Declan Ross is as moral as a pirate can get, sure he steals from merchant ships and pulls other shenanigans, like evading the British Navy and blasting ships to kingdom come, but on the whole if you’re going to run into a pirate on a pleasure cruise you’re going to hope it’s him. He follows a code, doesn’t like to kill unless it’s necessary, is clever and quick thinking in any situation and he’s extremely loyal to his crew. Sounds like the makings of a pretty good pirate leader. He really only has one problem in his piratey life, and that’s his daughter. He can boss around he’s crew like no body’s business, but his precious Anne refuses to stifle her spirit and give up on her dream of becoming a pirate herself, no matter how much he protests against it. When Anne discovers a boy on the beach who has been brutally injured she immediately brings him back to her father’s ship the William Wallace. The boy has no memory whatsoever, but the good Captain Ross welcomes him aboard and treats him like one of his crew (which is pretty great in pirate standards). But there is more to the kid than what first meets the eye...and it’s also proof that these pirate guys have lost their pickpocketing skills or else they would have found the kid’s mysterious satchel the second they brought him aboard. I’m just sayin’. At the opposite end of the pirate moral compass is Bartholomew Thorne a literal terror of the Caribbean who seeks to arm himself with a fleet of ships so that he can run the Caribbean like a 1920s gangster runs New York. He’s the type of pirate you definitely don’t want to get on your bad side, which is exactly what Captain Ross manages to do. I mean, what pirate worth his sea salt isn’t going to get a little peeved if you blow up one of his ships and then steal a very important treasure map? With plenty of adventure, action, and highseas stakes, and just a smidge of fantasy on the all mysterious Isle of Swords, this book was a VERY entertaining “mind movie.” I got attached to many of the characters and felt that the story was well plotted and vividly written. Though the author didn’t keep to the usual cookie cutter only 1 or 2 character points of view (which I liked and wasn’t difficult to follow. I just imagined each ‘hourglass’ as an obvious jump to a new scene like in a movie), he told the story as an overall narrator of sorts, which gave it a nice nostalgic feeling of an old story teller weaving a yarn. But boring campfire tale this was not! If you want to sign the articles and sail away with a motley crew of pirates, this is the book for you! Without a doubt a great read! (This is a pirate book, so expect swashbuckling swordplay and a few heartless removal of enemies. There is nothing too gory, but parents might want to read first to determine if you want your younger reader to keep the book in a treasure vault for a couple more it will give you good reason to indulge in an awesome story!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last year, when I was in 6th grade, I had Wayne Batson as my reading teacher. In his class, we read 18 chapters of the unedited version of Isle of Swords and it was absolutely incredible! He is such a great author who instantly grabs each readers' attention just after a mere sentence. It took us the whole school year to read 18 chapters, but it was definitely worth it. I stopped at a point where I was in total suspense, and was angry that I could not read on. But fortunately, his book is finally available, and I read every page carefully. He is such a great author, and has hidden strategies throughout his story - believe me, I had to practice predicting, visualizing, questioning, you name it! Overall, this is an outstanding book and I highly recommend it to all teens and adults.
Belac2 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book is amazing!!! It grabbed me from the start and refused to let go!
Draak on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Even if you think you're not a pirate book kind of person you really should read this book. It starts off good and holds your attention and ends fantastic. I can't wait to start the second book and can only hope there will be more.
Huntrielle on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Anne Ross, while gathering food finds a boy who doesn¿t remember his past or his name.He claims to not be a pirate but yet has all of the skills required to be one, with the few possessions he has will he be able to help Captain Declan Ross find the treasure to free the captain from piracy forever?
PatriciaJN on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The Isle of Swords was a real favorite in our family's "read-aloud" time. Our middle schooler didn't want the book to be put down. The adults enjoyed it too.
hollysing on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Christian YA fantasy. Good pirates, bad pirates, hunting for hidden treasure, kidnapping, injured boy meets girl needing adventure. Great fun. Won Mom¿s Prize for Fiction.
whisperthespy on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is an excellent book and it definitely ranks among my top five. It may be my favorite.The story is fabulous. The book is stuffed with humor, unique and endearing characters, oceans of peril, and the whole thing is saturated in mystery. Secrets shroud the tale. However, the author meters out the answers to those secrets carefully, just enough at a time to satisfy the reader and make him/her come back for more. I have never read books that do this so well. I highly, highly recommend Isle of Swords.-whisper
Goldarrow on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Isle of Swords is in my small opinion MUCH better then the `Pirates of the Caribbean'. Now before you comment that I'm SO Wrong let me explain.The story is just as exciting and funny as the movies.With Red Eye the sword lover, captain Ross the Scottish pirate, Stede the quartermaster, Midge the carpenter with bad breath, Nubby the one handed cook and his spoon, and Jacques St. Pierre the crazy Frenchman. Who would not LOVE the characters of this book?The plot is good and the story has as many twist and turns as a roller coaster.Cat the main character is found on the shore of a small cove. Who is he? Not even he knows. And who was the sick man that whipped him near to death with the cat of nine tales? Why?The villain is one of the best ever and with the bleeding sick, who will dare to keep him form the treasure that he wants so bad?5 Stars!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book in my house
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book and all the other books by wayne thomas batson(wtb) r awesome.i dont know which book or book series by him r my fav.theyre all my favs!if u like wtb books read Raising Dragons by i know who just cant remember his name.theyre awesome books.elizabeth
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jenny_Rose More than 1 year ago
An ok Christian pirate tale Declan Ross captains the William Wallace as a pirate. He is not your usual bloodthirsty fellow, however. He has moral standards and pirates mainly for survival. If only he could find enough treasure so he could retire with his daughter Anne and convince her that the pirate’s life isn’t for either of them. Along the way they find a badly beaten young man with amnesia and must deal with the notorious pirate, Bartholomew Thorne. The point of view changed a lot, because the author explored the thoughts of more than two characters. Though there were hourglasses to indicate the changes, it was sometimes a bit confusing. It was interesting how he wove religion into a pirate tale with some old Catholicism, tradition and legend. I think the first chapter should have been a prologue as it introduced us to the main villain but then involved such a minor character that I wondered by the end of the book why the Batson used that scene as the backstory when others would have been better. The best part of the story was the suspense—built as the author dropped little clues along the way that drove me to turn the next page. While this book is cleaner than most pirate books, it is still a bloody tale. I would recommend it to an older middle grader to young adult. (If you are looking for a pirate tale for younger kids, check out James R. Hannibal’s Pirate: Midnight Passage.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome action filled pirate novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the door within books and the berinfell prophecies and loved themboth!! When i saw mr b had written these books i justbhad to read them! I read the 1st book in one day and am about to buy the 2 nd he is a awesome writer and i wiuld recomend his books to anyone!! Thank you mr baston!!!!!!!!
Belac More than 1 year ago
When I saw this in a bookstore. I thought it looked worth reading. After reading it I have also read every one of Mr. B's books since! This one is a great read.
JaydenCrow More than 1 year ago
Declan Ross is a Pirate who wants to get out of the "Sweet Trade". He was forced into piracy after being let go of the British Navy. Now he searches for the Legendary Treasure of Constantine, a treasure great enough to get himself and his daughter Anne out of the business, and have money to spare. But to get to it he will have to get through the Legendary Notorious pirate, Bartholomew Thorne. Anne Ross is tired of being treated like a girl. She wants to join the crew of her father's ship, the William Wallace, but the crew are opposed because of superstition and her father for her safety. But on an Island she makes a discovery that may change her life forever. Cat wakes up on an island with horrible wounds and no memory of his past. When the pieces of who he his begin to fall together, does he actually want to know? I would recommend this book to anyone 10 and up who likes Pirates, adventure, action, and suspense. My hat is off to you again Mr Batson!!!
GillianAdams More than 1 year ago
Set sail on a rip roaring adventure on the high seas! From the blue Caribbean to the wild North Atlantic, follow Captain Declan Ross and the fierce (but loveable) crew of the William Wallace. Originally forced to turn to piracy, Declan Ross seeks enough wealth to leave behind the so called ¿sweet trade¿ and settle down ashore with his daughter Anne. Anne, however, does not share her father¿s desire. To top it all off, the Wallace is short of supplies, leaking water, and caught in the hunting grounds of the worst pirate in history: Bartholomew Thorne. It couldn¿t get much worse, right? Until the discovery of a brutally beaten lad abandoned on an island, a fateful fight against Thorne¿s second in command and a strange meeting with an even stranger Priest result in Declan Ross and the Wallace ranking number one on Thorne¿s most wanted list. A desperate race to find the legendary treasure of Constantine could give Ross the wealth he seeks. If Thorne doesn¿t find it first¿ When Wayne Thomas Batson¿s book Isle of Swords came out several years ago, I literally devoured it. Flipping from page to page as fast and as long as I could! So, I figured it was high time I wrote a review. True to form, Isle of Swords opens with a bang. Writers often talk about putting their characters into the worst possible situations and letting them work their way out again. Batson leaves nothing to be desired in this respect. From the start, there is absolutely no doubt as to what is at stake. Batson¿s characters fairly jump off the page. Determined Declan Ross, headstrong Ann, and poor Cat who can¿t even remember his own name! Not to mention the fierce Red Eye who can¿t seem to collect enough weapons or Nubby (named for the stump of his missing arm) who serves as the Wallace¿s cook and whose favorite dish is Iguana Stew. Isle of Swords is a story full of color and spice that will whisk you out of your chair and transport you to the swaying deck of a ship or drop you into the overarching palms and thick underbrush of a muggy jungle. Quick paced action, vivid settings, and characters you can¿t help but love, make Isle of Swords a story well worth reading. Recommended for readers 12+.
RyebrynnLylaShveer More than 1 year ago
As Captain Ross searches for legendary treasure, his daughter finds a brutally injured lad on an island with no memory of anything. The lad is nicknamed Cat and soon he remembers parts of a brutal and dangerous past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
pinkfairytale More than 1 year ago
This book is truly a wonderful pirates story. Those who enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are sure to enjoy this high adventure installment! There are so many twists and turns in this story, along with a well-thought-out plot line. The story goes something like this: Captain Ross and his crew find a mysterious boy, who has completely lost his memory, on an island shore; They decide to take him aboard, making him apart of the crew and naming him Cat. During their travels they find that an island of monks,once a safe haven for pirates, has the mark of Captain Thorne upon it (the most cruel pirate that has ever sailed the 7 seas - much like Davy Jones) meaning that none of the monks on shore are safe. Captain Ross and his crew take one of the monks aboard, although for some reason he seems to be what Captain Thorne is looking for... In this story it is a race to find treasure, and no moment in this story is dull. The pirates are each memorable and well developed. The mystery about Cat's identity also makes this book more intriguing and gives the reader even more reason to keep flipping the pages. Although this is a christian book, I do need to warn parents or readers about some questionable material that may keep them from jumping on board: Captain Thorne is a cruel man. He does some awful things to people such as torturing them. Many scenes in this book describe the ways he would torture people and most of them are vivid and bloody. There is also a lot of sword fighting and shooting, so although this book is great for teens (both boys and girls) I don't suggest it for younger children just because of all of the violence. I can't wait to read the next books in this series! I only hope that they can live up to the first!