Reviewed by Phee Paradise
By Robert Liparulo
When you open the front cover of Frenzy, the first thing you will see is a note saying “Stop!” It goes on to tell you to read five other books before you read this one. Frenzy is the sixth book in the series called The Dreamhouse Kings. I wish I had had time to read the first five books. This one starts in the middle of the action and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. But it was a great story and I’m sorry I missed the beginning of it.
The series is written for adolescent boys, but anyone who likes adventure stories will love it. The two main characters are boys who live in a house with time travel portals. At some point in the series, their mother is kidnapped by someone who enters the house from another time. When the boys and their father search for her through different time and places, they learn the properties of time travel, their family history and they meet the villain, who uses the house to create wars in the past so that he can profit from them.
Frenzy opens with the boys caught as slaves in ancient Atlantis. They manage to escape, but encounter one bad situation after another. There doesn’t seem to be any safe place for them, even in their home, where they keep running into the villain and his henchman. They get help from their father and a couple of other adults, but even they are caught in the time travel puzzle. The whole series takes place in one week and this book all happens in two days. The title is appropriate because the family is caught in a frenzy of adventures that will leave you breathless.
Even in the midst of so much action, Liparulo manages to weave some complicated themes into the book. The boys ponder the nature of time travel and how they can change the future by changing the past. They are driven by their love for their mother, as well as for each other and the rest of the family. On the other hand, they encounter evil in most of the times and places they visit and the villain is relentless in his attempts to stop them from doing good. It’s not a simple story of love overcoming evil.
Besides being confused at the beginning of the book, I also was disturbed by the evil portrayed and didn’t see much hope for good to triumph. But through the boys’ determination to find their mother, their love for each other and one amazing historical encounter, I came to realize the book is really about the battle that all Christians are called to fight. And that battle has already been won.
I’m a little awed at how much Liparulo has crammed into this short book. I’d recommend it to anyone, but you should read the entire series, instead of starting with Frenzy, like I did. I can’t wait to read the other books and then come back to Frenzy.
Pros: Lots of action, some deep themes, courageous and loving characters and a fun science fiction concept.
Cons: A little too much violence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first novel, Comes a Horseman, released to critical acclaim. Each of his subsequent thrillers—Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock—secured his place as one of today’s most popular and daring thriller writers.
He is known for investing deep research and chillingly accurate predictions of near-future scenarios into his stories. In fact, his thorough, journalistic approach to research has resulted in his becoming an expert on the various topics he explores in his fiction, and he has appeared on such media outlets as CNN and ABC Radio.
Liparulo’s visual style of writing has caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Currently, three of his novels for adults are in various stages of development for the big screen: the film rights to Comes A Horseman. were purchased by the producer of Tom Clancy’s movies; and Liparulo is penning the screenplays for GERM and Deadfall for two top producers. He is also working with the director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Holes) on a political thriller. Novelist Michael Palmer calls Deadfall “a brilliantly crafted thriller.” March 31st marked the publication of Deadfall’s follow-up, Deadlock, which novelist Gayle Lynds calls, “best of high-octane suspense.”
Liparulo’s bestselling young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted in 2008 with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. Book three, Gatekeepers, released in January 2009, and number four, Timescape, in July 2009, and number five, Whirlwind in December 2009. The series has garnered praise from readers, both young and old, as well as attracting famous fans who themselves know the genre inside and out. Of the series, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine says, “I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?”
With the next two Dreamhouse books “in the can,” he is currently working on his next thriller, which for the first time injects supernatural elements into his brand of gun-blazing storytelling. The story is so compelling, two Hollywood studios are already in talks to acquire it—despite its publication date being more than a year away. After that comes a trilogy of novels, based on his acclaimed short story, which appeared in James Patterson’s Thriller anthology. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” He lives with his family in Colorado.
Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/LiparuloFans
ABOUT THE BOOK
When you live in a house that's really a gateway between past and present, you have to be ready for anything. It's a painful fact the Kings have faced since moving to Pinedale eight days ago. Desperately trying to rescue their mother from an unknown time and place, brothers Xander and David have lunged headlong into the chaos of history's greatest--and most volatile--events. But their goal has continually escaped their grasp.
And worse: Finding Mom is only a small part of what they must do, thanks to the barbaric Taksidian. His ruthless quest to sieze their house and its power from them has put not only the family, but all of mankind, in grave danger.
Somehow, the key to it all hinges on Uncle Jesse's words to the boys: "Fixing time is what our family was made to do." But how can they fix a world that has been turned updisde down--much less ever find their way home?
At long last, the secrets of the house and the King family are revealed in the stunning conclusion to this epic series.
To read the Prologue and first Chapter of Frenzy, click HERE.
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Monday, May 24, 2010
Reviewed by Phee Paradise