Book Review

Book Review: The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 516 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

FINISHED.

Another good series is through! What a ride this one has been and wow do I adore this audiobooks.

I can’t get enough of all of the characters. There were a lot to keep up with in the finale and it was a great accomplishment to not feel like anyone truly overshadowed another. Some characters were meant to have more of the spotlight and others not as much and that all worked out as it made sense to the plot.

Plenty of action and enjoyable commentary. I liked the soft moments (PERCABETH) and deep conversations that these teens are having. I love that these books cover many topics but at an approachable and appropriate level for younger audiences.

To me something is missing that makes me want to give it all the stars. These books are wonderful and I’ll recommend them easily, there’s just something that I want more of in the end.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: many physical altercations, large scale battles and war themes, loss of life and many near death moments

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Book Review

Book Review: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: MG/YA Fantasy
Length: 586 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare.

A CLIFF-FUELED CLIFFHANGER.

I’m still reeling over how things went down when this book ended. Makes you want to pick up the next ASAP [which I will be doing myself sooooooon]. I love how fast I can listen to these books on audio and how wrapped up in the story I find myself. This second series (following the Lightening Thief) has been more enjoyable for me. I think I like that the cast is a little bit older and many connections have been established that I’m now hooked onto their lives.

I love that Annabeth got to really have a huge plot line! I’ve always adored her snarky and brave character and this was no exception. Well, except for if you have a major fear of spiders, watch out. I shivered one too many times with those creepy crawlers running up and down walls.

Yet again, having a full point-of-view cast is perfect for the story telling style. I like the mix-up and getting different angles of the larger plot by following different characters. There’s not really one I love over another (well besides Percabeth of course), but in general, everyone plays the best roll they can.

Lots of action, some cute and sweet young love moments, and feeling like the walls are closing in on our heroes. Can’t wait to see what happens (and who survives!!) next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle-grade/Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry
  • Trigger/Content Warning: arachnophobia

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Daughter of Sparta (Daughter of Sparta #1) by Claire M. Andrews

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Mythology
Length: 400 pages
Author: Claire M. Andrews
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sparta forged her into a deadly weapon. Now the Gods need her to save the world!

Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis—who holds Daphne’s brother’s fate in her hands—upends the life she’s worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods’ waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother’s life will be forfeit.

Guided by Artemis’s twin-the handsome and entirely-too-self-assured god Apollo-Daphne’s journey will take her from the labyrinth of the Minotaur to the riddle-spinning Sphinx of Thebes, team her up with mythological legends such as Theseus and Hippolyta of the Amazons, and pit her against the gods themselves.

A reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, Daughter of Sparta by debut author Claire Andrews turns the traditionally male-dominated mythology we know into a heart-pounding and empowering female-led adventure.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

MANY THOUGHTS.

Well, one of my highly anticipated reads has let me down a bit.

Side note: I read a handful of reviews and it looks like if you Google what’s Daphne’s mythology, it can spoil part of the book. I went and Googled myself (after reading) and would say, YES IT DOES SPOIL. So please don’t search anything until after reading if you’re curious what her history is! I didn’t know before this book there was a story involving Daphne.

I loved the inital set-up and story. I liked that Daphne was trying to find a place for herself. To feel like she has a home. Add in some brothers and I was loving this little family plotline. First goddess into the ring was Athena and thus one of my least favorite tropes arrived: the travelling trope.

Most of this book is indeed spent with Daphne going from location A, B, C, etc. trying to first, figure out what is missing from Olympus and secondly, how to retrieve and fix the situation. What bothered me a lot about this was that a handful of times she ran into someone new (or saw the main villian) they would say you can’t know my name yet. And just WHY? Leaving it as a “mystery” wasn’t really a mystery. It was more annoying than anything not to say who’s who.

I didn’t know there would be a romance, mainly because it took a VERY long time for it to arise and I was suprised by it. There wasn’t anything to them. Honestly, could’ve done without and I might have enjoyed it more. The small scenes didn’t add to the whole story. I would have liked to have just seen more of Daphne being a warrior.

What I did love was the interpretation of mythology. I love books about mythology because I like seeing how each author depicts the gods and whatever story they’re using. It was great seeing many many secondary characters and remembering their general storylines as I went. I love these kind of scenarios brought to life.

By the end I was left with more forced questions than answers, trying to dangle me into reading the next book rather than the entire book convincing me I should want to read the sequel, so we’ll see. It did keep my interest for a very long time. It was towards the end where I started to slip and wanted finish the book quickly. The writing and story is there, I think I had the hype in my mind for a bit different of a tale.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy / Mythology
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: battles, skirmishes, friends being turned into creatures, animal attacks, physical altercations, murder

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Book Review

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fiction + Fantasy + Mythology
Length: 393 pages
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Expected Release Date: April 10th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

LOVED THIS STORY.

I have always been a huge fan of Greek Mythology. It’s fascinating and I am enamored by the stories. This was no different. I didn’t know much about Circe prior and I was swept away with how Miller created her story. Props to the audiobook too because that was STELLAR. Great narration and easy to follow.

The writing was beautiful and lyrical. Completely entrancing seeing Circe live her life. It was amazing seeing all of the characters that were in this book. I couldn’t get enough of knowing and learning about the titans and gods and all of the humans Circe loved. It is a bit of a slower paced book that is still able to hold your attention. I wanted to keep reading and following Circe on her journey.

Odysseus played a huge role in this story. From reading (and all together loving, because let’s face it, I was in high school and could care less at the time) the Odyssey and only barely grasping what happened there to feeling like I got a whole new side of him. I know this is all mythology, but everything FELT real. I was deeply in love with all of these characters, especially Circe and Odysseus. Circe was strong, brave, and cunning. A goddess in her own right.

There was a magical world built around the myths of Circe and the titans. I loved exploring the land and even though this book is mostly set on an island, you would never know it. A lot continually happens and I am wholly impressed by this book. I’m definitely interested in reading The Song of Achilles now!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fiction + Fantasy + Greek mythology
  • Language: a little strong language
  • Romance: kisses, mentions of lying with each other and spending the night together, so you definitely know what happened, but nothing is descriptive
  • Violence: torture, poison, physical, shipwrecks, monster attacks, magic
  • Trigger warnings: rape (end of Chapter 14, a little detailed; happens to Circe from a group of sailors that come to her island); two descriptive birth scenes

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