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: The Harvest (Call of the Sirens #1) by K.B. Benson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy / Paranormal / Mythology
Length: 380 pages
Author: K.B. Benson
Publisher: Undaunted Publishing
Release Date: August 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sometimes the most beautiful things grow in darkness.

Iris never expected to live her life trapped on land. Nor was she prepared for what she would find there. A siren isn’t supposed to fall in love with her prey.

When Jace moved to Santa Cruz, he never imagined he’d risk his life to protect a monster. He soon finds that ancient myth has become reality. And not every pretty face is what it seems.

After Iris sings her siren’s song to Jace — a hypnotic melody that leads men to death beneath the waves — both of their worlds are turned upside down. Will Iris give in to her bloodlust or will she turn her back on everything she’s ever known?

As the tide runs red with the blood of the Harvest, Iris must choose: save the life of the human boy she loves or sacrifice her chance at humanity forever.

STARTED OFF STRONG.

I wanted to love this more than I did, and it started off pretty strong. I was invested and loving the siren/mermaid vibes (because I’m always here for books about mermaids). This ended up feeling like younger YA trying to be a more mature YA.

The background and plot were interesting. I liked having Iris beached on land and forced to take care of her siren duties. It was a bit murderous and I did like that darker side to the plot. I actually got to see the siren’s in action rather than just hints of what’s happening below the surface.

Jace was definitely my favorite character. He felt natural in the story and was a high school boy in love. Jace and Iris together were pretty cute. I liked getting to follow their relationship [at first]. Where I struggled was with the random “dates” and tangents of them hanging out to make it feel like more was happening. I wish those interactions really held more sway to the overall plot rather than feeling frilly and unnecessary. I thought Jace and Iris had a good relationship overall. The way Jace was written was rather annoying, but in a good way. You could see his obsession with Iris begin to take over his life. I thought his POV chapters were great. Jace was clearly trying to maintain a level head as the pull of Iris and the ocean became stronger.

With all the time spent on trying to force me to love their relationship it really dragged out the story, and that’s where everything started to fall apart for me. This book is nearly 400 pages long, and I’d say 150 of those weren’t wholly necessary. I thought the book was well-written minus the pacing issues.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA paranormal contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses and an intense make-out
  • Violence: sirens attacking humans, drownings

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Book Review

Book Review: The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy (mythology)
Length: 394 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: March 6th, 2008
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When demonic cheerleaders invade his high school, Percy Jackson hurries to Camp Half Blood, from whence he and his demigod friends set out on a quest through the Labyrinth, while the war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near.

JUST MOVING RIGHT ALONG THROUGH THESE BOOKS!

Another fun, quick read. I am loving the audio books! It’s amazing how quick they go by when you’re listening.

This one took a bit of a different turn with following Annabeth on a quest! I initially loved this idea and was here for it, but her teen jealousy streak with Rachel kinda annoyed me. I’m still confident that Annabeth & Percy are endgame so the addition of Rachel was a bit superfluous. I’m curious how this plays out in the last book.

I also thought Grover was over staying his welcome too. I LOVE his character, but since his story line is so different it might have been good as its own novella or something, I’m not sure.

I do love the friendships between everyone. Percy, Annabeth, Grover and Tyson (with occasional additions of Rachel and Nico) are who I want to cheer for and be friends with myself. They have such a tight bond and care deeply for one another. I love that this read has its focus there. It’s a nice change of pace from the romances I generally read.

The labyrinth was SO COOL. I thought it was fun and inventive and a great change of location. This book needed a better edge and the maze gave it. You never knew quite where they would end up and there were so many mini adventures along the way.

This build-up for the final battle has me on my toes. WHAT HAPPENS. I have a handful of thoughts and preferences to what happens, but no idea what is actually coming. I know this last book is going to be the best one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult/middle-grade urban fantasy + mythology
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: some, but never very bloody/full of gore

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Book Review

Book Review: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy (mythology)
Length: 279 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: April 1st, 2006
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment.

In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

STILL GOOD.

This definitely felt like a filler book for a series. That was my only main issue with it. Since nothing plot wise really happens for a bit it was another summer with another problem. Problem was solved and that was it!

Now, the ending did leave a lot more open for book three. I think it will definitely pick up for the rest of the series.

I am still loving all of these characters and LOVE Percy & Annabeth. They are absolutely fantastic. I love that their youth shines through, but they are also bold, intelligent and really try to choose the best option. They are easy to enjoy and cheer on as they go through battle after battle.

I don’t really have much else to add, it was a good book. I definitely enjoyed it, just not a lot to expound on. I can’t wait to keep this going!

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade/Young adult fantasy + mythology
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: physical, swords, magical

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