Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan

The-Crown-of-Ptolemy-Rick-RiordanTitle: The Crown of Ptolemy

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle-grade Adventure/Fantasy

Edition: E-book

 “My Big Fat Greek/Egyptian Crossover.”

In this Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover, Percy finally meets Sadie and Annabeth finally meets Carter to battle against an Egyptian magician named Setne. By putting their heads and their unique weapons together, the four demigods employ tactics to bring Setne down and prevent him from becoming an all powerful Egyptian/Greek God and doing very bad things. Since Rick Riordan isn’t a fan of bad endings, it wouldn’t be considered a spoiler to tell you that they succeed. The fun, of course, is in the “how”.

I’m not sure if I’m getting tired-slash-growing out of Rick Riordan’s writing style, but this novella was not as appealing to me as most of his works usually are. The plot was mediocre at best and the dialogue was absolutely ridiculous–kind of like a really bad comedy movie. I didn’t feel an ounce of adventure throughout (although my heart did almost stop when I thought Riptide was gone forever). The first two novellas in this crossover series, Son of Sobek and the Staff of Serapis, were really enjoyable but this just didn’t do it for me. All in all, it was really superficial without any real substance to the story or the characters.

I used to say that I would never be done with Percy Jackson. I used to say that Rick Riordan could write a hundred more books about him and I’d read them all but I’m starting to wonder whether that remains true. If I don’t think Rick is doing Percy Jackson justice (ahem heroes of olympus) or if I don’t like the way the books are written, I’d much rather keep my memories of Percy Jackson pure and untainted.

With that said however, Crown of Ptolemy was just a small, irrelevant novella so I can’t make any rash judgments based on it. Therefore, I’m still excited to read Trials of Apollo because Camp Half Blood needs to re-enter my life. Hopefully the gloriousness of Percy Jackson and the Olympians re-enters with it.

Peace. εἰρήνη. xx

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The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

the heart of betrayal

Title: The Heart of Betrayal

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Edition: E-book

The title of this novel holds true because my heart was indeed betrayed.

This is the second installment of The Remnant Chronicles written by Mary E. Pearson so if you haven’t read the first one, The Kiss of Deception, you shouldn’t be here. Then again, if you couldn’t care less then read on. If you have read the first book in the trilogy then you may continue as well for I will try to keep this review void of spoilers. (Key word: try.)

I have no idea why it’s been so difficult for me to write this review but for some reason, I can’t seem to collect my thoughts on this book. I had such high hopes for the second installment of the remnant chronicles. Such high hopes. The way that The Kiss of Deception ended was so climactic, I was really excited to read about the infamous Venda and see what dragon business the Grendel was referring to. In addition to that, I was anticipating discovering more dimensions to Kaden’s character and with that, an actual love triangle that is worth seeing played out.

Alas, I was disappointed. There are basically only two factors that I can truly appreciate and those are Venda and The Komizar. Venda was rather inventive. They had a lot of strange customs and I liked how their “barbaric” ways were continuously twisted around to be not as cruel or disdainful as Lia (and readers) once thought. The Komizar was also a nice addition to the set of characters we already have. He was calculating, cold, and at times very very creepy which makes for a really good antagonist. There’s definitely a layer to him beyond the harsh exterior that was briefly brought to light and I was hoping it would have been further explained either in this book or the next but the ending left no room for that development.

As for the prophecy or what have you–referring to the one named Jezelia who will defeat the dragon–I was pretty sure the dragon was The Komizar. However, the altercation between him and Lia seemed too quick, too soon and a tad bit unresolved. It certainly didn’t improve the situation in Venda or the relations between kingdoms so I’m not too convinced about my former interpretation. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was hoping for an actual dragon. Especially when Lia was crawling through the catacombs and hearing questionable sounds. There’s still an entire book left though so like…anything can happen.

I was just expecting at least a little bit more clarity about it. Throughout the book, it was revealed here or there that some of the Vendans knew and remembered the Song of Venda hinting at a possible hushed rebellion brewing in the towns but for the most part this whole prophecy was on the sidelines only to present itself when Lia randomly saw Venda everywhere (what’s up with that?) or when she was telling the townspeople stories. By the way, I love how she gradually gained control over the Vendans to the point where literally hundreds of people would wait outside her window and yet The Komizar was completely oblivious. Like…the award for Most Perceptive definitely does not go to you.

The ending was incredibly confusing for me. I don’t know if that’s because I read it too quickly or what but to this day I’m still not sure where Rafe and Lia are or what happened to Rafe’s friends. Hopefully, The Beauty of Darkness clears up a lot of this confusion but until then, I’ll just sit here in my confusion and be confused.

I apologize for this horrible review. I blame it on the book. Just kidding. Mary E. Pearson please don’t see this.

Later, loves xx

EXCITING SHATTER ME NEWS!

Bro.

Bro.

Oh my stars.

Shatter me. May or may not become a TV series! 

I am bloody excited I tell you. You most likely aren’t aware of this but Shatter Me is my favorite trilogy of all time…of all time. The story is beautiful, the writing is beautiful, the characters are beautiful, and Juliette’s character development is indubitably the best development I have read in my entire life. My mind has never changed or been flipped around so much and so quickly as it was reading this series and I loved every minute of it. So you can believe me when I say, I was jumping on the balls of my feet at this news.

For a while, since it is so close to my heart, the Shatter Me series has been on my list of books I do not want adapted into a movie because I envisioned the world and all the characters perfectly that I didn’t want my imagination being corrupted. I have like a perfect illustration of everything set in my head and I would be devastated if I reread the books and could not get the real life actors or movie sets out of my head. In my opinion, a TV series is a better option than a movie because there is more wiggle room now that the producers don’t have to fit everything into 2 hours. They can stretch it out a bit and really capture all the plot details. I hope they take advantage of that opportunity and since Tahereh will be a consulting producer, I think we can have more in faith in the hope that they won’t mess it up. Just think about how perfect it all could be. I mean, Juliette in real life, Kenji’s witty remarks in real life, AARON WARNER ANDERSON in real life. I’m a bit nervous because let’s be honest, there is no man on this earth suited enough to play Warner so we can only hope they find someone very close. I’m hoping that the casting is exceptional for the other characters too though I couldn’t care less about Adam’s casting. And I am crossing my fingers that the people they cast actually know how to act so they can do the characters justice.

ABC Signature Studios are the ones who optioned for Shatter Me and that’s really comforting because they could really turn this series into something magnificent. I mean, have you seen Once Upon A Time and Marvel’s Agents of Shield (just to name a couple)? If the world were a wish-granting factory, CW would air Shatter Me. *Sigh* CW does everything right.

I’m really excited to see all the upcoming news regarding this tv series! Gah, this is such an exciting time! IS ANYONE ELSE AS EXCITED AS I AM???? Honestly, I just cannot wait.


Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs collaborated with some of my favorite booktubers! I’ll link the videos down below if you haven’t already seen them. (Whitney’s was my favorite; absolute perfection.)

Christine @ PolandBananasBOOKS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q8bThF7NQM

Whitney @ whittynovels – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlADv6w391s

Jesse @ jessethereader – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb4TdQrkVjk

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: red_queen_book_cover_a_pRed Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Dystopian

Edition: Hardcover

There’s so much hype revolving around this novel. When I went to the bookstore, I ended up buying it and the cashier was all “Oh my gosh that book is so good like *gah* so good!” I found the idea of classification between red bloods and silver bloods to be intriguing, and I always love a good dose of superpowers. But the world building was horrible. It wasn’t terrible to the point where readers could not imagine the setting but a lot of aspects about the world were just not even mentioned or clarified. Like why are there even some people with silver blood and others with red? Was this distinction just always there or did something happen along the way to the human race? Do Silvers have powers because of their blood or is there a mutation that comes along with the silver blood giving them powers? Does anybody even know? The main character, Mare Barrow, did not come off as one who was clueless about her society. In fact, she seemed well educated so one would assume that her being the narrator, she would have a little more extensive knowledge about her world. I believe she said something about the society not always being a monarchy but even that was blurry.

The beginning of this novel was a bit confusing as Mare and her childhood best friend, Kilorn, were going to a gladiator-type fight between a Silver and a Red. Eventually, the storyline cleared up and was quite exciting that I managed to finish the book in one day. I found Mare to be a pretty strong character. She was forced into a complicated situation where her opinion and choices mattered barely to not at all, yet she kept her tenacious spirit. The other characters, the princes Cal and Maven, were interesting enough. I liked how we were never comfortably sure about who they were and what angle they were playing; it sustained a mystery that in turn sustained my interest. Especially Maven. *clears throat loudly*

But anyway. The plot twist, I think, made this book better than it would have been had there been no plot twist. There was a certain point in the book where a character did something suspicious and I thought this could either go both ways–said person could be evil or genuine–but as the story progressed, I pushed those suspicions aside because the person’s involvement just got so deep and they seemed authentically GOOD. Sometimes, you think you can trust a person, you place your faith in them and they just rip your heart out. I’m being vague to prevent spoilers but if you read Red Queen you know exactly who I’m talking about. If you haven’t read this book just know that you will have your mind blown.

Even with the awesome plot twist, I could not rank this novel very high on my favorites list. The idea of Reds and Silvers was unique but beyond that, it was like a cross between X-Men and Hunger Games. Multiple times while reading, I couldn’t shake the comparisons that kept popping into my head because everything was just so similar. Even the characters sometimes. I swear Kilorn and Gale are the same person. Moreover, I sense a really annoying love triangle brewing and I really don’t want to read about it. Red Queen was interesting but now that the whole backstory is (more or less) covered, I feel like the plot from here on out will be so typical. Nevertheless, I will read Glass Sword. 

Let me know what you thought of this book if you’ve read it. Or if you just wanna talk that’s cool too. Bye! x

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

gathering darknessTitle: Gathering Darkness

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Genre: YA Fantasy

Edition: Hardcover

This is possibly the most gorgeous book cover I’ve ever seen. The best part is that it matches the gorgeous content inside the book so it’s a win-win! As the third installment in the Falling Kingdoms series, Gathering Darkness continues to follow the journeys of Cleo, Jonas, Lucia and Magnus along with the many other characters we were introduced to along the way. From the prologue, I immediately knew that this book was going to be a more magnificent read than the two before it. It was mysterious and completely unprecedented the detail that Morgan spun into the tale of the Kindred and the path to uncovering their whereabouts. Lucia, as we knew, was the key to it all as she became more confident in her magic and sorcerer abilities. To be honest, I still don’t find her as compelling as the rest and her capricious character–turning evil one minute then remorseful and back again–makes her seem so juvenile to me. It’s hinted that her magic is overwhelming her to the point where it changes her character but she’s always like Is my magic good? Is it bad? No. Magic has no preference, it’s the wielder that decides so grow a backbone and pick one.

Jonas is such a comical character. He somehow manages to make everyone think he is a force to be reckoned with, the rebel of rebels when in reality he accomplishes absolutely nothing. Why is he even a main character to be honest? His companionship with Felix, a new favorite of mine, only increased this rather embellished persona. I don’t blame him for suddenly turning against Felix cause I would to if I heard the same news but I hope we see him again in Frozen Tides and maybe learn more about his story. If you ask me, Cleo was the real undertaker of this novel. She was the only one confident in her plans while carrying out such plans with tact. I love seeing her grow into such a strong character and one who can be met with unexpected circumstances and not cower, although she was always a little fiery.

That plot twist was amazing! It was a whole lot of betrayals that turned out not to be betrayals, secret plans going on behind everybody’s back this whole time while no one was the wiser and I did not see any of it coming. Prince Ashur was meant to be a suspicious character but with everything that went down I was left befuddled at who he really was. All the schemes (especially Cleo’s) and deceptions were orchestrated with such finesse, just–yes, Morgan, yes. It’s too bad Prince Ashur met his unfortunate end, though. Speaking of ends, I want to talk about Alexius’s and how his death was the only one, among all the rest, that I felt for. One reason being because he was my second favorite character but also because it was just so emotional. That scene really appealed to my pathos and I want him back–I just–I want him back.

Can we take a moment to acknowledge Magneo. I mean. . .

 “You are the only light I can see anymore. And, whatever the cost, I refuse to let that light be extinguished.” 

This ship is officially sailing. I didn’t even officially ship them until like the end of Rebel Spring when I started to like Cleo more and then I couldn’t wait until something happened between them. The tension just kept building, it’s still building, it’s probably going to build up even more in Frozen Tides because neither Magnus nor Cleo are willingly going to admit the truth out in the open. *smiles deviously and maybe a bit creepily* It’s gonna be great.

So. Gold star for Gathering Darkness. Let me know what your thoughts were. I’m in pure anticipation for Frozen Tides. That Fire Kindred is something special; I can’t wait to see what surprises the other stones have to offer. x

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Title: Gathering Bluegathering blue

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Dystopian

Form: Paperback

 

If you were to ask me to give a synopsis of The Giver, I would just stare at you blankly until a new topic presented itself. I honestly would not even be able to give you as much as a character’s name. The last and only time I read it was in seventh grade which wasn’t really too long ago – give or take 6 years – but my English teacher went so in depth that you would think I’d at least remember something. Nope. So I conclude that it must have been pretty horrible and therefore I was less than excited to read Gathering Blue. 

The only reason I picked this up is because it’s on my summer reading list as required. It actually got voted as required by the students. I heard a lot of people that read it already saying how much they loved it. Then I read the blurb and thought ‘hmm hopefully this will be better than it’s precedent’.

This novel is about a girl named Kira who was born deformed and in her society, people scorn the weak. They are killed at birth if a deformity is detected but Kira was allowed to live on account of her mother. Unfortunately her mother is now dead and Kira has to face a trial to decide if she keeps her life or not. The verdict is in her favor but she has to leave her home and take up a job given to her by the Council of Elders for her gift of threading.

There will be spoilers in the rest of this review so if you are ever planning on reading Gathering Blue then don’t continue but if you aren’t or don’t care then by all means, read on!

So I began reading and I was maybe interested for about a page or two before it just got boring. Lowry’s writing style just was not doing it for me. There wasn’t anything special or unique about it. I was not able to hear any distinctive voice through her writing. On top of that, the main character, Kira (just reminds me of teen wolf ^.^), had no personality in my opinion. The other characters had some potential but we didn’t get to know anything about them, like Thomas for example. He could have talked a little bit about his childhood in his conversations with Kira. On another note, I was a little bit confused as to how Matt’s mother basically cast him out (mind you he’s a toddler) and allowed him to leave civilization, roam the forests far enough to find a whole new society of strangers and had no idea where her child was this entire time………………………..what kind of parenting…

In most dystopians, the societies seem pretty solid at first with some obvious flaws and then later you really see how messed up everything is. The society in Gathering Blue was plain broken to begin with. It seemed like no one really did anything much besides cook, eat, sleep, take care of their “tykes” and not go in the forests. The men would occasionally go out and hunt. Everything was rather primitive to be our future world.

I feel like this book had no resolution. Kira found her father on account of Matt and the color blue and he tells her this whole story about how he was attacked because of his status and is now blind. We find out the culprit is Jamison *gasp*. On top of that, Kira caught sight of chains around the Singer’s ankles and comes to conclusion that all the gifted people: her, Thomas, Jo and The Singer, are being held captive. She puts 2 and 2 together and deduces that the Council of Elders or most specifically Jamison may have deliberately killed her mother, Thomas’ parents and Jo’s parents. This way they would be alone and he can “adopt” them for their gifts. So instead of going back to the community of the injured where her father lives, she decides to stay. This is usually the middle point in novels where the character has a revelation and decides to fight back and the real “meat” of the story begins, right? WELL Lowry decides to end the book at this point. It just ends. Right there. Kira figures out this mass conspiracy and we have no idea what she does with it. There is no sequel to this book so we will never know if she confronted Jamison, if she started a revolt or what have you.

I just do not know what kind of ending that was BUT if you have read this book and have the same or contrasting views on it, please comment and we can talk about it. 🙂 Have a great day!

 

OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout

obsidian

Look over there! It’s a vampire! It’s a werewolf! No! It’s an….alien? Huh, that’s new.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one heck of a story. I just saw it on the shelf at my local bookstore and reading the blurb, thought it sounded interesting enough, so I bought it. Boy was that one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

The main character, Katy Swartz, moves to the next-to-empty town of West Virginia with her mom. After moving into her new house, she quickly notices her hot next door neighbor with the name of Daemon Black. From first impression, Daemon’s a jerk. His twin sister, Dee Black, however, is completely the opposite. She’s a sweetheart from the jump and immediately accepts Katy with welcoming arms. Daemon doesn’t approve of this because the Blacks have a secret. They aren’t really from around here and any human interacting too close with them might begin to notice a thing or two. As a result of her friendship with Dee as well as her susceptibility to danger, Katy discovers their secret pretty quickly. With that piece of knowledge comes plenty of interesting situations, involving some enemies both human and alien. All I’m going to say about Daemon and his family is that they are epic! Cool enough that I find myself wishing I was one of them. Even the Arum, rivals of the Luxen, are cool. Gash, everything is just so awesome!!

Katy Swartz is on my list of top favorite female characters. First of all, her personality is fresh and sassy which is always fun. Secondly, she could literally be my twin. She loves to read, has books all over her house, feels emotions equivalent to mine about fictional characters and she has a book blog. I felt like I was reading myself talking on the pages. I cherish narrators that I can relate to. When I read novels, I often find myself getting quite annoyed with female narrators. I don’t know what it is but there’s always something that I can’t stand. There was nothing irritating about Katy ever.

Daemon Black. This name is like music to my ears (Although, it’d be better if I was sure how to pronounce it). He is the epitome of perfect. Once you read further into the book, the guy starts to grow on you just as Katy starts to grow on him. He is still insufferable, but not to the point where you want punch him in the throat. He has the right amount of douche and the right amount of cuteness to balance it all out. I personally can’t deal with a guy who is all around too sweet, so Daemon is flawless. I kept falling more and more in love with him. Too bad Katy gets to have him. It’s not fair! Why?! In addition, Dee is just as loveable. She’s such a bright ball of sunshine! (literally ;)) I can’t help but smile whenever she comes into the scene. Sensing a pattern? Basically, all of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s characters are perfect to say the least. Heck, I even love Ash! I love the conversations and bantering between Daemon and Katy. It’s a stimulating relationship that they have.

I had a great amount of fun reading this! Late into the night, I proceeded to flip pages because I physically could not put the book down! My hands would not let me! Everything about it was intoxicating. This is like no other fantasy novel I’ve read. It seems so real, as if there could really be aliens walking among us this very moment and we would never know by how natural they all act. Now of course that is not true, but it’s the realism that counts. I finished this book in two days (and that’s only because of school -.-) and after 45 minutes, I was already having Daemon and Katy withdrawal symptoms. Yes. It was that bad. Or should I say that good. It was painful waiting to get my hands on the following book in the series, Onyx, especially since the back of Obsidian gave a sneak peek. (And what a marvelous sneak peek that was!)

This series is plain amazing. I love it, love it, love it and strongly, EMPHATICALLY suggest each and everyone of you who reads this to read Obsidian. With humor, wit, action, hot guys and girls (and aliens) with great personalities and a great plot, you will not be disappointed. 🙂