The month of May has a lot of great new books coming out and of course I’m already behind in my to-read list. Sigh. Anyway, here’s a list a few books that I’m definitely going to try to get to in May. Let’s see how I’ll do.
Rick Riordan has written another winner here. I think I liked this more then the first book, The Sword of Summer. It was flowed a little bit better and Magnus’ sassiness really went up a notch in this one and I loved it! He wouldn’t let the fact that he was dead and will be spending eternity preparing for Ragnarok get him down. Nope. But really what I loved about this book more then anything else is the positive representation of diverse characters. I have praised Riordan in the past for his diversity and willingness to tackle difficult situations in his books. True, his main characters have been mainly white boys but his willingness to include characters of color and other sexuality is admirable for a kids author. So far his books have featured a Latino and Latina, Chinese Canadian, Gay teenagers, Biracial siblings, Native American girl, Black boy and girl, and Muslim girl and made them all well rounded full characters without ever falling into old stereotypes. In The Hammer of Thor he introduces us to Alex a gender fluid teen. As queer rights is becoming more and more a discussion point in our society, characters like Alex are even more important. She (I’m going to refer to her as She as Alex says that she mostly identifies as a She and spends most of a book as a female but at times Alex also identifies as Male too) is a person has been marginalized and misunderstood her whole life but has a strong conviction of who she is. Gender fluid people are not often depicted in pop-culture and not with the sensitivity and strength that Riordan writes her. But not only that, Riordan draws on the fact that Gender fluid people or argr as they were referred to by the vikings had a place in ancient Norse society. I think there are many people today who sort of think that LGBTQ community are the result of recent sins of the last hundred years or so. Not true. Just like how he wrote about Nico coming out and relating it to Cupid story he does it here. So props to you Mr. Riordan.
So let’s get back to the book. In the last book, we know that Thor has lost his famed hammer and now we know that some Earth Giants have it. They must get the Hammer back and thwart Loki’s plan to marry off Sam to the Giant, which is problematic since 1. Sam is still a teenager and 2. Sam has already been promised to marry Amir. They must traverse the seven realms to find another famed weapon and look for clues as to what Loki’s real objective is. Let’s just say, it’s not just to make sure his daughter is taken care of in a good marriage. Along the way, they meet democratic zombies, abusive father elves and giants who love to bowl. It all makes sense when you read the book. Riordan has always been good balancing the humor with the action. The book never waves or drags It was just keeps going and going and I can’t wait for the next one where they finally get act like vikings and hit the seas and PERCY!
If you haven’t read The Blood of Olympus, the last book of the Heroes of Olympus series, then stop reading now!
Now that we got that out of the way. Rick Riordan’s new series, The Trials of Apollo we follow the God Apollo who is being punished for his role in the rise of the Giants in the last series. What’s his punishment? Zeus has made him mortal. This is something that Zeus has done to Apollo before so once again, Riordan has taken directly from the myths and created his own world. We first meet the mortal Apollo in an alley in New York in January, a couple months after the end of the The Blood of Olympus. (For those who’ve read, Riordan’s Norse series with Magnus Chase, the first book in that series also took placed in January. So both of his current series are happening at the same time which may mean there may be some crossover coming) Apollo is as you expect him to be. He’s vain, arrogant and totally can’t believe that Zeus would turn into a human. Again. He is quickly introduced to a new demigod, named Meg who he is now pledge to serve until he completes his trials and Zeus says he can be called a God again. Things are rough for Apollo. 1. His mortal name is Lester. 2. He has none of his godly powers. In archery he only hit the dead center. He only made one person cry when he played the guitar. 3. He has acne. 4. He has no idea of why he’s being punished for one of his son’s role in the rising of the Giants and Gaea. That’s totally not fair but then again when has Zeus ever been fair. With the help of some familiar faces, *cough* Percy Jackson *cough* Apollo is taken to Camp Half Blood where he finds that the sins of his past are coming back to haunt him and also it turns out that not everyone loved him before. With the help of the demigods, Apollo must face the trials to prove his worth and take down probably the biggest threat to humanity so far. No big deal. For those who miss characters from previous books, some show up here and we get updates on a few others and hints that others will be making appearances in later books. But what I like the most about Riordan’s writing is how he incorporates tough subjects into his stories without be heavy handed. Like how he handled Nico’s coming to terms with his sexuality. Here, we have one character deal with emotional abuse. It was heartbreaking to read and I feel it will only get worse before it gets better but no less important to talk about. I also love his sense of humor. Apollo isn’t as sarcastic as Percy or as sassy as Magnus but he is not without a sense of humor. Even when he isn’t in on the joke. All in all, this was a very promising start to the series and I can’t wait to see what happens next when Apollo aka Lester takes the show on the road.
It’s 2016! Happy New Years!! A new year means new books! And we love new books even if they just add to our TBR pile. So here a 10 books that I’m super excited to read in 2016!
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater- The final book in the Raven Cycle and I couldn’t be more excited and dreading at the same time. It is well documented about how much I love the series and Maggie as an author. I can’t wait to see what will happen to Blue and the Boys but at the same time not ready to say goodbye.
The Hidden Oracleby Rick Riordan – The first book in Rick’s new series The Trials of Apollo is going to be good. I just know it. For one thing Percy is back! That’s really all I need to know. I also hope it means that Leo is also back and happy and in love with Calypso. That would be the best.
Untitled by Sarah J. Maas – So the next book in the Throne of Glass series doesn’t have a title but hasn’t dampened my excitement for it. Aelin has all but declared her intentions and now heading for home. The real fight for Erilea is abou to get real.
A Torch Against the Nightby Sabaa Tahir – An Ember in the Ashes was one of the books that I loved the most last year. A mixture of historical fiction, dystopian and fantasy it was truly something refreshing. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The Last Starby Rick Yancey – The final book in the 5th Wave series should be interesting. The 5th Wave was full and real but the The Infinite Sea was a intriguing but not as entertaining. Now that we know that who the aliens are and not things are really going to go down. Not to mention the movie for the first book comes out soon and I’m quite interested to see how it transitions from page to screen.
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – The Red Queen was the other book by a new author in 2015 that I really loved. The other was Ember in the Ashes. It was quite a debut. I can’t wait to see what Mare will do now.
Lady Midnightby Cassandra Clare – It’s been over a year since Cassandra’s last series ended. She has filled the void with her novella series Tales from Shadowhunter Academy it hasn’t been the same. Now we are moving from New York City to LA with Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorne five years after the end of The Mortal Instruments so of course the world is once again in peril and it’s mostly the Clave’s fault. I do hope it’s better then the last 3.
A Court of Mist and Furyby Sarah J. Maas – I’ll admit that I was only so so on the first book but I think this series has real potential and I’m willing to give it a go.
The Hammer of Thorby Rick Riordan – Magnus and friends stopped Ragarnok from happening at least for now and now he’s going to have help from his cousin Annabeth. (Annabeth is going to be very busy this year) We know from the last book that Thor lost his hammer and judging by the title that is going to be a major part of this book but he won’t be the only God as we also know that Loki has been pulling strings for a long time. Things should get interesting.
The Song Risingby Samantha Shannon – Now I’m not sure if this book is really going to come out this year or not but according to Goodreads, it’s scheduled for 11/3 so *crosses fingers* Paige has taken over the syndicate only to be betrayed by her former boss. It’s time to start a revolution against Scion but I have a feeling they won’t go down without a fight.
And so many more books I want to read and not to mention try to complete our reading challenges. It’s going to be a busy reading year. How about you? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?
We are big fans of Rick Riordan here at Stacks so we or at least I am since Kate has yet to finish Blood of Olympus (and I will continue to publically shame her until she does, out of love of course). We saw that USA TODAY published the cover to the first book of Rick’s new series The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. The series is a small spoiler as to what happens to a certain God at the end of the last series but then again, if you know your Greek Mythology then you know that Apollo has a history of pissing off Zeus and that he gets turned into a human. The most exciting part of all of this is that it returns us to Percy Jackson’s world and another trip to Camp Half-Blood. Rick may explore other mythologies like Egyptian in the Kane Chronicles and Norse in his latest Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard but he always seems to come back to Greek mythology and Percy. USA TODAY not only revealed the cover but also publish a short excerpt and it’s pretty clear that Apollo is in for a world of hurt. After ten books from demi-gods point of view, it’s going to be fun to read from a God’s point of view, even if it is one turned human.
Who else is excited to read about Apollo’s adventures? Or who is more excited about more Percy and the gang? Is it May yet?
Ungodly is the final book in the Goddess War Trilogy. The Greek Gods may not be worshiped like they did in Ancient Greece but being Immortal, they are still around and living mostly normal lives. That is until they mysteriously start getting sick. Gods are not supposed to get sick but Athena is coughing up feathers, Hermes is wasting away, Aphrodite has gone mad. Artemis is perpetually being hunted, just name a few. Athena and Hermes set out to try to figure out what is going on. This leads them to find the mortal heroes from the Trojan wars, Achilles, Odysseus, Hector, Cassandra and Andromache. The thing is that they are now teenage kids who have no idea who they really are/were or are just waking up to it. Only thing they know is that they are in a world of trouble.
I like this series because it was fun to read but also an interesting take on Greek Myths. These Gods and Goddess are not Greek Gods of Rick Riordan. They are not all gathered in one place on Mount Olympus at the Empire State Building keeping tabs on the world below. They are scattered about the world with litter to no contact with each other. They have gone on living their own lives and well still holding the same grudges for thousands of years. Also the threat of dying has really humanize them in ways they never could be before. They learn what it feels to live with the uncertainty that they will live to see tomorrow. As for their human heroes, the Gods, particularly Athena and Hermes, find they are more sympathetic to them. They are not just weapons to be used when needed but actually people with actual lives.
Cassie is really Cassandra who was a oracle during the Trojan War that Apollo cursed that no one will believe her. Now in modern day she’s just Cassie who is in love with Aiden, oblivious to what’s going on until she meets Athena and Hermes. She finds out that not only she a character from the Ilaid but so is her brother Henry (Hector) and her best friend Andie (Andromache). Oh and Aiden is actually Apollo, who feels really bad about that whole curse thing. Considering the past run in the Gods didn’t go so well, you can probably bet that they aren’t going to get along all that well in the present either. I definitely love how all of them at one point or another stand up the the various Gods. They don’t just fall in line and do whatever they are told do. It takes some major gumption to stand up to Athena. They each are in various states of conscience of who they were and they each have to figure out who they are now. Do they just except that it is their fate to relieve the same drama all over again or do they choose their own path? Isn’t that what we all struggle with?
There is a lot of action throughout the series. Gods taking on each other. Of course, Hera is a villain, when isn’t she? You almost have to feel sorry for Hera. She is constantly playing the villain. To be fair, she did do some pretty terrible things but to be also fair she also endures some pretty terrible things too. Anyway, total side note. There are a lot of twists and turns and not afraid of killing off characters for the sake of the story. It’s fun read for all those who love Greek Mythology, kick ass heroes and heroines and action.