Quick Review: Reunited by Colleen Houck

reunited So I’m just going to come and say it, this wasn’t Colleen’s best work.  To be honest, I was kinda bored through most of it.  The first 2/3 of the book was kinda like the never ending camping trip in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Lily and Ahmose had to must trek through the cosmic universe, through the land of the dead to battle mythical creatures to help the Egyptian Gods and wake the other other Sons of Egypt, Amon and Asten.  All while having internal arguments with the two other people inhabiting Lily’s body, Tia and Ashleigh so they can altogether form a fourth person to defeat Seth.  Yeah, there was a lot going on there.  Maybe it would have been better if I cared more for Lily, Tia or Ashleigh.  Maybe it was just the pacing of the book.  It felt repetitive and throwing all these unnecessary tasks and battles in her way.  All these life or death situations that you knew she was never really in danger since she is the heroine and we have another 300 pages to go. To be fair some of those run-ins turned out to be important to the finale but most of it could have been completed left out and it wouldn’t have effected the narrative.  I’m glad that this series is now over and she can refocus on her better series, Tiger Saga, which the fifth book has been in the works for at least four years now.  Bring me back Kelsey, Ren and Kishan ASAP.

Quick Review: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

dark prophecy I keep waiting for Rick Riordan to write a bad book.  The Dark Prophecy is not that book.  He just keep coming up with fresh and different ideas of making these old stories relevant and fun.  Whoever is the God or Goddess of story telling, Rick Riordan is their son.  When we last left Apollo, he’s reeling from the betrayal of Meg, a new prophecy sending him to Indianapolis and the reappearance of Leo and Calypso. That’s a lot for a former God turned mortal teenage boy to handle but handle he must.  When Apollo, Leo and Calypso arrive they are greeted by some very polite monsters because of course the monsters that inhabit the Midwest would be polite.  they are rescued by two former Hunters of Artemis Emmie and Josephine who tells them that their daughter is missing.  She had gone to the dark oracle for help from the second Emperor who has made Indianapolis his home.  Of course this Emperor Apollo has personal history with making everything more awkward.  As the crew tries to figure out how to defeat Emperor Commodus and get the next prophecy without going crazy they experience the same mythic hi-jinks of the other books.  Yes, these book can at times feel be formulaic but it never feel feels like that.  They are just fun, witty and refreshing.  Rick doesn’t shy away for the more uncomfortable stories from Greek and Roman mythology or tries to wash them out either.  Many of these stories are not happy or fun but then again neither is life and yet Rick never lets it get to dark.  He is always able to find the absurdity in them.  Bring on the next one.

May Flowers Bring New Books

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.

May 2:

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

May 16:

Seeker by Veronica Rossi

May 23:

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

May 30:

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

 

Review: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

hammer-of-thor 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!

Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

hidden oracle***SPOILERS***

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.