Book 65: The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) – Rick Riordan

Riordan, Rick - The Blood of OlympusThis is one of those books that I probably should’ve re-read the entire series before reading. So much has happened in the novels, especially if you go all the way back to the first Percy Jackson book, but even just within the five books of this series it’s been a long journey.

As much as I want to say this was the best book in the series, I honestly think The House of Hades was better. And this is for a couple of reasons. If possible The Blood of Olympus had TOO much action. I get that this is the end of a series which is a spin-off/second half of another series, but this book just didn’t stop with the epic battles. Sure they’re facing the end of the world and Riordan said it best,

“Today, one way or another, their journey would end.” (378)

But honestly, the book left me exhausted and not in a good way. It felt like there was so much that happened off the page that I couldn’t keep track of who was where and what was happening. There are spoilers to the series and this book so don’t read past here if you’re planning to read it.

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Book 46: The Hangman’s Revolution (W.A.R.P. #2) – Eoin Colfer

Colfer, Eoin - W.A.R.P. #2 - The Hangman's RevolutionIf it weren’t for the strength of the last book and Colfer’s series in general, the opening line of this novel might’ve made me turn back! I originally requested a copy of this from the publisher and you can read about my issues here (last paragraph under Books and Bookish – yes I’m naming and shaming now).

However, given the opening lines “meh” and the fact this is a second book in a series (almost always “meh”) this book turned out to be almost as good as The Reluctant Assassin the first of the W.A.R.P. series.

Part of the struggle, for me, with this novel is that the first one came out early last year and I’ve read so many books since then! Add in that this book starts in an alternative present and it took a few chapters to really start remembering characters and what happened in the previous book. I’m not sure if every book will be like this and I’m pretty sure not with the way this ended but there was a Chekhov gun introduced that I’m assuming will span the series (or at least another book)!

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Book 72: The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) – Rick Riordan

Riordan, Rick - The House of HadesIn this, the penultimate novel of The Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan sets the scene for a HUGE finale in the last and final book. I’ve had my name on the wait list for this book since I finished The Mark of Athena back in February or whenever the library first let me add my name to the list and I will do the same thing with the final installment, The Blood of Olympus.

This book picks up right where The Mark of Athena left off and keeps filling up details and providing more and more tension before everything snaps between Gaea and the demigods and gods. To be fair the series could end with this book and I wouldn’t be mad as there was a pretty succinct ending to this novel versus many of the other cliff hangers I’ve read before like that at the end of the last novel. This one although much sadder, the characters and readers of the series are growing up, was much more encapsulated.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS so if you plan on reading these books, I would not recommend reading after this point. There might not be any for this book, but there may be for earlier books in the story, but no promises – this is the fourth book in the series.

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Book 15: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) – Rick Riordan

Riordan, Rick - The Mark of AthenaI can’t wait for the next in this series to come out!

When it does, I’m going to re-read the first three all over again because there were so many details I only vaguely recalled AND their just fun reads! (Although this might not happen as The House of Hades‘ scheduled publication is August 2013, but I hope to get the chance!)

From what I do recall from the first two books, this is definitely more action packed and definitely not lacking. However, in the end it was just as much a tease as the others. For the entire book I held out hope that some of the major plot lines of the series would be wrapped up, but only one of them was (which was definitely nice). I was, however, very glad that the seven demigods from the prophecy were finally together and the teen angst in the book definitely added to the plot (although I’ve yet to read an author who does teen angst as well as J.K. Rowling).

What’s great is Riordan is slowly perfecting his new style of writing (third person narration) and I think he’s improved over the last few of his novels. In addition he’s stuck with his strengths of weaving disparate stories (and cultures) together and creating a crazy cacophony of non-stop action.

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Book 68: 1984 – George Orwell

I started to read this a few months ago, but I just couldn’t get into it in the first few pages. Setting it aside was apparently the right thing to do because when I read it this time I enjoyed everything about it (with the exception of the ending). 1984 counts for both my 2012 Back to the Classics Challenge (20th Century Classic) and The Classics Club.

Once again, as it seems happens more and more frequently, I’m at a loss of how to respond to a novel. I both loved and hated 1984. I thought the ending was a bit tough to get through, but once you got through it the middle of the novel was amazing and kept me wanting to know what happened, but then the ending was let down, even though I get it.

I want to talk a bit more about the ending. I mean I get why it happened the way it did and I think Orwell was right in doing what he did. Part of this books charm/draw is that for 99% of the book Orwell keeps you interested and hopeful that Winston will break the trend, will do what no one else (that we know of) will be able to do. Even at the end of the novel you think – this is it, he’s going to break free, but then Orwell shuts you down and you, the reader, begin to feel the helplessness and despair that the party members of Oceania must feel.

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Book 65: The Enchantress – Michael Scott

Now THIS is how you end a series. Although I’m definitely sad about quite a few things, it took until the final ten pages for me to find out what was going to happen. And when I realized I scared the dogs because I yelled out ‘NO WAY!’ in excitement and wonder and then jumped up and paced while I read the last few pages.

After the lackluster ending to the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read the last book of Michael Scott’s The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, but I am glad I did. Although I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have (it’s been over a year since I read book 5), it was definitely an awesome ending! I think I’m going to have to purchase copies of the series and re-read them next year. Good thing work got me a $100 gift certificate to a local book store and I recently purchased to Groupons/Google Local coupons for a total of $50 (I only paid $25) for two local used book stores :-D

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Book 8: The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) – Rick Riordan

In book two of The Heroes of Olympus cycle, Riordan comes through on the perceived promise of keeping things as exciting as in The Percy Jackson and the Olympians cycle.  I’ve already discussed my lack of enthusiasm over the Kane Chronicles so I’ll move right in to this review/summary/pontification.

This novel takes place immediately after the events of The Lost Hero. However, rather than continuing with Leo, Piper and Jason we finally get to catch up with Percy Jackson. Not only do we not find out what happened over the past eight months, he was apparently sleeping, but he also appears with very little recollection of who he is and what he’s done in the recent past. (However, he knows more than Jason – I guess because his story was already written.) Instead of waking up in Camp Half-Blood, he is on the run from various monsters and steadily making his way to Camp Jupiter – a Roman demigod camp located somewhere in California – where all Greeks face a cold welcome.

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