Friday, January 31, 2014

The Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series

Rating: 5 Stars
Author: Rick Riordan
Version: Hardcovers

I've been hearing a lot about the Percy Jackson series - PJO for those who don't know the slang - from Christine's booktube channel on YouTube (Click Here). So, I decided to ask for the first book- The Lightning Thief- for Christmas. Needless to say, I was surprised when I unwrapped the hardcover boxed set!

I don't really see the need to go into a synopsis of the plots, because that's what the summery section is for... and I think it does a pretty good job. I will place the summaries below the review section, because there are five books to be summarized and I don't want the length of this review to be intimidating.
There are several things I enjoyed about the PJO series. For example, the pacing is great, meaning that nothing seems too forced, nor too slow. You know how some books have dry spells? Well, I don't recall hardly any in these.. maybe 1 or 2, but I can't remember them, which is a good thing. Also, I really loved the fact that this series wasn't set around romance. Yes, there is some flirting and I'm extremely satisfied with the ending. However, the romance I'm referring to is the type where the girl/guy will absolutely die if they don't see their significant other every 5-10 minutes. Another thing I loved about the PJO series, is the fact that the characters were SO well developed. Some of my favorites are Annabeth, Artesmis, Nico, BlackJack, and Poseidon.

  • Annabeth is amazing.
  • Artemis is a boss.
  • Nico has that creepiness about him that I like and his powers are awesome.
  • BlackJack is a spunky black Pegasus and I have no doubt you will love him.
  • Poseidon is down to earth and fatherly, which isn't common of the Gods. 
I absolutely loved Rick Riordan's writing style. Read the first sentence out of The Lightning Thief and you will see what I mean. Read it off Amazon's sample: The Lightning Thief: 

Out of the five books, I would say my most favorite was The Last Olympian (the last book) and my least favorite was The Sea of Monsters (the second book). In order of favorites, it would have to be:
  1. The Last Olympian (Book 5)
  2. The Titan's Curse (Book 3)
  3. The Battle of the Laberinth (Book 4)
  4. The Lightning Theif (Book 1)
  5. The Sea of Monsters (Book 2)
I HIGHLY recommend this series to ANYONE that hasn't read them already. If you're worried about the fact that this book is middle grade level, please don't let that stop you. A book's content is not limited by the section it sits in, in the bookstore. 

Summary Section: (placed here to reduce the scare factor)
The Lightning Thief: 
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

The Sea of Monsters:
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.

The Titans Curse:

But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh and guess what. The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive...

The Battle of the Labyrinth:
Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

The Last Olympian:
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. 

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - , , , No comments

City of Fallen Angels

Rating: 4 Stars
Version: Hardcover
Author: Cassandra Clare

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series

After finishing City of Glass, I was unsure if whether or not I wanted to continue on with the series. After all, Cassandra Clare originally planed for TMI to be a trilogy and I was scared the books would begin to center on romance, which is just not my genre.  However, I saw this book in a used bookstore for $5 (hardcover) and I decided "why not?" 

Personally, I feel like this book took longer to "get into" than the prior three. Just for reference, I think I was somewhere around page 300 before I had the "omg I have to read more" reaction. However, once I hit that stage, I was satisfied. Much of the book focuses on Simon, which was a huge driving force behind Cassandra writing the book. For instance, you get numerous example of how the mark of Cain works and delver further into experiencing how Simon adjusts to becoming a vampire. Claire also releases a bit more history and foreshadowing when the group encounters a pretty powerful demon, but that's all you will get from me (no spoils). 

I'm still unsure if whether or not I will continue on with the series. Yet, I most likely will, but I'm in no rush to buy the next couple of books.

Background from Cassandra Clare: Click Here