Tag Archives: Percy Jackson

The Lost Branch

 

Here, Learn some more about this book:

 

The 1-line Review:

What can I say, I loved this book just as much as the first. The magic gets even better, the plot lines are deep and woven, and we get a great story line into the history preceding the main trilogy story line.

The longer review

Marcellus, Nicolai, and Corren have to handle new roles as King, Prince, and Head of the order. The Norther magical guild, The Osiris Colony threatens the balance of the realm with a claim to the powers of the Phoenix. The earth faeries face a challenge that will challenge their way of life. Can the new king and his brothers safeguard the realm of humans and fairies before the land they know is destroyed?  (you should read and see)

The magic continues to impress from the first book. The book dives into the history of the  Mapmaker and the earth fairies that added a great depth of knowledge to the character of Salerno as well as the origins of The Order.  There is still much to learn about the order, leaving mysteries for the next installment.

The Lost Branch matches the great depth the first book, Gift of the Phoenix, contained . Again the layers of major and minor plot lines are woven together so intricately, and feel separate but connected at the same time  I felt like there were several “mini ending” throughout the story that gave me a satisfying sense as each perspective plot line came to a close.

The main character of each chapter rotates among Marcellus, Nicolai, and Corren, with occasional chapters and excerpts centered around pro and antagonists. Each chapters grips and pulls you into a story line, only to be switched back into another characters story pages after. It ends up creating quite the page turner as you constantly are reading to get back to each character to see what happens next.

Bottom Line:

 I can’t wait for the next! this series is truly one of the great ones.

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The Dragon boy is back!

 

Here, Learn some more about this book:

 

(You can read the beginning of the book in that blog link up there!)

The 1-line Review:

Action and adventure are abound in a book even better than the first.

The longer review:

The Watcher of Zargon built upon the strong foundation built by Ben the Dragonborn. It was hard to put this book down, reading one chapters became eight as I tried to stretch my lunch breaks to get more reading in. Much less takes place at the school as Ben, Allison, and new student Mack are quickly dropped into Zargon. The rest of the story became a back and forth of

Zargonian war, family feuds, and diplomacy written in a way that is understandable and appropriate for the  intended reader (juvenile) while still being very entertaining for an adult reader.

 

I think the greatest improvements from book one stem from the growth of the author. Ben and Allison’s feelings and actions more accurately portray their age (14-15 years old) in this book. I felt they, particularly Ben, acted a bit younger than 13-14 year olds in the previous book. The Watcher of Zargon also has much better chapter to chapter flow than its predecessor; it sheds some of the episodic feel of the last book.

 

By the end of this book, readers of the six world series have journeyed with ben through 3 worlds, with the promise of an adventure on an unexplored world in the next installment. I certainly hope we get a story into each of the remaining worlds that have not been traversed by Ben and Allison.

Where the book lost half a star:

I’d say my only wish for for a bit more length to the stories. A little more dialogue and a interpersonal development will go a long way for the  coming stories. I think any youngins’ reading the next installment will already be invested in the series and be able to take a little more complexity without losing interest.

Bottom Line:

A series that is picking up speed and worth coming back to again!

 

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The Map to Everywhere

 

 

The Quick Review:
This is the best read of the year. I loved it so much I will buy the hardcover when it comes out, even though I got the E-book for free. This book series will fit well into a shelf filled with Brandon Mull and Rick Riordan. The cover is one of those covers that make you want to buy the book (because everyone does judge books by their covers) and the story doesn’t let you down. Everything about this story feels different, original, and all blends together perfectly.

Story Summary:

(Taken from Goodreads) To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway which connects every world in creation (Apparently she shouldn’t have climbed aboard the mysterious pirate ship that sailed out of nowhere and into a dry Arizona parking lot. How was she to know?).

With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere, but they aren’t the only ones looking. A dark and sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear-not least of all themselves!

In Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’ first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.

The Longer Review:

This book had a lot of “Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before” moments. It felt very original. Fin, one of the two main characters is fresh and completely out of the box. Many of the characters just struck me as different I didn’t find myself thinking about stereotypical characters types at all. There is no info dump and all the characters still have some mystery about them by the end of the book.

The scenery and locations in this book are fantastic. There all unexpected and it is hard to guess ahead to what’s in store as Fin and Marill travel down the pirate stream. They, along with the corky wizard Ardent and stern Captain Coll, hope from realm to realm on a magic induced goose chase that is hard to foreshadow. The story is very well thought out, the authors must have layered and re-layered the plot along the way. Every little detail in every chapter is related to the ending. Things I read over as such minor details became important at the end. There was no fluff or unnecessary chapters.

I disagree with the reviewers who say this book is too confusing. Middle school readers will have a fine time following along with this book. If the intended reader can keep up with a Fable haven book, then they will be fine reading through The Map to Everywhere.

There are a bunch of visuals that are going to be added to the final version that were left out of the advanced read copy. I want to know what they are! The book doesn’t need pictures, the writing is great, but the inner child in me wants to see the pictures. I want to see the movie as well. Can we get started on making that? There’s going to be a lot of cgi involved, so they need to get started now.

Conclusion:
Again, my read of the year. And that’s after reading Some Riordan earlier in the year (one of my favorites.) This book has the potential to be huge. I really hope it is. I want this to become a long series.

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The Son of Sobek-by Rick Riordan


The Son of Sobek is a long needed crossover of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles; written in the point of view of Carter Kane, who unknowingly crosses paths with Percy Jackson. The two boys have to team up to defeat a Pegasai eating crocodile wearing an Egyptian necklace.

The whole story could have easily been a few chapters in either of the main characters main books. Humorous and light hearted despite a creature trying to kill the both of them. Riordan opens the door for the two boys’ storylines to merge into (I’m hoping) a crossover trilogy or series of some sort. That would be awesome.

My critique and reason for the 3.5 stars can’t be said without spoilers, so here goes it.
Spoiler Time………
The all intelligent, ever studious, Carter Kane cannot put two and two together and just assume Percy Jackson is of Greek origin. He went on for half the book talking about how they were so similar, but unfamiliar. They both talk about monsters and gods, but in different ‘dialects’ (Greek terminology vs Egyptian.) But by the end of the story, the two boys decide it is best not to tell each other their origins.

I can believe Percy is none the wiser; he needs Annabeth to teach him Greek history. I don’t expect him to know a lick of Egyptian history. But Carter claims he could probably discover what it all means, but he shouldn’t dig. Carter is a book worm, he should be more aware than most high school age students on a little bit of Greek history. I don’t buy into the play dumb card that Riordan used for Carter. This is as bad as Clark Kent taking off his glasses and no one can figure out he is Superman.

An Annabeth and Sadie short story just came out. I am anticipating much more from that short story. Annabeth should have no problem figuring out what Carter Kane failed to.

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Ben the Dragonborn by Dianne Astle- Review

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The Quick Review:

Boys between 8 and 12 will absolutely love this book; it is written perfectly for this age group. Ben the Dragonborn is a fun and exciting read that fiction-fantasy fans of any age will be able to get into. The story reads very quickly and is easy to follow.  This is the kind of story you will want your children to read if you want to show them that reading can be fun; and not like all the awful books teachers make you read in grade school.

The Longer Review:

Ben the Dragon born is a great new fantasy series. The book has a recipe of successful concepts and ideas that are familiar to a YA fantasy reader, but in no way does this book seem like a copy. It is unique and original in every way.

Portals to unknown worlds; gifted children chosen for quests; an array of imaginative creatures; and a school that is magical and secretive.  Fans of the 100 Cupboards series, Fablehaven, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter will find something to love in this book.

The Story:

Ben is a regular student at a not so regular school. He knows the school is different, but he and his friend cannot figure out why.  A meeting with his principle turns into a quest to another world. Ben has to decide if all this is real, and if he really has what it takes to save another world from a disaster that the natives cannot fix themselves.

The Writing: 

Astle’s writing is very easy to read and follow. Her story is not bogged down with too much detail or unnecessary back-story. Ben the Dragon born felt like a fun, bight adventure that is perfectly suited for the “Juvenile Fiction” genre.

The story reads very quickly, and the characters move very fast through the story. My only critique is a budding romance between 2 characters. They go from despising each other to putting up with each other in a few chapters. Then you turn the page and one is saying she loves the other.  This happened over the course of a day, maybe two, in the story. It was just way too fast for those feelings to develop like that. That said it did not detract from or get in the way of the story, and is probably a believable progression of feeling for a very young reader.

The Characters:

The story follows the POV of Ben, a student at Fairhaven. He goes through most of the story with 2 companions around his age, Jared and Charla. Ben and Jared seem very average, no over the top emotions or character flaws. It is nice to see main characters who are normal, rather than super nerdy or over defiant. Charla is over confident and a little arrogant, which plays well into the adventure.

Conclusion:

This is a must read for boys. Books like this are what get you into reading at a young age. I wish I had more stories like this when I was in grade school. It is an exciting story, full of adventure, and easy to read. I look forward to the next one.

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The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus book 4) Review

5/5 Stars

THIS IS A MUST READ! Exciting, unexpected, dark, and complex (keeping the intended age group in mind.)

Riordan writes a story that any child (or adult) can relate to. He has characters from all walk of life, gender, and preference beautifully portrayed working as an effective team in an incredibly entertaining story.

Riordan weaves yet another story better than anything he has written before.  The House of Hades contains multiple and intricate plots that are complicated and weave together perfectly.  The plot twists and character relationships and development are more exciting and surprising than could have already been expected from one of Riordan’s works. The House of Hades is written appropriately for the intended age group and reads just as well as any adult fiction fantasy novel.

SOME SPOILERS BELOW

Pros:

Darker writing than the previous novels

The relationship dynamics feel real and connect with readers.

Frank, Leo, Hazel, and Piper characters develop well.

Nico’s plot twist

Cons:

Beginning felt too similar to previous Riordan Novels

Jason’s character doesn’t develop much.

Barley any Grover

Nico’s plot twist

The Long:

The first 1/3 of this novel was enjoyable. It reads how you expect a Riordan book to read.  I was expecting the entire book to read like this, and would have given it 4 stars. I gave it 5 because I believe the few cons I found look like they will be fixed in the last instalment and are not enough to take away even half a star from a great read.

The rest of the book was filled with twists and unexpected surprises; It deserves 5 stars without a doubt. Old characters are brought back, and not always ones you expect. New gods and creatures emerge as well. Many of the new characters are not ones I would have anticipated.  The protagonists and their relationships become complex and connect well with readers. The multiple plot lines twist unexpectedly and come together so fluidly at the end, I am left to wonder if Riordan wrote The entire series from back cover to front cover.

The Story:

I will be short here, since most readers know what the storyline is about. Percy and Annabeth need to get to one side of the doors of death. The rest of the team has to get to the other side of it, get them out, and save the day.

The story picks up right where the cliff hanger from The Mark of Athena left off. The first four chapters in the POV of Hazel bring us right into the action upon the Argo II and dust off the cobwebs from what we forgot from reading The Mark of Athena. The next few chapters and a few chapters give us the POV of Annabeth, figuratively and literally brushing away the cobwebs of The Mark of Athena and Arachnae.

Annabeth and Percy do the opposite of what instincts would say; they travel as deep as they can into the pits of Tartarus in order to get out. Hazel, Frank, Leo, Piper, Nico, Jason, and Coach Hedge take the Argo II through a typical amount of demigod sidetracks and obstacles to get to the doors of death from the other side in order to save Percy and Annabeth. The odds seem insurmountable, and a prophecy leads them all to believe that some of them will not see the end of this journey.

The Writing: 

Riordan writes in the POV of the 7 demigods on the quest. Riordan does an excellent job making each character’s POV unique to their personalities, and at no time did I lose track of what character I was reading. Nico is the only demigod on the Argo II with no chapter written in his POV.

Riordan does an excellent job at being able to depict an intricate scene in only a few sentences.  I feel like I can clearly see the movie version of his stories play out in my head as I read.

 

The Characters:

Riordan adds character depth to all the demigods. Self-reflection is set in between action scenes, but does not feel out of placed or forced. It was always the right amount.  The friendships/relationships between demigods also blossom and evolve in ways that felt very natural.

Hazel, Leo, Piper, and Frank all morph from unsure kids into self-confident demigods through the novel.  You can feel the conflict and emotion involved in each of their internal struggles and I felt like any reader could relate to their problems on some level.

Frank is forced into the role of hero and leader a few times, and has to make the decision to leave the awkward, bumbling Frank in the past and become a savior for much of the demigod team.  It was a breath of fresh air to see a new leader emerge, since the obvious candidates were Jason and Percy.

Hazel and Piper both take on struggles of developing their true powers. They become friends and help each other develop their weaknesses into strengths.  Both of them hone in and perfect their demigod abilities.  They both become assets to the team success and transform throughout the novel.

Nico’s development was the only one that truly shocked me and I did not see it coming (look elsewhere for this spoiler.)  I worried that it might be an overplayed or misplayed topic, but Riordan did not over or underuse this topic. It, again, felt very natural and fit into the story. Nico’s part could have been written in a more standard view and it would not have changed the story, but I like that Riordan added this depth to a character in one of his stories. I hope Nico develops more in the last novel, and I believe he will with the responsibility he took on in the end.

Leo seemed to have the greatest change. He went from boy to man from beginning to end. He finds love in someone other than Hazel, and it seems like it brought his head and heart to peace. The change in Leo ends up bringing him closer to Hazel and frank. This love strengthens Leo’s resolve, and helps create a great side plot to return to in the last novel.

Percy, Annabeth little individual development, but their relationship flourishes. Percy and Annabeth have been strong characters throughout two series, so they don’t need as much depth. The reader really gets to see their relationship hit that level where they have the utmost care and confidence in each other. The journey through Tartarus really brings out there connection to each other. It is amazing to look back on the independent Annabeth and misguided Percy from their very first debut; now they both seem to be halves of one whole relying on each other’s strength and calmness to push on, even when their journey seemed hopeless at every turn.

Jason makes a decision toward the end that helps him understand himself better. He was more sure of himself in previous novels.  Other characters comment how they cannot get a read on him as well. I have to assume this is intended for some purpose in the last installment. I wish there was a little more of him in this novel.

Coach Hedge is the same belligerent Coach Hedge I love, but gets a little softness around the edges. It was nice to see him change a little as well.

Bummer! Reyna was only in a chapter here or there. Octavian, and Rachel dare made minimal appearances. Worst of all is Grover was seen once! And by a character other than Percy. If Percy dies, Grover dies due to their connection. Percy was practically dead the whole book, I figured Grover would have been involved more.

Overall:

A five star read!!! It is what you expect from Riordan, plus a little bit more.  This is Riordan’s best work to date.

Did you like this review? Let me know why or why not. I want to talk to you and make my reviews better. Thanks for reading!

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