Calendar Girls November: Best Middle Book in a Series

 

calendar girls november

I’ll be honest with you guys, the actual answer to this prompt for me is not the book I’m going to be picking. You see, of the three The Lord of the Rings volumes, The Two Towers is my favorite. But I’ve always considered The Lord of the Rings to be one novel. It was published as three because at the time a 1,000 page novel was unthinkable, but Tolkien intended it to be one book. And the three books don’t really stand on their own. They’re meant to be read back to back to back.

So I’m not picking that.

Instead I had a very difficult time choosing between two books, both in the same series. It’s a five part series, and books three and four are both AMAZING, and I love them for different reasons. It’s so hard to choose!

So, as I do, I chose the one that made my heart gush all the romantic feels. Especially the end. Good gargoyles, that end!

My favorite middle book in a series is… Continue reading “Calendar Girls November: Best Middle Book in a Series”

Review: The Blood of Olympus

18705209The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Kids (Middle Grade), Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.


I have mixed feelings about The Blood of Olympus.

Continue reading “Review: The Blood of Olympus”

Review: The House of Hades

12127810The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Kids (Middle Grade), Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆


At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.


House of Hades continues stylistically and thematically where Mark of Athena left off. This book continues on a slightly darker path than the previous three. While Riordan’s trademark sense of humor is still present, it feel subdued compared to previous books. The whole thing feels a lot more serious than any of Riordan’s other books, probably appropriate considering the context of impending world destruction and a journey through Tartarus. Yet the story continues to be compelling, fun, interesting, and well researched, everything I have come to expect from Riordan. Continue reading “Review: The House of Hades”

Review: The Mark of Athena

12127750The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Kids (Middle Grade), Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆


In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-blood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery…


I’ll be honest, the thing I was most looking forward to about this book was reading from Annabeth’s point of view. Annabeth has been my favorite character since the first book of the first series, and finally getting to read about her was a real treat, even if it did involve several rather frightening spider sequences. Continue reading “Review: The Mark of Athena”

Review: The Son of Neptune

9520360The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adult, Kids (Middle Grade), Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆


Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.


As the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series, one might expect a bit of a sophomore slump from the Son of Neptune. But it maintains that fast pace, sense of humor, and emotion that made The Lost Hero stand out. Continue reading “Review: The Son of Neptune”

Disney Sidekicks Book Tag

I usually post a tag on Sunday, because tags are fun. But I haven’t been tagged for one in a while. (Come on buddies, step it up!) So I went hunting for one in my reader. And of course, anything with Disney is going to catch my eye. I saw this tag on Books and Other Pursuits, go and check her out!


Mushu: Favorite hilarious character or comedy/funny book

giphy

As I mentioned earlier this week on The Calendar Girls, Where’d You Go Bernadette is the funniest book I have ever read. Even my husband loved it! It’s a unique book too, told almost completely using documents, rather than in narrative form. I highly recommend to anyone who loves satire.  Continue reading “Disney Sidekicks Book Tag”

Review: The Lost Hero

7736182The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adults, Kids (Middle-Grade), Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆


Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts? 


The world of Percy Jackson returns in The Lost Hero, but updated for an older group of readers. With mostly new characters, this new series can stand alone from the original Percy Jackson series, but also has plenty for long-time readers to grasp at and enjoy. Rick Riordan blends the modern world with the stories of the ancient Greeks and Romans with his trademark sense of humor and skill. As an adult I love this book and series, and I know my students love it too. There’s a little bit for everyone: plenty of action, a little romance, a lot of humor, just the right amount of history and mythology, and extremely likable characters. The Heroes of Olympus series deserves a place next to Harry Potter on any young person’s (or young at heart person’s!) bookshelf.