Life's hard.

It's even harder when you're stupid.

John Wayne

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan ★★★★☆

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)

Is Seven a Crowd?
Fiction – YA – Urban Fantasy
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
574 pages
Publication Date:  October 2nd 2012
Heroes of Olympus #3
Literary awards:  Goodreads Choice for Best Middle Grade & Children's (2012)

The seven Greek and Roman demigod heroes of the prophecy finally come together and set out on a journey to the ancient land to stop the rise of Earth Mother, Gaea, but not without usual amount of monsters and disasters.  The arrival of the Greek flying ship, Argo II, and subsequent encounter has sparked a war between the Greek and Roman camps that only Annabeth Chase can stop all on her own by following the Mark of Athena.  With war between the demigods on the horizon, terrible giants, schizophrenic gods, and a friend slowly suffocating with the heroes as his only means of rescue our heroes are going to face challenges and sacrifices even greater than they ever imagined.  

Okay, at first I was a little concerned about the whole four different narratives thing.  Sure Riordan pulled off three in the other two books, but four seemed to be pushing it, however, I found myself needlessly concerned and actually really enjoyed it.  This book is really fun and rather ambitious.  With so many main players and factions it could have easily dissolved into chaos, but Riordan managed to keep all of the threads together weaving a fast paced, but introspective story, while not losing me.  My hat off to him and his obvious skills.

I tore through this book with an unexpected speed and high degree of excitement.  It greatly builds upon Annabeth’s character and gives a lot more insight into her.  As always Leo made me laugh, adding a lighthearted note to drama, though the explanation of why Leo looked like Hazel’s friend Sammy was kind of disturbing.  I found something wanting in Frank’s character for this book and missed how much understanding of him I received while reading The Son of Neptune.  I loved watching the dynamic between the alphas (Jason and Percy), the kind of love triangle (Frank, Hazel and Leo) Annabeth, as the conflicted and burdened leader and Piper trying to find her place in the crowd.  I relished the dramatic ending and the unexpected turn of events when everything seemed okay.  There is no real sense of satisfaction to the end of this book unlike The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune.  And now I find next Fall is just too long to wait for, The House of Hades!

ISBN  1423140605 (ISBN13: 9781423140603)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top finds of the 2012

As 2012 closes I find myself looking back over the year and some of the books I reviewed.  Here are the books that really stuck with me for one reason or another and if you haven’t read them yet I suggest giving them a try!

Happy New Year,

Whip It by Shauna Cross ★★☆
I’m Sure My Coolness Factor Has Gone Up Just By Reading This Book!
Fiction - YA

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich  ★★★★☆
I like it down and dirty!
Fiction – Mystery


Divergent by Veronica Roth ★★★★☆
What would your choice be?
Fiction – YA – Sci Fi - Dystopia

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs ★★★★☆
This book more than kept up its side of the contract.
Fiction – Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan ★★★★☆
Becoming a Lion
Fiction - Juvenile 

Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda★★☆
A Tale of Courage
Fiction-Juvenile-Epic Fantasy 


Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation
by John Carlin ★★★★★
Non Fiction – History – Politic/Sports