5 stars · fiction · mythology · young adult

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan: Percy is back and I’M SO EXCITED

26252859

The Hidden Oracle

The Trials of Apollo #1

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 376

memorable quote :

Yep, that pretty much describes my life: because Poseidon.

favorite character : percy

summary :

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

review :

Rick Riordan has managed to create one of those worlds, and capture one of those literary voices, where I always find myself wondering if his new series will manage to captivate me or if it will disappoint. I have a good feeling that The Trials of Apollo (trilogy? series? I don’t even know how many books to anticipate anymore) is going to blow my mind.

The Hidden Oracle takes place after Riordan’s last book in the Heroes of Olympus series (which you should read if you haven’t yet!) and seems to take place parallel to his new Magnus Chase debut (Norse myth and equally awesome) if the hints Percy drops about Annabeth’s whereabouts fall into the right timeline.

Oh, yes. Did I just casually mention Percy? Because he’s back and better than ever. Actually, he’s back and scarily mature, because he needs to deal with terrifying things like SATs and Annabeth threatening his life if he dies while she isn’t around to save his butt. Apollo narrates the entire book, but Percy’s sass and mystifying ability to survive anything comes through better than ever. We also get to see familiar faces like Niko and Will who are incredibly adorable together.

As I mentioned, Apollo is the narrator. One thing that really stuck out to me is bisexual Apollo. I love that Riordan remained true to myth here, because some people don’t realize that most of the well-known gods have had their love affairs with both men and women (and more complicated mythical creatures, but I’m not even going to get into that). Apollo is turned mortal by Zeus for mysterious reasons, though of course Apollo insists that he’s done absolutely nothing wrong. But he soon finds himself as a mortal teenager, with plenty of hormones ramping up, and he manages to give a thorough assessment of which guys and gals he’d date (if he wasn’t so old–or young, now?) every time he encounters someone new in the book. Because of course Apollo is sure that any sane mortal would love to romance him.

I honestly thought that his ego was going to get in the way of me enjoying this book but it was more entertaining than anything else. New character Meg, on the other hand, took so long for me to get used to. For a majority of the book I felt like Apollo, wishing that she’d just flit away from the action. But I have a feeling I’ll like her more as she matures and grows throughout the series.

On a personal note, I was freaking out a little when I realized that one of the demigods in the book is named Kayla. She doesn’t have the biggest role in the world, but every time she popped up again my heart was happy to know that I have a namesake out there in the PJ universe.

I could ramble on about this book for ages, but suffice it to say that it was amazing. A little different from the other books, because there was so much character building there was a little less action. The action is definitely ramping up for even bigger and better trials to come!

5/5 stars

Advertisements
5 stars · mythology · young adult

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes

a percy jackson and the olympians companion book

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 412

memorable quote Theseus put his club aside. He approached the Pine Bender and sized up the situation. He wasn’t as strong as Sinis. He didn’t have the ability to root himself to the earth. He didn’t even have a plan. But he glanced over at the girl Perigune, and his distractible brain started racing. A girl in the trees. A girl. A tree. Trees have spirits. I’m hungry. Wow, Sinis smells bad. A dryad. I bet the dryads in these trees are really tired of getting bent. Hey, there’s a chipmunk.

favorite character : our beloved narrator, percy jackson (and all of the little comments he says that annabeth makes)

summary :

Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.

review :

What can I say that I haven’t already said in my raving over Percy Jackson? I mean, he’s the greatest demigod around (okay, Annabeth is, but she’d definitely let Percy think that he’s better just to make him feel better) and he’s infinitely funny, even when it comes to telling information that could come in a pretty boring format.

I’m taking a Greek Mythology course this semester at college and I have to say that I thought it would be much more interesting than it has been so far. We’re only skimming over the myths and, yes, I already know most of it because of Percy and co., making the lessons a little tedious. If we had this book as a textbook, I’m sure that many more people would have been clamoring to take this class. It was interesting that some of my assigned chapters, while I was reading Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, were about heroes like Theseus and Heracles (otherwise known as Hercules) so I was able to compare the two lessons. Or stories. Percy’s versions definitely read more like a book, like modern myths. He makes it fun. It’s the kind of writing that would appeal to people of any age and I feel like if kids got this book, they would learn so much about myth without even realizing it. They’d have all of these heroes and gods in their heads, and then when they take a Greek Mythology class in college they can daydream through the lessons because they already know who the Olympians are.

Not that I condone that sort of thing (even though I think Percy would quietly support it and Annabeth definitely judge me for it).

One thing that I absolutely loved about this collection is that there are surprisingly a good number of female heroes included. Four out of twelve isn’t quite half, which would have been perfect, but, honestly, for the time period we’re talking about it’s awesome that ladies are getting some spotlight. And no damsels in distress, either; just like the men, they’re ready to fight for true love, their very lives, and freedom for themselves and others.

Percy’s wit and humor really make these stories come to life. It’s amazing that after so long, they’re still relevant, well-known, and being retold to another generation. I love Percy, and that this is a sneaky way of teaching people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to learn about these myths, and I can’t wait to see what Riordan puts out next.

And even though, apparently, Percy had to be bribed into writing this book, I think that he should definitely write another. Who doesn’t need two lifetime supplies of blue jellybeans?

5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · series · young adult

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer

Magus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 528

favorite characters : sam & magnus

memorable quote “I hate this plan,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

summary :

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

review :

On the day it was released, I picked up The Sword of Summer and started reading it because I’ve been waiting so long for this new series by Rick Riordan. I was pretty worried; I tried the Kane Chronicles by him and didn’t love it as much as I did his Percy Jackson series. But, honestly, Rick really blew all of my worries away with this awesome first book to what I’m sure will be an incredible series–and incredibly frustrating because of the long wait I’m going to have between books.

Magnus Chase has never known his father but that has never bothered him because he was incredibly close to his mother . . until she was attacked by freakishly huge wolves, killed, and he was left to live on the streets for two years. Once his uncle finds him–suspiciously keen to keep him safe after he’s lived mere blocks from Magnus’ homeless hot spots–everything changes for Magnus. His life as he knows it is ended, literally. You find out on page one that he ends up dead.

Except a lot can happen after you die, apparently, and I loved the adventure that Magnus takes us on. Already I can see how this series is going to be different from the ever famous Percy Jackson; there’s no one certain threat here. Magnus is trying to prevent the end of the world, yes, but there are two-faced gods, monsters, supposed allies, family members–all potentially working against him. All with their own motives. All with particularly witty lines and phrases that had me laughing out loud.

Other than the changing villains, I loved the supporting characters. Riordan is one of the few authors I’ve read a lot of that I know puts a lot of diversity into his books. And I don’t just mean including elves and dwarves as characters. It’s refreshingly realistic, to see characters of all shapes, sizes, abilities, and backgrounds, settled into this fantastical concept.

If you’ve been a fan of Rick Riordan, you’ll notice little nods to his other books in this novel which I LOVED. In no way do you need to read anything else before picking up The Sword of Summer. But, come on. Once you love this book, you’ll be itching to read more of Rick’s work.

5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · series · young adult

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

*** Do NOT read this review if you haven’t started the Heroes of Olympus series! It won’t spoil The Blood of Olympus, but the summary may spoil the previous books in the series! Go read them and then come back to tell me what you think!***

The Blood of Olympus

The Heroes of Olympus #5

Book 1: The Lost Hero
Book 2: The Son of Neptune
Book 3: The Mark of Athena
Book 4: The House of Hades

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 516

memorable quote :
“Like your zodiac sign?” Percy asked. “I’m a Leo.”
“No, stupid,” Leo said. “I’m a Leo. You’re a Percy.”

favorite characters : percy & annabeth

summary :

Though the Greek and Roman crew members of theArgo 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.

review :

I am so incredibly sad knowing that this is the final book in The Heroes of Olympus series. Not because of how it was executed (I’ve heard that some people are very disappointed, but I loved how it came out) but because it means I need to say goodbye to Percy and the gang. I’m not quite ready for that yet, after reading this and the previous Percy Jackson series, for years, so I’m going to keep living in denial.

The Blood of Olympus is our big finale, though it made me so mad that the demigod who started it all, Percy, doesn’t get even one chapter from his point of view. Sure, there’s plenty of his sass and bad jokes shown from other people’s perspectives, but I miss hearing Percy speak for himself. This was one of my only pet peeves with this book.

The other is that it seemed rushed. I don’t know if more should have been put into other books to make this one go more smoothly or if there should have been a sixth book just so major events could be given more time in the novel. I felt like gigantic things we’ve been waiting forever to see and hear about were just casually mentioned and didn’t hold as much significance as they should have in the book.

But onto the good things! I loved seeing how much the characters have developed, especially ones like Percy, Annabeth, and Nico, because we can compare them to when they were even younger and more inexperienced. This is the book that really made me like Nico a lot; before I don’t think I really understood why everyone was so fascinated by him. When he got to have his own quest off with Reyna and had plenty of chapters to speak for himself, I started to respect and like him a lot more.

And the new characters–I loved them, too. Honestly, most of them are on the same level for me (apart from Leo. I could hear from Leo all day!) but I liked all of them for different reasons. Most of all, I loved seeing some of them grow more confident, some of them be humbled, and others come into powers they’d never even known they could have. They were just so interesting to read about!

I’m going to hold this series in my heart for a very long time and I think I’ll be recommending it forever. It’s a set of books that any age could enjoy–there’s adventure, romance, suspense, action, danger, and death. Basically, anything you could want (or love to hate) about a series, wrapped into one. With plenty of sarcastic commentary along the way.

5/5 stars

 

5 stars · Fantasy · series · young adult

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

 *** DO NOT READ book summary or review if you have not read the rest of this series! It will not spoil House of Hades, but discussing the book may spoil the previous books. Just know that everyone should read this series!! ***

The House of Hades

The Heroes of Olympus Book 4

Book 1: The Lost Hero
Book 2: The Son of Neptune
Book 3: The Mark of Athena

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 597

memorable quote Tell the sun and stars hello for me.

favorite characters : percy & annabeth

summary :

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.

review :

I think it’s obvious by now that I love and always will love the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. As this spin-off series comes to a close, I’m convinced that I’ll forever love the Heroes of Olympus books as well. It isn’t just the writing; I tried to read one of his other series and just couldn’t get into it. I love these characters so much and they’re the ones that make it such a pleasure to read.

Of course I adore Percy and Annabeth, so reading so much about them in this book was GREAT . . . even if we were hearing so much because they were trapped in Tartarus. Basically the worst place in the universe and they’re forced to fight their way through it. At least they’re together, right? But that makes for some truly heartbreaking scenes and this book out of the four I’ve read thus far is the one that’s made me the most emotional. Even though I was glad to see more of Percy’s sass in here, despite their gloomy setting.

I don’t know how everyone else feels about these new characters but I’ve grown to love them as well. I don’t think that I could pick out any specific one that I love. I like Leo for his sense of humor, Hazel for her strength, Piper and Jason’s relationship. I want to give Frank a big hug–and also have him teach me archery. Their group is so diverse, funny, and strong that I can’t help but root for all of them! I want them to get the happy endings they deserve.

I think that Riordan is great at balancing the suspense and action of this book against the comedic moments with the characters. This book begins to reference some of the events of the original series, which makes me want to immediately pull those out and read them over again. It reminded me of little moments that I’d completely forgotten about and made me so nostalgic, just as I’m sure it did to Percy and Annabeth.

If you’re a fan of the previous books, this one won’t disappoint you. I’m so glad that I finally got around to reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone!

5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · series · young adult

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

 

The Mark of Athena

The Heroes of Olympus #3
Book 1: The Lost Hero
Book 2: The Son of Neptune

author : rick riordan

pages : [hardcover] 608

favorite characters : percy & annabeth

memorable quote “We’re staying together,” he promised. “You’re not getting away from me. Never again.”

IF YOU HAVE NOT READ BOOKS ONE AND TWO, THIS SUMMARY AND REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! But it will definitely not spoil The Mark of Athena.

summary :

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare….

review :

Ahhhhhhh! Rick Riordan is amazing! I seriously cannot get enough of these books!

It took me a while to get to the third book in this series. Why? I had the ending spoiled for me, so that devastated me for a while. But now that the entire series is out, I’m terrified that the fourth and fifth books will be spoiled, so I decided to finally press on with these great books. I know that this will be something that, like the original Percy Jackson books, I’ll come back to read again and again. These awesome adventures are just so much fun and are filled with great characters that I’ve come to know and love.

I really like the way that the characters new to this series have been interacting with old favorites like Annabeth and Percy. Not to mention that Percy and Annabeth are FINALLY getting to unite!!! This is the moment that fans have been waiting for! And it’s just done so perfectly. I laughed, I maybe cried a little . . . and most of all I remembered why I love these heroes so much!

Riordan loves to take old myths and do a modern spin with them and I can’t say that I complain. I love learning about new portions of mythology that I either never heard of or had forgotten about! I think that this is a great series to spark anyone’s imagination and get them interested in myth and legend. Because while everyone has heard of fantastical figures like Hercules, they may not be familiar with all of the characters thrown into this book.

I’d recommend this book for everyone. Seriously. I can’t get enough of these books! I really need to get to the next book because like the rest of this series The Mark of Athena leaves you needing to know what’s going to happen next. I have no idea what could happen in these adventures but can’t wait to find out!

5/5 stars

Randomness

Accessories for Your Favorite Book!

Hey everyone! I spend much more time than I should on Etsy trying to decide what my next indulgent purchase will be. Because I had so many favorites by now (way too many to ever purchase myself!) I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites, in case you’ve been looking to show off your love for your favorite book or series. Subtle or not, who doesn’t love showing off what they fangirl over?

Check out these necklaces from CarasBookishCharms! I picked this one because Daughter of Smoke and Bone is currently my favorite series, so if you haven’t read it yet, pick it up NOW! There are also Harry Potter miniatures, Catching Fire, The Fault in Our Stars, The Book Thief . . . Something for everyone!

I don’t know why, but I’ve really been into hair bows lately and this one from FangirlyStorm is just gorgeous! I’d totally wear it anytime, any day . . And then pair it with these custom shoes from LindseyRosesDesign to go see the movie! I wish that I was talented enough to make these things myself but for now I shall gaze longingly at them on my screen and imagine having them in my hands. Oh, it would be so nice . . .

If you don’t like Percy Jackson . . . well, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, so by now I’m assuming that it’s impossible not to love Percy & Co. I’m still catching up on the new series but that doesn’t mean I can’t get some good old-fashioned camp gear like this sweatshirt that looks so cozy and so wonderful, made by LOLomgWTF. I’m also a sucker for charm bracelets so I’ll be asking for something like this one from Tanglethorne for Christmas!

Guys, I have a confession to make. I will always and forever have a weakness for Peter Pan (I say as I wear my sweater with Peter Pan and Wendy on the front!). The book really captures your imagination, as do the movie adaptations of it, which is why I’d love to have a map of Neverland for my wall. Isn’t it gorgeous? I also love this necklace featuring these iconic silhouettes (which I would totally get tattoos of, if I weren’t afraid of needles).

One final book!

Can you guess which book this mug is referencing? One of my all-time favorites!