Posts Tagged: Adventure

Early Review – Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) by Caroline Carlson

July 6, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1) by Caroline CarlsonMagic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson
Series: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 10th 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Terror of the Southlands

three-half-stars

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

After recently being denied admittance to The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates simply because she’s a girl, Hilary is now being forced into attending Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Not that she has any desire to become a Delicate Lady. She can tread water for 37 minutes, can tie a knot that cannot be undone and hates dresses because dresses make climbing ship’s rigging next to impossible.

While Hilary is quite the vibrant character on her own, her gargoyle side-kick provided the comic relief when the story veered too far into weighty territory. The weighty territory mostly involved the odd choice in bad guy, which was a bit of a shock and surprise, however it was handled well. While the story was only occasionally serious, the remaining characters were still just as lighthearted making this a perfect read for young kids. In addition to the story there are between chapter snippets of letters, newspaper articles and other assorted information that was a charming addition.

Magic Marks the Spot is an extremely cute Middle Grade novel that comes equipped with a super spunky heroine, entertaining pirates, magical gargoyles and treasure hunting adventures. While this works as a stand-alone novel with its solid wrap-up ending, it’s actually a brand new start to a planned trilogy. Definitely looking forward to future mischief from Ms. Hilary!

Divider

Early Review – Loki’s Wolves (Blackwell Pages #1) by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr

April 27, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Middle Grade, Read in 2013 2 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Loki’s Wolves (Blackwell Pages #1) by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. MarrLoki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr
Series: The Blackwell Pages #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on May 7th 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Norse Mythology
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Odin's Ravens

three-half-stars

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters--wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history--because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids--led by Matt--will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world.

Matt Thorsen has always had big shoes to fill considering his family are the descendants of the Norse god, Thor. When he has a dream of Ragnarok, the battle leading up to the end of the world, he doesn’t consider it being anything but a dream. Soon after, a town meeting is called and everyone is told that signs point to Ragnarok happening, and soon. When Matt is named champion he realizes he must seek out other descendant’s of the Gods if he has any hope of saving the world from destruction.

Regardless of the fact that this story closely resembles a Percy Jackson storyline and even Harry Potter at times, there are sufficient enough differences to make Loki’s Wolves stand apart.

First of all, I loved that the story wasn’t told solely through the POV of the ‘main character’, Matt the descendant of Thor. The POV was shared between the three main members of their team including Fen and Laurie, descendant’s of Loki. Each character was distinctive and well-written and it was enjoyable seeing the story from a set of different eyes.

Then there was also, of course, the difference that this book deals with Norse mythology. This was an exceptionally fun aspect for me considering I haven’t read too much relating to Norse mythology before so it was a bit of an educational experience for me.

This was an extremely fun and exciting thrill-ride of a novel; I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending was slightly abrupt, however, this is a trilogy and I do realize it had to end somewhere. There was a bit of a cliffhanger and no real resolution as their adventure is far from over. Highly recommended for adventurous Middle-Graders and Adults alike!

Divider

Early Review – New Lands (The Chronicles of Egg #2) by Geoff Rodkey

April 11, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Middle Grade, Read in 2013 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – New Lands (The Chronicles of Egg #2) by Geoff RodkeyNew Lands by Geoff Rodkey
Series: The Chronicles of Egg #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 2nd 2013
Pages: 336
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Deadweather and Sunrise

four-stars

This highly anticipated sequel to Rodkey's much-praised debut is funny, heartfelt, and action-packed. Don't miss it!

After a narrow escape from Deadweather Island, Egg and his slightly deranged partner Guts head for the remote New Lands. They’re in search of the lost Okalu tribe, who hold the key to the mysterious treasure map that Egg can't decipher. But the ruthless Roger Pembroke is hard on Egg's trail, and the New Lands are full of new enemies—against which our heroes' only weapons are their brains, their courage...and the two dozen swear words Guts just memorized in the local tongue.

They're going to need help. But who can they trust? Is Kira, the beautiful and heavily armed Okalu refugee, their ally…or their enemy? Is Pembroke's daughter Millicent on Egg's side…or her father's? Why on earth is the notorious pirate Burn Healy being so nice to them? And the biggest question of all: what shocking secret is Egg about to discover in the shadow of an ancient Okalu temple?

The Chronicles of Egg

Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, #1)

Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg #1) {My Review}

After being completely charmed by ‘Deadweather and Sunrise’ picking up ‘New Lands’ was a given. Comparatively, New Lands is less funny and more serious but still so full of heart. Egg and Guts set out on a journey to discover the Fire King’s lost treasure before it can fall into the hands of the wrong man. Their journey is a bleak one and considering what they seek, it’s difficult for them to judge just who is honest and worth trusting.

Guts was once again my favorite character and definitely managed to always make light of a serious situation.

Ain’t nobody calls me cow-ears without a fight.” – Guts

You can’t help but love Guts and his crazy antics.

I found New Lands to be a solemn installment and had a slight shortage of the swashbuckling action seen in the previous installment. Regardless, I think this section of Egg’s story is most vital to his development as a character. His maturity had already begun to show towards the end of New Lands, but considering the trying times he had been through it was completely understandable.

New Lands is a story of perseverance and about digging deep to find that strength necessary to continue. This series has made me a lover of Middle Grade and is one series I will continue to seek out.

Divider

Early Review – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

October 1, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. ValenteThe Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
Series: Fairyland #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 258
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

four-half-stars

“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.”—Time magazine, on the Fairyland series

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

Fairyland series

Hardly a day has passed since September hasn’t thought about Fairyland and Ell and Saturday and the Green Wind. Sometimes she even wonders whether she imagined the whole thing, but it was all so very real because September’s shadow is gone; she left it behind in Fairyland. But she’s thirteen now, and so much time has passed and she begins to think she’ll never make her way back, until one day she sees a rowboat floating across the fields behind her house. She knew this was her opportunity and hastened to follow them to wherever they were going. Upon her return, she realizes that Fairyland is quite different from when she left it several months ago and that September is not the only one missing her shadow now.

“…your light side isn’t a perfectly pretty picture, either, I promise you. You couldn’t dream without the dark. You couldn’t rest… You need your dark side, because without it, you’re half gone.”

September was once again an incredible character: full of heart, strength, and loyalty. Realizing that the problems in Fairyland stemmed from her actions from her previous visit, she didn’t hesitate for a second before starting her adventure to make things right. I loved the implications of the purpose of shadows and how their importance reaches far beyond their physical presence. Very mature topics that I see as being a fantastic ‘learning opportunity’ for children during a potential read-along with their parents. The writing is not just full of beautiful prose but manages to also have substantial meaning behind every word.

‘She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts… all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms–and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too–end up in their shadow.’

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland was wonderful, original, and full of incredible prose and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland doesn’t disappoint. If anything, the second installment is even more brilliant. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland will be well received by children but I so love that it’s equally (if not more so) able to be enjoyed by adults. Catherynne M. Valente has definitely done it again; full of adventure mixed with a new take on old-world fairytales.

Divider

Early Review – Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike Mullin

September 19, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Ashen Winter (Ashfall #2) by Mike MullinAshen Winter by Mike Mullin
Series: Ashfall #2
Published by Tanglewood Press on October 9, 2012
Pages: 582
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ashfall, Sunrise

four-stars

It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.

Ashfall series

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)

Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin {My Review}

“If we’re going to die anyway, I want to die with you. And if we live, I want to live with you.”

Ashfall was one of my favorite reads of 2011 and after reading was promptly added to my Goodreads shelf ‘full-of-wonderful’ so suffice it to say I was pretty ecstatic to finally get my hands on the follow-up story. I don’t go all fangirl often but fangirl I did for Ashen Winter.

The story of Alex and Darla and the search for his parents in the harsh winter world the planet has transformed into continues! Ashen Winter maintained authenticity despite the crazy (and at times incredibly creepy) things that occurred. With the transformation of the world, the people that managed to survive begin resorting to any method to maintain their existence including cannibalism and human slavery. Was it pretty? Heck no. Was it jaw dropping at times? Oh yes. Did it fit completely with the horrible state of the world? Absolutely. Mike Mullin’s has created a dystopian world that really manages to get under your skin because of how unnervingly realistic it all is.

The characters continue to develop well and I still love Darla to death. Darla is the brains of operation ‘survival. Alex totally would have been a goner months ago without Darla there to save his ass. She’s the one that gets things done. She’s a total badass and she’s not even trying. She’s a powerful and strong-willed character that you can’t help but admire. And… that’s the reason for my 4 star review (compared to my 5 star review of Ashfall). Darla wasn’t even introduced in Ashfall until mid-way through the book or so but I had no idea what an integral part of the story she had become until she wasn’t there. No spoilers but it’s mostly Alex for the vast majority of the book and Darla was sorely missed. I think that even though I didn’t agree at the time, in retrospect I think it was important for Alex to go through what he did alone since it really helped him grow as a character. A few new characters are introduced that I quite liked but they were certainly no Darla. Fingers crossed for more Darla-time in book 3.

Thrilling and action-packed, Ashen Winter was a fantastic follow-up that fans of Ashfall will enjoy (even though admittedly it does have a teensy bit of middle-book syndrome, but honestly, I don’t think that can be helped. I personally think it’s the mentality that readers have (I know I’m guilty), knowing that there is only one book left since it’s a trilogy we want the conclusion and we want it now, dangit!). But regardless! I’m a huge fan and cannot wait for the final conclusion.
(Hey Mike – Don’t kill Darla, please. Thanks. –Your Biggest Fan)

Divider

Early Review – Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg #1) by Geoff Rodkey

May 15, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Middle Grade, Read in 2012 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg #1) by Geoff RodkeyDeadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey
Series: The Chronicles of Egg #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on May 29, 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: New Lands

four-stars

A stunning middle-grade debut--full of heart, humor, and nonstop action

It's tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody's trying to kill you.

Not that Egg's life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.
But when Egg's father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg's running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he's been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.
Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did.

‘I knew the world was out there. I just didn’t see a place for myself in it. And even if there might be, I had no idea how to go about finding it.
It never occurred to me that the world might come find me – and that without me lifting a finger to make it happen, one day my life would change, completely and forever.
But it did. And this is the story of it.’

Growing up in Deadweather, Egbert (although he prefers ‘Egg’) always thought that life outside of Deadweather would be more civilized and more respectful. Growing up with his brother Adonis and sister Venus who treated him like an unwanted brother and his father who he couldn’t even be sure really loved him, Egbert didn’t have the easiest of lives. But when Egbert gets a taste of what other people are truly like, even on the illustrious island Sunrise, he realizes that his family may not be as bad as he originally made them out to be. When his family goes missing after his father makes a mysterious discovery, Egg begins to suspect that he had actually found evidence of the Fire King’s treasure (which was a supposed myth) and that it’s somewhere back on his home in Deadweather.

This book was an immense amount of fun and I had trouble putting it down because I was so enthralled in the story. The story was told from the point-of-view of Egg which was different as it seems most books I’ve read are from the point-of-view of a female so it was an interesting but fun perspective shift for me. Guts was my favorite character though, he cracked me up. Guts mopped the decks of a pirate ship but was not a pirate himself. He refused to wear shoes, his hair hung in his eyes so much you couldn’t be positive he could actually see, and he was quite a wild little animal.

“He’d never use that knife.”
“He would, actually. He’s quite violent. And not well in the head.”
“What kind of ‘not well’?”
“The kind that stabs people! Look at this.” I opened two buttons on my shirt and pulled it far enough off my shoulder to give her a good look at the blood-crusted bite mark on ym shoulder.
“Oh, that’s awful! Does he have a dog?”
“No, that was him.”
Millicent’s eyebrows jumped. “Right, then. Good to know. Thanks for the tip.”

One of my kids asked me what the story was about so I told her the basis. Her immediate response was ‘How long until you finish so I can read it?’ She snagged it just as soon as I was done. I found it to be a bit violent but was satisfied that it was kept to a minimum. This is a series/trilogy that I will definitely be keeping an eye out for in the future. The ending sets up Egg and Guts’ next adventure perfectly. Funny and definitely entertaining, this one is a true ‘middle-grade’ gem.

Divider

Short and Sweet Review – The Thief (The Queen’s Thief, #1) by Megan Whalen Turner

February 4, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 2 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – The Thief (The Queen’s Thief, #1) by Megan Whalen TurnerThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen's Thief #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 10, 2009
Pages: 236
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

The king's scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen fro, the king's prison. The magus is interested only in the thief's abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone's guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say in my review of this but after a full 24 hours I still don’t have much. I’ve heard wonderful reviews about this ‘series’, not this book in particular, so I was always interested in finally reading it and seeing what my personal thoughts were. Truthfully, I was pretty disappointed with this book and would have given it 2 stars if the writing wasn’t so engaging and continued to keep me interested.

Luckily, I’d say about 2/3 of the way through the book something finally starts happening. I’m not going to do my little blurb on the storyline because the Goodreads summary will suffice and I don’t want to give too much more away anyways. I’ll probably go back and update this after I’ve read more in the series since I’ve been advised to not give up if you were even slightly disappointed by this one.

Update: Oh yes, yes, yes. If you had the same issues as I had with The Thief, the rest of the series is an absolute gem and should not be missed out on.

Divider

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. SnyderTouch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by Mira on January 1, 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

The Storyline
Touch of Power is a new series by Maria V. Snyder that introduces Avry of Kazan, a Healer who is able to take illnesses away from another and take them as her own. The only illness that she can’t take without expecting to survive is the plague. Unfortunately, people believe that Healers are the reason the plague exists and she is forced to keep her abilities hidden from others. When she’s abducted by a band of rogues and told that they require her help to heal a prince who is sickened with the plague she must decide who’s life is worth more because only one of them will be able to survive.

Thoughts
This is actually the first novel I’ve read by Maria V. Snyder so I’m unable to compare it to her past works. I must say I did enjoy it, although I was hoping for more in the end. Even though this book is marketed to YA, I appreciated the fact that the main character was 20 years old and actually acted her age.

Overall there was a major disconnect in the building of the story as a whole for me. I would have loved to see more explanation regarding Avry and maybe some information about her past. It was briefly touched upon but I think it could have been expanded even more. The world that Avry lived in had the potential to be a truly fascinating fantasy world but the author didn’t seem to find it fitting to expand upon that either. The lacking of explanation really made everything really confusing because it seemed like a fantasy world in olden times but there were various modern references that didn’t exactly fit. The author did best with the character development, their relationships, and their interactions.

I’m not sure if I’m left with enough interest to continue the series but I’m sure this will become a favorite of die-hard Maria V. Snyder fans. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t include me.

Divider

Book Review – The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan

October 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick RiordanThe Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Published by Hyperion on October 4, 2011
Pages: 540
Genres: Fantasy, Greek Mythology
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

ONE CURSED DEMIGOD.
TWO NEW HEROES.
A QUEST TO UNLEASH THE
GOD OF DEATH.....

Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea, has woken from a very deep sleep and come face to face with two snake-haired ladies who refuse to die.

But they're the least of his problems. Because Percy finds himself at a camp for half-bloods, which doesn't ring any bells for him. There's just one name he remembers from his past. Annabeth.

Only one thing is certain--Percy's questing days aren't over. He and fellow demigods Frank and Hazel must face the most important quest of all: The Prophecy of Seven. If they fail, it's not just their camp at risk. Percy's old life, the gods and the entire world might be destroyed...

The Heroes of Olympus series

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

In true Rick Riordan fashion, the half-bloods are once again sent on a quest by the Gods, but this time Percy is on a quest with Hazel and Frank, two half-bloods from Camp Jupiter. Percy has lost his memory and can barely remember anything, and if he does it’s quite fuzzy in his mind. The three set off on their quest to release a God who has been captured by Gaea, the God responsible for keeping dead things… well, dead. With him captured, the enemies on their quest don’t die, which certainly makes things interesting and quite dangerous for the trio.

Thoughts
I’m a huge fan of Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series. His books are always lighthearted and funny, although sometimes I’m reminded that these are in fact children’s books when the occasional goofy statements thrown in. Like how Amazons run amazon.com. (Sighing and eye rolling did occur). But there were some funny lines that had me gigglging.

”Um… is that thing tame?” Frank said.
The horse whinnied angrily.
“I don’t think so,” Percy guessed. “He just said, ‘I will trample you to death, silly Chinese Canadian baby man.’”
“You speak horse?” Hazel asked.
“’Baby man’?” Frank spluttered.

I gotta admit, the first half of the book I was pretty much indifferent and I had a hard time staying interested at first. It’s such a confusing storyline because Percy has amnesia, Frank and Hazel have multiple secrets, and nothing is revealed so you pretty much feel like you’re stumbling right along with the characters in the book. The characters were great, as usual, and I loved the introduction of the new characters Hazel and Frank. Once things started coming together, I was completely swept away and will be waiting quite eagerly for the next installment.

Divider

Early Review – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

August 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Crown on August 16, 2011
Pages: 384
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Armada

four-half-stars

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued but I wasn’t running to read it because I don’t think I was expecting a whole lot out of this. Once I started reading it though, I realized how fascinating it was and how I certainly did not expect it to be as intricate as it was. Wow. Talk about world building.

The summary of the book to me sounded like a cross between the Tron concept (of people being able to insert themselves into video games) and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (where the purpose was to find the golden ticket and compete against the others to win the big prize). But the ‘quest’ in RPO was waaaaay better than Willy Wonka could ever dream of being.

The complexities of the virtual world named OASIS that Ernest Cline created in Ready Player One are astounding. It was so elaborate yet easily understandable and also completely believable. Set in the year 2044, OASIS has become a sanctuary for humans to escape to allowing them to be whoever and whatever they choose. Considering how destitute the real world is, many people spend almost their entire lives plugged into the OASIS.

The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, dedicated his life to his creation. When he dies, he leaves everything he owns including the mass worth he’s accumulated over his lifetime to the single individual who is able to solve the puzzles and acquire the ‘egg’. Sounds easy? A lot of people thought so and many proceeded to dedicate their lives to finding it. Years later no one has been able to decipher any of the clues James Halliday left behind. Wade is the first person to figure out the puzzle and obtain the first key and this is his story.

This sets off a wild chain of events that totally makes you strap on your gear and go on your own quest. I loved the characters and the relationship that they shared with one another. I loved how the author’s writing style had the ability to completely suck you in to the story and almost made you feel like you had your own avatar in the OASIS. I loved everything about this story.

This is highly recommended for video game lovers, lovers of anything 80’s, and anyone who’s looking for a highly enjoyable book!

Divider