Book Review -- Halfway to the Grave

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Pages: Paperback, 358
Published: 2007
Opening Line: "I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck."
Favorite Line: "Charlie whistled 'Amazing Grace' as he drove. It was all I could do to no whip my head around and snap, Are you kidding me? Couldn't be pick something more appropriate like 'Shout at the Devil' or 'Don't Fear the Reaper'? Some people had no sense of the proper music for kidnapping." (179)
Theme Song: Tears Don't Fall by Bullet for My Valentine

"Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father -- the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bone, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

"In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't en up as his dinner -- are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat."
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts: My hubby got this book shortly after it was published. It has been sitting on our shelves collecting dust. After finishing Feast of Fool, I decided to pick this one up. What possessed me to do it, I have no idea. Since he got it, I have been avoiding in like the plague. After being horribly traumatized by Laurell K. Hamilton, I have steered clear of anything that feels as though it could have too much of a romantic element for fear that it would end up worse than a badly written porn. However, I have to admit that Frost really surprised me!

The book follows Cat Crawfield. She struggles with her nature as a half-vampire and cannot find her place in the world. Since she was 16, her mother has made it clear that half of her is evil. Hence, I feel as though Cat hates herself. She is always in conflict with this other half. As a way to purge this perceived evil and to get retribution for her mother's rape, she becomes a vampire killer.

Admittedly, at points, Cat is beyond stupid. Her adventure in the vampire bar with the roofies was pretty unbelievable. Aside from instances like that, I really enjoyed Cat as a character. Frost did a good job capturing this inner turmoil. Unlike some characters, Cat didn't feel angsty or whiny. I get really tired of main characters who are into bemoaning there life and circumstances. While Cat didn't necessarily deal with her deeply rooted issues, she went out at did something about it: Kicked ass! I can respect that.

I also really enjoyed Bones. It was neat to see a vampire who hunted his own kind. While he appeared to be a vampire bounty-hunter, his reasons behind his profession are very noble. Even though Bone is described as being a blondie, I kept picturing Matt Tuck from Bullet for My Valentine.

When Bones started to get extremely territorial over Cat, I felt that it was a little out of his character, and it made me think Frost was pushing too hard. Timmie was not a believable character to me; however, it was obvious that he was no threat to Bones, so his reaction was over the top. In addition, Cat's response to Francesca also seemed a little out of character. She never showed her territorial side at any other point in the novel, and, like Bone's response to Timmie, it was over the top. I felt her starting to spout sexual comments and accidentally grabbing Bones by the balls (literally) was just in bad taste and unbelievable. I have no issues with vampires being extremely territorial. In fact, it makes sense to me. I just wish she had dropped little tidbits about it before it was shoved in your face, especially with Francesca!

In addition, the special branch of the FBI dealing with paranormal activities was too "Laurell K. Hamilton." I liked the deal that Cat cut with them, but it was way too close to Anita's position. At some level, I accept that urban vampire fantasy might take elements from her books, but this felt a little too close for comfort. However, after starting the second book, it really doesn't upset me. With the a fore mentioned deal, I think that Frost is able to make it her own.

Aside from some of my minor issues, I really enjoyed this book! Last night, I forced my hubby to take me to Hastings, so I could grab the next book in the series. There was no way I was finishing the book last night without the other one waiting beside me :)

Rating: 5/5
Currently: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Pages: 2019
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 6/24
Current Progress:
7/50 books


Sinn

Reviews - Feast of Fools

Title: Feast of Fools
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 242
Published: 2008
Opening Line: "It was hard to imagine how Claire's day -- even by Morganville standards -- could get any worse . . . and then the vampires holding her hostage wanted breakfast."
Favorite Line: "What the hell are you supposed to be?" He asked.
"Harlequin."
"Isn't that a Batman villain?" (Pg 239)

"In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans have learned to live in relative peace. still, students like Claire Danvers know that after dark, studying can take a backseat to staying alive But the tenuous good-neighbor policy is really turned on its head with the arrival of Mr. Bishop.

"Bad to the bone, the ancient old-school vampire cares nothing about harmony. Staying at the top of the food chain is enough. What he wants from the town's living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire realizes Bishop's plan -- and the elaborately evil trap he's set for the warmblooded souls of Morganville . . ."
-- Jacket copy


Thoughts: This is another return to Morganville where the vampires rule and the people only come out in daylight. However, this simple living arrangement is about to change. Three strong, scary vamps have come to town in order to take control from the Founder, Amelie. When family and friends become sucked into the power play, Claire must do something to stop the takeover.

While there are people out there that do not like these books, I really enjoy this series. Granted, it is a little annoying to dig through all the teenage angst. While Claire is the youngest, aside from the vampires, the oldest character might be Michael at around 19-20. Needless to say, they haven't completely outgrown it.

It is hard to fully talk about this book without giving anything away. The character development was good. Caine showed the readers a completely different side of Amelie. All the characters are put into situations where they must make some sacrifices. They are very hard decisions, and I feel as though Caine is really testing the depth of their character.

The problem that I consistently have with these books revolves around Monica and her friends. All three of the girls act as though they never left high school. They take the role of Claire's bullies. While I didn't go to a community college in a small town, this really seems out there for me. I can accept that some kids never grow up, but it still feels too campy. And, after antagonizing Claire and her friends throughout the whole book, Monica is quick to step up when needed. Granted, it usually serves her best interest.

On a side note, my favorite character is Myrnin ^__^

Rating: 3/5
Currently: Either Halfway to the Grave or Lord of Misrule
Pages: 2019
Horro/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 4/24
Current Progress:
6/50 books



Sinn

Retelling Book Review

Title: Before Midnight a Retelling of "Cinderella"
Author: Cameron Dokey
Genre: YA fiction
Pages: Paperback, 193
Published: 2007
First Lines: "What do you know about yourself? What are your stories? The ones you tell yourself, and the ones told by others."

"Etienne de Brabant is brokenhearted. His wife has died in childbirth, leaving him alone with an infant daughter he cannot bear to name. But before he abandons her for king and court, he brings a second child to be raised alongside her, a boy whose identity he does no reveal.

"The girl, La Cendrillon, and the boy, Raoul, pass sixteen years in the servants' care until one day a very fine lady arrives with her two daughters. The lady has married La Cendrillon's father, and her arrival changes their lives.

"When an invitation to a great ball reaches the family, La Cendrillon's new stepmother will make a decision with far-reaching effects. Her choice will lead La Cendrillon and Raoul toward their destiny -- a choice that will challenge their understanding of family, test their loyalty and courage, and, ultimately, teach them who they are."
-Jacket copy



Thoughts: I got this book from my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift a few years back. While searching for clothes to put in the wash, I ended up uncovering this little treasure. I love retellings! In fact, this make me want to go back and read Robin McKinley's books!

While reading this, I was reminded of Ever After. By no means is it the same story, but they share some common elements. For example, Cenderillon's relationship with Raoul is similar to her relationship with the stable boy in the movie. When her shoe is returned by the prince, it is strikingly similar to the scene at the end of the film. This did not detract from the book. Being a retelling, it will have similarities, and Dokey made the story her own.

It was a new and refreshing version of Cinderella. I liked how Dokey chose to portray the stepmother and her daughters. It was definitely a new twist! This book was a delight to read, it went very fast, and it left you satisfied. My only problem was that the conflict was too short and too neat. I wished there was more intrigue at the end. The author mentioned that there was a whole political battle taking place amongst the royal family. I would have liked to see that played out a little more. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. I'm looking forward to reading the others in the Once Upon a Time series.

Rating: 5/5
Currently: Ravena & the Resurrected
Pages: 1557
Current Progress:
4/50 books


Sinn

Business and Book Review

Book 3 is ready to review. However, before that, there is some business that needs to be addressed.

Last night, I was approached by Tami Jackson to join her book tour! The book is called Ravena & the Resurrected. On February 28th, Ms. Jackson will visit this lovely blog and answer some questions. It would be awesome if you book junkies would stop by and show her support!


Title: Fear Nothing
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre Horror/thriller
Pages: Hardback, 391
Published: 1998
First Lines: "On the desk in my candlelit study, the telephone rang, and I knew that a terrible change was coming."

"Christopher Snow is different from all the other residents of Moonlight Bay, different from anyone you've ever met. For Christopher Snow has made his peace with a very rare genetic disorder shared by only one thousand other Americans, a disorder that leaves him dangerously vulnerable to light. His life is filled with the fascinating rituals of one who must embrace the dark. He knows the night as no one else ever will, ever can -- the mystery, the beauty, the many terrors, and the eerie, silken rhythms of the night -- for it is only at night that he is free.

"Until the night he witnessed a series of disturbing incidents that sweep him into a violent mystery only he can solve, a mystery that will force him to rise above all fears and confront the many-layered strangeness of Moonlight Bay and its residents."
Jacket copy


Thoughts (will contain SPOILERS): This book follows one adventurous night with Christopher Snow. He lives with a rare disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum, which keeps him out of the sunlight. He spends his time riding around Moonlight Bay on his bicycle with his trusted dog, Orson. This night, the night of his father's death, is different than anything he has ever dreamed. This night will change his life.

Focusing on a main character that has a disability that keeps him inside during the day time is a really interesting concept. Having access to the nightlife, gives the readers' a unique invitation to the world of the unseen and sinister.

Throughout the novel, Koontz alludes to the fact that Orson is not your typical dog. He appears to understand Chris and show other signs of above average intelligence. Near the end of the book, one of the characters suggests that Orson may not be your average dog. In fact, he is part of a secret government research project. Koontz even addresses the Francis Project from the Watchers. Did Koontz want to revisit and explore this subject in more depth?

As in Watchers and, later, in the Prodigal Son series, Koontz once again tries to bring Frankenstein and Creature back to the table. As a way to correct Chris' disorder, his mother uses government contracts to do genetic research. They swap DNA from animals and people and mix it with a diluted virus to carry it into the subject. In other words, they make a retrovirus. This retrovirus completely changes the composition of the carriers. Through the animal testing, they created this group of rhesus monkeys called the Troop. They are evil and violent. Their main goal is to destroy anyone and anything they associate with their creation. In addition, court-matrialed soldiers are also injected with the retrovirus.

Koontz then extends this Frankenstein theme by looking into birth defects. Since this genetic testing was originally started to reverse Chris' XP, many of the people involved believe that it might be able to reverse or correct other issues.
His fierce pride in Toby's exhibition of this new verbal skill was so touching and so deeply sad that I could not look at him.
"In spite of all that he didn't have, he was always happy," I said of Toby. "He found a purpose, fulfillment. Now what if they can take him far enough that he's dissatisfied with what he is . . . but then they can't take him all the way to normal?"
"They will," Manuel said with a measure of conviction for which there could be no justification. "They will."
"The same people who've created this nightmare?"
pg 341


Is it worth it? How far is too far? Koontz posits these questions, but doesn't pass judgment. The questions are meant to make us think. And, I feel, that Koontz maybe a very powerful argument either way.

I really enjoyed this book. It was hard to put down! At points during the book, I felt really creeped out and paranoid. The scene inside the nurse's house was almost too much! I still stand by the fact that porcelain dolls are creepy and evil!

Rating: 5/5
Currently Reading: Ravena & the Resurrected by Tami Jackson and Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
Horro/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 3/24
Current Progress:
3/50 books

Pages Read: 1364


Sinn

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:
"Because the glow of the nightstand lamp didn't illuminate much of the space before me, I fished the penlight from my pocket. The beam glistered across the red pool on a white tile floor."
Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz, page 120

Sinn

Watchers -- Book #2

Title: Watchers
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Pages: Hardback, 406
Published: 1987
First line: "On his thirty-sixth birthday, May 18, Travis Cornell rose at five o'clock in the morning."
"Out of a government laboratory so sinister and secret that its very name cannot be whispered and into the lives of certain good and evil people come two escaped creatures, one murderous and one benign and both 'changed, changes utterly' from the ordinary animals they once were. To scientists who fashioned them they are the end products of genetic engineering and enhanced intelligence and they want them back. To the people who encounter them they spell either doom or touching new kind of love. At the climax of this heart-stopping novel they will inevitably meet." Jack Copy


Thoughts (will contain SPOILERS): This book is hard to review. There are so many different concepts and issues that Koontz tackles. However, I'm not sure he is aware of some of the problems the book causes instead of finding a solution.

The book starts out with Travis Cornell wandering into Orange county hiking trails with his gun. It appear as though, given his mindset, it appears as though he is going to attempt to kill himself. However, Koontz tells us that he is trying to reclaim his childhood by shooting rattle snakes. During this outing, he meets Einstein, the genetically altered Golden Retriever. After saving Travis from The Outsider, Einstein worms his way into Travis' life. From there, it follows the adventures of Travis, Nora Devon (his new wife), The Outsider, an NSA agent, and a mafia hit man.

After the escape of Einstein and The Outsider, the NSA is brought in to recover the animals and bring them back. After learning of Einstein's history, Travis and Nora are no inclined to give the dog back. Their argument is based on the dog's intelligence.

"Was it blasphemous to think Einstein had a soul? No. She did not think blasphemy entered into it. Man had made the dog; however, if there was a God, He obviously approved of Einstein -- not least of all because Einstein's ability to differentiate right from wrong, his ability to love, his courage, and his selflessness made him closer to the image of God than were many human beings who walked the earth." --page 365

Why does intelligence equal freedom? Just because Einstein is smart does not mean that he deserves more or less than other living things. To me, every dog deserves to sit on the couch between their people and watch TV. Just because the animal is not "intelligent" does it still make it okay to poke and prod them? *shrug* Also, why does "intelligence" equal a soul? Or the ability to love? Being a pet owner, it is hard to reconcile this issue.

Even before the Prodigal Son series, Koontz tackles Frankenstein and his creation. The Outsider is the perfect archetype for the Creature. The Outsider is a mish-mash of different animals designed to be a fighting and killing machine. Knowing that Einstein is "loved" more than he is, his main goal is to kill the dog. However, even with his desire, he knows what he is -- a patchwork of creatures who cannot be loved. He has been genetically programed to want to kill; however, upon finding his lair, the reader learns that The Outsider is ashamed of his nature. Sadly, it is also aware of its frightful and horrid appearance. It removed the yes of its victims, so it could not be seen. It even admitted during an interview session in the labs that he would like to tear out his own eyes. Like the creature, he is dejecting by his creator and left to fend for itself. (Without getting into the ethical issues, The Outsider cannot more beyond his genetic programming. With the Creature, however, he is conscious of his decisions and the consequences.)

". . . The Outsider was at the back of the barn, beyond the front end of the Toyota, crouched on the concrete of the barn, whimpering and hugging itself with both long, powerful arms. The floor around it was smeared with its blood.

". . . He (Travis) could see the body structure of an ape, maybe a baboon -- something in the simian family, anyway. But it was neither mostly one species nor merely a patchwork of recognizable parts of many animals. It was, instead, a thing unto itself. With it's oversized and lumpish face, immense yellow eyes, steam-shovel jaw, and long curved teeth, with its hunched back and matted coat and too-long arms, it attained a frightful individuality." --page 396


In addition, Vince's character seemed a little trivial. He presented another obstacle for Travis, Nora, and Einstein to deal with; however, once the book comes to an end, he seems unimportant. Several times it is mentioned that Vince can absorb the life energy of his victims. He also thinks that, with enough energy, he will become immortal. While this is interesting, Koontz didn't spend enough time on him. In a few sentences, from the character himself, the reader is vaguely and briefly told Vince's explanation. Koontz built him up, but after the climax, it just fizzled out. It would have been better to take him out of the picture, or make him a little more peripheral character.

Aside from these issue, I enjoyed the book. Last night I stayed up crying over Einstein's battle with distemper. After watching man loved family dogs die, I cannot watch movies like Old Yeller or read Marley and Me. The fact that Koontz could illicit this type of response in me shows that he is a talented author.

Rating: 5/5
Currently: Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 2/24


Sinn

Stylish Blogger Award

I am honoured to receive my first blogger award! Thank you to the lovely book junkies behind Reading Lark for granting me with this beautiful award! Since this blog is still new, I don't have many followers or comments; however, I want to thank all of those brave people out there who were willing to follow me and comment. I greatly appreciate your support and our shared love of the written word.

Here are the rules if you get awarded:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!


Seven Things About Me:
1. My Japanese kanji tattoo on my right forearm is half of a pair.
2. Secretly I like Dr. Phil. I refer to it as "afternoon TV" to avoid actually admitting it.
3. I love playing scary video games, but refuse to play them later because they creep me out so much!
4. I have been known to take part in a Monty Python Search for the Holy Grail all day quote war with my bff over text.
5. Porcelain dolls are exceptionally creepy (they're up there with clowns).
6. I collect scantily clad anime and action figures.
7. I used to rock a Djembe for a campus Christian worship band.

15 Super Spiffy Blogs:
1. Bookaholic Does Blogging
2. Crazy for Books
3. My Book Addiction
4. The Book Worms
5. I Was a Teenage Book Geek
6. Wicked Little Pixie
7. The Spinecracker
8. Reading With Tequila
9. The Book Vixen
10. Stalking the Bookshelves
11. Parajunkee
12. My Bookish Ways
13. Confessions of a Bookaholic
14. Bites
15. Monster of Books

Sinn

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the Title & Author, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:

"Dr. Hudston stared. Except for bright ribbons of fresh blood that banded his face, he was very white, wet and sickly pale like some creature that swam eternally in the deepest reaches of the sea."
Watchers by Dean Koontz

Sinn

My Wishlist Saturday (#1)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click HERE.


Title: Mark of the Demon
Author: Diana Rowland
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN-10: 0553592351

"Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head..." From Amazon.

Title: At Sword's Point
Author: Katerine Kurtz and Scott MacMilan
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN-10: 0451454073

"Detective John Drummond returns to Europe to continue his pursuit of a vampire host born during the last days of the Third Reich. This time he must convince a society of immortal Crusaders-vampires themselves-to end their isolated existence and join in a battle from which no victors may emerge." From Amazon.


Title: A Rush of Wings
Author: Adrian Phoenix
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN-10: 1416593659

"Set in the brooding New Orleans area long established as the best location for all things vampiric, Phoenix's lively debut has it all: Rogue [FBI] agents, Bureau-ordered hits, mad-scientist experiments in psychopathology, vampires and fallen angels and a slicing-dicing serial killer. Smart, sexy FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace has been trying to catch the Cross-Country Killer for three years when the trail leads to New Orleans and Club Hell, where Dante Prejean performs with the Inferno, an industrial/goth rock band. Dante is a Cajun and a born vampire whose memories of his terrible past have been erased, leaving him vulnerable to the psychopathic killer, E, who knows all that Dante has forgotten. As E begins targeting Dante's loved ones, Heather must swallow her skepticism and work with Dante's vampiric friends and family to save him. Phoenix alternates romantic homages to gothdom and steamy blood-drinking threesomes with enough terse, fast-paced thriller scenes to satisfy even the most jaded fan." From Amazon.

Sinn

Book #1 of 2011

1. Title: Ghost Story
Author: Peter Straub
Genre: Horror
Pages: 567
Opening: "What was the worst thing you've ever done?
I won't tell you that, but I'll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me . . . the most dreadful thing . . .
"

"For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those you believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder." ~Jacket copy

Thoughts: Reading all of the reviews about this book online make it clear that it is frightening. Many people said that they couldn't sleep at night while they were reading this book. Even my brother told me not to read it at night. However, for me, it started out fairly slowly. I found myself wondering when it was going to finally pick up. The promise of something happening kept me reading the book. I will admit that the writing wasn't drab or daunting.

It feels as though the author is trying to give the reader an impression of the town, the people, and the relationship these four men have with their community. In that way, Straub sets the stage very well. The growing creep factor seems to start after Sears' first story of Fenny and Gregory. However, like King following in his footsteps, Straub uses the slight, uneasy changes occurring within the community to feed the story.

While the story was very engaging, it took nearly half of the book for the creep factor to set in for me. However, about 150 pages from the end of the novel, I was finding myself hearing weird sounds in the house, strange noises outside in the wind, etc., and that added to the feeling of the book. I felt as though I was in the story with the characters and experiencing the same things. All in all, this book was good and engaging. I found myself tearing through the book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next! I would suggest not reading this book alone or in the dark if you're prone to an overactive imagination!

Rating: 4/5
Horror/Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge: 1/24

Currently:
The Watchers by Dean Koontz

Sinn

Book Challenge 2011




Book Chick City is hosting an urban fantasy and horror reading challenge for 2011. The goal is to read 24 books that classify as urban fantasy and/or horror. Since both genres are at the top of my favorite list, I am joining the challenge. As I finish a book, I will keep an update progress bar in the left column and make a note on the book reviews.

I hope you guys join me in this challenge!

Sinn

Quote

"The following events occurred a year and a day earlier, in the evening of the last day of the golden age. None of them knew it was their golden age, nor that is was coming to an end: in fact they would have seen their lives, in the usual fashion of people with comfortable existences, sufficiently of friends and the certainty of food on the table, as a process of gradual and even imperceptible improvement. Having survived the crises of youth and the middle years, they thought they had wisdom enough to meet the coming crises of age; having seen wars, adulteries, compromise and change, they thought they had seen most everything they would see -- they'd make no larger claims.

"Yet there were things they had not seen, and which they would see in time.

"It is always true in personal, if not historical, terms that a golden age's defining characteristic is its dailiness, its offered succession of the small satisfactions of daily living. If none in the Chowder Society but Ricky Hawthrone truly appreciated this, in time they would all know it."

~Ghost Story by Peter Straub, page 128-129

Percy Jackson -- YA Series Review


Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA fantasy

Summary:
After finding out that he is the son of Poseidon, this series follows the adventures of Percy Jackson and his demigod friends.

Thoughts: My first experience with Percy Jackson was the movie. My husband and I decided to head over to the cheap seats and watch something fun. I knew that it was based off of a book, but I never bothered to pick it up. While spending Thanksgiving with my brother, he sent me home with the whole five book series. They sat on my shelf for awhile while I read other books. For some reason, I just kept avoiding them. However, last week, I finally started reading them. I couldn't put the series down!

After finding out that he is the son of Poseidon, Percy is taken to Camp Half-Blood where he meets and befriends several demigods -- the children of a union between a god and a human. However, Percy is different. He finds out that he is a child of the big 3 -- Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. For various reasons, this is a very big deal. Without giving anything away, the series follows Percy and his friends on many adventures that lead them from places like Hades to the 600th floor of the Empire State's Building.

Riordan did an excellent job with this series. Using the Greek mythology as a basis for the series, I was a little apprehensive about his interpretation of the myths. However, he does an amazing job. I had to keep my BlackBerry next to me in order to look things up while I read. Not only does he have rather obscure figures from Greek mythology (i.e., Kampe and the Hundred-Handed Ones), he was able to imagine the gods' role in modern day culture. For example, Hermes created the internet. The world he creates is colourful, rich, and fun.

The author also spent a lot of time fleshing his characters out. I felt that, even though they may not have been the main characters, everyone in the books were given a lot thought. Furthermore, the characters matured over the course of the series. They start out with Percy being found at 12 and end when he is 16. Riordan was able to show this maturity in a believable way.

The only thing I can liken these books to is the Harry Potter series. However, unlike Harry, I felt that Percy was a likable character. While he was the main character, he did not dominate the books the way Harry did. During the off-season of Camp Half-Blood, each character was shaped by their own experiences and not by Percy. To put it another way, they all had a life outside of Percy. In addition, Percy accepted his fate and position as Poseidon's son.

Not only were these books and quick and entertaining read, I feel that young adults would be introduced to the rich history of Greek mythology in a very accessible and fun way. Putting the myths into modern day society, children would be able to relate at a different level.

Overall, the Percy Jackson series has become one of my favorites. I look forward to picking up The Heroes of Olympus.

Rating: 4/5

Complete 2010 book list

Currently: Ghost Story by Peter Straub

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.