Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan Book Review

The first thing I'm going to say is I LOVED the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series! I've always been interested in Ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology and Rick Riordan brought the Greek myths to life in his series. I read them all! I don't like the movies, however. The first one they messed up so bad in my opinion they should have re-done it before moving on to the second one, but oh well. Onto the review!

This is the Great Prophecy issued by the Oracle of Camp Half-Blood at the end of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series:
"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."
This Prophecy is what this series is based on.

The story revolves mainly around three young demigods, Jason, Piper McLean, and Leo Valdez and their satyr, er coach, Gleeson Hedge.

At the beginning of the story, Jason wakes up in the back of a bus, with no clue where he is or who he got there. The poor guy doesn't even know who he is, much less who the girl is he is holding hands with...

Jason: He's an amnesiac thrust into a school for juvies called the 'Wilderness School'. He wakes on a bus heading for the Grand Canyon. He has no knowledge other than his name and the feeling that he isn't supposed I be there. Things don't start looking up for him either as his first day with no memory rolls on. He's different from any other half-bloods I've read about so far.
Piper McLean: She's a pretty half Native American girl who is a friend of Jason's. She's the one who's holding his hand when he wakes up. She is frequently picked on by other juvies in their school. Jason described her as 'cute, smart, and violent', which after finishing this story, I completely agree with. :) She's haunted by dreams of a horrible voice telling her to follow their instructions or harm will come to her father, who has been kidnapped.  She discovers she can charmspeak, which is a trait that comes from her Greek godly parent. No, I'm not telling you who that is. :) 
Leo Valdez: He's a mischievous little Hispanic boy. He's Jason's friend and he's great at inventing things out of objects that he keeps in the pockets of his army jacket. Leo always has his hands moving. He's great with machines and carries a deep dark secret with him that frequently haunts him. He is always on the run, from foster homes, schools, you name it. He's the first to be claimed when they make it to Camp Half-Blood by his Greek godly parent, but you have to read it to find out who it is! ;)
Rick Riordan wrote this story with switching perspectives. He changes between Jason, Piper, and Leo.
Things go wrong when one of the students turn into a ventus, a storm spirit, and attack Jason, Leo, and Piper. After the fight, Coach Hedge is kidnapped by the ventus, Jason discovers he has some pretty strong powers and two teenagers ride in on chariots pulled by flying horses. One is the great Annabeth  Chase from the last book. She is searching for her missing boyfriend, Percy Jackson (!!!) and she and her friend Butch take them back to Camp Half-Blood in New York where they learn about the Greek gods and goddesses still exist and that they are part of the Great Prophecy.  They have to embark on a quest to free the goddess Hera, who has been captured, before the winter solstice ends.  The Oracle, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, gives Jason his own prophecy:
"Child of lightning, beware the earth,
The giants' revenge the seven shall birth,
The forge and dove shall break the cage,
And death unleash through Hera's rage."
With the help of a mechanical dragon Leo fixes and names Festus, the demigods travel north to find Hera and Coach Hedge. Their journey begins in Quebec, Canada.

While I don't believe in Greek gods and goddesses, I really enjoyed this story. I remember trying to read it when it first came out but grew bored after the first couple chapters because it just seemed too different than the Percy Jackson series, plus there was no Percy. I have to say that I'm really glad I gave this book another try. It was a great beginning to what I'm sure will be an awesome series! Definitely giving this book five stars!!

I do wonder something, however. Who is the lost hero? Jason, with his missing memory? Or Percy who is literally gone?

Have you read this book? If you have, what did  you think? If not, read it and tell me what you think! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare Book Review

I recently flew through The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It was awesome. The story’s world was great and a lot of thought was put into it. The world of the Shadowhunters was well woven into our world. But I’m not reviewing that book. Obviously it was great if I’ve finished the second one already and am reviewing it. Now, onto the review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes!

Clary Fray and Jace Wayland have many problems: dealing with the news that they are brother and sister, especially after their kiss in the City of Bones, their psychopathic father, Valentine Morgenstern, and their comatose mother, Jocelyn Fray. All the while they and their friends Isabelle and Alec Lightwood and Simon Lewis have to deal with the undercurrent of unease due to Valentine's actions against the Clave. 

Clary and Jace still have feelings for each other and it’s very obvious throughout the book to everyone. Personally, I don’t believe they really are siblings. I think Valentine is psychotic enough to lie to Jace to get him to do what he wants, trying to take his father’s place. I think Valentine was hoping Jace would feel…compelled to side with him if he believed he was Jace’s father.

We meet several new characters, including the rest of the Lightwoods and the Inquisitor of the Clave, Imogen Herondale. It irritated me that we didn’t find out how to pronounce Maryse Lightwood’s name until the second book, even though she was spoken about in the first. It’s May-ris, not Mah-ris, like Marissa, like I was thinking it was. We meet Luke’s pack more in depth and a court full of faeries, the Seelie Court and their Queen. Several new demons are also introduced in this story, expanding on the danger Clary and her friends are facing, such as Agramon, the Greater demon of Fear.
I have to say that the Inquisitor irritated me almost as much as the antagonist Valentine Morgenstern. At least he is supposed to be evil. She's on the Clave's side so she should act better!

Speaking of Valentine...even though I think he's insane, he makes a good villain. He believes in his mission and really believes he's right and doing the best he can to protect the world from those that could corrupt and destroy it. Even though he's basically destroying it himself. I have a feeling he'd agree with the saying, "the ends justify the means". I also think Valentine's 'days are numbered'.
Early in the story, Jace faces a difficult decision, which puts him at odds with Inquisitor Imogen. Should he stand with his father and possibly spare his friends and loved ones? Or turn Valentine down and stand against him and his army of demons led by Agramon? Due to the consequences of his actions, he discovers he has a special gift.

Some of the parts I find interesting:

I loved the way the stele, the special weapon of the Shadowhunters, was described in this book. It was much more descriptive and helpful than the first book was. It was very interesting.

I also liked the expansion on Clary's special gifts. It was amazing and she's got incredible talent with the runes used by the Shadowhunter society.

Also, bits and verses from the Bible are interwoven throughout this book. I can't remember off the top of my head if it was the same for CoB.

I’m going to give this book a 3.5 outta 5 stars. Several things working together made this story’s rating drop. It had such a slow beginning, I almost gave up on it. Also, several character’s took the Lord’s Name in vain and I don’t like that or a couple of characters being gay. I don’t agree with those things.

Have you read City of Ashes? Will you be reading it now? Lemme know what you think in the comments!