Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan

Action and adventure time! Roman style??

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.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Poor Percy Jackson. Appears that he has been wrapped up in another scheme by the goddess Hera…or Juno, like the Romans call her. This is book two in the Heros of Olympus series by the wonderful Rick Riordan (Check out my review done on The Lost Hero!). Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like second books in series are just plot filler, building you up to the third book. Oh no. This is sooooo not the case with this book. It is full of action and adventure (did I mention this already?) and all the characters are interesting. Riordan does a great job making sure that each character he creates, no matter how minor, is not simply put in there a plot fodder. I feel that is the sign of a true master wordsmith.

But it’s not just the writing that is awesome. Let’s talk about the characters. When the book started out and we see that Percy doesn’t remember anything from his Camp Halfblood life, other than Annabeth that is, I was a little weary. I was concerned that he would be different. But thankfully, he wasn’t. He was still the same ol’ wise cracking, semi-reckless, fierce warrior and true friend we all know and love in the previous book series. It makes sense that he makes friends with two of the outcasts at New Rome, Frank and Hazel, as he himself is an outcast. Sure he is the big shot at Camp Halfblood, but even there he is a rebel and different.

Speaking of Frank and Hazel, how adorable are those two? They are perfect friends for Percy. Both these characters are, when it comes to fighting, brave and true. However, personally, they have their owner demons and secrets that they are trying to keep under control (read the description book…poor kiddos). But there is never a moment in the book that I felt that Frank’s klutziness or Hazel’s slightly otherworldliness is never hinders or bogs the story down. It helps move the story along and also develops the characters into accepting their faults and taking steps and actions to change their fate.

I love this book series. I loved this book series so much that I read the third book right after this one (review to come). Riordan does not disappoint in writing a tale that is meant for teen readers, but just so happens to suck in adults as well. Sword play and monsters. Amazons and the dead returning to life. Love and death. Friends and enemies. Gods and Demigods. Need a I say more?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery - Justin Richards

Be forewarned: I’m about to go into full fangirl mode about my fandom…that’s right. I’m a Whovian. And if I could be any character from the recent Doctor Who series, I would be River Song. And this book cements my choice. Hello Sweetie!

The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Story is an ebook based on a story partially told in British science fiction television series Doctor Who.

The book, fictionally written by River Song under the detective pen-name Melody Malone. It was featured in the episode "The Angels Take Manhattan", with The Doctor reading it.

The story of "The Angels Take Manhattan" is formed in The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Story.

On some days, New York is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

This was one of the other days…

Melody Malone, owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency, has an unexpected caller. It’s movie star Rock Railton, and he thinks someone is out to kill him. When he mentions the ‘kiss of the Angel’, she takes the case. Angels are Melody’s business…

Okay, so I have to do something prior to getting this review started properly. Let me start by saying quickly that the episode that this book is featured in, "The Angles Take Manhattan," is the best worst episode for me. I cried. Three times. I love to hate you, Stephen Moffatt.

(Look! See! Amy Pond was reading it!)

That out of the way, let’s get this review started.

I have read a couple Doctor Who books prior to this one. They were what were called Quick Reads. They were about the Doctor and his companions. At first I thought it would be some crazy timey whimy retelling of the episode, however it wasn’t. It is an independent tale featuring the infamous River Song. There were quite a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads complaining feeling they were mislead. Well folks, obvious didn’t read the description of the book.

The voice of River Song, a.k.a, Melody Malone, is clear and distinct with the familiar wit and sassiness that is the Doctor’s wife (spoilers!). I love how the narration seems to be slightly out of place for time for which the she is set in as well as this type of pulp fiction mystery tale. There are little bits of information dropped eluding to the Doctor, but everything else is all about River/Melody and her search for the Weeping Angels (which are perhaps one of the most frightening Doctor Who monsters ever created. Thanks again Stephen Moffat for making me afraid of statues). There is mystery and intrigue. There are beautiful dames and Hollywood fat cats. And of course, alien technology. Duh! However, I don’t want to give too much away in this story. As River would say, “Spoilers!”

Though I thoroughly enjoyed this read, there were a couple parts that I felt were slightly forced and a little erratic, even for River. But that can be forgiven as I know this book was written for the fans. Though not mentioned directly in the book itself, I feel it was a very beautiful good bye and farewell to beloved characters of the show and possibly good bye to Ms. Song.

I have my fingers crossed for some more tales of the lovely, smart, sassy, and self-proclaim psychopath River Song. She is a strong and interesting female hero who deserves to have her adventures and exploits shared with the world. 

Until Next Time.
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be River Song...Later Sweeties!!