Friday, December 6, 2013

The Son of Neptune

Title: The Son of Neptune

Author: Rick Riordan (Book # 2 of The Heroes of Olympus)

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology

Review: Rick Riordan is one of my very favorite authors, and this is the seventh book by him that I have read. The Heroes of Olympus is, in essence, a continuation of the Percy Jackson series. Percy is a demigod - half god, half human - and his father is Poseidon, the sea god. Unlike the Percy Jackson series however, which was written in first person, this book is written in third person, and has several different points of view. It takes a little bit of getting used to, coming right out of the Percy Jackson series, but, as usual, I did enjoy it.

It has a very specific sense of humor, and that is one of my very favorite things about Riordan as an author. He has a way of making something serious and comical at the very same time, and that takes quite a bit of talent to do. I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout this book, which tends to be slightly awkward when there are people around.

The Son of Neptune takes up Percy Jackson's story once more, after having taken a break from him for a book. He finds himself at a Roman camp, not remembering anything about his past. However, there is a problem with the monsters that he keeps trying to kill, as they reform moments after he disposes of them. Death has been captured, and he has to free him. Not only is Percy an especially interesting character, but there are also two other points of view in this book - Hazel and Frank - each with their own secrets. Everything wraps up to a very satisfying ending, though it does leave you craving another book.

Overall, I would recommend The Son of Neptune to anyone who is a fan of Greek or Roman mythology, as Riordan definitely does a good job of making a story worth reading. In addition, even if you're just a fan of fantasy, this is definitely a fun series to look into. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Title: Origin

Author: Jessica Khoury (This is her first book)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Mystery

Review: I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. If I was forced to give it a star rating, I'd probably say a 4 out of 5. I'm usually pretty easy to please, and find it extremely difficult to rate books less than 5. However, there were some good and bad things about this book. First of all, the action takes forever to get going. I read five to six chapters, and was about ready to give up. I hated everything about it, and it felt like it was just about a girl that wanted a boyfriend. I'm not a big fan of romance, but this book seemed to do a good job of making it not all about the love story, despite what I originally thought the book would turn out to be.

But it did get better. Also, in areas it was very difficult to read, as it felt like the author just took a thesaurus and looked up a ton of random words. The flow was very difficult. However, I do have some good things to say about the book as well.

After the action started to pick up, I was drawn in. I was still experiencing a few problems with the style of the writing, but I was able to ignore it for a good concept. That's something you should know about me. I'm a sucker for a good concept. In essence, Origin is about an immortal girl living amongst scientists - the mortals that created her. She is in the process of trying to become a scientist herself, so that she might help create a race of others like her to populate the world. But there is a possibility that there's evil lurking somewhere just out of reach.

It's a great concept. For me, it made reading the book worth it, and though it's definitely not the best book I've ever read, I would probably recommend it. However, there are some slightly graphic/intense scenes, and it explores the concept of just how far people would go for science. I wouldn't recommend it for younger children for this reason; it was very suspenseful, and there was a lot of exploration in life and death, as would be expected from a book of this nature. Overall, it was a decent book, and I enjoyed reading it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ender's Game

Title: Ender's Game

Author: Orson Scott Card (The first of the Ender Quintet)

Genre: Science Fiction, Classic, Dystopia

Review: This book has been on my to-read list for what seems like forever. However, I'm not going to lie, the movie that was just recently released may have spurred me forwards, even if just a bit. I was not disappointed.

I'm used to seeing lists of classic books that you need to read in the science fiction genre, especially if you are going to be writing that type of style. Which I do. Thus, the thought that I should be reading this has been going through my head for what seems like forever. I really, really enjoyed it. It's one of the best books that I've read in a while, and that's saying a lot, as I am pretty easy to please when it comes to books.

Ender's game follows Ender, a six year old boy, as he is recruited and constantly trained in Battle School. He faces many difficulties, including being hated by the other boys and girls at the school because of his young age. This book spans many years, and ends when he is twenty-two years of age. There are several sub-plots having to do with the people that are training him, as well as his brother and sister that remained on Earth. As I was nearing the end of the book, I was crossing my fingers for an amazing ending, and I must say I wasn't disappointed. There was a major twist near the end of the second to last chapter, and I'm pretty sure my jaw was dropped for most of the last.

Even though I enjoyed this book a lot, I wouldn't recommend it for kids that are more on the younger side; there are quite a few mentions to nudity, and a bit of language throughout. The entire book is also centered around wars and battles, and there are several direct deaths that you see happen. However, if you're okay with these things, then Ender's Game is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an amazing read, and I would highly recommend it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Cat of Bubastes

Title: The Cat of Bubastes

Author: G. A. Henty (The Cat of Bubastes is 1 of 144 books that Henty wrote in his lifetime)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Review: This certainly wasn't the most exciting book in the world, but there were definitely a few perks to reading it. One, it had a very unique perspective on religion. There were a few points when I would read something, then go back to read it again, because it was so good.

The Cat of Bubastes is centered around a boy by the name of Amuba and his companion Jethro. Amuba is a prince, but when their people, the Rebu, go to war with the Egyptians, he and many others are taken captive. Amuba and Jethro manage to stay together, and are taken into the household of Ameres, as companions and friends to his children.

There is plenty of excitement throughout the book, and even though they aren't the most energetic fight scenes in the world, I can see where the appeal is. I would recommend this book, perhaps for older children or teenagers (adults as well), but only for the reasoning that the language is a bit more refined. I think that overall it was a good book, and I believe that it's a good addition to your bookshelf.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Title: Inkheart

Author: Cornelia Funke (The first book of the 'Inkworld' trilogy)

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Review: This was my second time reading this book, and I was definitely not disappointed. I've been wanting to read the entire Inkworld trilogy for a while now, but I came to the realization that I didn't quite remember what happened in the first book. Thus, I decided to read it over again. It certainly holds up to multiple readings, and I enjoyed it the second time around, even though the plot details kept coming back to me as time went on.

Mo, the main character's father, can read characters out of books, when he reads aloud. However, this always comes with a consequence, and because of it, our main character Meggie has never heard her father's reading voice. One day, one of the characters Mo had read out of the book comes to his house, begging him to try to read him back. This man's name is Dustfinger, and he calls Meggie's father 'Silvertounge', much to her surprise at the strange sounding name.

This is a story of thieves and fantasy villains come to life, and it is absolutely gripping. It was initially intended for a younger audience, I believe, but I found it interesting as a teenager, and I'm all but assuming some adults would enjoy it as well. If you like fantasy and adventure, then I would definitely recommend this book.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mere Christianity

Title: Mere Christianity

Author: C. S. Lewis

Genre: Non - Fiction

Review: I personally found this book amazing. I have been thinking about reading some of C. S. Lewis' non fiction for a while now, and I am beyond ecstatic now that I finally got around to it. When I first started reading, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'm so used to his fantasy books, that I didn't have a good perspective of what his non fiction would be like.

Mere Christianity is split into four separate sub-books. I love the way Lewis approached the tender subject of christianity, as it is often difficult to do right, without offending people. I have often found myself reading christian fiction books, and it still feels like I'm having religion shoved into my face. Even though I personally believe in the things they're saying, I don't believe in the way it is being portrayed. Lewis, on the other hand, does this excellently. In the entire first part of the book, he barely mentions God or religion at all. He only talks about moral laws and tendencies of human behavior. From that point on, it gets gradually more in depth, until we get to the last book, which focuses mostly on Theology.

I had a great time reading this book. I'm just sorry that I didn't start it sooner. It was well worth the time I put into it. It's not a particularly lengthy book, but some of the concepts that Lewis gives were so intriguing I found myself going back to them, rereading his examples again and again. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an interesting book that gives you plenty to think about.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling; this is the first book out of seven in the Harry Potter series.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Review: Harry Potter is one of those series that I've always wanted to read, but have never quite got around to. I knew everyone loved the books, but I was always in the middle of something else. However, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and read the first one. I'm definitely glad I did. It was well worth it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone follows a young boy by the name (obviously) of Harry Potter through his adventures at his first year at the wizard school Hogwarts. He runs into various dilemmas throughout his first year, and you constantly find yourself feeling for him; about the second chapter is when you really start to feel bad for him. Throughout the book, you're thinking one thing, and, at the very end, Rowling twists it. And it makes sense. The ending is amazing. Lots of loose ends are tied up, and it's a very satisfying conclusion, even though there are major storylines that are clearly left open for what I know to be multiple sequels.

The book is written from a third person omniscient point of view, so you know how everyone is feeling at any particular moment; sometimes you even get the viewpoints of animals or some mystical creature. It's interestingly done, and doesn't get old very quickly. The book is very quirky and fun, and, for the moment, light-hearted. However, it did seem to have dark undertones at parts that promised something a bit more dangerous in the future. I also loved the sense of humor that Rowling used; I laughed out loud several times.

At any rate, I think that this book is more than worth reading, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of fantasy, or books with a quirky style.