Cheap Books

This week, my husband and I have been scouring Goodwills and Salvos for books. Why didn’t we think of this before? Why? We have absolutely no idea. Recently, we have gotten almost 20 books, including a box set of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which I have been looking for for a long time! I really don’t know why we have not been looking at thrift shops for books before. We are always on the lookout at yard sales, household sales and bazaars, but those things typically only take place in the summer. We now have two tall bookcases, a short bookcase, a CD tower, three shelves, and four stacks of books that we will someday need to pack up into boxes when we move. Does anyone have a forklift we can borrow?

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Does That Count?

This year my Goodreads reading goal is 75 books. Right now, I’m sitting comfortably at 59 with no signs of slowing down. This puts me 6 books ahead according to Goodreads! I don’t really like to pay too much attention to that, though, because I don’t read at a very consistent pace. Sometimes I will read 4 books in a week for three weeks, and then a couple weeks off. It all depends.

But, I feel like I have to tell you guys that my Goodreads count includes novellas. And I kind of feel like this is cheating.

Last year, I read all of the Song of Ice and Fire series and ended the year at around 45 books. Although I hadn’t technically met my reading goal of 50 books, I didn’t feel unaccomplished. Have you ever read those books? THEY ARE GIGANTIC, AND AWESOME. You can’t not feel accomplished after finishing those bad boys.

But this year I have read quite a few novellas. I am currently in the middle of a novella series called Love and Decay by Rachel Higginson. I’m not going to lie, they are about zombies, and I LOVE THEM. Literally love and decay.

Anyway, I kind of sort of feel like reading a lot of novellas is cheating when it comes to my goal because of how adorably short they are. But I just can’t stop reading them.

But who am I kidding? This is my goal. Plus, I have already read more books by September than I did all of last year- and that is cool.

Matched by Ally Condie (Matched, #1)

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Pages: 366

Publisher: Speak

Date Read: February 27, 2013

 

Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices. And when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia is certain he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now she is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one dares follow…between perfection and passion.

Society Matched them, but love set them free. In the society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

 

Characters: 

Cassia- At first, I thought this girl was a robot. The blurb says that she has all of this faith in society, and she freaking does. She reminds me of the main character in Delirium- in the beginning at least. Thankfully, this girls starts to develop a little bit of a brain as the book goes on, but she gets pushed into it by her surroundings- and a little bit of subliminal messaging it seems!

Xander- ROBOT. I guess this is supposed to be the theme in the book, but this one took me a little while to get into because of how plain and ridiculously robotic all of the characters were. Xander is probably my least favorite character out of the bunch, but at least he is astute.

Ky- I thought Ky was interesting in an I’m-not-sure-what-to-think-about-this-guy-because-he’s-weird kind of way. But, that mysterious, selfless weirdness is very endearing and makes you want to know more and more.

Conflict: THE MAN. Well, society. This (if you haven’t noticed) is one of those society-rules-the-world books where everyone is a mindless drone but one person manages to snap out of it with the help of a person outside of the system. I love the premise, this one just took a little while to build up to it. I like the little acts of defiance in here, though. I mean, all of these books build up to big acts with little acts, but the particular ones in this book are nice. I’m a sucker for poetry, and that aspect helped keep me into the book until the good stuff happened.

Things I Liked: Like I just said, I loved the poetry aspect of this one. I also love love love loved Cassia’s grandpa! What a romantic old man. I also like the nature=freedom sort of them in this one.

Things I Didn’t Like: Although this book took awhile to get into, the only thing I really remember disliking is the slowness. Granted, it’s been a little while since I read it and I am a little hazy on the details. You guys should also know that this might happen with the next couple books because…it’s been awhile.

Cover Art: I like the cover art, and the only thing that really made me start questioning whether I actually liked it was that stupid commercial that  I saw for this series. Something about that commercial, I just really hated.

Overall: All in all, I liked the book when I finished it, and I ordered the second one! However, a friend of mine was reading the book and she was NOT into it. I hope that doesn’t jade me going in, but I have a feeling it already has.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Wither (Chemical Garden, #1)

Title: Wither

Author: Lauren Destefano

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 358

Date Read: February 22, 2013

 

In the not-too-distant future, genetic engineering has turned every newborn into a ticking time bomb: Males die at age twenty-five, and females die at age twenty. While scientists seek a miracle antidote, young girls are routinely kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When sixteen-year-old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealth and privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted– except freedom.

Soon it becomes clear that not everyone at her new husband’s home is how they appear. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape… before her time runs out.

 

Characters: 

Rhine- As the little blurb on the back says, Rhine is sixteen. She also happens to be a twin, and heterochromatic. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s when someone has two different color eyes. Rhine and her brother are orphans trying to live their short lives in peace in NYC. I think Rhine is awesome. She is extremely determined and always inquisitive. For her situation, being inquisitive is both a blessing and a curse. She loves without meaning to, and forms attachments with almost everyone she comes in contact with- whether she likes it or not.

Linden- Linden is Rhine’s new husband. He is an architect meant for another world. I say this because he doesn’t fit into this new world. He draws up plans for houses with pies in the windows, and tire swings hanging from the tree in the front yard- he’s a sensitive dreamer. This is all well and good, but it means that he is practically blind to what is happening right in front of him, and too naive to try and puzzle it out. This all sucks fro Rhine.

Vaughn- This guy is creep-tastic. And also Linden’s dad. Throughout the novel, we don’t know exactly how bad he is, but we just know he is baaaaaaaaaaad.

Cecily- This tiny red-head is one of Rhine’s sister wives. She is annoying, and meddlesome, and rarely pleasant to be around. However, she brings out a side of Rhine that is sort of motherly, and I think it helps her grow. Cecily also changes quite a bit, and she is the only sister wife that really wants to be a sister wife.

Jenna- In the world of Wither, there are things called scarlet districts. These are basically just whole districts of whore houses. It sucks, but this is where Jenna is from. She is sort of steely for a while, but she is a lot more friendly and ten times more complicated than she seems on the outside. She knows more than she lets on, and she helps Rhine hold onto who she is while also growing.

Gabriel- He is a servant in the house where Rhine now lives. The relationship between Rhine and Gabriel is founded on hope. They are both attached to what the world used to be, and because they are the only two that really think this way, they are drawn to one another. However, him being a servant and her being a sister wife throws a kink into the grand scheme of things.

Conflict: Rhine needs to get back to her brother. Beyond that, the conflict really just revolves around an antidote. I can’t really give away too much without giving away the whole book, but the conflict is good enough to keep the book going strong. I mean, I read it in a day. That’s how good this book is.

Things I Liked: Ummm, all of it? The book is great. I passed it quite a few times before I decided to actually buy it, and even then it was because I friend recommended it. I am so glad she did. It really is awesome. I loved the characters and the concept (this was the first arranged marriage type novel I have read), and it was a very enjoyable read.

Things I Didn’t Like: Let’s be realistic here, whatever I put here would just be me reaching anyway. Why don’t you read it and tell me what you didn’t like!

Cover Art: I really like the cover art, it is mysterious and slightly creepy.

Overall: Love. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. It was a nice read and it was complex enough to keep my attention for a few hours straight. It also isn’t just a big love fest like a lot of YA books these days.

Rating: 5 stars.

Cardial Vasectomy

Just kidding, there is no such thing as a cardial vasectomy. However, I recently watched one of my favorite movies- Stick It– and Joanne is just hilarious.

In other news, I have been neglecting you guys. (The select few that keeps tabs on my blog- I am suddenly reminded of that scene in Yes Man when Munchausen’s By Proxy takes the stage and thanks their followers, by name, for attending.) I know that I have had a pretty shoddy week when it comes to blog posting, but I have been working like a maniac these days. It’s amazing how many hours poor people will pick up, am I right? But, although I have not been blogging, I have been reading. A lot.

I built up a little bit of a stockpile of reviews to post, but Demonglass was the last in my arsenal. But, thanks to my favorite hobby, I have 7 more books to review for you guys. In the future, you guys will see reviews of:

1. Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, #3)

2. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

3. Indigo Spell by Rachelle Mead (Bloodlines, #3)

4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles, #1)

5. Wither by Lauren Destefano (Chemical Garden, #1)

6. Matched by Ally Condie (Matched, #1)

7. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

The reviews for Scarlet and Indigo Spell will probably be informal reactions, though, because I haven’t reviewed the previous books in the series on my blog. But, I still want to talk about them!

This leads me to my next point: I think I need to reevaluate my Goodreads reading goal for this year. Last year, I aimed for 50 books and fell short by 2. This year, I have also set my goal for 50 books, but I am already 11 books ahead of schedule… and it’s only February. Last year’s swing and a miss can be attributed to George R. R. Martin and his epic saga, but this year I am just flying through books. I LOVE IT.

How seriously do you guys take your Goodreads reading goals? Do they push you to read more? Is that pressure helpful, or does it just make you speed read?

So many questions.

Also, I wanted to tell you guys that I was nominated for the Liebster Award! Kristianne over at msnoseinabook nominated me! I am going to have to go through and answer a bunch of questions and nominate others, though. Although I’m tickled that she thought to nominate me, I just don’t know if I have the time for that. 😦 Ain’t nobody got time fo that. We will see how my so-called life progresses this coming week.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and if you want to comment with your heartfelt answers to my Goodreads questions, have at it!

I will leave you with this gem I found on Pinterest the other day:

Review: The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)

Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion
Date Read: January 20-21, 2013

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy– after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera– it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. AS Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace. And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge Me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find– and close– the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader– but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare…

Characters: I will only be discussing the characters that I didn’t discuss in the first two reviews, which pretty much just leaves Annabeth, so here goes…

Annabeth- You really feel for the girl in this one! She hasn’t seen her boyfriend in forever, and now she has a ridiculous task that her schizo mother expects her to do by herself. Oh, and nobody has survived this particular “quest.” Poor, poor girl. But one of the things that I love about Annabeth is that she sucks it up. She is a strong, smart girl, and a great role model for any younger readers. She keeps her head up even though she is struggling inside, and even though she couldn’t ask for help even if she wanted to, she doesn’t want to endanger others by asking. She also keeps it in her to be sensitive when it’s required.

Conflict: Annabeth, Percy, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Piper and Jason have to go to Rome to close the Doors of Death. Unfortunately, there are a billion obstacles along the way. Also, Annabeth is going through a ton of stuff, and won’t be able to be with them in Rome. At least for a while. The conflict is pretty well described in the blurb and in my Annabeth character section.

Things I Liked: I really loved the first two books in this series, and this book is no different. It’s 574 pages, and I read it in less than 48 hours. So, yeah it was pretty awesome. The conflict flows really well, and I love that it is both resolved and extended so that the next book is something you can look forward to, but there is still progress in the novel. That is a tightrope that not all authors make it across, and Riordan slam-dunks again. I may just have to look into his other series. In addition to the overall conflict, I really like that the story is told from the viewpoints of all of the main characters so that you can really understand all of their problems. And, as my other reviews may have hinted, I really like all of the mythology… Greek and Roman!

Things I Didn’t Like: Uh, pass? I know it might make me a bad reviewer, but I really can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Riordan is a really great writer, and so if he is making any big mistakes, he does a good job of covering them up so I don’t remember them later…

Overall: I love the way Rick Riordan writes, and I love the way that the characters all have really good qualities, but that in the tradition of Greek/Roman mythology, there is still a fatal flaw for all of the. The conflicts are all intertwined and both mysterious and understandable. Fantastic.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Date Read: January 27, 2013

the longing.

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.

Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.

For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces– wolf and human– with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming, As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?

Characters: I am only going to add one here, since he is pretty much the only new major character. Wait, I lied, one more!

Cole- At first, I hated him. Absolutely hated this haughty man-boy. But, like so many other things, he really grows on you. I really liked him by the end, but that really only came from him having to convince everyone else throughout the book (subconsciously or not) that he was worth liking. It’s hard to like someone that wants so badly for you to like them! Although if Cole were real, he would deny that wholeheartedly.

Isabel- I suppose Isabel is a lot like Cole, but we have known her longer. I loathed her at first, too! But I really think that Stiefvater meant for that to be the case. Books aren’t as good when there is nothing to hate! In the first book, we really didn’t get a whole lot of Isabel, because she really wasn’t too important. But certain events bring certain people together, so here she is! She grows on you, too. It always seems that there is more behind a person than we anticipate, and Stiefvater does a good job showing us that in these books.

Conflict: It’s a complete flip-flop guys. We don’t really miss things until they’re gone.This book is exhibit #2… and the first one is exhibit #1. You may not understand what I mean about it being a flip-flop unless you have read the first book, but I don’t want to explain it to you because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that hasn’t read the first book!

Things I Liked: I liked the introduction of a brand new character. Too often, you see whole series progress without ever seeing a new character emerge, and I usually dislike those books. Cole was a pleasant surprise, and the conflict was something that kept you paying attention! I liked that Grace had a secret problem to deal with, I know that sounds awful, why would I want a character to have to deal with a sucky problem all by herself? Well, because it proves what that character is made of! Grace is tough stuff and I really like when there are legitimate problems that prove that. Notice that I said legitimate problems. One thing I really dislike is when the main character loses grip on a situation that was really entirely preventable and only serves to muddle in the actual story line.

Things I Didn’t Like: I guess I just didn’t like that I didn’t get enough. Every time the viewpoint changed I was like “ughhh” because I wanted to keep reading about that one particular person and what they were going through. That is just an angsty thing though, so I suppose it doesn’t really belong in this category. However, I am reviewing this a little late and I didn’t jot anything down, so I can’t remember any issues popping up along the way. At least not any that stuck with me.

Overall: I like these books a lot. After I finished the first one, I went right ahead and ordered the next two from Amazon. I ordered this one on Amazon Prime, so I got it in a couple days. But, I went without for Forever (the third in this trilogy), and it took forever to get here. It also didn’t come with any tracking information so I just about went crazy waiting for it. I am probably exaggerating about the snail mail in this instance, but the mind remembers what it wants to remember… Anyhow, I was pumped to read these, and this one lived up to my expectations, so on to the third!

Rating: 4 stars

**Cover Art: I am not sure if I want to make this a category for all of the book reviews I do, but I am doing it for this one, so here goes: I liked that this cover was so much like the first one, but that it gave a little hint about what was to happen between the covers. The cover for Forever does the same thing, too! Also, even though it isn’t cover art, I think that the color of the text is worth mentioning. All of the covers in this trilogy are a certain color, and the text is the same color as the cover color. At first when I was reading Shiver, I thought I was going crazy. But, alas, this book told me I wasn’t and Maggie Stiefvater is just clever.

My First Bad Review

So, if you guys have gotten a chance to look at my last post, you will see that it is a bad review for a book. I have to admit, I felt a little bit like a jerk writing it… like bloggers’ guilt or something. I feel like I was justified in giving it the review that I gave it (you can read it and be the judge), but I don’t know if you guys will see it that way. I suppose I feel especially bad about it because of the awesome reviews I have been giving some of the other books I have read recently. But, I think that is part of what made me give it such a bad review- the other books that I have been reading are so much better than that one. I wonder if I would have given it a better review if I had read it before the Hex Hall books or the Heroes of Olympus books. I may have put Need under a little less scrutiny. Who knows!?

Do any of my fellow book bloggers out there feel guilty after a bad review? Do you write more good reviews or bad reviews? Have you ever experienced this bloggers’ guilt?

Review: Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)

Title: Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publisher: Hyperion

Date Read: January 24, 2013

“On her 12th birthday, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. Three bumpy years later, after a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she’s exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Then when a mysterious predator begins attacking students, and Sophie’s only friend is the number-one suspect, a horrifying plot begins to surface. Soon, Sophie is preparing for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.”

Characters:

Sophie: I like Sophie. She is a very strong girl with a very strong will, and I really like that about her. Too often you read YA books where the main character has low self-esteem and battles throughout the novel. In Hex Hall, you get quite the opposite, and I really liked that. She is an outsider in this outsider world, and that would be enough to cripple some of the main characters in other books I have read, but Sophie keeps on going when things really are falling apart around her. Her only source of insecurity seems to be her magic. Otherwise, she doesn’t let other people get to her no matter what happens, and that is admirable- especially for a 15 year old. She has one hell of a journey ahead of her in this series!

Jenna: Jenna is Sophie’s roommate at Hex Hall, and she is even more of an outsider than Sophie. She is the only one of her kind at the school, and her classmates are not very nice to her (to say the least). However, she is a sensitive friend that really looks out for Sophie and you have to lover her for thinking of Sophie when her own life seems to such so much. Everyone deserves a friend like Jenna.

Elodie: We hate Elodie. When you read the novel, you will know why. She sucks! Well, I might be being a little too harsh here, but she does not make life very pleasant. She is your typical villain, but with the number of YA novels out there similar to this one, authors have a hard time breaking out of the mold. Every story needs a villain! She is beautiful and powerful, and those things make her high in the rankings, but a mean girl nonetheless.

Archer: Ahhhhh, Archer. He is pretty awesome, but he has some…baggage. I don’t want to give away the story here, so I really can’t go into too much detail. However, Archer is mysterious and fascinating and a little stupid all rolled into one, so you really can’t help but love him.

Conflict: An organization called L’Occhio Di Dio (The Eye of God) is out to rid the world of all Prodigium. They are famous for their heartless murdering of magical people, and it is their mission to keep doing just that.  People are dying at Hex Hall, and there is no proof that it is L’Occhio, and there are other possibilities flying around the school. One particular type of magical species is getting the brunt of the blame, and Elodie and her band of dark witches are really making it difficult for anyone to sleep soundly at night. I guess you will understand what I mean when you read the book. Anyway, it is a roller coaster ride at Hex Hall.

Things I Liked: I loved the magic part. I don’t really care that it is getting overdone, but I really like the idea of witches and whatnot. I loved Harry Potter growing up, and I still have that soft spot for magical stories. I really liked that this story didn’t focus on just witches, or just faeries, etc. I love when the author actually puts the other species in there, I think that it makes the author work harder and be a little more creative. It’s nice. I also loved the characters in this book! I love the mystery that comes with some of the characters. Another thing I liked was that this school didn’t seem any different than a normal high school (aside from the species of the students and the strangeness of the school)- the students fought like they should have and there were enemies like there should have been. No high school is clique-free.

Things I Didn’t Like: I know I said this for The Son of Neptune, but I didn’t really find a whole lot that I didn’t like about this book. I flew through this book in a day. That’s right, one day. I really liked it. The characters seemed well developed, and any holes I might have seen were holes for a reason. What I mean by that is that the holes were either explained, unnecessary, or were there to be explained in the next book. I just finished Demonglass, and of course there are holes in that one, too. The holes make a sequel possible, and we can’t forget that. They are what make us curious enough to read the next book! And believe me, you will really want to read the next book.

Overall: I loved it, I really did! As I said before, the characters are all well developed, the story is interesting and keeps the reader entertained. Hawkins really makes it easy to emotionally invest in the characters- and that is very important. Most authors are successful in making you emotionally invest in the main character, but Hawkins branches out and makes you care about more than just the main character. I highly recommend the next book! It has been a few days since I read this, and I lost the piece of paper that I wrote my notes on, so I apologize for not fleshing this out enough… I will do better next time!

Rating: 5 stars

 

Review: The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

Title: The Son of Neptune

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney/Hyperion

Date Read: January 12-16, 2013

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 wishes 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 the 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 in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely- enough to share the secret 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 in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.

Characters: The blurb above really describes the characters quite well. So I guess I will just tell you how I feel about them! I like Hazel a lot, I liked hearing about her past and how she really came into her power. It’s both a blessing and a curse and it is interesting to hear her recount what happened to her. It was also pretty interesting watching her friendship with Frank develop! Frank is very endearing. He has kind of a complicated past, and he doesn’t know a lot about it. I like reading a book and feeling like I am discovering just as much as the main character is, especially when it is about his own history. And that brings us to Percy. Who doesn’t love Percy?! We learned to love him in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians (which I just gave to my mom to read!) and he is the same character he was then. He may be a little older in this book, but the age looks good on him. He has learned a lot more, and I just love that even though he has that pesky amnesia problem, he remembers Annabeth and can’t bear to forget her.

Conflict: Thanatos, the god of death, has been captured by Alcyoneus. Alcyoneus is another son of Gaea, and just as determined to bring her back. Thanatos’ capture means that although the demigods kill tons of monsters, those monsters come back. That makes it harder to defeat Gaea and her many minions.

Things I Liked: I really like that all of the characters in this series face some pretty heavy problems. That doesn’t seem like a very nice thing to say, but I think it’s a compliment. The fact that this story functions when the characters have such intense internal conflicts means that Riordan has fully developed mature YA characters. Sometimes when I read YA novels, I find that some of the main characters are kind of one dimensional, and this book really does not fall into that category. It’s fantastic. And, just like in the first book, I obviously love continuing to learn about Greek and Roman mythology! Most of my knowledge on the subject comes from Mr. Riordan, in fact. I just hope he hasn’t been lying to me!

Things I Didn’t Like: You know, I don’t really know. I think that when I read a book I just get so immersed in the books that I forget that I might be writing a review and should pay some close attention. But hey, I think that’s a compliment.

Overall: I loved it! The characters are all really well developed, and there are a ton of story lines that are expertly weaved together. I love that things are mysterious but have moments of transparency. This story lasts over the whole series, and he is really good at keeping us entertained. It’s a really complicated story, and he does a fantastic job. Well done.

Rating: 5 stars