Category Archives: Books

Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion (October 4, 2011)
Hardcover:  576 pages
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the first pages of this standalone sequel to The Lost Hero, Percy Jackson remembers only his name and the name of Annabeth, a mysterious woman he associates somehow with the city of San Francisco. From those sparse clues, he must somehow complete a mission for the leader of the Roman camp even as he is being pursued by the two sisters of Medusa, who possess an apparently unquenchable thirst for vengeance: Even when killed, they spring back to life. Rick Riordan’s second Heroes of Olympus promises even more excitement than the first.

Review:

The long wait is over. Son of Neptune is out and available to any fans of the Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus books.

This time we get to see Percy Jackson in this disoriented, amnesiac state. Due to Juno’s (Hera for those more accustomed to the gods’ Greek counterparts) meddling, Percy has been left without memories and placed in the hands of a “rival” camp, Camp Jupiter. The Roman version of Camp Half-Blood is much more regimented and ordered than Camp Half-Blood. The differences were interesting to read. More intriguing, though, was Percy’s reactions to the differences, especially when he’d been unsure as to the reason behind his discomfort/ niggling sense of displacement when among the Roman demi-gods.

Like how Jason got Leo and Piper to aid him, Percy’s friends in Camp Jupiter are Hazel and Frank. Hazel is a bit of a mystery at first. Sister to Nico di Angelo, Hazel’s abilities were kept quiet in the beginning, only alluding to the fact that her power was dangerous. Then with her blackouts, the reader finds out little-by-little more about her. Though potentially dangerous, Hazel comes across as a rather soft-spoken follower. But as the book goes on, the reader gets to see her pull her weight and tackle her “fate” head-on.

Frank is the one who changed the most throughout the course of the book. When we first met him, he came off as ditzy. He was sweet, clearly enamored with Hazel, but not as cool as Percy. However as the story progressed, it was becoming clearer that while Frank suffered from low self-esteem in his abilities, he was far from just uselessly tagging along with Hazel and Percy. Frank plays his part, and doesn’t let the reader down.

There’s just so much I want to talk about, but can’t for fear of spoilers. Instead, I’ll just say that this is most definitely a recommended read. If you like the Percy Jacson/ Heroes of Olympus series, this book is one you wouldn’t want to miss. If you haven’t read any of Rick Riordan’s books, then go start with “The Lightning Thief”. You won’t be disappointed.

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Find Rick Riordan:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository

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Feature & Follow Friday

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read and allows book bloggers to connect.

Q. What book that hasn’t been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

This is a tough question. Mostly because I really, really don’t like books turned movie. I suppose if I had to pick one, I’d like to see James Rollins’  Sigma Force books turned into movies. When I was first recommended these books, I was told they’re kind of like Indiana Jones in book format. And that’s true. We follow this secret government group, Sigma force, as they “investigate and secure sensitive information that could be a threat to the United States”. However, it isn’t just straight forward espionage and all that. There’s also this element of mysticism. Sometimes things happen that they try to explain via science but really can’t. It’s that element that turns it into something Indiana Jones-esque. You have a fun adventure and a bit of the unexplainable. I think that these books would be great for a nice action, adventure movie.

As for cast … I don’t have a preference really. Just make sure that whoever’s playing Painter is a really cool, hot guy. Since I started off with “Sandstorm” and Painter as my main protagonist, I’ve always had a huge soft spot for him even when he became a secondary character in the later novels.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: How to Save a Life

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publication date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends–everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted–to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy–or as difficult–as it seems.

I feel like every WoW pick I have is always something I’d never pick up normally when just perusing the book story. I think these are always the books I’d love to read if I had time.

Add on Goodreads


Misty and the Single Dad by Marion Lennox

Publisher: Harlequin (June 7, 2011)
Kindle:  192 pages / 347  KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Teacher Misty Lawrence has lived her whole life in Banksia Bay, cherishing a secret list of faraway dreams. Just as she’s finally about to take flight, Nicholas Holt—tall, dark and deliciously bronzed—turns up in her classroom with his little son Bailey and an injured stray spaniel in tow.

We start off with the elementary school teacher, Misty Lawrence, who has a list of dreams she plans on going through once her responsibilities in Banksia Bay ends. However, Misty can’t help but be a good, dependable person despite her wishes to get away and live life.

Enter Nicholas Holt. He moved to Banksia Bay with his son, Bailey, to get away from excessive excitement, adventures and dangers. He wants to put down roots and make a safe haven for Bailey. Maggie is attracted to Nicholas and it seems inevitable they end up in a relationship, especially with the not-so-subtle meddling of the town veterinarian.

For a short Harlequin novel, Lennox certainly delivers. Misty is captured perfectly. While characterized as a dependable person, Lennox is able to accurately convey Misty’s feelings of unease and dissatisfaction. She grapples with trying to settle with her life without leaving any regrets of forgoing her dreams to pursue a happy relationship with Nicholas.

Nicholas likes Misty. But in his zealous efforts to secure a safe home for Bailey, he misses Misty’s unease in her attempts to stifle her dreams. The way Lennox plays out their relationship is fast paced but not overwhelmingly so. It is easy to follow. This is a good read for anyone looking for a short, sweet romance.


Sawyer by Lori Foster

Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition (July 1, 2007)
Kindle:  224 pages / 254  KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Sawyer Hudson, the only doctor in Buckhorn County, took it upon himself to rescue the beautiful but enigmatic woman who came literally crashing into his life. Though he knew he should keep things platonic and professional, around her his body had other ideas. And his heart was no more cooperative.

Honey Malone was on the run, fleeing a dangerous predator, when she lost control of her car, drove into a lake–and found herself up to her neck in breathtaking men. After the brothers nursed her through her injuries, she tried to leave, but she hadn’t bargained on their stubborn protectiveness. Or the passionate bond that tied her to Sawyer.

Review:

A pretty quick read, I had high hopes for “Sawyer”. The premise seemed interesting and full of potential. Foster created a diverse cast of enthralling male leads for her series. The focus of this one is, obviously, Sawyer. Honey, on the other hand, is not nearly intriguing. Sure, she has that whole mysterious-woman-on-the-run thing going on for her. But it’s not nearly enough. Her refusal to confide in Sawyer and his brothers makes sense, but it goes on for so long I’m left feeling irritated with her.

The one scene where she finally got on my nerves so much that I had to put the book down and take a break from it all was when she tried to “keep them safe by keeping them in the dark”. To achieve that goal she attempted to “borrow” (read: steal) Sawyer’s car to get away. Then, in the midst of all Sawyer’s anger, their inexplicable attraction erupts and they’re making out. This entire scene felt ridiculous and forced. I can see how perhaps it was headed here.

Sure the story has potential. The pacing of the story moves at a brisk pace, which helped to keep my attention on the book. But the characters/ situations weren’t developed enough for me. If you’re looking for just a quick romance and easy read, then this book and the others in the series should be a good fit.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: You Are My Only

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publication date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the “No Good.” One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

Not really my norm. Which is nice. There’s a certain mystery to this that I can’t wait to see unravel. I’m excited to see where Kephart takes this.

Add on Goodreads.


Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback (February 18, 2002)
Kindle: 352 pages / 415 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Review:

An oldie but a goodie? Maybe so. After a recommendation from a customer, I gave this book a chance. Not really knowing what to expect (sometimes I like to just jump into books without looking too far into the premise), I took the plunge into Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series with this book.

Though a bit scandalized by the content (which, I suppose, should have been expected since the main character did summon a “love-slave” from a book), the story played a lot with Gods, Goddesses and paranormal mysticism. The concepts Kenyon came up with were interesting enough to keep me reading.

One thing that did confuse me was where the “Dark-Hunter” part was supposed to come into play. It was only with a bit of research and the start of the next book that I realized that “Fantasy Lover” was more of a prequel of sorts.

The characterizations of the Gods and Goddesses that showed up felt fitting and appropriate. Or at least, Kenyon made it feel appropriate. I enjoyed how she portrayed them and her other characters.

Definitely a recommendation for those in the mood for a steamy romance, and enjoy that bit of paranormal.


Mephisto’s Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Publisher: Egmont USA (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 448 pages / 5 KB
Source: Netgalley
Rating: of 5 stars

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over.  But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

It’s an interesting premise that Faegen has created. The idea that a child of Hell could be redeemed by one known as Anabo, it’s unique.

The characters brought on a mixed reaction. Sasha is a character I didn’t fully like or understand. We start the story with her relentless pursuit of the truth behind her father’s death. So relentless in fact that is borders being obsessive to a dangerous degree. Sasha comes off as a super good person that anyone would be friends with when given the appropriate opportunity. (Which makes sense since she is an Anabo.) For anyone thrust into the situation Sasha found herself in, I’m sure we’d all like to go back to our days of ignorance. Sasha’s initial reaction makes sense, even as it irked me.

Jax is refreshing as a male protagonist. I’m so used to those heros who always felt the need to push away their love interests. It was good to see Jax pursue Sasha. Even as he’s trying to stay away from Sasha at her request, he does things for her that would have swept any girl off her feet.

The romantic tension between Sasha and Jax was obvious and enjoyable. Even as Sasha wanted to stay away from Jax, she couldn’t help but want to be with him at the same time.

A good read, with an intriguing idea. It’s a book to check out if the summary interested you even the slightest bit. With the struggle against Eryx not over, it’s a good thing Mephisto’s Covenant is only the first of six books. Mephisto’s Covenant comes out September 27, 2011 from Egmont USA.


How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Publisher: Pocket (February 22, 2011)
Kindle: 384 pages / 629 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

Review:

An entertaining read, this was my first time reading anything by Molly Harper. Of all the places to move to just to get some distance from your parent, to go from southern USA to Alaska seems extreme. But as Mo elaborates on how her hippie parents are like, Alaska might not be far enough.

Mo is an interesting character who I’d probably get along with. She’s a good person, just looking for the place where she belongs after her tumultuous childhood. New to the small town of Grundy, Alaska, Mo is a novelty that has most bachelors flirting with her as she quickly finds a place for herself in their community.

The only one really against Mo’s move to Grundy is the perpetually grumpy Cooper. (As well as Lynette, who’s dislike comes from the men’s attention on Mo.) Consistently at odds with one another, Mo and Cooper can’t deny the latent attraction at work as well.

The book starts off pretty slowly. But when we finally get to the scene described in the summary, where Mo finds a naked man stuck in a bear trap, the story just takes off.

A quick, fun read, this book isn’t one to pass up.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publication date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

From Goodreads:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.