I found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainlyI found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainly filled with mystery and intrigue, the tension is slowly pushed higher and higher as the book goes on. There were just some slow moments that bothered me. And I do wish the mythology had been a bit more clear at times. Which goddess of hope was Nadia? Greek? Roman? Norse? A little more world-building/backstory could've helped.
Of course, I would definitely recommend this book to those looking to read an intriguing mix of mythology, mystery, romance, and an interesting cast of characters. It has all of those in spades....more
Sophie's junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world's greatest kiss re-awakened her true identity as Persephone, she fought her dragSophie's junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world's greatest kiss re-awakened her true identity as Persephone, she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated a mean girl's bitchy trouble-making, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex. You'd think a girl could catch a break. Yeah, right. With Zeus stepping things up, it's vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone's memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie's past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept? The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together and to treat the suicide mission as a date, which could work out for Sophie's plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her. If she doesn't kill him first. Add to that the fact that her BFF's love life and other BFF's actual life are in Sophie's hands, and suddenly being a teenager, even a godlike one, seems a bit like, well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?
My Date From Hell is a fast-paced, exciting, dangerous mission towards the truth and stopping the end of the world.
Sophie's stuck in a bad situation. She's pushed by Zeus to find the memories of Persephone hidden away in her mind, pushed to work with Kai when she'd rather avoid and/or hate him, pushed to be around Bethany when she'd rather kick her off a cliff. Her life sucks in different ways for different reasons, but that doesn't stop her from pushing back, through snark and wit and also an inner strength.
I've said before in previous reviews how retellings of the Persephone myth are multiplying and making me lose interest. This tries to set itself apart in that it's not Hades that Sophie's attracted to but his son Kai. And there's a deeper, darker situation looming overhead. One that could end in the destruction of everything. It's not necessarily new and unique (see The Goddess Test and Everneath), but the author's own interpretation of the gods and goddess, their different personalities, is what's key.
It was the banter that did it for me, that kept me entertained and reading. All of the snark and sass and jabs at everyone and everything. Sarcasm mixed with seriousness, appearing at both the best and worst times. And it wasn't just Sophie, although she is the queen of snark. There were multiple characters with the ability to toss in a quick one-liner, it was like a funny little surprise every time it happened.
But as much as the banter kept me reading, Sophie's "war" with Bethany made me bored. Bethany seems to be the quintessential popular mean girl that every fiction high school has. I understand that she's not supposed to be likable, and did she ever do her job as coming across as extremely unlikable, but I was almost at the point of skipping the parts she was in.
I was slightly lost at the beginning, I haven't read the first book and it took me a little to get into the story, but I kept going. There were moments were the action and drama were hyped up to the point where it was almost too much for me (just about every time Bethany was around). In some ways I liked this book and in some ways I didn't. Maybe there was a bit too much drama for me, but it was still a fun, exciting read. I really want to know how it ends....more
Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never lAres, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace. Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite. The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed. The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await.
Mortal Gods is a book of anger, a book of rage, a book of pain. Nothing is easier for anyone. If anything, it all hurts even more this time around. It hurts because they know what's happened, and they know what's going to happen. And preparing for death tends to leave behind a bitter taste.
Athena's determination and Cassandra's anger, both of them fuel this book. They push over and over, harder and harder. But their vision is blocked by blinders, leaving one only seeing the goal in front of her and the other unable to see anything past her fiery rage. But Athena is getting tired, weary, with more than feathers poking at her flesh. And behind the fire in Cassandra's eyes lies sadness and despair.
So much of this book is preparing. Preparing for war, for battle. Preparing for the end. The end is coming, there's no denying that. But for everyone, what is the end? For the gods, for Athena and Hermes, for Hera and Aphrodite, that end is surely death. Isn't it? They're all crumbling, falling apart. For Cassandra, what is the end? An end to her anger? Will she only be satisfied with Aphrodite and Hera dying at her hands? And then what? Will everything just become normal again? Revenge is never the answer. But what else does she have to give?
But at the end of all of this, how can there be a winner? This is a war between gods, a war of immense power, a war between the diseased and the crippled. How can there honestly be a winner when all of them are dying? I'm genuinely curious as to how this will all end in the next book. I know Kendare Blake books, there won't be a happy ending. All I can do now is sit back and wait for the epic battle.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through Raincoast Books.)...more
Katie has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her auntKatie has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling. As a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control. When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life: blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help: Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.
Rain is certainly darker than the first book in the trilogy and perhaps even more dangerous. If the first book was all about discovery, this one leans more toward revelation, answers to complicated questions, and an introduction to a new and deadly problem.
Katie is still in Japan, still hopelessly in love with Tomohiro, still awkward in terms of social cues and customs, and still taking control in finding out what's wrong. She seems to take the reins in terms of discovering the truth behind her connection to the ink threatening to take over both of their lives. She's trying, she's not that passive about the situation, but the trying and searching make her seem reckless. She doesn't want to lose someone she cares about, not after losing her mother so suddenly, and so she'll do whatever it takes to keep Tomohiro sane and in control of the ink he can command. Even if that makes her a target.
Katie staying in Japan means she's still immersed in Japanese culture, customs, food, language. It means more opportunities for her to make mistakes, for her Western culture upbringing to shine through and make her look like she's just fumbling around. She's still struggling with the real life aspect of living in Japan, like learning kanji and knowing when to address someone by their last name instead of their first. It's a different culture than what she's used to, less noise and more silent opinions and judgments. A lot of people seem to keep their thoughts to themselves, but Katie can't complain because she does that, too. She doesn't tell everyone the truth about everything, she doesn't tell Tomohiro everything because she's afraid it'll make everything worse. She's still trying to find her middle ground, still trying to find her place, and it's not going well.
The romance is still present, and maybe it does take over, the two of them do get rather involved with each other, but I wasn't surprised. I knew the romance would take over, would wind itself around the mythology as the book went on. Katie and Tomohiro have hit a bit of a rocky road, though, with him thinking he can protect her from the ink if he stays away from her, but it's not that simple. It'll never be that simple.
I like how this book goes deeper into the mythology introduced in the first book, deeper into the Kami and their origins in Japan's distant past. This feels very much like a learning and growing kind of second book. Questions are answered here, about the Kami, about Katie and Tomohiro's connection. Not every question was answered, of course, but hopefully the rest of the secrets will be uncovered in the last book....more
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feeOn the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building. Then there’s Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets. Katie never wanted to move to Japan, but now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Ink is an intriguing story rich with modern day Japanese culture, Japanese mythology, and magic. In a country with such rich history there's bound to be something lurking around, something searching for power. A rather serious tone travels through the book because there's so much at stake for Katie. Like survival.
It's very much a stranger in a strange land sort of book, Katie with her American customs and American way of thinking. So much research has been done by the author on Japanese geography, customs, and myths. And the English/Japanese language barrier was addressed, which was good. It was nice to see the author not sweep it off to the side and avoid it.
I find that Katie tries to be strong and ends up with a façade over her face. She somewhat refuses to accept that, for the moment, she has to live in a foreign country with a relative she barely knows and speak a language she barely understands. In a culture so different from the one she grew up in, she's lost and puts up a wall, not complaining but not accepting. In the beginning, And so she waits for the day she can go back to North America, until danger arises and curiosity kicks in.
There's an instant something between Katie and Tomohiro. I'm wary of saying it was the often hated insta-love, I think it's more instant anger or hatred or confusion. And then Katie sticks her nose in because she wants to know why what happened happened. She wants to know why he's a walking contradiction, why he's angry and closed-off but also quiet and friendly. Why his drawings come alive. Yes, following Tomohiro around makes her a creepy stalker, and no, I wouldn't suggest doing this in real life, but Katie's recklessly stubborn and she wants to keep those she's managed to make friends with safe. And so, with her big nose, she shoves her way in like a foolish idiot and gets caught up in a huge mess of trouble.
Part of what I found compelling, beyond the setting, is the darkness and the magic in the ink. The fantasy aspect, the dark magic in the ink drawings, it all reaches back into Japanese myth, into lore and legend, and hints at the true power of the gods. In ways it's a subtle sort of magic, elusive at times, but in other ways it's clearly there, extremely dangerous and powerful. But Katie's involvement, Katie's connection, must be addressed. Why is a Caucasian girl from New York somehow involved?
Certain things are very clear in this book. The gods are real, the kami have power, the ink is dangerous, and it wants them both. Everyone is at risk. Now that she's part of it, Katie has to figure out what to do next....more