Considering Medea was one of my all-time favorite reads from my Ancient and Medieval Cultures class in college, I had high hopes for this one.DNF @ 7%
Considering Medea was one of my all-time favorite reads from my Ancient and Medieval Cultures class in college, I had high hopes for this one. Alas, it didn’t pan out. Bright Air Black is set before Medea and Jason have children but after Jason has secured the Golden Fleece. Medea’s father, King Aeëtes, is in pursuit of them and in an attempt to slow him down Medea sacrifices her brother, dismembers him, and tosses pieces of him overboard knowing that her father will stop to collect each and every piece.
The writing is both difficult to read and impossible to put down due to the long-winded narrative style. The chapters are few and far between as well as any actual dialogue making this a monotonous yet grotesque read. At times it was like Hannibal meets mythology.
‘Medea takes a piece of her brother, a thigh, heavy and tough, muscled, and licks blood from it, dark and thick. She spits, licks and spits again and again, three times to atone. Mouth filled with the taste of her family’s blood, and she throws this piece of Helios into the waves.’
Then after she threw the thigh overboard and her father has recovered it:
‘Her brother gone. She misses him there, far away, in his father’s arms, and yet most of him is here. She kneels in him still.’
Then there was a scene of a man leaning overboard to take a shit and Medea describes how it fouls the air due to lack of wind. I’m sure she ran out of body parts to toss overboard and the men wouldn’t spend the entire book shitting over the side of the boat, but there just wasn’t enough to captivate me in this retelling of one of my favorite Greek myths.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
’…they were about to ride into battle with Valkyries, Berserkers, and… goats. It was pretty epic.’
Odin’s Ravens, the next iMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
’…they were about to ride into battle with Valkyries, Berserkers, and… goats. It was pretty epic.’
Odin’s Ravens, the next installment following Loki’s Wolves, picks up right where the last left off with Matt and the gang setting out to save their deceased friend Baldwin from an eternity in Hel. This is no easy feat as along the way they encounter fire giants, Viking zombies, a seemingly innocuous river that turns out to be made up of acid, a cave bear, a Hel chicken, and Laurie and Fen’s Aunt Helen who rules Hel. Baldwin is the descendant of Balder and according to mythos, his death was the start of Ragnarök. Saving him from Hel would change the myth and hopefully stop Ragnarök. But will that single act be enough to stop the end of the world?
The story of Odin’s Ravens is once again written as a shared point of view between the three main characters, Matt, Fen and Laurie but we’re also introduced to a new character: Owen; the descendant of Odin. Odin was the All-Father and was said to be all-knowing of future events to come. Owen is blessed with this gift of prophecy as well as long as he wasn’t an active part of the mission so he has stayed away from the descendants in order to glean as much information as he can. Unfortunately, staying away from the other descendants has resulted in his capture by the wulfenkind. His two ravens, Thought (Huginn) and Memory (Muninn) are his sole companions until he’s able to escape so he sends them out into the world acting as his eyes and ears. It was incredibly interesting reading about the mythology behind Odin and remains one of my favorite aspects of these stories. The details of Norse mythology is incorporated into the story in a manner that makes it vastly interesting and educational yet still immensely entertaining.
In addition to the action and adventure of the story itself, the book also contains amazing black and white illustrations that truly bring the story to life. The interior illustrations were all done by Vivenne To.
Odin’s Ravens is a pleasing follow-up that will certainly leave readers of the series anticipating the final book in the trilogy. The action and adventure is intense, the humor is plentiful and the character development is well-done, although I can’t say I’m completely invested emotionally in these characters but their story is still very much intriguing and I’m eager to find out the result of their journey....more
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of Loki's Wolves was provided to me by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for review purposes.
Matt Thorsen has alwaMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars A copy of Loki's Wolves was provided to me by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for review purposes.
Matt Thorsen has always had big shoes to fill considering his family are the descendants of the Norse god, Thor. When he has a dream of Ragnarok, the battle leading up to the end of the world, he doesn't consider it being anything but a dream. Soon after, a town meeting is called and everyone is told that signs point to Ragnarok happening, and soon. When Matt is named champion he realizes he must seek out other descendant's of the Gods if he has any hope of saving the world from destruction.
Regardless of the fact that this story closely resembles a Percy Jackson storyline and even Harry Potter at times, there are sufficient enough differences to make Loki's Wolves stand apart.
First of all, I loved that the story wasn't told solely through the POV of the 'main character', Matt the descendant of Thor. The POV was shared between the three main members of their team including Fen and Laurie, descendant's of Loki. Each character was distinctive and well-written and it was enjoyable seeing the story from a set of different eyes.
Then there was also, of course, the difference that this book deals with Norse mythology. This was an exceptionally fun aspect for me considering I haven't read too much relating to Norse mythology before so it was a bit of an educational experience for me.
This was an extremely fun and exciting thrill-ride of a novel; I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending was slightly abrupt, however, this is a trilogy and I do realize it had to end somewhere. There was a bit of a cliffhanger and no real resolution as their adventure is far from over. Highly recommended for adventurous Middle-Graders and Adults alike!
ARC Giveaway for Everbound on my blog! U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers! Giveaway ends January 29th, 2013
**Spoilers to follow for thoARC Giveaway for Everbound on my blog! U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers! Giveaway ends January 29th, 2013
**Spoilers to follow for those of you who have not yet read Everneath!**
Everbound was quite the adventure! I wasn't the hugest fan of the first installment was this one was fun, entertaining, and even a bit exciting. Everbound picks up where the last left off with Nikki desperately trying to come up with a plan to rescue Jack. Once she realizes that she requires Cole's help for this to ever be possible, she also realizes she has to put more trust in him than she ever has before. He's never given her a reason to trust him but she's not left with much choice if she ever wants to see Jack again.
Over 100 of the first pages is wasted on Nikki and her planning on how to save Jack. I understand the need for developing but I can't help but feel some of it could have been cut out because once the action really started, it was quite the interesting story. Everbound took bits from several mythological stories: Persephone and Hades (Greek), Orpheus and Eurydice (Greek), Inanna and her descent into the underworld (Sumerian), Daedalus' labyrinth (Greek), and Dante's Inferno (Italian). The entire plot of the story was heavily based on these myths and it was interesting to see how these myths were altered to suit the story.
Everbound put major focus on the development of Cole and Nikki's relationship which continued building that love triangle that I knew was inevitably coming. Considering I was a bigger fan of Cole than Jack, this wasn't too big of a gripe for me. It's a sure bet readers will end up liking Cole a lot more as the story progresses, as he shows a noble and honest side to him that wasn't evident previously.
This was an extremely close to a 4 star read for me... until the end. The ending really ruined any fun I had over the course of the previous 350+ pages and made me confused and irritable and other related adjectives. I know I will now have to read the final installment in the trilogy and hope that all the time I spent on this series ends up being worth it. As it stands right now though I'm not impressed and I'm crossing my fingers for a big finish at the very least.
“Remembering is easy. It's forgetting that's hard.”
Nikki wants to forget. She wants to forget that the man responsible for her mothers death2.5 stars
“Remembering is easy. It's forgetting that's hard.”
Nikki wants to forget. She wants to forget that the man responsible for her mothers death has been set free. She wants to forget about the girl she saw walking out of her boyfriends dorm room. She just wants to forget and to stop hurting. And Cole is the answer to her problems because he's an Everliving. She stays with Cole in the Everneath as his Forfeit. He Fed on her energy for 100 years before she was empty and he was fully satisfied, but she didn't die. She was able to Return to the living and her life and say the final goodbyes she wasn't able to say the first time before she has to return to the Everneath for good.
I must say I was completely intrigued by the mythology aspects of this book and was the big reason I finally read this (well that and I ended up with an ARC of Everbound). But there was quite a difference between this and the original Hades and Persephone myth. There were also bits of Egyptian hieroglyphics/mythology that were thrown in which didn't appear to have much connection to the original story and didn't make much sense period. But I found the storyline to be strikingly similar to the Matrix. Weird statement, I know, but hear me out.
"After the Feed, the Forfeits are used to power the Everneath. They supply thew hole place with energy. Cole calls it a battery. One little cog in a giant generator."
Human beings are harvested for their heat and small amount of electricity they produce which is then used to power the Matrix. With the Everneath, it seems as if emotions are harvested for energy but both concepts struck me as eerily similar. Especially since ultimately humans are being used as a power source.
The beginning of the story had a bit of a rough start. The Everneath and the entire Feeding process was poorly explained and left a lot of questions. But my big issue was the fact that Nikki reappears after being gone for 6 months (even though 100 years passed in the Everneath) but everyone brushes it off as her having simply ran away. From what knowledge we're given about her character she was a good kid that didn't act out or get into a lot of trouble but everyone is under the assumption that she had ran off and ended up going into rehab. And her father didn't appear shocked at all and there was no reference to him even looking for her. Considering her father is the Mayor I would have expected there would've been a bit more attention given to her disappearance.
Nikki's whole reason for returning was to give her loved ones a proper goodbye but once she does she barely talks to anyone and acts like she wants nothing to do with Jack especially. She only had a certain amount of time before she had to return and she was wasting it. It really made me wonder why she went back at all. That whole bit didn't make a lot of sense to me.
Again, her whole reason for Returning was to say goodbye. She didn't have any flicker of hope that she would be able to remain on earth, but as soon as she did she began to frantically come up with a plan. She decided to involve Jack on everything she had been through and his complete acceptance of everything including the bits about Cole feeding off her for 100 years was so completely unrealistic it was ridiculous. To use another Matrix reference, even Neo lost his shit and puked all over the place when he found the gruesome truth and he was a straight badass.
I must say though, despite the major issues I may have had with this novel, for some reason it still ended up being a super entertaining read. There wasn't any instalove or even very much of a love triangle, although there are two male love interests. I have a feeling though that there's more potential for a love triangle developing in future installments. The super fantastic ending wasn't that super fantastic, however, it did manage to tug at my heart strings a bit. I'll still be continuing this series despite my low rating because I feel that it still holds some potential. *fingers crossed*
Edited 2/16/2012: One of my blog readers was kind enough to forward my review on to the author and she was in turn kind enough to provide me with prooEdited 2/16/2012: One of my blog readers was kind enough to forward my review on to the author and she was in turn kind enough to provide me with proof that fantastical is indeed a word.
I stand corrected.
The Book of Lost Fragrances was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Expected Publication Date: March 13th 2012
Jac L’Etoile escapes to America after the suicide of her mother. Her brother, Robert, remains in Paris to assist their father with their perfume house; however, following his death the two inherit the company. In order to avoid bankruptcy, Robert (Robbie) feels that they must sell some of the company's product in order to stay afloat but inevitably uncovers something that changes everything. When Jac returns to Paris to assist her brother she finds him missing and a man is dead on the floor of their perfume house.
A side story (which is not mentioned in the summary of the novel) is regarding the debate/battle between China and Tibet regarding the exile of the Lamas. There is a brief reference to this in the very beginning of the novel but it seemed so far-fetched and ill-fitting with the part of the story that had already been told that I felt as if I was reading another book entirely.
The main problem I had with this story was that it was just far too much wrapped into too tiny of a package and it failed to keep my attention. I appreciate the concept but the delivery was too messy. China, Tibet, and the living Buddha, Jungian archetypes, Cleopatra, reincarnation and past-lives, Napoleon... need I continue? The concept was there but I feel that it fell completely flat and failed to sufficiently come together and that the plot was too convenient and failed to impress. The pacing of the story was definitely off as the author was either throwing huge chunks of information in at the wrong times or she was changing the point of view far too often for my liking.
The Not So Bad
I really enjoyed the writing style... at times; it was extremely vivid and descriptive. The thing with beautiful writing though is oftentimes if it's not done perfectly then it can feel overdone and/or forced. in this case I did feel it was overdone. Here's an example:
'Up close, the scent was rich and ripe, and he felt himself float away on its wings, away from the tomb, out into the open, under the sky, under the moon, to a riverbank where he could feel the wind and taste the cool night.'
I believe that if I was even just a tiny bit more patient then this could have been an enjoyable novel for me. I had difficulty following the numerous complex storylines and the multiple characters involved and just felt that overall too much was shoved into the storyline. The complexity of the story definitely felt forced and lacked a needed flow. As far as how it all came together, I could probably say that it actually did come full circle in the end but by the time everything started making sense it was just far too late for me to really care.
Final comment: the use of the word 'fantastical' left me a bit dumbfounded. Now correct me if I'm wrong but the last I checked that was not, in fact, a word. A real one that is. And considering the usage and the fact that it didn't seem to be made in error makes me only hope that maybe fantastical didn't make it into the final copy of this book. ...more