In this final installment of PJ, we are shown thru the POVs of Jason, Leo, Piper, Nico and Reyna (I'll get to that in a sec). The team's back togetherIn this final installment of PJ, we are shown thru the POVs of Jason, Leo, Piper, Nico and Reyna (I'll get to that in a sec). The team's back together, with Percabeth, Japer/Pison (haha not as cool as Percabeth IMO), Frazel/Hank, and Leo on the Argo II finally on their way to (view spoiler)[Athens (hide spoiler)] to defeat Gaea - who is almost completely awake - and Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge lugging the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood.
(As usual) the teams meet with many monsters along the way, defeat everyone and many rainbows are puked and daisies are sprouted.
Ops did I spoil the book for anyone?
Not to say that there weren't amazing fighting sequences and Riordan's infamous wit and humor, but that's the gist of all his books BLOOD OF OLYMPUS.
The end was a pretty neat and bittersweet tie up for everyone's arc in the story though, especially Nico's. SO CUTE. I wanted to hug my book and give him and AHEM a happy, motherly kiss...even though I'm still only a student. Single and ready to mingle. Harhar.
There were a few things that really irked me in this book tho:
1) Last installment, so I thought it was only a fitting end to have the story be told through Percy or Annabeth, or maybe even the whole crew getting their own show time individually. I just felt a little...cheated out of a closure.
2) The POV issue wouldn't have bothered me if Percy and Annabeth weren't shown to be such burdens, IN A FINAL INSTALLMENT. SERIOUSLY. PISSED. Percy was literally useless in more than a few fights (getting knocked unconscious, swimming directly into poisonous waters and thus out of commission, you get the point), and Annabeth was paralyzed in fear/useless in quite a few instances too. I'm not exaggerating when I say paralyzed. Don't have to. It's even worse cause Riordan makes them stupid so that Jason and Piper could really shine through. And it's the final insult to make it so blazingly obvious.
BLOOD OF OLYMPUS definitely isn't Riordan's best work, but it's got his trademark action, adventure, humor in all his good ol' Greek myth glory. It's been one heck of a journey, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Stone Cold Touch really made me a fickle reader. By the end of WHK, I was firmly in Team Roth, but both Roth and Zayne had their equal share in spotliStone Cold Touch really made me a fickle reader. By the end of WHK, I was firmly in Team Roth, but both Roth and Zayne had their equal share in spotlight moments (and some of those were some butterflies-in-stomach-and-brains-and-liver moments). Yes, Roth made it back topside. ;)
But SCT did what I almost thought was nigh impossible...it made me Team Zayne. Hahaha.
I've always found JLA books read more like YA, in terms of the whole tone of her books and her writing style. The Dark Elements series is no exception. The contents are definitely New Adult, but it's shelved as YA in my subconscious.
Anyway, SCT has the usual JLA goodness of humor, romance and plot-curves that just hooks you in. There were parts of the story that didn't sit well with me though - how Layla was two timing the guys, which is a serious pet peeve of mine, how fast her relationship with Zayne progressed, and how little the Church of God's children part progressed. It seemed like the plot took a backseat this time with all the love triangle drama SCT's got going. But still, definitely worth a shot!
I was hooked, but...can the guys stop falling for the doppelgängers!? It's weird. And meh. This is my first witch novel and it's pretty coo*3.5 stars*
I was hooked, but...can the guys stop falling for the doppelgängers!? It's weird. And meh. This is my first witch novel and it's pretty cool. 'CEPT FOR THE ROMANCE.
What I really loved was how Angelini amalgamated science and magic together, which is technically alchemy and alchemy is seriously cool shit. Which is very Angel and Demons/Dan Brown-ish just YA-fied, no? I'm a very science-based person (aced those mofos through O and A levels ;), so Angelini's ability to weave theories and all that jazz in made it all the more intriguing without dulling the pace nor tone of story.
Something that bothered me a little initially was Angelini's writing style. It's not even selective third person perspective; it seemed more like she wrote it in first person but decided to changed the I's to Lily/she/her. It just...seemed that way to me.
I found Lily relatable, Rowan was awesome, Tristan and Caleb were fun to have around but the rest seemed terribly 2D. Even the Outlander tribe chief. Maybe she spent too much brain juice on her world building - which was very ambitious and interesting, but still a little lacking in terms of the magnitude I think Angelini was striving for. So much potential there that I'm looking forward to see developed in TRAIL OF TEARS, book 2.
Sci fi, witchcraft, alternate universes and modern/medieval cities abound, definitely refreshing and worth reading. This is almost an unprecedented mishmash of genres, some might like it others might hate it, but ultimately I think that TRIAL BY FIRE might actually set a trend in the YA department, if not by merit of its execution, then by it's novelty.
Seriously, I didn't expect anything less. Anything Nalini Singh writes is able to completely suck me in irrevocably (I'll always think of T*4.5 stars*
Seriously, I didn't expect anything less. Anything Nalini Singh writes is able to completely suck me in irrevocably (I'll always think of Twilight when I use this word. Weird..). I didn't expect to like Talin and Clay all that much, but hot damn, theirs is a story that is compelling and exciting. Clay might not be the most tender of lovers, but he has a way of worming into all of us readers' hearts. :)
Review to come
P.S. I'm not reading this series in order, but I'm running out of Psy-Changeling books to read.
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that maOrginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that made CLEAN SWEEP a refreshing and exciting read. Judging from the cover I was expecting Fantasy, but it turned out to be URBAN fantasy. I was in the mood for some fantasy, but this turned out to be an unexpectedly-fortunate mistake.
Dina is an innkeeper, and that means she has magical abilities and she's strongest when she's within the boundaries of her inn. Innkeepers have a sort of connection to their inns that allows the inn to respond to commands and comments from their keepers. They're sort of like a really loveable pet dog - the inns, I mean. Inns thrive with the flow of customers and guests, so with good business, the inn becomes stronger; Too little or no guests will cause an inn to go into hibernation.
Dina's parents were innkeepers that run a thriving inn, with a booming business and top ratings, a whopping five-stars. A highly-rated inn will be reflected in the directory and that tells customers that it is safe and guarantees quality. Dina's learnt the ropes and is pretty familiar with the codes and etiquettes that comes with being an innkeeper. However, about three years ago, her parents and their inn vanished without a trace and her brother and her had spent a few years attempting to find clues to their disappearance but to no avail. She decided to settle down and The Innkeeper Assembly allocated to her Gertrude Hunt, an inn that went into hibernation years ago.
With time, patience and lots of TLC, she slowly coaxes Gertrude Hunt out of its slumber and even have a permanent guest, the eccentric but elegant Her Grace Caldenia who has a thing for Funyuns and Mello Yello...and who's cannibal too. Anyway, it's all peaceful until her neighbor's dogs start to turn up at public places grotesquely mauled that Dina starts to investigate. Innkeepers are neutral ground, and that means staying out of anything that does not directly threaten their inns and their customers. But Dina can't just stand by and let this...whoever it is start killing and threatening the lives of the people in her town.
In walks Sean Evans, ex-military and resident werewolf who just moved into town a few months back. When their town is threatened, werewolves usually feel the need to protect it and establish their claim on the town. Then the Marshal of vampire house Krar, Arland, from some other planet drops by too claiming that the one responsible was a wanted criminal from their planet. And so Dina will have to work with two very big, bad, infinitely stubborn and protective dudes to save their little town.
I want to be an innkeeper too, dammit! This writing-duo made Clean Sweep such an adorable and fun read that I just want to be a part of their imaginary world for just awhile.
Dina is a very relatable character. She might not be kickass, but she has a broom that can change shape when she sends her magic into it, a Shih Tzu that isn't really a Shih Tzu but is still plenty cute and an inn that can send out roots to hold down attackers and wield guns to help defend itself and Dina. Then there's the cool, calm and gorgeous werewolf, Sean, and reserved, mysterious and muscular vampire, Arland. I wouldn't say that they were terribly unique love interests in the UF genre, buuuut they do provide comic relief that's for sure. (Watch out for Arland with coffee, hahaha. Vamps have this funny reaction when they ingest caffeine)
CLEAN SWEEP is a short, light and fun novella with just the right amount of humor, action and good ol' UF mystery. The ending provided enough closure, but I sense so much more adventure coming our way. CLEAN SWEEP was originally published free at this website, chapter by chapter each week, and it's been announced that they're doing it again for the sequel starting early 2014. I'll probably wait for the final copy of the book cause I prefer to read my books in one shot. I'll definitely be checking out the Andrews' other works in the mean time though!...more