Hmmm. I liked the plotting in this book, even though it's just a bit flimsy... like Carriger is setting up the next book rather than allowing this booHmmm. I liked the plotting in this book, even though it's just a bit flimsy... like Carriger is setting up the next book rather than allowing this book to be its own fully fleshed out storyline. I think what really draws me in, time after time to Carriger's novels is the world she's created. The idea of a young girl going off to this Finishing School, is fun and interesting. She did a lot of hard work developing the school and what goes one there. The downer was the progag, fourteen-year-old Sophronia. She may as well be Alexia for how similar their voices are and how underdeveloped of a character she is. Sure, you can say it's the same author, and that's just her style. But Sophronia's voice is not that of a realistic fourteen-year-old. It's like she's Alexia without the dirty thoughts and in a fourteen-year-old body. I think the other thing that caught me is this is billed as a YA, but the plot and characters read much more like a MG book.
And then the final thing that makes me actually want to throw the book across the room, is the insane amounts of exclamation points. To me, an exclamation point is lazy writing. And an overuse of them (we're talking at least one per page) is nearly unreadable. Basically, I tried to ignore them. If it weren't for the amazing world building, and a hope that Sophronia will be more fleshed out and develop a voice of her own, I wouldn't be reading the next book, and this would be a one-star review. So here's to hoping....more
I honestly didn't know what to think of this book at first. As the title might suggest it was borderline over the top with it's cleverness. Which, wheI honestly didn't know what to think of this book at first. As the title might suggest it was borderline over the top with it's cleverness. Which, when the protag is loveable, er likeable, oh hell even tolerable is okay in parts. But even by page 100+ I had a hard time attaching to this young mad genius. Not to mention I could have really done without the photos. I found them totally distracting and the second I'd turn the page and find one, it would pull me out of the book and make me think I was watching a low budget Nickelodeon program.
Now, all that being said, there were some highlights in this book. The underlying theme was this poor kid's daddy issues (though I could have gone without our little genius calling his dad "Daddy" even in the internal). I won't spoil the ending for you, but there are lessons to be learned, by adults and dear Ollie. And Lieb does a decent job of using an eighth grade student council to show the reader the ridiculousness of American politics.
In the end I was left with "huh" on my lips and still not sure what to think of it all. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I cringed in parts and laughed out loud in others. I guess I liked it. ...more
Riordan does it again. I can't quite get enough of his world and how he always threads little history lessons through his work. I loved being back atRiordan does it again. I can't quite get enough of his world and how he always threads little history lessons through his work. I loved being back at Camp Half Blood and reading familiar people as well as meeting the new characters. Absolutely great. I would recommend all of Riordan's books to parents who have trouble getting their boys to read. Not only is the voice fresh and enjoyable, the secret history lessons might just spark an interest that wouldn't have otherwise been there for a kid. I'm only sad that now I have to wait for the next book....more
This is a lovely little story. I read it in about an hour and a half, so when I say "little" I mean quite short.
It's kind of a sweet, innocent storyThis is a lovely little story. I read it in about an hour and a half, so when I say "little" I mean quite short.
It's kind of a sweet, innocent story too. While there was nothing outwardly fantastical about it, there were hints of ghosts, houses with souls, and maybe fairies or bird-people. What I really loved is that while there were hints, and a mystery, the conclusions of such things were left to the reader's imagination. I enjoyed that Murphy brought images and characters to life, and as the reader, you are left to assume or not assume many things.
I can see where some people might not enjoy such vague story telling. However, I truly delighted in the simplicity of it all.
I would recommend this book to people who enjoy magical realism, fairy tales and well written children's books....more
The story was interesting. It certainly started out with a hook. But, I just didn't care for the voice of the narrator and the sort of footnotes at thThe story was interesting. It certainly started out with a hook. But, I just didn't care for the voice of the narrator and the sort of footnotes at the bottom.
That was the real downfall of this book, at least to me. I would have given it four stars if those damn footnotes weren't there. They were stale and the humor felt forced (often a problem with the narration too). Yet, the story was good enough that I'll still read the next one.
If you love Greek myth and you also read middle readers,
I'm not sure what it was about this book that made it better than the rest, but it was simply fantastic. I liked the end battle, how long-time minor cI'm not sure what it was about this book that made it better than the rest, but it was simply fantastic. I liked the end battle, how long-time minor characters reveal their true inclinations and just, well, everything.
Percy is probably somewhere in my top ten all time favorite protagonists. He is funny, slightly self-deprecating (for a hero) and true to his friends and ideals. One of the nicest things about this series (and don't get me wrong, I'm a huge HP fan) is that Percy does not carry so much emotional baggage as Harry Potter. It's hard not to compare the books. At least for me. I don't read a ton of what is considered middle reader books and the last series probably was Harry Potter.
So, sorry Harry. Even though I like Rowling's world building the tiniest bit more, Percy is a more likable protagonist. (please don't write hate comments... thanks)
All in all, The Olympians series as a whole is excellent. Riordan writes female and male characters with equal vigor and bravery and never lets down on the education angle. Through the books are messages of environmentalism and tidbits about National monuments, and of course mythology. These books make learning (I can only assume I would think so as an actual middle reader aged kid) a lot of fun.
While I liked the ending, I am kinda bummed that this is the end. Well, I assume. I have to say the very last chapter does leave it open for something... even if Percy isn't the main character. There are of course many characters in the Riordan Universe that would be interesting to follow. Nico Di Angelo, for one.
I would encourage anyone who has middle-grade kids to give this series to them. It is truly excellent reading....more
Riordan again creates a solid fun adventure book for middle readers. Percy's character grows throughout each of his books, and becomes a true hero. IRiordan again creates a solid fun adventure book for middle readers. Percy's character grows throughout each of his books, and becomes a true hero. I was happy to have all my favorite characters back for this one. Annabeth, Percy (of course), Tyson and Grover all had big roles to play throughout. I also like the addition of Rachel Elizabeth Dare. She's a great female character and becomes a sort of foil for Annabeth. As always Riordan's characters, event he small ones, feel fleshed out and interesting throughout the text.
I'm sad that the next book is the last, as this as been just a wonderful series so far....more
Okay, so the only thing I really missed in this one, was Annabeth. I liked all the new characters like Bianca, Nico and Zoe. But I really missed AnnabOkay, so the only thing I really missed in this one, was Annabeth. I liked all the new characters like Bianca, Nico and Zoe. But I really missed Annabeth. I also kinda missed Tyson. I mean, I kind of liked Percy having a brother. However, I could see how Tyson may have been difficult to write in with the rest of the new characters.
I still love that these books are fast paced, interesting, and full of factoids about Greek mythology & U.S. history....more
This wasn't my favorite out of the series, but it is just as good as the other two. I think maybe it's because we spend a bit more time outside of TifThis wasn't my favorite out of the series, but it is just as good as the other two. I think maybe it's because we spend a bit more time outside of Tiffany's storyline and dive into what the others are doing. I gave in and read/listened to this one as well. Stephen Briggs is awesome, once again. I almost want to read/listen to every book he's narrated. Of course, the Wee Free Men are still my favorite and the addition of Horace was hilarious.
Since the Wee Free Men series is my first Terry Pratchet, I'm wondering if there is going to be another book. My only complaint was that it seemed like while the story ended appropriately, it didn't seem to end the series. I'm actually kind of hoping there is another book. Because, really, who wouldn't want another dose of Rob Anybody?...more
This was an excellent follow up to The Wee Free Men. I read/listened to this one. It was read by the same narrator as the previous book. I have to sayThis was an excellent follow up to The Wee Free Men. I read/listened to this one. It was read by the same narrator as the previous book. I have to say there are just some books that are truly enhanced by the narrator's contribution. This is just such a book. Stephen Briggs' tone and candor give the story life. Especially when he reads the Nac Mac Feegle parts.
The story was just as engaging, humorous and entertaining as its predecessor. I'm off to the next book (and will likey be sad that the adventure is over)....more
This is the first Terry Pratchett book I've read. I think I decided to start with this middle reader version of his books because I felt like there weThis is the first Terry Pratchett book I've read. I think I decided to start with this middle reader version of his books because I felt like there were just too many novels to choose from on the adult side. I was a bit overwhelmed.
I have to say I'm kind of glad to have started with this one. I don't know what the adult books are like, but this was clever, fast paced, and completely enjoyable. I'm definitely starting on the next book right away.
I must also confess that I actually downloaded this on iTunes read by Stephen Briggs. I don't often like audio books because many times I find the narrator's voice to be annoying after a few chapters. This seems especially true with female narrators. Anyway, Stephen Briggs does a brilliant job of narrating. I almost want to listen to the second book as well. I think I might miss his Wee Free Men impressions!...more