In this concluding installment of the Domna series, the stakes have neOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this novel four and a half stars!
In this concluding installment of the Domna series, the stakes have never been higher. Sirius is on the brink of death, and soon Sofia finds herself in yet another agonizingly complicated situation. Will the realm of Osteria's ruler survive, and if not, what then? Who will rule the kingdom?
This was a great final book in the series, full of heartache and perseverance.
Sofia once again shows her wit, resolve, and inner strength as she navigates her continually changing life. She has a lot of character progression in this one, and with it being the last book I desperately hoped she would survive to see a brighter tomorrow for the kingdom of Osteria.
Many of the other characters were great. Lucius and Macrinus were my favorites because I always root for the good guys, but the arrogant Geta and his following also intrigued me as well, despite my loathing for him. Also, can I just say that Heliollo is the most terrifying 15-year old I've ever met? Yikes!
The plot was phenomenal! Just when things seemed to be getting better for Sofia, bam! It's all threatened to be taken away yet again. Each chapter was riveting due to the high stakes involved. The first part centered on Sirius and the consequences of what happens soon after that, but I personally enjoyed the middle part of the book the most. I loved the bizarre and heart-wrenching homecoming that Sofia experiences and what happens soon thereafter.
This was an extremely satisfying end of a Greek tragedy that will break your heart over and over again, and I definitely won't forget this journey anytime soon.
Continuing from the madness that was book four, The Forgotten Heir begins with an incOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this book four stars.
Continuing from the madness that was book four, The Forgotten Heir begins with an increasingly impossible situation. Still grieving the loss of a dear friend, Sofia soon discovers even more plots against her and her family. Can she eradicate the threats facing her, or will her family's reign finally come to an end?
This is probably my second favorite book of the series so far despite my rating.
Sofia is yet again in the center of a horrible situation, and she's finally starting to hit her breaking point. It was nice to see her finally crumble a bit at the insane situation she's constantly finding herself in. I think she had to go through this period to grow as a ruler and person, and in the end it paid off, at least in my opinion. Lucius is a close second as far as favorites go. He shows great promise, virtue, and I think he'll be a much better Solon than Sirius.
Speaking of the devil, Sirius kind of got on my nerves this time. As established in the prior novels, he lacks a lot in the brain power category, but some of his reactions and orders simply didn't make enough sense to me to achieve full believability. I think if he would've had at least a minimum level of common sense it would've made things a little better. He kind of falls into old habits without any evidence to back it up, and it felt a bit too repetitive for me. Please make Lucius Solon soon, Painter!
The plot was really great. There's several acts in this book, and I enjoyed each one of them. The first part focuses more on the plots against Sofia and Lucius, then expands further as they head to neighboring lands in hopes of them joining Osteria. All of it was engaging, and I couldn't get enough. We also get a smidgen more mythological stories/references in here, and I loved every second of that.
Overall, this was quite the entertaining adventure for Sofia, and I can't wait to read what I expect will be a stellar end to this fun series.
Sirius has won the Solonship. While Sofia and her family rejoice in theiOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this book four and a half stars!
Sirius has won the Solonship. While Sofia and her family rejoice in their new status as heads of Osteria, the position they are in is extremely dangerous given the past two Solons. As Plautinius begins to affect Sirius's decisions, Sofia must remain vigilant to outsmart him, especially when their lives are on the line. Can she thwart this corrupt rule, or will she find herself compromised?
Man, this has got to be the most tragic of all the books in the series to date. It was heartbreaking to read this book, but I greatly enjoyed it.
Sofia, as always, was a great driving force for her family. She has to be clever from behind the scenes to help mold a better, altruistic Osteria. Her struggles were an intense chess game of strategy, and her emotions and actions were justified more than ever.
Sirius plays the perfect puppet (and idiot if you ask me), and Plautinius ... Well, I'm still gunning for a gruesome death for all his evil deeds. There is no limit to which he won't sink to just to make people miserable, and I was continually shocked by the plots he brought upon Osteria. Lucius became a new favorite mainly because he has a good head on his shoulders like Sofia. I really do hope he gets out of all of this in one piece.
This journey was heart wrenching. Heart. Wrenching! I have no idea how Sofia keeps it together and doesn't go on a murderous rampage. The plot twists kept me on the edge of my seat, and I really enjoyed the warfare going on in the first half of the book. It was extremely well thought out. Remind me never to get on this author's bad side. She could run an army! Plotwise I think this book is the best of the series so far. There were little bits where I felt the flow of the writing got a bit interrupted, but besides that this was another amazing yet depressing tale of Osteria.
Sofia Domna starts this book between a rock and a hard place. Her efforts to propel hOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this book four stars.
Sofia Domna starts this book between a rock and a hard place. Her efforts to propel her husband Sirius to the highest position of Solon have failed, and they spend their days living a humble existence on a farm he owns. But when a series of political upheavals occur, a glimmer of hope emerges. Could this be the chance Sofia and Sirius have been waiting for, or should they just quit while they're ahead?
This was a strong continuation of this series.
The characters, like before, were intriguing. Sofia continues to showcase her ability to adapt to her ever-changing life in this book. I swear, this woman is going to have like ten different lives by the time her struggle is over! Her penchant for strategy is tested as events unfold, and she puts her knowledge and resolve to the test. I wouldn't say she had a ton of character progression, but she does change in more subtle ways, ways that could affect her supposed future relationship with Papinias.
Of course I still loathe Plautinius (he's so easy to hate, little rat!) and am starting to believe that simple men like Sirius would never become anything without great women like Sofia behind them to gear them in the right direction.
The plot was pretty crazy! The theme of this book is definitely political upheavals, and each one was shocking. With each instance, Sofia, Sirius, and her allies have to scramble to adjust, and it's quite the rollercoaster. I did wish that Sofia was more directly involved in these crises instead of trying to move her chess pieces from a distance, but that's just my opinion.
Overall a good continuation to the series, and I can't wait to see what happens next! ...more
In a nutshell, this story is about the crew aboard a spaceship sOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I give this short story three and a half stars.
In a nutshell, this story is about the crew aboard a spaceship searching for other life out in the universe. When they approach a planet teeming with life they are excited, but when they interact with a dangerous species, they struggle to survive and analyze the strange aliens.
I had fun reading this short story. I was part of a BookFunnel promotion hosted by this author and out of curiosity decided to try out some of this author's works for free in return for signing up for their mailing list.
I will admit, I'm a little weird when it comes to second person POV. I've always been a bit leery of it, but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. This one was pretty good!
The main character is put into a terrible situation when she and her crew wake up from stasis to this new planet. I found it easy to relate to her dilemma, especially because it was no fault of her own and she did want the best thing for everyone. Her partner was supportive and protective of her, and overall the entire crew was the same way. It was nice to see that kind of teamwork on a space team.
The plot was fun, although I do have some quips. I found that the first half of the story kind of dragged for me, but the second half was really amazing and had plenty of action. The beginning felt more like an intro to everyone and that's fine, it just lingered too much for me. Once the crew started interacting with this foreign life on the planet I couldn't get enough. I will say that the ending did feel a bit abrupt, but it didn't bug me too much since this is a short story and I was well aware of that possibility going in.
Ultimately, this is a fun scifi short that was pretty entertaining. Definitely worth a quick read if you love space exploration!...more
Following the first novel in the series, Sofia Domna's tale of strife coOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this book four and a half stars!
Following the first novel in the series, Sofia Domna's tale of strife continues. With no way out of her marriage to Sirius, Sofia must come to terms with her new lot in life, that and the fact that Papinias works within the household. As Sofia tries to adjust, she finds just how unstable this new marriage and the kingdom of Osteria is.
This was a great continuation of the series, hands down.
The characters were really great, even better this time I would say. Sofia's hardship continues, and I think her character really progresses from where she started in the first book. No longer is she the hopeful young woman she once was, and if she's going to find some way out of this, it will take time and she will have to be cold and calculated. Like before, it was easy to root for her, and I really care about her as a character. She didn't ask for any of this insanity.
Other characters are starting to stand out too. First and foremost, I despised Plautinius. I enjoy a good hateable villain, and each time Plautinius did something vile I just kept picturing his head on a pike. Hopefully in time Sirius will truly see that Plautinius does not have his interests in mind. Either that or a mob tearing him to pieces wouldn't bug me.
I also thought it was interesting to see more shades of Papinias. He's not the same young man Sofia fell in love with, and he's far from perfect and prone to anger and resentment. It hurt to read some of these scenes!
Speaking of which, the plot was very entertaining. It was less focused on the mythological theme than I wanted, but I think that Painter's Hercules series may be more focused in that regard. I understand what the author wants to do with this story, and I'm all for it. This book had so much tension! I felt really bad for Sofia in so many of these scenes, but the drama of it all was really great. On the side, we also got to see some political upheavals in Osteria, and as boring as that may sound to an anti-political person like me, it was light and entertaining.
Filled with tension, heartache, and drama, this book was a great continuation to the series. I can't wait to read more!...more
I give this book four and a half fantastical stars!
I've become quite the fan of Painter's short stories and simOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I give this book four and a half fantastical stars!
I've become quite the fan of Painter's short stories and simply had to give this series a shot. I'm very glad I did!
In this premiere installment to the series, we meet Sofia Domna. She's a bright young woman who knows what she wants in life. To please the gods, to be married to her young lover Papinias. But when a random event breeds tragedy, Sofia's world is turned upside down. Can she figure out a way out of this, and if not, what will happen to the wonderful life she's known?
Hands down, this book was great.
I think what instantly drew me into it was the concept. I've had a deep love of Greek Mythology ever since a took a class on it in seventh grade. The world of Osteria is mysterious, fantastical, and promises to give us many, many great adventures. I enjoyed the little tidbits of mythology thrown in there. Gods, monsters, I loved all of it. Yes, this book wasn't centrally focused on the mythology, but I think we can expect some crazy journeys in this series.
I really enjoyed being in Sofia's POV. She's intelligent, headstrong, and determined, something that is hard to reel in when social standards dictate that women take the back seat more often than not. I think this constant tension helped draw me in further into the story. Sofia was easy to root for, and given the circumstances she's in her feelings are very easy to relate to.
The plot was riveting. I enjoyed getting to know Sofia, and when things take a turn for the worse I got even more into the story. I had to know how things were going to work out for her because I cared about her plight, and that really made me blaze through the pages. The concepts of gods and monsters was a key element to this world and can't be understated. I will admit that the first chapter or two didn't completely blow me away, but once I got to know Sofia a little better I was hooked and couldn't stop.
Overall, this was a great introduction to the world of Osteria filled with mystery, heartache, and fantasy, and I can't wait to continue!...more
I had high hopes for this book, but in the end I felt that it was just okay for me.Original Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this novel three stars.
I had high hopes for this book, but in the end I felt that it was just okay for me.
In a nutshell, this book is about the zombie apocalypse. Young teenagers Diego, Cali, and Wes traverse the scary landscape six months after the change, trying to figure out what direction they should go in with their new lives. This journey is fraught with action, chills, and heartache as they try to clutch to their humanity and persevere against the odds.
This book had a lot of potential with the elements it started with, but there were some things that detracted from my reading journey.
I think what worked most for me was the concept and general plot. Most of us have seen a number of zombie flicks or The Walking Dead, so we're not strangers to the concept of a zombie apocalypse. Walking into this felt like seeing an old friend. I liked the general world they were living in. It had plenty of zombies/changed, danger, and of course humans make things more complicated when they pair off in groups or factions. That way of life was reflected well here I think, especially from a teenager's point of view.
Our main characters are interesting. Diego, Cali, and Wes were part of a band together, and they had a lot of good dialogue between them. You could tell they had history, even if they didn't have a ton of depth (I mean, they're teenagers so that's understandable). Diego was the obvious favorite for me. He battled with what it meant to be human in this world, and I can see why he struggled to keep his humanity but feels forced to change himself, to become hardened in a way. I did think here and there some of the decisions they made were questionable (around the beginning and less throughout the second half), but again they are teenagers and probably don't know any better. They're just trying to do what they can.
I think the main thing that made this book less great in my eyes was the writing. Throughout the book the writing felt a bit disjointed. Sometimes sentences would cut off for no reason, or I'd have to backtrack a paragraph or two, only to find that something still felt off about the structure of the writing. Dialogue felt a tad too sporadic for me at times. Conversations could tend to get off subject before veering back to the original point. While I understand that is definitely the case in real life, reading it like that makes it a bit difficult to follow.
There was also something about the pacing that made the events of this book drag, especially with the second half. I wanted things to progress more quickly and found myself antsy to hurry forward because I didn't like what was currently happening.
Ultimately, this book was alright for me but I didn't feel wowed or inspired by it. While I can't quite recommend it, it did have plenty of adventure and battles that a zombie lover might go crazy over. If that's you, this may just be the right book for you. Happy reading!...more
While technically this should be a 3.5, I had to bump it down for a number of reasonOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this book three stars.
While technically this should be a 3.5, I had to bump it down for a number of reasons.
Alright, so this time around we're in Cassie's POV. On a mission to stop the Yeerks from recovering a chunk of one of their ships, Cassie finds herself separated from the others. Seeking safety, she hides in a cargo hold, waking up to the nightmare that she's on a plane headed for God knows where. Can Cassie find a way out of this bind and make it home?
This book did have a lot of potential but I was a bit disappointed.
As usual, Cassie is, well, Cassie. Her character is portrayed very well throughout the book, and I felt that she had to make some tough decisions and didn't torture herself quite as much as she usually does. That being said, the other Animorphs are something of an afterthought. They're present at the beginning and end, but that's about it and there's nothing wrong with that. What I did feel was lacking was their teamwork effort. In the mission at the beginning Cassie is all on her own basically begging for her friends to answer her, and they only come in at the last minute to leave her stranded once again. It was really frustrating. Why didn't they tell her about the plan? And even if there is danger around, how could they just leave her hanging like that? It didn't make sense to me after all they've been through.
The plot was alright, but disjointed if you ask me. Nearly half of the book we spend getting Cassie to her destination, meaning we only get the last half to let the story fully develop. I would've preferred they cut down on the airport hijinks and spend more time on the main plot point.
Also, I feel that this book shouldn't be occurring this late in the game. What I mean is, these one-character journeys of survival would be better placed at the beginning. I would've loved to see this one as #14 instead of the actual #14, which was quite disappointing. It's just too late in the game for Cassie to go off on this relatively lower-stakes adventure. There are only ten books left. We need an amp up for the big finish, but we're not really getting that with this story or the other recent ones, and that is dragging my score down.
Is this book well-written? Sure! Just don't expect it to change the trajectory of this series by any means....more
In a nutshell, this story is about a young girl named Lindsey wOriginal Review at Jaunts & Haunts
I gave this short story three and a half stars.
In a nutshell, this story is about a young girl named Lindsey who experiences terrifying sounds and scrapes against the wall of her bedroom at night. Over the years she wonders if the presence is a demon or just a nightmare until one night things take a sudden dark turn.
Overall, I was pleased with this short story.
The concept worked very well for me. Creepy scratchings on your bedroom wall? Holy moly, talk about scary! The main character's reactions to the creepy happenings at night made total sense to me.
I do wish that we would've got to know the main character a bit better. The story takes place over a number of years, and by the end I felt like I still didn't know her very well. I also wondered why the MC's mom never really got involved the entire time.
The plot was super simple and entertaining, but I did find myself wanting a bit more substance out of the story. That being said, I have to say that the ending was quite a surprise to me, and I really enjoyed the twist.
Overall, while this wasn't a perfect story, it was a nice break from my current read and worth a shot if you have thirty minutes or so to spare. ...more