Category Archives: Book Review

The Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Overview

Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

Title: Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: The Titan Prometheus, who had made those little dudes out of clay, really felt sorry for them.

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Synopsis

IF YOU LIKE HORROR SHOWS, BLOODBATHS, LYING, STEALING, BACKSTABBING AND CANNIBALISM, THEN READ ON…

Who could tell the stories of the gods of Olympus better than a modern-day demigod?

In this action-packed tour of Greek mythology, Percy gives his hilarious personal views on the feuds, fights and love affairs of the Olympians.

Want to know how Zeus came to be top god? How many times Kronos ate one of his kids? How Athena literally burst out of another god’s head? It’s all here in black and white…

Thoughts

As with the rest of the books in the Percy Jackson Verse, Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods is a great adaptation of the Greek myths. Using a modern voice that makes them approachable to the today’s generation is not only a great way to retell ancient myths, but it also is a truly unique retelling that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Having said that, this is also the cleanest and most PG retelling of the Greek myths that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The versions of the myths that I read involved a lot of rape, pillaging and incest. And although Riordan does mention that many of the Olympians are brother and sister, husband and wife, this eeew factor is glossed over and better explained. Which is probably a good thing considering that this is a book aimed at a young adult / teenage audience.

Reading this book was really pleasurable and easy. It had a quick, fast pace that gave you a brief overview of each of the twelve major Olympians and moved on. It provided a great glimpse into some of the really fascinating mythos of the Greek persuasion without getting bogged down in the details. Each chapter is a whole new story and this structure worked beautifully well – I finished the book in no time, not even realising that I had spent hours reading.

<- The Dark Prophecy Review The Greek Heroes Review ->
Image source: Joys of Bookworm

Numb3rs Season Four – Review

NUMB3RS

4 out of 5 stars

Series: Numb3rs
Season: 4
Creator: Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton
Cast: Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz & Judd Hirsch
Genres:
CrimeDrama, Mystery
Year: 2008
Favourite Episode: 01 – Trust Metric

The conclusion of Numb3rs season three led to the conclusion of Charlie and Don’s conflict about their own past. Forgiving one’s past is great, but it is the renegotiation of their roles and the future that now takes precedence within this season. Our previous understandings of these characters was them as boys, now they take on the roles of men in their work and own lives.

Whilst Charlie and Don are undergoing their own relationship metamorphosis, Charlie and Amita’s romance is also deepening and expanding. It truly is a meeting of the minds. Where some shows emphasise the romantic aspects of a relationship, Amita and Charlie’s ability to communicate about their passions and intellect is what I personally really enjoy in a relationship. Likewise, whilst Charlie is inarguably brilliant, Amita is able to hold her own against him and even put him back in his place when his ego begins to match his intellect.

<- Numb3rs Season Three Review

Back to Film Reviews

Numb3rs Season Five Review ->

Image source: TV Guide

Kicking It Edited by Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price

Overview

Kicking It

Title: Kicking It
Authors: Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Rob Thurman, Shannon K. Butcher, Lucienne Diver, Chris Marie Green & Christina Henry
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The dirt on the floor was too scuffed and smeared for her to make out any on distinct set of prints.

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Synopsis

Featuring stories by FAITH HUNTER * KALAYNA PRICE * RACHEL CAINE * CHLOE NEILL * ROB THURMAN * SHANNON K. BUTCHER * LUCIENNE DIVER * CHRIS MARIE GREEN * CHRISTINA HENRY

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.

Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill’s all-new adventure.

And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman features Trixa Iktomi from her Trickster series dealing with magical vengeance and magical footwear.

Taking kick-ass urban fantasy literally, USA Today bestselling authors Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter bring together the best of the genre to once again prove when you’re fighting supernatural forces, it helps to keep your feet on the ground.

Thoughts

This is one of the most brilliant collections of short stories that I have ever read. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with fantasy stories about strong women kicking butt in amazing shoes… nine stories from nine amazing authors, all featuring strong, independent women who are able to hold their own throughout the story.

Reading this collection of short stories was not only one of the most enjoyable ways I could think of to spend a Sunday afternoon, but also a fantastic way to discover some great new authors. I must admit that I went on a spending spree after reading this book, finding all new stories from the great authors that I had fallen in love with.

<- Ruby Red Review Forked Tongues Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Numb3rs Season Three – Review

Numb3rs Season Three4 out of 5 stars

Series: Numb3rs
Season: 3
Creator: Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton
Cast: Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz & Judd Hirsch
Genres:
CrimeDrama, Mystery
Year: 2007
Favourite Episode: 02 – Two Daughters

Numb3rs season three has a much greater focus on Don and Charlie’s past brotherly issues. As an older sister, I completely understand the ways in which things that happened when we were children can still have a bearing on how we function in our sibling relations today. Being forced to confront these difficulties in their past helps the brothers to not only face up to their own shortcomings, but also the fact that their own perceptions were clouded. The conclusion of these past arguments helps to strengthen and stabilise their otherwise tumulus relationship, something that is incredibly enjoyable to watch.

Whilst the second season showed the beginning of flirtations between Charlie and Amita (amongst others), the third season lets us watch the evolution and instigation of this relationship. There are no light bulb and intense moments of passion, but rather a slow, simmering heat that slowly builds. I love this natural progression from friendship to romantic entanglement.

There is a lot more emphasis on the females within the Numb3rs crew. Amita, Meghan and Milly are all strong and independent women who are able to hold their own in a world that tends to be dominated by men. Their ability to carve out their own identities in this world is inspiring and I love that it takes such a primary focus within the series.

<- Numb3rs Season Two Review
Back to Film Reviews Numb3rs Season Four Review ->

Image source: Tune Find

Numb3rs Season Two – Review

Numb3rs Season Two
4 out of 5 stars

Series: Numb3rs
Season: 2
Creator: Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton
Cast: Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz & Judd Hirsch
Genres:
CrimeDrama, Mystery
Year: 2006
Favourite Episode: 14 – Harvest

The second season of Numb3rs further emphasises the importance of family. The relationship between the two brothers and their father is the main point within this season and I love the uniqueness of this approach. Where a lot of other shows focus on relationships of a different intimacy, the exploration of adult familial relationships is refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable.

The second season of Numb3rs takes the idea of turning complex mathematical equations into simple layman’s terms to a whole new level. I love the overlay throughout that displays the ways in which a maths equations’ practical applications are explained. The visual and colloquial explanation of this is just one of the great ways that the series begins to find its pace.

Although this series (and season) is primarily about family and the difficulties of navigating grown sibling relations, there are a series of flirtations that start within the second season of Numb3rs. These vague and cute relationships start to trickle into the storyline and I can’t wait to see how they evolve in the next season.

<- Numb3rs Season One Review

Back to Film Reviews

Numb3rs Season Three Review ->

Image source: Couchbound

Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Dreams

Title: Magic Dreams
Author: Ilona Andrews
In: Hexed (Ilona Andrews)
Series: Kate Daniels #4.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
 Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The street to the left led to a ruined apartment building, now little more than a heap of rubble, and the neighbors to the back of me had fled the city a long time ago.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him–a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack’s headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim’s attention–but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali’s flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.

Thoughts

Let me start this review by saying I love Dali. She is so different to Andrea and Kate, far softer and a lot more quirky. From the first moment I met her in Magic Strikes her uniqueness and contrariness drew me in. Not to mention the fact that Jim has more than a passing interest in her.

Viewing Kate through the eyes of someone else is always a treat, but Dali’s recollections of the world are such a treat. A vegetarian tiger who is mostly blind and unable to really fight is a great character, and understandably, she sees Daniels in a very different light. Her explanation of Kate’s magic had me giggling aloud.

Most of the Kate Daniels books so far have focused on European magics (Russian, Celtic and Greek), so delving into the world of East Asian mythologies was a really nice change of pace. It also illustrated Andrews’ ability to utilise a broad range of belief systems and understandings of the world. This, paired with Dali’s placement in such a society (and her potential personal danger) as a white tiger was a great new journey to travel on, and I can’t wait for the next one!

<- Magic BleedsMagic Slays ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Bleeds

Title: Magic Bleeds
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2010
5th entence, 74th pages: “I’ll heal, you won’t.”

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Synopsis

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially, as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family…

Thoughts

Finishing this book left me with an incredibly warm, fuzzy feeling. The storyline was beautiful and so many questions that I had from the previous books were finally answered, much to my relief. The underlying storyline throughout the series continues, but it moves forward and there is a whole new battle in the future. One that I, personally, can’t wait to sink my teeth into!

The slow leaking of information about Kate’s biological parentage, and the ways in which she was raised, is amazingly tantalizing and enthralling. Finding out more about such a fascinating and in depth back story has been thoroughly enjoyable throughout the first three books. The gradual leaking of information, whilst enjoyable, was starting to irritate me. Andrews’ revealing of Kate’s father and aunt was performed at a perfect time within the storyline – the revelation was amazing and I was still surprised at the reveal.

Kate’s aunt is also a fascinating insight into what Daniels can become if her future path takes her away from everyone and everything that she loves. I liked this contrast between characters and the foreshadowing of Kate’s potential future. Luckily, she chooses not to fall down this path, but it is a constant shadow looming over her decisions and an insightful way in which to explore the different paths that a character can choose.

Curran and Kate’s relationship further develops in this story. I love that although the attraction between the two is palpable, Daniels continues to fight it tooth and nail. Neither one is a simpering fool in love and unable to function without the other, they accept each other, flaws and all. To me, this is truly symbolic of a healthy partnership.

<- Magic MournsMagic Dreams ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Mourns

Title: Magic Mourns
Author: Ilona Andrews
In: Must Love Hellhounds (Charlaine Harris)
Series: Kate Daniels #3.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
 Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: The mass grew larger and larger, bigger than a house, bigger than Cerberus.

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Synopsis

Andrea Nash of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid – with an assist from her friend, Kate Daniels – tries to figure out why the giant three-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades is sniffing around Atlanta.

Thoughts

I loved, loved, loved this novella in the Kate Daniels universe. Andrea is an amazing character, and finding out more about her past and thoughts was a wonderfully fulfilling journey. She’s starkly different from Kate, not only in her weapons choice, but also in the ways in which she approaches the world and her task as a knight.

The last few stories have toyed with the idea of Raphael and Andrea. This novella further investigates this flirtation – not only their feelings for one another, but also for their own personal issues. Through this relationship, more of Andrea’s past (and her resulting reluctance to claim her beast kin heritage) is brought to light. I love that both Kate and Andrea, two of the phenomenal key characters in this series have had rough childhoods and experienced abuse. It is a great reminder that whilst abuse can scar and shape us, it can be overcome and a stronger and better future can be embraced.

Magic Strikes touches upon ideas from Celtic mythology, and this novella brings to life some aspects of Greek mythology. I love the personification of Thantos (the Greek God of Death). As a mythology buff, I love adaptations of ancient beliefs to the modern times. Andrews does this brilliantly, and this introduction of a Greek God beautifully sets up Magic Bleeds whilst also highlighting the presence of a range of mythological characters throughout the series.

<- Magic StrikesMagic Bleeds ->

Image source: Goodreads

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Strikes

Title: Magic Strikes
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Have you ever seen him sunburned?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

Thoughts

Magic Strikes finally lets us discover more about Kate’s unique and dangerous heritage. Something that has been niggling at me since I first started reading this series. Andrews is brilliant in slowly teasing out this information – each book reveals a new insight into her life before the series and provides an insight into her character and creation. Aside from the main plot line, this makes me want to continue reading the series.

Kate is finally letting people into her life and world, cracks are starting to appear in the veneer of her personal armour. Although I love the way in which she is able to stand on her own two feet and doesn’t require any romantic or social entanglement to feel whole, it is nice to see her finally reaching out for the companionship of another. Not only is her willingness to form relationships (and her struggle to go against Voron’s upbringing) endearing to the character, it also expands the cast of this story. This expansion is wonderful, and brings in so many more literary individuals that I have completely fallen in love with.

The extension of Kate letting people into her life is that Curran starts to truly pursue her. The rules of this are incredibly unique and weird, and left me giggling throughout the story. Although Kate is sorely tempted to pursue this relationship, she still continues to hold off. Not only due to her own issues, but also in an attempt to maintain her own identity and autonomy within the world. I loved that although she was tempted, she didn’t just fall out the man’s (lion’s) feet – as with everything that Daniels seems to do, there was a fight and warring attitudes within her own subconscious and she didn’t just fall for a pretty face. Such a refreshing courtship story, and one that I look forward to investigating further in the next book!

<- Magic BurnsMagic Mourns ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Burns

Title: Magic Burns
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: She kicked the blankets off and wrapped herself in the afghan, like a little mouse nesting.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Thoughts

I loved Magic Bites, but Magic Burns was even better. Not only were the stakes increased, but Kate Daniels’ secret is closer to the surface and the challenges are WAY bigger. From the first moment, I felt thrust into the action. With Kate’s unique voice and independence, Andrews took us on a ride of pure enjoyment and enthralling fun.

Again, I loved the refreshing fact that although there were potential love interests in the book, and people who definitely wanted to sleep with the main character, it wasn’t even remotely an important part of the storyline. Kind of a by-line that served to remind me of the fact that many men are confused and challenged by women who refuse to sleep with them – not attracted to. Although I’m sure that eventually Kate and Curran will end up together, it really won’t matter, both to the storyline and to the overall character arches if they don’t. There is potential, which keeps us excited, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t.

Magic Burns further explains the amazing world that was so beautifully created in Magic Bites. With the flares of magic, more of the principles and rules that govern Kate Daniels’ world are revealed and slowly you begin to understand more and more of the story. The more you learn, the more immersed you become in her reality. This is no femme fatale that simpers and begs for pity – she is the kick ass heroine that we all wish we could be.

<- Magic BitesMagic Strikes ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews