Honestly, the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief really irritated me. I thought that it was just too centred on America. Yay. Demigods in modern day. A retelling of the popular stories of Greek mythology. But then why was the centre of the Greek mythology based in the middle of New York? The storyline was interesting, and kind of cute. But to me, that was just disingenuous. After all, you’re talking about Greek mythology, not American. But, reading Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief actually helped to explain this.
Where Exile’s Honor dealt with coming to terms with a changed reality, Exile’s Valor shows us how it is possible to take strength from this adversity and embrace it. This is a story of coming to terms with oneself and using this to create a better future – not just for yourself, but for others. This story reminded me of the fact that even though change tends to rock me to my core and leaves me feeling unshakey and unsure at the best of times, it has always been a great agent for obtaining a better future. No matter whether the change is good or bad, desired or not, it can be used to make your future better… at least, that’s the way that I choose to see it.
I’ve read a lot of fantasy books that have a tough arms master to train the main character in self-defence. Regardless of the period of history or the weaponry used, they all seem to have the same things in common – they are tough, strict, unsmiling and incredibly efficient at killing, fighting and making sure their charges survive. So it was a real pleasure to read a tale that helped me to understand how a man could become an arms master.
I loved the character of Skif from Lackey’s The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy. So it was such a pleasure to read more about his adventures and Choosing. I really enjoy how Lackey’s books continue to expand upon the stories of well-loved characters. This prolonged exposure is instrumental in my (slightly ridiculous) attachment to her characters.
Ever get to that point in the series when you just know that it’s the book that you’ve been waiting for – the time when the hero (or heroine) is going to triumph, win their lover or finally make it home? THIS was that book for me. After reading (and falling in love with) The Selection and The Elite, I knew that The One was when all my dreams (and America’s) were going to come true. But, Cass managed to add in some great twists and turns so that you were still held in suspense.
The next step in The Selection series, The Elite follows the final six girls in the competition. Those that are left were the obvious choices, since they featured more predominately in the first novel. However, their journey is just amazing. Even though you’re sure that America has Maxon’s heart, that Celeste is positively evil and that Aspen is going to continue fighting for her, every single twist still pulls at your heart.
I loved The Selection on two entirely different levels. The first was just the beautiful imagery and story of this dystopian Cinderella story. The idea that a strong-willed and tough girl somehow accidentally ends up in a bid for the Prince’s hand and heart is such a Cinderella-rags-to-riches story. Even though you’re sure that she is going to develop feelings for the prince (what kind of romance would it be otherwise?), every step of the journey from The Selection to The Elite is beautiful, intricate and makes you fall in love again and again and again. Not only with the characters, but the setting, the dystopian future and Kiera Cass herself.
I have to admit that I was a little worried when I started reading this. Goodreads had suggested Amanda Hocking as an author, so I obliged. And the beginning of this book felt a little bit like a teeny-bopper romance along the lines of Twilight. I love a good romance novel, but not the teeny-bopper, angsty, dramatic crap. Most of the time I think that it just makes the lead female look whiny, needy and kind of sad. Luckily for me, this novel quickly turned out not to be one of these sagas.
I thought that Akarnae was good, but I couldn’t put Raelia down! My poor partner was forced to deal with a book faced girlfriend for the ten or so hours that it took to read this. He was so frustrated that he offered to through this amazing book in the bin. So needless to say, it is one of my new favourite books. I mean, you know a book is fantastic when someone can’t put it down and completely ignores their entire family for a whole day (alright, I do this often, but still...)
I bought this book last week because it was $10 – and I wanted a new book. I finished it in a day because it was just AMAZING. I’m actually at a loss for words to explain how much I loved this book (which is rare, I assure you!) The fact that Lynette Noni is also Australian just made me want to buy the sequel even more. Which is exactly what I did the morning after I finished the book.