Tag Archives: Greek Mythology

Argos by Joy Williams

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: Argos
Author: Joy Williams
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Greek mythology, Mythology
Dates read: 28th February 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I was always Argos.

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Synopsis

Argos has always been loyal. But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a happily ever after.

Thoughts

My heart broke a little as I read this story. Probably because it basically features a dog that has been abandoned.

Actually, this whole story is written from the point of view of the dog’s acceptance of his lot in life. I would hate for my puppies to feel that way.

This mostly was a quick, easy and pleasant read. But it did also make me want to read Homer – since Argos is featured in that.

<- Anthropogenesis, Or: How to Make a FamilyThe Sisters ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Nymph’s Labyrinth by Danica Winters

Overview
The Nymph's Labyrinth (Nymph #1) by Danica Winters

Title: The Nymph’s Labyrinth
Author: Danica Winters
Series: Nymph #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Greek mythology, Nymphs, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 26th June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “I’m glad to see you are okay.”

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Synopsis

A world shrouded in mystery and intrigue, the Sisterhood of Epione must not be exposed.

Shape-shifting nymph Ariadne Papadakis is tasked with keeping the truth of the group’s existence and their ancient mysteries far out of reach of the American archaeologist, Beau Morris and his troublemaking son, Kaden. When forgotten and forbidden passions are awakened, Ariadne is forced to make a choice – fall in line and continue to be overrun and pushed down by the sisterhood, or follow her heart and put Beau and Kaden’s lives in danger.

Can she have the man she loves or will the pressure and secrets of her past keep her from her heart’s desire?

Thoughts

This was one of those cute, easy to read and quick little paranormal romances. Not only was it a great couple with a good paranormal spin. But there was also a great back story with the addition of the Greek mythology, a curse from Zeus and some seriously bitchy little power plays. Actually, it was the Greek mythology aspect that really and seriously drew me in…

This isn’t a hugely lustful and graphic romance. It does have some sex steams, but they’re really not steamy. More a kind of sweet, innocence that I don’t always get in a good paranormal romance. It was a nice change from many of the paranormal romances that sit on my shelves. It is also fantastic that not only is there a romance between Ariadne and Beau, but also between his son, Kade and another nymph. The young love helps to add an extra layer of innocence to the story.

I love that The Nymph’s Labyrinth isn’t just about one relationship. It’s also about Beau and Kade’s reuniting and figuring out how to be father and son again. Kade also gets to fall in love alongside Beau. And they both get to tackle a potentially horrible future and a mysterious illness together. And then, interwoven amongst all of this – stories of mythology and betrayal. Power plays and confusion. It all works together to make a very great, impossible to put down little romance that left me feeling very content and happy on a late Saturday night in the middle of winter.

Although the romance in this story is kind of great, I actually love the reminder that we should honour our sisters and the feeling of sisterhood. There are too many times when we tear each other down. And so a story in which this doesn’t happen, but is about not having power over one another. And just finding a way to all honour and respect each other… I think that we need many, many, many more stories like this.

<- More Danica WintersMontana Mustangs ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the last olympian graphic novel book cover

Title: The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 21st February 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: The fire-stealer guy?

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Synopsis

The end is near.

War is upon the half-bloods as they prepare for battle against the Titans, knowing that the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

Except Percy is running out of time as the long-awaited prophecy surrounding his sixteenth birthday finally unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Thoughts

I already knew what was going to happen in this story – I’ve read the novel that it was based on. But it was still beautiful and stunning. Almost impossible to forget. There is just something so beautiful about this graphic novel. It’s a lot lighter than some of the graphic novels that I tend to read. It’s also great to see a graphic novel interpretation that actually envisions things like I did. It didn’t ruin my perceptions by being something so totally different.

Spending the night reading this graphic novel made me want to go to my shelves and grab yet another Rick Riordan novel. I kind of need to finish / start the Kane Chronicles, so it’s definitely something that is insanely tempting… but I probably need to finish some of the series that I have already started.

I found the Last Olympian novel a bit of a darker storyline than the rest of the series. Yet, somehow, this was quite a nice, light book. Both in the gorgeous colours and the way that the storyline is set out. The more horrible parts don’t take up a large portion of the storyline, but they do still feature. In a way that makes the tale a little more uplifting and bright than what I was expecting.

This was a great, easy finish to the graphic novel adaptations. It was a good way to spend an hour just drifting back into an amazing world that I’m not all that keen on leaving most of the time.

 <- The Battle of the Labyrinth ReviewThe Lightning Thief Review ->

Image source: Riordan Wiki-Fandom

The Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the battle of the labyrinth graphic novel book cover

Title: The Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – the Graphic Novels #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 28th June – 4th July 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why the Titans’ army is after it.

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Synopsis

Honestly, blowing up another school was the last thing I wanted to do.

As the son of a Greek god, I’ve had my share of near-death disaster – and now my arch-enemy Luke wants to invade camp via an ancient labyrinth.

If he succeeds, thousands of bloodthirsty monsters will attack. So it’s ‘Goodbye, sunshine; hello, darkness’ as four of us descend into the terrifying underground and beyond…

Thoughts

It took me a little longer to get into this graphic novel than the first three in the series. I don’t know if it’s maybe because I just didn’t originally like this storyline as much (it mostly just sets up the final battle), or if I picked it up at an inconvenient time. But, regardless, it took me a fair bit longer to read than a graphic novel usually would. Although, once I got past the first part / chapter, I didn’t stop.

There was a lot of information in the original novel, and a lot that was missed out in the graphic novel. But Venditti and Riordan managed to work this perfectly. I didn’t feel like important aspects were skipped out on, but rather, wondered why I enjoyed them so much in the novel. There was a great flow and pace to the storyline as you sink into the depths of the labyrinth and hope for the best with Percy and all his friends.

One of the parts of this graphic novel that stuck with me was the panels which showed Annabeth, Percy, Grover and Tyson walking through the labyrinth. Each panel has a different background to the characters and I thought that this showed the tricky, everchanging nature of the labyrinth perfectly.

 <- The Titan’s Curse – The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Last Olympian – The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Penguin NZ

Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide by Rick Riordan

Overview
Image result for percy jackson the ultimate guide book cover

Title: Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians Companion
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 5th – 14th June 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Collection
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The symbol of Hades is a helmet which helped him to stay invisible.

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Synopsis

It’s the handbook no half-blood should be without: a fully illustrated, in-depth guide to gods, monsters, and all things Percy. This novelty companion to the best-selling series comes complete with trading cards, full-color diagrams, and maps, all packaged in a handy, “manual-size” POB with a crisp, magnetic flap enclosure.

Thoughts

This is a quick, easy read. A great little companion to the rest of the Percy Jackson series, but not one that I’m likely to want to pick up again and again. It was just a cute little overview of Greek mythology. And since I’ve read many other books on the Greek pathos, this was a little too PG for my tastes.

The pictures and fun little cards at the beginning of the book helped to completely immerse yourself in the world that Riordan wanted to take me to. I used to love books that acted as a how-to guides, ones that helped you think the storyline was real. That it was completely plausible and possible that these gods, beasts and creatures walk among us every day.

Although I really enjoyed reading this book, there really isn’t much to say about it. It’s one of those experiences that makes you smile, but you won’t remember forever. Which is good, because in years to come, I can pick this up again and enjoy the experience all over again.

 <- The Demigods of Olympus ReviewThe Lightning Thief Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Titan’s Curse – the Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for the titan's curse graphic novel book cover

Title: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse – the Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – the Graphic Novels #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 27th May – 6th June 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Bianca is gone.

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Synopsis

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh and guess what. The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive…

Thoughts

I felt like there was a little more information left out of this graphic novel adaptation than past ones. Although, since this is the book that really starts to set up the final battle, that really wasn’t very surprising. And, the parts that they left out and glossed over really didn’t affect the way in which the storyline actually moved forwards. Which, all in all, didn’t leave me feeling too disappointed.

Like the first two graphic novel adaptations, the drawings in this were exquisite. They showed almost exactly what I had picture in my mind’s eye. It really wasn’t hard to be swept away in the story all over again.

Although I have read the novel, I love the fact that there was a big enough gap between my readings that it almost felt like I was reading the story all over again. My only real disappointment was that it was over so quickly…

 <- The Sea of Monsters – the Graphic Novel ReviewThe Battle of the Labyrinth – the Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti

Overview
Image result for book cover the sea of monsters graphic novel

Title: The Seas of Monsters: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 11th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Splash

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Synopsis

You can’t tell by looking at me that my Dad is Poseidon, God of the Sea.

It’s not easy being a half-blood these days. Even a simple game of dodgeball can turn into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants – and that’s just the beginning.

Now Camp Half-Blood is under attack and, unless I can get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones…

Thoughts

This was such a fun, easy and enjoyable read. As an adaptation from a novel that includes a lot of detail, it works kind of brilliantly. It also swept me up in the world of Percy Jackson all over again. Enough so that I quickly picked up Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor as soon as I turned the last page – Riordan always takes you on such a great journey through mythology and teenage fun!

There were some parts of the novel that I missed in this retelling – primarily the prophecy which Clarisse is given. It is vaguely mentioned once towards the end, but it doesn’t feature as heavily in Clarisse’s character development (what little there is) throughout the story. Although, since this is a series about Percy, it is understandable that one of the first aspects to be cut out is the development of a secondary character.

I love that this isn’t an overly bright and colourful graphic novel. The series isn’t really one that lends itself to a bright and deliriously happy outlook. After all, Percy spends the entire five years of this storyline being attacked by numerous gods and monsters… but it is still a little light and colourful, and that humour and enjoyment of life manages to weave itself into the colour scheme.

 <- The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon UK

The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Overview
Image result for book cover the lightning thief graphic novel

Title: The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan & Robert Venditti
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Graphic Novels #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Greek mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 9th Arpil 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you, Father.

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Synopsis

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive. This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Thoughts

There is something about the Percy Jackson stories that I just can’t seem to get enough of. Actually, almost anything created by Rick Riordan seems to draw me in pretty fully and quickly. So I’m not really sure why it took me so long to realise that there was a series of graphic novel rewrites of the original series… and then why it still took me a little while to get my hands on the first one of these… and now that I have… I’m super, super glad. And looking forward to getting the other four and spending my afternoons in the beautiful illustrations.

It’s always hard to adapt a full length novel into anything shorter. I mean, there’s a reason that I very rarely like movie adaptations of well-loved books, there is ALWAYS something that needs to be left out. I might only just be sinking my teeth into graphic novels, but it’s definitely the same for these adaptations too. What do you leave out? What do you leave in? Luckily for me (and unluckily for my bank account), this adaptation was kind of perfect. Yes, there were many small details and moments left out, but the storyline was still able to move on quite happily. Within two pages I had ordered The Sea of Monsters, because this adaptation was able to meet all my expectations.

 <- The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel ReviewThe Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Circe by Madeline Miller

Overview
Image result for circe madeline miller book cover

Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Family, Greek mythology, Strong women, Villains
Dates read: 26th March – 3rd April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: I tried to mimic the sounds I had heard Aeetes make when he had healed my face.

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Synopsis

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Her isolation leads her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, vengeful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia, where she learns to harness her occult craft. But there is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.

Thoughts

I can’t believe it took me THIS LONG to pull this book off my shelf and read it. It was just amazing!! And rave worthy. And completely, completely world-shatteringly good. The only reason that I didn’t read it in one sitting is because I got about 60 pages in and stopped. I had work that I had to do, and I knew if I didn’t stop then, I never would. Five days later I blocked aside almost a whole day so that I could forget about the world and just enjoy the amazing journey that Miller was able to take me on.

From the very first chapter, I had a box of tissues next to me while I was reading this. Something about the way the storyline was unfolding made me think that this would be a Greek tragedy. No one would have their happily ever after, and, since I was holed up in my house to read this, I could let the resulting flood of tears wash over me. Luckily for my sanity, and happiness, it wasn’t a tragedy at all! Don’t get me wrong, there were heart rending moments, but everything actually worked out all right. And I turned that final page with a great big, happy smile on my face.

Greek mythology seems to be a pretty recurrent mythos which authors like to use in retellings. And why not? It has sex, mayhem and pettiness all wrapped up in one neat little bow. But, most of the retellings that I’ve had the pleasure of reading thus far are quite PG in their set up. They gloss over all of the rape and horrible things that the gods and their followers do. They don’t focus on the fact that women, even in the pantheon often had little to no rights. (Just think of Hera and Zeus… as an adult I actually feel for Hera more than anything). So it was really nice to read a retelling in which these aspects really weren’t glossed over. The impotence and inability of women to be given their own autonomy is the driving factor for many of Circe’s decisions. And it is a way to completely retell a story in which the traditional woman is repainted as one who was just able to stand on her own two feet… which of course, just didn’t go over very well.

 <- More Madeline Miller reviewsThe Song of Achilles Review ->
Image source: Bloomsbury

The Listeners by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Overview
Image result for coyote road book cover

Title: The Listeners
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: The Coyote Road (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Greek mythology,Tricksters
Dates read: 15th March 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Nysa went down to the gate with her shoulders bowed, her gaze on the ground.

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Synopsis

Nysa is a slave unwilling to face the future that is laid out before her. A prayer to Hermes might help to set her feet on a whole new path, but will it be one that she truly wants to follow?

Thoughts

I’ve always been fascinated by Greek Mythology. Ever since I was a tiny child. But I wasn’t expecting to find such a story in a collection of tales about Tricksters. I don’t know why, since Hermes is the god of thieves (and in a way tricksters). And Zeus… well, the amount of insane shenanigans that man gets up to… well, there is seriously no reason that the Greek Mythos shouldn’t find it’s way into this collection. And Hoffman did this brilliantly.

Although I have read quite a few stories on Greek Mythology, I haven’t read many that are based in Ancient Greece. The fact that this story is not only set within this time, but also around a young slave, worked brilliantly. It was both completely different to what I’ve read before, and so similar. Nysa is incredibly relatable in some ways, she’s a young woman who is trying to find a path that works for her. That has hope for the future. Okay, she’s a slave being put in situations that she really isn’t happy with. But the general gist of wanting to find a path that works for you is something that I think we can all relate to.

 <- Wagers of Gold Mountain ReviewRealer Than You Review ->
Image source: Amazon