Tag Archives: Mythology

The Veiled Prophet by David B.

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: The Veiled Prophet
Author: David B.
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Mythology
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: It was said that Simorgh the bird strode at the head of this veiled man’s perennially victorious army.

Synopsis

A nice, short comic retelling of the Prophet of the Veil. This was dark, complex and fun.

Thoughts

This would have been a creepy and disturbing story in prose. The fact that it was illustrated just helped to drive that home. It was just… unsettling. Particularly by the end of the story.

This story made me think about all of the things and “falsities” that we trap ourselves with. It makes me seriously question the different things in life that tie and trap us.

This was dark and fun. A story that I would read again. It was surprising, and I found it a great little journey down the well hole… pun intended.

<- Friend RobinHenry and Booboo ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Sons of Ra by Helen Scott Taylor

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: The Sons of Ra
Author: Helen Scott Taylor
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The highlights in his hair shone guinea gold in contrast to the black trousers and black leather jacket he’d donned for their night foray.

Synopsis

A trip for information takes Trish back to the man that broke her heart twenty years ago. But finding out that he hasn’t age is just the tip of this very confusing iceberg.

Thoughts

I thought that the concept of this story was unique and cute. It didn’t necessarily completely hook me. But I did find it enjoyable. Which, for me, is enough. It was fun and easy and just… cute.

I love the integration of Egyptian mythology into this story. It was a little surprising and very enjoyable. It was also not something I see very much. I tend to find most of the stories I read featuring mythology feature Greek, roman or norse.

Trish’s desire to choose her own destiny and not fall for the man she loves mindlessly made me incredibly happy. I mean, she has a right to be pissed (I think she didn’t quite make him work hard enough for forgiveness to be honest. But, she still kept her head high. So alls well that ends well.

<- NightDrakeEve of Warfare ->

Image source: Amazon

Mr Sandman by Sherri Browning Erwin

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: Mr Sandman
Author: Sherri Browning Erwin
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Greek mythology, Mythology, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 11th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Not just vultures, but also owls and woodpeckers.

Synopsis

After pulling a man from the surf and saving his life, her own life is about to change. Forever. She just has to have the guts to save her sandman.

Thoughts

It became obvious kind of early on that the man in this story was a Greek god. What I didn’t expect was which Greek god it was. And how the whole storyline was likely to play out. This took a serious departure from all of my normal expectations of paranormal romances and stories which feature mythology.

I like that this is kind of a story about rebuilding oneself. About Emma who has said goodbye to all she knows and found a way to start her life completely anew. As a feminist, I’m not completely keen on the fact that she creates her whole new life based around a man. But, as someone who just generally enjoys romances… it was cutesy.

There is something about the beach that seems to highlight new beginnings and hope. Or at least, that’s how it always feels for me. It’s like a recharging station. So it is the perfect setting for this romance, and it is that imagery that I can’t get out of my head as I’m writing this review… not the actual romance in and of itself.

<- The GetawayThe Sin-Eater’s Promise ->

Image source: Amazon

Devils and Details by Devon Monk

Overview
Devils and Details (Ordinary Magic, #2) by Devon Monk

Title: Devils and Details
Author: Devon Monk
Series: Ordinary Magic #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 26th April 20
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Odd House Press
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you so much, Thor.

Synopsis

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea…

Police Chief Delaney Reed is good at keeping secrets for the beach town of Ordinary Oregon – just ask the vacationing gods or supernatural creatures who live there.

But with the first annual Cake and Skate fundraiser coming up, the only secret Delaney really wants to know is how to stop the unseasonable rain storms. When all the god powers are stolen, a vampire is murdered, and her childhood crush turns out to be keeping deadly secrets of his own, rainy days are the least of her worries.

Hunting a murderer, outsmarting a know-it-all-god, and uncovering an ancient vampire’s terrifying past isn’t how she planned to spend her summer. But then again, neither is falling back in love with the one man she should never trust.

Thoughts

I forgot how much I enjoyed the world building in this series. I love the idea of gods on vacation and having a sheriff to try and control the insanity that will surely follow. I mean, after all, gods are known for being unpredictable, and well, frankly, nuts… so it makes sense that they need a sheriff to keep them all under control. The fact that it’s Delaney and her sisters just makes it all that much more likeable.

This story careens from insane moment to insane moment. It left me smiling and giggling all throughout. And, for most of the tale, I wasn’t really sure of where this story was going to take me… I mean, god powers being stolen, vampires being murdered, past loves trying to reconnect… there is a whole lot in this that is fun and sassy. And completely unpredictable. Which I think all stories of gods should be if I’m being honest.

I did kind of predict what Ryder’s secret and reason for breaking up with Delaney were. Even then, the actual explanation was a little more than I had hoped for (yay). I loved their dynamic throughout this. Alongside the protectiveness of Delaney’s two sisters – I mean, what are sisters if not beautifully and ridiculously protective?

This story ends with a war on the horizon, and a missing vampire. I can’t wait to see where they went / what happened and where the story is going to take us from here… bring on the next novel in this series!

<- Death and RelaxationGods and Ends ->

Image source: Goodreads

Friend Robin by Maile Chapman

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: Friend Robin
Author: Maile Chapman
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Mythology
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: We’d seen it before we made an offer, of course, but we hadn’t been back inside since the inspection, not until after the house closed, when, keys in hand, we came to make plans.

Synopsis

I knew well that my mother had been wanting to move closer to me for some time, so when she took a fall on the sidewalk outside her senior apartment complex back east I broke her lease and brought her to Nevada.

Thoughts

I love any tale that there is about Brownies. They are just such a great form of fae. One that I am more than a little obsessed with. But I really wasn’t expecting to find a brownie story in a collection of mythology retellings. Not really sure why though…

This is a great modern-day version of the brownie tale. And a warning about thanking these fae. I love the connection between Robin and the narrators’ mother and how protective Robin is. What a wonderful modern-day version of an age-old tale.

Honestly, this is the whole reason that you should always try and honour brownies or spirits. Try not to be aggressive and disrespectful in the moments that you can be.

<- SawdustThe Veiled Prophet ->

Image source: Goodreads

Sawdust by Edward Carey

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: Sawdust
Author: Edward Carey
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Mythology
Dates read: 31st March 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: In those long-ago days there were other people in their lives presumably, they moved about, they entered other people’s houses.

Synopsis

They’re just remembered as the two old people in the village. But their story will make you stop and think.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed the sweetness of this short story. Particularly when considering that it is also kind of creepy at the same time. The balance of sweet and wonderful with the slightly more horrific and dark feeling of this story worked wonderfully.

The idea of two elderly people who don’t want to live without one another is seriously cute. It’s also something that I can completely understand – I can’t imagine not having my partner by my side at all moments. Which made the ending of this story even more sweet and gorgeous.

All in all, I seriously and ridiculously enjoyed this short story. It was just a lot of fun and felt incredibly loving.

<- The SistersFriend Robin ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Sisters by Sabina Murray

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: The Sisters
Author: Sabina Murray
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Roman mythology
Dates read: 30th March 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Small stipend.

Synopsis

A college professor is in the heyday of his life. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t remember… everything. And when he decides to finally solve a mystery of his past, he might find just a little more than he bargained for.

Thoughts

I love that this is a short story which features Bacchus and the Bacchus cults. Which, honestly, might be one of the more terrifying aspects of Roman / Greek mythology. I mean, it seems all well and good to talk about the God of Wine and Revelry… until you realise that he had cults which liked to have orgies and tear their victim’s limb from bloody limb…

Emily Dickinson is a writer that seems to come up again and again in people’s minds and memories. I don’t really know that much about her. But after reading this, I feel like I just need to know more. There is something about her that lends itself to a lot of questions and speculation. Which, in this story led to a Bacchus cult and all sorts of horrible things… I’m not entirely sure where this obsession comes from. But I know that I want to find out!

I really loved all of the twists and turns in this short story. Particularly the gender reversal of the predator and prey. It draws you in wonderfully and leaves you with goosebumps running up and down your spine.

<- ArgosSawdust ->

Image source: Goodreads

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

Anthropogenesis, Or: How to Make a Family by Laura van den Berg

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: Anthropogenesis, Or: How to Make a Family
Author: Laura van den Berg
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Mythology
Dates read: 17th February 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: They were struggling to find the right way to live.

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

Synopsis

The creation of a family and the world involves two individuals. But what happens when they are total opposites?

Thoughts

This was a quick and easy read. One that I enjoyed but wasn’t completely swept away by. It was just pleasurable. And kind of fun.

I love how this was pretty much a re-telling of a myth, but with a little bit more of a contemporary / modern language approach. It wasn’t one of those stories that completely swept me away, but it was one that I enjoyed.

This was a great beginning to the XO Orpheus collection. One that I enjoyed, and makes me want to sink deeper into the collection.

<- XO OrpheusArgos ->

Image source: Goodreads

Red Winter by Annette Marie

Overview
Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy, #1) by Annette Marie

Title: Red Winter
Author: Annette Marie
Series: Red Winter Trilogy #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Gods, Japanese mythology, Mythology
Dates read: 30th November – 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: She was alone in the forest.

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

Synopsis

Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess – and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command – whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate – but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope… and hope is all she has left.

Thoughts

I bought this novel a while ago because I needed a story that featured a mythology that I’m not so knowledgeable about. It had no idea what to expect and had no idea whether it would be any good. And, boy, am I glad that I bought this novel! It was amazing, unforgettable and left me with a huge grin on my face. One that I probably won’t be getting rid of anytime soon if I’m being honest. Even as I write this review a while after I turned that final page, I still smile every time I think of this novel.

When I read the blurb for this story, I was expecting a medieval, historical style story. One in which the shrines and cultural practices of the past shine through. However, it is a contemporary story based in our world today. It was incredibly different and fun to have a strong belief in gods and goddesses against computers and cell phones. Shrines and archery against other forms of weaponry and buses. It was a gorgeous, wonderful tale that hit me from all different angles. Completely unexpectedly.

There are hints of the beginning of a love triangle in this story. Shiro and Katsuo both represent different aspects of Emi’s life. And although it’s kind of clear that she’ll eventually end up with Shiro, but there is that great tie to Katsuo as well. I love that they reveal more and more facets to Emi’s personality and life that were completely unexpected.

This is one of those stories that unexpectedly impacted me emotionally. In a big way. Emi’s journey and struggles are intense and make you want to give her the worlds biggest hug. It’s kind of tragic. I’m hoping that as the series unfolds there is less tragedy, and a way out of the predicament that she finds herself in. I hope against hope. Otherwise it will just break my heart if it ends more as expected…

<- More Annette MarieDark Tempest ->

Image source: Goodreads