Tag Archives: The Latter-Day Olympians

Rise of the Blood by Lucienne Diver

Overview

Rise of the BloodTitle: Rise of the Blood
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: If they (or an agent for them, since I hadn’t yet been struck by lightning or another freak storm) were behind the note, what was the purpose?

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Synopsis

Weddings can be war.

Great. Tori Karacis’s face is on the front of yet another tabloid “news”paper, linked to Hollywood hottie Apollo Demas. It was ONE dinner, and she was pissed with him at the time. But that’s the least of her worries. Just before leaving for her cousin’s destination wedding in Delphi, she learns that her arch nemeses, Zeus and Poseidon, have escaped police custody.

Despite looking forward to seeing Detective Nick Armani in a tux, her bad pre-flight jitters are confirmed when Apollo, with his sexy new co-star on his arm, boards the same plane. A plane that a freak storm nearly tears out of the sky.

What awaits them atop Mount Parnassus is even more deadly. A prophecy, a kidnapping, and a bloodletting that stirs up the mother of all trouble—literally. Rhea is awakened, and she’s none too happy with her offspring for losing their usurped dominion over the Earth.

The Olympians have fallen. It’s time for the Titans to rise again. Which means it’ll be a bad day for anyone standing in their way.

Product Warnings
Bloodbath or blissful union…either way, the stakes are high in this destination Delphi wedding high atop the peaks of Mount Parnassus. Passions will flare, Titans will rise, monsters will awake, blood will boil and some will spill.

Thoughts

Every time I open one of the Latter-Day Olympians stories, I know that Tori has managed to find herself in trouble. Of some kind. Again.

Normally that trouble starts of pretty minor, but very quickly expands into a cacophony of danger that she is trying to escape. While working on her relationship with Nick. And ignoring her attraction to Apollo. And being a good bridesmaid to her cousin. Gaea’s attempt at revenge and rising not only tends to put a bit of a spanner into these plans, but it is also the catalyst for a very large change in Tori’s life. One that is going to be really interesting to follow in Battle for the Blood.

Rise of the Blood also helps to reveal a little more about Tori’s ancestral history. We know that she is a descendant of one of the Gorgons, but it turns out that she’s also a descendant of Pan. Which explains so much about her brother, although, it is obvious Tori inherited her many interesting traits from her other ancestor. I love the total chaos that Tori’s family creates. Not just in her life, but the insanity of their love and roles in life. Tori is still very much the outcast, but you can see where she gets her crisis handling from. After all, the only family that is more chaotic than Tori’s is the Olympians themselves. Something that is a huge driver in the final battle of the story.

Although this novel does sort of end with an epic battle, it also ends with Tori finally making a decision about who she is going to choose. Nick or Apollo. It’s the very last scene of the story, so whether it sticks or not will be seen in the next novel. But, it’s definitely a tale that I’m looking forward to reading.

 <- The Parlor Review Battle for the Blood Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Parlor by Lucienne Diver

Overview

Kicking ItTitle: The Parlor
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #3.5
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I’d find out soon enough.

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Synopsis

Tori takes what she thinks is going to be a simple job, and runs up against another member of the Olympian family.

Thoughts

I love to read about mythologies reimagined for the modern day, and this was an excellent way in which it was done. Where Riordan takes Greek mythology and spins it so that teenagers have a place in the world, Diver gives the tales of Olympus a much more adult and sensual twist. A tale of Apollo, Arachne and gladiators, there really isn’t much more that you could ask for in a short story inspired by the Gods of Olympus.

There were a lot of great things in this story, and I loved the heroine, she was tough, able to say no to a God, and wanted to do the good thing. However, the part of this story that I can’t get out of my head is the silver, reflective hot pants and knee-high boot get up that Tori is forced to wear when she goes undercover. Reflective hot pants. A thought to leave you with for the day.

<- Crazy in the Blood Review Rise of the Blood Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Crazy in the Blood by Lucienne Diver

Overview

crazy-in-the-blood

Title: Crazy in the Blood
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: At least one person’s already been killed.

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Synopsis

Hell on Earth. It’s not just an expression anymore.

It’s an ill wind that carries bad news, and Tori’s just had a double load of it blow through her door.

Just a few weeks after she prevented some rogue gods from blowing L.A. into the ocean, more dead bodies are turning up near the leftover crater. Bodies that have been shredded by something too big to be…shall we say, of this world? Worse, Uncle Christos has disappeared after stumbling onto a deadly cult masquerading as the Back to Earth movement.

The connection: Dionysus. Yes, that Dionysus. He’s resurrected his bloody fertility rite, complete with frenzied female groupies who tear men limb from limb. And he’s lured Demeter, goddess of the harvest, over to his side by finding a way to get her daughter away from Hades for good.

Predictably, Hades isn’t about to let her go without a fight. Unless Tori finds a way to bring her back, he’ll abandon the gates of Tartarus. At which time all hell will, literally, break loose.

Between saving the world, the woman, and cultists and her crazy uncle? So much for getting to the beach before all the good spots are taken…

Product Warnings
The wine country is going through a heat wave of epic proportions, and it’s not all about the weather. Beware steamy gods with seduction on their minds or brimstone in their blood.

Thoughts

Tori’s sass and inability to stay out of trouble continue in Crazy in the Blood. Her drive to find the illusive Uncle Christos is a great catalyst to the rest of the ensuing chaos. It is also a great reminder that although Tori is estranged from her apparently vast family, she has a strong connection to them and is unwilling to simply let her eccentric uncle disappear into the sunset. She risks everything (including her own life) to rescue him and bring him home for a wedding.

I thoroughly enjoyed Armani and Tori’s courtship in Bad Blood, so finding out how their relationship is progressing was a welcome revisit. The increasing tension between Tori and Apollo just helped to add drama to the situation. Apollo’s pure magnetism and the possible, serious consequences Tori faces in their courtship act as a fantastic counterpoint to Nick’s steadfast loyalty and ability to see behind her bravado.

The war between the Gods also gains traction throughout Crazy in the Blood. It also gives more meaning to the idea of The Latter-Day Olympians and future conflicts between such powerful characters, in more than one sense of the word. Hades, Persephone and Demeter’s personal war is a good window through which the greater disagreements between the Gods is explored. Not only is this a great new window through which to view a modern-spin on the battles of the Greek Gods, but it is also a incredible new twist on tales that have been around for a very, very, very, very, very long time.

<- Bad Blood Review The Parlor Review ->
Image source: Pinterest

Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver

Overview

bad-blood

Title: Bad Blood
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It seemed the hardest thing I’d ever done to make myself move.

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

Synopsis

The gods play…and mortals pay.

Tori Karacis’s family line may trace back to a drunken liaison between the god Pan and one of the immortal gorgons. Or…maybe it’s just coincidence that her glance can, literally, stop men in their tracks. While her fear of heights kept her out of the family aerobatic troupe, her extreme nosiness fits right in with her uncle’s P.I. business.

Except he’s disappeared on an Odyssean journey to find himself. Muddling through on her own, she’s reduced to hunting (not stalking, because that would just be weird) brass-bra’d Hollywood agent Circe Holland to deliver a message…only to witness her murder by what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Suddenly, all of her family’s tall tales seem believable, especially when Apollo—the Apollo, who’s now hiding out among humans as an adult film star—appears in her office, looking to hire her. She knows the drill: canoodling with gods never works out well for humans, but she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Maybe it’s her genes. Maybe not.

Given her conflicted feelings for one hot and hardened cop, it’s a toss-up which will kill her quickest. The danger at her door…or her love life.

Warning: Contains pot-boiling passion between a heroine who may—or may not—be a descendant of Medusa, and a hot god and a hunky cop with the…equipment…to handle her, even on her worst bad-hair day. Beware of killer kisses, trickster gods and bearded grandmothers Who Know Everything.

Thoughts

This was a great, easy read and I can’t wait to crack the spine of Crazy in the Blood. Diver takes the Greek myths and twists them to fit the life of a modern-day woman. Although Riordan has done this beautifully in his writing, Diver’s adaptation was much more subtle. I also loved how, where Riordan’s heroes are the descendants of Gods, Tori, Diver’s heroine, is the descendant of a Gorgon.

The combination of a steamy love triangle and a fast-paced mystery drew me in from the first page. The battle between what is good and bad extended not only from the murder and consequent occurrences within the story, but also in Tori’s battle to choose a partner. On one hand, there is the button-down, safe cop who makes her feel safe, on the other – a God. Undeniable attraction is one thing, undeniable attraction that has the potential to lead to a very uncomfortable end if the myths are anything to go by.

I loved Diver’s ability to take modern day issues and give them a mythically Greek spin. This is a fantastic start to a new series, and I can’t wait until I have the chance to read the next story in this saga.

 <- Trickster Blood Review Crazy in the Blood Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Trickster Blood by Lucienne Diver

Overview

trickster-blood

Title: Trickster Blood
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella eBook
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Hard to make light of death and taxes, but he was always willing to try.

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

Synopsis

Hermes, the god of tricksters, walk away from mischief and mayhem? As if.

Hermes (yes, that Hermes of Greek myth) has an unerring nose for mischief and mayhem, which comes in handy as a syndicated columnist for the Miami Sentinel.

When a colleague offers to forgive a lost bet in exchange for checking on his father in Ft. Lauderdale, Hermes’s Spidey senses go on high alert. The father, it seems, has taken up with his much younger housekeeper. The suspected foul play has trickster written all over it.

The young woman who answers the door almost knocks Hermes back a step with her shining golden hair and laughing, kaleidoscope eyes. Oh yeah, there’s a trickster here. But which one? For once in his eternal life, Hermes isn’t sure whether he should stage an intervention, or leave the “happy couple” to their mutually assured destruction.

Especially since Farrah is much more than she seems, and Hermes is all about fun…and frolic.

Warning: Full of tricksters, trouble, and an intriguing temptress who may be more than our hero can handle. Not that he won’t give it his best shot!

Thoughts

After reading the first two books in The Latter-Day Olympians series, I thought that I knew what to expect from this short prequel. I was wrong. Taking the tale of one of Hermes’ exploits and tying it into Tori Karcasis’ life worked beautifully, albeit unexpectedly. The clever use of Hermes’ different guises as the Trickster also helped to further expand this world of mythology, something that I hope to see echoed in the next few of The Latter-Day Olympians stories.

The premise of a man keeping a woman he feels as his property because he loves him is not a new one. But, making that woman a djinn, or genie, was a great twist on this. Her entrapment is not only of the emotional and physical kind that is often displayed in life and literature, but also a magical one that ensures her continuing devotion to the man. In this, Hermes is not only willing to go against a fellow man, but he also makes his thoughts on this type of entrapment immensely obvious. The fact that Farrah is obviously a fellow trickster at heart and good looking to boot only helps this matter.

Overall, I thought that this story was almost too short. Where the main series focuses on Apollo and his interactions with Tori, there is something about the tale of a Trickster that really pulls me in. That’s not to say that I don’t look forward to reading the rest of The Latter-Day Olympians tales.

<- Blood Hunt Review Bad Blood Review ->
Image source: Lucienne Diver

Top 16 Books of 2016

2016 was a good year for me – I got to read a lot of books, both new and old. So here is a list of my favourite sixteen reads for this year.

falling-pomegranate-seeds16. Falling Pomegranate Seeds by Wendy J. Dunn
This is the first historical fiction that I have ever had the privilege of reading, and it has almost made me a convert. The topic is dense and heart-wrenching, but there is such a strength to the characters, that you can’t help but fall in love. The fact that Dunn used real historical figures to create her masterpiece of women’s rights, the relationships of mothers and daughters and a beautiful tale of coming of age just added to the poignancy of this tale.

skinwalker15. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
I loved the new take on Native American skinwalkers in this story. The fact that it primarily focused on a woman of a minority culture was a great added bonus. To add to the great basis of fantasy, this story was dark and slightly twisted, but frankly honest about it’s chief protagonist – she was never painted as pure, but rather as a flawed human being.

 

Wickedly Powerful14. Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake
I found this series this year, and it completely changed my previously sceptical view on paranormal romance. Of the three books and five stories, this was by far my favourite. The lead Baba Yaga in this tale was far pricklier and more awkward around people than the others, and the love interest was a victim of mental illness – PTSD. This combined to create a beautiful love story with a potent message about PTSD that I cherished.

haunted13. Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
I love the Women of the Otherworld series – the heroines are not in any way, shape or form innocent and “good”. At least as books traditionally portray people. Instead they have their own challenges in life and difficulties. Eve Levine of Haunted has so far been my favourite of these characters. She is dead, but that doesn’t stop her from constantly attempting to help and guard her young daughter. This at the beginning of the story appears to be her only redeeming aspect, and as the story progresses, the true depth of her character is slowly revealed. It is a story that will make you fall in love with a flawed woman and this series again and again and again.

Raelia12. Raelia by Lynette Noni
A great sequel to the first Medoran Chronicles story, Raelia is all about the choices that we make. The storyline in this is so much more intense which is why I rated it slightly above the first book in the series, Akarnae. The ability of this story to capture my attention was immensely impressive, and I am constantly double checking what the release date for the next book in the series is.


The One11. The One by Kiera Cass
This story can make anyone believe in true love again. It is the sweetest, most charming love story I have ever read. Although, it doesn’t go over board with the sappy factor. The dystopian future setting helps to create a more fantastical and enhanced world than our own, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the creation of the caste system seriously made me question how I view and judge others. However, it is America and Maxon’s dance of romance that truly had me hooked and this story let me find out how their negotiation of love ended.

bad-blood10. Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver
I have an obsession with mythology, so any story or series that does a good job of recreating one of the ancient mythologies is going to get my attention. However, Diver’s approach to this was so completely unique that I was mesmerised from the first page. The sass and smart-mouthed attitude of the lead only added to my very quick falling for this series. As did her unique ancestry.

 

Kicking It9. Forked Tongues by Rachel Caine
This was one of the best short stories that I read this year – it combined fantasy with a strong woman and love. Not an easy combination to throw into less than one hundred pages. The image of a Cowboy Witch has stuck in my head since I read this months ago. A great, easy read to bunker down with for half hour or so.

 

 

body-double8. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
The best crime book that I have read this year by far. Not only is it a tale of spine-tingling criminal acts, but it also investigates the nature versus nurture debates – one of my favourite intellectual discussions. Maura’s slow discovery of who she comes from and who she is highlights this, but it also reminds us that we are who we choose to be, not who other people want us to be. The strength of both Maura and Jane throughout the story is astonishing and admirable – it is so easy to imagine them walking around the streets of Boston.

night-shift7. Night Shift edited by Nalini Singh
A great way to find new authors and series is anthologies, which was partly why I bought this collection. I didn’t know that it would introduce me to one of my favourite series. Not one of these four short stories was even remotely tedious, and it was incredibly difficult to decide which author I wanted to read more of. The variety in the stories was enough that they were fascinating tales, but the underlying themes present in all of them still tied the anthology together nicely.

Queen of Shadows6. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Throne of Glass series is such an epic tale of war, love, loss and inner strength, so any book in this series could make it onto this list. However, I loved Queen of Shadows the most because Aelin is able to truly embrace her future and role in life. She is also able to find someone who sees her for who she is and truly accept the fact. One battle in this series is finally over, but a much, much larger one is looming in the future.

black-wings5. Black Wings by Christina Henry
So much sass and blundering in this story, which is probably why I love it so much. There is something that I find so relatable about an uncoordinated heroine that makes me fall in love with a story – probably because I myself am more than a little accident prone. The use of old lore such as Gremlins and Fallen Angels was also a unique spin on a tale of paranormal fantasy.

 

lirael4. Lirael by Garth Nix
I have always felt insanely connected to the character of Lirael in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series. She doesn’t quite belong with the people she calls family, and is always an outcast. Even after she finds her true calling in life, she walks a lonely path and isn’t quite able to relate to her peers. Yet, for all of that, I don’t think that her story is a sad one, rather one about finding out who you are and how you fit in the world. And realising that not everyone is going to fit in with others very well.

on-the-prowl3. Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
I have been in love with Patricia Briggs for a long time now, but there is something about the novella Alpha and Omega that holds my attention every single time. Anna and Charles truly have love and first sight, but it has such a great twist to it. Add to that the fact that they both have some pretty serious inner demons, and it is a really sweet tale of overcoming the odds and finding that perfect fit in your life. Even if it is the last fit that you would expect.

magic-breaks2. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
It was so incredibly difficult to choose a favourite story in the Kate Daniels series. I’ve loved every single tale and would check the post office religiously when a new book was going to be delivered. However, I think that this is a good selection. Kate and Curran are not only battling for the children of their people, but they are also being forced to deal with the challenges of a new relationship. I got so emotionally invested in this story that I actually threw it across the room whenever it bothered me.

mine-to-possess1. Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Tales of paranormal romance are a new genre to me, and this series is a GREAT introduction. Like the Kate Daniels series, it was incredibly hard to find a favourite, but ultimately, this is the book that I found the sweetest and continue to think about. Aside from the rest of the developing Psy-Changeling drama, the story of Clay and Tally is what a lot of people dream of. Finding that one person in childhood who will always be yours – someone who is able to always understand you on an entirely different level.

So there you have it, my favourite stories from my reading list for 2016. I can’t wait to find some more great tales in the new year!

Feature image source: Now! Bali
Image 1 source: Amazon
Image 2 source: Amazon

Image 3 source: Deborah Blake
Image 4 source: Goodreads
Image 5 source: Lynette Noni
Image 6 source: Wikia
Image 7 source: Goodreads
Image 8 source: Penguin
Image 9 source: Amazon
Image 10 source: Audiobooks
Image 11 source: Live Journal
Image 12 source: Christina Henry
Image 13 source: Garth Nix
Image 14 source: Patricia Briggs
Image 15 source: Ilona Andrews
Image 16 source: Pinterest