Stay Awhile & Fairwil by Alysia Gray Painter

This series of fun and quirkiness comes to a fitting (and sweet) conclusion.

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You Say Neptune, I Say Poseidon

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

son.neptune

First Look:

The illustrations for Riordan’s books are always dynamic and plot-relevant, but I must nitpick by saying that this one is a bit spoilery.  I realized as soon as the eagle was mentioned that Percy must go find it, because of the illustration.

Jacket Copy:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven. Continue reading

Prague and Secrets

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

blood&shadow

First Look:

Way over-Shopped big face…seriously, when you hold it in your hand, you can see the lines where the Photoshopping was insufficiently blended.  The shadow effect on her cheek is cool, but the only thing I really love is the reflection in her eye.

Jacket Copy:

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life. Continue reading

Quick Takes #1

Golden, Gallagher Girls #1 & #2, The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen, The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure, and The Shadow Cats

I’m going to write some quicker-than-normal reviews regarding several books.  Some of these are shorter than my normal book, some of these I might just not have as much to say about, and…I might just have way too many books in my read-but-not-yet-reviewed queue. Continue reading

Must Be Gold Dust*

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

 *Refers to Hathin’s name, which is supposed to sound like dust settling.

First Look:

It piques my interest.  There are a lot of story elements in the picture, some of which you can’t appreciate till almost the end of the book.  So right there, it’s head and shoulders above the average YA novel.  Plus, no inappropriately fancy clothing!  Hathin has no time for parties, she’s too busy fixing everything ever.

Jacket Copy:

On an island of sandy beaches, dense jungles, and slumbering volcanoes, colonists seek to apply archaic laws to a new land, bounty hunters stalk the living for the ashes of their funerary pyres, and a smiling tribe is despised by all as traitorous murderers. It is here, in the midst of ancient tensions and new calamity, that two sisters are caught in a deadly web of deceits.

Arilou is proclaimed a beautiful prophetess–one of the island’s precious oracles: a Lost. Hathin, her junior, is her nearly invisible attendant. But neither Arilou nor Hathin is exactly what she seems, and they live a lie that is carefully constructed and jealously guarded.

When the sisters are unknowingly drawn into a sinister, island-wide conspiracy, quiet, unobtrusive Hathin must journey beyond all she has ever known of her world–and of herself–in a desperate attempt to save them both. As the stakes mount and falsehoods unravel, she discovers that the only thing more dangerous than the secret she hides is the truth she must uncover. Continue reading