Weekly Update: 7.5.19

We are back with a weekly update. This week has not been as hectic as previous weeks… I think, honestly I’ve blocked it out so I have no idea how busy it might of actually been.

I managed to finish one book this week, which was ‘Queen of Shadows’ By Sarah J. Maas (review coming soon) This book was an accomplishment to finish in just 5 days. I usually find Sarah J. Maas’s books dense, absolute page turners but dense which just means that it takes me a bit longer to read.

Apparently not this week.

I’ve put down ‘The Geography of Lost Things’ By Jessica Brody. Not because I don’t like it but I do struggle to stay engaged when it comes to contemporary reads so they take me longer.

I’m definitely going to get back to this one at some point but not at the moment.

I currently have a couple of books on the go. I want to start my comic book reads by picking up Spider-Gwen. I’ve recently seen Endgame and I really just want to be immersed in the world. I have also stated ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer’ By Rick Riordan. This conveniently also fits in with my Marvel immersion since Magnus Chase is based on Norse Mythology which include Thor. Some may say I’m taking it too far, but am I taking it far enough?

Both of these books fit into the #Avengersreadathon2019 which I am participating in. I am also continuing to listen to both ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ By J.K. Rowling and ‘The Fever King’ By Victoria Lee. Both books are part of my #Avengersreadathon2019 book choices.

Book discussion

I am really excited to get this new project off the ground! (Don’t worry I’ll go into more detail later)

For now I need your input!

Comment on this post any thoughts, feelings, questions ect. You might have about:

* Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets

* The Assassins Blade

* Throne of Glass

* Crown of midnight

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Review: ‘The Mark of Athena’ By Rick Riordan

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‘The Mark of Athena’
By Rick Riordan
Book #3 in the Heroes of Olympus Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: October 2012
Pages: 586
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

 

Synopsis

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brian by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare.

 

Thoughts

I ended up listening to ‘The Mark of Athena’ on Audible. I got 24 pages into my copy and discovered it had been a misprint and I was missing pages 24-57. Wonderfully Booktopia are sending me a replacement copy. (They were so amazing about it) But I was already 100% in the story so I knew I needed to keep going straight away.

I mean that says a lot about the book for me, that I was only 24 pages in and I needed to know what happened straight away, I couldn’t wait. It began on such I high with the Roman and Greek camps finally becoming as intertwined as I felt they needed to be and all these characters thats I’d grown to love over the first 2 books (and for some in the Percy Jackson series before that) were finally going to be in one book, all together.

The plot continued on perfectly from the second instalment in the series, even with a different characters point on view beginning this story.

The world is being built spectacularly with with an amazing incorporation of the myths of the Ancient Greek world and the Ancient Roman world with the modern world. This book really dives into the difference between the gods in the Greek Myths and the Roman myths and has characters grappling with their different identities. We also get a look at what the gods may be feeling about how they are portrayed in each myth.

During this book the characters are developed really well, while we also learn more about Annabeth and what she faces being the daughter of Athena.

This series is definitely a recommend! Although it is a series that you need to read in order.

Rating

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  4/5

Review: ‘Percy Jackson & the Last Olympian’ By Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
By Rick Riordan
(Book #5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series) 

Publisher: Puffin Random House
Publish Date: 2009
Pages: 361
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #5); Camp Half-Blood Chronicles (Book #5)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Audible Amazon & Kindle Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing 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.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilisation rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

My Thoughts

I ended up taking a small break from the Percy Jackson series after demolishing the first 4 books one after the other. I had picked up more books and was excited to get into some of them. At the start of June I decided to jump back on the Percy Jackson train in preparation for my trip to Greece at the end of this month.

I am so glad that I read this book. It was incredible. I never wanted to put it down. It was action from the get go. This story – as you know if you’ve read the synopsis or heard of any Percy Jackson book – follows Percy as he works with his fellow demigods to prevent Kronos from reclaiming Olympus. I mean based only on that information you can tell that the story is going to be INSANE!

The development of the characters throughout the series has been well written and realistic. I’m not a fan of when a character does a complete 360 in their personality by the end of the book or series. The characters in this series age and develop fantastically and are still the same relate able, lovable characters they were at the beginning, with new experiences and stronger back stories.

Rick Riordan’s writing is as always fantastic. The world’s he builds are amazingly accurate in their mythology as well as being utterly engaging. I have a great interesting in mythology – particularly Greek mythology – and love how these stories are adapted to this series. I am excited to continue the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles and have already purchased the books in the Trials of Apollo Series, all of which I am keen to start.

I could not recommend this series more! This is a series I will continue to go back too.

Rating

Plot: 9.5/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 10/10
Quality of Writing: 9.5/10
Stars:  5/5

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Thoughts on this series?

 

May: Wrap up

May was a pretty productive reading month for me. I was surprised to see how much I actually did end up reading when looking back on the month. So first things first.. stats.

Reading Stats

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Books I read this month

 

 

Reviews

 

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What did you read this month?

 

‘The Girl Who Drank the Moon’ By Kelly Barnhill

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Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 386
Series: 
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Middle grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Amazon and Kindle QBD Booktopia

Synopsis

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule — but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her — even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

 

“Each sleeping tree,
Dreams green dreams;
The barren mountain
wakes in blossom”

 

My Thoughts

We start the story off in the gloomy town called the Protectatre. The description of the town was pretty good. Straight off the bat there was a feel that this was not a town you would want to live in. It had a very old world vibe about it. I was really engaged with the beginning of the story. I felt invested in Antain and his story from the start, however there were many characters that I felt frustrated with.

My favourite characters by far were Luna, Fyrian and Glerk. They really made the story. Without their perspectives and their input throughout the story I would really have struggled to finish it.

The overall plot was great. An amazing Idea that I personally haven’t seen done before, although that doesn’t mean much. I loved the idea of babies eating starlight and moonlight and that they do end up happy.

I felt that for a middle grade it was a very dark book. I do have younger girls that I am thinking of when I read these types of books, to give them references when they are a confident reader but are unable to find a book they are excited about. Usually they range from 7 year olds to 10 year olds.

I did like the story overall, however I wasn’t completely engaged and unable to put the book down.

Rating

Plot: 5/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10
Stars:  3/5

 

Review: ‘The Apprentice Witch’ By James Nicol

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‘The Apprentice Witch’
By James Nicol
Book #1 in the Apprentice Witch Series

 

Publisher: Chicken House
Publish Date: 2016
Pages: 318
Series: Apprentice Witch Book 1
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Middle grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Amazon & Kindle Booktopia QBD Dymocks

Snyopsis

Arianwyn has flunked her witch’s assessment: She’s doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch– much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her.

With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch–even if she’s only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.

My Thoughts

In the beginning we meet Arianwyn our protagonist in this story, She is a witch who is hoping to be evaluated and become a fully qualified witch and get a job protecting non magical folk from magical beings, ailments and incidents. She is an awkward and relatable main character. As a reader I really enjoyed her as a protagonist and following her along her journey and development throughout the story.

I did find it hard to get into at the beginning, as much as I liked Arianwyn as a main character I was still struggling to get into the overall plot and story. I did like the whole evaluation portion and that drew me in but after that I was struggling to stay engaged. When we got closer to the end of the book I was eager to see how it was going to end and if it would be something that could be continued on in a second book.

Overall as a middle grade novel I found the story a good read. Its relatable characters were ones that I could see my girls enjoying and finding similar aspects and feeling as though they had had similar experiences. All key to their understanding and enjoyment of reading.

My Rating

Plot: 6/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars:  3.5/5

 

 

 

Review: ‘The Wizards of Once’ By Cressida Cowell

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‘The Wizards of Once’
By Cressida Cowell
(Book #1 in the Wizards of Once Series) 

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 389
Series: The Wizards of Once (Book #1)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Amazon & Kindle Audible Dymocks QBD

Synopsis 

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure …

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring.

My Thoughts

Outright, I really enjoyed this book. I had never read a book by Cressida Cowell but once I saw that she had written ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ I knew I wanted to read this story. I was not disappointed.

The story starts by following Xar (Pronounced Zar) a Wizard with no magical powers (yet). He’s a great character to start with. He is very self confident – regardless of his lack of magic – and is on the hunt to catch a witch to steal magic. We quickly meet is band of followers, magical creatures and adviser Caliburn who is a bird.

We learn about Xar’s plan and how he feels about his brother Looter (who in my opinion is not very nice) before we meet our other main character, Wish. She is a Warrior. Readers learn about the rift between the Witches and Warriors. Wish is a warrior who doesn’t want to be a warrior and enjoys all things magical – including an enchanted spoon which is where we first meet her.

The characters are introduced so well in the story and you make connections with them very quickly which I think is a spectacular characteristic particularly for middle grade novels and children need to be engaged instantly.

The illustrations throughout the book really enhanced the story and allowed you to picture this world that Wish and Xar inhabit. They go along nicely with the descriptions of the world. My particular favourites were the Spelling book, the tree house in which Xar lives and the dungeons in Wish’s Mother’s kingdom.

I was encapsulated in this little world from start to finish, I loved how they made Xar likeable and unlikable at the same time. I also loved Wish, as someone that works at an all girls school I love seeing determined, brave and daring female characters to introduce to the girls.

Rating

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  4.5/5

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Have you read any of Cressida Cowell’s other books?