Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)
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 masthead, 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 demand: 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 Brain by her side.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I thought it was a little slow in the beginning.  Plus I had read the last book when it came out so it took me a while to remember who was who.  I love that we get to read from several point of views.  As their quest got going it was a real page turner and I couldn't put the book down.  I love Percy and Annabeth they are so cute together and really love eachother.  Leo is starting to be one of my favorite half bloods and we learn a little about his family in this book.  I really missed Grover in this one though.  The ending was great but so sad at the same time.  I wish I did not have to wait so long for the next book.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium #2)
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past. 

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I enjoyed this book better than the first one.  I think because we were not given so much background and I already knew the characters.  We learn so much about Lisbeth in this book.  I really like Lisbeth from the first book and now I totally love her.  Although sometimes she makes me angry for the way she does not trust Mikael or any other person trying to help her.  She is a great researcher and can find out just about anything.  I love how we find out what happens to her immediately after the end of the last book and then about a year passes before the murders occur.  Both Mikael & Lisbeth have changed quite a bit in a year.  The ending left me wanting more and I wanted to immediately pick up the third book to find out what happens.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: The Giver -Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver, #1)
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This is a very short book (less than 200 pages) but I liked it. There are many things in these short pages.  Jonas really grows up and begins to understand things.  Also Giver seems to get new insight by listening and talking with Jonas.  There were some things in this book that really surprised me.  I would really love to see what happens next to Jonas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: Finale - Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)
Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Not the best one in the series, although it is nice to have a final ending.  I thought the book moved rather slowly.  To me it seems like Patch & Nora don't have a much chemistry as we are meant to believe they do.  Things were too convenient and I don't want to give things away.  Certain people were convieniently something and everything just works out in the end.  I like happy endings but not all tidied up in a bow.  Overall I liked the book but did not love it. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Book Review: World War Z - Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. "World War Z" is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, "By excluding the human factor, aren't we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn't the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as 'the living dead'?" 

I normally try very hard to finish books but this one was just too boring and I couldn't finish it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Book Review: Whispers at Moonrise - C.C. Hunter

Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4)
Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species—she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf.  With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante.  Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway.  Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late—all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever.   In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure.  Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
 I thought this was by far the best book so far in this series.  Kylie finally finds out what she is but even knowing that she still has many questions.  The only people that can help her are her Grandfather and Great Aunt but they are so afraid of the FRU that they refuse to openly come to Shadow Falls.  Lucas is very distant due to him trying to get on the Council.  He basically pushes Kylie away so that he looks good with his pack.  Kylie needs someone to rely on that someone is Derek.  He is not afraid to help her with her ghost problem and anything else she needs.  I love that we get to see Kylie develep all sorts of abilities.  I love Della and Miranda.  I wish we could get a little more story of Holiday and Burnett.  Also Burnett starts dealing with some new abilities.  I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Book Club-October

The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)
It was predictable, in hindsight. Everything about the history of the Society of Jesus bespoke deft and efficient action, exploration and research. During what Europeans were pleased to call the Age of Discovery, Jesuit priests were never more than a year or two behind the men who made initial contact with previously unknown peoples; indeed, Jesuits were often the vanguard of exploration.

The United Nations required years to come to a decision that the Society of Jesus reached in ten days. In New York, diplomats debated long and hard, with many recesses and tablings of the issue, whether and why human resources should be expended in an attempt to contact the world that would become known as Rakhat when there were so many pressing needs on Earth. In Rome, the questions were not whether or why but how soon the mission could be attempted and whom to send.

The Society asked leave of no temporal government. It acted on its own principles, with its own assets, on Papal authority. The mission to Rakhat was undertaken not so much secretly as privately – a fine distinction but one that the Society felt no compulsion to explain or justify when the news broke several years later.

The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the furthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

Even though this kind of sounds like a religious preachy book, it is not that at all.  The story alternates betwen 2019 when a signal is received in Arecibo and 2060 when Emilo, a survivor from a mission sent to Rakhat returns.  Inquiries are made as to why he was the only survivor and why he was in such bad shape.  Through alternating view we see the friendships he made and learn some back story on the other characters and why the undertook the mission.  We also see how broken Emilio is and how his faith in God has diminished because of the events that occured in Rakhat.  The ending just blew my mind and all had been building to it.  The author does a great job in keeping the reader interested.  I will definitely be picking up the sequel to this book to see what happens after Emilio's story is told.

The book for November is Godless - Pete Hautman 

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...