My Thoughts On: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

28187

Title: The Lightning Thief 

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #1)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books

Year Published: 2005

Format: Hardcover

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Synopsis:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. – (Goodreads)

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

My Thoughts:

I’m going to be perfectly honest right at the beginning – this book took me roughly two years to read and it’s not even that I disliked it. In fact, I really loved it. There is a semi (not really) complicated story behind this. I first started this book, as I said, about two years ago and I stopped reading rather early on when it mentioned Athena having children. Athena is a virgin goddess, she shouldn’t have any demigod kids! I closed the book. Now, I knew this book had a movie adaption, that is actually how I found out about the Percy Jackson series to begin with, so I just decided to watch that instead. Of course, low and behold, I really enjoyed the movie and decided to give the book another shot. It was by chance that before I started again that I found out it was later explained how Athena had her children, instead of the regular way she thought them up and delivered them down to her lovers. I was able to accept this explanation and moved on. Of course, I started to like it so much that I immediately went out and bought the whole series in hardcover (a boxed set; I gave the paperbacks I had of the first two books to my cousin), the Ultimate Guide, what was out of the Lost Hero series, and the Kane Chronicles. Yeah, I went I bit crazy. Then college happened, the book was put aside again, until later in the year when I started reading it with my roommate – we didn’t finish it. Finally, about two weeks ago a picked it up for the last time and completed it. Yeah, that’s my story. Boring, right? Anyway, on to the review.

This book starts off with Perseus (Percy) Jackson who thinks he is just a normal boy, but it turns out he couldn’t have been more wrong. He is actually the son of a god and a mortal – a demigod. He is caught in the middle of an oncoming war between two of the big three, Poseidon and Zeus, and must stop the fighting before a World War III breaks loose. The pacing in the book is great. It has a good balance between action and humor, and it is just plan amazing. This book is also a pretty good way to learn about some Greek mythology if you are interested as well, as Percy is new to the Greek myths and is finding out all about it as the book progresses.

Percy travels with others on his quest, Grover, his best friend, and Annabeth, a daughter of Athena. What I really loved about these characters is that they were so different, so unique in their own ways, but complemented each others so well. If one of them had a weakness, the other was able to make up for it; these character really seemed to teach about working together rather than trying to take on everything alone. Below are my individual thoughts on each of these three special and gifted characters:

Grover – If you’ve seen the movie than I will warn you that Grover is personality is completely unlike what it is portrayed as in the film adaption. In film he is complete confident, a womenizer even. However, in the book he is more timid and unsure of himself and he grows exceptionally throughout this first book. He is certainly the underdog character whom proves himself over and over. You just can’t help but love him or find yourself wishing that he were real so you could hug him.

Annabeth – I didn’t really like her at first and it was not because she was a daughter of Athena, but because she was coming off really stuck up and mean. Really, she seemed to stepped aside to watch the new guy get bullied by some of the other campers just so she could apparently evaluate his skills. So, it took me awhile to warm up to her, but about halfway through the book she really started to show how kind she was. Not only that, but she had every reason to be proud of her intelligence; I think I just needed to see it in action while working as a team rather than the times we see it before these three start traveling together.

Percy – Forget that he is twelve; he has to be one of the sweetest and bravest male leads I ever come across in my reading, which is saying something as he is competing against Charlie (Perks of Being a Wallflower), Harry (Harry Potter), Ponyboy (The Outsiders), and many others. The loyalty he shows for his mother and friends is just awe-inspiring. He also has to be one of the funnest characters in the book and I couldn’t be happier that we are following his point-of-view as he not only comes to terms with something that completely changes his world, but as he fights against all odds to save the most important person in his life. Percy Jackson is a gem among gems and I really look forward to his growth in the rest of the series.

I did have a few problems with this book that prevented me from giving it a full five out five and they my seem like small reasons to others, but they were enough to make me pull back a bit. Two of the reasons actually centered around Annabeth and her reactions to certain things and since the are spoiler-like I am going to put the next bit in spoiler tags, so read them at your own risk. Continue reading

Advertisements

Comic Book Wednesday: Batman ’66 #1

Comic Book Wednesday is a now a bi-weekly, hopefully, feature I created to talk about the comics I am reading. It has gone through many different revisions already, though this one should be the last (fingers crossed). As of now I will be talking about my first impressions on a series after reading the first issue.
* ~ * ~ *
BATMAN '66 #1 CoverLR

Title: Batman ’66  #1

Writer: Jeff Parker

Artist & Colorer: Jonathan Case

Letters: Wes Abbott

Cover: Michael and Laura Allred

Editor: Jim Chadwick

 Publisher: DC Comics (2013)
Rated: E (Everyone)
* ~ * ~ * ~ *
Synopsis:
Put on your go-go boots and get ready to “Batusi” back to the Swingin’ 60s as DC Comics reimagines the classic Batman TV series in comics form for the first time! These all-new stories portray The Caped Crusader, The Boy Wonder and their fiendish rogues gallery just the way viewers remember them. In this first adventure, The Riddler’s out to steal some valuable artwork from under the noses of Gotham’s police. But Batman gets help from an unlikely source: a certain femme fatale dressed in feline finery!  – (DC Comics)
*~ * ~ * ~*

Why I bought it: 

It was so bright and vivid. No, seriously. I am so used to seeing Batman in super dark colors and tones (and personality) that when I saw this, I thought I would be blinded. It was awesome!

What I thought: 

Golly gee, this was great! I practically loved everything about this issue from the art and coloring to the dialogue, especially the dialogue:

Batman: Besides don’t you want to make use of that daytime driver’s license?

Robin: I sure do!”

_ _ _

Alfred: To the Alf-Pole, heh-hmh!”

_ _ _

Batman: Thanks to Catwoman’s Complying with the fire marshal 

and having accessible extinguishers placed in her club!”

_ _ _

Batman ’66 felt over the top and that was definitely it’s charm – it had me smiling non-stop. Some of the action noises were way out there too, like CAT-ZAM!

I will say, this issue to me longer to read then a single issue usually does, but that was because I adored it so much that I kept rereading pages or just staring at it to admire it as a whole. This comic reads sort of like a children’s action cartoon: light, fun,and bright. It was also inspired by the classic Batman television series (which I’ve seen about five minutes of, yet enjoyed what I saw) and that is probably why I liked it as much as I did. I tend to like things that are considered cheesey and old-fashioned.

Would I continue?: 

Gosh, I couldn’t imagine not continuing this series – it makes me so happy. This one is certainly being added to my pull list on my next trip to the comic book store. I would even say this is a series I would collect all the single issues of (maybe even different variant covers of) as well as the trades. I guess this just proves justice always prevails!

My Thoughts On: Crumbs by Elora Bishop

????????????????????????????????????????Title: Crumbs: A Lesbian Hansel and Gretel

Author: Elora Bishop

Publisher: Smashwords and can also be found on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble 

Format: eBook (2012)

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Synopsis:

Greta’s never ventured beyond the refuge of the Heap. Outside, the Ragers lurk, ever hungry and hunting. But Greta and her brother, half-starved and now alone, must risk death for the dream of safety they hope to find within the metal forest. Once there, nothing is as it seems: in the confines of a crumbling old candy factory, the woman who rescues them with sweet words and sweeter treats harbors a dangerous secret.

The novella CRUMBS is the lesbian retelling of the classic fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.” It is part of the series SAPPHO’S FABLES: LESBIAN FAIRY TALES. – (Goodreads)

* ~ *~ * ~ *

My Thoughts:

I plunged into Crumbs with relatively no expectations and surfaced with mild satisfaction. This novella had a lot of potential that just always seemed to slide by before the story could completely capture it. The characters live in a post-apocolyptic world where Ragers (essentially zombies though with slight differences) roam, looking for fresh flesh and muscle to devour – this aspect of the story isn’t utilized as much as it could have been. Nearly all the ‘I want a human for an appetizer’ action is sacrificed (literally, it just breezes right by) in order for Greta to meet her potential love interest sooner.

This brings me to the romance of this Hansel & Gretel re-imagining, which, for the length of the novella, I thought was decently done. I wish there had been some more suspense or drama though, something that would just make me go, “wow, I really want these two to get together already!” In some respect it was hard to get invested in the relationship (and characters) because everything just flew by like a Peregrine Falcon. Really, there were points that I just wanted more. Maybe a bit more conversation when they were eating the pastries or more of a backfire to Greta’s quick conclusions about the siblings her and Hans are staying with. Just something.

Crumbs is good for what it is, but I can’t help but wish it were longer. I feel if it were longer I may have become more invested in the characters, family relationships, and romance because it would have had that extra stretch to develop. This was most certainly an interesting take on a classic fairy tale and I would recommend at least giving it a go. This novella is part of a series called Sappho’s Fables: Lesbian Fairy Tales and I do plan to check out the rest of them to see how all of them play out, especially Braided (a Rapunzel retelling).

Rating: 3.5 cakes out of 5

My Thoughts On: Iron Man Beneath the Armor by Andy Mangels

Iron Man Beneath the Armor

Title: Iron Man: Beneath the Armor

Author: Andy Mangels

Publisher: Del Rey

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

Synopsis:

HE LIVES! HE WALKS! HE CONQUERS!

In the age of high-tech warfare, he’s the ultimate smart weapon: man and machine combined for maximum impact. He’s Iron Man, AKA millionaire industrialist and visionary genius turned superhero Tony Stark–and he’s rocketing onto the big screen in the most eagerly anticipated new action movie of the year. Now discover everything you need to know about this sensational superhero, including

• the fascinating history of Iron Man, down through the decades, from 1960’s comic book character to twenty-first-century cinema star
• an inside-out overview of his armor’s design evolution through the years, including special powers and weapons capabilities
• a complete character breakdown of Tony Stark/Iron Man, and everyone in his universe, from Virginia “Pepper” Potts and James Rhodes/War Machine to such villains as Mandarin, Crimson Dynamo, Fin Fang Foom, and many more

Find out all there is to know about this classic character in the only reference that puts the pedal to the metal!  – (Goodreads)

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

My Thoughts:

I don’t read many nonfiction books, but when I saw this in the bargain area at the Barnes and Noble by me and with my current obsession with superheroes, especially Iron Man whom this book is about, I just had to have it. As you may know, I am relatively new to these types of comics having been almost strictly into the manga form for around ten years, so finding a book that was solely about my current favorite Marvel Hero, Tony Stark, was pretty much the happiest part of my day. I loved learning about the journey this character has taken; of the struggles and triumphs he made during his many years of publication. Now, this book only goes up to around the year 2009, so it only brushes upon the current movie line (which is the first Iron Man movie, yet to be released) and comics up to that point, but I still feel it was very informative.

It probably won’t offer anything new to those who have been following this character of the Marvel Universe for years and know all the artist, writers, and story lines; however, for people just entering (like myself, kind of) this book is a nice place to start to get some of that back history. It even goes over other characters who generally appear in the world of Iron Man or had played some sort of role in the character’s life like Pepper Potts and Kathy Dare. The book doesn’t focus so much on them (though I was decently satisfied with the info I received on them) as it does the different artist and writers who have worked on Iron Man, his villains, his armor, and his ever altering story. It was just really nice to see how Tony Stark (Iron Man) and everyone else who has worn the suit evolved and changed. As kind of a bonus, I suppose, there was a section about some of the armor mentioning when the particular suit first appeared and the logistics of it, which I must say was neat. (The Prometheum and Extremis armors were very intriguing.)

Since this book is kind of dated now, it has been a good number of years since it’s publication and many things have happened to the Iron Man character (that I know of) during the time between now and then, there is probably a more current and updated one out there. However, I do think if you are browsing a bookstore, online, a yard-sale, or wherever you may purchase your books and you come across Iron Man: Beneath the Armor and it’s not overly expensive, your interested in the rich history of this character, and your a newcomer to the mechanically superior  world that Tony Stark lives in (or even if you just want a bit of a refresher), I think this is a good book to pick up and enjoy.

Rating: 4 out of 5

My Thoughts On: Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf

8497756

Title: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?

Author: Gary K. Wolf

Publisher: Smashwords (2010, ebook version)

* ~ * ~ * ~*

Synopsis:

Gary K. Wolf creates a wonderfully skewed and totally believable world made up of equal parts Raymond Chandler, Lewis Carroll, and Walt Disney. A riotously surreal spoof of the hard-boiled detective novel. Packed with action and laughs. Wolf s cult classic, highly praised novel is the basis for the blockbuster Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (Goodreads)

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

My Thoughts:

I’ve been a fan of the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit since I was little and when I found out it was based on a book, I knew I just had to read it. Unsurprisingly, the book and movie are very different, though they have the similiar type of feel. This is also probably one of the rare cases where I feel the movie is better then it’s book counterpart (which could very well be due to my long standing love of the movie). If you’ve seen the movie, but never read the book because you didn’t want to read what you already saw then you need not worry here.

The two main characters, Roger Rabbit (the toon) and Eddie Valiant (the detective), relationship/partnership remained very close in both of the media outlets, which I felt was nice. Jessica Rabbit, however, was so different I barley recognized her! I ended up really enjoying Jessica’s personality in the book; she was cunning and devious, and really knew how to work her strengths to her advantage. It was interesting to see how things played out between these three compared to its more friendly, I guess, movie version.

The book was pretty much a ‘who killed who and why’ type story and some parts of the mystery I figured out before the big reveal, but there was part at the end that had me a bit blindsided. It was this part that actually had me questioning Roger’s feelings for Jessica. Another thing, which I’ve seen somebody else mention, was the use of thought bubbles for the too characters. The idea was really cool, but at times the execution of it seemed kind of stilted and awkward – something that may have worked better in a visual form.

So, that’s pretty much all I have to say on that really. The mystery was decently predictable, but left some surprises and it was interesting to see such a difference in Roger and Jessica’s romance. I think this book is worth a try at the very least.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Comic Book Wednesday: Captain Midnight #0

Comic Book Wednesday is a now a bi-weekly, hopefully, feature I created to talk about the comics I am reading. It has gone through many different revisions already, though this one should be the last (fingers crossed). As of now I will be talking about my first impressions on a series after reading the first issue.
* ~ * ~ *
Captain Midnight
Title: Captain Midnight #0
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Victor Ibanez & Pere Perez
Colors: Ego
Letters: Nate Piekos
Covers: Raymond Swanland (front) and Steve Rude (back)
Publisher: Dark Horse (2013)
* ~ * ~ *
Synopsis:
A genius inventor, Jim Albright was one of the world’s greatest minds and one of America’s great intellectual resources. Prohibited from officially enlisting, his intelligence too great an asset to risk, Albright became Captain Midnight, a mysterious hero who would suddenly appear in the nick of time to help the Allies in battle against the Nazis.
In 1944, he disappeared…  
(Description from the inside of the cover)
* ~ * ~ *
My Thoughts:
The reason I picked up Captain Midnight was because his character description and past reminded me of a combination of Marvel heroes Iron Man and Captain America, so I was expecting to be pretty impressed and I was. Captain Midnight  certainly seems like he is going to be an interesting character with his smarts and habit of attacking at midnight, not to mention him having to adapt to a new time period. As far as other characters go, I really hope Rick, an aviator pilot and Captain Midnight Fanatic, end up having a major or at least a recurring role.
This issue certainly packs on the mystery! What did the piece of technology that the Secret Squadron was protecting do and what is the ‘truth’ Joyce Ryan was talking about? I’m looking forward to it all unraveling in later issues!
Would I continue this series?: Yes. Yes, I would.

My Thoughts On: Hollowed by Kelley York

Hollowed

Title: Hollowed (first book in the Half Light Saga)

Author: Kelley York

Publisher: Smashwords

* ~ * ~ *

Synopsis:

All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn’t supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she’s turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah’s secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister…who died years ago. 

(Didn’t she?)

The city’s body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she’d lost. (Goodreads)

* ~ * ~ *

There is a ton I could say about Hollowed by Kelley York (author of Hushed), but the first thing I want to write is, that despite it being a paranormal romance (and to some that may or may not be a bad thing), it is a very good book. I will admit the main character, Briar, bothered me sometimes like a mosquito buzzing in my ear and trying to drink my blood leaving behind an uncomfortable itch and this was mainly because I felt like there were a few times were she was kind of pointing fingers. She was calling people out for their ‘five year old behavior’ when a good number of her own actions and reactions were no better. Outside of this I did like Briar (and she did kind of have some leeway for her actions), she redeemed herself in my eyes frequently with her rather spunky attitude though, I admit, it took awhile. The other characters were all great, especially Oliver, Daniel, and Fred. They were all very rounded and had personalities and pasts that really made me feel for them.

The story itself was predictable at times, yet that in no way made it less enjoyable. The best parts, I think, contained Oliver. That boy had me gushing and I hope to see a lot more of him in the future books. Kelley York has proven to me that she is close to a master at story telling, but my initial dislike of Briar and to some extent her relationships left me in a limbo for a tiny bit. Still, I eagerly await the next book in the Half-Light saga.

Rating: 4 bites out of 5

* ~ * ~ *

Other Reviews for this Author:

11842962

Hushed

My Thoughts On: Clover by Clamp (Complete Series, Spoilers)

Clover 1

Title: Clover (1-4)

Author: Clamp

Publisher: Tokyopop

*~ *~ *

Synopsis:

“Kazuhiko is a young, but already deeply wounded black ops agent of a baroque, retro-tech future – pulled out of retirement to escort Sue, a mysterious waif, to a destination she alone knows. Sue and Kazuhiko have never met, yet she knows him, having grown up since the age of four with her only human contact, two distant voices: that of her elderly “grandma,” General Ko, and of Kazuhiko’s dead girlfriend, Ora. And Sue has been kept in that cage all these years because of what she is, and what the Clover Leaf Project found her to be – a military top secret, and the most dangerous person in the world!” –  (Goodreads)

* ~*~ *

WARNING: Possible Spoilers Ahead

Clover is a four volume manga series by Clamp and a series I was much looking forward to. However, sadly, it was rather lackluster. The art, while beautiful, was very sparse. I think I can see where Clamp was going with that and sometimes it really worked to convey the emotion of the characters, but it really ended up leaving things rather dry more than not. The story itself is supposed to be taking place in a futuristic type world, but the art hardly shows that at all and you’re left in a time limbo.

Now that I mentioned the story, let’s talk more about that. In short it was lacking. It didn’t have the depth I was hoping for at all. That’s not to say that it was horrible, it just felt very generic at points. The first two volumes follow Sue and Kazuhiko as the latter escorts the former to place she wants to go. Sue, is a government secret and they are attacked rather frequently on there journey. The two characters are hardly developed and there is so much singing that I feel a lot of story that could have been told just wasn’t. Volumes 3 & 4 are basically prequels to volumes 1 & 2. Volume 3 shows the previous romantic relationship Kazuhiko was in and Sue’s connection to it, while Volume 4 centers around Gingetsu and Ran and how they meet. In light of this I would recommend this reading order:

Volume 4

Volume 3

Volume 1

Volume 2

For me, Volume 4 was certainly the highlight of the series. I wish it was more about Gingetsu and Ran rather than Kazuhiko and Sue as they are just more interesting. Now, if they had used all four volumes to tell the story of Kazuhiko’s and Sue’s journey to Sue’s happiness instead of just the first two than I feel the story would have been better, more solid. There would certainly be more substance to it anyway.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad series, but it didn’t really bring anything new to the table. I was actually rather disappointed as I usually really like Clamp (not including the ending of Wish). I would recommend this series to people whom have already experienced some of Clamp’s other work, but if you are new to them or manga itself I would suggest checking out something else by them first like Kobato or Card Captor Sakura.

Clover 3

Rating: a solid 3 out of 5