This Isn’t a Dead Baby Joke (Zom-B: Baby – A Book Review)

Zom-B: Baby (Zom-B #5)
Author: Darren Shan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

The Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated Z for a zombie teen at a crossroads in her undead life.

 

…Instead of finding answers,

B finds a horror beyond imagining…

After receiving the news that B was vaccinated and it’s the reason she’s a revitalized zombie with a soul per se, she’s also told that she’s meant to be a part of a war in good versus evil. Dr. Oystein tells her all of this and that she is a welcome addition to his Angels, the league of good revitalizeds that are training to defeat Mr. Dowling, the creepy clown that B has had a run-in with a few times. The crazy part? He also tells her that it’s God that has set him on this path.

It’s not easy to take in and B is struggling to choose whether she wants to be a part of the Angels and a part of this war. It’s all a little farfetched. B takes some time, wandering around London to figure out if this is the path for her. She’s not out to find a new family or friends, but this could give her purpose. As she journeys, she runs into an old acquaintance and…an old nightmare.

 

Zom-B in review so far…

Zom-B

Zom-B: Underground

Zom-B: City

Zom-B: Angels

B still faces being a zombie, but she’s found a place to fit in and a mission to be a part of. Or at least she thought she had. After getting strange news about Dr. Oystein’s and the revtializeds mission, she isn’t sure. Her time alone really puts things into perspective, especially after a run-in with Timothy the artist and those creepy babies she’s had nightmares about.

This moment is one I’ve waited for since the beginning of the series. B’s development and conscience has been a thing of intrigue. After getting this second chance at (un)life, she’s really taken into account how to live. When religion became the main subject, I couldn’t blame her for wanting to take some time to think about her next steps, especially with the background she has as a cruel bully and the family she came from where she endured abuse and the racism that her father promoted.  It’s actually what makes this one of my favorite installments in this series. There’s much more depth to her character.

Shan has done a phenomenal job keeping the story fresh in the city of London and also giving some serious creeps. I like that he stays in one place because then he focused on the action. There’s always somewhere new to check out and I really like because it’s like getting a tour. The story still remains fresh and original and while I’m still not sure if I like it or not, I’m still reading if only to see where and how this ends. There are still moments of blah here and there I wish I could skip is all.

 

Overall

Still garnering my attention with its little snippets of progression and gore and horror, this installation actually provokes thought and emotion with B. It seems while she may be battling whether she’ll be like her father or not, she also begins to confront who she wants to be and who she could be. The obstacles and new bits of info that come in the books, like the creepy babies and the artist Timothy, truly add a whole new layer to this series. This was probably one of my favorites. There was more inner turmoil versus zombie action and it truly brought more to everything.

 

Quotables:

“Three against three. Sounds about right to me. This world has always split down the middle when it comes to gurus. One man’s prophet is another man’s crackpot.” (Rage, p. 37)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Joke by Lifehouse.

 

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The Heroes of Olympus – A Review

Hey there, book hoarders!

How are you doing? Read anything good lately? I know I’ve finally completed The Heroes of Olympus. It’s the fourth of five book series that are a part of my New Year’s Resolution. The series took me on quite the ride! Below, you can check out the reviews on them.

The Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero

The Son of Neptune

The Mark of Athena

The House of Hades

The Blood of Olympus

Now, I still have The Dark Tower series and my bonus series: All Souls trilogy to complete. However, I must admit, my imagination and hopes were high than what I could complete. I won’t be completing my resolution. My entire goal this year was to get some series in. I love a story that goes on and on. The ones I picked were and are phenomenal. I haven’t been let down by them.

Now, this current one I just completed really got to the heart of one of my favorite subjects. Greek Mythology. The tales and heroes and villains and battles and magic and Gods…I could go on. It’s mystical and utterly breathtaking, though originally most of the mythos is dark and twisted and grim. Riordan has given them light and also gotten readers interested in them, keeping them alive. Quite beautiful.

THO is the second installment in the Percy Jackson series. I read Percy Jackson a few years back thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it. I accept that I was totally WRONG! LOL. Modernism collides with Greek Mythology perfectly, like it’s still with us today. Utterly breathtaking and splendid. This installment moved forward with the characters. They were growing up and so were these books in a way. There were new characters with old ones we know so well, like Percy and Annabeth. The development took storytelling to a whole new level. It’s something to be appreciated because life changes and Riordan was true to change.

Starting with goddess induced memory loss to traveling the world on a warship to battling monsters to fighting they’re way out of Tartarus. Old faces returned, like Calypso and Nico Di Angelo and it was incredibly welcoming. The adventure was new with new monsters and news foes as well as old ones. The introduction of Roman mythology and the gods and how they interweaved together was beautiful and incredible. Utterly magnificent. I enjoyed the series so much and really need to reread The Apollo Trials.

Did I have a favorite and least favorite in the series? Not really. They all brought something a little different that I enjoyed. And, I can’t express this enough, there was so much that was different because this isn’t just about Percy Jackson anymore. He’s moving on. Personally, and feel free to disagree, I think that’s where fans of PJ get a little lost. This is Percy and the others getting ready to move on and others getting introduced. Just my little opinion. On the main point, if I had to pick a favorite of the series it’d be the final book: The Blood of Olympus. It was the great battle that they’ve been waiting for and there was so much happening! All of my emotions came through while reading this one. The unity of two cultures coming together was exemplary.

In the end, do I recommend it? Definitely. It doesn’t matter what age you are. This is an amazing series. Start with Percy Jackson through.

Scarlet Reader

The Scarlet Reader

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Have you read this series? Maybe not? Let’s chat in the comments below!

All Ye Who Leaves the Underworld Are Lost (Abandon – A Book Reveiw)

Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: 2011
On Goodreads
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltHalf bolt

Rated T for tense, teen drama, and defiance against a broody grim reaper.

 

She knows what it’s like to die…

Now Death wants her back.

Pierce knows what it’s like to die because she’s died before. That doesn’t mean she’s over it or that talking about it is easy. More so, she’s being followed by Death, the Grim Reaper himself. He doesn’t like that she’s gotten away. The two share a strange, complicated bond.

For some reason, he has her afraid. Yet, she’d drawn to him. It doesn’t help that he shows up in the unlikeliest places at the unlikeliest times. She begins to worry that he may have come back not because he’s angry but to take her back to the Underworld.

 

Pierce is recovering from her death. Her parents have divorced. Her Dad turns out to be a real jerk that can’t take any kind of responsibility. She’s in a new town, going to a new school after getting kicked out of her last school. To make things a little more complicated, Death is following her, though he insists he isn’t. And, what he wants is her.

This book…huh…yeah. You ever read those types of books? That’s just the feeling I got from it, or rather, I didn’t get much of any feeling about it. In fact, I couldn’t even get sucked in. I was so hopeful, but nothing about this book pulled me in. I was really intrigued because it was about a girl that came back from the dead with a broody stalker-crush of a grim reaper, but that wasn’t really the case.

cringe - giphy

It was a struggle to keep tabs on what was happening. There were times that I had no idea what Pierce was going on about because she waited too long to reveal whatever it was she was going on about, like the special necklace she wears for example. More so, she bounced around so much that keeping track of the story took too much work to get enjoyment. It also didn’t help that there wasn’t much storytelling versus description. There was no advancement, no progression. Just loads of telling all of this stuff that previously happened and currently happened, but not with any real substance. It was a real bummer.

 

Overall

It’s never fun to be let down by a book, but it does happen on occasion. That was the case here. I’ve read Meg Cabot before—Pants on Fire, Avalon High—and I enjoy her work, but this one wasn’t one of them. It’s unfortunate. I love a great paranormal YA. They’re my jam. This one didn’t make the cut and will be donated.

 

Quotables:

“Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” (p. 153)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Lullaby by Nickelback.

 

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Teamwork Makes the Prophecy Work (The Blood of Olympus – A Book Review)

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

Blood of Olympus - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated H for Heroism in the darkest and bleakest moments and unconditional love and friendship.

 

Nico had warned them.

Jason’s ghost is his mother.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors.

Leo fears that his plan won’t work.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear.

The seven demigods of the prophecy to stop Gaea from rising come face to face with some of their worst fears and must find ways to confront and get past them in order to help Romans and Greek unite and to be able to defeat the goddess of the earth. Nico Di Angelo helps Reyna and Coach Hedge get to Camp Half-Blood with the statue, but the travel is wearing on him. If he shadow-travels too much he’ll become nothing more than a ghost. Annabeth and Piper face great fear and must lean into it if they hope to do their part in this prophecy. Battle is on the horizon and sacrifices will be made to save the world.

 

The Heroes of Olympus series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 5 of 5.

 

The Lost Hero review

The Son of Neptune review

The Mark of Athena review

The House of Hades review

First off, I’m sorry my lovely bookworms. It has been a little bit since I’ve put up a review. The holiday season is making work super crazy. I’m ridiculously glad Black Friday is over. Working that was exhausting. I’m still trying to catch up on sleep, but I have a review for you! WOO!

So, I totally got incredibly weepy throughout this book! Such a great ending and openings left at the end. Gah, the end! Beautiful and tragic, yet not! So many emotions! For those who have read this series, you get it! You traveled on all of these adventures with these demigods, watched them grow and develop and your heart drops just a bit at the end, knowing the journey is over. From a couple of cyclops to angry Romans to Hercules to Hecate and so much more. This was such an incredible book and a great ending, though not an ending, too.

I do have a bit of a bone to pick and it is spoiler-y. Piper captured a horn from the god of the Tiber and I found it to be sad because the other one had been stolen already. She manipulated him and his feeling to get it and it was pretty sucky. I do wish she would’ve returned it to him in some way. She was forced to trick him and I think it would’ve done so much good to return it to him. The parts surrounding Piper and the horn just broke my heart a tad.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

There was so much acceptance, realizations, and teamwork. In the end, while the seven demigods worked together to defeat Gaea, everyone united to fight an epic battle. I loved that it wasn’t ever just about one single person but about everybody because it affected everybody and each person had a part to play. Even the gods came swinging in and it’s always pretty cool when they can get past their high horses to help out the kids they don’t ever see.

 

Overall

A fantastic conclusion to the epic Percy Jackson universe, yet also opening to more stories to come. I definitely need to reread the Apollo trials now. LOL. They’re going to be so much more different than before.

 

Quotables:

“Fear can’t be reasoned with. Neither can hate. They’re like love. They’re almost identical emotions…” (Piper, p. 206)

“A Roman does not wait for death. She seeks it out, and meets it on her own terms.” (Reyna, p. 373)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Afterman by Coheed and Cambria.

 

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Way Down We Go (The House of Hades – A Book Review)

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

House of Hades - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated H for heart-wrenching moments of near-death, unexpected truths, and going to hell and back, literally.

 

Hazel stands at a crossroads.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed.

After losing Percy and Annabeth, the remaining crew of the Argo II could go home to stop the war that’s brewing between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter or go to the Doors of Death where the two demigods will be waiting on the other side to close the doors between the mortal world and the underworld. Whichever they choose, time isn’t a virtue. Gaea, mother earth and of giants, is close to awakening and destroying the world.

Meanwhile, Annabeth and Percy, in Tartarus, discover old enemies and a brand-new meaning of pain as they journey to the Doors of Death to close them. Some enemies turn into friends and there are some enemies they never expected to cross paths with.

 

The Heroes of Olympus series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 4 of 5.

Catch up on previous reviews of the series:

The Lost Hero review

The Son of Neptune review

The Mark of Athena review

 

This book was non-stop action and anxiousness and I loved it! Compelling adventure and so many heartfelt moments that made the story even more loveable. Dark times and temptations come for each character, leaving them faced with decisions that truly change everything. I was shocked that’s for sure.

Scarlet Reader

WiffleGif

The character development is unbelievable and astounding! The return of familiar characters, like Nico De Angelo and Calypso, was also welcoming. Seeing them again also brought to the surface that a few things have come to bite Percy Jackson in the butt. I felt for these characters, but also praise Riordan for showing that even the most heroic and caring people can fall on the wayside and be subject to misgivings, even if it’s unintentional, and that’s really important. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t take away from the kind of person you are.

The subject of love is quite a biggie as well, during this book. There’s even a harrowing encounter with Cupid, and as with every god they’ve encountered it was dangerous and life-altering. (I’m actually loving all the different gods they encounter. It gives a lot of kudos to gods people don’t typically think about.) While Percy, Annabeth, and a few others find themselves locked in it, others struggle, like Leo and Nico. While one suffers from being the odd man out the other struggles with feeling betrayed by someone they thought they cared deeply about. The touching moments met the heartbreaking ones, really showing that navigating emotions isn’t easy no matter what age you are.

SYBIS

Mrwgifs

The setting of the book splits in two, though the journeys lead to the same place. Percy and Annabeth brave Tartarus while Hazel, Frank, Piper, Jason, and Leo are topside, working to get to them. There’s such a stark difference with each POV of the book and each of the places the characters travel to and it’s so important. All of this keeps the book from feeling dry and drawn out. Utterly breathtaking waters and monsters, and completely enamoring places that’ll shake you up and leave your heart overwhelmed.

 

Overall

True love and loyalty is always a theme in the Percy Jackson series, but this book reminded me of how harrowing a hero can be and sometimes how unrewarding and rewarding it can feel. That promises aren’t easy to keep. That even when it’s hard, you must be strong in the face of adversity. I repeat myself by saying Riordan is phenomenal and that you should read his books, but if it hasn’t sunken in yet, maybe it will this time. LOL.

 

Quotables:

“The past is close to the surface in this place. In ancient times, two great Roman roads met here, News was exchanged. Markets were held. Friends met, and enemies fought. Entire armies had to choose a direction. Crossroads are always places of decisions.” (Hecate to Hazel, p. 22)

“Monsters are the zits on the skin of Tartarus…” (Annabeth, p. 161)

“The dead see what they believe they will see. So do the living. That is the secret.” (Pluto, p. 190)

“Love is on every side. And no one’s side. Don’t ask what Love can do for you.” (Cupid, p. 286)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

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It’s In the Stars, He Said, It’s in You (Stargazing at Noon – A Book Review)

Stargazing at Noon
Author: Amanda Torroni
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated D for being positively divine and devastatingly spellbinding, reaching through my heart, body, and soul.

 

Things I learned from the moon:

at times you feel like a sliver of yourself.

There is beauty in this too.

An expansion of Torroni’s original book of the same name, more poems have been added, covering all kinds of material, far and wide. Filled with gorgeous metaphor, weaving incredible images in your mind ranging from philosophers delving into the planets to navigating intimacy like one maps the stars.

 

Absolutely breathless. Soft giggles of wonderment. Deep sighs of daydreams and longing. This is my absolute favorite book of poetry. I’m pretty sure it’s going to rest by my head for the rest of time and the pages will get worn and bent from being turned and read so much.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

I’m so very in love with the moon. There’s never a moment I don’t admire her. To come across a book of poetry that utilizes the moon with heartache, love, loss, and nostalgia has swept me away completely. I’m pretty sure I left my body. I couldn’t put this book down and by the time I did it was nearly 5:30am. So. Worth it.

It’s a work of art. I don’t say that just because words and poetry are art, but because the cover with its rippling water that reminds me of the way summer sun reflects on the ocean or glimmers on a lake as the sun begins to set. Even inside the book, there are bursts of unbelievably beautiful, curving and wild font that brought so much more to the poem. Each section was marked by a phase of the moon, from its beginning to end.

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

 

Overall

This was a moving book for me. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t enamored and mystified and completely lost in its words. Recommended? Hell yes.

 

Quotables:

I don’t feel like this is a quotable book, but here are a few poems that turned me into a puddle of sighs.

 

Pop Rocks & Soda Pop (p. 10)




We were electric that night
the power lines collapsed

& you laughed because
our cell phones died

& I, for the life of me,
could not find a flashlight.

There were plenty of candles,
not a single match, 
& 
only the palest moonlight

catching your skin
through open windows

as we listened to the winds howl
                        
                  the thunder clap
                        
                  the sky break
                        
                  the branches snap

& we explored the storms

that have long existed,

braved the blizzards within,

traded breaths & tangled limbs,

all of this until the winds calmed
                        
                  the thunder died
                        
                  the sky healed
                        
                  the branches sighed

& we collapsed like power lines

because we were electric that night.






Stargazing (p. 12)


I wasn’t admiring

the freckles on your skin;

I was stargazing.

& when I said I wanted

to make love to you,

I meant all of you.

& when you felt my fingers

tracing poetry

over parts of you that

were supposedly broken,

know that all I saw
were prisms, refracted light,

& everything I wanted

to make mine.






The Brightest Thing (p. 16)


I need you to know something—

that when you’re feeling defeated

beat up & down
on your luck

when you feel like you haven’t done

anything of enough

that the most important things in life

cannot be built with your hands.


& even on days you feel burnt out
                        
                   dim in the darkness
                        
                   lacking sheen


I need you to know—

you’re still the

brightest damn thing

I’ve ever seen.






Two Truths, One Lie (p. 82)



The kitchen table appears and an arm’s reach

between us. We play two truths and one lie.

   

   1. Some nights you stay awake counting stars. One for
      
      every regret. Two for every time you wished you were
      
      someone else.

   

   2. You don’t love me.

  
 
   3. A black wolf visits you while you dream.



You never dream.

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Navigator by MOONZz & Restless Modern.

 

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A Dark New World (Wicked Saints – A Book Review)

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)
Author: Emily A. Duncan
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated X because you won’t trust a single one of these people with your life unless you want to doom the world or yourself.

 

A girl named Nadya, who hears the whispers of the gods inside her head.

A prince surrounded by desperate suitors and deadly assassins.

A monster hidden behind pale, tortured eyes—and a smile that cuts like a knife.

Nadya has grown up in the monastery for most of her life, revering the gods, and she is the only known cleric that is able to communicate with all of them and not just the one she is bound to. After the monastery is attacked, she runs into a band of unexpected allies that seek to end the brutal war between Kalyazin and Tranavia, a god-fearing land and a godless one. With the high prince on their trail, it may seem tricky. But, the high prince is also trying to escape the suitors and assassins around him. A prophecy of dark magic and heresy that has been long known is put in motion and two countries may be in worse danger than this war never-ending.

 

I guess the perfect place to start with any review is stating right off the bat if you enjoyed or disliked a book, or at least that typically how I like to get started. To be honest, I’m not sure which direction I lean. Complex. That’s it. There was a lot of hype (mostly my own) about this book and it was even on the NYT bestsellers list for a while. This is one I’m going to want to reread later on. While the cover is completely mystifying and is really what attracted me—following the mini-blurb on the jacket inside the book—I really find that this story, this journey really stands next to those like LOTR (J. R. R. Tolkien), Mortal Engines (Phillip Reeve), and The Magicians (Lev Grossman). There is so much attention to not only detail but emotions.

War, religion, faith, and love are the strongest themes I came across while reading. The characters were always questioning everything as well as themselves, except for Rashid and Parijahan of course. Those two knew to the very point of their hearts what they wanted without a single drop of doubt. I truly loved those characters. Great for relief in intense moments and were proof that—in this book anyhow—there are people you can trust at face value because they’re upfront with everything with nothing to hide. Can’t guarantee anybody else in this book. LOL. Not even the main characters: Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz.

What is happening

This story was pretty dark. It had me questioning every page. I certainly didn’t trust any of the characters. Serefin is obviously an alcoholic which really bothered the heck out of me. Nearly every time his POV came up he was waking up with a nasty hangover. Each of these characters really struggled, and I get that they live in war-torn countries, but damn, they are messed the eff up. It was making me go crazy.

The cult-y touch with the blood magic versus what the gods of this world provide was epic though. That had me impressed. That, and the histories offered at the beginning of each chapter. So much depth!

Scarlet Reader

Giphy

 

Overall

I truly wish I had more excitement. There’s so much to talk about, but I don’t have any enthusiasm in me about it, which is a bummer. I think it’s just because so much was loaded into it that I was having a bit of trouble keeping up and catching on. Duncan really delved into her creation of a world whole-heartedly and it’s amazing. This isn’t a dislike review. Those are much more different. This is definitely a recommend for those who love fantasy and magic. Certainly, worth a shot.

 

Quotables:

“The was magic, it was power, it was mankind stepping out of the shadows and finding out the world had been kept in the dark by these gods.” (p. 50)

“Blood was not to be spilled for the sake of power. Magic was a divine appointment from the gods.” (p. 113)

“A boy made king of monsters for a kingdom of the damned.” (p. 346)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? When the Darkness Comes by Grace Fulmer.

 

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