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

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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

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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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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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

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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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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

It’s a God’s World (American Gods – A Book Review)

American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2001

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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Shadow Moon is released from prison a couple of days early due to losing his wife and best friend in a car accident. With nothing left for him in his hometown of Eagle Point, Indiana he accepts a job from the grifter, Mr. Wednesday, not questioning anything so long as he doesn’t have to kill anybody.

“You work for me. You protect me. You help me. You transport me from place to place…In the unlikely event of my death, you will hold my vigil…” (p. 47)

Things get strange quickly. He starts having dreams of a man with a white buffalo’s head. A leprechaun teaches him some new coin tricks. But, for Shadow it doesn’t feel so strange. His encounters with gods do not faze him so much as does his dead wife who comes to visit him on occasion.

Shadow drives across the U.S. with Mr. Wednesday to talk to people or rather, gods, about a coming storm, a war and it’s between new gods and old gods. From a museum to a funeral home to a small town where nothing bad happens ever, Shadow is meeting all sorts of Gods, like Easter and Horus.

Simply put, this story is phenomenal from the first page to the very last. The intertwining of mythologies with the modern age, which is always changing, creates a brand new magic all its own. Over and over again I found myself saying, “What the eff?”, but in such a good way. I haven’t been so surprised or educated by such originality in years. My brain was completely blown out of my skull.

For those who are lovers of mythology, and epic detail similar to Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, this is most certainly for you. The imagery pulled me into this book just like the movie The Pagemaster.

Pagemaster - buzzfeed

Books like this remind me of why it is that I write. They evoke more than just emotions or relatability. They pull me into a whole new world. I’m definitely going back and rereading this again sometime. I still feel like there’s so much more I don’t know that happened within the book and that makes me even happier.

Now, the show adapted from the book started on April 30th, 2017 and if you haven’t read the book it’ll be confusing at first. The show is an instant attention grabber. And Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow? *faints*

Shadow Moon

I can’t wait to see who comes in to portray Sam Black Crow. She’s is my favorite character. She’s got a lot of spunk and is one of the few normal friends that Shadow happens upon.

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Tune in to Starz on Sunday at 9PM if you are ready for this.

 

NEW!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book. If you consider excerpts/quotes to be spoilers then do not read any further.

 

Wednesday looked at him with amusement and something else—irritation perhaps. Or pride. “Why don’t you argue?” asked Wednesday. “Why don’t you exclaim that it’s all impossible? Why the hell do you just do what I say and take it all so fucking calmly?” (p. 433)

Definitely a question I asked during this whole book.

 

“What the hell? We’ll always have Peru ,” he said, under his breath, as Sam walked away from him. “And El Paso. We’ll always have that.” (p.729)

 

“Hey, Sweeney,” said Shadow, breathless, “why are we fighting?”

“For the joy of it,” said Sweeney, sober now, or at least no longer visibly drunk. “For the sheer unholy fucken delight of it. Can’t you feel the joy in your own veins, rising like the sap in the springtime?” (p. 55)

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Today’s song? Don’t Fear the Reaper, version by Denmark and Winter.