Percy Jackson Live Follow-Up

Hey Guys!!

Sorry it took me a while to get back to you, but this week was bananas!!!

So, in my last post, I was headed to Dallas with my sis-in-law to see The Lightening Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. It was worth every penny and the drive up there!!! It was so much fun!!

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For those of you who are Percy fans, it was DEFINITELY more true to the story than the movie *rolls eyes* That is to say, it doesn’t follow the book exactly. It definitely took some liberties with the story and changed some things, but it didn’t take the story, tear it apart, add in pieces from another book, and then burn them both to the ground. It really was great! I wish that I could see it again. The actors that were chosen were great, and the songs were wonderful (I’m sad that I didn’t buy the soundtrack). They really did a great job putting the book in to a couple of hour musical. If you are a musical fan and get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it!

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Have You Met Uncle Rick?!

Hey Everyone! 

I hope you’ve all had an amazing week! Mine has ben incredibly long, but my excitement about this weekend is pretty much eclipsing it all! That is actually what the inspiration behind this post is. 

I know that I have told you all before how big of a Rick Riordan fan I am, especially the Percy Jackson world. I am heading out of town with my sister-in-law this weekend to go see The Lightening Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical! You guys! I am so excited!! 

With that being said, I thought that I would make a post to introduce everyone to Rick Riordan’s (affectionately known as Uncle Rick) Worlds. 

Here we go! 

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians (complete)

5 books

6 companion books

1 illustrated book

3 graphic novels

1 coloring book

This is probably the most well known of Riordan’s series, and the beginning of the “middle grade/YA adventures”. This is where we meet 12-year old Percy, who has some personal issues. Come to find out, those issues are due to his being the Demi-God some of Poseidon. We then get to follow Percy and his friends on their epic quest, after it is believed (by Zeus and the other Gods) that Percy stole Zeus’ master lightening bolt. 

This was my introduction to Riordan’s work, and I fell in love from the start. I loved Percy’s snark, the laughs and adventures contained within, and that he wrote strong female characters. This series is also a great way to introduce kids (or adults!) to Greek Mythology, as they’ll learn and have a great time doing it! 

The Heroes of Olympus (complete)

5 books

2 companion books (shares with PJO)

1 graphic novel

1 coloring book (shares with PJO)

This is the series that follows the events of the final book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It’s really just a continuation of the series. We see the same characters from the original series, and meet new characters in the form of the Roman Demi-Gods. I, personally, believe that these books continue to get better and better as they go. Just as a side note, my favorite book in the run falls in this series. It’s the third book in HOO: Mark of Athena. These books are definitely “Percy” books, but maybe a bit more grown up than the first series (not so much that kiddos won’t be able to move from one to the other, they just grow from one book series to the next, so the tone grows with them). While I truly enjoy all of his MG series, if pressed, I would say that this is my favorite. I really loved the addition of the Romans in this series, and thought that they added so much depth and fun. If you enjoy PJO, you have to continue on to HOO! 

The Kane Chronicles (complete)

3 books

3 companion books (1 crossover shared w/PJO)

2 graphic novels

This series follows Carter and Sadie Kane, who were split up after their mother died. Sadie went to live with their grandparents, while Carter travelled with their Egyptologist father. When their father brought them back together in an attempt to make things right, everything went terribly wrong. He unleashed the Egyptian God, Set, who banished him and sent the Kane children fleeing from the waking Egyptian Gods. They then set off on an adventure that takes them around the globe in an attempt to stop Set and find out the truth about their family and themselves. 

Where PJO and HOO focused on Greek and Roman mythology, The Kane Chronicles treats the reader to all of the fun that comes from Egyptian mythology. Reading this series, you will definitely be able to recognize Riordan’s voice as this carries the same wit and humor as his other series’. 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (ongoing)

3 books (so far)

1 companion book

Magnus has lived on the streets of Boston since the night that his mom told him to flee their home. Something killed her the night, and left Magnus to survive on his own. Now someone is looking for him, his Uncle Randall, the one that his mother warned him about. Magnus falls right in to his trap, and once captured Randall begins to spout nonsense about Norse history and some weapon that has been lost for thousands of years that is supposedly Magnus’ birthright? Magnus remembers being told stories of the Norse Gods and the Doomsday to come, but they are not incredibly clear. When the fire giant, Surt, attacks the city Magnus must choose between his personal safety and that of others. His choice marked the end…and a whole new beginning for him. 

This series, obviously, focuses on Norse mythology and is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. It is closely behind HOO in the order of favorites for me. It has some of the most interesting and complex characters of any of the series that Riordan has written, in my opinion. The world building is beautiful and detailed. If you note the last name, Magnus is Annabeth from PJO/HOO’s cousin, so we have gotten to see a little bit of crossover in seeing Annabeth and Percy pop up in the series, so far! I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next! 

The Trials of Apollo (ongoing)

 3 books (Book 4 coming on September 24th)

1 companion book (shares with PJO/HOO)

This book takes us back to the world of Percy Jackson and the Camp Half-Blood life. Set after the events of HOO, we find the God Apollo has been cast out of Olympus by Zeus for his part in the events that took place. When he lands in New York, he has taken the form of a regular teenaged boy with no powers and no protection and he must find a way to earn Zeus’ favor before all of the other Gods and monsters find a way to destroy him for good. There’s only one place to go, if he can make it there alive, Camp Half-Blood. 

I am really enjoying this series and being back in the Camp Half-Blood world. It is not fully set in the PJO/HOO world, but we do get to see some of the characters come in and out pretty regularly throughout the books. Apollo was always a pretty funny God in the previous series’, and that is no exception here. The partner that he has in Meg just makes it even better. I have September’s release pre-ordered, and am looking forward to a fun read! 

Tres Navarre (complete?)

7 books

This is an adult mystery series about a P.I. who returns to his Texas home town to save the one-time love of his life and solve his father’s murder a decade after it happened. 

The last book that was written in this series was published in 2007, so I am assuming that it is complete, however I am unsure of that. I hav not read this series, but I do have it on my tbr. This is Riordan’s only adult series, but if it is anything like the rest, it has to be great! 

 

I hope you guys enjoyed meeting Uncle Rick and learning about his body of work (or hearing my thoughts on it, if you already knew!). I’ll let you know how the musical was when I get back! Have a great weekend!!!

 

Always,

-T

New Series from Darynda Jones!!!

I told y’all I’d keep you updated, so here it is!!!

Say hello to A Bad Day for Sunshine!!!

Newly sworn-in sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when her hometown becomes the center of not only a national manhunt, but a missing persons case as well. When both the FBI and the US Marshalls descend on the small town of Del Sol, New Mexico—a tourist town that up until that point could boast only one crime wave on record, and that involved an elderly flasher named Doug—both the established citizens of Del Sol and the new, rich elite are questioning Sunshine’s skills. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine’s cup truly runneth over.

Enter a sexy FBI agent named Carter and a sultry US Marshal named Vincent, both of whom find Sunshine an eleven on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. But can their attention erase the feelings she still has for her childhood crush, the dark and elusive Levi Ravinder? If she were to judge based on the one scalding kiss they shared as teenagers, the answer to that would be a resounding no.

Doesn’t this sound amazing??!! This is coming out in April of 2020, and I can not wait for some more Darynda magic!!

I’ll spill more details when I have some!!

Here There Are Monsters

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Author: Amelinda Berube

Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 352

Skye has grown up being the protector to her younger sister, Deirdre. Deirdre was always caught up in her games of queens, castles, and knights, and drug Skye in to them with her. She named Skye the Queen of Swords, the one that would protect her against everything, and that’s what she became. She also became an outcast because of it, the weird girl’s weird sister. When they moved to their new home, far away from their previous residence, Skye felt it was time for a new start. When they arrive, Deirdre is delighted that their new home is surrounded by woods and swamps to explore and create new kingdoms in. Skye, however, is done playing Deirdre’s games and makes a new circle of friends to call her own. Left to care for Deirdre while their parents are out one evening, Skye falls asleep and is awoken by her mother frantically looking for Deirdre. Deirdre is gone. Rescue crews continue searching to no avail, until Skye knows that she is the one who must go and find her. She must become her sister’s protector and play the games once again. 

Let’s start with the cover of this book. How creepy and beautiful is that?! It’s very fitting with the tone and story, and I just love it. Now that I got that out of the way, on to the book itself. It started out a bit slow for me, so I was a bit anxious that I wasn’t going to like it and I was not happy about that, as I went in to this very hopeful (this is definitely my kind of read!). Fortunately, it did pick up after a bit and I got in to it. The story is told in alternating time periods, as it flashes back between earlier in the girls’ childhood and present day. I did enjoy that as it gives a clearer picture as to what may have led up to the present day situation. The characters, especially the main characters, were well developed. The two main characters, Deirdre and Skye, however, were not particularly likeable characters in my opinion. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the main characters do not have to be likable for a book to read well. I do know that some readers are put off by this, so I wanted to throw it in in case this is a sticking point for you. There are some supernatural elements that come in to play as the book moves on, and this was a fun element. It is a very atmospheric book, which I believe may have been my favorite thing about the writing of this book. The author did a wonderful job of building the world/atmosphere and making it fit the story well. Where the beginning of the book suffered from a bit of a slow start, the end could have used a bit of a slow down. It felt a bit rushed to tie everything up, and left me feeling like a may have missed something. Overall, though, it was a solid read and if the author were to write something else in the same genre, I’d pick it up. 

This book will be released on August 1.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to review this.

Black Wolf (Natalya Ivanova, Book 2)

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Author: G.D. Abson

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller/Noir

Publisher: Mirror Books

Pages: 336

A woman is found dead outside of St. Petersburg. After investigating, Captain Natalya Ivanova links her to an anti-Putin activist group. A government group that has been looking in to this group steps in and shuts down her investigation before it gets anywhere. After another activist disappears, Natalya is forced to go undercover in an attempt to discover what is really going on and find the murderer. This decision could put not only her career, but her family and personal life at risk. 

I was hoping for something a bit different than my “normal” thriller when I received this copy of Black Wolf, and boy did I get it with this wonderfully written crime fiction noir. This novel grabbed me and pulled me in to the story from the very beginning, and I did not want to put it down. The writing is beautifully atmospheric, and although I’ve never been to Russia, I could picture everything vividly. The story is very much character driven, so thankfully the author does a wonderful job of writing complex and multifaceted characters. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and their stories, especially Natalya, who presented a wonderful strong female lead. This was exactly the gritty crime drama that I was looking for, and I enjoyed it immensely! This is the first of Abson’s books that I have read, but it is the second in this series. The first is Motherland, and you can bet that I will be picking that one up! 

This title releases on May 16. 

Many thanks to Mirror Books for the ARC! 

Small Kingdoms and Other Stories

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Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Publisher: JABerwocky

Pages: 176

Anne DeWitt is not the kind of principal that one wants to cross. Before coming to Travis High she had quite a different job at a very different type of school, and a different name. That was before the incident, of course. She now has her new name, new job, new town, and new life- unless her old one catches up with her. Anne likes her new life, a lot in fact, and she’s willing to do anything to protect it… anything. She may have to put that resolve to the test when her past makes an appearance in her present. 

As a long time fan of Charlaine Harris’ work, I was very excited to receive her latest work for review, and I was not disappointed! This is a book of four short stories centered around Anne and another character (introduced in the first story) Holt, and their exploits under new identities and new lives. Both of the main characters are well developed the first story and continue to become more fleshed out as the stories continue on. The secondary characters that are introduced in each story are also interesting and well developed. These stories were very different from my favorite series’ of Harris’ (Midnight, Texas is one of my favorite trilogies!), but it is definitely written with her voice and style. While I certainly wouldn’t say that it is laugh out loud funny, there is some great snark and sass combined with a bit of dark humor from these characters that I found quite enjoyable. I truly didn’t want these stories to end, and hope that there are more to come from this world! 

Many thanks to JABerwocky for the ARC! 

This is out May 28! 

 

Here With You (Well Paired, Book 4)

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Author: Marianne Rice

Series: Well Paired

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 350

Grace has always been the wild one in the LeBlanc family. She lived in Europe, but has returned to Crystal Cove to try and escape the scandal she created there. She and her sister have not had the best relationship, but Grace is hoping that she can keep her mistakes and string of poor decisions from her. Brady has lived his life on his family’s blueberry farm, and took over running it when his father passed away. He never thought much of Grace LeBlanc and her wild ways, until his mother becomes ill and she comes to help. Will he still think that she is worth falling for when he discovers her secrets? 

This is the fourth installment in the Well Paired series by Marianne Rice, and I think that this may be my favorite on in this series so far. I love these two characters so much! Grace is beautifully flawed in a way that I think that most of us can understand and relate to, at least on some level. She’s trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. Brady is the stable, steady guy, who is trying to do all of the things that he needs to do in order to keep his family and his family’s business running. As they have been in all of Rice’s books that I have read thus far, the characters are well rounded and full. I went through the full range of emotions while reading this book, but in the end I was left feeling full and happy. I can’t wait to read what comes next from this author!