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Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover of The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
4 Stars

Percy Jackson finds himself entering a camp of Roman demigods near San Francisco with only the vaguest memory of who he is. The Romans accept him and he finds himself on a quest with Hazel and Frank, a couple of other demigods. They must make their way to Alaska, "The Land Beyond the Gods," defeat a giant, win back the Roman standard, and free Thanatos, aka Death. All in about four days. No sweat.

As much as I loved reading Percy Jackson in print, I have to say that I love listening to Joshua Swanson's narration of this spin-off series even more. He sounds as excited as I feel to find out what's going to happen next. He does a great job of voicing all the different characters, and he makes all these smart alecky demigods sound as smart alecky as they really are. I can't recommend this series on audio highly enough!

I do really like this series so far. I seem to have never reviewed the first book, The Lost Hero, but I did enjoy it. I mostly listen to audio books in the car but I had to bring this one in the house with me and listen as I cooked or cleaned or even just got all my stuff ready for the next day. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.

Percy sounds a little older and wiser in this book. He's kind of filling a big brother role for Hazel and Frank. He's been on enough quests to know how it works, even if he has lost his memory. He doesn't dominate the other two; he acknowledges that Frank is the leader and he lets Frank make the tough calls. I respect him for that. He's still hilarious though and I just love him.

I felt bad for Hazel but I liked her a lot. She's carrying around some serious baggage from her past. She sees this quest as a chance to correct some mistakes she's made. She's a tough warrior in her own right and wise beyond her years.

Frank's pretty cool too. His demigod ability is awesome! He's been going through a rough time as well. It was nice to watch him dealing with that and growing past his insecurities and into his abilities.

The book is full of action and humor and is a fast read in any format. Rick Riordan fans will not be disappointed. I'll be picking up the third book pretty soon, I'm sure!

Listen to an excerpt.

Find author Rick Riordan on his website, his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Buy The Son of Neptune at


I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted at Book Journey

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Posted:
Review: I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb--4 Stars

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier--4 Stars

Winner of Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas

Read:
Cover of The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy

The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy



Cover of The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, read by Joshua Swanson



Cover of Cold Granite by Stuart McBride

Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride

Currently Reading:
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt

Up Next:
I just downloaded A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (read by Jayne Entwistle), so I'll start listening to that on the drive to work in the morning. I want to re-read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry before my book club meeting at the end of the month, so hopefully I'll get to that this week as well.

What are you reading this week?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

Winner of Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas

Thursday, April 10, 2014


The winner of my paperback copy of Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas is

LuAnn

from


Congratulations! I'll be sending you an email shortly. Thanks to all who entered!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4 Stars

So, since I pretty much slammed Noah last week, I thought I'd tell you about a movie I did like. We went out to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have fairly solid geek cred, but that's based mostly on my love of fantasy novels and the occasional tv show. I don't read superhero graphic novels. I'm not knocking anyone who does, they're just not really my thing. I love the Iron Man movies and at least liked all the others that fall into the "Marvel Universe" but I only really got hooked when we saw The Avengers. Man. That movie was pretty much perfect. Plenty of action and smart one-liners. What more could I ask for? When Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC, my husband and I were quickly hooked on that too. We rush through dinner to make sure we catch it and if we're running late, we sit in front of the tv and eat. So now we're to the point where we have to catch the movies in the theater, the sooner the better.

I liked the first Captain America but didn't love it. The guy's just too goody-two-shoes for me. All his talk of loyalty and honor just makes me feel like a lesser mortal. In his second movie, he's starting to question his orders and I like him better for it. He's not sure if he's doing the right thing but he desperately wants to. That, I can relate to.

There's plenty of action (And I could follow it! I hate action scenes that are too fast and complicated.) and a few laughs along the way. I kind of figured out who the Winter Soldier was early in the movie but I quickly dismissed my suspicions. I shouldn't have because I was right. It added a whole new element and made it that much better.

Speaking of The Winter Soldier, he was pretty bad-ass. The way he moved and acted--I can't describe it except to say that he was awesome.

New (to me) characters were introduced and old ones were expanded upon. The ending has left me wondering where on Earth everything is going to go from here.

Oh, and I now have a new nickname for my husband thanks to this movie. Bonus. :-)

Tip: There are apparently two extra scenes in the credits. My cousin tried to text me to tell me to stay but I forgot my phone in the car so I only caught one. Dangit.

I had a good giggle when George Takei posted this on Facebook today:


this

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

Review: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cover of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
4 Stars

Malala Yousafzai was only fifteen when she was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban for speaking out for education for everyone around the world, but especially for girls, and especially in Muslim countries. She miraculously survived and now has an even larger audience for her message.

I think I'd heard a little bit about Malala before this book came out but only a little. Then I just happened to catch her on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart one night and I was blown away. This young lady is intelligent, well-spoken and seems to be fearless in speaking her mind. I can't remember if Jon Stewart asked if he could adopt her or vote for her (probably both) but I echo that sentiment. I knew I had to have this book after seeing her speak.

The Malala in these pages is everything I expected her to be. She makes it clear that she's not perfect but her conviction rings throughout the book. She knows it is one of her basic human rights to get an education. She has a brain and she wants to use it. She is disturbed by the spread of a version of Islam that she doesn't recognize. She doesn't want the Taliban keeping the populace in ignorance and gaining even more control. She thinks we should all make an educated choice in our beliefs, whether those beliefs are personal, political, or religious.

She begins by painting a picture of Pakistan as she saw it before the Taliban started gaining control. It sounds like a beautiful place with a troubled past. Then she tells about all the ways, both little and big, that the Taliban started to affect daily life. This was the scariest part for me. It felt like it could happen anywhere. It seemed to begin with a radio show and a man who slowly gained power by starting with small statements that a lot of people agreed with and then slowly getting more and more fanatical until he had too much power for anyone to stop him. It was scary. Then Malala's valley is evacuated as the Pakistan army and the Taliban finally fight for control.

Throughout all of this, Malala's father was an outspoken opponent of all the radical changes. As the owner of a school, he was especially outspoken about every child's right to receive an education. Malala wanted to join him in that fight since it directly affected her. Her father started receiving death threats and losing friends as they were murdered for similar beliefs. He carried on though and Malala did too.

As I read, I wondered what I would do in their shoes. I'll be honest: I'm more of a keep-my-mouth-shut-and-my-head-down-and-hope-I-make-it-through kind of person. But that's how these crazy agendas gain so much ground; they count on the majority of people having exactly that reaction. When we wonder how one person can ever make a difference, we can always find an example of one person who already has. To that list, we can add Malala Yousafzai. She's one of our bright hopes for the future. Pick up this book and find out why.

Read an excerpt.

Malala has set up The Malala Fund. "The Malala Fund believes that each girl, and boy, has the ability to change the world and that all she needs is a chance. To give girls this chance, the Fund aspires to invest in efforts that empower local communities, develop innovative solutions that build upon traditional approaches, and deliver not just basic literacy, but the tools, ideas and networks that can help girls find their voices and create a better tomorrow." Check out http://malalafund.org/, https://www.facebook.com/MalalaFund, and https://twitter.com/MalalaFund.

Buy I Am Malala at


Nonfiction Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted at Book Journey

It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Giveaway:
Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas. Enter by midnight Monday night!

Posted:
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, read by Mark Bramhall--3 Stars

Movie Review: Noah--2 Stars

Review: Sovereign by C. J. Sansom--3 Stars

Winner of my giveaway of my ARC of The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Author as an Old Woman by Sena Jeter Naslund

Read:
Nothing finished this week.

Currently Reading:
The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, read by Joshua Swanson

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt

Cold Granite by Stuart McBride

Up Next:
I should finish The Lady in the Tower in a couple of days. I'll start reading The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi after that.

What are you reading this week?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

Winner of The Fountain of St. James Court by Sena Jeter Naslund


The winner of my ARC of The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Author as an Old Woman by Sena Jeter Naslund is

Elisabeth

Congratulations! I'll be sending you an email shortly. Thanks to all who entered!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site. My opinions are completely my own.

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