Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Series Review: The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Author: Rick Riordan
Books: The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, The Blood of Olympus
Series Rating: 4.5/5 stars- a great follow up series but not without it's flaws
Book #1's rating: 4/5 stars- Enjoyable but I need Percy. Leo Valdez is amazing.
Book #2's rating 4.75/stars- PERRRRCCCCY
Book #3's rating: 5/5 stars- CRYING EVERYTHING IS JUST NOT OKAY
Book #4's rating: 5/5 stars - breathtaking in the perfect balance
Book #5's rating: 5/5 stars - clean, enjoyable, I really loved it, but I do have to give it a small slap on the hand

Synopsis of The Lost Hero:

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.


*just a heads up guys, I'm anticipating this to be a looong review

So if you guys don't know, The Heroes of Olympus is the spin off series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians! There will be spoilers for Percy Jackson, but not (any major spoilers, but minor tidbits of knowledge) for The Heroes of Olympus. (except for the spoiler section cause how can I not?) So if you haven't read Percy Jackson- WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GET ON BOARD ALREADY EVEN I DID IT AND I PROCRASTINATE ON EVERYTHING.


That aside, I will not be doing a fangirl reaction, not because I didn't fangirl, but because god knows how long that section will be on top of this review that's already going to be pretty long.

The Heroes of Olympus was a bandwagon I jumped on late... like Percy Jackson, but this time I did hold on with a purpose: that I wouldn't have to die with anxiety for the books to come out. HAHAHA. So yes, I feel really bad for all the people who had to wait for House of Hades... but yeah I read Mark of Athena after it came out. >:) I did have to wait for Blood of Olympus though.

While I enjoyed The Heroes of Olympus, I definitely can think of flaws in this series that made me prefer the Percy Jackson series more. DON'T GET ME WRONG: this is series is fantabulous. It has one of my most favourite characters in it and one of my otps. But Percy Jackson just happens to be more fantabulous.

In this review I mainly want to talk about the characters and then just a mishmash of other thoughts. OH AND THE ENDING BRIEFLY (but more about that in the spoiler section hehe)



Before I talk about each character individually, I want to say that my personal opinion for The Heroes Olympus is that there were too many characters. I thought seven demigods was too much, and I would've been happy with five, plus Nico and Reyna. I feel like everything was so scattered and some characters could've been completely eliminated.


Let's start with the controversial Jason Grace. I know from other reviewers that they think Jason... is a bit useless. I personally don't think so- I definitely agree that he wasn't too defined in the beginning of the series, but I did warm up to him a little at House of Hades and beginning of Blood of Olympus. His character growth is most apparent there and his internal conflict is a good and important one once Rick Riordan introduces the idea of two camps. Having a son of Zeus to kind of balance Percy out is definitely... interesting. Two children of the Big Three... there's got to be some fun interesting demigod powers on display.


You know how people thought Jason was useless? I thought Piper was beyond useless for at least the first three books. I warmed up a little to her for House of Hades and Blood of Olympus but I still thought she was annoying. I feel like Rick Riordan tried to "break" the stereotypes with her character and it didn't really work on me... and she just wasn't interesting, and truthfully speaking, plain annoying. I feel like she was only needed for her charmspeak, and... yeah. You know which demigod I would get rid of.

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Remember how in the beginning I said this series has one of my favourite characters and otp? Well otp aside, LEO VALDEZ IS THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER. I loved this damn boy. There was something about him being the single of the seven that's not matched up with everyone else that gave him an edge of vulnerability and he just tried so hard to be strong and hide it. OHMYGODS. He's absolutely hilarious, probably he and Percy are my favourite comic relief during the story, and just the way he acts and how loyal he is to everyone makes him so much more of a dynamic character than Piper and even Jason. By far, of the seven demigods, beside Annabeth and Percy, I definitely connected to Leo the most and understood his backstory and character best.

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He's Percy FREAKING Jackson. Done. No more words needed.

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I originally was a bit iffy on Annabeth's return. I loved her in Percy Jackson. But as soon as she was alone without Percy, it almost seemed like it snuffed out the spark in her. Which totally makes sense, but makes for a bit of a downer. But I grew to love her even more in Mark of Athena. Her quest and part in this prophecy is something really fearless and is proved that she is meant to be here, even though she doesn't have lightning like Jason or control over everything water like Percy.

Also PERCEBETH. Just. Sigh. Seedweed Brain and Wise Girl. Forever an otp of mine.


I feel like Hazel is the counterpart to Piper. She's not annoying, and I actually quite liked her. She's very quiet and determined, but when the girl needs something done, SHE GETS IT DONE. She might not be the most talented and use her powers sparingly throughout the story but she is a comforting presence and how she makes Frank embarrassed and blushy is funny as hell.


My homie. Basically. How can I not love a fellow Asian Vancouverite?! I loved his character growth throughout the series, becoming more and more confident in himself and being more and more comfortable in his own skin. I especially love the dynamic between Leo and Frank, they're so just much fun to read about when they're together.


I have to give Nico a shoutout. I know some people thought he got really weird and emo-y and stuff BUT LITERALLY I DON'T CARE. He's like the character I want to just hug and reassure and say "everything will be okay" will patting them on the head and feeding them tubs of ice cream. His vulnerability in this series finally came into the spotlight and just... everything came into place at the end. I absolutely love what Rick Riordan did with his character.

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Reyna is every bit the badass strong fearless person I want to be that I probably can never be. I really grew to love her in Blood of Olympus and that final scene... ohmygosh. Her backstory was interesting and I'm really sad we didn't get to see more of her.

General Thoughts

In general, I really liked how we saw more of the different gods and places and myths in this series, and the dynamics of the entire prophecy coming together. I didn't care for all the POVs, I really would've prefer to have less characters for that reason, and I agree with everyone else, we needed a Percy and Annabeth chapter in Blood of Olympus to wrap everything up nicely. I just want a final farewell, and just everything to kind of fall into place. I wasn't dissatisfied with the ending, but I definitely want Rick Riordan to write a short story after because it ends in a bit of an awkward ending.

The humour is still on point here, and the plots are written very well- good climax, good rising action and in some cases VERY TOO GOOD PAINFUL CLIFFHANGERS UGGH

(this is so hard to try and do without spoiling everything)

But although I don't think this series quite matches up with Percy Jackson, it was definitely an interesting pace and different way of storytelling and I think it's worth reading. Go give it a go! And those of you who have read it- READ THE SPOILER SECTION THEN LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS :))

(I finally figured out how to hide a spoiler section guys aren't you so proud of me?!!)


Just a quick run down on stuff for some characters that I didn't say up there.

Jason: Liked him, don't hate him but I wouldn't cry without him. I did like when he promised to do his best to recognize minor gods. His internal conflict of being Greek or Roman was also great as well, it gave more layers to him and I ended up liking him much better by the end of the series.

Percy & Annabeth: As much as I wished Percy & Annabeth was more of a central role in this series, I acknowledge that he and Annabeth had their major moments in their own series, and that they were more supporting in this series, and truthfully speaking, they completed their part of the prophecy by House of Hades.

Except for the nosebleed for Blood of Olympus. DIED OF LAUGHTER. Wakes Gaia up by a nosebleed. Such a Rick Riordan thing. On top of that, Percy complains about it. Hilarious.
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They were adorable though, and him falling down into Tartarus for her... just. WHERE CAN I FIND A BOYFRIEND LIKE THAT?

Also- just a part I also really liked: when the camps are fighting Gaia and Reyna and Frank were commanding the Romans into an efficient army with all their fancy Latin commands, and Percy's just like "Umm Greeks... LET'S FIGHT. AND STUFF. CHARRRGE!!"


Nico: I really want things to work out between him and Will Solace. I love how he find his self-esteem in the end and confronts Percy with his feelings and comes clean. It's like a heavy baggage off his back. And his relationship with Reyna was such a great bond in Blood of Olympus.

Reyna: THE SCENE OF HER RETURNING ATHENA TO CAMP HALF-BLOOD. Reyna is basically amazing. I loved her determination, the small guilt she carries with her, and that fighting spirit. LOVE HER. Like I said, her and Nico's relationship was really beneficial to each other in the story and I really really wished we could've seen more between them. Instead of being annoyed by having even more POVs in the story, I genuinely enjoyed reading from their point of views.

Leo is getting an entire section because he's basically the entire ending of the series. THAT SELF SACRIFICING FOOL. I was scared and freaked out all of the novel that he would actually go suicidal for the greater good and just ugggh. The whole time I was just screaming at him that he made a promise to Calypso and he better keep it. I loved him and Calypso. Them together in House of Hades... ohmygosh. The fact that we got Calypso to return and we gave her freedom is just.. EVERYTHING CAME FULL CIRCLE. But luckily Leo pulled through and reconnected with her and it was happy and beautiful and everything was great. I wanted though, to read when Leo met up with everyone else with Calypso. Can you imagine him coming home on Festus with Calypso clinging to his waist and him screaming "I'MMMM BACK GUYS!!"

I definitely wanted a more conclusive ending to Blood of Olympus- whether or not Rick left it open-ended intentionally for his next series, I have no idea, but I rather he wrapped it up and start one with no relevance to this world. Sort of like The Kane Chronicles.

I can't say I was disappointed with what I got though. This series has been a great joy to read and I have some definitely favourite moments and characters and being able to see more of Percebeth and meeting this lovely character called Leo Valdez... all worth it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quick Announcement!


Okay so by now you guys are probably used to use me having impromptu hiatus, and yes this one is no different. School started, and since I'm a senior grade high school student now (!!) LIFE IS DIFFICULT. (Also, to my fellow Americans, I'm a junior I think by your school system... not exactly a senior haha)

So why am I semi-back? I have a longer extended weekend this week, and I plan to use it to FINALLY WRITE MY REVIEW FOR THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS.

I know, I'm so late. SORRY. But better late than never right? Also, just warning you, it's going to be a LONG REVIEW. I'm debating if I want to split the series review away from the last book and do a review on the last book alone since there's so much to talk about! But we'll see how the series review goes first.

There will be a November post, so breathe. I will try to squeeze in another review, and trust me I haven been meaning to do a review of a couple things but honestly the amount of time I have is virtually nonexistent sometimes.

I WILL SEE YOU SOON. (Or talk to you via writing technically...)
Love y'all <3

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 2014

Monthly Wish List for this month and what I've read and seen this past month.

Book List: 

*synopses may be spoilery if you have not read the previous books in the series. All synopses were found on Goodreads

*again the fall season is so bad for my wallet

Book: The Blood of Olympus (Book #5 in the Heroes of Olympus series)
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 7th 

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.


Book: Talon (Book #1 in the Talon series)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: October 28th 

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.


Book: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Release Date: October 14th 

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.


Book: Chaos (Book #3 in the Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy)
Author: Sarah Fine
Release Date: October 7th 

With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.

The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?

Note From Carmen: can we just. that ending. ugh I NEED THIS.

Book: Love and Other Unknown Variables
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Release Date: October 7th 

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. 

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. 

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

Note From Carmen: Being a complete math nerd, I absolutely love the premise of this.

Book: The Young Elites (Book #1 in the Young Elites series)
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: October 7th 

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


Book: Snow Like Ashes (Book #1 in the Snow like Ashes series)
Author: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 14th 

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Book: In the Afterlight (Book #3 in the Darkest Minds Trilogy)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: October 28th 

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. 

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Note From Carmen: RUBY. LIAM. CHUBS. MY BFFLS. 

September Obsessions:

Heir of Fire (HOLY SHIT)

Other Stuff:
You From Another Star  (K-Drama) (can we just. I'm ONLY ON EPISODE 8. BUT SCHOOL STARTED NOOO)
My birthday. and all the fun stuff that comes with it.

What I Read in September and Didn't Review:
Crash Into You (Book #3 in the Pushing the Limits series) 
Take Me On (Book #4 in the Pushing the Limits series)
The Promise of Amazing (ssh... possible review on that one)
Landry Park (Book #1 in the Landry Park series)

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