Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date:  October 2, 2012
Pages:  608 
Source/format: Borrowed from the library, hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis  (from Goodreads):

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare....

My Thoughts:

At the end of the Son of Neptune, Ella recites the following:

Wisdom's daughter walks alone,
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome,
Twins snuff out the angel's breath,
Who holds the key to endless death.
The Giants' bane stands gold and pale,
Won through pain from a woven jail.

Well, first of all, who doesn't like books by Rick Riordan? The Mark of Athena is the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series which is the spin off of the Percy Jackson series. I absolutely loved this book. It's my favorite so far out of the whole series, especially since Annabeth is my favorite character. Annabeth's journey through her quest was amazing. Seeing Annabeth's strengths and weaknesses makes her a real person.

The alternating POVs are nicely paced. Even though the book is about Annabeth's quest, we see how the other demigods are growing in strength through the battles they have to fight. The Mark of Athena brings together all 7 demigods and gives a chance for both Greeks and Romans to build a relationship.

I love seeing the relationship between Percy and Annabeth blossom. With every book I read, their love grows. They are my favorite couple Rick Riordan's books. I was on edge of my seat when I read the end of the book. The ending is such a cliff hanger involving Percy and Annabeth. I seriously cannot wait into the next installment of this series.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date:  August 31, 2010
Pages:  479 
Source/format: Borrowed from the library, hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis  (from Goodreads):

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them....

My Thoughts:

I have been following Cassandra Clare ever since she wrote Harry Potter fanfiction and had a presence on Livejournal way back when I was in high school. When I found out about her Mortal Instruments series and her Infernal Devices series, I knew I had to read both series.

Clockwork Angel is the first book in the Infernal Devices series. I love the fact that the Shadowhunter world takes place in the late 1800's. It's part historical fiction and part paranormal fantasy which are two of my favorite genres to read.

The world building of this book is amazing and the characters Cassandra created are phenomenal. I love the interactions between Tessa, Will and Jem. Also, who doesn't like Magnus? Cassandra does an awesome job with the descriptions about the time period whether it be about the clothing the characters wear to the background setting. There is something magical about Victorian London and it is captured beautifully in Clockwork Angel.

Even though I normally despise the love triangle, for some odd reason I was okay with this one. It was about Tessa picking and choosing one guy over another. She cared for both Will and Jem and Will and Jem cared for her as well. But Will and Jem, being parabatai, also care deeply for one another as well.

What I love was how Charlotte was a strong woman leading fellow Shadowhunters in a time period where men had the power. Even though some doubted her, she never gave up. She always stood her ground and did what she needed to.

I am sure the rest of the series will be just as good or even better than Clockwork Angel.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date:  April 24, 2012
Pages: 336 
Source/format: Borrowed from the library, hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Synopsis  (from Goodreads):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Thoughts:

America is living in a society where everyone is a number in a cast system. This is a very fast and light Batchelor like dystopian read. America's mother and her sister persuades her to enter her name in a lottery like system in order to be one of 35 girls to have a chance to court the Prince Maxon in order to gain a hand in royal marriage. America is one of the lucky girls to get selected and one of the only Fives to be selected.

However, being selected isn't everything that America hoped for. She must choose to leave her secret lover, Aspen, behind in order to enter the Selection. What I loved was how America's first impressions of Maxon. She wasn't interested in marrying Maxon at all. She, however, forms an alliance with him and they become good friends.

I found it a bit weird how America thinks that Maxon can be a potential lover later on in the book. First, America is is in love with Aspen and doesn't want to be with Maxon. And now she has interests in two guys? America has been on the fence about this and she needs to choose. Love triangles are finnicky and I always find it always being a girl trying to decide between two guys. I hope America ends up making her mind because I feel bad how she is leading both Maxon and Aspen on with her affections for both of them.

What I do like about this book is the friendship America builds with Marlee. Also, America is fierce and is willing to stand for what she believes. She is honest and will not give in just because someone wants her to. She is strong.

I cannot wait to read the Elite.