Blogmas Book Review: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
At last, the breathtaking, action-packed finale of the #1 bestselling Trials of Apollo series is here! Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to earth in the pathetic moral form of a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his place on Mount Olympus? Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York. Will Meg have a last showdown with her father? Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python? Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist? These questions and more will be answered in this book that all demigods are eagerly awaiting.
The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5)Review:
The Tower of Nero is the finale of the Trials of Apollo series. I just have to say, wow, how far we have come with this series. In the first and second book, I really didn’t like Apollo. He was vain and completely annoying. It was my biggest problem with the first two books. I loved everything else, but I really didn’t like Apollo. I’m so glad to say that the Apollo in this final book is completely different from who he was in the previous books. His growth is so well done and I’m so happy about that.
In this book, Apollo has one final challenge to complete: defeat Nero. But that’s not as easy as it seems. I really cannot say enough good things about this world that Riordan has created. And this series really solidifies that because we get to see the characters we love from his previous books. Between the mythology that he has brought to life and the characters he’s gotten us invested in, there was no way I wasn’t going to love this book.
I’m going to keep this review short so I don’t just repeat everything from my previous reviews. I loved Apollo’s growth. I loved his friendship with Meg. I especially loved that Meg had her own challenges to face in this book. I think it was just such a well rounded story, filled with loveable characters that learn and grow from one another.
Overall, the audiobook was super good. I was very happy with the way this series ended but it made my heart ache because there’s no news about what books might be coming next. I also just have to say that the last few chapters (or maybe it was the epilogue) were exactly what I wanted. I was so happy to get to see Apollo visit with everyone after the dust settled. I loved this book. I loved this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

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In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.
It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.
The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4)Review:
The Tyrant’s Tomb is the second to last book in the Trials of Apollo series. I actually had to take a break after the last book (The Burning Maze). I think that’s because I listened to the audiobooks for the first three books all in a row and I just needed a break from audiobooks. So, I took my break and then picked this one up.
I’m not going to lie. I cried several times while listening to this story. This is absolutely my favorite book in the series (unless the last one is even better). Apollo’s growth really shows in these pages. He’s doing things like helping his friends and putting himself in danger because he cares about those around him, rather than avoiding danger because of selfish reasons. I really liked his growth. Part of the reason I didn’t love the first three books was that Apollo was a jerk. He still has some negative qualities, but he’s really grown with his experiences of having to think like mortals do. He’s still incredibly vain and talks way too much about his weak, flabby body.
I really loved getting to see characters from the previous series, like Hazel and Frank. I loved being back at the Roman camp, a familiar place. It was so enjoyable to see new characters in a place I already love.
Overall, this book has it all. It has great character growth, action, and adventure, quests, and the audiobook narrator did an incredible job telling this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

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GoodReads Summary:
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.
With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)Review:
I think I’m going to keep this review short because I tend to say the same things when I review Riordan’s books. So, in The Burning Maze the characters find themselves in a literal burning maze. They face all sorts of trials and challenges as they are looking for the next oracle on the list and facing the third Roman emperor.
The things I liked about this book were all about the characters. I really loved seeing Grover again. I enjoyed learning about where he’s been since the end of Percy’s books. I always love seeing old characters in new stories. Grover is sort of the voice of reason in this story and it was great. Apollo was better in this book. He was less insufferable. He had actually sort of started to think about how he might change his behavior if/when he was to regain his godliness. I really enjoyed this aspect of his development because he’s been pretty terrible in his complaining about not being a god. I also loved how much he was really starting to care about those around him (read: Meg). He’s growing and I hope it continues. Meg is still a big mystery. We learn a bit about her childhood before her dad died and I loved that. I loved learning more about her, but I was still left wanting more. We still haven’t really found out what happened before she left Nero again and I want to know.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and I’m excited to continue. I always love seeing more mythological creatures brought to life by Riordan. I love that these characters are growing and that we’re getting to see old friends. But I also love all of the new friends we’ve made as well. Also, my heart is broken and I’ll never forgive you Rick Riordan (you know what you did.)

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

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GoodReads Summary:
Go west. Capture Apollo before he can find the next oracle.
If you cannot bring him to me alive, kill him.
Those were the orders my old enemy Nero had given to Meg McCaffrey. But why would an ancient Roman emperor zero in on Indianapolis? And now that I have made it here (still in the embarrassing form of Lester Papadopoulos), where is Meg?
Meg, my demigod master, is a cantankerous street urchin. She betrayed me to Nero back at Camp Half-Blood. And while I’m mortal, she can order me to do anything . . . even kill myself. Despite all this, if I have a chance of prying her away from her villainous stepfather, I have to try.
But I’m new at this heroic-quest business, and my father, Zeus, stripped me of all my godly powers. Oh, the indignities and pain I have already suffered! Untold humiliation, impossible time limits, life-threatening danger . . . Shouldn’t there be a reward at the end of each completed task? Not just more deadly quests?
I vow that if I ever regain my godhood, I will never again send a poor mortal on a quest. Unless it is really important. And unless I am sure the mortal can handle it. And unless I am pressed for time . . . or I really just don’t feel like doing it myself. I will be much kinder and more generous than everyone is being to me—especially that sorceress Calypso. What does Leo see in her, anyway?
The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2)Review:
In this book, Apollo is on another task toward his ultimate mission of collecting all of the known oracles. He had two so far and is dreading this third. He travels with two characters we’ve met before (that I totally love!!) to Indianapolis. They run into new creatures I’ve not met before and people Apollo knows from his past.
I think what I most enjoyed about this book was all of the side characters. I really enjoyed getting to know them and how they knew Apollo. He can’t remember much because his mortal brain just can’t remember 4,000 years of memories. So, this allowed for some entertaining and occasionally dangerous antics. I liked learning about the things that he did remember. It was interesting to get to know him better, to see whim reflect on his past choices when he was different now. I still didn’t love Apollo. Despite all he’s been through as a mortal he’s still pretty conceited and I didn’t love that. He is growing, but now enough for my liking. It seems almost like he’s just going to write all this off as soon as he becomes a god again and that leaves a bad taste.
I really liked that Meg was back for this one. She disappeared at the end of the first book. We find her again in this one and I was glad for that. But we got little to no explanation and I wanted more. I wanted to know her thoughts and what happened while she was gone.
Overall, this is filled with all the best things we’ve come to know from Rick Riordan. I liked meeting new characters and spending time with ones we already know. I enjoyed meeting new creatures and battling new villains. I’ve already started the third book, so hopefully, Apollo gets better in that one.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
How do you punish an immortal?
By making him human.
After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.
But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.
The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)Review:
Okay, I’m going to be honest here. I was pretty excited about the concept of Apollo being stuck in a mortal body but it actually was my least favorite thing about this book.
I loved getting to see all my old favorites like Percy and his mom. I also loved that this story actually mostly takes place at camp half-blood. It was so fun for me to get to explore more of the camp. I loved everything that happened in the woods.
But Apollo was pretty insufferable. He’s a God trapped in the body of a teenager named Lester. First of all, is this some sort of possession kind of thing? Because if so, poor Lester. If not, I’d like some more explanation. Apollo is coming to terms with the fact that he’s a sixteen-year-old mortal boy. One with acne, which is commented on at least ten times. I get that he’s supposed to be growing, but every time he made progress, he then took five steps back. That was frustrating because it felt like he’d have these huge revelations then just go back to complaining about how he wasn’t an all-powerful god anymore. He was so selfish and conceited it was hard to like him when he kept regressing. Though I’m hoping he will make more actual progress in the next books.
Overall, this was still a fun story. I loved how the plot is connected to things that happened in the previous series. I also love that we got to see characters from those series that I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to yet. But I also liked that there’s a whole new cast of characters for the reader to learn about and love (read: the characters in the Apollo cabin). I also enjoyed the twists. I definitely saw a few of them coming but they were still good and pulled at my emotions. Finally, I loved that Apollo was so casual about his bisexuality. He talks about flirting and loving both men and women and it was basically the only thing I liked about him. I’m definitely going to continue the series; I’m just really hoping Apollo gets less annoying.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Books & Baking – The Lightning Thief

Hi, lovelies! I chose to do a rather easy one for this installment of Books & Baking just to keep the momentum going for this feature. I tend to forget about things if I don’t do them regularly. So, I think this one will be a fan favorite (because it’s a very beloved book). For this edition, I’ve decided to bake something from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I’ve always wanted to make a blue food for this blog feature since I first had the idea.

Book: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Read my full review here!

If you don’t know what the Percy Jackson series is about, you must be living under a rock. We follow Percy as he finds out that he’s actually a Demi-god. Lots of wild antics and quests ensue. I really enjoyed this book, and the rest of the series. I love Percy and Annabeth and Grover. I love all of the characters we meet. And I love the representation this story gives.

“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”

“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”

“Look, I didnt want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom and dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life. Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful nasty ways. If you’re a normal kid, reading this because you think it’s fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe none of this ever happened. But if you recognize yourself in these pages-if you feel something stirring inside- stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it’s only a matter of time before THEY sense it too, and they’ll come for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookies (but they’re blue!)

So, for this one I actually used my mother-in-laws recipe for chocolate chip cookies and I’m actually not going to share that with you all.

“I guess I should explain the blue food. See, Gabe had once told my mom there was no such thing. They had this fight, which seemed like a really small thing at the time. But ever since, my mom went out of her way to eat blue. She baked blue birthday cakes. She mixed blueberry smoothies. She bought blue-corn tortilla chips and brought home blue candy from the shop. ”

Okay, so here is where I’d usually put the ingredients and baking instructions. But as I said above, I’m not sharing my MIL’s recipe. So, find a chocolate chip cookie recipe of your choice and literally, all I did was add blue food coloring to the dough once it was all mixed together. I’m just going to add some more pictures I took in place of the usual ingredients and instructions.

I got some pictures when they came right out of the oven that really show how blue they are. It seemed when they cooled they lost a bit of the color. But they were not good pictures so I will not be adding them here. I also just have to say that I think these are the best batch I’ve made and I think it’s because of a brown sugar issue where I had to make my own. Have you ever made any blue food in honor of Percy Jackson? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough?
Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfarbefore it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. But Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3)Review:
I wish I was able to be more excited about this series. The Ship of the Dead was a good conclusion to an interesting series. I liked the characters. I mostly liked the story. And I really enjoyed the mythology. But I just didn’t love this series as much as I did Riordan’s others. I did enjoy it and I definitely love these characters.
The story continues following Magnus Chase as he and his friends (who are totally my favorite) try to stop Ragnarok. This story had the typical quests and action scenes and demigod hijinks. It was the characters that made the story good. I loved Magnus. He’s a huge goofball. But further, Sam was my favorite. She’s Muslim, but she’s also a Valkyrie. She holds firm to her beliefs despite the world potentially ending. In this book, it’s Ramadan. So, we get to see Sam fast while sailing around the world, trying to get to Loki before he sails Naglfar. I loved that this was included in the book. Then we have Alex, who was my favorite. She’s genderfluid and snarky as hell. I loved Alex a ton.
Overall, I don’t have a ton to say about this book. I’ve said already that I love the characters. I also really liked the message that was shared in the final ‘battle’ between Magnus and Loki. I think this was a great series for the middle-grade age group. It’s diverse and interesting. It focuses on Norse mythology, which isn’t nearly as popular as other myths. So, I liked that it has it’s own series now.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
It’s been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants. Magnus has adjusted to life at the Hotel Valhalla—as much as a once-homeless and previously alive kid can. As a son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of Odin’s chosen warriors, but he has a few good peeps among his hallmates on floor nineteen, and he’s been dutifully training for Ragnarok along with everyone else. His days have settled into a new kind of normal.
But Magnus should have known there’s no such thing as normal in the Nine Worlds. His friends Hearthstone and Blitzen have disappeared. A new hallmate is creating chaos. According to a very nervous goat, a certain object belonging to Thor is still missing, and the thunder god’s enemies will stop at nothing to gain control of it.
Time to summon Jack, the Sword of Summer, and take action. Too bad the only action Jack seems to be interested in is dates with other magical weapons…
The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2)Review:
I have loved every single one of Riordan’s books I’ve read so far. I don’t know what it is about this series but I just don’t love it as much as his others. There are many things I do like. For example, Magnus was a homeless kid in Boston before he died and I think it’s so great that this is a thing that exists because homelessness is a topic generally avoided and Riordan didn’t do that. This series is also filled with a diverse cast of characters. The newest edition, Alex, is gender fluid. I can’t speak to the quality of the representation but I thought it was really interesting to read Magnus’s questions and Alex’s answers. I also love Samira. I love that even though she’s sucked into the world of Norse mythology, she still holds strong to her faith and beliefs. I thought this was a great part of the story.
My biggest issue with this book was that literally, everything was such high stakes. I guess I understand because it’s the second book in a series, but it was too much sometimes. Every step toward their goal was ‘complete this task or DIE’ and it just seemed a little unnecessary.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. The characters were 100% the best part. I loved the diverse cast and getting to see them learning more about one another. I plan to finish the series for sure to see how everything ends up. Also, the way this story ended had me screaming. I cannot wait for the two different groups to meet up.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents…
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.
The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)Review:
I’ve been slowly working on reading all of Riordan’s books for the last year or so. Next up was the Magnus Chase series. I waited for the audiobooks to be available from my library. I almost wish I’d just decided to read it physically because I didn’t care for the narrator. But by the end of the story, I really enjoyed it. I think the narrator made it harder for me to get into the story, but Riordan’s storytelling abilities pushed through.
The book follows Magnus, a homeless teen living in Boston who is grieving his mother. I really liked that Magnus was homeless, this is something you almost never see in novels for a younger audience, but it’s something that happens all too often in the real world. I also liked the Boston setting as I grew up in Massachusetts and recognized a bunch of the places Magnus went to. Then Magnus turns sixteen and dies.
From there he’s thrown into the world of Norse mythology. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. Most of what I know of Norse myths are from Neil Gaiman’s book and from movies and tv shows. I know this story was fiction, but I also know that Riordan tries to stick to the truth of the mythology. I liked learning more about this mythology and I liked that (like all his other books) it’s turned into adventures.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m excited to continue the series. I loved that there was a diverse cast of characters. I like the friendships and found family that we learned to become a part of. Riordan did it again with a story I couldn’t get enough of.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
He’s b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes’ only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent’s own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.
The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3)Review:
This series was so incredible. This final book is the final battle against the chaos that was released at the end of the first book. I loved this story so much. Carter and Sadie are once again narrating their experiences to us. They’ve both grown so much since the start of the series. But they still have their faults. Though they face much responsibility, they still have teenage problems. I really liked this because they weren’t teenagers acting like adults. They were realistic. I liked that they had regular problems along with attempting to stop the literal end of the world.
The mythology was definitely my favorite part of this series. The Egyptian gods and goddesses are so interesting. We get to meet so many of them, some good and some bad. I liked that they weren’t totally idolized, but shown to have good and bad sides. They have their own motivations and I thought that was really interesting and added complexity to the story.
Overall, I loved this conclusion. The ending was really satisfying, but also the way Riordan left us with the possibility that these characters will potentially meet up with the characters from his other series has me so freaking excited. I would die to see Carter and Sadie meet up with Percy and gang. That would be a literal dream. I don’t think Riordan could write anything I don’t love. If you haven’t read this series, I would recommend it a million times.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.
And now their most threatening enemy yet – the chaos snake Apophis – is rising. If they don’t prevent him from breaking free in a few days’ time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it’s a typical week for the Kane family.
To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.
First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?
Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.
The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, #2)Review:
I loved this book just as much as the first. At this point, I really don’t think there is anything that Rick Riordan writes and publishes that I won’t love. In The Throne of Fire, we’re thrown right back into the chaos that is the Kane sibling’s lives. They defeated Set in the previous book, but the chaos allowed a bigger problem to arise. This is that story.
Like the first book, this story is told via Carter and Sadie. The siblings are recording the events after the fact in an audio recording so that it can be sent to those that might need to hear it. I thought this was a really interesting way to tell the story. Both siblings get to tell parts of the story and they just make it so fun to read. I bet the audiobook is incredible.
Carter and Sadie have both grown in this book. They’ve given up their godly powers and have mostly learned how to use their own abilities. They have also started teaching others. This was the only thing I didn’t love about this book. We weren’t really introduced to all the new students at the Brooklyn House. They were just suddenly there. We did get a bit more information about them as the story goes along, but two of them were right at the beginning of the story and I had no idea who they were. But as I got to know them, I got over that. Carter and Sadie both have to make some hard choices in this book, but I really liked how they each handled the situations they were put in.
Overall, I loved this book and I cannot wait to read the final book. Things were left sort of up in the air at the end. There was a conclusion, but there was a definite ‘to be continued’ implied. I loved the mythology. I loved all the characters, old and new. I just loved this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants—school friends and a chance at a “normal” life. But Carter has just what Sadie longs for—time with their father. After six years of living apart, the siblings have almost nothing in common. Until now.
On Christmas Eve, Sadie and Carter are reunited when their father brings them to the British Museum, with a promise that he’s going to “make things right.” But all does not go according to plan: Carter and Sadie watch as Julius summons a mysterious figure, who quickly banishes their father and causes a fiery explosion.
Soon Carter and Sadie discover that the gods of Ancient Egypt are waking, and the worst of them—Set—has a frightening scheme. To save their father, they must embark on a dangerous journey—a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and its links to the House of Life, a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1)Review:
Rick Riordan could write anything and I would absolutely love it. My only complaint is that I couldn’t find the audiobook available anywhere other than for purchase (at a price higher than what the hardcover costs, plus I already own the whole series and I couldn’t justify buying the audio as well.) But this isn’t the fault of the book or author.
The Red Pyramid follows Sadie and Carter, but the unique part of this story (aside from literally everything else about it) was that Carter and Sadie are telling us what happened after the fact, as a warning of sorts. I loved that the story was told this way. It made it so fun to read. Carter and Sadie each have their own chapters, but the definitely butt into one another’s. These two had a really unique sibling relationship. Carter spent most of his life following his father around the world helping in whatever way is needed. But Sadie spent those same years living with her grandparents. One of the most interesting conflicts of this story was that both siblings wished to have the life of the other. Both were jealous of the other. I love this because it showed how much the two really lack in their relationship, but it was also a great chance for them to communicate and become closer.
Now, the adventures within this story were so fun and interesting. Carter and Sadie find out they are actually magicians within the Egyptian culture that was thought to have died out many years ago. I loved the magic in this story. It was unique and interesting. I liked getting to see the siblings try to figure out their own abilities and each fail and succeed in different areas. I loved all the mythology and culture included.
Overall, this story was wonderful in every way. The characters were diverse and realistic. I loved the mystery that they were involved in. I literally loved everything about this book and I cannot wait to continue the series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.
Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.
Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?
Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.
Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.
Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)Review:
I cannot start this review any other way besides saying, WHAT THE F WAS THAT ENDING. I’m genuinely upset about the lack of reuniting with a certain friend group. To the point where I had to text Antonia and scream to her about it (with a context text to let me know I wasn’t talking about someone we knew in real life).
I really liked how everything was wrapped up with the big bad in this story. I thought the end result was full of action and drama. I loved the team that came together and ended up really loving one another, despite their many differences. I think Riordan is the king of lovable friend groups. I really liked how each of their stories ended (aside from the lack of the reuniting with on particular character that I mentioned above). They each made life-changing decisions and I really liked these choices.
I’m going to keep this review on the shorter side because I honestly feel like I’ve said everything and more in my previous four reviews. I love this series. I love these characters. I love Rick Riordan. I am very excited to keep reading his books. If you haven’t, start now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.
Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.
Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.
Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.
The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)Review:
I have to mention first off that the audiobook narrator was changed for this book (and I’ve just learned the final book as well) and I’m extremely upset by this. Though I don’t hate the new narrator the voices he does for the characters are obviously different than those of the previous narrator from the last three books in this series (and also the original Percy Jackson series.) I did grow used to the new narrator, thankfully.
Okay, I loved this book. If you haven’t read the first three books in the series please stop reading right now and skip to my last “overall” paragraph because I’m going to talk about what’s going on in this book which will spoil events in the previous ones.
Percy and Annabeth have ended up in Tartarus and while it was terrible for them I really enjoyed their chapters. Seeing monsters we’ve met before and exploring a new aspect of the myths we’ve heard about was fascinating. They face serious threats (though there’s another book so it’s hard to imagine they were actually in life-threatening danger) but are aided by unlikely friends. I loved Bob and Small Bob. They were excellent and I hope we see them again.
Then there’s Leo, he also finds someone we’ve met before and I freaking loved it. I just adored him finally getting his own romance. I like the connections that we see and he’s always figuring out bizarre ways to fix the countless problems this crew encounters.
Hazel and frank I’m going to mention together because I love them. I love how happy their relationship is. They’ve both grown so much and experienced more than any kid their age should. But they handle everything really well and are really learning more about themselves and their abilities.
Piper and Jason are also growing and learning about themselves. I love that piper is continuing to gain confidence in herself, her abilities, and the fact that she is an important member of the team. Jason deals with inner conflicts that I think we will see more in the final book.
I also have to mention Coach Hedge. He was annoying in the first book but now he’s really a member of this little family. I love that we see him become more vulnerable. The moment where he finally tells frank what’s going on made me so happy.
Then there’s Nico. Oh, Nico. I love this dark little bean. He confides in Jason a secret that I totally didn’t expect but one that made me love him just that much more. I think he and Hazel’s growing sibling relationship was precious.
Overall, this book was filled with wonderful characters that each have distinct personalities and important roles. I adored the mythology, the old and new monsters and gods/goddesses. I am very excited to see what’s going to happen in the finale.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
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 figurehead, 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 command: 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. . . .
The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)Review:
Book three in The Heroes of Olympus was a wild ride. Part of me felt like it was nonstop action and another part of me felt like it was a little slow. I know this doesn’t make any sense. But there was always something going on and all the characters have such big feelings that even when the action is slow the story is not.
I don’t really feel like getting into each of the characters, but overall, they all continue to grow. A few things I do want to mention are the weirdness between Leo, frank, and hazel. I loved this connection. I thought it was such an interesting twist within the story.
The mystery about Annabeth’s mission to follow the mark of Athena was another compelling part of the story. I like that some of the characters knew little bits that helped Annabeth. I enjoyed this side quest that was ongoing alongside the ultimate goal of stopping Gia.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the romance with hazel and frank. I loved getting to see more of Percy and Annabeth. Piper and Leo were also enjoyable. The action was exciting. We got to meet new (and old) gods and goddesses which is always interesting. As with my other reviews, I’m currently listening to book four while typing this review on my phone. I just cannot get enough of this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.