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.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2)Review:
In this second installment, we get to see what Percy Jackson is up to again, along with two new characters hazel and frank. I liked these characters, but honestly, I missed Leo, piper, and Jason. I found myself liking Hazel and Frank’s chapters more than Percy’s. He wasn’t the main event in this book and I’m not totally mad about that. I still like him and I wanted him to regain his memories, but I was rooting mostly for frank and hazel.
Percys lost all his memories, so we know more than he does. I think this is why I didn’t care that much about his chapters. They were filled with him wondering what was going on and the next steps of the newest quest.
Hazel was really interesting. She’s been brought back from the dead with all the nonsense going on thanks to Mother Earth. I really liked the connections to the character we’ve already met. I also thought her curse was really interesting. I’m intrigued to see where her story goes, especially since I’m already a bit into the next book and there are some mysterious things going on. I liked that hazel gains confidence and makes peace with her past. She really grew throughout this story.
Then there’s frank. I really liked Frank. He’s been told he could be anything his whole life but he still doesn’t have much confidence in himself. He’s seen as a goofy kid when he’s really so much more. He has a lot of growth too and I really enjoyed learning more about him and his abilities.
I think my favorite thing about this book was finally getting a peek inside the Roman demigod camp. It was so different from the camp half-blood we already know and love. It was fascinating to see how different things were for the gods during Roman times and how the Roman demigods have thrived in that culture.
Overall, I enjoyed these characters and their adventures. But mostly I just wanted them to meet up with the gang from the first book. There wasn’t as much mystery or questions in this book because we learned so much in book one. I’m super excited to continue the series now that all seven that the prophecy speaks of have come together.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

GoodReads Summary:
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 about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, 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, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)Review:
I was honestly so excited to get back into the world of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This new series is one I’ve been excited for since reading the first, but even more so after finishing The Lost Hero. As I type this review (on my phone) I’m listening to the first chapter of the second book. There’s just something so fun about these stories and their characters.
Let’s jump into the characters. I absolutely adore Piper and Leo. They’re great best friends to Jason. We follow Jason at first, who has no memories and has somehow ended up on a school bus. Jason, despite not knowing literally anything, manages the challenges they face really well. I liked his natural leadership and his growing friendship with Leo and Piper.
Piper was probably my favorite. She’s torn between saving her dad, which means betraying her friends or being a hero. I thought this was such a complex inner battle. I loved how her story turned out. I also really loved seeing her grow and gain confidence, which as a daughter of Aphrodite is important with her ability to charm speak as it’s based on confidence.
Leo was adorable. He is the son of Hephaestus. He also has a rare fire ability. So, he’s learning how to control his ability and also trying to make himself believe that he is just as important to the team as the others. I thought he was great, the comedic relief but also a character with substance.
I really like the godly interactions. We get to see Hera quite a bit and though she isn’t well-liked, I could understand her feelings. I really loved Piper and Leo both getting to talk to their godly parents. I thought those interactions came at just the right times.
Overall, I loved this. As I mentioned I’m currently already listening to book two and it’s giving me all of the answers I still wanted from book one. There are so many questions were still left with, but were also given many answers. Riordan writes the story in the perfect way where were given enough information to be kept interested, but not too much we feel like everything is over. I also had a few things figured out but not all the details. Any mythology lovers are going to adore this series for sure.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and we’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so we can all blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters

This weeks topic is Character Who’d Run into a Fire to _____ (Fill in the blank! The sky is the limit… if they’d run into a fire for any reason then they’re who you want to showcase!)

Amanda- This prompt has me super torn between two characters. So I shall briefly mention them both. The first is Stevie Bell from Maureen Johnson’s new series, Truly Devious. Stevie would run into a fire to solve a case. She’s an aspiring Sherlock Holmes and will do anything (including damage every relationship she has) to get to the bottom of a mystery.

The second character is Lady Jane Grey from My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows,  Brodi Ashton, and Cynthia Hand. Lady Jane Grey would run into a fire to save her books from burning up. She is a true bookworm and is who I thought of first for this prompt because if I were to ever run into a fire it would be to save my husband, baby, dog, and books. Lady Jane would run into a fire to save her horsey husband and her books and I love her for it.

Antonia- I LOVE THIS PROMPT. It has so many amazing possibilities. The first one to pop into my head though was Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. He would run into a fire to freak out people who don’t know he’s fireproof. I can absolutely see him in the flames, screaming like he’s being burned alive. I think it’d fit his goofy sense of humor perfectly.

 

ABC Book Challenge |H|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we will be talking about books with the letter H.

For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – H

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – As one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite series this book is an obvious choice for this weeks letter.

(The) Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco – This one was memorable for me because the first book in the series was not one of my favorites and I was really hoping this book would redeem the series a bit and it certainly did. Check out my review here.

Antonia

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts – The fourth book in The Bride Quartet. It was such a nice ending to this series about these four women and their amazing friendship

(The) House of Hades by Rick Riordan – This one was probably my favorite of the series. All the Percabeth feels.

 

 

Books Still on our TBR List

Amanda

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – I read this book shortly after it was published, but I don’t remember a single thing about it. I’ve been hearing about how good it was recently, so I’ve had the urge to reread it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling – This book is on my August TBR list. I’m planning to read these books to my daughter after she’s born. Start on making her a bookworm and potterhead as early as I can.

Antonia

Here, There be Dragons by James A. Owen – I’ve had my eye on this series for a long time but recently saw a few reviews that convinced me to finally get it. It seems like the ultimate bookworm book and I’m so excited to read it.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This is the first in her The Covenant series and I’ve actually read it before but for some reason just never got farther into the books. I’d like to finally read them all the way through.

 

 

 

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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.51tu-gt5uzl-_sx329_bo1204203200_

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 five 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.

 

Review: I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. It was a really excellent conclusion to a series that’s definitely a new favorite of mine. I enjoyed pretty much everything about this book, with only a few, minor complaints.
First I’ll talk a little about the characters. (I go into more detail about some of these characters in my review of the last book, The House of Hades.)
Jason grew on me a bit more during this book. He’s felt so torn between the Greek and Roman camps and finally seemed to accept the fact that he belongs to both of them and that’s okay. I liked learning more about Jason and watching him grow as a character but he’s never going to be one of my favorites.
I started the series not liking Piper very much but have slowly been liking her more and more throughout the series; during this last book she actually became one of my favorite characters. She might be a daughter of Aphrodite but she’s brave, strong-willed and is always there for her friends. She became someone I’d love to be friends with.
I still love Leo. He’s funny, quirky and I’m so happy he makes an appearance in Riordan’s next series The Trials of Apollo.
Nico continued to make me love him throughout this book. He’s always been so sad and broody; kind of keeping himself apart from everyone because you can’t hurt or be hurt by people who you don’t let get close to you. I loved finally seeing some character development from him as he finally starts to trust people.
Last we have Reyna. One of my favorite parts of this book was getting to see from her point of view. She’s made appearances in the first four books of the series but never played a huge part and that changed in this book. I enjoyed getting to know her better. She’s pretty much the most badass in the series, which we already kind of knew, but I also got to see another side to her; she’s scared, has doubts, cares deeply about the people (and even animals) around her. When she talks about her pegasus and friend dying at the end of the last book and when another similar scene happens in this one, I actually cried. Behind her tough, leader exterior, she’s compassionate and just wants to do the right thing no matter the consequences for her. She quickly became another favorite character of mine.
One of the things I didn’t like was not getting to see the POV of all the characters, especially Percy and Annabeth. We still follow them, Hazel, and Frank through the eyes of the other characters but it’s not quite the same and I was a little disappointed about it.
**SPOILER WARNING**
Another problem was the final battle with Gaea. They’ve spent five books trying to stop her from waking up because she’ll be impossible to defeat and when it finally happens the fight was very anticlimactic. They’ve had tons of other battles that were more challenging than this one. It just felt a little underwhelming in the end.
**END OF SPOILERS**
My last problem isn’t really a problem. I just wanted more. I want to know everything happening with the characters after the book ends. Yes, I know all of us readers think that way; I just felt it a little more with this book than I usually do.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and the rest of the series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA or mythology. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

wwwwww

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- I’m actually acting a bit out of character and I’m in the middle of several books. The first is Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira which I’m reading on my kindle. I’m also reading Roseblood by A.G. Howard which is one of the books from my last library haul (check out my post about it here!)

Antonia- I’m currently reading The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. It’s the final book in his Heroes of Olympus series and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished the first ARC I ever received, Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson. You can see my review for this book here.

Antonia- I just finished The House of Hades by Rick Riordan. It was absolutely amazing. It made me laugh and cry and I recommend this series to everyone. You can read my review here.

What do you think you will read next? 

Amanda- Next I will probably be reading one of the books for the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge. Check out my post with my TBR list for this challenge here. I will be reading one of these books next. I’m not sure which one I’ll start with yet though.

Antonia- Next I’ll be reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke for the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge. We’re really excited for this challenge. Check it out in the link from Amanda’s response above.

What are your W’s this week? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading bookworms!

 

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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.51dguf1ez2bl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

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.

 

Review: Oh. My. God. This book was intense. We start where the last book left off; with Percy and Annabeth falling into Tartarus. If you’ve read any of Riordan’s books, you know he uses a lot of humor to lighten the mood, even during serious scenes. While there was still a bit of that, the scenes with Percy and Annabeth were a lot darker than usual. Not surprising since they’re in Hell, but it definitely made for a more serious read.
Percy and Annabeth continue to be my favorite characters, especially now that I’ve seen them go through all the terrible things Tartarus put them through. This is why I love their relationship so much. No matter what they’re there for each other when it counts and you see that so clearly in this book. They’re in pain, starving, being hunted by all the monsters they’ve killed and they still support each other. I really enjoyed seeing a darker side to these characters as well. They didn’t suddenly turn into villians but there’s things they’re willing to do to get out of Tartarus that they never would have contemplated before. This especially is where we see them supporting each other, as they sort of pull each other back from the edge.
I won’t say too much more about the Tartarus stuff because I don’t want to give anything away but these scenes did make me cry multiple times.
The rest of the story continued along the same lines as the previous books; the rest of the demigods are questing and fighting monsters in order to reach the Doors of Death and try to save Annabeth and Percy.
Since there are a lot of characters and I don’t want to make this too long, I’ll try to do a quick overview of each one.
I continue to find Jason underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad character. He’s kind and always tries to do his best for the group but he never really does anything particularly amazing. Everyone else has a moment where they save the group with their individual talents and Jason doesn’t get that. Especially for a Son of Jupiter, I found it a little disappointing.
Piper exceeded my expectations in this book. I talked about my thoughts on her in my review of The Mark of Athena. The little disappointments I had over her were erased during this book. It felt like she finally stepped up so she could try to be as useful on the quest as possible. I really enjoyed her character development.
Hazel was really impressive in this book. After the loss of Percy and Annabeth, the group was kind of lost for a bit without a leader and Hazel really stepped up to try to fill this role. It seemed like she finally embraced all her powers and it was nice to see her stop fighting that part of her.
Frank was amazing. Like Hazel, he’s been fighting the part of himself that is a Son of Mars. He never wanted the war god to claim him and has always sort of resented it. He finally acknowledges it and changes a lot in the process (a serious growth spurt included). I found Frank’s journey a little bittersweet. He’s come into his powers but even he knows he’ll never fully be the same as he was and I thought that was a little sad.
I found Leo’s story a little sad as well and really hope to see it resolved in the next book. I won’t say much more about this one but there may be some romance in Leo’s future.
Nico was an extremely interesting character. He’s always slightly on the outside of groups like this. A lot of that is his own doing and partly it’s because he’s a Son of Hades and even demigods tend to be a little reluctant around them. He’s so sad all the time and I just want to hug him and tell him it’ll be okay.
Overall I absolutely loved this book. It had some of everything and I recommend it to anyone who like fantasy and mythology. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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.511apj6b2bkl-_sx326_bo1204203200_

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 Brian 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. . . .

 

Review: I keep loving each book in this series more than the last. The adventure gets a little bit crazier and so much happens (not surprising since it’s almost 600 pages), but I never felt like I was being overloaded with information. Since this book follows seven demigods on the quest, I was worried too many main characters would make things confusing but it’s only told from four of their points of view so I was able to follow all the characters without feeling like too many voices were talking to me at once. I’ll just go into detail about the four whose point of views we see though I talk about a couple of the other characters in my review of The Son of Neptune.
As always, Percy is my favorite. I’m so so happy he and Annabeth were reunited at the beginning of this book because their separation during the first two books was absolutely awful. I really love their relationship. While they have a lot in common, in many ways they’re opposites and I couldn’t help thinking throughout the book how much they complement each other.
Annabeth is obviously my other favorite. As a daughter of Athena she’s extremely smart but she’s also tough and stubborn. She uses confidence to mask her doubts and fears and I really liked watching her struggle with that while she tried to be a good leader. During this book she had to undertake a quest all by herself and I loved seeing how resourceful and brave she can really be.
I just feel so bad for Leo. His mother died, his other family refused to take him in and now he’s finally found a home and friends but nothing seems to go right for him and it’s rarely his fault. At one point he does something terrible while possessed and even though he had no control and his friends don’t blame him, he still feels like the consequences of it fall on his shoulders. It doesn’t help that, because the other six demigods have grouped into couples, Leo’s usually just a seventh wheel. He’s an amazing character and I really hope things go better for him in the next books.
I’m never entirely sure how I feel about Piper. I seem to alternate between being annoyed and impressed by her. She’s a daughter of Aphrodite which might make you think she’d be really superficial but she actively tries to avoid the things that people expect from Aphrodite’s children. Her only demigod power is charmspeak; she can convince people to believe or do things just by speaking to them. Unfortunately it doesn’t tend to work on more powerful monsters so in most fights she’s not very helpful. However she’s smart and compassionate so she tends to be more of an asset outside of battles. I hope to see her grow more during the rest of the series.
Overall this was an amazing book. It ended on an awful cliffhanger so I can’t wait to start the next book and see what happens. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA, fantasy, or mythology. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments and thanks for reading!
-Antonia

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Summary: Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth. 51zk6kgt8dl-_sx327_bo1204203200_

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams. 

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart. 

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

 

Review: I absolutely loved the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series. Like Riordan’s other books, it’s a really fun story of demigods going on a quest from the gods. They face tests of intellect and strength, they battle monsters, and mostly just fight for their lives.
I enjoyed this book even more than the first. (You can read my review of The Lost Hero here.) I think most of that is because Percy came back in this one and he’s always been my favorite. He’s strong, funny, stubborn, loyal, kind, and a little goofy sometimes. Since his memory was taken away, we see him struggling for the first half of the book as he tries to remember not only his past but who he is. I really enjoyed seeing him push past it as he continued to try to do the right thing despite everything he was going through. I don’t think he will ever stop being my favorite character.
I also adore Frank. He’s cute and clumsy and awkward. He never feels like he’s good enough and, other than his skills with archery (which are kind of looked down upon by most of the other characters), he doesn’t think he has any talents. I loved watching him come into his own as he realizes he CAN do amazing things as long as he believes in himself.
Hazel was the only one of the three I didn’t love entirely. I definitely didn’t hate her and started to like her more by the end of the story but found her a little annoying during the beginning. It just felt like she kept throwing herself a pity party; granted she had fairly legitimate reasons for it and she’s only thirteen years old so I can’t expect her to be mature about everything but I couldn’t help being a little irritated when the story was in her POV.
I really enjoyed the plot throughout the book. A lot of times in fantasy, even with the help of magical beings and objects, the progression of the story can be a little awkward. I know it’s something a lot of readers have trouble with since it can be hard to find a balance between the fantasy aspects of the story and still be realistic enough for you to immerse yourself in it. I felt that this story fell nicely between the two; e.g. they had help from a magic horse that can run at supersonic speeds but it still took them time to travel long distances.
Overall this was an amazing book that had a little bit of everything (including two really excellent battles). I’d recommend this to anyone who likes YA, mythology, fantasy, or action. As always, I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading.
-Antonia

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Summary: 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?91vcdxkm3dl

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, 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, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

Review: I read Percy Jackson and the Olympians (written “PJO” for the rest of the post) a few years ago and immediately loved them so much I had to get the Heroes of Olympus series. I read the first three books but around the time I was starting the fourth, I moved across the country and it somehow got lost in the chaos. I’ve finally replaced it but since it’s been so long I’ll be rereading and reviewing the entire series.
I loved this book just as much the second time as I did the first for many different reasons. First, mythology is a topic that’s always interested me and I’ve always loved seeing how different authors turn those myths into fiction. I instantly loved Riordan’s take on Greek mythology and am really excited that this series includes some Roman mythology as well. If you don’t know, Roman mythology came directly from Greek so a lot of it is very similar but they’re still considered two entirely separate pantheons. In this book I got to see all of those similarities and differences and am excited for more of it in the next books.
Another of my favorite aspects of this book is the characters. First, I was really happy I got to see some of the old characters from the PJO series though I am very sad Percy wasn’t in it. Second, I just really love the characters Riordan creates. They’re flawed and relatable but also amazing and badass. I feel like they’re a better portrayal of their ages than many other YA books. The characters are around 15-16 in this book and while they have moments of maturity (being heroes and fighting monsters makes you grow up fast) you never forget that they’re still children. It’s one of the first things I loved about PJO as well. The children acted like children. They worry about silly things, they make gross jokes, their priorities are sometimes skewed, they’re impulsive. Since they’re a few years older in this book there’s certainly a bit more maturity but they’re still just kids.
The plot was really fun. There’s a lot of action and suspense, even a little romance, but mostly it was just fun to read. Our main characters are demigods going on a quest so there’s all sorts of magic and monsters. Crazy things happen to them constantly so if you’re looking for something realistic you should probably look somewhere else.
One of my favorite things about the way Riordan writes is the little clues he gives us. Either through prophecies and visions, or sometimes just things a character sees; and you’ll think, “oh, yeah! That means this” and other times you have no idea what it means. Usually it turns out to be a little different than you originally thought but there’s always this moment where something just clicks and you realize that scene earlier in the books had a hidden meaning.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to start the next. I’d recommend this to anyone who like YA, fantasy, or mythology. I suggest reading PJO first but you likely wouldn’t be too confused if you skipped it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia