Sweet Legacy

Caution! It is absolutely essential that you read the first two books in Tera Lynn Childs’ Medusa Girls trilogy (Sweet Venom and Sweet Shadows) before proceeding to the third and final book, Sweet Legacy. As a matter of fact, go ahead and read them over again (or at least skim) before starting the finale. I wish I had. I spent way too much time trying to re-familiarize myself with the events of the previous two books, and that had a big impact on my reading.

Well, it’s not often that it takes me seventeen days to finish a book, but that’s just what happened with Sweet Legacy. (If you read the warning above, you can probably figure out why.) It’s not the book’s fault. If I had read the books in this series back-to-back, my reading would have gone much more smoothly. As it was, I had a hard time remembering what happened in the previous two books, so, when I found myself totally confused, I had to revisit the previous books to refresh my memory. (Ah, the perils of loving books in a series!) This was rather time-consuming. Add this to my job responsibilities, spending time with family, keeping a semi-clean house, and other stuff, and my reading of Sweet Legacy didn’t go nearly as fast as is normal for me.

Once I finally got into Sweet Legacy (and remembered everything I needed to), the story was rather engrossing. It picks up the story of triplets Gretchen, Greer, and Grace, modern-day descendants of Medusa, and their quest to either close or open the door between the monster and human realms. (This may seem like a simple decision, but it’s really not…as you’ll see.)

Grace, Greer, and Gretchen, sisters who didn’t even know each other just days ago, are doing everything within their considerable power to set things right in the world. But what is right? That’s not always clear, and when both monsters and gods are set on killing you to prevent you from fulfilling your destiny, it muddies the waters even more.

The sisters travel through the abyss, through the halls and dungeons of Mount Olympus, and even through their fair city of San Francisco looking for help in finding the lost door between the realms. They will find help among monsters, gods, gorgons, and humans alike (including a trio of guys that do their part to muddle the girls’ thoughts), and all of them will be tasked with fighting in the battle ahead. Ultimately, though, destiny resides in the hands of Greer, Grace, and Gretchen, three young girls being asked to determine the fate of the world as they know it.

Will the sisters seal the door to the abyss forever (and trap all monsters, good and bad alike)? Will they open the door and let whatever happens happen? Or will they truly fulfill their purpose as descendants of Medusa and claim the legacy that has been foretold for centuries? What do the Fates have in store for Grace, Gretchen, and Greer? Discover the answers for yourself when you read Sweet Legacy, the thrilling conclusion to Tera Lynn Childs’ Medusa Girls trilogy!

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Even though it did take me longer than I would have liked to get into this book, I will say that, once I did, I was impressed with how action-packed it was. Truly, there was never a dull moment, and the strength of the sisters was awesome to behold, especially since their strengths manifested in very different ways. Each of the girls presented a role model that embraced not only her strengths but her flaws as well. The sisters experienced growth throughout the series, and they also grew closer to each other and young men who didn’t try to make them fit into a mold of the perfect teen girl. The sisters are loved as they are, fangs and all.

I would definitely recommend this series to middle grade and young adult readers. Those who’ve enjoyed any of Rick Riordan’s books will likely find something to enjoy in this series, and it’s also kind of interesting to compare the mythologies in both authors’ works.

If you’d like more information on the Medusa Girls trilogy or other books by Tera Lynn Childs, I encourage you to visit the author’s website at http://teralynnchilds.com/. I’ve read almost everything she’s written at this point, and there’s not a stinker in the bunch!

Published in: on January 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goddess in Time

Warning! You MUST read Tera Lynn Childs’ Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp before reading Goddess in Time! And if it’s been over three years since you read the last book, a refresher may be in order. (Seriously, I spent the first couple of chapters really confused, and I had to look to previous blog posts, Goodreads, and the author’s website to re-familiarize myself with the main characters.)

If you’re still reading, I’ll assume you’re caught up with the Oh. My. Gods. series. Goddess in Time, a 14-chapter novella, kind of continues things with Nicole’s story. (If you don’t remember, Nicole is one of Phoebe’s best friends, and may be best known for getting into trouble and her sarcastic manner.)

When Nicole was a child, she and her friend Griffin (now Phoebe’s boyfriend) did something that altered their lives forever. One tiny prank on Mount Olympus, and everything changed.  As punishment, Nicole’s parents were stripped of their powers and banished, and Griffin’s parents were smoted. Seems harsh, right? Well, not when you’re dealing with the Greek gods, especially when one of those is Hera.  If only there were some way for Nicole to make things right…

Well, Nicole may have stumbled across something that could work. It’s something that no one has tried for centuries. Chronoportation. In other words, time travel.  It’s dangerous and highly illegal, but this power could be just what she needs to undo her mistakes.  She’ll need to travel to the palaces of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, and contact her godly ancestor to make this happen, but Nicole is determined to right her wrongs and bring her parents back where they belong.

But things may not be quite as simple as Nicole had hoped. (They never are when in comes to Greek deities!) Nicole will come face-to-face with her own past on this journey, and she may not be totally prepared for what she finds. What will Nicole learn about her heritage and, more importantly, about herself in this quest for justice? Discover Nicole’s secrets when you read Goddess in Time, an Oh. My. Gods. novella by Tera Lynn Childs!

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Even though it took me a little while to step back into this world, I did enjoy Goddess in Time. (It could be because I’m a little time-travel crazy right now. The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special is just two days away!) Nicole learned a lot about herself in this story, and she’s just an all-around fun character to read about anyway. (I do enjoy my fair share of snark and sarcasm.)

If you want even more stories from the Oh. My. Gods. series, check out Tera Lynn Childs’ website at http://teralynnchilds.com/. There are three more really short, sweet stories right there on the site:  Phoebe’s Fair Valentine, The Twelve Days of Stella, and Nicole’s Labyrinth.  I read them all last night, and, from what I could determine, all of them take place after Goddess Boot Camp but before Goddess in Time. Enjoy!

Published in: on November 21, 2013 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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The House of Hades

Even though I’m not going to give too much away here, before you read The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, you MUST read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the first three books in the Heroes of Olympus series.  These books, in order, are:

Seriously, read them all! 

Last night at exactly 11:06, I finished reading The House of Hades, the fourth book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series. (I should have finished it sooner, but life got in the way. At any rate, I’m done now.) I then proceeded to dream that I was a demigod all night long. I’m kind of exhausted today, but I’ll do my best to provide just a little information on this intense fourth installment without giving too much away.

When last we saw our beloved demigods, Percy and Annabeth had plunged into the depths of Tartarus, and the remaining members of the quest were on their way to Greece in an attempt to stop Gaea from rising. Now, Percy and Annabeth are facing unspeakable horrors in an effort to close the Doors of Death from the abyss, and Leo, Hazel, Frank, Jason, Piper, Nico, and Coach Hedge are traveling through the ancient lands and trying to close the Doors from the mortal world.

Both groups are facing terrors that they couldn’t have anticipated, but there is hope. Help comes to them in some unexpected forms, and every member of this quest will find inner strength that makes them more powerful than they could have ever realized. But are they strong enough to perform the daunting task in front of them? What new obstacles will they face along the way? And can they find a way to complete their missions while keeping Greek and Roman demigods from destroying each other?

Everything will come to a head at the House of Hades. Who will be victorious? What comes next? I’ll leave that for you to discover…

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So, yeah…I haven’t told you much. I didn’t want to. The House of Hades is a book that fans of this series (and the Percy Jackson series) must experience for themselves, so I didn’t want to post any blatant spoilers. I will say, though, that the ending didn’t make me want to hurl the book across the room like Mark of Athena did. (A lot of the action in this book was projectile-worthy, but the ending was borderline satisfying. That’s as much of a spoiler as I’m going to give you.)

There’s still, however, a lot of story to be told. (Will Gaea wake? What will happen when/if she does? Can a few demigods defeat the flippin’ Earth Mother? Will all of them survive? Will Leo ever find true and lasting love? Will Annabeth and Percy ever get a rainbows-and-fairy-dust happy ending?) Luckily, we have at least one more book in this series to give us some answers. The Blood of Olympus will be released next fall, and judging by the title, things are going to get much worse for our favorite demigods if before they get better.

If you’d like more information on The House of Hades, check out Rick Riordan’s website. You can also follow the author on Twitter @camphalfblood.

Published in: on October 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet Shadows

Warning:  Read Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs before proceeding. If it’s been over a year since you read Sweet Venom, it’s probably a good idea to reread it (or at least the last couple of chapters) before proceeding!

As you’ve no doubt gathered, I first read Sweet Venom, the first book in Tera Lynn Childs’ Medusa Girls series, quite some time ago. (October of 2011, to be precise.) For whatever reason, I waited until Sunday to begin reading the second book, Sweet Shadows. That was not smart. Maybe if I’d read it sooner, I wouldn’t have spent so much time trying to remember what happened in the first book. Luckily, I did have my blog post for Sweet Venom, but that didn’t exactly provide me with tons of details or how the book actually ended. It did give me a starting point, though, and I flipped through the first book when I needed to fill in any blanks. (That happened a lot when I first started reading Sweet Shadows. My memory sucks lately.)

Sweet Shadows picks up immediately where Sweet Venom ended. Gretchen, Grace, and Greer have barely had time to come to terms with the fact that they’re triplets, descendants of the Gorgon Medusa, and their destiny is tied to a divine prophecy that puts their very lives in danger. Despite their rather obvious differences, these reunited sisters will have to work together to determine just what it going on and what it means for them. They may have some help along the way, but can anything really combat the war that is brewing?

As Gretchen, Grace, and Greer continue to face horrible monsters and unanswered question, new dangers also await them. Exploding apartments. Disappearing mentors. Training to fight. Diving into the abyss. Boys. (Some of these are, obviously, more dangerous than others!) In the midst of it all, the sisters are learning more about themselves, each other, and what their destiny really means.

Destiny, though, may not be as straightforward as they once thought. Keep the monsters in the abyss. Should be a no-brainer, right? Yeah…not so much. It’s a little more complicated than that and may involve actually allowing monsters out of the abyss to walk and live among humans…as they once did. It’s all about restoring balance and is clear as mud to Gretchen, Grace, and Greer. They’re not really sure what they are supposed to do, but they do know only one place–the abyss itself–holds the answers (and the people) they need. Are any of the sisters courageous enough to brave this dark chasm? If so, what will await them?

While it is clear that lots of people (and monsters, gods, etc.) want the sisters dead, there may be others who would seek to aid them in fulfilling their destiny. The question is…who is ally, and who is enemy? Who can these sisters ultimately trust? And what will happen if that trust is misplaced?

Fate, destiny, life–whatever you want to call it–is about to come crashing down on Gretchen, Grace, and Greer. Keeping this dangerous, barely believable existence separate from “real life” is quickly becoming impossible. Is there any way for these girls to hold onto some semblance of normalcy while staying true to each other and the destiny they are attempting to fulfill? Is success even possible? Can these sisters control their own fates and bring light to the shadows in their lives? We’ll just have to wait and see…

While it took me a little while to get invested in this story (which was my own fault), once I got going, I was totally enthralled. Sweet Shadows, like Sweet Venom, is action-packed, and readers will be eager to discover just who these girls can trust and who might be hiding a secret identity. (I still have some ideas about that.)

I also enjoyed seeing how the sisters grew closer together in this second book. Yes, they’re all still very different, but I think they’re learning now that those differences can make them stronger, both individually and as a group. They begin to learn from their diverse experiences and backgrounds, and that’s always a good thing.

The final installment in the Medusa Girls series, Sweet Legacy, is scheduled to be released on September 3rd of this year. Hopefully, I can make time to read it as soon as it comes out! I’m eager to see how the story resolves for Gretchen, Grace, and Greer. Here’s hoping these three sisters get the happy ending they deserve!

For those book cover nuts (like me), here’s the gorgeous cover for book three, Sweet Legacy.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Tera Lynn Childs’ books, particularly her mythology-based works (Oh. My. Gods., Goddess Boot Camp, Sweet Venom, and Sweet Shadows), are a perfect fit for Rick Riordan fans looking for some strong female characters (kind of like Annabeth from the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series). Ms. Childs’ books might be a little shorter, but they still pack quite a punch.

If you’d like more information about Sweet Shadows and any other books by Tera Lynn Childs, check out her website. This page also has links to the author’s Goodreads, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

The Mark of Athena

Spoilers!  If you haven’t read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian) and the first two books in the Heroes of Olympus series (The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune), turn back now.  If you don’t, reading The Mark of Athena could be more confusing than trying to find a way out of Daedalus’ labyrinth.  (If you didn’t get that reference, it might also be a good idea to stop now.)

So, yesterday I finished reading The Mark of Athena, the third book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series.  Just when I think that things can’t possibly get any worse for Percy Jackson, Annabeth, and their lovely demigod friends, I’m proven horribly wrong.  After reading The Son of Neptune last year, I knew things weren’t going to be all moonlight and roses in this book, but I don’t think I was prepared for just how bad things were going to get…and, if the way The Mark of Athena ended is any indication, the next book won’t be a day at the park either.

The Mark of Athena begins with Annabeth (daughter of Athena), Leo (son of Hephaestus), Jason (son of Jupiter), and Piper (daughter of Aphrodite) descending on Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent to Camp Half-Blood.  They’re not sure how welcome they will be, especially since they are literally descending on the camp in what can only be called a Greek warship.  While most of the Roman campers are not exactly thrilled with the presence of the ship (also known as the Argo II), one person at Camp Jupiter is delighted to see it…Percy Jackson.  He hasn’t seen his girlfriend, Annabeth, in what seems like ages, and he’s deliriously happy to be reunited with her.  That is, until his newly arrived friends accidentally start a war with the Romans who have taken him in, and he, Hazel (daughter of Pluto), and Frank (son of Mars) are forced to make a hasty exit with Annabeth and company.

Now, we have seven demigods aboard a Greek trireme heading off on a quest that is likely to kill all of them.  This deadly adventure takes them to such exotic locales as Kansas, Atlanta (specifically the Georgia Aquarium), and Charleston (South Carolina shout-out!).  But these are just pit-stops on the way to their ultimate destination…Rome.  Although the journey is treacherous, these seven demigods must work together to close the Doors of Death, stop Gaea and her giants from destroying the earth, and find some way for Greeks, Romans, and gods to work together.  On top of all that, Annabeth has an additional quest handed down directly from her mother.  She has to follow the Mark of Athena and restore something crucial to her mother.  All other children of Athena have failed (read:  died)  in this quest.  Should be a piece of cake, right?  (If you’ve read any of the previous books, you already know the answer to that question.)

From the very beginning of this quest, things go wrong, and it’s going to take something drastic to turn everything around.  Are these seven demigods up to the task?  What sacrifices will be made to ensure the success of this dangerous crusade?  And are these young people prepared for the fallout of the decisions they will be forced to make?  Discover the answers to these questions and many more when you read The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.

It should be obvious to all that I loved this book (just like its predecessors).  The Mark of Athena was filled with humor, horror, danger, heavy doses of Greek and Roman mythology, love, giants, disguises, and loads of adventure.  (Kind of sounds like the description Peter Falk gives Fred Savage for The Princess Bride.)  I was enthralled from the very first page, and when I finally finished the book, I had to give myself quite a bit of time to process everything that happened.  (Especially the ending.  That was brutal.)

I can hardly wait to read the next book in this epic series, The House of Hades.  It should be out in the fall of 2013, so wait I must.  There will also be a fifth book in this series.  I’m pretty sure Rick Riordan is trying to kill me with all of this waiting.  (I’m not the most patient of people.)

If you’d like more information about The Mark of Athena and Rick Riordan’s other amazing books, check out his website at http://www.rickriordan.com/home.aspx.  You can also follow the author on Twitter @camphalfblood.

For those who are interested, here is a book trailer for The Mark of Athena from DisneyHyperion.  It tells absolutely nothing about the book, so you don’t really need to concern yourself with spoilers.

Published in: on October 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Starcrossed

Occasionally, I come across a book that’s been out a while and I wonder, “Why in the world did I wait so long to read this?!”  That’s the case with my latest read, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.  Starcrossed has been out a little over a year, and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.  Why, you ask?  Well, this book (and, hopefully, the entire series) is kind of like the best parts of the Twilight saga, the Mortal Instruments, and the Percy Jackson series all rolled into one.  That’s really the best way I can explain it.  If you liked any or all of those series, you should definitely give Starcrossed a try.

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire life trying not to be noticed.  And on the small island of Nantucket, that’s nearly impossible, especially when you’re a beautiful, blond, athletic, smart, tall girl who kind of stands out from the crowd.  But Helen knows that, if she’s not careful, she’ll stand out more than ever before.  You see, Helen has some pretty special abilities that she doesn’t quite understand…and it’s getting harder and harder to hide her true self.  And when the mysterious Delos family moves to Nantucket, things get even worse.

When Helen first sets eyes on Lucas Delos, she wants nothing more than to kill him.  Violently.  (She even tries to in the halls of her school.  So much for not being noticed.)  Helen doesn’t know why she feels so strongly about this–or why she sees three creepy women crying blood whenever she sees a member of the Delos family–but the urge to wipe out Lucas is almost uncontrollable.  Why?  Why does mild-mannered Helen want so badly to kill someone she’d never met before?  Well, the answers she’s looking for are as old as time itself, and Helen will need to overcome her newfound homicidal rage to find out what’s going on and where she fits into it.

Helen isn’t quite prepared for the answers she gets, but it’s something of a relief to know why she’s so different.  (It’s also a relief when her urge to kill Lucas finally fades.  But some equally disturbing urges are coming along…if you know what I mean.)  Helen and Lucas, both demigods destined to be at war, are repeating roles in Greek tragedies that have occurred throughout history…and the Fates seem to be determined to keep Helen and Lucas apart at all costs.

Even as Helen, Lucas, and the entire Delos clan work to figure out what is going on–and how Helen fits into the bigger picture–Helen and Lucas are battling their own desire to be together.  Can they thwart the Fates and make their own way in the world?  Will something–or someone–come along to drive them even further from each other?  Will they be strong enough to stay together when the Fates–and even their own families–seem determined that they remain starcrossed lovers?  Find out how one girl both battles and embraces her own destiny when you read Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.

I adored Starcrossed, and the recap above doesn’t begin to do it justice.  This book is so much more than a simple supernatural love story.  It’s got drama, action, a bit of comedy, bad guys (both human and not-so-human), mysteries to be solved, misdirection, happy families, mythology, a girl with mommy issues, flying, fighting, curses, friends, and, yes, a very complicated relationship between Helen and Lucas (which reminds me a lot of the Clary/Jace relationship in Cassie Clare’s Mortal Instruments series).  There’s something here for everyone, and I think this book definitely deserves a place in any YA collection.

I loved this book so much that I just ordered the sequel, Dreamless, and I plan to read it as soon as I can.  The third book, Goddess, should be out in May of 2013.  If you’d like to learn more about this series, visit http://www.josephineangelini.com/, or follow the author on Twitter @josieangelini.  You may also want to check out this book trailer from HarperTeen.  Enjoy!

Published in: on September 3, 2012 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Son of Neptune

Before I get to my latest read, I’d like to wish everyone who follows this blog a very merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, wonderful Winter Solstice, and lovely Festivus for the rest of us.  I hope everyone’s holidays are super!  I spent half of today finishing a great book, so my Christmas is off to a great start!

I’ve been meaning to read The Son of Neptune, the second book in Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, for a couple of months now.  Life (and a few other books) have prevented that from happening, but I finally got around to this book during my much needed winter break.  (Of course, my students had a little to do with this.  They want to talk to me about this book, so I promised them I’d have it read before we returned to school in January.  I am a woman of my word.)  Now that I’ve finished The Son of Neptune, I wish I had read it sooner.  Like all of Rick Riordan’s books, it’s a wonderfully complicated story filled with secrets, tragic heroes, danger, and help in unexpected places.  I was engrossed from the very beginning–especially since the story started off with Percy Jackson–and, now that I’m finished, I’m eager for the next installment.  I hope that you’ll feel the same.  I will warn you, though…if you haven’t read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian) and The Lost Hero, read those before starting with The Son of Neptune.  All of these books are beautifully connected, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on something important.

In The Son of Neptune, Percy Jackson has just risen from a very long sleep. He doesn’t remember much of anything. He only knows his name and that he’s fighting two gorgons (sisters of Medusa). His only hope of surviving is to get to the camp for demigods that’s nearby. Something about Camp Jupiter seems familiar, but it seems a little off to Percy…and the residents of the camp think there’s something a little off about Percy as well.  He’s not exactly welcome with open arms, especially when it becomes clear that he is a son of Neptune (a bad omen at Camp Jupiter).  In this Roman camp, people seem to recognize that there something a bit Greek about Percy, and Romans and Greeks don’t exactly have a history of getting along.  Percy knows his true place isn’t at Camp Jupiter, but he soon discovers that he has a part to play in helping the camp survive…

Immediately upon arriving at Camp Jupiter, Percy encounters two young demigods who become his instant friends:  Hazel and Frank.  Hazel is a daughter of Pluto who is hiding a bunch of secrets, including where (or when) she came from and her role in Gaea’s war against the Olympus.  Frank is seen as a bit of a loser and is still waiting to learn who his godly parent is.  When the answer he’s always waited for finally arrives, Frank is less than pleased with his father’s identity, for it means that his life is about to get a lot more complicated.  (He’s not wrong.) 

Percy, Hazel, and Frank are sent on a quest to prevent Gaea’s giant Alcyoneus from taking the war against Olympus to the next level.  There’s a bit of a problem, though.  (Isn’t there always?)  The three demigods have just a few days to make it from San Francisco to Alaska, and they have to battle lots of monsters along the way.  They’ve also got to make a few important pit stops to communicate with potential allies (who may or may not have their own agendas).  On top of that, once they deal with Alcyoneus, who cannot be killed in his home, they’ve got to return to Camp Jupiter to help save the camp from the monsters on their way to destroy it.  Easy peasy, right?  Yeah…not so much.  On this journey, secrets will be revealed, old (and new) foes and friends will be encountered, and the young demigods will encounter Death himself.  Will they be able to complete the nearly impossible task before them, or will Gaea find a way to further her cause against Olympus?  Will Percy regain his memory?  If he does, what will it mean for his life at Camp Jupiter?  To find the answers to these questions and more, read The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan!

It should go without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed The Son of Neptune. It is a great book for readers ages 9 to 99.  The things that I loved about Riordan’s previous books also apply to this one:  fully developed characters, an intricate plot, tons of action, friends and enemies in unexpected places, and a liberal dose of humor.  I can’t wait to see where the third book, The Mark of Athena, takes us.  It should be an interesting ride.

By the way, The Mark of Athena is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.  In the meantime, I urge you to read Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series–The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire.  There’s no word yet on when the third book in this series will be released.  Also, I heard recently that Rick Riordan may be writing a series centered around Norse mythology when he’s done tackling Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.  If you’d like more information about Rick Riordan and his amazing books, visit http://www.rickriordan.com/home.aspx.  Happy holidays!

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet Venom

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of Tera Lynn Childs.  I adored Oh. My. Gods., Goddess Boot Camp, Forgive My Fins, and Fins Are Forever.  When I learned that she would be writing a new book dealing with the descendants of Medusa, I knew that I would read it.  Well, I have just finished reading Sweet Venom, the first book in the Medusa Girls series, and I am hooked (which is really not surprising considering my fondness for Greek mythology).  Like Oh. My. Gods., Sweet Venom is a little like Percy Jackson for the teen girl set.  There are monsters, fighting, awkward encounters with cute guys, secrets, prophecies, and long-lost relatives.  What more could a girl want?

Gretchen has been fighting monsters for the past four years.  As a descendant of the Gorgon Medusa (who was not the monster everyone claims), it is Gretchen’s job to fight the evil beings that escape from the abyss.  Only she can send them back to where they came from.  Usually, she only has to deal with one monster at a time–a sphinx here, a minotaur there–and she can go on about her business.  Lately, however, there seem to be more monsters around, and with her mentor Ursula doing a mysterious disappearing act, Gretchen has no one to talk to about what’s going on.  But all that is about to change…

Grace has just moved to San Francisco to attend a new school.  Opportunities abound, and Grace is excited to leave her reputation as a doormat behind.  Things don’t get off to a good start, however, when she somehow makes an enemy of the school’s resident mean girl.  It seems Grace is destined to be a coward.  She wants to be brave, but she doesn’t really know how.  And when she starts seeing strange creatures around her, her battle for bravery is sorely tested.  What are these things, and why can’t anyone else see them?  As it turns out, someone else can…a sister Grace never knew she had.

When Grace and Gretchen meet, it’s not exactly a lovey-dovey family reunion.  Neither of them knew the other even existed, but they soon realize they must work together to fight the monsters crawling out of the woodwork.  These two huntresses must find out why so many monsters are out and why they are so determined to kill the descendants of Medusa.  Their research leads them to some uncomfortable truths–including the fact that Gretchen and Grace are not twins.  They’re triplets.

When sister Greer enters the picture, another curve ball is thrown at the lives each sister once led.  How can three totally different people unite to fulfull an ancient prophecy?  Can they fight monsters while still holding on to some semblance of a normal life?  And will they ever be able to understand something even more mysterious–the minds of boys?  Join the madness when you read Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

Sweet Venom is a great introduction to what I’m sure will be a fascinating series.  I’m very intrigued by the idea that Medusa was not the evil being we’ve all heard of.  (Apparently, Athena played fast and loose with the truth because she was jealous of Medusa’s relationship with Poseidon.)  I’ve always liked misunderstood “bad guys” (i.e. Darth Vader).  I also like how the differences between Grace, Gretchen, and Greer are emphasized.  Even though they’re triplets, life handed all of them very different cards.  It will be interesting to see how those differences play out in the future even as destiny forces the sisters to work as one.

I really enjoyed Sweet Venom, and I highly recommend it to readers from middle school on up.  I would definitely push it to female fans of Percy Jackson.  Guys will find something to enjoy in this series as well–especially all the monster-fighting–but this series will find a home in the hands of female readers.

The second book in the Medusa Girls series, Sweet Shadows, will be released sometime in 2012.  For now, if you’d like more information on Sweet Venom and other books by Tera Lynn Childs, visit http://teralynnchilds.com/.

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Goddess Test

Girl moves to a new town.  Girl meets boy.  Boy is brooding and mysterious.  Girl falls for boy.  Boy has deep, dark secret.  Girl must decide if boy is worth giving up everything.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?  I will admit that this setup has become a bit of a formula for a lot of young adult fiction, but do you want to know a secret?  It works.  And when you throw in a hefty dose of Greek mythology into the mix, like Aimee Carter does in The Goddess Test, it works even better.  (As we all know, I love me some Greek mythology.)  The Goddess Test gives new life to an often misunderstood Greek deity and shows how far one girl will go to save herself and those she loves.

Kate Winters’ mother is dying, and it’s up to Kate to make one last wish come true.  Her mother wants to move back to her childhood home in Eden, Michigan, so Kate uproots her entire life and moves to a place she’s never seen.  She’ll have no friends, no ties, and she’ll slowly watch the only family she’s ever known fade away.  But the small town of Eden may have more in store for Kate than she ever dared to expect…

On a night full of fear and hopelessness, Kate meets Henry.  She is entranced by him, but she’s not really sure why…until he brings a young girl back from the dead.  It seems that Henry is really Hades, Greek god of the Underworld, and, in exchange for this girl’s life and more time with her mother, he wants Kate to accept a proposal that could change her world forever.  (And by “forever,” I really mean forever.  We’re talking eternity here.)

Kate agrees to Henry’s terms, but she must first pass a series of tests.  She won’t know what the tests are or when they are coming.  All she does know is that eleven girls have attempted these tests before her, and all eleven have died.  Kate is Henry’s last chance.  If she fails, she’ll lose Henry, her mother, and everything she’s ever known.  If Kate passes, she’ll become Henry’s wife and goddess of the Underworld.  But does Henry even care if she passes or not, or is he still pining for Persephone, the wife who left him behind?  Is passing even possible when so many before her have failed?

Kate isn’t always sure what is going on around her, but she knows that she must pass the tests before her, for Henry’s sake as well as her own.  Even though someone seems determined that she fail, Kate will do everything in her power to become a goddess or die trying.  Will she succeed?  Find out when you read The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.

The Goddess Test isn’t incredibly deep, but it is a fun, quick read that puts a different spin on the Greek myths that we know and love.  And there’s more!  The sequel, Goddess Interrupted will be released in April of 2012.  Judging by the synopsis on the author’s webpage (http://www.aimeecarter.com/About_the_Books.html), this sequel will be made of awesome!  The cover alone is enough to get me to read it.  Check it out below:

If you enjoyed Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series or Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs, you should give The Goddess Test a try.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(By the way, I apologize if this post is less than my best.  Today was my first day back at school after summer break, and I’m a little wiped out.  I’ll do better next time.)

The Lost Hero

Well, Rick Riordan has done it again.  After the travesty that was the movie adaptation of The Lightning Thief, I thought I was done with the antics at Camp Half-Blood.  How wrong I was.  I just finished reading The Lost Hero, the first book in Riordan’s new Heroes of Olympus series, and I am absolutely hooked.  I loved how this new story and these new characters interact with the characters and events of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  There is a wonderful sense of continuity, but readers are also introduced to a new story line with its own characters and challenges.

In The Lost Hero, we are introduced to three new demigods:  Jason, Piper, and Leo.  At the beginning, they have no idea who they really are or what they can do.  After a treacherous field trip to the Grand Canyon, however, things begin to change–especially when their gym coach turns out to be a somewhat unpredictable satyr.  The three teens are spirited away to Camp Half-Blood where, one by one, they are claimed by their godly parents.  Even this is not without its conflict.  (I won’t tell you who their parents are.  That would really ruin things for you.  You’ll just have to read to find out.)

Shortly after Jason, Piper, and Leo arrive at Camp Half-Blood, they are sent on a quest–and we all know how wonderful those usually turn out, don’t we?  They must stop something truly evil from coming to life and destroying Olympus and the world as they (and we) know it.  This could prove to be a bit difficult, especially since Jason has a touch of amnesia, Piper and Leo are hiding some pretty important details, and all of the gods of Olympus have gone silent.  To sum up, things are bad, and they’re about to get much, much worse.

Can our heroes succeed in their quest?  Why were these three demigods chosen for this all-important task?  Why does Jason constantly refer to the gods and goddesses by their Roman names?  How are these events connected to Percy Jackson and his actions in the Titan War?  What will they have to do–or give up–to defeat the evil that is rising?  Read The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan for the answers to these questions and more.  (I will warn you that some of these questions may be answered, but about a million more will pop up to replace them.  Awesome.)

Just like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lost Hero (and the rest of the Heroes of Olympus series, I hope) is great for upper elementary, middle, and high school readers.  Adults will enjoy it, too!  I’m looking forward to the next book in this series, The Son of Neptune, due out in the fall of 2011.

For more information on Rick Riordan and his wonderful books, visit http://www.rickriordan.com/home.aspx.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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