The Crown of Ptolemy

Notice: Read everything Rick Riordan has ever written before proceeding. Seriously.

So, last night, I finally made time to read the third Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles crossover novella, The Crown of Ptolemy. (For some reason, I didn’t post on the first two. Read them anyway. They’re awesome.) This story takes place after all of the action in The Blood of Olympus and The Serpent’s Shadow, and it’s told from Percy Jackson’s point of view…which basically means it’s full of sarcasm and snark.

The Crown of Ptolemy begins with Percy and Annabeth encountering some weird flying serpents on Governor’s Island in New York. These pests are hovering around Setne, an Elvis look-alike and Egyptian magician who’s trying to combine Greek and Egyptian magic in order to make himself immortal. Should be easy enough to stop, right? Yeah…not so much. Nothing ever seems to be easy when ancient magic is involved.

Percy and Annabeth call on Carter and Sadie Kane to help out with this mess before things get out of hand. Well, things kind of get out of hand anyway. Setne is on his way to uniting the two crowns of Egypt, becoming a god, and taking over the entire world.

The fearsome foursome of Percy, Annabeth, Carter, and Sadie must combine forces if they have any hope of stopping Setne. They’ll need to use every tool at their disposal–and some they didn’t even realize existed–to defeat Setne and prevent him from ripping the world apart.

Can Greek demigods and Egyptian magicians work together to stop this crazed madman? What unpleasantness will they encounter along the way? Find out for yourself when you read The Crown of Ptolemy!

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I love that this story was written from Percy’s perspective. Even when things got super-serious, he greeted the situation with his trademark humor and snark. Percy’s voice is so refreshing, and I really hope that we’ll see more of him in future books, novellas, whatever.

I also enjoyed the interactions between the four characters in this story. Percy and Sadie found kindred spirits in each other, and the same was true of Carter and Annabeth. Impulsive rule-breakers vs. methodical rule-followers. Each of them had their own way of doing things, but every member of this group, boys and girls, contributed equally (in my opinion) in their quest to defeat Setne, and that in itself was kind of magical.

Given how this particular story ended, I have high hopes that readers will see more crossover stories from Percy, Annabeth, the Kanes, and even the other heroes in Riordan’s books (both past and future). It seems the lines between all of these “mythologies” may be blurring, and I’m thinking that everyone may need to work together to battle what’s coming.

For those of you who, like me, are kind of obsessed with Rick Riordan‘s work, never fear! There are a couple of his books coming out soon. Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes will be out on August 18th (and that reminds me that I still need to read Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods). The Sword of Summer, the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, will be released on October 6th. And I haven’t even mentioned the graphic novel adaptations of Riordan’s books! This should keep us busy!

Die Once More

Caution! If you haven’t read every story in Amy Plum’s Revenants series–Die for Me, Until I Die, Die for Her (an ebook novella), and If I Should Dieturn back now! I’d hate to ruin this magnificent series for you…but I will.

If you’re still with me, I assume you’re caught up on all things Revenant. Today, I’ll be taking a quick look at the second novella in this series, Die Once More. This story, like Die For Her, is told from Jules’ perspective. It takes place just after the events of If I Should Die, which essentially wrapped up what was happening with the Revenants in Paris.

*For those of you who failed to heed my warning above and are still reading this, Revenants are less creepy versions of zombies. Good Revenants, or bardia, originally died saving another’s life and are reborn to continue that cycle for eternity. Bad Revenants, or numa, gain power through killing others or convincing others to kill themselves. There’s a bit more to it than this simplistic explanation, but this will have to do for now.*

Jules Marchenoir has left everything he loves behind. His country. His best friend, Vincent. And Kate, new Champion of the bardia, his best friend’s girlfriend…and the girl who stole Jules’ heart. It’s just too painful to be in the same city as Kate and Vincent, so Jules crosses the Atlantic and joins up with the Revenants in New York.

Almost immediately, Jules is struck by how the bardia of New York compare to those in Paris. Thought there are many more Revenants here than there were in France, things seem to be very efficient here. That’s thanks largely to Ava Whitefoot, a striking woman who seems to loathe Jules on sight.

Jules knows he’s never met Ava in his many years as a bardia, so he doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much. Soon, however, both people will have to put any animosity aside as they work to take down the building numa threat in New York. The numa in France may have been defeated, but those in New York are gaining strength every day.

In a story that takes us from the streets of Brooklyn to the boulevards of Paris, Jules and Ava will learn much about what makes each other tick, and they’ll discover that first impressions may just be deceiving.

Will Ava be able to look past Jules’ womanizing reputation and see the man he is trying to become? Will Jules be able to support Ava when she needs it the most? Can these two bardia find a way to become friends–or more–with the numa threat and a new challenge facing them? Read Die Once More to find out!

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I know Die Once More is focused on Jules and his developing relationship with Ava, but I must admit that I would have liked to see a little more action at the end. We’re told that there’s this big battle with the numa, but we don’t see the actual battle. That was kind of disappointing.

Other than that one complaint, I did enjoy this quick read. I liked Jules immensely in the previous stories, so (SPOILERS!) I enjoyed seeing him begin to get over Kate, reunite with his brethren, and find a partner of his own. I also appreciated seeing familiar, loved characters from the original trilogy and how they were faring post-battle. Hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of the bardia (in either Paris or New York).

If you’d like to learn a bit more about this series as a whole, I encourage you to check out my reviews linked above. You may also want to visit Amy Plum’s website.

Au revoir!

Unbreakable

Thank goodness for NetGalley! I’ve only been a member for a short while, but this awesome service has allowed me to be the first to read some pretty awesome books, including the first two books in C.C. Hunter’s Shadow Falls After Dark series, Reborn and Eternal. Well, just two days ago, I was invited by NetGalley to read Unbreakable, a Shadow Falls After Dark eBook novella, which will be released to the masses on September 30th. (That was a pretty good surprise on an otherwise craptastic Monday.) Of course, I dropped everything and commenced with the reading.

If you’re at all familiar with the first two Shadow Falls After Dark books (or at least the first since Eternal doesn’t come out until October 28th), you already know a little about the character of Chase Tallman. He’s the oddly compelling vamp who turns Della’s world topsy-turvy. But what do we really know about Chase? How did he become a vampire? What led him to Della?

Unbreakable answers a few questions about Chase, but several more are left unanswered. Readers learn a bit about his relationships with his family and his loyal dog, Baxter. We also see Chase’s first brush with love and how that eventually led him to Della.

While we did see the tragic circumstances that led to Chase becoming a vampire, I do wish that part of the story had been a little more fleshed out. I wanted to see how he dealt with the aftermath. Also, there was really no mention of the whole “rebirth” thing, and I would have liked to see more of Chase’s early days as a vamp. Maybe these things will get more attention in the next full-length novel (which I think should be out next summer).

If you’d like to learn more about Unbreakable and C.C. Hunter’s other amazing books, be sure to check out the author’s website here.