Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Read: Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor (Olympians #1)

Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians)
I read O'Connor's Hera: The Goddess and her Glory earlier this school year and was impressed with both the storytelling and the illustrations. I knew I had to go back and read the others in this Olympians series.

Greek mythology can be confusing and strange to those that aren't familiar with it or only know what they've gleaned from Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson books. O'Connor gives a great introduction to the creation of Earth and the birth of the Olympian gods. It was simplistic, but not overly simple. With the illustrations, the reader visualizes the immense size of the titans and the epic battle between Kronos and Zeus.

The illustrations are the star of this retelling--just perfect! Lots of color, even in the "dark" settings. I give it a B+.

Book Read: Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer (Chronicles of Vladimire Tod #3)

Tenth Grade Bleeds (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, #3)In the third installment of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Vlad is now a sophomore and recovering from being staked by Joss (and his betrayal). When Vlad can't reach his Uncle Otis via telepathy, he's disappointed and feeling even more alone. The threat from D'Ablo is still very real, although Vlad doesn't seem to notice for a while.

I liked how Vlad dealt with many of the same issues other teens have to face -- insecurity in his friendships, girl trouble, school work. Even though he's a vampire, he's still very much a "normal" teen in the way he thinks and acts. I will admit that I thought the first book was just an average read, but the second book was excellent. I love the story of Vlad being the Pravus and how Joss was a slayer, but I don't think this third book held up to the promise of the second. I wasn't surprised at all with what happened. In fact, I probably could have told you most everything even before reading the book. I hope the final two books in the series will have some more surprises or I will definitely be disappointed. Only a C rating from me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Read: The Shadowing: Hunted by Adam Slater

The Shadowing: HuntedHorror is probably my least favorite genre. I just don't enjoy reading the gruesome tales -- psychological thrillers, yes please, but not the blood and gore. So, I knew before I even started it that The Shadowing: Hunted would probably not be my favorite.

I think that fans of the horror genre will probably love this one. There's a creature that's attacking teens and gouging out their eyes and eating them. That one fact alone will probably have many wanting to read it. I think the explanation of the creature/demon isn't fully explained and maybe that's on purpose. I can tell there will be more books in the series and maybe the reader will learn more in later volumes. Oh well. I can probably chalk up my indifference in the fact that I'm not a fan. C rating.

Book Read: Iron Man : Iron Armory by Fred Van Lente

Marvel Adventures Iron Man: Many Armors of Iron Man Digest v. 2 (Marvel Adventures)Four adventures of Iron Man are included in this collection. Each are basically stand-alone, no story arc here. Fans of this super hero comic will enjoy, but nothing to make it stand out. C rating.

Book Read : Jungle Force (Jungle Kill) by Jim Eldridge

Jungle KillMitch joins a Black Ops unit and goes on a super-secret mission to free a kidnapped political leader in West Africa. Being the newbie to the unit, Mitch hopes to gain the trust of his fellow soldiers while using his language expertise on the mission. When Mitch defies his superior's orders, will he be allowed to stay in the unit?

This high energy, action-packed adventure will appeal to reluctant readers. Featuring short, episodic chapters, the reader will be fully-immersed in the story before realizing it. Even though the story is violent, the author didn't capitalize on the gore factor. The characters do use their weapons to battle the enemy which does result in some deaths, but none are described in too much detail. Yes, there are some plot holes and huge questions regarding Mitch's past, but I knew before starting this story wasn't intended to be top literature. I can see many a reader enjoying Jungle Kill. I give it a C.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Read: Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale, Nathan Hale, and Dean Hale

Calamity Jack (Rapunzel's Revenge, #2)A sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, Calamity Jack has Jack returning to his home time with Rapunzel by his side. Arriving in Shyport, Jack is dismayed to learn that the giant has broadened his control over the town and taken Jack's mother captive. Jack and Punzie, with the help of some new and old friends, determine to free the town, especially Jack's mother.

I loved this graphic novel almost as much as the first one. The lively, fun illustrations match an equally lively, fun story. To have Rapunzel be an equal partner with Jack is something I especially like. She's strong, smart, and brave, and not afraid to have others know it. Jack's insecurities about his past foibles and his feelings for Rapunzel make him a vulnerable, likable hero.

I'd recommend to those that enjoyed the first book, plus others that enjoy retold fairy tales. B+ rating.

Book Read: Party Princess by Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries #7)

Party Princess (The Princess Diaries, #7)
I'm a huge Meg Cabot fan and usually love love her books, but this one just fell flat. I'm not sure if Mia's adventures are just growing old or maybe it was my reading mood, but I was just annoyed by Mia in this whole book. Sure, she's self-absorbed. What teen isn't? She's been self-absorbed in previous installments of the Princess Diaries series, but here I just became annoyed with her. I haven't completely given up on the series--I will read the last three--but I'm just not as excited about them. C rating.

Book Read: Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen

Lawn Boy
Lawn Boy is one of those books you can read in a super short amount of time. I finished it in about an hour. "Lawn Boy" is a boy who receives his grandfather's old ride-on lawn mower as a gift on his twelfth birthday. He uses it to start a lawn service company that expands beyond his wildest belief. With the help of a stock broker neighbor, Lawn Boy invests his money, adds employees, and even invests in a prizefighter.

Kind of a crazy story, but it somehow works. I can see many of Paulsen's fans enjoying this one, especially because of its length and fast-paced action. I rate it a C+ mainly because I have too many questions about the actions of the adults in this story.