Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

vesselVessel
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publication: September 11th, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, Mythology
Goodreads

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe’s deity, who will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious–and sure that it is Liyana’s fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice–she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate–or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Continue reading Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

[Review] The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Mythology

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.
Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.
Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Review

I wasn’t really familiar with Egyptian mythology but I thought it would be a great idea to try new things out. And please can we take a moment just to admire that gorgeous starry cover?? *_* Okay, okay! I admit that the cover also attracted me a bit. OKAY, FINE! A LOT ><

“I will fill myself with the desert and the sky. I will be stone and stars, unchanging and strong and safe. The desert is complete; it is spare and alone, but perfect in its solitude. I will be the desert.”

Told in Isadora’s perspective, in the beginning her voice seems utterly bitter it’s like NOTHING can please her. Every page is filled with her complaints and anger toward her godly parents who – according to our MC over here – never care about their mortal children. I know that some of you might even hate Isadora due to her sour attitude but I personally think her sarcasms are hilarious sometimes. I also liked how light and teenage-ish the writing is – I couldn’t help but to keep turning the pages!

In contrast with Isadora, the side characters are very bubbly and basically like rays of sunshine lol. Tyler and Scott – they are this weirdly awkward couple but so adorable at the same time. Add Ry, the love interest who – unlike Isadora – believes in love. Although determined not to fall in love with him, of course our main character eventually cannot resist his charm. There are lots of moments in which Ry just wants to show his romantic attraction to Isadora but she flat-out rejects him with her “I don’t want to fall in love with him. Love hurts” blablabla to the point that I was like guuurl just accept him it’s crystal clear that you have a crush on him!

However, in the end Isadora’s character has changed for the better. I barely realized that the complaining had decreased throughout the story – I was probably drowning in the fluffiness LOL. Although there’s romance, the main theme of The Chaos of Stars is still about family and I was glad when the protagonist eventually comes to a realization that she is wrong all along.

Additionally, there’s a snippet in the beginning of each chapter about the history of Egyptian gods and how it is ultimately connected with the story line. They’re also really helpful for people who aren’t familiar with Egyptian mythology like me. The god’s names might be confusing at first but I gradually managed to get used to them.

If you’re looking for heaps of Egyptian mythology goodness, then chances are you will be really disappointed with The Chaos of Stars. In my opinion, it’s actually 75% contemporary and 25% mythology. I was disappointed because I was hoping I could read about Egyptian mythology awesomeness. . .The story is mostly about Isadora’s transformation from this bitchy and bitter teenage girl into a more hopeful and optimistic person. Because it’s more of a character-driven book, the pacing can be really slow at times. However, I enjoyed it anyway thanks to the writing.

Overall, The Chaos of Stars was unlike what I had expected. . .The plot is sort of predictable, but I guess I don’t mind light and fluffy romance. It was something I needed anyway. One more thing, do not be fooled by the synopsis cause there’s barely mythology in this except for the gods and goddesses appearing for a few times. But if you read this as a contemporary with a slight twist of mythology, perhaps you’ll find yourself enjoying it more – just like what I did.

[Mini Reviews] The House of Hades & Allegiant

I have been putting off writing reviews for these books because 1)I didn’t have time 2)I was too lazy 3)I was pretty much speechless and I had no idea how to write more coherent reviews. My feels were all over the place >_< Now that I’ve calmed down… here they are!

The House of Hades
(Heroes of Olympus #4)
by Rick Riordan
MG – Fantasy, Greek Mythology

House of Hades…boy you are definitely not a disappointment. This is, people, what I call a perfect balance between plot progression and character development. *HUGS BOOK*

Let me just go straight to the point. Compared to the previous installment, House of Hades has the most character development. It was, in fact, the book with the best character development I have ever read. I am not exaggerating but when you do read the book, you can’t help but to notice the changes that are happening to the characters.

Percy, the boy we have known as the loyal and kind type, seems to gain some darker sides. Piper has learned to kick some serious ass. Annabeth is showing some vulnerable sides and Jason is starting to discover himself – his identity. Hazel has a pretty important role in this one and Frank has matured SO MUCH! There are also Nico and Leo but I AIN’T TELLING ABOUT THEM ASDFGJKL:GFSDFGH AND >_< The main characters are all three-dimensional and each stands out in their own way. The spotlight isn’t focused to only certain character but everyone has the same chance to be the hero.

Additionally, there were moments that made me laugh, moments that made me relieved because the characters are okay, moments that made me terrified and worrying about the characters’ safety, moments that made me almost shed tears and obviously moments that made me swoon! SO. MANY. FEELS. I feel like I am not doing this book’s justice through this review but I just wanna say:

If you haven’t started this series…I URGE YOU TO DO SO <3

***
(Divergent #3)
by Veronica Roth
YA – Dystopia
A few days right after the release date, there were so many backlashes toward the book the average rating for Allegiant was actually around 2 stars and that made me so nervous and hesitant to read the book. And later I accidentally saw spoilers about the controversial ending and I was sure that it was the cause of the low rating. However, I am so glad that I decided to dive into this book with an open mind and you know what? I love the ending. I love the relationship between Four and Tris.
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed at first. The beginning was okay but I was having a hard time getting into this book. But when I picked it up again, the monotonous writing didn’t bug me anymore and I just went with the flow. Sure, the revelation of the worldbuilding was confusing as hell but what I loved the most in Allegiant is how Tris’s character has matured so much since Insurgent.

The second half of the book was very thought-provoking and it gave me a lot of things to ponder on. Each chapter builds up into the painfully magnificent ending. It was truly the most powerful ending I have ever read and it shows just how much Tris has grown since the first book. I don’t think there’s a better conclusion other than THAT and I genuinely respect Veronica Roth, for being such a Dauntless since there aren’t many authors who are willing to go to that direction.

***SPOILER AHEAD***

Although the ending had been spoiled to me, it didn’t take away my enjoyment or reduce the pain at all. I really liked how Tris and Tobias eventually trust each other and oh my god when Tris says, “I didn’t want to leave him,” or something like that I was like ASDFGFDSDGFKD T_T  

And Tris’s last moment with Caleb was sooo touching my face my eyes they were like a freaking waterfall — it was totally impossible to hide the tears from my mom. And then post-Tris Tobias is trying to live without her and until the last page of the book I couldn’t stop crying literally *sniffles* 

I first cried when Uriah is announced unrecoverable. It was another pool of tears when they unplug him.

***END OF SPOILER***

Overall, Allegiant left me thinking a lot, about the meaning of sacrifice, forgiveness and moving on. I know this book has its own flaws but considering what an emotion explosion the last 100 pages was, it will definitely be very memorable for me.

***
Oh man, I just realized that my mini reviews are actually quite long .__. Blahh I am too lazy to write separate reviews so anyway, I hope you don’t mind! 😀

[ARC Review] Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess
(Goddess War #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 333 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Fantasy (Greek Mythology)

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.
Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.


 
Thank you Tor Teen for sending me this review copy. It doesn’t affect my opinions or review in any ways.

Review

I’d like to start off by saying how much I LOVE Greek mythology and Antigoddess truly gratify my dire need of a good Greek mythology and oh boy let me tell you what a fantastic book it was!

“Everything born must die, Athena.”

I was hooked from the first page, and I am not lying. The book begins with Athena and Hermes searching for Demeter to ask why they’re dying. While I highly enjoyed reading Athena’s POV, I have to be honest that Cassandra’s POV wasn’t really interesting in the beginning. Nothing particularly happens in her POV and it was as if I was kept waiting and waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen at all. The POVs switch between Athena and Cassandra one after another and the book became much MUCH more fascinating once they have met up at some point.

“Haven’t I lived long enough? Shouldn’t a goddess have the grace to accept this?”

Athena’s character surprised me a bit. I thought she was going to be this level-headed and wise girl the whole time – she’s a goddess after all – but it’s nice to see her breaks down and acts out of her character a few times due to her desperation. Considering the fact that she’s going to lose her eternal life, it makes her more…realistic and human. But, Athena sticks to her main goal, not letting personal issues get in the way of how she handles the situation and that’s what I liked best about her. I noticed that Hermes is sorta overshadowed by Athena in the first half, however, Blake gave him his own spotlight and I really love how every character in this book has their roles. Hermes proves to be a reliable and serious yet laid-back at times, and Cassandra manages to overcome her fear to do what’s important the most in the end.

Despite the fact that some of my questions are still unanswered, the world-building in this book was well-written and not info-dumpy at all. The plot got more and more excited, the action intensified in the second half and I LOVE every battle scene in this book! I won’t go in-depth with the plot cause I don’t wanna ruin everyone’s experience though. In addition, reading Antigoddess made me feel really nostalgic about PJO and HoO… It made me want to re-read those series all over again <3 But still, the author managed to add her own twists to the mythology – which makes it more fascinating and unique.

Romance isn’t the main focus in this book (thank goodness).There are two couples in this book, though. I had difficulty buying Cassandra and Aidan’s romance since the relationship seemed to be…underdeveloped. On the other hand, the other couple had me swooning and the tension built up throughout the book. I thought this romance was kinda intriguing cause Athena is a virgin goddess but anyways I’m looking forward for future development!

I extremely enjoyed reading this book. Antigoddess lived up to my expectations and I was thrilled once I was done reading it – the giddy feelings you got when you just read an awesome book. Filled with Greek mythology goodness, I highly recommend this book for those who loved Rick Riordan’s work.

[Mini Review] Demigods and Monsters

by Rick Riordan (and various authors)
MG – Essays Fantasy (Greek Mythology)

Which Greek god makes the best parent?
Would you want to be one of Artemis’ Hunters?
Why do so many monsters go into retail?
Spend a little more time in Percy Jackson’s world—a place where the gods bike among us, monsters man snack bars, and each of us has the potential to become a hero.
Find out:
Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have
How to recognize a monster when you see one
Why even if we aren’t facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myth can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives
Plus, consult our glossary of people, places, and things from Greek myth: how Medusa got her snake hair extensions, why Chiron isn’t into partying and paintball like the rest of his centaur family, and the whole story on Percy’s mythical namesake.

Mini Review

Being a PJO/HoO and Greek mythology fan, I felt that I would love this. So I finally finished it and honestly I thought it was boring. Sure there were essays that I liked (such as Jenny Han’s Eeny Meeny Miney Mo(m): Picking Your Very Own Godly Parent) but I felt that reading this was like a chore or school homework I had to finish.

Well, I did finish this book.

However…I dragged my ass and skimmed through the second half.

This book is a collection of essays from other authors about PJO series. It wasn’t THAT bad, really. In fact, I learned cool stuff about Greek mythology through this book and I found some parts to be really funny. But I thought the Greek mythology sorta backfired and it started to get very tedious reading about all of them it was impossible for me NOT to skim. I doubt younger readers would find this fascinating enough…

Thank you Smart Pop Books and Netgalley for sending me the galley, this doesn’t affect my opinions at all.

Rating

2 Cakes!