Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review: The Sword of Summer

The Sword of Summer
by  Rick Riordan
Date Read:  1/26/16
Rating: ★ ★ 
★ ★ 

Overall I enjoyed this book. It was pretty slow at the beginning and I really didn’t like Magnus at first.  In the beginning I thought he was going to be a carbon copy of Percy…but a few pages in you realize that Magnus is a jaded jerk.  It took quite a while for me to warm up to him, but it does happen – you just have to push through the parts where he’s a jerk.

The story took a LOT of time to build up the world and give you history on the Gods and Norse history. But once they finally got on their quest, the story finally started moving.  The Hotel Valhalla was a lot of fun – I think Riordan does a good job with modernizing his stories. There will be a lot of things in his books that will one day date his books.  My kid’s kids probably won’t understand the Taylor Swift references, and such.

I’m still a bit weirded out about the whole sword thing [SPOILER: It’s really strange to me that it flies and talks. I liked that it was pulled toward it’s destiny so that was something that Magnus had to fight in the end. END SPOILER]

I thought the small battle scene was decent. I liked the way that Magnus handled both situations.  It was satisfying and well done.

I didn’t like part of the ending where we just got an info dump. “He explained this…” “He explained that” “And he explained this”.  UGH.  Did Riordan's editor say he needed to cut pages at the end so that’s what he chose to do??  I also didn’t like the explanation at the end regarding the prophecy.  If it’s not easily understandable by the end of the story, then I don’t think he did a good job explaining it in the story.

The parts with Annabeth are my favorite and I know every single Percy fan is going to be squealing like a school girl at the end where it states Magnus will need Annabeth's help before all is said and done!

There was a lot of loose ends left open but a decent enough wrap up to close the first book.  Obviously we know there is going to be a sequel and I look forward to reading it.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: Avatar the Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 2

Smoke and Shadow Part 2
by  Gene Luen Yang (author), Gurihiru (illustrator)
Date Read:  1/4/16
Rating: ★ ★ 
★ ★ 

Wow. That ending. I probably should have been expecting it and yet they still caught me off-guard!

I have actually really enjoyed this series because the story is pretty good.  I like that Aang and Zuko work together. We’re missing most of the other characters, but I’ve always enjoyed the stories that revolve around Zuko. He’s very interesting – especially now that he’s Fire Lord.

This book continues the anti-Zuko movement and the children being stolen.  There is a major revelation in this book. While I saw it coming a mile away, it was still really good. The illustrations and shots are all really good as usual. I felt like Zuko, Aang, and Mai all felt exactly the same as from the TV show. The whole “sweetie” thing still throws me every time he says it, but other than that, the characters felt real and just out of the show.

The big twist at the very end was CRAZY. I can’t believe I have to wait a few months until the final installment in this series is released. UGH.

I hope these graphic novels tell us in the end who ended up with who – Zuko, Mai, Suki, Sokka…
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