8130427The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan
Published: February 10th 2009 by Hyperion Books
Pages: 160

If you're reading this book, your life is about to get a lot more dangerous. 

In these top-secret files, Rick Riordan, Camp Half-Blood's senior scribe, gives you an inside look at the world of demigods that NO regular human child is allowed to see. 

These highly classified archives include three of Percy Jackson's most perilous adventures, a Spotter's Guide to Monsters, a Who's Who in Greek mythology, Percy's Summer Camp report and much more. 

 So, if you're armed with this book, you'll have everything you need to know to keep you alive in your training. Your own adventures have just begun...
"If I was going to pick one person in the world to reattach my head," I said, "I'd pick you."
I'm being nothing but honest here when I say I don't want to deal with my feelings, which may have something to do with 'The Blood of Olympus'. Because I'm not ready yet to express my thoughts about the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, it only seemed logical that I would read the only book out of all the Percy Jackson books I haven't read yet: 'The Demigod Files'. I couldn't have picked a better time, because this was a perfect guide from my Percy Jackson withdrawal.

I would definitely describe 'The Demigod Files' as a quick and fun inbetween-read. It made me smile several times throughout the book and brought along a lot of nostalgia. At times I felt like I could pick up 'The Lightning Thief' again and re-read the entire series. The interviews were all so well-done. It's no secret that Riordan knows his characters. It was like he just fished them out of his books to have a little chat with them. I'm also considering to also buy this book in hardcover. Not so it can match all the other Percy Jackson books, but because it's impossible to do the crossword puzzles and other games on an e-reader.

Heading onto the stories themselves, there were three stories to be found in 'The Demigod Files', all set after the events of 'The Battle of the Labyrinth' and 'The Last Olympian', considering the publishing date. I loved all three of them, some more than others, but each one still featured the characters I love so dearly.

Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot

This story mainly focuses on Clarisse and Percy as they head into an adventure to return Ares's stolen chariot, as the title suggests. Knowing the relationship between the two of them before the events of 'The Last Olympian', they aren't exactly on good terms. That was definitely the case here. Despite some action scenes and the scene at the end with Clarisse and her fear, all they really do is argue and comment. I always loved their rivalry throughout the Percy Jackson books, but to have that spread out in a short story isn't so enjoyable as it might sound.

Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon

Rick Riordan, I see what you did there. At least, I do hope that that bronze dragon was a reference to Festus. Oh, how I loved this story. It contained the beginning of a romance between Silena Beauregard and Charles Beckendorf, a random but hilarious input of acid ants and scenes I'll always love: Percabeth moments. This definitely brought me back to when everything was still okay. I kept smiling throughout the short story and I just absolutely loved every single aspect of it.

Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades

What's not to love about a story with demigods of The Big Three? It's rare to see them team up and therefore something I appreciated to the fullest. Filled with action and whitty remarks from Percy, Nico and Thalia, there's nothing more to be said about a story that I loved.

Eventually I'll have to get over it and deal with the fact that this series is over. I will, but in the meantime, I'll still be here on my cloud with my thoughts of Camp Half-Blood.

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Published: September 2nd by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pages: 567

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”
The 'Throne of Glass' series seemed like a series I would love from the start. Consisting of six books, I would seem like an amazing adventure with characters I'll grow to love and put my entire live in a series like this one. After the disappointing sequel in the 'Throne of Glass' series, all I could do was to cross my fingers and hope for a better follow-up. Nonetheless, 'Heir of Fire' brought my hope for this series to even lower levels I didn't know existed. It did not restore any of the problems I had with 'Crown of Midnight'. It held so much potential I can't even believe in which direction it actually headed instead of which way I wanted it to go.

Because the book is actually divided into two parts, 'Heir of Ash' and 'Heir of Fire', I'm also going to split my review into two parts, simply because the time span between the first and the second part was too long to recall issues from what seemed like an age ago.

Part 1: 'Heir of Ash'

After the terrific ending of 'Crown of Midnight', it opened up an endless list of amazing directions this book could head. There are more and more sparks of rebellion, and the fabulous plot twists already had me guessing what would happen. I thought the main focus of 'Heir of Fire' would be Celaena and her mission to kill the royal family of Wendlyn. There was nothing that even pointed in that direction. She had went there as the King's Champion on a mission and during her long stay, she didn't even try to do so. Unlike previous missions, she didn't cover it up or did at least something to make the king believe she managed to do it. She didn't go to the family to at least warn them. I feel like I can already guess the king's reaction when he finds out. I'm still surprised to mark this book as 'great premise, bad execution', but it was completely like that. Maas just dropped what could have been an amazing storyline, and I am so disappointed she did.

Aside from a few characters, I didn't care for any of them in this book. While there was a lot of Chaol in 'Crown of Midnight', we barely get to see him in 'Heir of Fire'. Of course there was a lot of focus on Celaena because she's the main character. Sometimes it did feel like it was centered around her and her only. We do get to see a lot of character development from Celaena, and in a way I did appreciate it. It wasn't until the second part that I actually started noticing it because my love for this character in particular had shrunk to a minimum.

If I did had to pick my favourites from the novel, Dorian, Sorcha and Rowan definitely made my top three, if those weren't just the only three characters I liked. Rowan was so interesting to read about. He's a pained character with a past so dramatic, it's impossible not to feel compassionate for him. It wasn't the compassion however that made me like this guy so much. I can't seem to put my finger on it. There was something about him which made an impression, and one that stayed with me throughout the book. I feel like there's much in store for him, and I can't wait to see how important he'll become, if I decide to continue. Sorcha, I loved. I loved the sudden attention towards a normal girl, who's nothing special really, but that's what made me like her so much. She's not a famous assassin, or a feared witch but a normal girl with her normal problems, interests and crush. Her dynamic with Dorian was to swoon for. How they connected and how their friendship made Dorian such a stronger character really did it for me.

Speaking of a feared witch, I still wonder what the deal was with Manon Blackbeak and her Thirteen. I love witches, thought to let you know. There's no doubt that I'm also in love with Manon's cruel world of witches with their iron teeth and claws. What I don't understand, is its importance or role in this book. In my opinion, it looks like it was an idea for a Sarah J. Maas standalone, yet for some reason she randomly added it to 'Heir of Fire' to fill up the pages. I didn't like Manon very much as a character. Despite her badassery personality and her lovely relationship with Abraxos, I felt too disconnected to care.

I wouldn't say the book started off beautifully, because how matter how hard I tried to like it in the beginning, I got bored pretty quickly. The pace was so slow. Honestly, it felt like the most slow-paced book I've ever read, which then also explains how long it took me to read it: six weeks. I struggled with it so much at one point I actually felt like putting it down and not continue. If I really didn't have a heart, I would have likely marked it as DNF, no matter how much the hates gonna hate. I eventually took a break from reading, otherwise I knew I would have hated the second part. Therefore, I was pretty amazed when I found out I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would.

Part 2: 'Heir of Fire'

I don't have much of real importance to say about the second half, apart from the things that suddenly got so much better. Most of the characters stayed the same and the plot stayed as boring as it was, until we got near the end. There's this scene which it involves an entire flashback of Celeana's past before she got found by the riverbanks. It blew my mind. The writing in this scene is phenomenal, lyrical and beautiful. Celaena's character development reaches its highlight and impressed me in so many ways. There probably would have been tears in my eyes, if I didn't dislike such a big part of the book. In short words said, this scene made the second half for me. I feel like I could re-read it all over again, and I probably will search for it in the near future.

In other words, 'Heir of Fire' is my disappointment of the year. Though there still were some positive aspects, they didn't make me forget about the endless list of things I didn't appreciate. I'm still not sure if I'm even interested in picking up any upcoming follow-ups, I probably will out of all the hype that surrounded this series over the years, but my faith for the so-called "spectacular" series has reached a rock-bottom.

MeritropolisMeritropolis by Joel Ohman
Published: September 8th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 226

The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment--to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.

But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn't an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing--not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science--is going to stop him.

Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn't possibly have bargained for...
"Submitting to the System provided the best chance of collective survival.
Of course, there are always those who refuse to submit."
DNF at 60 %

Thank you CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.

I can't remember the exact reason as to why I ever decided to request Meritropolis from its publisher. I seriously wonder now though, because it surely wasn't the premise. I didn't have much hope for this novel, because from what I've read this book seemed like yet another wannabe-dystopian. I wasn't surprised when I decided to just stopped reading. There is literally nothing interesting in here.

The writing style definitely needs some getting used to. There was an overuse of strange terms without explanation and it definitely gave the impression that the author wanted to have a beautiful but sophisticated writing style à la Markus Zusak or John Green. It wasn't flowing in any way and needs all the improvement it can get. Because the writing itself was just trying too hard for my liking, I had a great deal of trouble trying to stay focused on the story. If I can even speak of a real one.

Even though this book consists over two hundred pages, I don't feel like anything special happened. I was almost crossing my fingers in the hope that I won't stay like that for the rest of the book. There could have been such a great storyline filled with action, rebellion, mystery, plot twists, even a spark of romance. It disappointed so much.

I can't really talk about any of the characters, and I have a great explanation for it. I honestly can't remember any of the characters, nor their names, except for Charley. I bet it's rather easy to guess that none of them really stuck with me enough to remember them. They didn't make a great first impression. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it also implies that I had zero interest in getting to know them or to learn about their lives. Other than that, I found them to be shallow, lack in depth, were completely unbelievable and they did not have such thing as a personality. I'm sad I don't like any of them, because now the characters are yet another aspect which made the book not really likable.

Despite the book being labeled as a 'dystopia', there is zero world building in this book. The only aspect that may count as world building, is the system of Scores. However, I already lost count on how many times the main character keeps being proud of his Score and talk about his Score and his Score only. There is no explanation whatsoever about the System itself, nor on what these Scores are based on, how it's possible to get a High Score. It's a must that every dystopia at least has a controlling system, and preferably a system with a little more depth into it.

After all, Meritropolis is yet another dystopia with a serious lack of world building, believable characters and something like a plot. Do not waste your time reading this if you're looking for a refreshing dystopian novel, because you won't find anything here.
Catch Me When I Fall (Dreamcatcher, #1) by Vicki Leigh
Published: October 23rd 2014 by Curiosity Quills Press
Pages: 204

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.
"Marlene created dreams; I fought off Nightmares. Which meant I was spending nearly every day in battle, and I would never get to see the Heavens."

Thank you Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.

Catch Me When I Fall is yet another novel which stands out in the aspect of 'good premise, bad execution'. Never before have I wanted to love an ARC so much but just couldn't. The premise of this book is something I had never heard before. After reading the synopsis I was all set to go on an amazing adventure I would never forget. It was original and therefore caught my attention in an instant. However, the originality was only to be seen in the beginning of the book, because all the rest was something I'd seen countless times before.

To discuss the premise of this book, you can't but agree that the idea behind it is absolutely brilliant. Seven billion people having two Protectors watching over them isn't all too realistic if you ask me, yet the idea of creating something more out of the guardian angel legend is amazing. Leigh did what few authors couldn’t do and managed to build an intriguing world around that particular idea. I loved the world building despite several info dumps. I loved the combination of a Guardian Angel with dreams and nightmares. I haven’t read anything like this before and I absolutely loved it. This was what made me want to read this book so desperately. I think you can guess by now how big of a disappointment this turned out to be.

The romance took over the entire book so much that in the end I felt like I was drowning in it. It all started with a case of young teen love where all of the sudden the insta-love escalated into an eternal romance. The worst part about this is that their romance is entirely based on appearances considering the insta-love. It still surprises me how fast this transition went. I can’t do anything but to call it rushed and an obvious plot device.

It doesn’t happen often when the characters in a book did nothing for me, but it definitely was the case here. I can label every one of them as an okay-character. There wasn’t anything special about them, something that should have made me go crazy or at least care about them. I didn’t connect with any of them, and in my opinion it had a lot to do with how the story was told; by telling things, not showing them. It was told what a horrible past Kayla had, or what happened between her and her father. It was never shown enough for me to really bond with any of the characters, which resulted in not caring about them as much as I first wanted to.

The plot is one of those things that also could have been way better. While it has the potential, it's filled with all the YA clichés with the most dramatic love scene at the end. When it comes the plot of the book itself, I had to do my best to look further than the countless love scenes and insignificant actions scenes There could have been a lot of mystery built around who the warlock actually was. Nonetheless, that didn't happen and eventually finding out didn't shock me at the least. It wasn’t only the mystery involving the warlock, but there is a serious lack of mystery in this book in general. The supposed plot twists in here don’t even count as plot twists because it never felt like an actual twist. Because of this it was way too easy to put the book down, while it was difficult for me to find the motivation to pick it up again.

Catch Me When I Fall is after all, not a great novel despite its compelling premise. Considering the dull characters, the insta-love and a plot that could have been so much better, I warn you to not fall for the fascinating synopsis. I hate myself for several reasons now that I've written such a negative review about a book I had thought I'd love.

Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home