October 2nd, 2011

Popular

Books 34-38

#34: The Lost Hero: Heroes of Olympus Book 1 - Rick Riordan (2010, 557 pages)

It's funny how you find a book by mistake and turn out to really enjoy it. I picked this up thinking it was the first book in the Percy Jackson series. Whoops.

While it is the first book in a series, it's Riordan's second series of books that just happens to feature some of the same characters and setting as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. So...this is a bit of a backward read, but it's all good. Whereas the Percy Jackson series features the children of Greek gods, this new series tackles their Roman counterparts.

Jason wakes up one morning on a bus with his best friend Leo, girlfriend Piper and absolutely no idea who he is or how he arrived there. But the weird doesn't end there. During the course of their fieldtrip to the Grand Canyon, the trio finds themselves fighting venti, storm spirits, that kidnap their teacher. The teens' lives are saved when Percy Jackson's girlfriend Annabeth arrives.

Back at Camp Halfblood, the trio are called upon by Hera for a very important quest. If they fail, it means the end of the world. As they defeat various monsters and outwit gods, Jason gains little bits of knowledge about who he is. He even meets his sister, but still answers elude him.

The Lost Hero follows very closely to the Percy Jackson series. In fact, although I hadn't read the first Percy Jackson book at the time, I can now say that the two are very similar. They present a boy with no idea of where he comes from who is put into a situation where he is responsible for saving the fate of the world. While similar, both are pretty good. I'm just curious to see where the remainder of the books in the two series go and if they will diverge from similarity at any point. But it's not all bad. In fact, this was such a fun ride, that I give it three out of five demigods.

#35: Summer Rental - Mary Kay Andrews (2011, 402 pages)

After years of living their busy lives, three friends come together for a month to recharge, rejuvinate, and relax at a house on the beach in North Carolina.

Ellis, the one in charge, takes control because she is unable to do so in her own life after having recently lost her job. Julia is a model who realizes her time in front of the camera is coming to an end but isn't quite ready to settle down and do the family thing with her photographer boyfriend. And finally, there's Dorie, a pregnant teacher whose husband left her for another man. The three friends find themselves giving shelter to Maryn, a woman who clearly has something to hide.

And what Mary Kay Andrews book would be complete without a sexy gruff man. In this case, it's Ty, the landlord of the falling-apart house the girls have rented for the summer.

If you're an avid reader of Andrews' books, you'll find that this isn't her strongest book. In fact, the twists and mysteries faced by the characters were pretty easy to figure out in advance. While the setting was different, the situations weren't. I had hoped for something a little different, and the setting wasn't enough to satisfy me. I wanted more from the situations the characters faced, and while Maryn's story was different, it was very predictable, leaving me unsatisfied. I love Andrews' books, but this one just didn't do it for me, which is why I give it two and a half out of five chick lits.


#36: The Walking Dead, book 5 - Robert Kirkman (2010, 304 pages)

Book four ended on a massive downer. The surviving heroes found their safe prison overrun by zombies after an attack by the Governor and his men. Many characters were killed, and Rick and and his son Carl found themselves running for their lives through the woods surrounding the prison.

What Carl doesn't know is that his father is dealing with a serious infection following all of the injuries he's sustained from the Governor. The two hide out in a house, where Rick then teeters between life and death. He does survive, but he picks up a new habit, his way of coping with the loss of his wife.

Once Rick is better, he and Carl set off once more, this time they run into Michonne, and soon into more of their friends. But the reunions do not contain joy as the group witnesses still more of the depravity that man can display. And sadly, more of our favorite characters are killed off.

Each time I get my hands on one of these hard-cover books, I read it in just about an hour. I devour the stories and want to know where things are going to go for the group. I feel their pain and want so badly for them to find a safe place where they can spend the rest of their days, but with humanity gone and walkers constantly searching for human flesh, I realize that is not going to happen. But man, it makes for a great read, which is why I give this a perfect five out of five biters.


#37: The Walking Dead, book 6 - Robert Kirkman (2010, 304 pages)

I couldn't help it. Book 5 left me dying to know what was going to happen (no pun intended) to our weary group of travelers.

The group is now heading toward Washington, D.C., with the promise that things aren't quite so bad there. But of course, that simply isn't true. And while the group should know that by now, it's hard not to feel any sort of hope that somewhere someone has managed to figure this whole zombie thing out and is working to bring things back to normal.

As they move north, the group finds a few scouts for a community that seems to have done just that. After being checked out, the group is taken back to a refuge overseen by a Congressman who is trying his best to rebuild a normal society. But as Rick and his friends settle in, they cannot help but wonder if things are too good to be true.

I, again, read through this book in an hour. It is sooooooo good! I am loving this series of books, and I really need to get my hands on book seven to see where things are going to wind up next. As I'm sure you can tell, I'm giving this a perfect five out of five pipe dreams.


#38: Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry (2010, 458 pages)

Zombies have really been on my mind this summer, apparently. After flying through the Walking Dead books 5 and 6 that I picked up from my local Borders as it was going out of business (tear), I turned to the third book that I had picked up from Borders: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry.

I had only read one of Maberry's other books, Patient Zero, but it was so awesome, that I knew this book would not disappoint. And luckily, I was right!

Unlike Maberry's other books, which are geared toward adults, Rot and Ruin is geared toward teens, but teens shouldn't be the only one reading this book. It's fantastic!

Benny Imura has just turned 15, and in this post-zombie world, it's time for him to get a job. Problem is nothing sounds interesting, and after many failed attempts, he finally turns to his older brother for help. Tom is a zombie slayer, but unlike the big, burly men who make a show out of killing zombies, Tom is quiet and nimble and had a sincere respect for those he is killing. The brothers are called upon by the town to help save one of their own, Benny's best friend, who has been kidnapped by two of the zombie slayers and is most likely being taken to fight in the zombie version of Battle Royale.

I really loved this book, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel, which came out in August. Maberry does a great job of giving you zombies from a different perspective, that of a teenager who is really just learning about the world in which he lives. The action is great, and you are left on many occasions biting your nails from the tension Maberry's built up. I absolutely love this book, which is why it gets a perfect five out of five bites.


Total Books Read: 38 / 50 (76 percent)
Total Pages Read: 12,640 / 15,000 (84 percent)
*many more to come - I'm so behind on posting.
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