Category: Audiobook reviews

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – Review

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – ReviewWolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Also in this series: Iron to Iron, Blood for Blood
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Christa Lewis
Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
Genres: Alternate History, Young Adult
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: five-stars

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin is a young adult alternative history novel set in a world in which the Nazis won the Second World War.  We follow our protagonist, Yael, who is a death camp survivor, and her mission to kill Hitler.  This mission hangs on the fact that Yael’s experiences in the death camp gave her the ability to change her appearance to look like any other woman.  She must impersonate famous motor cyclist Adele Wolfe, the only person in recent times who has been able to get close to the Führer.  To achieve this goal she must first compete in a trans continental bike race from Germania (Berlin) to Tokyo while not revealing her secret to Adele’s brother and former flame Luka Löwe.

I have to say this book really got under my skin.  I was completely invested in Yael’s story and rooting for her. I lay awake at night thinking of her story

What I liked

The protagonist.  I loved that Yael is a blend of kick ass heroine and vulnerability.  Graudin did an excellent job of making the mission personal to Yael through the use of flashbacks and the imagery of the wolf tattoos.  Her relationships with both Felix and Luka were well written and added great extra tension to the story.  Yael’s childhood hardships and her struggles to come to terms with her past made her a wonderfully engaging heroine.

The audio narration.  After hearing the Audible sample, I immediately chose to experience this in audiobook format.  Ms Lewis had me when she pronounced “Adele” correctly in the German way (Ah-day-luh.)  The correct pronunciation of the German words really added to the story for me.  Ms Lewis was also able to bring across the different voices and personalities excellently.  She broke my heart as well when portraying young Yael in the death camp calling for her mama.  This is definitely one to listen to.

The writing style.  Ms Graudin has a writing style which is both poetic and immediate.  I particularly enjoyed the animal imagery throughout the book with Yael’s being likened to a she wolf and Luka Löwe’s being compared to a lion. The way in which the wolf tattoos were symbolic of Yael’s past – and motivation for her mission – and her struggle to turn her past into a strength was very well written.

The pacing. In general, the pacing was excellent.  The tension of the cross continental race kept the plot moving along and the flashbacks were integrated at appropriate times.  However for me personally, the interruption of the race-flashback-race flow at a certain point in Russia didn’t work so well – I kept wanting them to just get back on with the race.

What I didn’t like

Other than the minor pacing issue, there was nothing I didn’t like about the book.  I will definitely be checking out the sequel when it become available.

I gave Wolf by Wolf a well deserved five stars out of five.


 

five-stars

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – Review

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – ReviewThe Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium #2
Also in this series: The Iron Trial
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Paul Boehmer
Length: 8 hours and 21 minutes
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: four-stars

Harry Potter with a twist continues in The Copper Gauntlet, the second book in The Magisterium series from Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

As I mentioned in my review of book one, The Iron Trial, it is impossible to read The Magisterium and not think of Harry Potter.  In this case, imagine that Harry has learned about his Horcrux situation right at the beginning of his academic studies and that Neville has been acclaimed as the Chosen One, able to defeat Voldemort.  This gives Call a far more nuanced outlook than Harry, especially at an equivalent age (Chamber of Secrets era.)  which makes him, to me, a more interesting character.  Don’t get me wrong; I love Harry.  However, in the early books at least, he sees things very much as black or white, good or evil. Not so Call.  

The connections are too numerous to be accidental.  This time around they are more subtle, but still present.  We have an antagonist whose main objective is to conquer Death itself.  His nickname is “The Enemy of Death.”  Voldemort, anyone?  Fair enough, it is a fairly common trope, but combine it with magic school and you have Harry Potter. Another theme common to both is the idea that we are defined by our choices. Although Clare and Black are using many of the same tropes as Rowling, the way they handle them is very different and this makes The Copper Gauntlet a great read.  

With regard to being defined by our choices, it is interesting to note that this is something Call decides for himself through the maintenance of what he calls his “Evil Overlord list”; he mentally tallies each choice he makes and action he takes to decide if it makes him more or less evil.  Sometimes, this is played for laughs when he thinks things like “well, an evil overlord wouldn’t fetch sandwiches for his friends,” but it still expresses that same theme.  This is something he chooses to do for himself; Harry has to have this explained to him by Dumbledore.  

Another trope in common is that of the leaders of the society being in denial about the reality of the situation.  The Ministry of Magic denies the reality of the threat posed by Voldemort as the Assembly declares that Madden is dead and gone and that the war is over.  Given that there are three more books to come, that seems rather naive, especially as it appears a traitor is working against them.

One theme which hasn’t yet come up explicitly in the Magisterium is that of Love.  As any Harry Potter fan knows, it’s the core of the whole series; Lily’s sacrifice of love for Harry and Voldemort’s inability to love are what make them them.  This appears to be turned on its head in the Magisterium.  Call’s mother’s final act is, apparently, to leave instructions to kill her son, and Constantine Madden was motivated to wage war on Death because of the loss of his beloved younger brother.  I believe this is too important not to be a part of the Magisterium, too, and I look forward to seeing where Black and Clare take this.

Despite the comparisons with Rowling, I did enjoy this book; possibly more so because of the Harry Potter parallels.  True, we lose a lot of the wonder of Rowling’s worldbuilding and humour, but it is balanced by rich, nuanced characters.

I gave The Copper Gauntlet four stars out of five.

four-stars

Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb – Spoilers, Review and Speculation

Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb – Spoilers, Review and SpeculationFool's Quest by Robin Hobb
Series: Fitz and the Fool
Also in this series: Fool's Assassin, Assassin's Fate
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Elliot Hill
Length: 33 hrs and 11 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: five-stars

One of the books I was most anticipating this year was Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Quest, which was released on August 11th and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  I found it impossible to review this book without mentioning some minor spoilers, so I will hide the spoiler part of the review.

To summarise though I loved this book.  Fitz and the Fool are one of my favourite literary partnerships and I loved reading the continuation of the story.  This is the second in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, following on from Fool’s Assassin.  The first book was a slow burner, if still very enjoyable, focussing more on character development than action.  This followup is more action oriented and is a wonderful read.

I gave Fool’s Quest five stars out of five and would thoroughly recommend it to any Hobbs fan.  For those new to Hobbs, start with Assassin’s Apprentice (but be aware it’s a slow starter but well worth it)

The rest of the review may contain spoilers and my speculation for book three, so click through only if you have read the book and/or want to be spoiled.

(more…)

five-stars

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – Review

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – ReviewBecause You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne, Eric Michael Summerer
Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
Genres: Humorous, Young Adult
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas is a young adult contemporary novel and tells of the pen friendship between two isolated young men, Moritz from Germany and Ollie who lives in the US.  Each of the two young men has a physical ailment which limits their interaction with mainstream society.  These same limitations – for Ollie an severe reaction to electricity and for Moritz a heart defect requiring an electronic pacemaker – precludes their ever meeting face to face.  Their friendship develops through the letters they write to each other.  The novel is written in the style of letters exchanged between the two.

I loved this book, which I listened to in audiobook format.  

What I liked

The characters.  I adored both Ollie and Moritz and was emotionally invested in their journeys.  I was really rooting for them both. Their two differing points of view are beautifully brought out through the letters they write to each other.  Each has a unique writing style which gave a wonderful insight into their characters.  It is a mark of how invested I was in the two that when Moritz finally comes back into contact after an absence of several letters, I had a big smile on my face.

The friendship.  The relationship between the two is wonderfully developed, starting from an initial slow building of trust to the deep bond they share.  It’s clear that both of them are stronger people in the end for the friendship, which encourages them to push beyond their comfort zones.

The audio narration.  Because You’ll Never Meet Me is a perfect book for the audio format given that it is written in letter format.  You are hearing the characters’ words directly.  There were two narrators, one for Moritz (with a gorgeous, slight German accent) and one for Ollie.  Both narrators were brilliantly able to reflect their characters’ personal growth through their performances.

What I didn’t like

In all honesty, there was very little I didn’t like about Because You’ll Never Meet Me.  At one point I did have concerns that Thomas was going to go for the real cliché in the connection between the boys, but she avoided that.

I gave Because You’ll Never Meet Me a well deserved four and a half stars out of five.

    The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Review

    The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – ReviewThe Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
    Format: Audiobook
    Narrator: Davina Porter
    Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
    Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Young Adult
    Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
    Evelynne's rating: four-stars

    The Invasion of the Tearling is the second in Erika Johansen’s YA Tearling fantasy trilogy.  It continues the story of young queen Kelsea Glynn as she prepares to deal with the aftermath of her actions in the first novel, The Queen of the Tearling.

    I’ll start this review by stating that I hadn’t actually intended to continue with this series, given that I had significant issues with Johansen’s worldbuilding and character development in the first book.  However, I recently read the book blurb which indicated to me that Johansen was taking clear steps to address some of the issues with the worldbuilding at least and so I decided to give the series a second chance. 

    What I liked

    Additional point of view character.  For this second outing, Johansen has added a second point of view character, Lily.  Lily is a woman from the pre-Crossing era who has a strange connection with our protagonist, Kelsea.  Through her eyes we learn more about the history of the Tearling’s founding and what led William Tear to strike out to begin his utopia.

    I absolutely loved Lily’s story and, personally, I was far more engaged with her plight than Kelsea’s.  These sections were wonderful both from a plot point of view and character development.  Throughout, I really found myself rooting for her.  This section of the book reads more like a dystopian novel than the traditional fantasy of Kelsea’s section, but it worked very well.  

    It should be noted that Lily’s section deals with some issues which are far grittier and more adult than those generally found in young adult or even new adult books, and was written in a more adult manner.  Lily is notably older than Kelsea and is in a different life stage.  It could well be that’s why I connected more with her, as I too, am older than your average young adult protagonist!

    Lily’s character development was beautifully written.

    Kelsea’s romantic life. Often in YA, this can be a particularly problematic area, with the romance either subjected to the inevitable love triangle or so overblown with stars and rainbows it becomes intolerable.  I get it.  First love can be awesome.  Too often though YA authors portray it through rose-tinted spectacles.  Johansen’s portrayal of this part of Kelsea’s life felt grounded in reality and was excellently written.

    In general I found Kelsea more consistently written in Invasion of the Tearling than she was in Queen.  I particularly enjoyed how the connection between her and Lily played out.

    The pre-Crossing history.  The promise of learning more about the founding of the Tearling was what drew me back in to give this series a second chance and Johansen certainly made good on that promise.  I loved what we got, but I’m not one hundred percent convinced, though, that she has allayed the concerns I had from the first book.  I still can’t see the logic in why Harry Potter survived the Crossing but the internal combustion engine didn’t.  We still have a lot to discover, so I’ll suspend final judgement on this aspect until after the final book.

    What I didn’t like

    Additional point of view.  Yes, I know I had this listed in part of my Likes; let me explain.  The two main point of view characters are in different worlds, and are at different life stages and more, importantly, are written as such.  It feels almost like two completely separate books, and I’m not certain that they are targeting the same audience.

    The audio narration.  I had a bit of a problem with the audio narration.  The book is narrated by Davina Porter, who, don’t get me wrong, does a great job.  My issue is that she is best known to me as the narrator of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  Ms Porter has a distinctive voice and half the time I kept expecting Jamie Fraser to come sauntering into the scene.  That was my personal issue though and it may not be one for you.

    In summary then, I found Invasion a stronger book than Queen of the Tearling.  That’s not to say it’s perfect by any means.  I’m still not completely certain Johansen can pull together a completely cohesive overall story arc by the end of the trilogy, but I’m invested enough that I want to read book three to find out.

    I gave Invasion of the Tearling 3.5-4 stars out of five.

      four-stars

      The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – Review

      The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – ReviewThe Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
      Also in this series: The Bone Season
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Alana Kerr
      Length: 16 hours and 28 minutes
      Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Dystopian
      Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
      Evelynne's rating: four-half-stars

      The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is the second in her dystopian fantasy series – it is the follow on to The Bone Season which I have read and reviewed.  It follows straight on from the ending of The Bone Season and deals with the aftermath of the events of that novel.  I will say straight off that I enjoyed The Mime Order much more than the series opener.  Much of the heavy lifting in terms of worldbuilding has been done – although there is naturally much more to learn – so Shannon is able to concentrate on weaving a strong narrative.

      What I liked

      Very strong narrative.  For me this worked very well in this book.  Our protagonist has a clear, logical goal towards which she is working – the uniting of the clairvoyant underworld to provide a viable opposition to the Raphaim – and while there are lots of twists and turns in the way, it remains the backbone of the story.  Personally, I was invested in this plotline and enjoyed watching it coming to fruition.  I also felt Shannon kept the plot moving on briskly and had me wanting to keep turning the pages.

      Engaging protagonist.  The more time I spent with Paige the more I liked her and was invested in her goals.  She is clearly a smart cookie and I look forward to continuing her story.

      Mix of genres.  I enjoyed that the novel crossed quite a few genres.  We had the dystopian fantasy (which took a bit of a back seat this time), a murder mystery, mafia crime novel and a bit of romance.

      Audiobook narration.  I listened to The Mime Order primarily in audiobook and once again Irish actress Alana Kerr took on narration duties.  I really enjoyed her interpretation of the book and will certainly continue to follow this series in audiobook because of her excellent narration.  Here’s a sample:

            bk_adbl_020334_sample.mp3

      What I didn’t like

      Lots of jargon.  This was one of my biggest gripes about The Bone Season and that continues in the sequel  After a while I gave up trying to work out what kind of clairvoyant particular characters were and where they stood in the clairvoyant hierarchy.

      The relationship between Paige and Warden.  I really couldn’t get behind this relationship at all in this book.  As Paige’s friends kept pointing out to her, Warden did keep her captive for several months and exercised the power of death over her.  I just didn’t feel that his aid at the end of The Bone Season justified the level of trust Paige placed in him.  I keep thinking Paige, sweetie, jump online and do a quick Google of Stockholm syndrome please.  It’s also very clear that the way their relationship developed in The Mime Order is going to come back and bite them on the butt very, very soon.

      All in all I really loved The Mime Order.  I gave it four and a half stars out of five and will certainly continue with this series.

       buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible

      four-half-stars

      Fairest – Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer – Review

      Fairest – Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer – ReviewFairest - Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer
      Series: The Lunar Chronicles #0.5
      Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Rebecca Soler
      Length: 6 hours 36 minutes
      Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
      Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
      Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

      Fairest – Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer is a prequel to her fairytale reimagining series The Lunar Chronicles.  It provides the backstory to series antagonist Queen Levana Blackburn of Luna.  If you are new to The Lunar Chronicles, PLEASE don’t start with this book – go read Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and then come back to it.  It will be more engaging in that way.

      This book is a very focussed character study of Queen Levana and how she turned from a naive, self absorbed young girl into the tyrant our heroines are trying to depose.  There is little in the way of worldbuilding or major plot development.  It remains mostly confined to the Lunar Royal Palace.

      What I liked

      Character development.  This is the focus of the book and is excellently done.  We follow Levana’s progression from a self absorbed, naive young girl to the vicious despot of the later books. I appreciated how each step and decision she took along that path was small and logical at the time but each developed her character as it turned out to be.  I found her an interesting character, and at many points she gained my sympathy for what she went through.

      Character cameos.  Many of the characters from the later books made cameo appearances as their younger selves.  Even if they weren’t specifically named as such it was great fun to spot Cinder, Cress, Kai and other characters.

      Audiobook narration.  Once again narration is provided by Rebecca Soler who did the narration for the other books in the series.  She does a brilliant job of capturing the characters’ voices and I hope she continues for Winter, the final book in the series.

      Here’s a sample:

            bk_aren_001819_sample.mp3

      What I didn’t like

      Very expensive for such a short book.  This book is really a novella – barely 272 pages or 6 hours and 36 minutes of audiobook – and yet is was priced comparatively expensively.  I paid the price but a bit more resentfully than for other books.

      No chapter breaks.  The book is written in one long narrative unbroken into chapters.  Now, I am a working woman and I don’t have the luxury of settling down to long chunks of several hours’ reading.  For me, the chapter breaks are valuable to give me a good place to stop.

      Not Whispersync for Voice compatible.  In other words, the ebook and the audiobook didn’t sync.  Combined with the lack of chapter breaks, it made switching between ebook and audiobook a very frustrating experience.  If you’re only enjoying the book in one medium this won’t be an issue for you, but I did contribute to my lack of enjoyment.

      Less engaging protagonist.  Yes, Levana is a fascinating character and yes, I enjoyed learning about her backstory.  However, it cannot be said that she is immediately likeable or engaging in the way that Cinder, Scarlet and Cress are.

      Less humour.  One of the fun parts of The Lunar Chronicles is the banter that is exchanged between our main characters.  This was missing from Fairest – Levana’s Story.  Thinking back, it’s because in this book we spend very little time with characters who actually like and respect each other.  This book contains the first few chapters of Winter, which I listened to, including a scene on the Rampion and I immediately felt “yes, THIS is the Lunar Chronicles I know and love!”

      To summarise, while I enjoyed Fairest – Levana’s Story, for me it wasn’t a must-read part of The Lunar Chronicles.  Certainly, it shouldn’t be the first book you read in the series.  It does provide an interesting expansion to the series though.

      I gave Fairest – Levana’s Story 3.5 stars out of five.

      three-half-stars

      Firefight by Brandon Sanderson – Review

      Firefight by Brandon Sanderson – ReviewFirefight by Brandon Sanderson
      Series: The Reckoners #2
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Macleod Andrews
      Length: 11 hours 39 minutes
      Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
      Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
      Evelynne's rating: four-stars

      Firefight by Brandon Sanderson is the second in his YA contemporary fantasy trilogy Reckoners about ordinary humans turned megalomanic villains when they received superpowers.  It continues the story – begun in Steelheart – of David and the Reckoners who aim to bring down the despotic Epics.  If you enjoyed Steelheart, you’ll likely have fun with Firefight – it’s more of the same.  It continues on the theme of power corrupting and strength of spirit perhaps overcoming this.

      What I liked

      Expanded world and character set.  In this instalment David and the Reckoners leave Newcago, the location of the first book, to go take on a new Epic, Regalia, in Babylar, in other words, New York.  It’s always fun when an author takes you new places, and Sanderson’s world building is excellent.  His take on New York is unique and adds to the whole scope of the novel.  As well as new locations we also meet new characters.  They are a lot of fun and and are reasonably fleshed out.

      New layers in the whole origin of the Epics plot.  In this book, David learns more about the cause of the Epics’ superpowers and their weaknesses.  I imagine we’ll learn even more in book three, Calamity.

      The pacing.  As with most of Sanderson’s works, the story moves along at a brisk pace with something always going on.  It helped keep my interest in reading.

      The narration.  This is one of the first audiobooks I have listened to since getting my hearing aids.  It was narrated by MacLeod Andrews who did a great job of bringing the characters to life.  

      What I didn’t like

      David’s dodgy metaphors/similes.  At first in Steelheart this quirk was cute and funny.  By the end of the first book it was getting very old.  By the time we reached Firefight I was truly done with it.  I hope it’s moderated considerably in book three…  It was beginning to drive me nuts.

      I did enjoy Firefight – it is a fun, easy read – and I gave it four stars out of five.

       buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible

      four-stars

      The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Review

      The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – ReviewThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Dan O'Grady
      Length: 7 hours and 32 minutes
      Genres: Cutesy romance
      Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
      Evelynne's rating: five-stars

      The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion tells the story of the romance between Don, a university professor clearly on the autism spectrum, and Rosie, a young woman he assists in her search for her biological father.  Their relationship is complicated by Don’s insistence that any potential partner prove her compatibility by completing and passing a multi page questionnaire.  Causes for rejection as a potential partner include; being a vegetarian, smoking, being continually late, all of which apply to Rosie.

      I adored The Rosie Project – it engaged me in the characters and had me at times giggling at Don’s antics, and generally rooting for them. I listened to it in audiobook format which was excellent.

      What I liked

      The characters.  I adored them.  Don’s social ineptness was very endearing (although I don’t think I’d want to deal with it personally on a day-to-day basis) and Rosie was such a lot of fun.  I was rooting for them, both in their romantic relationship and their quest to identify Rosie’s biological father thanks to Don’s genetics know-how. Even the minor characters, such as Don’s friends Gene and Claudia, had their own issues which kept them interesting as well.

      Don’s character development.  I know this particular aspect did turn off some readers, especially those familiar with the autism spectrum.  For me, personally, I was happy to go along with it.  Social interaction is hard for Don.  He knows he is wired differently.  Given that it is such a struggle for him, he makes a conscious decision to embrace his quirkiness – it’s only through his love for, and interactions with Rosie, that he feels more confident to attempt to fit into the neurotypical world.  it doesn’t always work, but it’s nice to see him really trying.

      The writing style.  This is written from Don’s point of view and he has his own imitable style.  Given that’s he’s on the autism spectrum, the writing style leans more towards the scientific report rather than a journal.  For example, he would say “Rosie was 8.5 minutes late.  We left the apartment at 6.24pm, which resulted in a 3 minute delay in arriving for our dinner reservation.”   The humour of the  novel is based on the assumption that the reader/listener is more socially adept than Don.  The social disasters in which Don ends up are all obvious to the reader a considerable time before poor Don realises that he has put his foot in it once again.

      The narration.  The Rosie project is set in Australia with Australian characters.  It makes sense, therefore, that it was narrated by an Australian, Dan Grady.  I am used to narrators speaking with US or British accents, so I found this was a welcome change and kept my interest in the book.  At one point, Don and Rosie take a trip to the US and Grady uses American accents for the characters they meet there.

      I loved The Rosie Project and gave it five stars out of five – my first five star review in quite some time.

       buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible

      five-stars

      Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan – Review

      Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan – ReviewBlood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
      Series: Heroes of Olympus #5
      Also in this series: House of Hades
      Format: Audiobook
      Narrator: Nick Chamian
      Length: 14 hrs and 26 mins
      Genres: Children's, Contemporary Fantasy
      Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
      Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

      The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus saga.  In this book the seven demigods of the prophesy finally have their confrontation with Gaea.  I listened to it in audiobook format – perfect for a sick day from work where you don’t feel like doing much.

      If you enjoyed the previous books, it’s very likely you will like this one, too.  It’s more of the same, with resolution of lots of plotlines.  It seems this is the final book in Percy’s world, at least for some time – Riordan is moving onto a series on Norse mythology (sign me up for that asap) – so it is nice to get some closure on these characters with whom we have spent five and in many cases 10 books.

      What I liked

      The writing style.  A Rick Riordan novel can be characterised as a mixture of humour and adventure, and Blood of Olympus is no different.  I often found myself chuckling out loud at a particularly amusing turn of phrase.  Riordan’s books are definitely a quick, fun read.

      The resolution.  Riordan resolved the main conflicts efficiently and pretty much as predicted, throwing in a few character resolutions in as well.  I particularly enjoyed Nico’s and Leo’s character arcs.  There is some suggestion of what the future might hold for our favourite demigods, although sadly there are no more books to see if they are able to follow through with their plans.  As the main character of the new Norse series has the same surname as one of the Percy Jackson series main characters, maybe there will be some crossover.

      The narration. Nick Chamian did the narration for Blood of Olympus.  I enjoyed it, but would characterise it as proficient rather than awesome.

      What I didn’t like

      Lack of narrative tension.  Despite the fact that this is the last book in the series and the fact that at least one death was prophesied, there was no point at which I actually felt one of my much loved characters might not make it.  Admittedly, the series is aimed at younger readers which might explain this.

      Efficiency rather than brilliance.  Throughout the Heroes of Olympus series, Riordan has been laying the foundations for this final conflict with Gaea, and it followed pretty closely the pattern he set.  There are no unexpected twists or turns at this stage in the game.  Most of the heavy lifting in terms of character development has also been done by this point.

      So in summary, while I enjoyed Blood of Olympus, I didn’t love it.  I gave it three and a half stars out of five.

       buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible

      three-half-stars
      Follow

      Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

      Join other followers