Tag Archives: author: rick riordan

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

sword of summer

Book Info

Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October 6, 2015
Pages: 528
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Magnus Chase has lived alone on the streets of Boston since his mother’s death. The streets were his only option, as his mother told him never to trust his uncle, making him wary of his family. But when he learns that his cousin and others are out searching for him, he decides he needs to find answers. He sneaks into his uncle’s mansion and is caught. But that’s not the worst of it. His uncle tells him he’s the son of a Norse god. It’s almost laughable to Magnus at first, until they’re chased down by a group of fire giants and Magnus has to make the choice between himself and innocent bystanders. And his choice is one that only sets a whole series of other events in motion…

I honestly devour everything that Rick Riordan writes. As a lifelong fan of mythology and an avid reader of fantasy, these books always hit so many buttons with me that I just can’t seem to ever put them down. And this kickoff to a new series–though with some connections to his other work nicely woven in–is no exception at all. Riordan has a way of weaving in the existing mythology that doesn’t require one to be very knowledgeable, but it’s also clear that you’re reading his unique story and not just having the myths rehashed in various ways. Magnus’s story takes some unexpected turns very early on, which is something that has me really looking forward to where this series is going to go as it develops.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Blood of Olympus

Book Info

Title: The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus, Book 5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: October 7, 2014
Pages: 516
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Through all their trials so far, the demigods are finding that defeating Gaea is certainly going to be more difficult than they ever imagined. The Feast of Spes is rapidly approaching, and the window if time they have to stop her is closing. At the same time, their fellow demigods of Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter are on the bring of an all-out battle, something it seems they will have no way of stopping from where they stand. They’ve retrieved the Athena Parthenos, which could serve as a vital weapon in stopping Gaea, but it is also the one thing that could stop the war brewing at home. The team knows they need to split up–a couple of people heading back to Long Island with the statue while the rest continue on to Athens to put an end to Gaea’s attempt to fully awaken  and to once again save the gods and the world…

I don’t toss around the phrase “epic conclusion” very lightly, but that’s certainly what we have here. This is an action-packed final chapter in a story that’s been brewing from all the way back in The Lightning Thief. What I also really liked about this installment is that the rest of the demigods (even some who aren’t on the crew) get their moments to shine. We don’t get pages and pages on them, but readers get enough to understand them better, to cheer for them, and to become even further immersed in this incredible world that Rick Riordan has created.

I’ve always enjoyed these books as someone who loves mythology (have since as far as I can remember) and fantasy, while also enjoying a good YA book now and then. While this chapter has come to a close, I’m glad that Riordan is continuing with new series and keeping the spirit of urban-fantasy-inspired-by-mythology alive.

The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan

The Serpent's Shadow

Book Info

Title: The Serpent’s Shadow (Kane Chronicles, Book 3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: May 1, 2012
Pages: 406
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane still haven’t put a final stop to Apophis and his quest to bring darkness to the world. On top of that, the leadership of the House of Life has turned against them and see them and everyone else in Brooklyn House as the enemy. It would definitely be an understatement to say they must prepare to face their biggest challenges yet. To overcome it, they plan to seek out an ancient spell that will allow them to defeat Apophis, but tracking it down won’t be easy. There’s a reason the magic has been lost to the ages and Apophis isn’t going to let them dig it back up with any sort of ease. Their Brooklyn House allies are behind them, but with multiple forces moving against them, the question of what they might be able to achieve is certainly an open-ended one…

Rick Riordan’s skill for creating these worlds that are so neatly spun together with mythology never ceases to impress and amaze me. He tells original stories in vibrant worlds, drawing just the right amount of inspiration and information from the stories of the past without relying on them to the point that we just get a retelling of the mythical legends of old. Carter and Sadie have such strong character voices–particularly important when you tell something from a first person perspective.

Honestly, I was really only disappointed that this ended. I would have loved to have spent more time with these characters if there was room to do so.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

9067850Title: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, Book 2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 452
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Carter and Sadie Kane recently learned the surprising and life-changing history of their family. But they won’t get much time to process it as Apophis is rising and the rest of the House of Life isn’t keen on helping them stop him. The only solution seems to be finding and reviving Ra, but doing so may mean embarking on their most perilous journey yet. But can they do it before Apophis breaks free–something that seems inevitable to happen in just a few days’ time?

Of course, I love these books. Modern takes on mythology always interest me and Rick Riordan puts these stories together in such an organic and interesting way. There’s a bit more action in this book than the first, but I also think it provides an opportunity to better understand the way in which the Egyptian pantheon exists in the Kanes’ world. I was definitely left looking forward to seeing how things wrap up for them in the final book of the trilogy…

Title: The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 8, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  
Review: 
Incredible is not strong enough of a word to describe how I feel about this book. It was difficult for me to put it down – which is true of all of the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus books I’ve read thus far, but even more true with this installment. Riordan continues to seamlessly integrate rich stories of mythology with the lives and adventures of the demigods. But this one is where I felt so many of the characters came into their own. There are great personal challenges for several of The Seven (and others) and so much growth and character development. As the penultimate book of the series, I thought Riordan did a great job of presenting this epic part of their adventure whilst also setting up what is likely to be an even more epic final battle.

Do I really have to wait until October to find out how it all ends??

Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
The two worlds of the Greek and Roman demigods finally collide – and in some unexpected ways! When the Seven of the Great Prophecy finally come together, it’s time to begin the journey to stop Gaea, something that isn’t as easy as it sounds (an understatement, even for the world of Percy Jackson).

The journey takes the Seven back to the old world – a place most demigods won’t dare to tread. But before they can get to Greece, they need to stop off in Rome so that Annabeth can follow the Mark of Athena (hence the title) to complete a quest than no child of Athena before her has been able to complete. And, of course, Gaea’s minions have no intention of making any of this easy for anyone.

It was interesting to see the demigods in Rome, to see some more of the minor gods and the way they manifest, and see how Riordan continues to weave all of the mythology together in a modern setting.

I did feel like there were parts that could have moved a bit more quickly, but that may just be me wanting to see how the quest progresses and how it all winds up. The House of Hades is next (as soon as I come up on the library’s waiting list, that is)!

Title: The Son of Neptune
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 4, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Building on The Lost Hero, it’s interesting to see what Percy (the other lost hero) has experienced as a result of the swap. Riordan introduces us to a whole crew of new demigods and continues to expand the world where Percy and his friends live in a very masterful way. The way he’s put together the Greek and Roman while keeping it separate at the same time creates a depth that I think one doesn’t always find in the world of a fantasy young adult novel.

I feel like there’s a bit more world-building and humor in this than its predecessor, but there was a bit more action in The Lost Hero. Definitely can’t wait to move onto the next installment.

Title: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 12, 2010

Rating: ★ ★ ★  
Review: 
This is a bit different than the Percy Jackson series in a number of ways. First, this is not presented in first person. And that definitely makes sense as Riordan is no longer focusing solely on Percy as the protagonist of this series. Second, even though the world is the same, be prepared for a whole new slate of characters to be joining the world of Percy and the other Half-Bloods.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It contains the spirit of the previous series, pulls in even more mythology and history, and delivers another great adventure with a few unexpected twists and turns.

Title: The Red Pyramid
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: May 4, 2010

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
In one night, the lives of Carter and Sadie Kane are changed forever. After their father releases Egyptian gods that have been imprisoned for centuries and is taken captive by one of them, they find themselves on the run in world they barely know. They quickly learn the history of their family and are forced toward a destiny they never wanted nor expected.

I’ve been enjoying the Percy Jackson series, so I definitely had to pick this up and give it a try. My personal love of mythology and ancient culture just seems to keep being fed well by Rick Riordan’s books. And the masterful way he presents this book in first person – alternating between the two very distinct voices of Carter and Sadie – makes it very easy to get drawn into the world of the Kanes. There were a few parts I thought were just a bit slow – hence the rating of 4 instead of 5 – but I highly, highly recommend this and plan to pick up the second book once I’m caught up on the Heroes of Olympus series.

Title: The Last Olympian
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Date: May 12, 2009

Rating: ★ ★ ★  
Review: 
A very fitting end to the first chapter in the saga of the Olympians. Riordan has done a great job of making each book a distinct adventure while keeping some important threads throughout the series. In, as one might expect, an epic battle, everything comes back together and the Great Prophecy plays out in some ways you might not expect.

No more than put this down and I started into the Heroes of Olympus series because I need to know what happens next!