Book Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Medusa Girls #1)

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

*****

Sweet Venom was slow paced but it was kinda fun. 🙂 It reminded me of Darkness Becomes Her because Athena is also the intended villain here. Scattered action scenes across the book. I’m expecting more but that’s okay.

The story is a new take on mythology. From a villain status, Medusa and her descendants here are really guardians who protect the human world from monsters from the other side. It was refeshing to read this different spin of Greek mythology.

Sweet Venom mainly revolves on the three sisters coming together to claim their heritage. Gretchen is already a huntress, so that leaves Grace and Greer for training. They came from different walks of life. Therefore, the struggle to unite and fulfill their duties is all the book talked about.

Of course I’m inclined towards Gretchen because she’s the strongest among the three. Not just in strength but in character as well. Grace is a sweet girl, but Greer… she’s a challenge. She’s determined like Gretchen but in a different way. She reminds me of the girls from Pretty Little Liars.

I am hoping there’s more to the series – it can still get good. Because if there’s one thing I like about Sweet Venom, it is easy to read. A little entertaining, but I want more spunk from these huntresses.

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Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Rating: Star

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

*****

Warning: A few expletives as you read along. It can’t be helped.

I thought about not finishing this. 21% done in my Kindle and it does nothing to pique my curiosity. 46% done and still… NADA. How painful it was to read and actually finish Everneath! Boring boring BORING! Such pretty, pretty cover. Too bad my lust for this books stopped there.

I don’t understand why Nikki has returned to the Surface. Because of a boy?!!! Not really (Yes, it was.) She said she wanted to make everything alright with her Father and brother, Tommy (she left them behind without saying goodbye). The fact that there was little interaction between her and her family upon her Return made her Return really fickle with a capital F. She’s not there for her family, or her best friend Jules. She’s mainly there to see Jack. So pathetic.

And an awful, awful friend too. Upon seeing that her best friend Jules was still a good friend to her after leaving, she hoped, HOPED! that Jack will never see Jule’s awesomeness (She saw how good Jules and Jack looked together, maybe as a couple). Because Nikki still wanted him for herself. She went all snotty and said, “I can’t help it if he still has feelings for me.” B*tch.

In a moment of weakness, Nikki went to Cole and that action eventually led her to the Everneath. When she Returned, she doesn’t want anything to do with him. In fact, every time they talked, she makes it a point to slap Cole with blame that was essentially hers in the first place. Really. Really? Did Cole force you to give up everything and be with him for the Feed? No. Did Cole fail to warn you that there’s no going back? No.Did Cole tell you that because you are boring, weak and pathetic, he doesn’t need you anymore, so you better go scurrying back to Jack? No, that was me. Wish that happened, though. B*tch.

And swoon… where the f*ck was the Swoon? Not from Cole, and certainly not from Jack. Even the bad boy element for Cole was very stale. Jack, well he’s boring too. A very forgettable male lead. I didn’t believe anything he said. No defining qualities there. So who’s there to like?!!! Maybe Will. Or Tommy.

The mythology was not for my taste. It felt like a paranormal story trying hard to be defined as mythology so as to appear unique. You are so far from being unique, Everneath. Oh, so f*cking far.

Out of all my GR friends who read this book, only two of them didn’t Everneath like me. So, we are in the minority. But that’s fine. Just goes to say that I’m okay that they enjoyed it more than I have, but I’m glad too, that I didn’t buy an actual copy no matter how enticing the cover was.

The story stunk, the characters are jokes, the ending was hardly gut-punching to make up with the overall crappiness of Everneath.

Book Review: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Rating: StarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

Challenge: Pinoy Book Tours ARC Tour

(Children of the Gods #1)

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable–except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning–and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

*****

Oppression started okay, but then it started downhill when William came into the scene. When he’s around, all Elyse could do is make a fool out of herself: daydreaming, fantasizing, lusting over William. Ugh.

I like Kara better than Elyse; Nics and whats-his-name over Elyse and William. I felt the story was going nowhere. The plot was being pulled into two different directions: focus on romance or mythology? I was confused on the we-are-descendants-from-the-gods-but-they-are-not-really-gods-in-the-first-placeidea. I was like, huh?

Can we move on to the next book, please? You can cross out Oppression in your list of YA mythology books to read. You’re not missing anything, really.

Publisher:  ZOVA Books

Imprint: —

Pub Date: 02/28/2012

Thank you Kai and Precious for lending me their ARC.

Book Review: Gods & Monsters #2: A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Gods and Monsters #2)

Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.

 
Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine….

*****

Darkness Becomes Her is better than A Beautiful Evil but this second book has its own merits. Athena is menacing as ever, and for that, this book is quite the bomb.

Ari is still bad-*ss but there’s this instance that i found her incredulous. idiotic, even. Sigh. i would like my heroine to be confident and skilled in battle, but i do not want her going into one without proper arsenal. Ari, you’re fighting a goddess (Athena, no less!), for goodness sake. The least you can do is make the capturing a little difficult. i find it rather insulting to have Athena slaughter you at her silver plate because of your stupidity

Sebastian is almost a god in this sequel. I am so envious of his powers! Man, now you look positively hot. *Ahem* 

The unusual portrayal of Pandora’s box is alluring. The agenda behind Athena’s relentless pursuit of Ari’s power is shockingly… human. I loved that. 

If you dig the first book, you will dig A Beautiful Evil even more. Powerful Athena versus an equally powerful god-killer. =) Hoho! Cat fight has never been this delicious to read.

Book Review: Goddess Test #2: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Goddess Test #2)

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Book 1: The Goddess Test review

*****

I guess I’ll start by saying… I liked Goddess Interrupted in spite of its many flaws. It does not bore like so many middle books, but i’ll admit that the characters are annoying enough to classify it as such. i love Kate, but gosh, she really is a whiner sometimes. And Henry is so infuriating! I have never met (or read, for that matter) a god with so many emotional baggage like he has.

After living above for six months, Kate cannot wait to go in Eden Manor and be with Henry. To her dismay, Henry was not happy to see her. Why is that? Henry is one emo boy, that’s why. Ugh. I thought Henry’s character would’ve have develop into a confident, less-than-sallow male lead by now. Sadly, he is still this indifferent, insecure god who cannot believe that someone such as Kate can love him. What. A. Loser. All throughout the book, I saw Kate reassuring Henry of her love, Kate doubting Henry’s affection for her, and Kate doing little to prove she is worthy to be a goddess.

Like I said, I still liked the book. Perhaps my connection with Kate is too real, too emotional to ignore. You see, i hate rejection. And Kate’s constant mulling over Henry’s rejection of her is something I felt so strongly about. Also, Calliope is one scheming, manipulative goddess that I can’t help but cheer on.

Persephone is intolerable. Ava‘s character is disappointing. You’d think that as Aphrodite, she’d be as vain, scheming and manipulative like Calliope. But Ava is nothing but a pretty decor beside Kate.

If you liked The Goddess Test, there’s a likely possibility that Goddess Interrupted will appeal to you, too.

Publisher: Harlequin

Imprint: HarlequinTEEN

Pub Date: 03/27/2012

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

 

Book Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Rating: StarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Wildefire #1)

Every flame begins with a spark.

Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school–being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger–Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

*****

Wildefire has fallen from grace in my eyes. It started out great, and it engaged me instantly. But as the story progresses, I did not know what to do with Ashline. At first, she’s strong but while her character unraveled, I began to dislike her. I mean really, really dislike her. Also, the violence and intrigue was right into my league but the mash-up of different mythologies did not work out for me.

Is it just me or are the supporting characters much more solid and likeable over the main characters? I prefer Raja over Ashline. Rolfe over Colt. I even like Eve! Unlike Ash, she knows what she wants and she goes for it. Ash is all talk and no walk. She barely even registered as a goddess to me. If she were a he, I would call Ash an egotistical jerk. On the other hand, Colt is not charismatic like the author portrayed him be. Raja is sure of herself and her sarcastic humor is enjoyable. And it’s the same with Rolfe. Case in point: Raja and Rolfe have more sass and personality than Ash and Colt.

There is something wrong about Wildefire. At least for me. The uniqueness of its mythology was somehow destroyed by the irksome female lead. Yeah Ashline, you suck.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Gods and Monsters #1)

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

*****

A few dim lights shone through the panes, muted by dark curtains, dirt, and grime.

I loved it immediately – beauty shadowed by time and decay, but still standing proud. Yeah, this was my kind of place.

EDGY.

Darkness Becomes Her has the kind of mythology that I want to read more in the YA shelf. It has a kick-*ss heroine and a Louisiana backdrop that are refreshingly different and appealing to me. This one quick read dismissed my hunger for mythology with a hint of paranormal at the side.

I found Ari‘s character strong. In spite of the longing for a family, she confidently takes care of herself. She’s headstrong and very skilled for fights (her foster parents are bail bondsmen). I just really like her! Her inner turmoil did not take precedence over her searching for her true identity. She knows a lot of weird stuff has been going on around her, but still she remain focused on her search. Sebastian is a little difficult for me to understand. The aloofness of his character at the start did not worked for me. Still, when he and Ari hooked up, I can see that there is chemistry. and Sebastian is not weak either, so that’s a plus.

I love the myth Keaton has presented. I liked how she wrote this; it was very easy to get into. Louisiana’s portrayal was hauntingly beautiful to imagine. I was just skeptical over the presence of paranormal elements in such a mythological setup.

If you are tired of the same set of gods and goddesses being featured in YA mythology, you better read Darkness Becomes Her. It’s dark. It’s alive. It’s a little violent. So awesome for my taste. =)

A small laugh escaped my lips as the doors slid open.

“You’ve got a lot to learn about me. I don’t wait in the wings.”

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Dig by Audrey Hart

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Zoe and Zeus #1)

Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece.

As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people—humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what.

Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her—all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her.

Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess—all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.

*****

I saw The Dig from Backlit Fiction’s email newsletter. The mythology was different from what I usually read, plus the cover is gorgeous, so I decided to go for it. And I liked it. Nothing to rave about, but it’s something to pass the time. Hart’s writing needs polishing, because all I can hear in the storytelling is a lot of babbling and rambling. Zoe’s always talking about things that I think are better left unread by readers (obviously since they are not necessary).

Zoe is smart but a loner. She found herself transported back in time when she explored an unknown room in her uncle’s/aunt’s archeological dig in Greece. Apparently, gods & goddesses existed here (well, in the form of teenagers, but still powerful). There she met a nymph and eventually, a golden-haired boy. Zeus. Now tell me if you read any YA fiction with Zeus as the lead character. No? Me too. Zeus is pretty sweet here, which makes me a little skeptical. He is powerful, yes, but it is not enough to rein in the other Olympians. Hera is in her true character. I liked her more than Zoe.

Likes: Zoe’s goddess-like powers. The labyrinth. The mutiny against Zeus.

Dislikes: Which goddess Zoe takes up to? Demeter? Hart did not clear that up. The constant rambling thoughts of Zoe (I mean, you’re gonna die and yet you remember this one time at high school, blah blah blah? Come on!) clear was a downer.

The Dig is an okay read but I have read better mythology-based YA book.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

RATING: Star

Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she’s surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

*****

JUVENILE.

Carrier of the Mark got me frowning from beginning to end. The characters were unimpressive, the writing is terrible, and the dialogues are sooo cheesy. You would think that for a book cover so stunning, the story will follow through. But no. Have you been waiting for this book? Please stop waiting. It’s not worth the hype, at least to me.

Megan reminded me of Luce from the Fallen series. Co-dependent, always swooning over the male lead. C’mon! How many times do i have to read about Megan falling into Adam’s arms, going into Adam’s arms, wanting Adam’s arms around her?!?!! I can only take a little sappiness, thank you very much. Heroines like her makes me want to hurl big time. Adam is no different. He’s kissing Megan the first time he acknowledged her after weeks of ignoring her. Then, it’s ‘let’s make out’ or ‘come here, beautiful’ or ‘i can’t take my eyes off you’. Ugh.

One thing i can say for the story: Too Much Information. I got lost in the neutral gene/royal blood/marked One talk. Can we just simplify things, Ms Leigh Fallon? The mythology and elements are interesting; too bad it doesn’t get better.

Carrier of the Mark reminded me of Twilight (which i liked) and Starcrossed (which i don’t). =( I think i’m better off reading fanfic than this book.

Publisher: HarperCollins

Imprint: HarperTeen

Pub Date: 10/04/2011

Many Thanks to Kai and Precious of Pinoy Book Tours for the chance to read their ARC copy!

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Heroes of Olympus #2: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

RATING: StarStarStarStarStar

(The Heroes of Olympus #2)

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa tol him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth 

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem – when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams. 

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery – although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely – enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart. 

*****

Percy frowned. “You hold a feast for tuna?”

RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY.

The Son of Neptune first captivated me with that oh-so-cool cover (Percy is so bad-ass!), then i started reading… and man, i really miss Percy Jackson!!! He now thinks before he speaks, he became perceptive, and he is more powerful than before. Rick Riordan, thank you for making Percy Jackson grow up. I love him now more than ever. =)

Percy is in Camp Jupiter, gaining new friends like Hazel and Frank, and enemies as well, like Octavian. They embarked on a quest that will push them to discover their potentials as they become the demigods included in the Prophecy of Seven. Riordan took a story pattern similar to The Lost Hero but this sequel is hands down more fun and engaging! I admit that i can’t wait to read those chapters with Percy’s POV (Hazel’s & Frank’s are not as entertaining as Percy’s), so imagine my glee every time I read his chapters – loads and loads of humor! Despite Percy’s memorable deadpans, it is obvious that here is a demigod who has the wits and the moves that can topple down any monster or giant Gaea will throw at him. I will say this again: Percy is a (demi)GOD!

Although there are few inconsistencies that i found, I did not mind them much. I enjoyed the The Son of Neptune because it is such a feel-good book! Riordan got me laughing and laughing all throughout. I really like Mars far more than Ares. Arion is one indignant horse, err, stallion. LOL

Are you a fan of Percy Jackson? If yes, then better grab a copy now! You would want to know how Terminus (the boundary god) had me LMAO every single minute! If no, well then, it’s about time you meet the greatest demigod there ever is. After all, he is the son of Poseidon (or Neptune, whatever).

#18 Off-the-Shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”