The Hidden Oracle Review

Standard

Last night was a bad night at work. Trust me, it was bad. At one time, I had to physically be in three places. Not fun. Anyway, instead of reading Faulkner when I got home, I pulled out a Rick Riordan book because I really needed a simple easy book. Riordan is okay for that. So I read The Hidden Oracle in less than a day.

It’s not a bad book. I have found that Riordan has a very distinct voice that you hear in all his main characters. I feel like the male lead is mostly alike in all of them and the female lead is mostly alike in all of them. They’re all snarky and have a sense of humor tied to that snarkiness. I don’t care because the majority of teens I know have a snarky sense of humor. It’s just the same personality, different book with him. Apollo was some different though. He still had the snark but he was way vainer and at the same time fatherly. He did lose some of the vanity through the book and learned how to become a father more through the book and I appreciate that. He realized that he didn’t care about his kids before and learned to fight for them. Hence, the less vanity. I’m okay with that. I like that Riordan made a father figure because Riordan could put some of the things he knows as a father into a book and make a character learn them and show his readers with crappy fathers what a good father is. Yes, that was one epic sentence that should not have been one sentence.

I like that the book was from a god’s point of view. It’s nice that in reality, he’s thousands of years old but looks like he’s 16. It was nice to bring him down a few notches.

Then there’s Meg. Through the whole thing, you know she has a secret and there’s clues and there’s times where she doesn’t say anything when you know she almost did say something. I just ignored it. And how old is she? It was never confirmed. He estimated like 12 but she acts older. Back to her secret. I wasn’t so surprised who her mother was but more her step-father and then I sat back and said oh yeah. Should have seen that coming. I wonder how much of the whole situation she fully realizes. I know she knew some of it but how realistic is it that she knew as much as she led on?

I like the side characters. I liked the children of Apollo and I like that some of the characters from other books came into play. I like that Percy made an appearance but had an excuse why he wasn’t in the whole book. It was even nicer that there were older characters that are more of a big deal in this book, like Nico. The more books I read of Riordan’s the more I realize you kind of have to read all of them in order, starting with Percy Jackson. You can do them alone but there seems to be characters added and popping back up all over the place. But I like it.

I would read this book again, I would recommend it and I would continue the series.

William Faulkner.

Standard

So sometimes I get intrigued by an author. William Faulkner is one of them. He’s also an author that I feel like I’m lacking on. I’m only now reading one of his books. So I did some research. This post is not his whole life, this is a VERY quick overview.

Faulkner wasn’t a tall man, I’m taller than him. But at almost 5 foot 10 (not quite. With my boots I’m just about 6 foot), I’m taller than a lot of people. He was just 5 foot 6. He also looks like someone’s grandfather if you look at pictures at him. I will point out that Faulkner was not allowed to join the U.S. Air Force but wasn’t allowed too because of his height. But he got around this. He lied on where and when he was born and added a ‘u’ (cause it was Falkner) to his name to make him look more British and joined the Royal Air Force. (RAF) Just so he could join the military. That’s interesting to me. I’ve had no desire to go into the military. My paternal grandmother wouldn’t have been happy with any of us grandkids if we had joined the military. (Interesting story behind that but that’s for a different time. It includes my great grandfather and what grandma believes killed him.) Faulkner never saw combat even though he was around and available during WWI. He was honorably discharged in 1918. It’s interesting that my research kind of portrayed him as always lying. Which you can’t blame the man, he was very creative/imaginative at an early age. It was like he couldn’t help it.

Career wise, he was very good at writing at an early age, but had some failures. From how I understand it, he struggled in the beginning. After his infant daughter died, he did do some writing. He was a screenwriter for a while and he would go back to it if book sales slumped. He liked writing poetry it seems and wrote a lot of it. It was what he started. Like there’s a crap load of it and there’s short stories and novels and the such. Faulkner was awarded the Howells Medal for distinguished work in American fiction in 1950. He was a co-receiver of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He attended at least one international writer’s conference.

Now he wasn’t an alcoholic but would go on drinking binges. Which means he had an alcohol problem. I feel like a lot, a decent amount, of iconic writers have a problem with some kind of substance. Obviously not all of them but there do seem to be a number of them. But anyway, Faulkner was in and out of a facility when he would have these binges. If I were his wife, I’d not stay around during these binges and maybe walk away altogether if they happened a lot.

Random facts: Can I point out his name was Cuthbert? If any research should be done, it should be on that name. And a cool thing about his great grandfather is that his father was killed in a duel with an ex-business partner. I don’t know why, but duels fascinate me. He named a daughter Alabama. Yes, after a state. I feel like that was the random name of the time. He did have one surviving daughter named Jill. He also went to college without a high school diploma or something equivalent.

I could write about him forever because there’s a lot of information and things you could go down the rabbit hole on. Go look him up.

The Widow’s Walk Review

Standard

Spoilers: Major spoilers ahead.

A while back I read If Wishes were Horses by Robert Barclay. I didn’t like it. To me it was unrealistic and sometimes pretentious. I accidently bought another book by him. It was sincerely an accident. I read the back of The Widow’s Walk by him and I was intrigued and bought it without thinking of looking what else Barclay did. Now I should have known better because historically I can’t do romances without having a strong other element. Like history or something of that sort. And let’s face it it’s usually history. I just don’t do well with a straight up romance. It’s just not real to me on how they play things out.

But there’s a good thing here. I liked this book way better than ‘Horses’. I liked that Constance and Adam died at the same instance. I liked Garrett’s intelligence. (even though I think that Garrett Richmond is a pretentious name)I liked Constance and Garrett’s comfort with and love for each other. But be warned, that fact will come back later. I liked that this was fast paced and that it’s a short book. She does have this speech about half way through the book about how men used to respect women and how things have changed. I totally agree with her. Mutual respect is completely different than it was back then and it would be nice to get some of that respect back. Now I don’t want a man to do everything for me but some respect would be nice.

Now there are things I didn’t like. Like the other Barclay book I read, I feel like there were holes. Constance and Garrett were very comfortable together. For someone whose place was part of the Underground Railroad, you would expect her to have some more formality. I understand Constance had a understanding of modern culture but wouldn’t there be some things that you would insist on like titles? They’re very comfortable with each other and Garrett is completely okay with living with a ghost. I get that this is a short book and you need to be quick with how you present things but this was a little quick for me. Barclay isn’t that good of a writer yet to do this. Another thing that bothers me is their language with each other. Especially the conversations between Brooke’s assistant/whatever he was and Garrett. What decade are they in? Get it right.

And what’s with this guy’s family? His sister was briefly mentioned and his parents had a slightly bigger role. Garrett seems like the kind of guy that’s relatively close to his family. I would think that they would step in at some point or be more involved. Nope.

I’m glad that they ended up together in the end but honestly, the reincarnation? I don’t know how I feel about it.

I honestly wish I liked this book more. But not so much.

These Broken Stars Review

Standard

As is prevalent in posts, I am not afraid to read a Young Adult novel. I enjoy them….for the most part. I recently read These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

As a disclaimer, this isn’t a bad book, for someone else. I may be one of the only people in the world that didn’t care for this book. First, unnecessary letters in people’s names annoy me. Maybe because my name is Megan and I get asked a lot if it’s the normal way to spell it. We wouldn’t have this problem if people weren’t creative. I know that’s not a book thing, that’s a personal pet peeve. Moving on. The end. I hate that they have book previews at the end. If the book is good enough, you don’t need the previews to the next books in the series. I hate when books have previews. I know some people do, but I don’t need recommendations. I have enough on my shelves. And I know I don’t have to read them. It’s just a thing I have.

I’ve seen a lot about this book and have always admired the cover. The cover is freaking gorgeous. That’s the one thing I love about this book yet, is the cover. There were times where I was annoyed at the writers for their style. Most of the time their writing styles flowed but sometimes I could tell one of them, or maybe both, wanted to be way more eloquent than needed and it didn’t come off just right. This book was too easy to be eloquent. For me, with this book, they needed to choose. Be an easy book or be eloquent? It also brings into question what a young adult novel is for an adult reader. Because I do read young adult for a mindless pleasure. I think it’s a matter of taste and where your reading life is at. I’m a little beyond this book. It’s too immature for me. Now, I don’t want to insult people by that. I just am talking about where I’m at right now.

One random thing I didn’t think about before but did in this book is the concept of space ship sickness. I wouldn’t have thought about it and to put it in the book. I did find it interesting what was going on in the book and I like the interview between chapters. It was just that dang writing. I wonder again how two writers deal with writing one book. This book you could almost feel the shift in writers.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about these characters. At one point, I liked one or another character. Then it would switch. And what is the relationship and where did it change? How do they really feel about each other? Some of the themes may have been too advanced for the writing. I just really didn’t care for this book. I respect people who do but I am not one. This is why I only gave this book 2 stars.

A Court of Mist and Fury Review

Standard

I love a deep book I do. I love a book that will make me think. But at the right time. But I’m also a fan of easy reading. I’m a fan of books that don’t take me long and books that I can just put on a shelf and not take any thought after. I feel Sarah J. Maas is one of those authors who right those books for me. I recently read and finished A Court of Mist and Fury between weddings and work.

I made the decision that this book or series is more mature than Maas’ other series. Feyre is I don’t want to say more level headed but she’s less jaded and more adult like. Obviously you’re not going to write two characters in two different series exactly the same. You can definitely draw parallels between Feyre and Caelena. I like Feyre better but this is only the second book in the series and there’s room to mess up. I liked Caelena a lot too in the second book and then I just lost a lot of respect for her. But I have a lot of respect for Feyre right now. She’s someone I would hang out with.

Let’s talk about Rhys and Tamlin as lovers. In the first book, I was completely a Team Tamlin and anti-Rhys. In this book, I completely changed teams. I wanted to remove Tamlin’s danglies. How do you not see the woman that you say you love waste away. Feyre is an admirable person but she can’t be locked away. How do you not see that and do something? Lucien wasn’t any better because I felt he didn’t try to help Feyre and she was supposed to be his friend. Rhys turned into a guy who could read Feyre and could adjust things so that things were good. He wasn’t as vain as I thought but he still is vain.

I also found it interesting between Rhys’ and Tamlin’s inner circle. Tamlin had Lucien and Rhys had a slew of people in comparison. I like to think that it’s the lack of variety of opinion versus the variety of opinion. The variety of opinion can be a bad thing, but in this case, it’s good. It keeps Rhys level headed. Lucien didn’t have that group telling him he’s being a jerk. There could be a whole post about sidekicks and if they’re good for whomever they’re supporting. But this is not that post.

I like the differences between the two sisters. They complement each other very well. I can understand why Feyre felt like the odd man out at times because the sisters complement each other so well there was no room for Feyre. But the ending with the eldest sister was interesting. I kind of liked it. I didn’t see it coming. I find the next book will be interesting with that dynamic between her and Lucien. AND Lucien didn’t believe Feyre at the end. He knows. HE KNOWS! Oh, Tamlin. You’re oblivious and need to be taken down a notch. I feel like Tamlin changed some from the first book. I didn’t like him as much and feel like he was oblivious. Like how do you not notice what’s going on at the end? I mean you were engaged to her and you should notice where her loyalties lie. But if he noticed, no other books.

There was a decent amount of action in this book and some down time. It was paced relatively well and introduced new characters at a pretty good pace. You could tell who was who and they all had their own personalities.

I think this is one of Maas’ better books. I liked the writing and the characters. There was depth to the characters and some character growth. Good read.

The Sword of Summer Review

Standard

I recently looked at the books that I’ve read this year. I’ve read a lot of young adult. I think it’s because my mind can’t handle the hard things sometimes. Anyway, I just finished Rick Riordan’s first Magnus Chase book which is The Sword of Summer.  I debated about this book because I liked Percy Jackson. I liked it more than I thought it was going to be.

Let’s talk about the cover. It’s kind of cool. I read something where someone said the guy on the cover looks like Kurt Cobain. After that, that’s all I saw. I can’t separate the two.

I think that it’s an interesting concept that Magnus dies right away. I understand that’s what needs to happen so he can be a part of the group and the what not. But not knowing much about Norse mythology, I wouldn’t expect that would I? Which is really sad because I took a semester of Mythology in college online. I remember not liking it much and being frustrated with the author of one of the books that we were reading from. I actually have my book of myths that we used in that class and I looked back and there are four Norse stories in the whole thing. Overall, I like Magnus as a character. I like his sarcasm which I know some people say it’s way too close to Percy’s. But I did like his more modern references because Percy was written at a way different time. I also find it intriguing that he was homeless for two years. When I was overseas, especially, I would pass homeless and wonder about their stories. Magnus would have been one of those people I wondered about. The one big complaint is that I don’t like the name Magnus. I get the name choice. There’s meaning behind it. Just like with the other Riordan series I’ve read.

We should probably mention the mother figure in the book. You never see Magnus’ mother but she is talked about. I was wondering if she would be a big part of the book because in my head, I was comparing this to Percy Jackson. Magnus’ mother wasn’t in it as much as I thought she would. If her name was mentioned, I don’t remember it. And Magnus feels a little different about his father than Percy did. There isn’t as much anger. But the boys are two different ages so things are a little different. And since we are comparing Percy and Magnus, can I just say Annabeth? At first I was like, that’s not the same girl, but no, it is. I liked that connection.

There were a slew of side characters and I wondered how I was going to keep them all straight. Because not only do you have the friends when Magnus is alive but you also have the hall mates. And the thing about the hall mates, I thought they were going to be in the book longer. They weren’t. Beginning and end. It works. So that you can learn about the friends and what’s her face. I liked that there was a friend that could only communicate in sign language. This series seems to be a lot more diversified than what I have in my head from the Greek and Roman books. The uncle character is…I don’t know. From the ending I know why Magnus’ mother told him to stay away. But is he evil or is he weak?

It’s a good book. Overall story line was really good. I’m not as into it as the Roman and Greek books because I don’t know as much about Norse mythology and only mildly interested in it.

Missoula Review

Standard

Missoula by Jon Krakauer is a deeply emotional book. I couldn’t read continuously. I had to read something between sections. But how do you read a book about rape continuously and it not affect you? Krakauer is a nonfiction writer that I really appreciate and can read easily. Even though it took me like 2 months to read.

My last two years of college I went to college in a town that was sixty or so miles from Montana so this whole book happened relatively close to home. Except this happened in Missoula, which is western Montana and Montana is a huge state. When I was in Hungary, the couple that ran my bible study was from Montana and he would give me crap about being from North Dakota. And now they’re both moving to Ethiopia and I’m bitter even though I don’t live in Hungary anymore. Anyway, back to my point. I was thinking about being in college while reading this book because these were young women in college. When I was in college, it was right before the oil boom and I felt safe. I wasn’t a partier so I didn’t have to worry about being raped by someone there. I locked my door. Even when my roommate had random guys over, I didn’t feel like I was in danger. But then I was asleep most of the time she brought home guys and I had a different bedroom and she was better when the third roommate moved in. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t feel more in danger. There’s still creepers out there. Oh the ignorance of youth.

How does this book like this not break your heart? How does this book of this subject even exist? In the case of this book, alcohol is the reason for this book. It did remind me of how much athletes were adored in this book. And the book talks about how they went a little crazy an how it’s part of the culture. It’s true. I have seen it in high school and college. Even last night, a kid from North Dakota got drafted to the Eagles and there was so many people that showed up to drafting parties. I mean, the kid seems like he wouldn’t rape anyone and has a good head on his shoulders but he’s adored here. I think in some cases the adoration goes to a person’s head and it ends like Missoula.

I felt for these girls. I can’t imagine the magnitude of their pain. You can clearly see it in the book. There’s a part about two thirds of the way through where one of the girls is talking to her attacker and I feel like it would be like how I would talk to him, but way more eloquent. I think, by the way that he ended the book, this broke the author’s heart. How could it not?

This is a great book but it’s heartbreaking. It took a lot of me. There’s so much to say about this book but I think you should just read it.