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Mythology by Edith Hamilton

Title: Mythology

Author: Edith Hamilton

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company 1942

Genre: Mythology

Pages: 352

Rating:   4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: I own it!

Since its original publication by Little, Brown & Company in 1942, this author’s Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world & established itself as a perennial bestseller in its various available formats: hardcover, trade paperback, & mass market paperback. Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern readeer the Greek, Roman & Norse myths & legends that are the keystone of Western culture – the stories of gods & heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.

This is definitely a book I’ve been meaning to read for years.  Years, I tell you!  And finally I got around to it.  The book did not disappoint.  Hamilton’s tome is the definitive source for Greek and Roman myths.  Unfortunately, at times the prose becomes a bit convoluted.  Maybe it’s just the time period the book was written.  I found myself skipping the commentary passages to get to the stories.  Those I loved!  That said, I wanted an actual commentary on some of the stories; maybe more history on the stories.  At any rate, I did enjoy my time reading through the stories.  After reading, I had the urge to watch a good movie based off of the stories, but unfortunately there aren’t many.  Maybe I should just watch a cheesy version…  like Clash of the Titans.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion 2010

Genre: Children and YA/Fantasy

Pages: 576

Rating:  5  / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Mixing It Up — Children’s and Young Adult;

How I Got It: I own it!

After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own:Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods.

An absolutely amazing follow-up to the Percy Jackson series.  We started with a bang and ended with a bang.  Riordan knows how to pull the reader in, let them get to know the characters, and then throw the characters into heart-pounding situations.  I loved that we get to meet three new major characters while revisiting some of our old favorites (Annabeth, Rachel Dare, Chiron).  Piper quickly became my favorite new character.  She had a great sense of loyalty and confidence (except when it came to Jason).  And all of the action sequences were great.  Lots of mystery.  I always love trying to figure out the new characters (friend or foe) before the heroes do.  I am glad to say that I called two of the major baddies before the reveal.  (The one in the department store was definitely my favorite).  My boys loved every minute of it.  Just like the Percy series, they learned a ton of mythology along the way.  They are definite fans of Riordan.  Of course Riordan ends this book with a cliffhanger.  Thankfully we have the second book and will be starting soon.  Unfortunately we have to wait until the fall for the third book… Oh well, I must be patient for great books.

Heroes of Olympus

  1. The Lost Hero
  2. The Son of Neptune
  3. The Mark of Athena
  
 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli

Title: Sirena

Author: Donna Jo Napoli

Publisher: Scholastic 1998

Genre: Myths and Fairy Tales

Pages: 210

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; A to Z: N; Support Your Local Library

How I Got It: Library loan

In Donna Jo Napoli’s beautiful prose, the tragic love story between a mermaid and a mortal comes to life for young readers. When Sirena meets Philoctetes, Hercules’ friend, she falls in love. But the young warrior must return home to fight the Trojan War and leave his magical love behind.
A retelling of the classic mermaid/siren myths of Ancient Greece.  I loved that Sirena is a mermaid who does not act like a human.  Too many times mermaids act like humans with fish tales.  Thankfully we see a very different being in this story.  Napoli’s words read like poetry.  They flow almost like the currents of the ocean.  My only issue is with Philoctetes himself.  He’s not a very good hero and I’m not very attracted to him.  Yet, I understand Sirena’s need for love and belonging.  And it’s that need that kept me reading.  Now I need to check out Napoli’s other retellings.
  
 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Book Reviews

 

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Greek Street: Cassandra Complex by Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfeelice

Title: Greek Street Vol. 2: Cassandra Complex

Author: Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfeelice

Publisher: Vertigo 2010

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

Pages: 144

Rating:  5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novels

How I Got It: borrowed from library

Boasting a “Greek Chorus” of sexy strippers, vengeful gangsters, a murderous youth and a disturbed clairvoyant teenaged girl, GREEK STREET is Peter Milligan’s reimagining of the brutal and visceral tragedies of Ancient Greece played out on the mean streets of modern-day London. In this second volume, a shocking new drama unfolds on the blood, tear and fluid-stained stage of Greek Street as disturbed mother-killer Eddie and aristo visionary, Sandy, try to get to London where Dedalus investigates a suicide and an urban witch tries to get through to a monster. Don’t miss this sexy blend of crime, supernatural surrealness and soap opera, all using characters and plots that are simultaneously familiar yet intesnely brand new.

Another Greek masterpiece.  I love this series.  It takes all the pain of the original Greek tragedies and turns them into something new and modern.  We can understand the underlying themes of all the Greek plays through a new lens.  If I continue, this review will just turn into gushing and more gushing.  Plus I don’t want to spoil the storyline for you.  It’s too good to miss.  Unfortunately the third volume won’t be out for another few months. I will have to bid my time until then…

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Greek Street: Blood Calls for Blood by Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfeelice

Title: Greek Street Vol. 1: Blood Calls for Blood

Author: Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfeelice

Publisher: Vertigo 2010

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

Pages: 144

Rating:  / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novels

How I Got It: borrowed from library

Inspired by classical Greek dramas, the series constructs a crime epic following intertwined stories in modern London and most succeeds in channeling the shock value of the original works.

What would happen if we took the classic Greek dramas and set them in today’s world?  Would they fundamentally change?  Milligan shows us that the answer is a resounding NO!  All the stories, the triumphs, the tragedies, the characters from ancient Greece are still with us.

I loved this gritty, definitely not for kids, graphic novel outlying the undying lessons.  All the remembered characters are here (Cassandra, Daedalus, Oedipus, Agamemnon, the Furies, the Fates, the Greek chorus) placed into modern bodies.  I love that this is set in the nasty parts of London, Greek Street, almost a world unto itself.  We feel for the tragedy of Eddie (Oedipus).  We sympathize with Sandy”s (Cassandra) plight.  We loathe Lord Menon’s (Agamemnon) and the Furies’ despicable behavior.  We hope for Detective Daedalus’ future.  Will his blood be spilled while Jesus watches?

This first volume pushes the stories.  Retelling them, but adding new connecting bits.  I really want to read the second volume.  And the third coming out early next year.  Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after issue #16, so I must enjoy it while I can.  I like to think of it as a darker Fables series.  Definitely something perfect for me.

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Once Upon a Read-a-Thon — Mini Challenge #1

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

From IB Book Blogging: There will be two winners today. The winners will each get to choose from four mythology books that I have in my giveaway pile. They include an ARC of Die for Me by Amy Plum, an ARC of Wildefire by Karsten Knight, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. That sounds awesome, right?? You can post your response to the questions on your blog, twitter, or facebook. Winners will be selected at random from each linky after the read-a-thon ends on July 13th at 11:59 p.m. Make sure to answer both questions and put your link to the answers in the linky below Question 2.


Mini Challenge Question 1:  What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?

I am definitely going to have to go with Greek Mythology.  While Egyptian is interesting, I could never remember all the different gods and goddesses and their stories.  I have a good memory when it comes to Greek.  Maybe it has to do with all my background in history.  Maybe because of all my reading.  Maybe I watched too many Greek myth related movies as a child.  (I’m talking about you Clash of the Titans! — definitely not the new one)  And Roman mythology is just Greek with some Etruscan influences.  Definitely Greek!!!
Mini Challenge Question 2:  What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?
Since I love Greek mythology, is it any wonder that I thoroughly devoured the Percy Jackson series?  I read the series to my boys for their nighttime book, but I think I enjoyed them way more that the boys did.  I absolutely loved the series.  And we finally picked up The Lost Hero.  So I can now start on the new series!

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Readathon

 

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The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion Books 2009

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pages: 151

Rating:   5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library

Since the boys and I finished the Percy Jackson series, we’ve been reading other books until I could get a hold of The Lost Hero.  Well I got a copy, but I didn’t want to dive into the story right away.  So, I found this little volume at the library to tide us over.  (We’ve actually started a stand alone adventure book, Rex Riders, since reading The Demigod Files.  The Lost Hero is pushed back a bit.)

It contains three original Percy Jackson stories set before the fifth book.  We especially loved “Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades.”  A great story featuring Percy, Thalia, and Nico working together to retrieve Hades’ new sword.  All set in the Underworld, we encounter Persephone, Sisyphus, Melinoe, Ethan Nakamura, and the Titan Iapetus.  Of course life threatening actions occur and plenty of little sarcastic asides from Percy.  A great little story to for the series.

The volume also included interviews with the Stoll Brothers, Clarisse, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.  Fun little extra information for fans of the series. Also, a word search, a crossword puzzle, map of Camp Half-Blood, contents of Annabeth’s trunk, and chart of the major gods and goddesses.

Overall, fun little book!

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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