Uncategorized

Nobody Cares About Your Book, Dude by Karl Sauvé – Guest Post

About Seven Minutes in Heaven

WELCOME TO HALO TRAVELS, PARADISE ON A BUDGET

When a simple procedure allows anyone who can afford it the chance to visit a part of Heaven, it quickly becomes the number one tourist attraction. Despite the overabundance of selfie-obsessed tourists, Karen Benson is enjoying her much-needed vacation away from her stagnant life and tragic past. But when an accident leaves Karen literally stranded in Hell, both sides scramble to deal with–or capitalize on–the situation as a conspiracy of biblical proportions begins to reveal itself. Now, Karen will have to confront monsters, biker gangs, sweater-wearing cultists, and demonic squirrels as she makes a desperate run for the border!

Guest Post – Nobody Cares About Your Book, Dude

You’re writing your first novel, and maybe it’s not going great right now. It started out fun, and you were full of energy, but now, you’re starting to wonder if all the time and effort is worth it. Maybe you should stop. Is it even any good? No one really knows about it, anyway, right? You’re an unknown. It’s not like people are waiting for it to come out like it’s the next Game of Throne’s book or anything. Nobody cares about your book, dude.

That might be an example of that voice that keeps you from finishing your novel. And even after you’ve self-published, it might be a recurring theme. 

My girlfriend asked me once, while I was writing my novel: “What does success mean to you?” After thinking about it, I decided that success to me, at that point, simply meant finishing the gargantuan task of writing the darn thing—of putting my novel out into the world.  After all, why did I decide to start working on the book? When I’m not writing, I work as a freelance video editor and co-director—mostly on documentaries and reality shows, so I’m no stranger to shaping stories. But they were usually limited to the footage I had to work with, the budget, and a million other restrictions. With books, I felt like I could let my imagination run a bit freer. That was the dream.

Speaking of dreams, I think it’s important to have them, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of becoming a successful writer right from the start. And I still do. That would be success with a capital S. Real success. But I realized that couldn’t be my measure of success at that point because that’s the dream, not the goal. Everyone has dreams: your book becomes a bestseller, you become rich and famous, and you buy a lion.

Goals are different. My dreams are always there, but I try to keep my goals way more attainable. “My goal is to write five good pages today.” “My goal for the month is to get to a hundred pages.” “My goal is to finish my darn book!” —That keeps pushing you along, one page at a time. It keeps you going long after the spark of that fresh new concept, that rush of “What a great idea for a story,” has begun to fade, and the doubts have started creeping in.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment I had the idea for Seven Minutes in Heaven. In my mind, it was when I was traveling down south. Those beautiful sandy beaches. Heaven on Earth. Paradise. Then, you venture outside of the touristic center and see the locals living their normal lives—and they’re not living in swanky hotels and gorging at all-you-can-eat buffets…

That was the spark—that weird thing about tourism and resorts where we show up someplace that looks amazing and take over. We build-up hotels and take selfies while the locals are just trying to get to work. For us, it’s party central, but for them, it’s Monday.

So, that was the basic, simple idea: What if we could visit Heaven? You know we’d turn it into a resort.

And that was funny to me.

I started writing the story years later.

Another element of the story, I think, can be traced back to a different trip. After a hard breakup, I decided to take a trip to Europe. I was going to leave my life and sadness behind for a while and travel a bit. There’s nothing more freeing than going to a different country and surrounding yourself with people that don’t know you… And I did have fun, but I was still sad. No matter where you go, your baggage (insert easy pun here) goes with you. And that element, in a way, wound up in my story: My main character, Karen, wishes to leave her life behind for a while, but she’s forced to confront her demons (and actual demons) when she literally gets stranded in Hell. 

You never know in what way elements of your life will start connecting with your imagination once you sit down, brainstorm, and write—be conscious or not. Any life experience can somehow find its way into your story. As they say, “Write about what you know,” and sometimes, we don’t realize how much we know.

And so, years after getting that first nugget of the plot for Seven Minutes in Heaven, I finally decided that this was going to be it. I was going to hunker down and write my novel finally. If you want to write, stop putting it off. There’s no perfect time to begin writing a novel.

Shameless Plugs

My debut novel is out now, Seven Minutes in Heaven.

Follow me on Facebook at: @karlsauveauthor

Available soon, Pornstar Assassin #1, the first in what I’m hoping will be a series of pulpy action/comedy novellas set in the Seventies.

Hopefully, by the time this guest post gets uploaded on the interwebs, my upcoming podcast, Bishop’s Files—a dark comedy about a depressed, small-town journalist-slash- serial killer who’s sick of other people taking credit for his murders—will be out as well.

Uncategorized

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – Review

34992959Title: Defy Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #5
Rating: 4/5

Plot: 

Shatter Me has been one of my favourite series for as long as I can remember, but this might be my least favourite. For some reason, Kenji is a fan favourite, so he got a big POV for a good portion of this book. Reading his perspective just felt overdone and like it was pandering to the fans, but I found myself skimming his parts just to find the 1-2 pages of Warner or Juliette (I mean Ella). Even the parts with Warner and Julitette seemed disappointing though. There was very little action and when there was action it went so fast I could feel myself getting hyped up about it. And it was always the kind of action where I never felt like the characters were in danger. 

Characters:

Juliette/Ella:

I get the idea behind the name change, really, but Juliette is such a beautiful name and basically erasing that and throwing a generic name like Ella (sorry to the Ellas out there) into the mix just makes me kind of sad. It’s like all that history of the first three books is just gone or it gives me a whole new perspective on it that I don’t like. I used to love the first three books and now I feel like everything in them was a lie. 

Warner:

Sweet boy. After Ignite Me his character started going downhill. Now he’s the kind of character where his only purpose is to argue with other characters, come off as the I-never-had-a-good-childhood-and-now-I-don’t-know-pop-culture character, and serve as Juliella’s (I’m using that as a coping mechanism) protector/worry about her all the time. It makes me sad. I still love him and I think he had some great character development in this book regarding his relationship with his father and learning about his past with Juliella, but I can’t help but feel like a part of that character I loved is missing.

Kenji:

Y’all already know how I feel about this boy. As far as I’m concerned, he’s there for comic relief and to be a friend to Juliella but other than that I can’t figure out why he is so overhyped. I can understand a small POV to get the perspective of the sector since Juliella and Warner weren’t available to come to the phone, but he had some thick chapters.

Overall:

There were some good parts to this. I particularly liked Juliella’s POV when she was being held, because it felt so intense and raw. 
I’m at that point where I kind of wish they just hadn’t come out with three more books and just left it at Ignite Me. Restore Me was okay, but now I’m just not in it anymore. This doesn’t even feel like the same series. And even though I love Warner and Juli…Ella together, their relationship just seemed off kilter and awkward in this book. Of course, that won’t stop me from reading the last book and it won’t stop me from preordering it and reading it as soon as I get it, but I already feel the disappointment on the horizon. I just hope it has the same satisfactory end as Ignite Me
Uncategorized

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera – Review

39320556Title: They Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Rating: 4/5

Themes:
death, friendship, love, celebrating life, courage

There’s something beautiful about death. When I picked this book up, I didn’t even bother to read the synopsis because I had heard good things about it and I just wanted to charge right in. I would say spoiler alert, but the book itself is a spoiler.

Plot and World-Building:
Conceptually, the idea of Death-Cast is intriguing. The idea is that you get a call on the day you’re supposed to die. No one knows how Death-Cast knows when you’re going to die, but they are never wrong. The idea of knowing when you’re dying has to be a heavy weight. Sure, some people get told they have a month, 6-months, a year, but these people get 24 hours maximum. And it’s all via a phone call from people that their entire job is calling these will-be-dead people called Deckers. I could probably read a handful of books from this world because I have so many questions about it. Does this make people do more reckless things on days they don’t get a call? Are people more outgoing? More violent? More loving? I think if we lived in this world I would get a panic attack in the middle of the night, just staring at my phone waiting for the inevitable and that just isn’t healthy.

I need someone to talk to me about this because I find it very interesting and I want more details. Even though this story is told from the perspective of Mateo and Rufus, I like that Silvera added some snippets from other characters here and there. Not only did it show that effects of “the call” on other people, but it also showed how many paths crossed with Mateo and Rufus along the way.

Characters:
Overall, I really enjoyed the characters. Rufus doesn’t necessarily have the best taste in friends, but they’re loyal and they have his back until the end and I think that’s really good. And yes, Peck, I would be extremely pissed off if my girlfriend’s ex came out of nowhere and beat me up, but I don’t think I would be so extremely pissed as to try and get him arrested or maimed on a day he is supposed to die. Just doesn’t feel very worth it.

The characters in this were very diverse, which was a pleasant surprise. I particularly liked that Lidia was a single teenage mother that works hard to sustain them both. It shows a healthier side as opposed to what reality TV says about teen moms.

Mateo:
In all honesty, I thought Mateo was a recluse from the beginning and for the first half of the book I just wanted to grab him by the shoulders and shake him yelling “Live a little”. Meeting Rufus was really good for him and watching that relationship grow and develop from the start isn’t something easy to do in a 24 hour period of time.

The one thing I don’t agree with is his initial feeling to not tell Lidia he’s dying. It just isn’t fair to her and that took precious hours that could have meant a lot.

Rufus:
Their contrasting personalities were interesting. Unlike Mateo, Rufus is tough and outgoing. But he has had a hard life, so I think meeting Mateo did him as much good. He needed someone to push the boundaries with him, emotionally, to help him open up a little.

Last Thoughts:
The fact that this is a YA book is earth-shattering. Usually, death is too real for people to handle, especially when it’s set in a world so similar to ours and the characters so similar to people we know. I think that breaks a boundary and really drives home that life is short and we should take advantage of the time we have. Counting the minute and seconds won’t get us anywhere. So, take the jump off the cliff, run around in the rain, tell that person you love them.

Uncategorized

Vortex Visions (ARC) by Elise Kova – Review

41834791Title: Vortex Visions (ARC)
Author: Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles
Release Date: February 4th, 2019
Rating: 3/5

**Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Edition of this book in exchange for an honest review**

For those of you that don’t know, Vortex Visions is the first book in a new series in the same world as its sister series, Air Awakens. If you haven’t read Air Awakens or finished the series, there is bound to be some spoilers in here, but, as the author Elise Kova has openly stated, you don’t have to read Air Awakens before reading Vortex Visions. 

Also, my reviews tend to be a bit spoilery, so if you’re not a fan of that I suggest going forward with caution. I do, however, try to keep plot spoilers and big events out so not to ruin the book for anyone.

For this review, I’ve decided to split this into a few categories; plot, world-building, and characters.

Plot: 
I picked this book up excited not only because I got to revisit the Solaris Empire, but because I would get to see some of my favourite characters all grown up and meet a whole bunch of new characters to accompany them. Instead, I got a lot of Vi complaining about her life, going to her lessons, and learning a bunch of new stuff that seems completely woven from scratch and not at all like the original series. Perhaps this is what Elise Kova meant when she said you don’t have to read Air Awakens.

Quite honestly, and here’s a spoiler so don’t get mad when I say that the most interesting parts of this book were when Vi had run-ins with death. It’s like with some fantasy series when the characters take long walks to get from place to place except there’s no walking and it is all in the same general area but with a lot of thinking, extremely fake girl gossip, and complaining about how life isn’t all that fair. You’re not 13, Vi, it’s time to grow up a little.

The disease, the White Death, was probably the best plot aspect of the whole book and something I hope to hear more about in future books.

The ending was okay. It was much like I expected given the rest of the novel, but at that point, I reached a point where I didn’t really care about most of the characters involved, which is not great. I think it’ll be a great way to push into book two. A lot of loose ends that make me want to pick up the next book.

World-Building:
Of course, Elise never disappoints with her world-building. I absolutely can’t complain about it. And for those of you that read Air Awakens, were probably surprised about the inclusion of even more world-building in this! I must admit, part of me is very upset that there is a bigger world than what we previously thought. To me, it seems like that just makes the plights of the characters seem less worth it. In other words, why would a bigger kingdom in a bigger part of the world not matter more?

The magic aspect of Air Awakens was one of my favourite parts and by essentially belittling the powers of those in Solaris, it made me sad that Vhalla, who was seemingly so important, doesn’t matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of the world. I’m really picky when it comes to magic systems and I happened to like how the magic system was in the first series, so the fact that that was all basically thrown out and replaced with the formulaic “words are power and are what drive power” idea is kind of irritating. It’s how most magic systems are in a lot of other YA fantasy, so I expect something different because I kept thinking about Eragon by Christopher Paolini the whole time. Now that is a magic system with words that works.

Since J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, I think it has become a cliche that fantasy writers feel like they have to have elves in their writing. 5 books written in the exact same universe before Vortex Visions and there is no mention of “elfin” until this book. I understand that the world has expanded and that we are still learning about it, but this feels a little forced and I’m not for it.

Characters:
Vi:
As far as main characters go, I found her…bland. She came off as the typical character that was separated from the life she should have lived with very little freedom. And of course, she likes to go out and hunt. How very original. I found her less individual and more like a watered-down version of her mother, Vhalla. It’s no wonder the Senate was unsure about her taking the throne seeing as she never set foot in their capital city, no one knew much about her, and her younger brother Romulin was living the life she essentially should have. I feel very little sympathy for her cause.

I think she did a lot of growing up throughout the book, though and I’m genuinely interested to see where the next book takes the rest of her journey.

Taavin:
He might have been my favourite part of the book. He was mysterious and intriguing, so I can’t wait to dig into his character more. Especially with how this one ended *wink wink*.

Andru:
Poor, beautiful, misunderstood Andru is too pure for this world and deserves to be showered with love and attention. He was made out as a bad guy almost the entire book, but he has so much more to him.

Ellene:
Perhaps my least favourite character. Acts like the worst teenage stereotype I’ve ever seen. Quite disappointing, really.

Last Thoughts:
I can’t lie, I liked Air Awakens far more than this and, for those of you that are reading this to decide where to start, I have to recommend you start there. This series can wait for you, but I also think, despite the deep flaws in this story, it is truly worth the read. There are enough characters that I care about, mainly from the original series, but a few in this as well, that I’m quite attached to and would like to see how they end up.

Uncategorized

Another Day by David Levithan – Review

29429383
Title: Another Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: Every Day #2
Release date: August 25th, 2015
Rating: 5/5

**SPOILERS Y’ALL**

It has been a hot minute since I read a book that I genuinely thought I should write a review about, so here we go.

As a refresh of book one, Every Day is told from the perspective of A. A wakes up every morning in the body of a different person.  It’s all they have ever known. Then, Rhiannon comes along. And for all of my Fleetwood Mac lovers out there, you know it changes everything.

Book two is Every Day but from Rhiannon’s perspective. Now, it has been a good long while since I read the first book, but 4 pages in I was already caught up and hooked.

Let’s just take a second to put yourself in A’s shoes. A new body, new life? Sure, why not? Then you start to realize “Well then who do I talk to every day? My family? My friends?” This is exactly why my heart twists for poor A and Rhiannon just doesn’t make it any better.

Right away, we are thrown into her relationship with her boyfriend, Justin, and he is just…so unlikable. It’s one of those moments where you wish you could reach through the pages and grab Rhiannon by the shoulders, shaking her, and yelling “You cannot fix this!” Professionally, I don’t think it is technically considered domestic abuse, but it’s clear that she’s grasping at straws to be with him.

The concept of a person like A is my favourite aspect of this series. The part that keeps echoing in my mind is when A finally tells Rhiannon that he jumps from body to body every day and she asked: “Are you a boy or a girl?” And A just kind of frowns: “I don’t see myself as either.” Don’t mind my completely paraphrased quotes, but it’s such a forward way of thinking that, as a reader, also causes me to think about how I would respond in that situation. A new body every day means different genders, different nationalities, different races, different body types, and poor A, who seriously deserves a break at this point, just can’t seem to grasp why it matters to her what the body looks like when it’s just A on the inside. That is heavy and poetic.

But it does matter, doesn’t it? We all just see the outer surface, never looking past the shell and looking at the person on the inside. Be careful, a book like this might actually make you a better person! And seeing Rhiannon’s preferences actually have an effect on A and how he/she feels about the body he/she is in is earth-shattering.

The ending is where this all gets a little iffy. Rhiannon can’t be with A, because it’s too complicated (too cliche?) and because she can’t connect with some of the bodies A has (wears?). And A is such a delicate being that needs to be guarded and protected, because no matter how heartbroken and torn down he/she feels about their “breakup”, he/she goes completely out of their way to find a guy he/she finds suitable for Rhiannon.

This book is just so good. Seriously, it left me thinking so much and I have no one to talk to about it. Someone, please talk to me about it.

Another Day is all about being better/caring more about yourself and accepting those around you for who they are. In reality, personality is all that should really matter to ANY of us! And it is all about breaking free from those people that are holding you back from being the best you you can be.

*casually adds book to Goodreads “favourite” shelf*

Uncategorized

LGBTQIA+ Books

Since I was feeling a little beat up about season 7 of Voltron, I decided to compile a list of books that have characters that are LGBTQIA+. Enjoy!

Representation is a big deal in the modern age. While some of these books might not necessarily be considered “modern” and a few others might not be conventionally LGBTQIA+, they all DO have representation of one form or another. In an age where people are becoming more accepting, it is imperative to introduce diverse characters to our younger generations and even older generations to show them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with accepting who you are and how to accept the people around you. In recent years, I have seen this improve tremendously and can’t wait to see how this improves even more in the future of print media, TV, and movies.

If there’s a book you love that isn’t listed below, or if you’re an author with LGBTQIA+ rep in your book, feel free to drop the title/link to your book down in the comments. I tried to keep this list to ones that I had read, but I slipped in a few that I haven’t gotten around to.

11250317
1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

2. Captive Prince by P.S. Pacat

3. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

3.5 The Iliad by Homer

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

5. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

6. The Raven Cycle (series) by Maggie Stiefvater

120000207. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

8. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (series) by Rick Riordan

9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

10. The Mortal Instruments (series) by Cassandra Clare

11. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

12. Contagion by Erin Bowman

13. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

14. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

15. Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

16. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

17. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

18. Fence (graphic novel series) by P.S. Pacat

19. Every Day (series) by David Levithan

Uncategorized

Earth’s End by Elise Kova – Review

27878671
Title: Earth’s End

Series: Air Awakens
Author: Elise Kova
Rating: 4/5

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.


Can we just take a minute to applaud Baldair on just being a genuinely amazing person? *soft clapping sounds in the distance* Lovely. I’m confident enough in my own ability to latch onto unsuspecting characters enough to be able to go out on a limb and say that he could possibly be my favourite character from this book. I know, I know, “But Price Aldrik is everything you love in a love interest, what has happened?!” Well, hear me out.

Alright, for starters, Aldrik legitimately creeped me the hell out. In Air Awakens and Fire Falling, it was like “Ooh dark prince, me likey”. And at the start of Earth’s End, this is much how I reacted. He was hurt, he needed Vhalla, and then his reaction to her absence when he woke up was just amazing and I freaking loved it. However, I don’t think Aldrik completely has his wits about. Not only does he essentially openly attack his father, but he does it in such a flamboyant and over-the-top fashion that it’s…unnerving. You know nothing good can come from that. Then, when he started snapping at Vhalla more and more about her “prying” I started getting those uneasy feelings that remind me of Tamlin from ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas. He is unstable and not in the sexy way that the dark prince usually is, but like serious disturbed. When Vhalla finally allows herself to see his drinking problem, I think that solidified my resolve. The fact that she turned to Baldair in that situation speaks volumes to me. Not to mention he put off his own affairs to help her. Aldrik is like…clingy in a creepy way and throws around “my love” WAY too often for it to be smart. Just saying, uneasy vibes.


There’s two more books to this series, I knew this one couldn’t have a happy ending. The fact that Aldrik and Vhalla both thought they could get away with their…to avoid spoilers…plan for the end of the war was just ridiculous. They basically flaunted their plan and were asking for it to be dismantled. Once again, I turn to Aldrik’s unholy reaction. I don’t know what it is with people and just pushing their significant other away at inopportune times, but stop. The last 10 pages were probably the best part of the entire book just because of the sheer magnitude of everyone’s reactions. Not to mention it’s when Vhalla is the most badass because she basically says “Screw you” to everyone and just *poof* disappears.


I love this series and the fact that I’ve been dragging it out as long as I have is both amazing and terrifying. I do hope Aldrik cleans up his act, because I’m getting real tired of his bs while Baldair is out there being the golden boy (ha). His character alone and a few of Vhalla’s “WTF” moments are the only reason I couldn’t bring myself to give this a full 5 stars, but it was STUNNING nonetheless.
Uncategorized

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Review

Image result for the song of achilles
**Quotes based on the US paperback

“Name one hero who was happy…you can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
“I can’t”
“I know. They never let you be famous and happy…I’ll tell you a secret.”
“Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this.
“I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Why me?”
“Because you’re the reason…” (pg. 104-105)

The Song of Achilles tells a twist of The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus. It follows the life of Patroclus from being a young, simple prince and all the way through the Trojan War. It tells a heartbreaking tale of him meeting Achilles and the progression of their relationship from strangers to companions to something more. 
I latched onto this story from the very start. In my freshman year of high school, before I knew this book even existed, I wrote a retelling of The Iliad where Achilles and Patroclus were implied lovers, but never explicitly said so. When I heard of this book, I knew I had to read it. This story was beautifully tragic and wonderfully heartbreaking. In the beginning, Patroclus is so depressing (yet somehow humorous) that you can’t help but feel bad for him and the bad luck the Fates seemed to bestow on him. 

“She wants you to be a god,” I told him.
“I know.” (pg. 55)

Watching Achilles grow in his experiences from a perspective other than Homer’s is unexpected and something I welcome. Seeing him embrace Patroclus as a friend so readily was so heartwarming. 
Thetis. The wrath I felt for the minor goddess was not something I had anticipated. She clearly loved Achilles and the fact that she wanted him to become a god is something I had never looked at before. Heracles became one, so why shouldn’t he? Her disdain for Patroclus was gut-wrenching and left me tense with every interaction. By the end, I was almost completely over her character, but the last few pages left me feeling only grief for the goddess.

“There is no law that gods must be fair, Achilles,” Chiron said. “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone. Do you think?” (pg. 84)

It was when the war came that I truly began to feel the full weight of this book. Anyone who has read The Iliad or read up a little on Greek stories/history knows there is only one way for this book to end. I saw a deep change in Achilles during the Trojan War. He was no longer the same innocent boy and he knew what the war would mean. Not only for himself, but for Patroclus. In the war, it is the first time Achilles feels the full weight of his mortality as realization sets in that he will not be a god.

Achilles was looking at me. “Your hair never quite lies flat here.” He touched my head, just behind my ear. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you how I like that.” (pg. 182)

Patroclus makes it clear to the reader that he has no intention of surviving the war or ever leaving Troy. He will do anything to keep Achilles alive and even goes as far as to keep him from killing Hector. It is a running theme during the war for Achilles to claim he has no reason to kill Hector. It is obvious that he is doing this not only to buy time from the Fates, but to remain with Patroclus for as long as possible. 
The time in war weighs heavily on Achilles and even starts to change who he is. His hubris begins to consume him as he realizes that the gods never promised how much or why he will have fame. Patroclus fears that people will remember him for the wrong things, the terrible things he does in war instead of the Achilles he knows and loves. There is even a time in which Patroclus considers suicide in a fit of rage to punish Achilles for his selfishness. 

I forced my voice to match his in lightness. “I’m sure you’re right. After all, Hector hasn’t done anything to you.”
He smiled then, as I had hoped he would. “Yes,” he said. “I’ve heard that.” (pg. 247)

This book was the most beautiful book I have ever read. I could read the story of Achilles and Patroclus and still cry at the end. That is how amazing this is. I could go as far to say that this is now my favourite book and that I play to read it many many more times in the future. The Song of Achilles truly makes you appreciate the time you have while on earth, however short it may be. 

Achilles makes a sound like choking. “There are no bargains between lions and men. I will kill you and eat you raw.” (pg. 344)

Uncategorized

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – Review

26252859Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Format: Hardback
Pages: 376
Rating: 3.5

Chiron galloped over. “Thank the gods!”
“You’re welcome,” I [Apollo] gasped, mostly out of habit. 

It took me forever to even pick up this book. I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so much (it has to be in my top 5 series…ever). When Heroes of Olympus came out, I was up the freaking wall, because we were finally going to see more of the gang! Only to be disappointed after the first book was all new characters. Of course, that series progresses and I eventually fell in love with it as well. I thought it was over. Rick was writing his Norse series, I wrote my farewell to Percy Jackson, and I thought the story had ended.

Trails of Apollo. I saw the clips on YouTube about it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I love Apollo. He’s probably one of my favourite Olympian gods, because he’s quirky and the way he never sees anything as his fault amuses me to no end. He reminds me of Narcissus, because he’s always talking about how everyone surely must love him and his beauty and his wit. For the first hundred pages or so, that is exactly what I got, but in human form! I understand that, as a human, Apollo would feel differently about some things or care about things he normally wouldn’t have as a god, but this is his third time as a mortal, surely if the first two times didn’t really change who he was, the third time around would be no different…so why does he get so weepy and sad about…everything!?

Meg…when we were introduced to her it left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t like Meg from the start and I still don’t. She gives off the “I’m so tough” vibe/act that authors sometimes give female characters to “appeal” to the female audience and I absolutely hate it. I’m not saying that girls can’t be tough or whatever, but you don’t need to stress it so much. Just let whatever happens happen.

For some reason, everyone at Camp Half-Blood seems really ready to make fun of Apollo or pick on him, which really doesn’t make sense to me. Even though he’s in mortal form, he might at some point be a god again and boy wouldn’t you look stupid if he came up and wiped that smile off your face. Which I am 100% convinced he would do once he was back in his godly status and ready to beat the ever living crap out of the people that wronged him.

And now, the entire reason I couldn’t bring myself to give this book four stars…LEO.

Yeah, that’s right, I can’t stand him. I find him such an unlikable Jason/Percy wannabe and he simply can’t be them because it is not his destiny to be as good as them. So, after I thought he died in HoO, you’re telling me I have to sit through 5 more books with him as the main character bringing little to the table and being annoying the entire time!? Awesome. Just freaking spectacular. All the snip-its I was seeing before this even came out was all about Percy and Apollo interacting and now you’re telling me that instead of my beautiful, awesome Percy paired up with turned-human Apollo fighting to save the world I get Leo and weepy Apollo with god-turned-human Calypso that probably won’t end up doing much? This should get interesting real fast.

*quietly* I just want more Percy….

Uncategorized

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – Series Review/Recap/Overlook

Image result for falling kingdoms series
Bear with me, this review/recap/overlook will include spoilers and my own personal opinions of the events that take place in the books Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness, Frozen Tides, and Crystal Storm. If any of these are spoiled for you in the upcoming post, it is now your own fault, for I have given you this warning. I, in no way, own Falling Kingdoms or the characters in it.

Clearly, this being about the first 5 books in a rather long, tasking series, this will be a super long post. I will try my hardest to keep spoilers at the minimum, despite my prior warning, and I will do my best to keep this in sections. I will talk about the character evolution, the relationship evolution, and the plot evolution. As a reminder, these are my opinions and I don’t mean to offend anyone.

Evolution of Characters

Princess Cleiona Aurora (Cleo) Bellos of Auranos: It’s safe to say that Cleo is one of my favourite characters. Her transition from book one Cleo to book 5 Cleo is amazing and truly inspiring. She’s forced to become this strong, deceitful person so quickly, you can’t help but fall in love with her. In the first book, she is so happy-go-lucky and loose, she hates the Limerians by the end of book one, understandable. By the end of book five, though, she’s in love with her worst enemy. Strong, proud, and willing to do anything to get her throne back. All the loss she has endured, it’s only fair that something should finally go her way.

Prince Magnus Lukas Damora of Limeros: Magnus, like all the main characters, also went through a great transition. It’s obvious in the first book how closed off and cold he is toward everyone, which is no surprise given his parents. The only light being Lucia in his life for so long. The end of book five was so incredibly heartbreaking for me, reading what happens to him (shan’t spoil). After being with Cleo through so much, he finally opens up and when he does, it just turns on him. I just feel so bad for him. And I love him. So much.

Princess Lucia Eva Damora of Limeros: Being almost the sole hope for so many people must be a struggle in itself, but when everyone is fighting over the same power, it must be so much harder. I’m not saying that Lucia’s loss of Alexius is anything to excuse the destruction she caused after the fact, but I feel like she should be cut some slack at the very least. It’s possible, I think, for Lucia to redeem herself in the last book, having finally seen through the thick fog that blinded her for so long.

Jonas Agallon: Regardless of what I’ve read about Jonas, I find he has very few layers to his character. Simple peasant boy turned rebel. In ways it’s so predictable, it should be expected. But as a rebel leader, Jonas fails in so many ways, seeing as his plans seem to almost never work and even when they do they result in a great loss of life. I understand his rage against losing his brother, but in his quest for revenge, he basically left his family behind and almost single handedly caused the Auranian battle in book one.

Felix Gaebras: King’s assassin turned rebel. Somehow trained by some of the world’s hardest people, yet manages to get in the clutches of Princess Amara and imprisoned. I’m not going to say that Felix’s actions earned him his current position, but Felix’s actions earned him is current position.

Nicolo (Nic) Cassian: I’ve loved Nic since book one. His banter with Magnus (whom he needs to make friendship with) alone is great, but his friendship with Cleo is the most pure thing ever and they deserve to be friends forever. He’s just so sassy despite losing his sister and he’s so strong and independent, I just love it! P.S. Nic, please be okay.

Princess (Empress??) Amara Cortas of Kraeshia: Power hungry. To the very core, power hungry. I hope she gets what she deserves in the long run.

Relationships

Magnus/Cleo (Magneo): Nothing in this world or the next could possibly convince me that they don’t 100% belong together. They are passion and love and if they ruled together, they could become the most powerful couple, I’m convinced.

Jonas/Cleo: Dead end romance? Seemed like they had something going on that just kinda died off.

Lucia/Magnus: Started out super gross, but ended out being okay. I don’t ship it, but I do want them to make up and be close again. It’s the least that Magnus deserves.

Magnus/King Gaius: Super intense. Every scene with them is a show-down and I have to slow down to take in every minute. When Magnus finally stood up to him, I practically cried. Yet Gaius continues to intervene with Magnus’s life, as if anything he does could fix their relationship.

Nic/Cleo: Worlds strongest/best friendship

Ashur/Nic: I want them to be happy. Let them be happy *looks hopefully at Morgan Rhodes*

Lysandra/Jonas: I’m actually convinced that they would never have worked out. Jonas was so in love with Cleo and then suddenly he’s in love with Lys? SPOILER Right after she died?! I just don’t believe it.

SERIES AS A WHOLE

To get across just how much I love this series, keep in mind that in order to properly do this post, I reread all five books and book marked pages I thought were important. And after I finished book five like yesterday, I wanted to start all over again. This series is so beautiful and I can’t believe I called it a Game of Thrones wannabe the first time I read book one. I am so happy I decided to keep reading, it really shows that you should never judge a series by the first book. I will actually cry very real tears when I finish the last book, but until then I’ll just reread the series until my books fall apart.