Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Sorry for the gap in posts, vacation week was hectic. I don’t usually rate sequels to books, but for this, I have to because this book was and is an amazing sequel. In this book, all our favorite and diverse characters are here with the addition of a feisty Alex Fierro, who’s gender fluid.

This band of heroes are now fighting against Loki’s plan to marry of Sam to a giant. They go on tons of adventures, trying to figure out a way to get her out of this while Thor’s hammer is also on the line, part of Sam’s nuptial gifts. 

The story stayed interesting, and awesome. Like seriously awesome. It’s definitely for older middle graders (at one point the make magical string out of a cup of blood and hair), but it’s definitely worth the read.

I especially love Alex Fierro’s character, who normalizes gender confusion and explains to kids. I find Alex a decent role model, and wished she was around when I was younger.

Probably 11+. Bit more violence and fighting, not mention some innuendo that’ll go over little kids heads. I recommend highly.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Wow, it’s been a while. Let’s start with a favorite author of mine.

I have a long standing love for Rick Riordan books. The Percy Jackson series got me out of a pretty low place, and never fail to amuse me. The Heroes of Olympus series I didn’t like as much, but then there was this book. The Sword of Summer. I really, really, really liked this book. And, it was back in first person.

This follows Magnus Chase and his adventures into the world of Norse mythology, with some clear similarities to Percy Jackson. Others weren’t a huge fan of this and rated this poorly because of that, but I didn’t mind to much. I found the new mythology interesting enough to look past that. I also love, in this book, how their was more diversity in the characters, from religion, to skin color, to disabilities. It was nice reading that.

Overall, I would recommend this book. It’s fast paced, interesting, and was totally worth the Barnes and Noble gift card I used on it. It’s a little on the thick side, and deals with the usual fantasy violence. Probably good for 10/11+.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

First off, I can’t believe I’m only getting into this series now. I read the first book a few years ago and thought, ‘Yeah, that was a good book. I might read the second’ but I wasn’t really into it. All I really remembered was the movie based off the book since I’ve seen it twice (and until yesterday only read the book once) and I’ve seen it more recently. But I had a friend into it, and I’ve heard really good things about this series from both young and old (well, old in my joking sense, which is college age). I was at a used book store yesterday and decided to pick up a copy of the second book, ‘Sea of Monsters’. On the way home, it was clear after the first 40 something pages that I needed to reread the first one. What’s great about this series is that I was excited to do this. So when I got home I rushed of to my room, hoping that I kept ‘Lightning Thief’. I did. I read that whole book that night, in just a few hours. And it was even better than I remembered.

This book follows Percy Jackson as he has a weird experience during a field trip, ditches his friend and goes to a beach with his mom, finds out that he’s a demigod, goes to a weird camp in upstate New York, kills a Minotaur, gets hurt, believes he’s a demigod, finds out who his dad is, and sets off with Grover and Annabeth on a crazy quest to stop a war between the gods. This book is action packed and never boring, with the occasional humor sprinkled throughout. I fell in love with this world of gods, goddesses, and demigods. With monsters and heroes. With magic and Mist. With good and evil and all the blurred lines in between. There were some things that I didn’t like as much, though. At parts it seemed like it was one monster battle after another. Like it was two action packed. Also, I thought I noticed one or two spelling mistakes or wrong words used. But the main thing that irritated me about this series was the movies based off the books. The movies did not really follow the book that well and changed a lot of things. The books, like usual, were way better.

This series is great, and although action packed, not too graphic. This book would be good for 10+, but would really be great for teens as well as 10-year-olds.

The Girl in the Well by Rin Chupeco

This is a great and terrifying story based on the fantastic Japanese legend of the ghost Okiku. This is a story about ghosts and demons. About past and present.

This book follows Okiku, the ghost of a murdered girl who is unable to pass on and who murders child murderers. Then Okiku meets Tarquin, a boy with mysterious tattoos covering his body. Tark had just moved to Applegate, a small town, with his father so they could be closer to his mother in the mental institute. Tark’s mother had tried to kill him a few times. Okiku protects Tark and his cousin and helps them uncover the truth behind his tattoos and his mothers past.

This book is awesome and terrifying, combining an old legend with a new story. This book is really good, and has violence, gore, scary parts, swearing, and death. I would say 14+.

I am Morgan le Fay By Nancy Springer

‘I am Morgan le Fay’ is a really good point of view to the King Arthur legends that I have never read before. It is from the view of Morgan and really shows her feelings and shows how she felt through her father dying, her mother being forced to marry the king, her home being taken. It really is beautifully written and makes you want to sympathize with her. This book is a really good reinterpretation (and I totally didn’t get that word off the back of the novel). I would say a good book for ages 13+, and if you like it, I recommend ‘I am Mordred’ which is also by Nancy Springer.