Publishing: May 27, 2008/HarperTeen/402 pages
Format Read: Paperback
Classroom shelfability: Yes
Oh Monday. You’re back. UGH.
I *finally* finished The Night Circus (cue the Hallelujah singing cherubs) and posted my review yesterday.
This week I decided to try another Kristin Cashore book!
Graceling was good (see review here) but I was a little underwhelmed and mentioned that I wanted more Bitterblue and Leck… well, my friends, ask and you shall receive! Kinda.
At the suggestion of one of my GoodReads friends, I picked up Bitterblue at the library and am already digging it. SO much better than Graceling! And, I get my Bitterblue along with some Leck, Po, and Katsa tied in. NICE. So far, so good. I hope it keeps up the momentum, mystery, and overall goodness.
In other book related news, I got tickets to see NEIL GAIMAN! Woohoo!! Hubby and I (along with some of my internet book club friends) will be off to be enchanted by NG himself in June. Just stare at his wonderfulness until my post tomorrow, go ahead:
My Thoughts: I wanted to LOVE this book. But, I didn’t. In fact, I really really really disliked this book. It had SO much potential too. IT’S ABOUT DRAGONS, PEOPLE. But, sadly, it was just like Twilight with dragons and dragon hunters.That’s the best possible way for me to describe it- Twilight with dragons. So much is the same– he tells her she shouldn’t hang out with him, she says he’s like an addicting drug, he has a posse, he’s “different”… I could go on and on. The parallels are endless. And annoying.So much of this book just seemed underplanned to me. For example, Jacinda does not like where she is living and wants to leave- she whines about it on every page. But doesn’t. And, I don’t get it. If she’s that miserable, why doesn’t she leave. She can literally FLY AWAY.
That said, I am intrigued by the Draki world and want to know more. I’d also like to know more about the hunters– do normal people not know about the dragons flyin’ around? Credit where credit is due: I like that the author created multiple types of dragons with different types of “abilities” and the gems that each family has seem very interesting. I just wish we had more about Draki than Jacinda’s crying.
I will admit that I read the preview for the next book. I was SUPER excited about a spoiler and considered reading the next in the series but I can’t bring myself to. Would my students love this book? Yes. Would dragon lovers like this book? Doubt it, or at least don’t compare it to any GOOD dragon lore. Would you like this book? Probs not. Skippable.
Summary from GoodReads: Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
My Thoughts: I foggily remembered the plot of this book because I saw the movie on an international flight. As a result, the book left me kind of underwhelmed.
First things first: I adore Greek mythology. Always have. That’s the number one reason I chose the movie on that plane. The good news is that the book on the whole is good. Not bad, not great– good. Average.
The characters are likeable enough. Percy is relatable and all of the characterization felt appropriate. I loved the basis of the backstory: a “summer camp” for half bloods. The different cabins, the kids, all a lot of fun. I wish we could’ve spent more time there instead of questing.
Riordan did a beautiful job describing things. I got a little weak kneeded at the descriptions of Olympus and the Underworld. And, I loved that Cerebus was a Rottie like my baby Bowser.
Another thing I really enjoyed was all of Percy & Co.’s encounters with different mythological beings. Their human tie-ins were funny and overall I think those scenes were some of the best parts of the book.
So what did I not like? Having spoiled the plot for myself. As I said, I was left pretty under-wow’d because I knew the twist from that dumb movie. While it was still fun to read, I probably should’ve skipped this one. However, I do believe that 3 eggs would be what I would’ve rated it had I seen the movie or not. The book was your average, fun, middle-grade read. And, my students would love it. It most certainly has shelfability in my classroom.
If you’ve seen the movie or don’t typically like middle grade YA, steer clear, although the mythological aspect is enough to pull most fantasy lovers in.