Audio Review: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, Book 2) by Rick Riordan

By First Mate Keira

Title: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, Book 2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Format: Audiobook
CDs + Minutes: 11 CDs (Approx: 12 Hours, 48 Minutes)
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Apophis, the ancient Egyptian god of darkness chaos that takes the form of a snake, is breaking ever so slowly free of the prison that Ra, the sun god who represents order, banished him to eons ago. The Kane children have until the solstice to find the three aspects of Ra, combine them with magic, and convince Ra to help fight Apophis or it’s the end of the world.

The hard part? No, it’s not Vlad. Most of the gods don’t want Ra back because they last remember Ra as a weak and senile old man. How can such a god defeat Apophis? Shouldn’t the Kanes put their trust in another… perhaps Horace?

On the side, lots of new comers to the Brooklyn House show up and a few of these fledgling magicians have secrets of their own including a family curse. The House of Life is facing a threat from within while strongly opposing the Kanes’ plan to awaken Ra. Also Carter’s unrequited love is in danger and he’s got to find her! But don’t forget the Forces of Chaos will stop at nothing to see Apophis rise.

Why I started this book:

Read the first, needed something to listen to in the car on the way to and from work. :)

Likes:

  • The narrative style for this series is very suited to narration. The readers were brilliant and had a wide range of voices. They both somehow managed to be unique and yet have enough overlap in how they read certain characters to make the switches feel familiar and the character voices as well.
  • Bes is a god of little people or dwarves (term used in book). He bet some of his height and lost once way back, which is why he’s short. He’s also extremely ugly and uses his ugliness to scare away others be they regular people, magicians, or gods. But he’s also considered extremely lucky so most Egyptians will gladly be around him if he isn’t actively trying to frighten them. What I liked best about Bes was that he simply helped out with no agenda. That’s rare. He’s a true friend to the Kanes.
  • The trip down the river to find and put Ra back together… he’s rather like Humpty Dumpty.

Dislikes:

  • Walt is 15? 16? Sadie is just now 13? Excusez moi? Yes, Sadie talks like a 15 year old and seems as mature as her older brother Carter, but she’s not. And while I do enjoy her boy crazy ramblings, the reciprocation on the guys’ (Walt and Anubis) part doesn’t make sense spelled out. This is why I continually wish she and Carter had been twins instead of merely siblings.
  • Two Southern American accents? Jaz? Hippo goddess? Um… one is enough. It’s too distinctive.

Last Minute thoughts: While there are some downsides for me in the story, one thing is always true about Riordan. He promises and delivers no matter the series or book an epic adventure.

Buy: The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, Book Two), The Throne of Fire (Audiobook)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, Book 2) by Jenna Black

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, Book 2)
Author: Jenna Black
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 304 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12 and up

Summary: Dana Hathaway came to Avalon to meet her father and find a new life. She did not expect to have her limited social schedule hijacked by a bodyguard. So much for dating hot magical prodigy Ethan. Then the Erlking and his pack of bespelled faery known as the Wild Hunt come to Avalon in pursuit of fresh prey. A treaty between the Erlking and the Queens of Faery limits his powers; he can’t hunt or kill unless attacked first or given permission by the Queens. Knowing that the Queens hate her and her faeriewalker gifts, Dana has to watch her back like never before…and then make a deal with the very devil to rescue Ethan from the Erlking’s grasp.

Why I started this book:

Reading the series.

Likes:

  • The Erlking – holy smokes. I am Team Erlking. Screw Ethan and Keane. I want two of the Erlking. I’d be the center of an Erlking sandwich if I could get away with it. He’s by far my favorite character in the series now. I can’t wait to see where his deal with Dana goes! Erlking = big predator cat. Dana = mouse. Let the toying begin!
  • I thought it was very smart to weasel a second favor out of the Erlking in exchange for what he wanted from the deal. Good job Dana!
  • Still love Dana’s inner voice.

Dislikes:

  • Dana is still unreasonable about her safety; pretty reckless too. Think of Dana as the girl who would run into the house with the serial killer just to catch a glimpse of him. Not too smart. Of course without these traits the Erlking couldn’t have made that deal with her, or at least not as easily. ;)

Last Minute Thoughts: Even better than Glimmerglass!

Buy: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 4) by Rachel Aaron

spirit warReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 4)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Format: Ebook
Page Count: 544 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: Eli Monpress is on his way to earning the largest bounty in the world. Along the way he gathered friends, master swordsman Josef Leichten, and demonseed Nico. When Josef finds his name on the bounty list jump higher than Eli’s he says he has to head his home in Osera. Eli and Nico tag along and discover their friend is really a prince! Then a second impossible bit of news reaches them – the Immortal Empress is on the move and she’s coming to claim the world.

Why I started this book:

I’ve been enjoying the series. I can’t believe there is one left!

Likes:

  • How Josef procured the Heart of War.
  • How Josef really melded with the Heart during this book.
  • Eli’s time with the Shepherdess and what makes him change his mind about being with her.
  • We learn why Eli wants the outrageous bounty he requires.
  • The entire Spirit War!!!
  • What Eli does at the very end – I just have to say “You got served!”


Dislikes:

  • Sharp Mountain – Good thing Miranda escapes! Poor Slorn.
  • Eli’s parents – what is wrong with them? Seriously.

Last Minute Thoughts: OMG cliff hanger! Wow!

The Spirit War (An Eli Monpress Novel)

Rating: 5 Treasure Chests

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Audio Review: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2) by Veronica Roth

insurgentReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Format: Audiobook
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Grade Reading Level: Grades 9 to 12

Summary: War looks more inevitable by the hour. The Dauntless faction is split. Some have sided with Erudite, the faction that brainwashed them into becoming murderers, and the rest are seeking sanctuary wherever they can. Tris and Four search out Amity and Candor and find out that every faction is facing problems… and then there is the factionless, those who have been forced out because they couldn’t pass initiation rites. Now is the perfect time for them to flex their muscle and rise out of the shadows. Danger is everywhere… who will Tris trust?

Why I started this book:

I started the series at the recommendation of a friend and continued because I liked the first book.

Likes:

  • The natural growing pains of Tris’ and Tobias’ relationship.
  • Tris’s natural fortitude to resist serums. You should never take or succumb to mind-altering drugs. I understand the author implies the resistance is due to genetics, but it’s also a choice.
  • I like that Candor and Amity factions are equally messed-up. The author has really developed the world in which the trilogy takes place.

Toss-up:

  • Four/Tobias joining Tris in Erudite. On one hand it’s incredibly romantic… sort of… because on the other hand, it’s completely selfish.  “You want to turn yourself in? Fine. So will I.” Now they’re both stuck and nobody is left to rescue them. Clearly, Tobias is not the brains of the operation/relationship.

Dislikes:

  • Tris’ brother is an idiotic, self-righteous, numbskull. How was he smart enough to get into Erudite when he’s got the common sense of a pea-brain and the compassion of a snake-in-the-grass?
  • I’m not a fan of the psychological torture in the book. It does make the situation more bleak and desperate. I’m not saying it doesn’t add drama… the idea is repugnant that someone supposedly intelligent would feel the need to go to such lengths to protect themselves and their way of life that abusing kids is considered okay. Why is the rest of the faction equally moronic and morally corrupt?
  • All factions rely on serums to rule and control. Clearly the ideology is that the more medicated the population is the better for those in charge.

Buy: Insurgent (Divergent Series), Insurgent: Divergent (Audiobook)

Rating: 2.5 Treasure Chests
tc25

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Review: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 2) by Rachel Aaron

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 2)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Format: Digital ebook
Page Count: 464 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: Eli Monpress is a brilliant thief who can charm any spirit into helping him which just so happens to make him a brilliant wizard as well. His next target has to be big – because how does one top kidnapping a king? Well he’s found just the thing with the Duke of Gaol’s famous “thief-proof” citadel. It is most definitely a trap, but one Eli can’t wait to break into and out of it anyway. Life isn’t worth living without challenges. Plus the Duke is hideously wealthy, which makes the heist even better and more alluring. As Eli is hunting for treasure and fame, Miranda is preparing to capture him and perhaps reclaim her spot in the Spirit Court.

Likes:

  • Eli is forced to rely on talent and not charm in this book, because the trap that was set neatly around our favorite thief was very magic sensitive. One flirtatious encounter and the whole city threatens to crush our trio from its bricks to its doors to its roads to its currency. It’s one big booby-trap waiting to spring!
  • It’s interesting to see how one wizard can control everything in a city because of his inherent need for control and what he’s willing to do to get it. The book’s message is clear—when someone has power and is abusing it, don’t give yourself into their hands because you become another tool they use to get someone else to follow orders.
  • I love the background story of Eli as it’s revealed, we’re left with whetted appetites to learn more, but Wow! Who knew his father was head hauncho of the Spirit Court? Or that Eli took his mentor’s last name as his own? I still want to know why exactly and how Eli lived with and then left the White Lady.
  • Favorite quote: “It’s probably an impostor,” he decided for the second time in as many hours. “Someone banking on my fame.” Josef chuckled. “Don’t you mean robbing on your infamy?”

Dislikes:

  • Nico’s story as a demonseed gets more spotlight. I figure it’s important, and it’s obvious the character speaks to the author, but I love me some Eli. Nico isn’t sympathetic to me yet despite the author’s attempts. She’s a ticking time-bomb. Can we just diffuse her? Please?
  • Josef doesn’t kill crazy swordsman. You know he’s coming back in the next book. Arg!

Buy: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress)

Rating:4 Treasure Chests

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Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

prisoner of azkaban

Reviewed by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Format: Hardback
# of pages: 435
Grade Reading Level: 5.9; Ages 11+

Summary: School hasn’t even started and there’s and escapee from a high security wizarding prison out to kill Harry Potter. He has been warned not to be looking for Sirius Black by Arthur Weasley, but as Harry said to Arthur, “Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?” At school the Ministry of Magic has put a guard in place made up entirely of Dementors. The Dementors are only suppose to be in charge of the wizard prison, but Cornelius Fudge seems to think their presence will inspire confidence in the populace. Though how we do not know as Sirius Black has escaped the guards once already! Harry’s life is in danger in more ways than one this year.

Why I Started the Book:

I read this book because I’m continuing to reread the Harry Potter series.

Likes:

  • I liked it when Malfoy got his “just desserts” for insulting Buckbeak the hippogriff.
  • Rowling came up with a really fun artifact– the time turner. I especially enjoyed its use and the turn of events at the end of the story. I thought Dumbledore’s omniscient handling of the predicament to save Buckbeak and Sirius Black was excellent.
  • The Marauders Map was awesome! I liked how it showed where everyone was and where they were going. Now if only it showed the difference between a person in Animagus form and the normal human form.
  • The Dementors were scary, but awesome, and I loved reading the parts where they were mentioned.
  • Remus Lupin is a fantastic character! He was helpful, knowledgeable, and patient. The best Defense Against the Dark Arts teach to date in the books!

Dislikes:

  • I greatly disliked Draco Malfoy and his father. Yes, they’re characters to love to hate, but it really is unfair what they can get away with because they’re Malfoys. For instance when they got Hadgrid in trouble after his first Care of Magical Creature lesson. It clearly wasn’t his fault.
  • I didn’t like Hermoine deceiving and depriving Harry of his new Firebolt. She could have handled her concerns better instead of going above Harry to a teacher.

Last Minute Thoughts: This book is where the series takes off and fleshes out.

Buy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Paperback), Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-7), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Audio Book), Harry Potter 1- 7 Audio Book Collection

Book Rating: I give this book 5 treasure chests for cleverness, creativity, and creepy creatures!
tc5

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