Tag Archives: mythology

Student Review: WebMage, by Kelly McCollough, reviewed by Noah K.

WebMage (Webmage, #1)WebMage by Kelly McCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would recommend Webmage by Kelly McCullough especially to people who are interested in Greek mythology and enjoy sci fi and fantasy. The main strengths of the book are the interactions between characters, specifically between the two main characters. The story is interesting, and is an entertaining variation of Greek mythology. The premise is that the main character, whose name is Ravirn, and his familiar, whose name is Melchior, learn that Atropes, the fate of death, who is the many great aunt of Ravirn, is working on a spell to remove free will from the multiverse. Antropes asks for his Ravirn’s help on getting it to work, as there is some bug with the spell. Ravirn rejects her, and then attempts to survive her attempts on his life. The series has an interesting meshing of normal fantasy magic, and technology and coding, and manages to stay fairly consistent with what is possible within the rules of the book’s universe. The book also isn’t one of the those books that tells you more than the characters know, meaning that there is never a situation when the character makes a decision that is obviously stupid because of what you know but they don’t know that. It bugs me when books do that. ~ Student: Noah K.

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Student Review: The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan (reviewed by Peter C.)

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered what hell looks like? Well, Rick Riordan paints a pretty vivid picture of it in The Sea Of Monsters: the first time Percy goes into Hell there are huge walls of fire-red lava. I like this book because I thought it was funny at some parts and full of action. For example, when they were fighting the cyclops, he says “Blaaaaaah!¨ and Percy tells us, ¨Polyphemus bleated just like this, and swung at me with his tree.” Percy and his friends Annabelle and Grover have to go to Tartarus in order to get the golden fleece, which is believed to heal anything. They need the fleece because the tree at their camp is dying and without the tree there would be no forcefield around their camp to protect them from the monsters. Read the book and find out if they succeed! If you like Greek mythology then this is the perfect book for you; you will be talking about it for the rest of your life. ~ Student: Peter C.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this under pressure from my son (age 18) and my husband (age not relevant) who deemed this their “best book of 2013.” I admit to being somewhat reluctant, as I am not a fantasy fan and am among a minority who did not swoon over Gaiman’s other works. But how can I not share a beloved book with my family? Gaiman does an exquisite job of capturing the innocence of youth and contrasting it with the harsh realities of adulthood. Literary and mythical allusions abound, and the senses are bombarded with food and nature throughout the tale. This is a chilling page-turner crafted by someone with an extremely vivid imagination that will appeal most to those with equally active and hungry imaginations. It is meant for those who can transport themselves into Gaiman’s nightmare, vs. simply appreciate its cleverness. I’m afraid I docked the final star due to my own shortcomings of imagination; my persistent inability to suspend disbelief. Sadly, I would be cast as a Gaiman adult and never a child. 5 stars if you are a lover of fantasy, mythology, or just being terrified. ~ Ms. Dimmick

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Student Review: The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (review by Johann R.)

The Lord of the RingsThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky; seven for the dwarf lords in their halls of stone; nine for the mortal men doomed to die; One for the Dark lord on his dark throne; In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie;One ring to rule them all; One ring to find them; One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them; In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie” (1) . These are the lines inscribed in the master ring, proclaiming it the ring that will give the lord of evil all the power over other master rings. Tolkien’s epic series Lord of the Rings is an intriguing and action-packed series. It follows the journey of four young hobbits who leave their quiet homes to destroy this ring that has been entrusted to them. Their quest to save middle earth from evil brings them through thousands of miles of mountains, enchanted forest and deadly valleys. The style Tolkien uses is rich in details and fast flowing, creating a more believable setting. Despite allowing orcs, elves and dwarfs to inhabit his pages, Tolkien’s work resembles that of a medieval tale with castles, massive armies and a constant contest for power. SPOILER ALERT: The ending of the book is shocking. The final battle of good and evil would have been a great ending. But Tolkien doesn’t end there, he makes treachery and evil reach the hobbits’ own home country, long thought out of reach of the shadow, in an attempt at revenge “Of all the ends to our journey, that is the very last I would have thought of: to have to fight half-orcs and ruffians in the shire itself…”(22165 Kindle location). When Tolkien first started the series, I assumed the the fall of Mordor would end the force of evil and that our heroes, the four hobbits, would go back home and live happily ever after. I also felt that although there are some minor twists, the book’s general plot was predictable until the very end. The big controversy of the shadow finally being defeated on the hobbits’ home turf adds the final ingredient to a truly fascinating adventure. Despite a slow start, this book is so exiting that it will be a great series to read for anybody.–Student: Johann R.

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Abandon, by Meg Cabot

Photo of Mrs. Dimmick with author Meg Cabot

Mrs. Dimmick meets Meg Cabot at book signing for Abandon

Photo of Mrs. Dimmick in book cover poster for Abandon

Mrs. Dimmick's appearance in Abandon

A modern retelling of the Persephone myth with high school students in the Florida Keys (and the Underworld), this is another of Meg Cabot’s crowd pleasers: light, fun, mysterious and romantic. The perfect high school summer read!

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