Genre: Mythology


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence

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Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence
Freya
Matthew Laurence
Genre: Mythology, Urban Fantasy, YA
Publication date: March 14th, 2017
by Imprint

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Freya is myth. She is legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback.

Sara Vanadi is more than she appears to be.

In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. Now all that’s left of her legacy is herself. Her power comes from belief, and for an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers are hard to come by.

She’s been lying low for a few decades, when all of a sudden a shadowy corporation extends an offer: join them and receive unlimited strength and believers—or refuse and be destroyed. Sara chooses neither; she flees with the help of a new friend named Nathan.

With a modern power rising that wishes to bend the divine to its will, Sara decides to fight back—but first she needs some new clothes.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-

I feel pretty let down by Freya? The question mark is there because I am not even entirely sure how I feel, just that Freya wasn’t what I wanted it to be when I was looking for a book with norse myth in it. I love books that are set in the modern world and feature heavy doses of mythology and yet, while Freya-the book-was absolutely adorable at times, Freya as a character was kind of annoying. She was obnoxious and while it sometimes made sense since she was a goddess, it could also get really annoying.

I like the contrast the author attempts with her being badass and feminine at the same time, but I also feel like he wasn’t entirely successful with crafting Freya’s character as a blend of those characteristics. She read as being too special snowflake-y at times when she wasn’t even the most powerful god in town and honestly, even though she was a goddess, I didn’t buy all the convenient things that just ~happened~ to her.

The plot, while fun and engaging, was too much of a stretch sometimes. No one questioned Freya except for the big bad human corporation but even they didn’t do much to her. Even though there was a villain in the book, the villain was more of an idea than an actual concrete thing (which is good in some books but the book really seemed to be going for a concrete villain as opposed to an idea.)

I do like that the world the author has created acknowledges the existence of other religions and their gods because we don’t see that as much in (western) myth based books. I also really liked the friendships Freya formed. She has one important relationship with a human boy (also her new BFF) AND IT ISN’T A ROMANCE. I WAS SO HAPPY because it wouldn’t have made sense for the story being told. There are also some other goddesses Freya becomes friends with and I liked that Freya was able to forge important friendships with other females. I was worried her character could fall into the trope of ~not like the other girls~ and was glad she didn’t turn out like that.

Overall, Freya was a fun book to read but not really memorable in many ways. There are lots of people that will love this book because it is absolutely enjoyable as a brain candy novel but I needed more structure and I needed it to be a little bit more grounded in reality to have bought the plot and the characters. I wish there were a lot less conveniences and a lot more hurdles to jump over the course of the book but given how Freya ends, I am definitely expecting to see more of that in a sequel (and there better BE one because a book cannot just end like that.)

 

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

Arthurian Myth Meets World War II: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

Posted by on 03/24/2017 • 1 Comment

If you’ve been following along with discussions surrounding World War II books in the community, you will already know this but there aren’t many World War II books out there with Jewish main characters. Not only does The Metropolitans have a (German-American) Jewish main character, it also has Japanese-American, first nations & Irish-American main characters. The page space is split up b/w the four characters and while I cannot accurately speak for any of the rep since I am not from any of those groups, I did feel that it was done pretty well. (If you are from any of those groups and feel differently, I’d be eternally grateful if you choose to let me know so I may edit this review to reflect that!)

One of my favorite childhood books…

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

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Posted by on 12/02/2016 • 10 Comments

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when I dove into Poison’s Kiss. I was hoping to like it because I was intrigued by the premise but even when I was excited to read it, a small part of me was worried that it would not do justice to my culture. As a story, Poison’s Kiss is fine. The romance is way too insta but it is engaging, there aren’t many plot holes and the characters are relatable. The world building is EXTREMELY lacking though. From the small things to the bigger, general things, the world building needs work and this book would have benefited from some Indian beta-readers who might have been able to help fine-tune some of those issues.

The rest of this review will…

Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

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Posted by on 07/17/2015 • 10 Comments

One word: WOW.

I seriously didn’t expect this to be so good. I thought I’d get an everyday run-of-the-mill mythology story featuring some unlucky ancient Egyptian schmuck, but what I got instead was an entertaining, refreshing, action-packed adventure that left me not only at the edge of my seat but also in tears and in stitches.

By the end of the book, I thought of one thing and one thing only: where’s the next book, I need an ancient Egyptian prince for a boyfriend, maybe if I get lucky I can enter some tomb and magically find a handsome mummy, this is what the mummy movies should have been (oops, I’m not committing some sort of heresy with that statement, am I?)

I’ve always been interested in Ancient Egypt – their culture, their values,…

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Series Spotlight : Thrones & Bones Series by Lou Anders

Posted by on 05/26/2015 • 2 Comments

Today I am spotlighting the Thrones & Bones series by Lou Anders. It is getting closer to the publish date for the second book in the series, Nightborn. This is a fantastic MG series that I think many people will enjoy. I have not yet read the second book yet, but I am almost done with the first one, Frostborn, and am really enjoying it.

Frostborn is the first in the series, and so far it is great! The characters are interesting, but more than that, I love the visual imagery that I get from it. I can imagine the lands and the Giants, and everything that is going on. The story is wonderful and I am excited to continue on the adventure and see where…

Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Posted by on 05/21/2015 • 7 Comments

This book was quite fun. I loved the whole Genie idea, but having them live in the real world among others. I thought that the twist on how wishes work and how their powers worked was really cool. This is not your typical Aladdin type tale. It’s got all sorts of secrets, teen romances, drama, and fun. I really liked getting to know the characters and the history of the Jinn. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but it was definitely one that I enjoyed and am excited for the rest of the series.

Azra was a character that I liked getting to know. She has never embraced her destiny as the other Jinn do. In fact, she just wants to be normal, even though that will never happen. She…

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Posted by on 01/10/2014 • 32 Comments

Cruel Beauty is really confusing, even kind of a mess at first, but eventually the story does paint a gorgeous, dangerous picture. Still, much of it is quite mind-boggling. I’ve been mulling over what I read for days.

Retellings are always difficult for me, especially that I wasn’t big in fairy tales as a child. I’m kind of discovering them inside retellings, actually, so they can be a hit or miss. Cruel Beauty falls in-between for me. I did love the Beauty and the Beast angle, all while bringing an extremely creative story to the table. Originality is not something Cruel Beauty is lacking. It involves a world that becomes simply mind-blowing. Distorting the perception of everything you thought you knew, kind of mind-blowing. It’s not easy to grasp,…

Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz

Posted by on 08/27/2013 • 34 Comments

I haven’t read a book I could describe as truly terrible in a long time. I was surprised at every turn of a page that I was still reading it. I’m not really sure why I kept reading. A fruitless hope that it would suddenly turn into a good book? Or catch fire? Either way, this book has taken hours of my life I will never get back! ROBBERY! This is a book that, if read drunk… would still be terrible. Beer goggles can never be thick enough – well I guess once it blurs the words so much you have to make up your own…

Ok moving on.

How did I go about hating this book so much? Mostly the fact that this whole world is filled with nonsense…