Book Reviews

A catch up post from May

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The more I read this series, the more I fall in love with it. I love the more mature characters, and the more adult situations they find themselves in, and the more mature themes that Riorden is exploring. Plus, Riordan is still really hilarious with the POV characters and situations.

From the first, Apollo has been a selfish, self-centered brat who only wants to make it through everything so that he can become a God again. And while he has learned lessons in each book, the beauty of it all is that Apollo remains selfish and self-centered without hitting the reset button once. Not only does Apollo learn things from each and every adventure he has been on, but the lessons stay with him. And yet, you can clearly see the room for growth that remains in the character.

Anyway, to get to this book in specific. After the ending of the last book, I knew that this would be extremely emotional to get through. And Riorden handles it well. He doesn’t actually overwhelm us with action, nor with emotion. There is a definite time clock ticking down, but Apollo (and the rest of the Romans) gets some time to grieve, and decompress after the last book.

I loved the side characters. I liked Reyna’s story arc in this book. And Frank. For that to happen to Apollo again was heartbreaking as it happened, and didn’t (view spoiler)[feel like cheating when it was reversed at the end of the battle. (hide spoiler)]

Apollo remains witty and wonderful, while still getting beaten down by all of the mistakes he has made in his 4000+ year past. I feel we are well set up for the last book in the series.

Teeth by Zaya Feli

Teeth by Zaya Feli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book should have hit everything I like in a YA Fantasy novel. An interesting mythology. A strong, conflicted main character. LGBTQ representation that is not buried or used for shock value. A unique magic system.

And yet…

All I feel is “meh” about the whole thing. To start off with, we are given a full chapter of backstory to set up the characters’ relationship before the story even started. I’m just starting to get invested in the story as it is happening now, and then we skip forward six years? I think it would have been better to start with Isa frantically searching for a cure, then reveal how Rakki might have been involved with his original wound.

And the “intrigue” of the enemy, both inside the village and outside the country, whacks you over the head with a sledgehammer. There is no attempt at subtlety from anyone, and it is only blind luck that allows the enemies to succeed at all. Given that, it is more blind luck that the heroes have any kind of victory.

There are decent things about the book. I do like the runic magic system, though it might hit a little to close to slavery for some. I liked the big mystery of the god who is attacking the two boys, but it is so clearly a set up for the next book that nothing really is resolved. The two MCs are pretty well rounded, with interesting motivations and complex feelings. It’s too bad there’s really not any other characters that are nearly as complex. In fact, I got lost in which character was which for most of the book.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I don’t usually read anthologies, but I picked up this one to introduce myself to some new (to me) authors.

I will be reading this one again and again and again. From the casual poly relationship mentioned in the first story to the Handmaid’s Tale style phoenix last story, every one of these was a gem. I loved the debate between science and magic. I absolutely adored the tale of the girl finding her own magic within herself. I loved all the issues being dealt with.

The characters that all the authors brought out were fully realized and complex, even as young adults. All of these stories are about women taking back what society has taken from them, in one way or another, and the message is powerful and needed.

Love love love these stories.



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