Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Mythology

The Lost Hero
Riordan, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Rick Riordan has done it again. After the stunning Percy Jackson series, Percy&co are back, but their not the only demigods in the country! Percy has gone missing, and has been "replaced" by Jason. He has no idea what's going on, after being attacked by a tornado and dropped in an unfamiliar camp, he is soon sent on a mission with his friends from school to capture the storm spirits that attacked them. You never know what Leo will come up with next, and he comes up with some, let's say... interesting, ideas. Do not try to lure a brass dragon with hot sauce and motor oil unless you like being burned. To a crisp. Instantly.

Reviewer's Name: Kai
The Last Fallen Star book jacket
Kim, Graci
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Last Fallen Star is a great book for anyone who is in to magic and mystery. This book is full of action and has a amazing message. I think that the message is to accept yourself even if you are different and for people to learn how to accept someone who is different. This story tell of a Korean girl who tries to get powers to be the same as everyone. Her sister wants to help but something goes wrong, the it is a race to see if the sister can be saved. Overall I think this is an amazing book. There is a second book “The Last Fallen Moon”, and I can’t wait for it to be released. I will totally recommend this book to anyone.

Grade 7

Reviewer's Name: Genesis
The Titan's Curse book jacket
Riordan, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the third installment to the beloved Percy Jackson series, we reunite with Percy and friends once again, in another harrowing quest. When the goddess Artemis is believed to have been kidnapped, after a mysterious disappearance, it's up to Percy and the gang to find her before the Winter Solstice, where Artemis' vote on the Olympian council may just determine the fate of the war between the titans. Additionally, Percy is also tasked with finding the monster who Artemis was supposedly hunting before her disappearance--a monster that may have the ability to destroy Olympus.
Just as the other two novels thus far, The Titan's Curse is another exciting and suspenseful addition to the Percy Jackson saga. The anticipation of seeing how each and every book builds up to the other and seeing how the story begins to reach its climax is very exciting. The Titan's Curse details into more of Percy and Annabeth's dynamic, and we see other new characters being brought to the spotlight. As always, I was entertained by many of the Greek mythology references sprinkled throughout the book, and how Riordan puts his own spin on these old myths. I also enjoyed, like in the other two books, how we were slowly able to watch how everything begins to unfold, and how new information is brought to light. Because of The Titan's Curse, and its other two counterparts, I am eager to see how the series will reach its finale, and how everything we've learned so far builds up to the climax of the series. Overall, Riordan crafts another thrilling addition to his series, and I am eager to learn more about Percy's future adventures.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Michelle
The Sea of Monsters book jacket
Riordan, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The second installment to the Percy Jackson series, Percy, after successfully finishing his first quest, is now faced with another task. The borders that protect Camp Half-Blood are slowly dissolving, and more and more dangerous mythical creatures are finding their way in, disrupting the safety of the campers. To help preserve Camp Half-Blood's peace, Percy and his friends embark on a journey to the Sea of Monsters, in order to find the highly coveted, magical Golden Fleece.
I really enjoyed The Sea of Monsters, mainly because we were able to see more of Percy and the gang's adventures, but also because of the other characters we met in this novel. Tyson, while a surprising addition to the cast, easily won my heart, and I loved his innocent and kindhearted character. I also appreciated Riordan fleshing Clarisse out more and liked how we were able to understand her more. After reading the book, I found that Clarisse wasn't the typical "bully" we thought she was from the first book. Of course, I also liked reading interactions between Percy and Annabeth, and it was exciting to see how Annabeth and Luke's backstory began to reveal itself.
Once again, The Sea of Monsters was just as entertaining and humorous as The Lightning Thief, and I enjoyed the creativity that Riordan manages to inject into his stories.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Michelle
Circe
Miller, Madeline
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In a world where Titans and Olympians exist, Circe is born. Daughter of the sun god Helios and ocean nymph Perse, Circe is not as beautiful as her sister, or as powerful as her brothers. And having an unusual fascination for mortals, Circe is shunned and ignored by her family. After learning she is a witch, Circe is exiled to an unknown island where she will be a prisoner forever. There, Circe learns to hone her witchcraft, finds love, and learns that her divinity doesn't come from her immortality, but her will to live.

This author also wrote The Song of Achilles, and both books are so good! I loved all the references to Greek mythology and Circe's powerful perspective. Circe, of course, is my favorite character, and her growth from a meek push-over to a fiercely independent and resolute person was such a relief. If you like Greek mythology, romance, and coming-of-age, this book is perfect for you!

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
Medea
Euripides
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

While the play Medea by Euripides probably invokes thoughts of classrooms and a literature teacher delivering lectures about themes and literary devices, the play itself is actually enjoyable to read and compare to modern times. Follow along after the tails of Jason’s journey with the Argonauts to capture the Golden Fleece and learn about Jason’s struggles for power and status within the culture of ancient Greece. Watch as Medea turns from a caring mother, wronged by her husband, into a villain, committing evil deeds and attempting to justify them in the name of justice. The play is an amazing window into Greek culture and Greek drama, and it is an enjoyable story for those who enjoy Greek mythology and want to learn how the Greeks communicated their stories to the people through plays.

Harrison
Grade 12

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
The Song of Achilles
Miller, Madeline
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When Patroclus accidently murders a boy, he is exiled to Phthia and disowned by his father. There, he meets Achilles, and almost instantly, the two become close companions, and eventually lovers. Achilles, born to the goddess Thetis and the mortal Peleus, is destined to be the greatest warrior of his generation. When Achilles is given the choice between a short life fully of glory or a long life where he is forgotten, he choses the first and sails to Troy to fight in the Trojan War. No matter how much Patroclus attempts to divert his fate, Achilles is bound to die, but on what terms?

This is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read! You don't need much background on the Odyssey or Iliad to understand the events, which makes it more enjoyable for a wider range of audiences. There are several interpretations to the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, but this novel was very intimate in their friendship and eventual romantic relationship. I loved the growth of Patroclus and that Achilles realized his flaw and accepted his consequences. The ending was bittersweet, but it was lovely and perfect for their story.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is a highly regarded book by critics and for a good reason! After a horror stricken-night 2 years ago, Magnus is forced to live in the streets of Boston by himself. When he discovers his Uncle Randolph is tracking him down, he resorts to hiding remembering the stories his mother told about him. Magnus' Uncle eventually finds him and explains terms of Norse mythology and his birthright to have a unique weapon. This book is an amazing story for thrill seeking and adventurous souls.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
The Lightning Thief
Riordan, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Lightning Thief follows a twelve-year-old boy named Percy Jackson through his quest in retrieving Zeus' lightning bolt back. Percy is a normal kid who's always had trouble in school and behaving, only to find out he's a half blood. With this discovery, he's sent to Camp Half-Blood, home of the half-children of Greek Gods and mortals. We journey along with Percy when he's sentenced to a quest to find Zeus' precious weapon- his lightning bolt rod, and experience adventure, exciting battles, and new friendships.
I consider the Percy Jackson series to be a staple in every teenager's reading list. This series is similar to the Harry Potter series, and I enjoy the mythical adventures throughout both. I recommend the Percy Jackson series to anyone who wants a light but entertaining read.

Reviewer's Name: Michelle
Lore
Bracken, Alexandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Lore is about a girl trying to forget her past. When Castor, her childhood best friend, shows up unexpected, Lore is questioning what does she really know about her old life. The story she made up about her families murder doesn't make sense anymore, but she refuses to believe she's wrong. This is a book about Lore's journey through grief and sorrow. Throughout this book Lore acquires more people from her past. The end was a twist I would have never expected. This was a book of betrayal, acceptance, change, forgiveness, and love. This tale is one of my favorites.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Invision book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nick was born evil. As the most powerful demon to ever exist, every fiber in him was created to destroy, annihilate, and wreak havoc. It is his destiny to destroy the world and everyone he loves. But he is determined to thwart his destiny, and live his life as a somewhat normal person. When he's not being thrown against lockers by the school bully, he's battling demons and pushing the limits with the Fates of the Universe. Except for this time, with the help of his ancient demons friends and the Eye of Ananke, he can see the mishaps of the future...and knows that someone besides him is trying to change it. Now, he has to battle something far deadlier and treacherous than ever before...and he has no idea who or what it is.

This is the seventh book in the series, and once again it does not disappoint! I like how there is a mix of adventure, the supernatural, romance, and fantasy (and even some special appearances from Greek gods and goddesses!) and that the main character is relatable: he's in high school, trying to figure out who he is and what he stands for. The book also isn't a super long read, and once you start, it's hard to put it down!

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
The Song of Achilles
Miller, Madeline
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is the story of Patroclus and Achilles and what their lives were like. They meet each other at a young age and soon become fast friends. They go to train with the Centaur Chiron in the mountains, but soon the call of war comes knocking. Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, has been kidnapped and taken to Troy. This causes the heroes of Greece to rally together to fight, including Achilles. Achilles desires the promise of glory, so he joins, and Patroclus, who can't bear to leave him, follows. This war will challenge of how far some will go for the promise of glory even at the cost of love. This book is told through Patroclus' perspective and gives a unique inside into what the Trojan War was like.

I've heard amazing things about this book, and I was not disappointed when I sat down to read it. Both of these characters were so lovable, I soon became invested in the story. I didn't know a lot about the Trojan War other than the wooden horse. I loved learning more about the history while following the boys' lives. This story was an emotional roller coaster for me. Be prepared to shed some tears and yell if you hop onto this wild ride. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to many. Every character had depth and played an impacting role in some way. It was beautiful. Here is one of my favorite quotes: "He is half of my soul, as the poet say." Song of Achilles.

-10th

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Percy Jackson, a teenage demigod, is the son of Poseidon. He is on the lookout for Nico, who has no idea what he's gotten into, and who blames Percy for his sister's death. And, of course, on the lookout for Luke, who has been aiding the evil titan Kronos in his quest to destroy the gods, and who does not care if innocent people die in this quest. But even more problems come into view when an entrance to the Labyrinth (a maze that is quite capable of killing Percy and his friends) is found in the center of Camp Half-Blood. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson must enter the maze and convince Daedalus to help them before Luke gets there first.

This book is just amazing. I loved the balance between action, humor, ( I even had to stop reading at some points, to show my family the excellent jokes) suspense, and mystery. The book, being based on Greek mythology, has lots and lots of references to the Greek gods and goddesses, myths, and some of the heroes. And yet, it manages to have a unique plot, despite all of the other stories inside it. Rick Riordan did an excellent job of this, and the book is just amazing. However, I would recommend reading the first books in the series before this one, as it is a continuation of that story. It was great, and an especially good read for people who are bored out of their minds, because it was long and filled with great writing.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Circe
Miller, Madeline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a book everyone should read once in their life no matter their age. It is about an immortal witch named Circe banished to an island to be forever alone. This is because the greek gods fear her powers. The book follows her life as she grows as a woman and learns what it means to live. It was very empowering to see her grow so much in the span of 300 pages. At first, I was not excited to read this book, but it very quickly surprised me. Quickly I was led into Circe's world and couldn't pull away. It has everything I love growth, love, loss, change, and a well-written story. I was angry when Circe was suffering and happy when she found joy. One should read this book especially if into greek mythology, but never fear for those who know nothing about it can follow along. It was amazing to see Circe meet characters from her point of view including the well-known Odysseus and her time spent with him. It was well written and showed what it truly means to live.
- 10th grade

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
Into the Drowning Deep
Grant, Mira
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I was viewing some of the recommended books in the PPLD website and I
found this book. The title seemed suspenseful and interesting, and it drew me
in, so I decided to read this book. It's about mysteries wanting to be
discovered and uncovered. Years ago, the "Atargatis" filmed a documentary
about bringing ancient life back and discovering mythical creatures. It was
all going fine until the crew disappeared- and what's weird is how footage of
the crew getting slaughtered by mermaids got leaked out. Because of this, the
public grew suspicious and began to wonder if this was just to mock. Because
of this, Theodore Blackwell is curious and forms a new group of people to
voyage to the Mariana Trench. Each person in the crew has their own specialty
and has their own reason of wanting to explore the same area. Along the way,
they discover that a lot of the "myths" are true while finding fheir way to
safety.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
Between the Sea and Sky
Dolamore, Jaclyn
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Esmerine has just been proclaimed a siren, the highest honor a mermaid can have. She's excited to be a siren alongside her sister Dosia, but when she goes missing, Esmerine is sent out to find her. Along the way, she meets up with a childhood friend of hers named Alander after years of being apart, and in the search for Dosia, they rekindle their friendship and possibly even more.

Overall, this story was okay. It did a great job with visual imagery and making intriguing and three-dimensional characters. However, the story itself could have gone through a few rewrites. The plot itself is almost obnoxiously cliche for a teen novel, the transitions between scenes and locations are sloppy and out of nowhere and the finale is very dissatisfying and anti-climactic. It's a book which plot gets on my nerves! However, at the same time, I couldn't stop reading because of pretty much everything else.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
The Mighty Thor, Volume 1: Thunder in Her Veins
Aaron, Jason
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Mighty Thor Thunder in her Veins offers a wonderful introduction to Thor's self-titled series. The graphic novel follows Jane Foster as the all-new Thor as she battles cancer and every war in the ten realms. The novel provides a wonderful introduction to her character without succumbing to the cliché of retelling her origin story in the first issue; it successfully portrays her character to the audience while seemingly dropping them in the middle of her story. Although the story is not unique, it purposefully follows a version of a classic Thor story while being very self-aware of the connections and explicitly stating them in some instances. However, the story is now told from the point of view of Jane Foster as Thor, offering a refreshing take on the original story. The novel's magical art style and deliberate writing make it an incredible contribution to the world of Thor, and it leaves the reader invested in her compelling story. Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Julia
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
Steinbeck, John
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights by John Steinbeck is a vivid retelling of the already immortalized myths of legendary Arthur Pendragon and the knights that serve him. I enjoy the stories contained within and it is wonderful to have all the myths collected in one spot and rephrased by Steinbeck. However, there is one recommendation I have for readers and that is to go slowly because the wording in the book itself is fairly complicated and the text sometimes switches into extended metaphors without warning, leaving the reader lost and confused. I would not let this stop you from reading it, the book itself is amazing and the stories of King Arthur are captivating. I would recommend this book to everyone who has an interest in mythology or old stories, or simply anyone who wants an entertaining and captivating story.

Reviewer's Name: Harrison
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
Hamilton, Edith
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Edith Hamilton's collection of Greek and Roman stories covers the gods, creation, and earliest heroes; stories of love and adventure, the great heroes before the Trojan War, the heroes of the Trojan War, the great families of Mythology, the 'less important' myths, and the mythology of the Norsemen. There are over 100 Greek/Roman/Norse stories, and a family tree and glossary of all the gods and goddesses included. A bonus was the illustrations which were really detailed. I read this book because I wanted an introduction to the Greek gods and goddesses before reading the PercyJackson and Olympians series, and I think it's a great book to gain somefamiliarity with the mythological characters.

My favorite short stories were: The Underworld, Cupid and Psyche, Pyramus and Thisbe, Perseus, Theseus, Hercules, and Antigone.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
The Lightning Thief
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Lightning Thief is a book starting with the premise that the Greek Gods are alive, and Percy Jackson is thrown into the middle of a war between them. Rick Riordian blends Mythological details with humor and regular teenage actions into an otherwise peaceful world. The main reason I liked this book was that you learned about the ancient Greek Gods while reading a fun book. If you read this one, I would highly recommend reading the other four books, as well as The Heroes of Olympus series.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan