Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook – Book Review

Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook: From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology by Liv Albert (Author), Sara Richard (Illustrator)

Synopsis:
Greek mythology continues to appear in popular movies and books today but have you ever wondered about where these characters started out? Discover the origins of your favorite characters from Greek mythology with this collection of profiles to tell you who’s who in classical lore!

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

Review:
There is a nice introduction that explains the basics of Greek mythology and the basic history. Then, the next section is detail on the Olympian gods and goddesses and what each are known for. They have nice, full-color, artistic representations of each. The third section is on the non-Olympian deities – Titans, minor gods, monsters, etc. Each character has several pages on what they’re known for and any notable stories. And the forth and final section is on the Heroes and Mortals of Greek mythology – some were familiar to me, but several I had never heard of. Bold and colorful illustrations are peppered throughout these sections. I enjoyed the little factoids for most of these lesser-known characters. This makes for a great, quick reference guide for Greek mythology fans or those new to Greek mythology. There’s a lot of information packed in this impressive book.

Unknown 9: Revelation – Book Review

Unknown 9: Revelation: Book Two of the Genesis Trilogy by Layton Green

Synopsis:
After escaping from a watery dungeon in Venice, astrophysics PhD candidate Andromeda ”Andie” Robertson and investigative reporter Cal Miller are whisked to Bologna by a member of the mysterious Leap Year Society. A deadly confrontation with the Society’s bitter rivals, the Ascendants, sends Andie and Cal on the run once again, desperate to solve the Star Phone puzzle so they can reclaim their lives and rescue their loved ones.

Brilliantly juxtaposing a modern-day thriller with a historical search for a missing physicist, REVELATION probes ever deeper into the mounting mysteries surrounding Andie and her past.

What is the source of her strange hallucinations?

What are the true origins of the Leap Year Society and the Ascendants?

How are her mother and her mentor, Dr. James Corwin, involved?

From Italy to India and New York to Buenos Aires, Andie and Cal risk their lives to probe a secret world hidden in plain sight, drawing closer to answers that will determine not only their own fates, but who controls a new frontier of knowledge.

Review:
This is the 2nd installment in a planned trilogy involving 2 affiliated secret organizations. Although, one seems to stop at nothing to get want they want. Andie and Cal are now on the run and trying to hunt down clues before their followers can. With intermittent chapters following Dr. Corwin’s journey in the 70s-80s on his original hunt for an elusive device.

Fast-paced and heart-pounding suspense paired with clever clues and fringe science made this another fantastic read. Fans of Dan Brown thrillers should check this series out. The overall mystery is evolving slowly, with several surprises along the way. Exciting suspense is paired with drama and a bit of romance as well. A lot is packed into this sequel. And another cliffhanger ending left me impatient for the final novel in this captivating trilogy.

Stargate SG-1: Female of the Species – Book Review

STARGATE SG-1: Female of the Species by Geonn Cannon

Synopsis:
Vala Mal Doran, SG-1’s newest recruit, simply can’t ignore the plea for help she receives from her old friend, Tanis Reynard. And with vital intel up for grabs, Vala ensures SG-1 can’t ignore it either.

However, as the mission quickly unravels, Colonel Carter and Vala find themselves bound for the ‘inescapable’ prison world Viaxeiro Caldera, leaving Colonel Mitchell, Teal’c, and Dr Daniel Jackson to mount a rescue. Meanwhile, Sam and Vala uncover a sinister secret on Viaxeiro which means they will have to overcome their personal rivalries and learn to work together to bring down the insidious faction which controls the prison world – preferably before their true identities are discovered.

By the time Mitchell and the rest of SG-1 reach Viaxeiro, it’s anyone’s guess who’s rescuing whom in this rip-roaring Stargate adventure.

Review:
When I recently rewatched the entire series of SG-1 on Netflix, I loved Vala’s character a lot more this time around. So, I was eager to read another story with Vala and Carter as the central characters. While they are sent to an “inescapable” prison, these resourceful women don’t sit around and wait to be rescued. They learn as much as they can, and uncover a dark secret on the planet, and begin to form a plan. Meanwhile, the rest of the team use all of their resources just to find the prison planet.

I loved every bit of this well-paced novel, full of intrigue, humor, drama, and a seemingly impossible situation to escape. It’s just like an exciting episode from the series. The characters are spot on. The plot is fun and engaging. And the thrilling, climactic finale doesn’t disappoint. Fans of the show shouldn’t miss this adventure.

Adler – Graphic Novel Review and Excerpt!

Adler by Lavie Tidhar (Author), Paul McCaffrey (Illustrator)

Synopsis:
1902. Wounded in the Boer War, Jane Eyre returns to a London transmogrified by emerging modernity. An old friend, the glamorous inventor Lady Havisham, introduces her to the American adventuress Irene Adler, and the two seek lodging together. But Adler is engaged in a brutal secret war against a mortal enemy of the British Empire: Ayesha, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, who seeks revenge against the colonizers who destroyed her country. And Jane, not unwilling, is swept up in the case.

As Queen Victoria holds on to her throne with the help of experimental new medicine, Adler and Ayesha both fight for the secret weapon developed by the scientist Madame Curie. And as Ayesha and her amazons (not to mention her pet assassin Carmilla) take over the London underworld, Adler must form a team of determined women to stop them – before the Empire is destroyed.

Review:
Adler is a fun and exciting standalone graphic novel. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will be familiar with Irene Adler. She is an American adventurer, singer, and amateur sleuth in this inspired miniseries. Jane Eyre becomes her Watson, as the two team up to bring down the nefarious Ayesha who wants revenge for her lost country.

There is a helpful cast of characters with a short bio of each. And while the series is called “Adler,” she has a team of talented women, cleverly coined “The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen.” The artwork is fantastic. I loved the Victorian steampunk look down to the elaborate and unique outfits. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, thrilling adventure. I’d love to see more Adler graphic novels in the future, as there are endless possibilities with this fresh take on familiar literary characters.

Excerpt from the Graphic Novel (Click on image to enlarge):

In the Study with the Wrench – Book Review

In the Study with the Wrench: A Clue Mystery, Book Two by Diana Peterfreund

Synopsis:
In the aftermath of their headmaster’s brutal murder, Blackbrook Academy has been thrown into chaos. Half the student body hasn’t bothered to return to campus—but those who have include Orchid McKee, Vaughn Green, Scarlett Mistry, Beth “Peacock” Picach, Phineas Plum, and Sam “Mustard” Maestor, now warily referred to by the other students as the Murder Crew.

When another staff member is found dead, each teen’s reasons for sticking around come to light. Orchid and Vaughn grow ever closer to having their secrets exposed, Peacock and Scarlett struggle to change their stripes, and Plum and Mustard question everything. As everything comes to a boiling point at Tudor House, nobody’s life will ever be the same.

Review:
Where the previous novel felt a bit claustrophobic, being mostly stuck in the house, this sequel is just as suspenseful and full of intrigue. Once again, each chapter rotates from each of the main characters’ points of view. It’s a great way to tell the story, as we only get snippets from each, adding to the mystery and each of their own motives. We are introduced to several more “colorful” characters (pun intended); and everyone seems like they have something to hide. The interpersonal drama develops in this installment, with a bit of romance. And a surprising finale builds to a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I certainly look forward to the final novel in this fantastic mystery trilogy.

The Bone Maker – Book Review

The Bone Maker by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis:
Twenty-five years ago, five heroes risked their lives to defeat the bone maker Eklor—a corrupt magician who created an inhuman army using animal bones. But victory came at a tragic price. Only four of the heroes survived.

Since then, Kreya, the group’s leader, has exiled herself to a remote tower and devoted herself to one purpose: resurrecting her dead husband. But such a task requires both a cache of human bones and a sacrifice—for each day he lives, she will live one less.

She’d rather live one year with her husband than a hundred without him, but using human bones for magic is illegal in Vos. The dead are burned—as are any bone workers who violate the law. Yet Kreya knows where she can find the bones she needs: the battlefield where her husband and countless others lost their lives.

But defying the laws of the land exposes a terrible possibility. Maybe the dead don’t rest in peace after all.

Five warriors—one broken, one gone soft, one pursuing a simple life, one stuck in the past, and one who should dead. Their story should have been finished. But evil doesn’t stop just because someone once said, “the end.”

Review:
I haven’t read many long, fantasy novels lately, as I have so many books in my TBR pile. But this sounded like a unique twist on magic, and I’ve pretty much read (and reviewed) almost every children’s and YA novel written by Durst. She’s a favorite author of mine. So, of course, it didn’t take any coaxing to check this out. And I wasn’t surprised at all to quickly get caught up in this story.

Kreya lost the love of her life 25 years ago, but has been trying to bring him back ever since using illegal magic. But the past evil that killed him seems to be back. This is an exceptional fantasy packed with engaging character, gruesome magic, and a complex and captivating plot. It’s a thrilling read with adventure, drama, friendship, romance, and intrigue. I enjoyed every bit of this impressive novel.

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