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review 2017-10-24 02:35
A luster-less sequel in the Trials of Apollo.
The Trials of Apollo, Book Two: The Dark Prophecy - Robbie Daymond,Rick Riordan

I'm not sure how to give a plot synopsis here -- basically, it's the continuation of the Trials of Apollo. He has another task to accomplish -- another of the new emperors to take down before the third one, in the next book. It's the same ol' set up that has served Riordan so well -- and will continue to do so for years to come.


Basically, Apollo/Lester has to go and find another Oracle. To do so, really, he has to face a lot of people that he's hurt/disappointed over the millennia. He learns a lot about himself, matures a bit. That part was good -- and the whole thing was entertaining. But it felt stale. I liked The Hidden Oracle a lot and was excited to see where this series went. Now, I'm not so sure. I'll finish the series, but with greatly diminished expectations.


Not that it got into details, but there was a lot more intimated/flat-out said Apollo's sexual history than I'm comfortable with for a MG book. The previous books in the Percy-verse suggested sexual orientation and activity, there was some romance, but this went much further than any of those. Honestly, it went a step too far. If this wasn't a part of the Percy-verse, or was clearly marketed toward older readers, it wouldn't have been that bad and I wouldn't have said anything about it. But that's not the case here.


As far as the audiobook goes, it was rough. Robbie Daymond was very aware that he was reading amusing material and he read it like each line was a punchline. It was the vocal equivalent of mugging for the camera, if you will. Now, there were a couple of serious and poignant moments, and Daymond pulled those off well, but otherwise it was tough to listen to.


I didn't like the narration, and didn't think the story/writing was as crisp as the first book in the series. But it was still entertaining enough. This isn't the one to start reading Riordan. But it'll do for his older readers.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/10/23/the-dark-prophecy-by-rick-riordan-robbie-daymond
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text 2017-08-18 21:23
Ooooh, shiny!
Apollo: The Brilliant One (Olympians) - George O'Connor

I love how O'Connor takes a different approach to telling each god's stories. Using the Muses to retell Apollo's is brilliant, because they are directly inspired by him. Once again, O'Connor has managed to give understandable motivations to the stories and people. He also does a great job at subtly interweaving other narratives. I like that at the end of each book there's some discussion questions that could be used in a study or classroom setting. They are fairly thoughtful and fun to consider. I have to admit, I like the fact that I now have a reasonable explanation for why Apollo attacks the Python and takes over Delphi. 

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review 2017-07-05 13:15
You Wouldn't Want to Be on Apollo 13! (Revised Edition) - Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine Ian Graham

So why wouldn’t I want to be on Apollo 13? I thought these series might be a great way to get children interested in history as they explorer events from the past but in a different light. Like me, some children enjoy looking at events in a nontraditional way and this series sounded like it would provide that. It covers events from being at the Boston Tea Party, being an Egyptian Mummy, a Polar Explorer, a Pyramid Builder and a Greek Athlete, just to name a few. These are hard cover non-fiction books with bright amusing and serious drawings on shiny, thick paper. There is a topic heading for each two-page spread with a variety of text fonts on these pages and loads of information to read. The text is educational and informational, geared for the child who wants to learn more or is curious.


I was on Apollo 13 overload by the time I finished reading it, there is a lot to digest inside this book. From getting ready to board the spacecraft, to the different part of the spacecraft, to the big day, being in space, to the problem Apollo 13 had, to Mission Control, etc., this book walked me (an astronaut) through every step of the way of being an Apollo 13 Astronaut and why I should stay home. I thought it was interesting the timing of everything, the countdown, how precise they were. The cost of the spacesuit, now that is crazy! I did learn more about the Apollo 13 mission then I previously knew. Overall, I thought it was a great book about the Apollo 13 Mission, I would have liked more interesting or fascinating facts about the mission, about astronauts or space as I thought it really lacked in that department. It is definitely not lacking in the information department.

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review 2017-07-01 19:01
Recovering Apollo 8 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Recovering Apollo 8 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This one started off a little rough for me since the childhood scenes didn’t really work for me, but I guess that’s because it was supposed to be the adult Richard recalling his childhood. I’m not exactly sure why but the quest to recover the module and the astronauts was really compelling and I’m glad I could start off my Canada Day by finishing it.


I read this for booklikes-opoly square Frontierland 4 “Read a book where a character travels by boat, or where the letters in the title can be used to spell RIVER”: REcoVeRIng Apollo 8. At 120 pages, this adds another $4 to my bank, bringing my total balance to $172.

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review 2017-06-23 00:05
Romance, intrigue and sorcery.
Apollo's Raven - Linnea Tanner

One of the great things about receiving free audiobooks for review is that I get to sample genres out of my comfort zone. Although I am a fan of historical fiction, I have never read anything set in Roman times.
Apollo's Raven is fascinating, not just from the point of view of the belief systems of those times - curses, wolf spirits and sorceresses, but also for its insight into the way negotiations took place - with a hostage left in the enemy camp to ensure a serious attempt at peace.

Amren, King of Britannia, needs to broker peace with the invading Roman legions. While he is off negotiating with their ambassadors, Marcellus, son of one of their number, stays behind as 'guest' to the Celts, while one of Amren's daughters effectively becomes hostage to the Romans at their camp 100 miles away.
Unfortunately, there is an instant spark between Catrin, Amren's youngest daughter, and Marcellus. This is fueled by her father's instructions to act as host to him, all the while extracting valuable information about the enemy. It is a relationship with no hope of a future, as both parties are pawns in their parent's power struggle and an alliance forged by marriage is too good a bargaining tool. As negotiations break down and the danger level rises, so too, does the attraction between Catrin and Marcellus.

The book was well narrated by Kristin James, although I found it a bit too breathless in the exciting parts. There were also phrases in italics at the beginning of each chapter, which I wasn't even aware of until I saw them mentioned in another review. Apart from that she was clear and easy to understand.
Although I learnt a fair bit from this novel and it was obviously well researched, I didn't find it calling to me and although I see many other reviewers gave it 5 stars, I felt 3 stars was more representative for me.
For readers of Fantasy and lovers of Romans in history, this would be an excellent read, the first in a series in which Catrin and Marcellus may (or may not) manage to make a future together. It would also appeal to those who like strong female characters.

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