Darkness Fair, from Rachel A. Marks (The Dark Cycle #2)

Darkness Brutal & Fair REVIEW banner

Hi, there! Good night 😀 With a day of delay because my weekend was insane, I bring you the review for the second book in The Dark Cycle series, from amazing Rachel A. Marks: Darkness Fair! 😀 Just as it happened with Darkness Brutal, the first book, I received this from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review within their book review tour! Thanks again ❤

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from my Instagram 😀

The Story

Aidan can’t complain much about life. He has a roof over his head, food on his belly, a beautiful girlfriend that he deeply loves and deeply loves him back, a legal tutor that isn’t completely nuts and real friends for the first time in his life.

Okay, maybe he is allowed to complain about his lack of a sister, who he failed to save from the demons that haunted her. Or about being dead and resurrected. Or even about having astronomically strong super powers that he can barely understand, imagine controlling. Also, he could say a thing or two about the crappy job that he has, killing demons, exorcising ghosts and stuff. Did I mention the fact that his supposed soul mate, decided by Fate, isn’t his current girlfriend?

Maybe Aidan O’Linn does have many reasons to complain.

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

THIS BOOK WAS A BLAST! It was way better than the first and I actually hugged my e-reader a few times that I sat to read it, haha! Also, I’ve read it on two days and I’m a slow reader. So yeah, it was THAT amazing. FIVE FULL STARS! And I can’t wait to read the next one ❤

The narrative style was kept in first person on this sequel, but there was a significantly change: Aidan isn’t the only narrator anymore! Now we also have Rebecca’s point of view, omg! I’m so glad that my wish of the past review for seeing more of her on this book turned into reality! ❤ I’m still stunned to see how well Marks worked with this narrative style, it is FLAWLESS! Seriously, this woman’s writing touches the heart. I couldn’t let go of this for the life of me!

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my two days with Darkness Fair lol

The plot was just as complex as the last one, as now Aidan had to save Ava on a whole new level. Also, we get to interact more with Rebecca’s side, so more people for us to worry about, haha! I was caught by surprise so many times that it is pointless to count. Seriously, this book was so good…

perfection

Now, the characters. I already loved Aidan and Rebecca and really wanted to see them together – I still hate Kara, by the way – but something changed on Darkness Fair. Suddenly I loved Connor and he seemed way cooler for Rebecca and now I think Aidan would be awesome with Raul… MIND-BLOWING!

this is weird

Seriously, Marks made me change my mind on how to pair my couples. That had NEVER EVER happened before! EVER!

like ever

I’m still trying to figure out how she did this to me, so let’s keep going. I love how I still suspect so many characters after knowing them for two whole books. I still don’t trust Sid or Holly or Jax or even Ava! GOSH!

A huge strong point for me on this book was Aidan and Kara’s sex scenes. Do you want to know why? Because I didn’t see them. Yes, you read it correctly. Marks didn’t throw a sex scene on my face just because it was the natural course of the evolution of their relationship. Why, do you ask? Because it wasn’t relevant! MARKS, I LOVE YOU!

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Okay, I’m as normal as I can get again.

Overall, I can’t believe the third book is not out yet BECAUSE I NEED TO READ IT! And if you enjoy ghosts, demons, hot males with super powers, complex plots and beautiful writing, you should grab Darkness Brutal and Darkness Fair and jump on my boat, haha!

5star

That’s it, thank you for reading! And, of course, thank you again to YA Bound Book Tours team for sending me those wonderful books and thank you, Rachel, for writing as you do ❤

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Carry On, from Rainbow Rowell

Hello, my dears. Today I’m finally talking about Carry On, from Rainbow Rowell. I know this review is so late, but honestly, it will be one of the most difficult ones that I have ever wrote. Brace yourselves and tighten your seatbelts. Let the emotional rollercoaster begin.

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from my Instagram

The Story

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One of the entire history of Chosen Ones. Wizard with awesome powers? Check. Ass kick fighting techniques? Check. Decent looks? Check. Total control over his actions, words and powers? Not at all. And his problems ironically only increase when his arch-enemy (and roommate) Baz doesn’t show up at Watford after the Summer break. Why can’t Baz just end his suffering by coming back to their freaking last year at school?

Baz is the worst vampire of the entire history of vampires. Blood thirst? Check. Handsome as hell? Check. Intelligent and high-cultured? Check. Big bag fangs? Check. Total knowledge about his powers, nature and destiny? Not at all. And sharing the room with his arch-enemy Simon Snow only increases his problems, as Baz can’t take his thoughts of Simon. Why couldn’t Simon just shut up and kiss him already?

Heated feelings, old grudges, first loves and magic. So much magic. That’s Carry On.

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

This book.

If you follow me for a while, you may know that I have been on Jen’s place at my hometown and that I finished Carry On in the beginning of last week. You even may know how much I freaked out about Gifted Thief (and I still do, Honour Bound is my next read after The Dark Cycle series!). But nothing prepared me for what Carry On was really about. Since I’ve read Fangirl, I was dreaming of reading Carry On, to be a part of Simon and Baz’s world. I make no secret of how much I enjoy gay romances and Carry On had everything to be the most perfect book ever.

And it was.

And I think I’ll never recover from its perfection.

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I seriously can’t remember when was the last time that a book grabbed my heart and squeezed so hard that I couldn’t even breath without it on my hands (okay, I’m lying, it was on 2013 when Ava sent me an ARC of All In With The Duke and I almost died). I actually hugged Carry On every time I got to read it.

I never wanted to let it go after finishing.

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I’m so sorry this review is being overly melodramatic, but I was a mess. I couldn’t believe that I had reached the end and that this was such a perfect book. It was my first time crying over a perfect and happy end and I scared the hell out of my friends and family, to the point that my dad had to say that I would meet other books that would make me fall in love again. My rating? Infinite stars.

Okay, five because Goodreads won’t allow me to rate any higher.

The narrative style is first person with switching points of view. Seriously, almost every relevant character gets their time at narrating and you could always tell who was speaking even without Rowell’s labels – yes, there are labels, don’t worry. Needless to say that my favorite narrators were Simon and Baz, right? Hahaha. Other nice thing is that Rowell would do a chapter with some lines, then switch narrators in the middle of the chapter just to write one sentence or simply throw pieces of points of view from random characters that we would understand only at the end of the book. I’m not the biggest fan of first person narrated books, but this is how you KICK ASS doing it. I didn’t care at all for Agatha and I still had not a single problem reading her parts. Seriously. This is perfection.

let me love you

Okay, I’m okay. Moving on.

The plot was awesome. Simple and involving, with the right amount of romance, mystery, magic, friendship and drama. I missed more adventurous moves on Baz’s part regarding Simon and the fact that they shared a room at Baz’s manor, but I’ll survive. This is one of that boring kinds of review, in which you are so besotted with the book that you just can’t see its flaws.

Okay, I see them. There are many loose ends. Seriously. Not for the reader, but for the characters. We discover things, they don’t. As I’m a really selfish person (?), I’m okay with the characters not knowing it all if I do, so I’m cool with it. Hm, maybe that’s the problem. I fell so hard in love with Carry On that I love even its flaws.

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Now the characters. As I may have already said on Fangirl’s review, Rowell’s characters are all girls and boys next door. Even if they are heroes, vampires, ghosts or anything else. I saw myself in Penny, Baz, Simon and even a little on Agatha, who I still don’t care about. This is witchcraft, Rowell. How do you make me like even the characters that I hate? Hahaha

I guess what pleased me the most were Baz and Simon’s flaws, to be honest. They made them too real. I remember when we fell too deep to feel, I remember when the real became too real, I remember when it hurt too much to heal and everything.

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Hilary Duff feelings, yes.

I don’t think I have anything really useful to say beyond this. They are real people living a romance and I was a crazy fangirl all the while. I’m sorry, I know I’m being really lame and lengthy on this review.

I saw many people complain about how Carry On was overly inspired on Harry Potter, among other young adult books, but this also didn’t bother me. I actually smiled every time I got a reference in the air. I felt like Rowell was writing Carry On just for me and those were our secrets, you know? And that was one of the stupidest things that I have ever admitted. Along with my hugging book habits above.

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The strongest point on Carry On is its feelings. It’s all too real, too beautiful. I seriously have not enough words to describe everything that I felt reading it, just that I was thrown on a rollercoaster and ended it hopelessly lovesick.

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Bonus point: the book’s illustrations to divide the story in parts. So cute.

Now, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from the book with you. And sorry if you’re my friend on Goodreads, I may have liked a million Carry On quotes today while doing this review.

Simon

“He’s looking at me as like I’m a complete freak. (Which we both already knew it was true.)”

Baz

“It’s 6A.M. and he’s [Simon] already banging around our room like a cow who accidentally wandered up here.”

“(Because I’m disturbed. Ask anyone.)”

“I’m thinking violent thoughts at you constantly.”

And this dialogue:

“What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”

He tries to kiss me, but I pull back- “And you like that?”

“I love it.” He says.

“Why?”

“Because we match.”

I don’t think I can endure another book hangover this strong ever again.

5star

Thank you for humoring me this far and enduring my interior and very depressed fangirl. I’m pinning badly for another Simon & Baz romance. Also, a special thank you to Jess, of the Mud and Stars, for not blocking me on Twitter after I finished Carry On; to Jenny and her mom, who had to endure a very crying me for at least two days; to Mandy, from The Reading Diaries, that had to hear me whining over this book hangover; to Lindsey from @thepagemistress, that is always there for me; and to my dad, that reminded me that I can always meet another book that will sweep me off my feet.

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Ps: I also would like to share this moment of my life:

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Convincing Leopold, from Ava March (London Legal #2)

Hi, there! Good afternoon to you 🙂 I’d like to start this post apologizing to Ava. Convincing Leopold was re-released today, so I had promised my review for Feb. 8th and failed miserably. I’m so so sorry 😦 But better a bit later than never 😉

As said once or twice, Ava is re-releasing the London Legal series and adding up a third book to it on 2016. Reviews for book one and book three are already available ❤ Both 5 stars, btw!

And yes, another Ava March book review, sorry not sorry, haha!

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

Arthur couldn’t be happier with his lover, Leopold. Without the threat of coming home to an empty and cold apartment, Arthur is refreshed and working even harder than usual. Except that Leopold seems to be restless of late and just won’t let Arthur rest at all during the night… And not in a pleasant way.

Leopold couldn’t be happier with his lover, Arthur. Without the threat of losing him again to some other more respectable gentleman, Leopold is refreshed and sober as he never has been. Except that Arthur’s hours at the office seem to only increase and Arthur just hired a new secretary… And a beautiful man, nevertheless.

Will Arthur and Leopold work out their differences or prove that they weren’t ever suited at all?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I like Convincing Leopold even better than Convincing Arthur. As I mentioned on the review for book one, Leopold is one of my favorite Ava March’s males. He is so exotic, beautiful and adorable, ugh! I wanna hug him.

let me love you

Ahem.

This book was a re-read and I lost count of times that I did so since buying it, so it’s another case of over analyzing something that I’m deeply familiarized with. Not a bad thing, just means that you’ll have to bear with me for a while longer, haha! This book was more dramatic than the last and left me with my heart in tiny pieces on my bedroom floor. I cried hard on the first read and, sometimes, I still do. I just can’t stand what Arthur did to Leopold. But we’ll get there. Important thing is that this book is an excellent sequel and a five stars book 🙂

The narrative in all March’s books so far is third person styled with switching points of view between the couple (a.k.a. my favorite kind), so once again we are able to see what goes on with Arthur and Leopold. And that only makes the reader’s heart more broken when they start to fall apart. You know how much they love each other and you can’t do anything to help them or assure them how perfect for each other than they are.

Honestly, you have no idea how I felt when I couldn’t show this line to Leopold:

Yet being with Thorn felt right. More than right, in fact. Thorn felt like home.

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Okay, I’m okay. I think.

The plot was simple and straightforward: a couple having adjusting problems on their relationship thanks to lack of proper communication. The innovations? Arthur and Leopold are a gay couple on the Regency era, a time were you could be hanged for sodomy. And just like that, a simple plot becomes something exciting, haha! Oh, and of course that no matter the complexity of the plot if it isn’t well executed. March is my queen in plot executions ❤ (I have to say that Jacqueline E. Smith is hard competition. Maybe if Luke and Chase started a romance in Lost Souls…).

Now, let’s talk about my sweet darling Leopold. Yes, I know, there is Arthur and Jones, but they can wait, hunf. I usually like top guys best in gay couples, but Leopold just caught me hard. His subtle arrogance and insecurity did the trick, I guess. A quick quote from Arthur for you to catch my meaning:

“You do realize you are the very embodiment of temptation?”

Thorn arched a knowing brow.

Yes, of course he knew.

And Leopold is so right. #justsaying

Also, he has a condition that made me relate a lot with him. I already experienced similar crisis and there is nothing you can do besides waiting for it to pass. He said himself that two days in bed weren’t that bad and he was right. Last year, I had a break down and was abed for two weeks. I barely looked up on internet, wouldn’t personally talk to my parents or do much besides stay tucked in my bed. For two weeks, I couldn’t attend my college classes or get out of my bedroom at all. Add this to the knowledge that Arthur was a freaking selfish bastard that couldn’t bother to just be honest with Leopold and then you have all my reasons to like Leopold better, haha!

However, of course, I have to give Arthur credit. In the moment he realized how big of a mess he had made, he chased after Leopold like a blind hellhound. That was really cute. And creepy.

Once again, I was captured by March’s beautiful way of building and portraying of a relationship trying to work. Convincing Leopold is all about how communication is vital for a health commitment. And all about how perfect Leopold and Arthur are for each other ❤

To close the characters’ section, I’d like to acknowledge Jones, Leopold’s butler. His devotion and loyalty to Leopold were touching, especially on a time were employees were almost slaves on the hands of the royal and the wealth. I wanted to hug him too, haha!

As always, I can’t treat March’s sex scenes as a bonus point, as they are present on ever book that she writes please never change and they are always smoking hot. I will say this on every single review: March knows her business. I still get impressed with the overflow of feeling during her character’s most intimate moments. They may be mad at each other or just not care at all for each other, but when it comes to the bed, you feel that there is nothing outside in the world besides them and their play. This is magical. I think it’s fair enough to say that all March’s characters make love ❤

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Of course, I also need to express how much I loved the new cover! I have the old edition and trust me, this one is way better ❤

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Overall, this book made me laugh, made me cry and made me love Leopold even more ❤ This is one of the best sequels that I have read and I don’t think I’ll even stop re-reading this book.

5star

That’s it, thank you for bearing with me! The best part is that you can read an excerpt of Convincing Leopold here and find the ebook on the usual places:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Samhain

iBooks

All Romance Ebooks

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The Answer, from D. M. Thornton

Hello, there! I can already say that my trip today to my hometown was one of the worst that I had. Screaming children, a fucked up traffic and never-ending stops don’t even begin to describe it! But one good thing came out of it: I’ve finally finished The Answer, from lovely D. M. Thornton! ❤ I have received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and the time has arrived!

 

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

Jax Levi is a hell of a successful man. With a golden gut for business, Jax has earned heavy money since his early adulthood. The only thing he never found was true love.

Until watching this wonderful woman ordering at the same deli that he was having his lunch.

Chloe Nespoli is a jaded woman. After the tragedy that took both her husband and son, Chloe knew that a piece of her soul was taken from her as well. She had been managing herself quite well on the last years, picking up her scattered pieces one by one.

Until she crosses paths with Jax Levi, the walking figure of sex and temptation.

Their connection is instantaneous and undeniable, but soon enough both Jax and Chloe realize that sex is not the answer to all the unspoken questions and ghosts from their pasts.

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I started this book with highly expectations, as my lovely friend Lindsey loved The Answer to her bones and she’s not usually one to enjoy romances. D. M. Thornton was kind enough to send me a copy for this review and I’m deeply thankful. However, The Answer didn’t swept me off my feet as I expected it would. Whereas it is a wonderful story about healing through love and personal growth, I wasn’t impressed or the correct audience for it. It kept me pinned to know how it all would end until the last page, but rather for not knowing what was Thornton’s point with it. Overall, a three stars book 🙂

The narrative was third person styled with switching points of view between Jax and Chloe, which I found great ❤ Thornton’s writing style is sensible and involving, pure art. It is one of the strongest points in The Answer, along with character constructions, but we will get there, haha!

The plot was basically were the book lost stars with me. Lacking boy meets broken girl, they hit it off and heal each other. It is adorable, but in a month’s time. I was highly bothered by how fast they got intimately involved, especially given Chloe’s background. On the second day of acquaintanceship, they already acted as a 20 year married couple 😦 Also, I don’t see the need for so many sex scenes. Of course, some are very important for the story, as Chloe has insecurities regarding her body and Jax wants to teach her that she is beautiful even with her flaws – physical or mental. But honestly, I would be cool without half of the scenes.

The good side is that Thornton tied all up very well in the end. I really liked the point which she decided to stop the story ❤ I wish I could say more, but no spoilers 😉

The characters were a blast. I have to pick favorites, as Chloe was brilliant. Of course that sometimes I wanted to hit her with a baseball bat, but it’s part of the book friends thing, haha! Chloe has OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and Thornton’s description and portrait of her case made me want to hug Chloe and assure her everything was okay. In my early teenage years, I was diagnosed with a light case of OCD. It would only surface under severe pressure and stress or depression, so I never had to deal with it on a daily basis. I admire Chloe’s strength in a fashion that I can’t even put into words.

I can’t say the same about Jax. I disliked him since the beginning and it didn’t get better. I don’t like forceful males in any way of the word and he didn’t have the minimal sense of borderlines and limits. He can be beautiful as hell and sin very far away from me. However, I do recognize that he was very good for Chloe and was there for here every time she needed him. He was supportive, caring and loving, healing her.

Nevertheless, even having my problems with Jax, I have to admit that he was incredibly well built as a character, as everyone in the book. They were real, for good and bad. The strength, the weakness, everything!

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Bonus point: can we just stop everything and talk about this cover, please? So awesomely beautiful *–* It is one of my favorites among my ebook collection ❤

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Overall, this is a great contemporary romance. If you like bossy males, sassy females, hot sex and characters to keep in your heart, give a try to The Answer 🙂

3star

That’s it, thanks for reading! Thank you again to D. M. Thornton for trusting me with your work ❤ Do you like contemporary romances??

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Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, from Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

Hi, there! AFY, today your blogger is on fire, as all my posts are going live – thank you, February new books ¬¬”

Anyway, we are not here to talk about my failed posting schedule, but to talk about the first book in the Percy Jackson series (is there someone on the world who calls it “the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series”? Like, all fanciness and all? I can’t even picture saying it out loud on the title, haha!), The Lightening Thief 😀 To my shame, I only read this series for the first time last January (I mean 2015 and not last month, haha!). Needless to say that it changed my heart and now I’m a believer. This was one of the books I wish to re-read this year and I can’t wait to squeeze the rest of the series into the other months ❤

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the natural light that I got on this pic makes it look like it’s blured… Sorry, haha!

The Story

I feel a bit silly re-telling a story that everybody knew way before me, but here we go

Percy is a 12-year-old boy without much luck in his life. No matter how hard he tries, disasters seem to follow him anywhere, making the weirdest things happen – and getting him expelled of five schools in a roll. To top everything, he is dyslexic, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the worst stepfather of the whole world: Smelly Gabe. And trust me, you don’t want to know the reason behind this lovely nickname.

Until a trip to the beach with his mom, Percy thought his life weird and unlucky, but manageable. But a hurricane totally out of season and a big monster show Percy that things can always get worse. Without any choice, he ends up on the Half-Blood Camp with his best friend Grover – that, by the way, reveals himself as a satyr.

Now, besides being really unlucky, dyslexic and attention deficient, Percy also has to deal with the existence of real (and very angry) Greek gods that are more than willing to use him and the other children at the camp as they please for their own schemes. Percy time has arrived and his life depends on completing divine tasks.

The thing is… Can Percy focus on the gods’ will?

 

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

When I was younger and this series exploded in the world, I remember reading a synopsis that was so crappy that led me into believing that this was a stupid series. Then the movies came out and I was “sure” It was crap. Sorry if you enjoyed the movies, haha! Then last summer came (again, 2015, not last month) and I was at a friend’s place – yeah, I’m talking about you, Jen! – and she pestered me so much that I said “FINE, I WILL GIVE PERCY JACKSON A GO, NOW SHUT UP”. Or something like that. Her memory is better, she can tell our stories better than me, haha! Anyway, long story short, I was madly in love with Percy Jackson and devoured all five books in a week’s space. And then felt like life didn’t matter anymore because there was no more than five books. You know, same old, same old with us book lovers.

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On my first read, I gave it four stars. I’m officially raising it to five stars now 🙂

The narrative is first person styled from Percy’s point of view only. On the beginning of my first read, it bothered me a little. On my re-read, I think it works. Percy is just like us – you know, our 12-year-old selves – and this makes it so easy for the reader to connect with him. He grew up believing that Greek gods were just random characters from another culture and suddenly has to deal with the living things. Also, the narrative style makes the story funny and light, even on its worse moments.

The plot is complex and full of twists, as there are so many elements to fit into the book. I loved how well Riordan executed it. Percy Jackson is one of the most well written series that I ever read, the kind that you just can’t find a flaw, a lose end, a forgotten character. Seriously, there is nothing to hold against it, haha!

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Rick Riordan facing society

Percy is the perfect 12-year-old, in qualities and flaws. It is amazing! Even being 20 when I first read this book, I highly identified with him. Percy is random, observant, kinda lazy, funny and gets real mad when he is accused of doing something he clearly didn’t. (Btw, that was one of Jen’s arguments: “you will love him because he is just like you!”. Damn, she was right! But don’t tell her that, she’ll get cocky.) And he has the natural curiosity of children towards anything he doesn’t know, which is really helpful for the reader that is so new on the real Greek gods world as himself is.

All Riordan’s characters are very well constructed and developed. I call favorites with Annabeth, because she is not a helpless female in the team, Luke, because he is beautiful and skillful and has another secret trait that really attracts me but it would be a huger spoiler to tell, Hades, because he is the best god #justsaying, and Percy’s mom. Okay, but Grover and Quíron in the list. Ugh, I love Percy Jackson’s world!

Naturally, I have to comment on the semi-dystopian world that Riordan created: awesome stuff.

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Seriously, I have nothing to add to what has been already said. He re-created the Greek gods in such a fashion that is hard to imagine them any different now. It absorbers you and suddenly you’re convinced that you’re a victim of the Mist and that’s why you can’t see the true monster nature of your Math teacher. As I said, I’m a believer, haha!

Overall, I think that everyone that hasn’t already should just pick up this series and give it a go. Forget all about the crappy (sorry) movies and just allow uncle Rick to carry you around ❤

5star

Thank you for reading and thank you Jen, who so vehemently insisted that I should give this series a go ❤ I can’t wait for the next series that you will push through my guts recommend me 😀 And please don’t forget I love you, so there is no need for slapping me after you read this review.

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