Review: The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

25746707*I received this book from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: The Immortals

Author: Jordanna Max Brodsky

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: February 16, 2016

ISBN: 9780316347181

The Immortals (Olympus Bound #1)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Manhattan.
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.
Murders.
In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way.
Gods.
With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who’s her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they’ll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city’s other Immortals.

—–

As a student of Classics throughout my university career, this story appealed to my interest in Greek mythology and made for a read quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Part murder-mystery and part fantasy, The Immortals entwines a CSI-like serial killer with the aged gods of Greek mythology. Anything that involves ancient Greek rituals or history has my attention. This book is full of wrathful gods, kooky ancient history professors, and distorted cults.

I really like the character of Selene. She is virtually fearless, brash, headstrong, and totally kicks butt. The story centres around her search for the killer who has invoked an ancient and nearly lost Greek ritual to honour Persephone. The killer has perverted what was once a beautiful and innocent ceremony, turning it into one of vengeance and death. Selene’s job is to protect the innocent, but she has come a long way from the goddess she used to be. This is her story of struggle and of overcoming the violent and unforgiving  celestial that she used to be. She is on a path of transformation and of peace.

Although the book is large, it’s a quick and encapsulating story. Brodsky takes mythology and makes is accessible to the average reader. Myths and legends are explained in a way that makes them more interesting to a current reader by modernizing them. The way Brodsky brings the gods and goddesses into the 21st-Century is often humorous as the deities take on more contemporary versions of their ancient selves. This informative and sometimes comedic take helps to balance and round out the story of bloodlust and murder that runs alongside it.

Definitely a new and exciting read. For the reader who is interested in modern adaptations of history, Greek mythology, or classical history, this is a book for you!

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Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

23281652Title: Daughter of Deep Silence

Author: Carrie Ryan

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780525426509

Daughter of Deep Silence

 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht, Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process. Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

—–

I never would have guessed how much I would enjoy this book based on the cover. Don’t be fooled by the image on the front of this book. The story in side is exciting, heartbreaking, and often terrifying, but in a good way. I listened to the audiobook of Ryan’s story through my local library. Normally when listening to an audiobook, my attention fades in and out as I complete other tasks. Not with Ryan’s story. I was RIVETED! I couldn’t stop listening to it. I zipped through this book in about a day and a half.

Ryan creates a complex story with twist and turns that you don’t see coming. Frances has become someone that she no longer recognizes. She’s lost everyone and everything that has ever mattered to her in the world. In her attempt to find out and expose the truth, she gains back some of what has been stolen from her, but now she stands to lose it all again. She puts everything at risk to bring those who have wronged her and her family to justice.

Yes, this is a story of revenge. But it’s also a story of a personal journey and self-discovery. Sometimes in order to find out who we really are, we need to risk what we know. We need to stand up for what we believe in, and nobody does that more that Frances. She risks her life, her friendship, her love.

I would have liked to see a more conclusive and happy ending after a book filled with terrible loss and gut-wrenching emotions. I didn’t feel completely satisfied with the way things were left. But overall, it was an addictive story that I just couldn’t stop listening to.

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

17234658Title: A Thousand Pieces of You

Author: Claudia Gray

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publication Date: November 2014

ISBN: 9780062278968

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

—–

I’m always looking for a good YA to break up the steady hum of literary fiction in my life, and Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You hit the spot. This novel was fascinating, different, intricate, and new. It’s a story of inter-dimensional travel to seek revenge for a beloved father’s untimely death. Although many of you many know of my disdain for the YA love triangle trope, in Gray’s novel, I was actually quite excited by the love triangle, and that was a very new experience for me. Marguerite has two young men in her life who have caught her eye: quite, brooding, sweet Paul who may have suddenly turned out to be homicidal, and the unpredictable but loyal Theo who may not be exactly as he seems. It is a fun and clever romantic web with so many twists and turns, you wont know who to trust anymore.

The vibrant cover is absolutely stunning, I must add. I’ve talked about this cover on my blog before because I just can’t get over how much I love it. It’s eye-catching, colourful, and wholly reflective of the story told in these pages. I’m a sucker for any good watercolour image. The travel between dimensions was the second thing, after the cover, that caught my attention. I’ve been looking for a YA series that’s something just a little bit different, and this was it. It’s new and interesting, I only wish Gray had explored a few more dimensions! We see four prominent dimensions in this novel, but when there are an infinite number of dimensions where anything and everything is possible, Gray leaves so much more open for her to explore in the coming books.

I can only say that I hope my hold on book 2 comes in at the library soon! I’m impatient and excited to read more!

Review: Nightfall by Richard B. Wright

26113983 (1)*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Title: Nightfall

Author: Richard B. Wright

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 9781476785370

Nightfall

Synopsis from Goodreads:
James Hillyer, a retired university professor whose life was evocatively described in Wright’s novel October, is now barely existing after the death of his beloved daughter in her forties. On a whim, he tries to locate the woman he fell in love with so many years ago on a summer trip to Quebec and through the magic of the Internet he is able to find her. But Odette’s present existence seems to be haunted by ghosts from her own past, in particular, the tough ex-con Raoul, with his long-standing grievances and the beginnings of dementia. The collision of past and present leads to violence nobody could have predicted and alters the lives of James and Odette forever. Nightfall skillfully captures the way in which our past is ever-present in our minds as we grow older, casting its spell of lost loves and the innocent joys of youth over the realities of aging and death. The novel is skillfully grounded in observation, propelled by unforgettable characters, and filled with wisdom about young love and old love. Drawing on the author’s profound understanding of the intimate bonds between men and women, Nightfall is classic Richard B. Wright.

—–

LOVE! Love, love, love, love, I am in love. This book was absolutely fantastic. Although short, this is one of the most touching books that I’ve read if a very long while. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Wright perfectly encapsulates the essence of humanness in his brief but breathtaking tale. Plus, it’s completely caused me to fall in love with the name Odette.

This is a story of the past, the present, and the future. It is about how our history informs us, but does not make who we are and who we become. It’s a story of love lost and found. Wright brings to light the realities of age, often violent, angry, or sad, but also in many case beautiful and full of love. His characters are stark, honest, and moving. They have not lived easy lives, but they are able to return to a simpler and more innocent time through shared memories and a desire to find happiness.

Wright proves that one does not need to be long winded to weave a thrilling and passionate tale and one does not need to be verbose to construct compelling and so fully alive characters. His skill at characterizations will have your heart aching for James and cringing at Raoul. In fewer than 200 pages, we learn the essence of each character, where they’ve been throughout their lifelong journeys, and who they’ve become in the present. Each is complex and interesting.

I hope you’ll read this lovely, beautiful book. It’s definitely a new favourite of mine.