The Hidden Oracle (Trials Of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

synopsis

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood. (Goodreads)

quote

“He faced us. “You hear that, guys? A batch of cookies is depending on me. If you get me killed on the way to camp, I am going be ticked off.”

review

This book is about the god Apollo, who is sentenced as a mortal on Earth. He meets a young demigod named Meg and is put on a harrowing journey against an evil Roman emperor named Nero, trying to save the oldest and first oracle known to man… The Grove Dodona.

The main setting of the entire book is in New York, most of it playing out in Camp Half-Blood which is located on Long Island Sound. The setting gives you a feeling of being in the Big Apple with a mythological twist, tying into demigods and a world from mythological Greece. The setting affects Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) because before all he ever was was a stuck up Greek god who caused lots of problems. When he is exiled to New York as a mortal, it affects him greatly. He is not used to his teenage body, but quite frankly he deserves it. It makes him finally realize that mortals aren’t as hopeless and useless as they seem to him, because he has to literally step into a mortals skin, by becoming mortal from his father Zeus. He has to go through many trials while in a mortal body, which as he finds out later is harder than it looks, because he has lost most of his godly powers. Towards the end of the book, Apollo goes from thinking of Meg McCaffrey as a bratty street-urchin, but after getting bound to her bidding his perspective changes about the world. After living in New York Apollo changes his perspective and is more appreciative of humans and demigods, even his children.

There were both external and internal conflicts throughout the story. The main biggest external conflict was between Apollo and Nero and his accomplices. If it weren’t for Nero and Triumvirate Holdings, then the only problem would be the serpent at the Oracle of Delphi. Nero causes problems by trying to burn the Grove of Dodona, and capturing campers in the process. We’ll be seeing more of Nero in the future, because after all Meg is his step daughter. One really important internal conflict involves Meg McCaffrey. When she was only a young child Nero killed her father. Not to mention she still thinks Nero is a good person and her step-dad who saved her from his angry personality “The Beast”. This internal conflict eventually ends up getting her involved in luring Apollo to Nero himself. Apollo even notices that it is messed up, and he tries to convince Meg that Nero is really evil. These two main internal and external conflicts weave in and out from each other throughout the book making it a delight to read.

This book was good and had the Percy Jackson spirit it deserved, but isn’t as good as the Percy Jackson series or The Heroes of Olympus series. Overall I really enjoyed the beginning of the end of Rick Riordan’s Greek Mythology novels. This book actually started explaining lots of questions from the past books and started tying everything together in the Percy Jackson world. I really liked the character Meg McCaffrey and her quirky but fearsome protector Peaches. For what it is worth The Trials of Apollo was a great kick-off to the end of Rick Riordan’s Greek mythology novels.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.5/ 5

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: YA Fantasy

synopsis

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

(Goodreads).

quote

“Have you ever noticed how parents can go from the most wonderful people in the world to totally embarrassing in three seconds?”

review

The Red Pyramid is about two young siblings who find out they are magicians and that Egyptian gods really do exist. They go on a long journey to California to save the world from the evil god Set and free their father and uncle. At the end the escape from Set.

There is a lot of symbolism throughout this book considering that it is a book about magicians using ancient hieroglyphics for their magic. For example, the Eye of Horus is mentioned throughout the book. Carter had a necklace from his father that has the Eye of Horus on it because it is used to protect people. As we find out later, though, it is because Horus is using Carter as a host. The Eye Of Horus is also mentioned to have connections with the ℞ symbol used in pharmaceuticals because it is a sign of “good health”. The Eyes of Horus are also painted on boats to watch for dangers on the sea. This Egyptian symbol and other are all featured in the novel as sources for producing magic.

The characterization was very uniquely portrayed through the main characters in the book. The main characters are two siblings who have barely known each other for years and are brought together by their father releasing an evil god. Then, the two completely different brother and sister had to work together in tough situations. Their slow partnership was shown throughout the book through the many challenges they face leading up to the climax of saving the world from Set. Carter is homeschooled and travel the world constantly with his dad. Sadie lives in England with her grandparents and is more rebellious than Carter would ever be. They end up changing towards the end of the book by learning to help each other from a series of challenges and problems.

This book was really enjoyable and is once again filled with lots of Rick Riordan charm. He brought back the old mythological charm I have read from Percy Jackson and gave it all a twist to enjoy his writing in a new way. The characters were empathetical and were believable, even if they were cat goddesses name Bast, or the god of knowledge Thoth. It was filled with lots of humor and a fun-filled journey, reviving the spirit of the old ancient Egyptian myths. This book was an enjoyable read.

Princess Mononoke: A Battle Between Man and Nature

Perhaps one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most breathtaking films and an incredible Japanese animation triumph, it’s no wonder this film’s popularity comes from the magic helmed by the master of its genre. One of Japan’s top box-office champions, it is no wonder why this film is a spectacle to experience all on its own. It gives the same charm and imaginative gusto such as its American counterpart Disney. Princess Mononoke is a film for all anime or animation lovers alike to watch and devour with their hearts and their eyes.

This colorful film follows gods and demons in a struggle to save a precious forest guarded by Princess Mononoke and her tribe of wolves. Hayao Miyazaki has outdone himself by creating a beautiful, breathtaking, and harsh world where nature battles man. Like a sweeping forceful and zealous comic book storytelling, it is no wonder why the talented Neil Gaiman had helmed the English adaptation of one of the most ambitious Japanese animation films ever created. All of these things make this film a gem in the animation film world, but its theme of nature, Japanese myth, and a long history is what truly makes this film so special.

The film’s hero Ashitaka is launched into his quest to save the forest when a giant boar attacks his village, shrouded in small wriggling parasite like strands. After killing the gargantuan demon and getting infected by the curse, Ashitaka is forced to leave his village in search of the Forest Spirit to try and heal his infected curse.

The forest is filled with some of Miyazaki’s most extravagant creatures. The first we see of them is the Tree Spirits of otherwise known in Japanese mythology as Kodamas, small child-like spirits who are born from the trees. Others we see are the giant white wolves that protect the forest from outside threats. This is when we encounter Princess Mononoke herself. But perhaps the most far-fetched and extravagant creatures in the film is the Forest Spirit. Roaming the forest in an animal-like form and wandering above the treetops by night with a gossamer-like shine the size of Godzilla. Not to mention the swathes of plants and flowers displayed when the Forest Spirit walks is ravishingly presented.

Translated by Neil Gaiman while still capturing that Japanese charm, this film is told through the voices of many actors such as Minnie Driver, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Cudrup, Clair Danes, and Gillian Anderson that belong to the vibrant images displayed throughout the film.

© Boundless Daydreams 2016

Manic Monday Musings- 1/13/17

It Monday… again. To try to liven up my manic start of the week I will give you a folio of last week’s randomness from the interwebs, and maybe supply you with a few rants that come from the depths of my unraveling mess of a mind. Here it goes…

Let me explain my first item of business. The video above depicts a very epic scene where and iguana escapes from a hungry horde of snakes. When all hope seems lost the iguana escapes from a twisting and tangling knot of snakes and makes it safe and victorious to the top of the rocks. My orchestra conductor showed us this video to make our playing on a piece called Snake River Stomp to be more and aggressive and expressive (I just rhymed…). It’s a crazy cool video, and please check it out if you haven’t already.

No words to explain this… [Insert snicker].

I absolutely love this video of the Stranger Things cast getting their SAG reward. David Harbour helms their riveting speech while Wynona Ryder makes faces in the back. Just thought you would enjoy this…

That’s it for this week’s Manic Monday Musings!

Your’s Truly

Treven M.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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My Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Paranormal Fiction, YA

synopsis

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages. (Goodreads)
quote

“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”

review

A boy gets raised by ghosts in this tale about the living and dead. As the boy gets older he encounters many things such as ghouls and bullies. But there is one person who longs for his death… a man named Jack. The boy and his allies defeat Jack eventually ending the story.

There is lots of implicit symbolism portrayed throughout this book. One that came to mind while reading it was the brooch, the cup, and the knife. These three treasures represent greed itself and is cleverly portrayed by the author Neil Gaiman. It is noticed when it is explained that the treasure is buried with its master in the first place which is quite greedy in the first place. Second, The Sleer is greedy by wanting to keep and guard the master all to themselves. As we find out, it doesn’t do Jack any good by actually becoming their master. There is even a flashback where a man named Abanazer Bolger and his friend fight each other to the death just for the brooch. If that isn’t a clever way of implying that these treasures represent greed then I don’t know what is.

During and after I read this book I pondered the obvious but whimsical and bizarre theme of death. Sure it is mentioned blatantly throughout the book, but there is much more to it than what meets the eye. As we read and experience the world Neil Gaiman has created we find that we love the spooky fact of the living and the dead living and coexisting together. We also find that their are many walls, barricades, and rules that rarely make this possible. Bod is a great example of this. He was only taken in by the Owenses because of the appearance of the Lady on the Grey. This was a sign that Bod could have the freedom of the graveyard. Not any living person gets this opportunity though. There is a fine silver lining between the living and the dead. The graveyard as Neil actually explains in the creation of this book, that he got the idea from when he was a kid sitting in a library surrounded by books. The same thing applies to the idea of the graveyard. Each headstone represents a book containing knew knowledge of the people of the graveyard. A book is described as being a doorway to other worlds. This is literally true for the ghoul gates in the graveyard Bod explores and lives in. The ghoul gates are actual doorways to what is called Ghulheim. The death even dance with the living in part of the book dancing what they call the Danse Macabray. It is fascinating how much this book opens your thought on what death actually means for the living and how the living and the dead coexist in a uniquely weird way.

I really loved this book because it brought to my attention many thoughts and descriptions. I enjoyed the way Neil Gaiman set up the story making you want to find out what happens and ending the book with you wanting to devour more. Neil Gaiman has boundless ideas and themes sewn and hewn into the perplexing and shivering lines of this masterpiece worthy to be read over and over again.

Illuminae (Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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My Rating:★★★★★ 5/5
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction
synopsis
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. (Goodreads).

quote
“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”
review
A large dossier of hacked files from an event where a planet gets destroyed. It follows the story and relationship of two teens. The fleet’s AI goes crazy and blows up a ship because of a lethal virus, many people die, and they eventually escape from a warship called Lincoln.

The setting shifts from the icy planet Kerenza to the fleet. After that, even though there are slight changes from ship to ship the setting stays pretty constant throughout the book. But the setting immerses the reader in open space, following the tragedies that happen between the fleet of ships. First, we meet the main characters on the planet where they live… Kerenza. Kerenza is an icy and illegal mining planet where it was illegally colonized. They actually operate the mine under detection for over twenty years, until their planet is attacked by a rival mining company called BeiTech. Only a small percentage of the people from Kerenza live and are taken in by a government fleet. We meet our main characters when they describe the attack as it happens. Kady Grant uses her truck to make a break for it, but ends up running into her ex-boyfriend Ezra Mason. They both miraculously escape the planet and onto two separate ships; the Hypatia and the Alexander. This is the point where the setting contributes deeply to the whole story. Most of the story is told through conversations between mostly Kady and Ezra, but also other personnel in the fleet. We watch the whole story unravel as characters talk to one another through the their “comms”. Surveillance videos are described in full detail throughout the book, as well as recordings and information coming from the AI (AIDAN’s) core. Some surveillance videos describe virus afflicted people running through the corridors of abandoned ships because of a lethal pathogen released by BeiTech. Many people die on the fleet. Overall, the settings of the book contribute to the meaning of the text by telling the story in different perspectives, in turn making the reader feel different emotions, especially sending shivers down the reader’s spine when once normal people slowly and gruesomely go crazy.

The whole book is basically a giant conflict between BeiTech and the remaining survivors of the Kerenza attack. Kerenza is stunted and wounded at the beginning by BeiTech, another big mining company that mines the same thing as the Kerenza mine. This of course isn’t a coincidence, and BieTech’s warship Lincoln follows behind the escaped refugees of the Alexander fleet. To make matters, another problem arises. The fleet’s AI system goes crazy and destroys a ship infected with a lethal pathogen, the Copernicus. Then it all goes down from there. Dealing with a psycho AI and a lethal pathogen afflicted ship, things only get worse. The fleet barely escapes from the Lincoln and eventually Kady helps the AI destroy the Lincoln at the end and only one ship remains. The conflict between BeiTech and Kerenza is what propels the story forward, leaving my heart beating through my chest.

This is absolutely a must read for those who haven’t read it yet. I devoured the book, and savoured every word and description. Not to mention, the book is told in a unique way… through a dossier of hacked files. It combines wonderful sci-fi magic, with a spine-tingling sensation. You just can’t help but stepping into the character’s heads, and dancing in their hearts. This will definitely be enjoyed by many for years to come.

WWW Wednesday 1/8/17

Its Wednesday, and here is my list of what I am currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I think I will read next… hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words.

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  • I am finally reading the first book of the Trials Of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. Its is not as good as the Percy Jackson series but it is still really good so far.
  • I am also reading Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I am finally almost done with reading one of the greatest book series ever! Can’t wait until Deathly Hallows…
  • The fifth book in A Series Of Unfortunate Events is okay so far.

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  • Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book is enchanting and spine-tingling. I will read this one again someday. There is just something to Neil Gaiman I can’t put a finger on.
  • Illuminae was amazing. Period. A perfect mish-mash of spaceships, love, pink hair, crazy psycho maniacs, and a corrupted AI. Illuminae kept the pages turning, all 599 of them.
  • After I read the Graveyard Book, I decided to read the graphic novel which was recommended by my English teacher. The images are still plastered to the side of my brain like it was yesterday. Brilliantly illustrated and wonderfully told through the eyes of a young boy raised by ghosts.

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  • I recently got Wonderstruck from the Book Fair awhile ago and will hopefully read it soon, because I am a big fan of The Invention Of Hugo Cabret.
  • Arabian Nights is supposed to be amazing as well. I actually got this book for Christmas.
  • I will eventually read all of the Jules Verne novels this year. Well not all of them but seven of them…

Manic Monday Musings 2/6/17

Today is my BIRTHDAY! That’s right, I am starting a new weekly post called Manic Monday Musings. Here are some memes and gifs to make you happy today…

Well, with those to hopefully make mine and your’s day let get on with some random musings (pretty much things that have flown through my mind lately).

So… Stranger Things. This is by far one of my most favorite TV shows of all time! I can’t wait until Stranger Things comes out on Halloween! Check out the trailer down below if you haven’t seen it yet because it looks absolutely and utterly amazing! A thirty-six second trailer that includes Eggos, red skies, the squad sporting Ghostbuster’s suits, and Eleven! Comment on what you thought down below.

I am actually re-watching Stranger Things with my brother and will hopefully post about it soon…

That’s it for today’s Manic Monday Musings, see you next time!

 

Monthly Wrap Up-January 2017

not Greetings Fellow Readers and Daydreamers!

As you can see, I have started this new monthly post! I know it is now February, but I haven’t had time on the last day of January. I’ll just go over everything that has happened during January. We are already 1/12 through the year! So, without further ado let the wrap-up begin! (P.S. Feel free to comment below on anything I bring up).

reads

This last month I read four books. The Miserable Mill was okay, I loved The Order Of The Pheonix, The Graveyard Book was just spine-tingling goodness filled with Gaiman magic, and I really really loved the graphic novel adaptation of it.

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What’s Eating Gilbert Grape I watched this movie with my parents awhile ago, and it was really good. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a young autistic boy, living with his dysfunctional family in a small town. Johnny Depp plays as his brother and the main character. Check out the review here. I then found out this is actually a book, and is definitely on my TBR list.

1984– This book had been highly talked about among other people, and it is on my TBR list because it is supposed to be one of the best classics of all time. We’ll see.

Gemina– I am currently reading Illuminae, and it is truly gripping and astonishing. The second book is on my TBR list as well.

A Monster Calls– I really want to read this book. I mean really. I have heard from other people that this is an emotional read that will make me cry. Bring it on.

Rot & Ruin– This book series was actually recommended by my cousin a while back. Its supposed to be a gripping zombie story, and I love The Walking Dead…

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Most of these movies except for La La Land are movies that are soon to come out. The trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is breathtaking and oh so hilarious. Don’t mention the Logan trailer, it almost makes me want to cry. I wonder what they will do with Cars 3, and Spider-Man Homecoming is finally a Spider- Man movie who will actually portray Peter as an actual teenager. And, well for La La Land, I am going to see it tomorrow and I can not wait! Share some of your discoveries down below!

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I have finished Season 2 of Daredevil finally! I absolutely loved it! I am currently watching Parks and Recreation. I binged watched Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events on the 13th, and I can not wait for Marvel’s Iron Fist to come out on Netflix!

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I have got to give this one to La La Land, even though I haven’t seen it yet. Do not even mention that they have gotten 14 Academy Awards! Fourteen! Not to mention it’s music! I have listened to the La La Land Soundtrack, and this is hands down my top discovery!

Thanks for checking out this new monthly post hosted by Bookidote. 

So what about you? What’s been going on with you guys? What have you daydreamers discovered? What are your thoughts on the books/movies/TV shows I have mentioned? Feel free to collaborate with me and others in the comments!

Indisputably,

Treven M.