Posts Tagged ‘Mythology’

Dreamless

Josephine Angelini

Tasked with descending to the underworld and killing the Furies, Helen must endure hellish torture whenever she goes to sleep – she wanders around the various levels of hell with no idea how to complete her task, and she’s beginning to suffer from extreme exhaustion. Although she still trains with the Delos clan, Helen and Lucas are coming to terms with the fact that they cannot be together. Lucas believes that the only way Helen will complete her quest is if he leaves her alone completely, so he tells her he doesn’t want to see her again and that he never loved her. Distraught, Helen carries on with her mission, and for the first time meets another person down in the shadowy underworld: Orion, descended from Adonis and with the power to control desire, he is the heir to the house of Rome and an outcast. He’s also kind of hot. Confused by her conflicting emotions but glad to have an ally in hell, Helen begins to realize the enormity of her task…

This is the second book in a series and as such may contain spoilers for book one Starcrossed.(Read our review of Starcrossed here)

I was so excited to read this book. I loved ‘Starcrossed’, stayed up all night so I could finish and almost threw the book across the room when I finished it as I was so desperate to read the next book straight away. So the second ‘Dreamless’ arrived I started it and although I wouldn’t say I was disappointed it was nowhere near as good as I expected it to be. This could have been the result of my high expectations, it could be middle book syndrome, I don’t know, but I didn’t feel the same urge to carry on reading the way I had with the first book. I read ‘Dreamless’ in three parts, a couple of weeks between each section, I normally devour books in one sitting, but to be fair this is not the first second book in a series that I have read in parts lately.

This almost makes it sound as though I disliked ‘Dreamless’, but I did genuinely enjoy the book and am looking forward to the conclusion, I just didn’t get swept away to the same extent this time. I would recommend reading ‘Starcrossed’ again if it’s a while since you read it. There is very little recapping and I did at times struggle to remember what was happening.

It was lovely to return to characters I loved so much before. I know very little Greek Mythology, but this book, more than the first left me with a thirst to find out more. I hurt alongside Helen and Lucas as they struggled to contain their feelings for each other and act as cousins should. My heart broke for them as they realised how impossible that was. There was some attempt to introduce a love triangle to the story, but I didn’t find it overly convincing. I loved Orion as a character, in fact I like him much more than Lucas, but it is so obvious that he is not the one for Helen. There were times where I almost disliked Helen as I felt that she was leading him on and settling for second best.

As in the previous book the secondary characters play a very important part. They support Helen in her quest in the underworld, but their feeling of being useless is reflected well in the reader. They also provide respite from the trauma that the main characters of Helen, Lucas and Orion are going through. Although there were times I wanted to scream at the characters for being either so stupid or self obsessed that they couldn’t see what was happening, it was almost refreshing to see that people, including demigods are fallible and they don’t always get things right.

Verdict: So whilst ‘Dreamless’ didn’t grab me in the same way that ‘Starcrossed’ had, I did enjoy the book. It serves as a good bridge to what promises to be an explosive climax.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: July 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512
Genre: Supernatural, Mythology
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None
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Everneath


Brodi Ashton

Now she’s returned to her old life for another six months before the Everneath comes to claim her…. this time for ever. Nikki longs to spend this precious time reconnecting with the people she left behind – her family, her friends and, most importantly, her boyfriend Jack, the one person she loves more than anything.
But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smouldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki home, convinced that she is the key to claiming the throne of the Underworld. Cole wants to bring Nikki back to the Everneath, but this time as his queen.
Now Nikki only has six months for goodbyes she can’t find the words for, six months to make the hardest decision of her life, six months to find redemption, if it exists…

This was a beautifully written story based around the myths of Hades/Persephone and Orpheus/Eurydice. I really enjoyed reading this and found it hard to put down. This is a unique story and I loved the whole idea, where Nikki our protagonist has chosen to go with Cole to the Everneath in order to escape the pain she feels from a bust up with her boyfriend Jack, and the death of her mother.

Unbeknownst to her, Cole is an immortal being who needs to ‘feed’ on humans, known as ‘forfeit’s’ in order to gain his strength. As far as her family and friends are aware she has gone missing, probably due to drugs and is gone for 6 months. However Nikki has in fact spent 100 years in the Everneath as a forfeit allowing Cole to feed off of her emotions. At the end of the 100 years she has a choice and hers is to return for six months to say her goodbyes before the Everneath claims her forever. She comes back to her home town disorientated, sapped of all her strength and emotions and finding it hard to remember anything of her time both in the
Everneath, and from before she left.

Nikki is a strong independent character. Throughout the book as she deals with Cole who she is very strongly tied to as a result of their time wrapped around each other in the Everneath, and also as she tentatively rebuilds her relationship with Jack, she takes responsibility for her actions and knows that this whole situation is of her own doing. I also liked Jack whom she misjudged and who shows his love and commitment to her, right to the very end. I even found myself feeling a bit sorry for Cole (I’m clearly a sucker for a bad boy!) as he fights for Nikki believing that ultimately she will return to him and will be the answer to eternal life, ruling the Underworld forever.

The characters were well developed and believable. The author takes us back and forth, through both the build-up to the feed and the events before Nikki disappears and also through the six months after Nikki returns and I enjoyed piecing the story together this way as more information was revealed. This story is all about redemption as Nikki seeks to put things right before her six months is up, but also about what true love is and certainly what it isn’t.

Verdict: A really great read from this debut author.

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Publication Date: January 2012
Format: Hardback
Pages: 370
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Mythology
Age: YA
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: Debut Author
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Starcrossed

Josephine Angelini

How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood…and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

As the story begins, Nantucket is awash with gossip about the talented and beautiful Delos family. Rather than be excited and intrigued, like her fellow islanders, Helen finds herself becoming uncharacteristically tetchy at incessant gossiping as the unseasonably warm and humid weather bears down on her. She is unable to concentrate. She loses her appetite and is subjected to disturbing dreams.

The unnatural quiet and the absence of breeze in the normally blustery costal town give the impression that the island itself is holding its breath. The release, when it arrives, is like lightning; sudden, stunning and powerful with the potential to be deadly. Laying eyes on Lucas, for the first time, Helen is overwhelmed with a hatred and rage so consuming that she remorselessly throws herself at him with the intention of choking him to death.

Completely gripped within a few pages, I was fascinated to see how the author was going to turn the story around; this was after all a love story! Despite their innate aversion, the chemistry between Helen and Lucas is undeniable and the romance felt appropriately paced.

I found the use of Greek mythology new and an interesting, a refreshing alternative to the supernatural elements of the books I have been reading recently. While I do not have the knowledge of Greek mythology to comment on accuracy, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of familiar mythologies presented in a new way and I will be seeking out books containing elements of Greek mythology in the future.

There have been many comparisons made to Twilight and I admit that there are certain similarities, but I have to say that while absorbed in the book I was totally oblivious to them and was able to enjoy the story in its own right without making comparisons.

Verdict: Very enjoyable and fast paced start to a new trilogy. I will definitely be purchasing a copy of book two when it is released in 2012.

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: June 2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 528
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mythology
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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