Review of “Prodigy” by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 371
Published: 2013, Penguin Books
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 paper clips

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

MY REVIEW

I am not sure why exactly this got a slighty better grade than Legend. It might have been because I listened to Legend as an audiobook and I did it in two sittings so it felt like nothing happened. Or perhaps because this one was slightly better. Maybe they were as good? I got a good impression of it anyway. 3 feels low, but according to my scale, it was a good book so I guess that is accurate.

What was good about it? First of all, it was very intimately written. I got the impression that this book’s focus was the development of the characters and their point of view rather than the story. The story is good, but the closeness to the characters really make it pop.

Second, any type of realistic dystopian story intrigues me. Well, it doesn’t even have to be realistic, but this is. More of the backstory to why it became the Republic of America is revealed in Prodigy and it is so cool that the author sits on so much information that never really gets out to the reader. This is something I have definitely learned since starting to write myself and Marie Lu has drawn up a very colorful (maybe vivid is the more correct term since her future is really really grey and dull) world.

Definitely better than the first. Is perhaps Champion (the last in the trilogy) even better? We will have to wait and see.

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Review of “The Crown of Ptolemy” by Rick Riordan

Title: The Crown of Ptolemy
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 63
Published: 2015, Disney-Hyperion
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 hats

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In their first encounter, demigod Percy Jackson and magician Carter Kane had to battle a giant crocodile on Long Island. A month later, Annabeth Chase ran into Carter’s sister, Sadie, on the A train to Rockaway, where the pair fought a god named Serapis. Now trouble is brewing again, this time on Governor’s Island. An ancient Egyptian magician named Setne has come back from the dead and is experimenting with Egyptian and Greek magic, trying to become a god himself. He’s so powerful and tricky that all four-Percy, Annabeth, Carter, and Sadie-have to team up against him. But their usual weapons and spells aren’t going to cut it this time. Will the heroes be taken down by a wannabe god who looks like Elvis, or will they rise to the challenge?

MY REVIEW

As a small side-project right now, this was a fun story seen from Percy Jackson’s point of view. This is the third crossover story between Percy Jackson (Greek demigod) and Carter Kane (Egyptian magician) and it is very much like the first two (which I read a long time ago) and also very much like the main Percy Jackson series. Riordan writes with a lot of humor and after have read more “serious” books lately, it felt a little bit childish. But I am still a huge fan of Rick Riordan!

I give this book a 3.5 because it was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t go as far as to encourage everyone to read it. Sure, it is a short story, so if you have an hour to spare somewhere and if you are a big fan of Riordan’s world full of ancient mythology, definitely have a go at it, you won’t be dissapointed!

Review of “Resan till Mörkret” (Into the Darkness) by Andrey Dyakov

Resan till Mörkret by Andrey DyakovTitle: Resan till Mörkret
Author: Andrey Dyakov
Translator (Swedish): Ola Wallin
Series: Metro Universe #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 398
Published: 2012, Coltso (translated 2015)
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 heavens

COLTSO’S DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

SANKT PETERSBURG YEAR 2033.
A couple of decades after the big nuclear war the metro is threathened  by another war. People are desperately clinging to their miserable lives on the metro stations and in the underworld tunnels and labyrinths. Colonies on two islands in the Gulf of Finland was recently discovered, but when a nuclear bomb is detonated, only a few seamen survive and seek refugee in the metro. They accuse the metro inhabitants of the attack and threathens to eliminate all life on the stations. Taran, an infamous Stalker, gets the assignment of finding the guilty. But then his stepson Gleb dissapears…

The world on the surface is an unknown wilderness and faceless dangers can lurk anywhere in the city’s ruins where barely any human have set its foot in over 20 years.

MY REVIEW

This is so far the Swedish translations in this trilogy goes. I really hope the third one gets translated soon, I really want to find out what happens next. Like the first one, it is a really good book. It is slightly less good though, I only give it a 3.5 instead of a 4. And the reason for that, is because I felt that it was a bit spread out. There was a main story, but it was left behind after just a few chapters and it instead focused on so many other things. I guess you could say it was a bit messy. But, it wrapped up nicely in the end and answered almost all questions you had while reading it. One got unanswered and I doubt that it will be brought up in the third book (Beyond the Horizon), but I hope it will.

Compared to the originals by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Andrey Dyakov’s story takes place more aboveground, this one not so much as the first (Resan till Ljuset), but still more than Metro 2033. Lots of monsters and the author definitely has a lot of imagination when inventing all of them.

Something that also drags down the review by 0.5 points is that it sometimes felt like too much. Almost all the action-filled situations went to the worst case scenario, but always worked out in the end. This is sci-fi, I know, but it felt unrealistic, and yes, a bit too much. The characters doesn’t have to be on the brink of death as soon as something happens. It gets predictable after a while, “oh no, they are dead/almost dead, but it is okay, they will survive of course, because they survived everything else so far”.

But it is still a very good story! I really like the setting of it all and it was definitely worth reading even with the exxagerations. If you enjoyed the original Metro series, you will enjoy this series too.

Review of “Quidditch Through the Ages” by J. K. Rowling

hogwarts-library-02-quidditch-through-the-ages-j-k-rowlingTitle: Quidditch Through the Ages
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Hogwarts Library #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 64
Published: 2001, Bloomsbury
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 snitches

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Did you know that: there are 700 ways of committing a foul in Quidditch? The game first began to evolve on Queerditch Marsh – What Bumphing is? That Puddlemere United is oldest team in the Britain and Ireland league (founded 1163). All this information and much more could be yours once you have read this book: this is all you could ever need to know about the history, the rules – and the breaking of the rules – of the noble wizarding sport of Quidditch.

 

MY REVIEW

I have to say that after reading the original Harry Potter series and watching the movies, I felt that I had a decent idea of what this game called Quidditch was about. And I was a bit confused when reading this since I read the other books in Swedish and all the stuff had different names so I had to think for a bit to try to translate so it would be easier to understand. It was great to read about the history of Quidditch and how it developed into the game that all of us Harry Potter fans are used to from the books and movies.

It was an easy read that lasted about an hour. I am surprised that I didn’t read this one sooner since I have been a Harry Potter fan since the first book came out so many many years ago. But now I finally did it and feel more confident on how the game works. I will give this book a 3.5 out of 5, like all the other short stories from J. K. Rowling where she explains stuff that wasn’t included in the books. For the big Harry Potter fan, you probably have already read it, and if not, you should read it. For the non-fans, it wouldn’t really make any sense in reading it honestly.

Review of “Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide” by J. K. Rowling

pottermore-presents-03-hogwarts-an-incomplete-and-unreliable-guide-j-k-rowlingTitle: Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Pottermore Presents #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 79
Published: 2016, Pottermore
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 secrets

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

‘The Ministry of Magic felt strongly, however, that to construct an additional wizarding station in the middle of London would stretch even the Muggles’ notorious determination not to notice magic when it was exploding in front of their faces.’ – J.K. Rowling
Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

Hogwarts An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide takes you on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll venture into the Hogwarts grounds, become better acquainted with its more permanent residents, learn more about lessons and discover secrets of the castle . . . all at the turn of a page.

 

MY REVIEW

When I was a kid I always dreamed of going to Hogwarts (like almost every other person my age who grew up with the amazing world of Harry Potter). Before seeing the first film, after only have read the first or so books, I had a picture in my head of how Hogwarts looked like. Being young as I were, I couldn’t even imagine how big it was and how many secrets it held. This book descibes a few things about the school. Some things we are all familiar with, like the moving/talking paintings were described more in detail, the same goes for the Chamber of Secrets and some of the ghosts living there.

It was an easy, short and entertaining read and have the same reasoning behind the grade as with the rest in this Pottermore Presents series. If you like Harry Potter, read it, otherwise it wouldn’t really benefitial to read it, therefore a 3.5 out of 5.

Review of “Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists” by J. K. Rowling

pottermore-presents-02-short-stories-from-hogwarts-of-power-politics-and-pesky-poltergests-j-k-rowlingTitle: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Pottermore Presents #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 71
Published: 2016, Pottermore
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 ministers

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

No Muggle Prime Minister has ever set foot in the Ministry of Magic, for reasons most succinctly summed up by ex-Minister Dugald McPhail (term of office 1858-1865): “their puir wee braines couldnae cope wi’ it.”’ – J.K. Rowling
Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

These stories of power, politics and pesky poltergeists give you a glimpse into the darker side of the wizarding world, revealing the ruthless roots of Professor Umbridge, the lowdown on the Ministers for Magic and the history of the wizarding prison Azkaban. You will also delve deeper into Horace Slughorn’s early years as Potions master at Hogwarts – and his acquaintance with one Tom Marvolo Riddle.

 

MY REVIEW

Very similar to the first book from Pottermore Presents, Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies. You got a timeline with all the Ministers for Magic there have ever been and what they were famous for and what theyaccomplished. It was then focused on Horace Slughorn which was the most interesting part in this book. I think I knew lots of the information, but it has been ages since I read the books and only got a feeling of “oh right, that’s what happened”. This one was more on giving information about cauldrons, potions and materialistic things, and the first one was more on characters. Both still interesting and worth a read!

Like with the first one, I give this one a 3.5 out of 5 because it was entertaining and I enjoyed reading it, but it is not something you don’t have to read, unless you are a Harry Potter-fan like me and want to know everything there is to know about the wizarding world. It took me about one hour to read, 71 pages, so no one can really say that they don’t have time to read it. It is an easy read in between other reads.

Review of “Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies” by J. K. Rowling

pottermore-presents-01-short-stories-from-hogwarts-of-heroism-hardship-and-dangerous-hobbies-j-k-rowlingTitle: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Pottermore Presents #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 71
Published: 2016, Pottermore
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 childhoods

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

‘Minerva was the Roman goddess of warriors and wisdom. William McGonagall is celebrated as the worst poet in British history. There was something irresistible to me about his name, and the idea that such a brilliant woman might be a distant relative of the buffoonish McGonagall.’ – J.K. Rowling

Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing from the Pottermore archives: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

These stories of heroism, hardship and dangerous hobbies profile two of the Harry Potter stories’ most courageous and iconic characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. J.K. Rowling also gives us a peek behind the closed curtains of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and you’ll encounter the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn along the way.

 

MY REVIEW

I can’t really say that I was curious about the story behind some of the professors at Hogwarts when I read the original books growing up. Maybe except for Dumbledore since he seemed to have such an adventurous one. But it was nice to read the long storys behind Professor McGonagall and Remus Lupin. I guess I now have a better understanding to why they are like they are. The storys behind Sybill Trelawney and Silvanus Kettleburn were very short, but enough in my opinion. Neither are very interesting characters in my opinon.

It was a very enjoyable read today, short for once. And I really like that the world of Harry Potter is always expanding with stories from Pottermore.com even if the main series have been finished since long. I give it a 3.5 since I am not encouraging everyone to read it. It was however enjoyable, but not a typical 4 that I would have given another book, Lord of the Flies for example.