Mini Reviews: Recent Release Round-Up

The reading frenzy continues and I’ve got three more mini reviews for everyone today, so scroll down for my thoughts on new discoveries and old faves!

TheBurningMazeThe Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 1, 2018

Genres: Children’s, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 448 Format: eBook Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .

Apollo is back in action with the arrival of The Burning Maze and things continue to not go as planned. I was pretty certain on who the last Roman Emperor would be and while I was right, I wish I had been wrong. This one definitely took a darker turn and my heart is heavy from that ending. Of course there’s plenty of humor like all Riordan books but The Trials of Apollo continue to miss the high bar I’ve set with his work.

At least we got glimpses of some old friends with Grover returning. Jason and Piper give an assist as well and Coach Hedge shows up too! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the focus on nature with this series and I loved seeing the desert dryads and Grover’s role with all of them. I also appreciated Riordan’s acknowledgement of climate change and the devastating fires that hit Southern California. 

Overall The Burning Maze was another great addition to the Rick Riordan canon and if you’re a fan you definitely need to pick this one up. 

ACourtofFrostandStarlightA Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Published by Bloomsbury YA on May 1, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 272 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. 

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Will I ever be capable of parting from my beloved Night Court? Probably not, but my feelings on this series have always been a mixed bag. A Court of Frost and Starlight is no exception with the love I have for these characters only increasing while the narrative continued to be dragged down with too much going on.Yes, even this fluffy bridge novella was heavy with too wide a scope.

I will say the focus on how everyone is dealing with the end of war and how they’re trying to prevent another was handled pretty well and every single character makes me emotional in some way. I am looking forward to the next series and the characters it will focus on but Maas’ books will never be something I can truly rave about. There’s just too many inconsistencies and problems.

Overall if you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas or the ACOTAR family definitely pick this one up.

LoveSongsandOtherLiesLove Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

Published by Tor Teen on April 24, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 288 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Well hello unexpected wonder of Love Songs & Other Lies! This second chance romance was full of heart and emotion with music woven through every page and I absolutely loved it. Vee and Cam are complex characters dealing with a lot and the Then & Now style let’s readers discover their beginnings while present life takes one dramatic turn after another. 

This book is full of layers from the unfolding plot to the dynamic characters and Jessica Pennington tied all of it together into a superb story that would make for great television just like the reality show the bands are participating in. Honestly I keep being drawn to books with music and this one had everything from tour shenanigans to quiet acoustic duets. Plus on page lyrics abound!

Overall if you’re looking for a sweet summer romance full of heart, Love Songs & Other Lies is absolutely for you!

Have you read any of these books? Want to pick them up now?

Let me know in the comments below!

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