Tag Archives: mythology

The Abandon Series by Meg Cabot

abandonThe Abandon Series by Meg Cabot

I have before stated that Meg Cabot has been one of my favorite authors since high school. It was no surprise that I enjoyed this newer series by her. Peirce Oliviera and John Hayden make for interesting, enjoyable, and sometimes downright hilarious protagonists. However, this series held a special place in my heart because it was a retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth. I’ve ALWAYS thought Hades got sort of the short end of the stick, and you know what–maybe Persephone’s mom was just REALLY clingy. After all, she did cause eternal winter after her daughter was married (I mean, talk about Helicopter Mom). Also–I’ve always thought it would be cool to be Queen of the Underworld. It was nice to know that I’m not the only one who thought about these things when studying Persephone and Hades. Meg Cabot, being the brilliant author that she is, also brings in a plethora of other fun things into the story as well, such as some of the lore and history of Key West, Florida (Isla Huesos, in the novels) in addition to endangered species that Pierce’s mom loves so much: the Roseate Spoonbills (NOT to be confused with Flamingos!!!).

Here is a picture of such for your enjoyment:

roseatespoonbill

Do a Google Image search for “Baby Roseate Spoonbill” and you will NOT be sorry.

And this is a mourning dove, just like Pierce's pet bird Hope.

And this is a mourning dove, just like Pierce’s pet bird Hope.

All in all, I think these novels make for a great, October, pre-Halloween read and I recommend them to anyone who is a Meg Cabot fan or who enjoys a good retelling of a great Greek myth.

As an added bonus, I’m including the song “Bones” by MsMr, because I think it is the PERFECT song for this series.

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Seven Tears Into the Sea by Terri Farley

seventearsBeckon the sea,

I’ll come to thee….

Shed seven tears,

perchance seven years….

Gwen revisits her childhood home, somewhere in coastal California, to help her grandmother run her Inn for the summer. Gwen is excited by the prospect of the freedom and independence living on her own will bring her, but she is anxious about living amongst people who saw her as that strange girl who sleepwalked to the shore, almost drowned, and claimed it had been a young, naked man who had saved her and then promptly disappeared. Gwen is ready to put the past behind her and enjoy the summer–but what if the boy who had saved her wasn’t a hallucination as she had begun to believe? What if, after seven years, he could finally return to her?

Seven Tears Into the Sea was a fun, fantastic read. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Scottish/Irish folklore story of selkies (not to be confused with selfies)–men and women who are part seal or sea lion who occasionally have a human mate. Unless you hide their seal coat (which means they are not allowed to return to the sea and makes them restless and depressed), selkies can only return to land every seven years for a short period of time. Even though this was a relatively short, fast read, I thought that it tackled quite a complex issue–how do you let go of someone you love, even when it’s right?

My only complaint is that I’ve really been craving a visit to the beach, and now I want to go EVEN more….and try squeezing out seven tears so I can finally have my own selkie husband….

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge As you know from some of my previous reviews, sometimes I commit the sin of judging a book by its cover. And in this case, I’m certainly glad I did. The title and the cover itself drew me in. I also happened to purchase my copy from an awesome local bookstore, Book People, where it happened to be on display with a little recommendation card. I don’t remember the exact wording of the card, but I remember that it described Cruel Beauty as being a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Greek/Roman mythology and the main character is an assassin. I like assassins, I like Greek/Roman mythology, and I LOVE Beauty and the Beast–so I knew immediately I needed to read it.

The description on the card was accurate. This is a story about a girl who has been raised to kill her future husband–The Gentle Lord. The lord of demons. He has been reeking havoc in Arcadia with his twisted bargains and his demons for as long as any of the people can remember. And now Nyx has the opportunity to save all of her people, everyone she loves. But can she move forward with her plan when there is bitterness and hatred in her own heart? And is the lord of demons really so…well…demonic as people believe?

I was enraptured by this book. I read it almost entirely in one night because I simply couldn’t put it down. I had to force myself to finally go to sleep because I had to accomplish things the next day. And after having read the book, the characters have stayed with me. Rosamund Hodge has created beautiful, complex characters in Ignifex and Nyx. I also loved the language and the imagery throughout the book. It is somewhat Howl’s Moving Castle-esque in its descriptions of Ignifex’s castle. In my opinion this is an extremely lovely, complex, and creative retelling of the tale as old as time. The bottom line is, the person who loves you most is the person who sees all parts of yourself, the cruel and the kind, the good and the bad, and still loves you. This is not a new lesson in literature, but one that was newly presented so well in Cruel Beauty. The only obstacle I see for this book is that it might not appeal to those who do not love fantasy or mythology, as it is heavy in both of these things. Another complaint: I kind of wish this had been a book written for adults. Some of the romantic scenes could have gone much, much further. However, if anything I wrote in this review makes it seem the slightest bit intriguing, you must read it–you won’t be sorry!

Also, I’m not sure if he could pull off the snark, but I could totally picture Kit Harrington (of Game of Thrones fame) as the Gentle Lord:

I mean, how could you say no to snuggling with this guy....even if he was the lord of demons?

I mean, how could you say no to snuggling with this guy….even if he was the lord of demons?

Fans of the book Grave Mercy  by Robin LaFevers would most likely also appreciate this novel.

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