In the wake of a tragic incident involving her rebellious older sister and a classmate, Ashline Wilde transfers to a private school in California, hoping to start over quietly. Instead, she learns that she, like several other students, is a reincarnated god. In her case: a Polynesian fire goddess. Each has some task to play in preventing Ragnarok, but details remain hazy. Now Ash must balance normal high school demands with her divine status, and things get worse when her sister turns up, with powers of her own and an alternative agenda, threatening to divide loyalties. This supernatural drama reads like a soap operatic Percy Jackson, only with much more cultural diversity and an edge. I wish we’d gotten some more details about the mythological aspects, and the ending was maddeningly abrupt, but this is still an excellent book, well worth checking out.
Archive for category Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
The Kingdom has been in upheaval for years, plagued by bizarre weather, failing crops, and unnatural creatures. An emissary from the Fae invites human representatives to meet with their Queen, to restore the balance. Among those who are chosen are Kaede, daughter of the Chancellor, and Taisin, a powerful sage-in-training. The perils of the road are many, and slowly the two girls fall for one another, a bond which proves life-saving when they confront the true threat to two kingdoms. This gorgeous fantasy combines heart-pounding adventure and gentle romance. Filled with lush imagery and lovely words, it’s a genuine treat.
Rosalinda Fitzroy has just woken up from sixty-two years in stasis, only to discover that everyone she knew is dead, and society has changed greatly. As the last member of a once-powerful family, she’ll inherit the world’s most powerful company when she comes of age. Until then, she has to adjust and rediscover herself, free at last from her domineering parents and their unreal expectations, free to pursue her own dreams. But with an unstoppable killer stalking her, that freedom may be short-lived. As she struggles to stay alive, the mystery of her past unfolds, revealing romance and tragedy. This futuristic riff on Sleeping Beauty combines an interesting setting with a fast-paced plot and complex characters, making for a satisfying read.
In search of a summer job, Kelsey Hayes takes a temporary position with a visiting circus, responsible for helping the animal trainer. She immediately bonds with Ren, an unusually intelligent white tiger. Soon, she learns that Ren is actually a centuries-old Indian prince suffering from a curse, and that she may be the only one able to help him break the curse and permanently regain his human form. Their quest takes them back to India, where they brave all manner of dangers. But will their mutual attraction make the job easier, or will it tear them apart? This is a treat for the senses, with lush details leaping off the page at every turn. Steeped in Indian culture and mythology, it’s an unusual and engaging story.
Kate has just moved to the tiny town of Eden, so her dying mother can return home for the last time. Soon, Kate experiences several bizarre events, ending with her making a deal with Henry, the self-proclaimed god of the dead. In return for her mother getting a few more months of life, Kate must stay with Henry, while undergoing a series of tests. Pass, and she’ll rule the underworld by his side. Fail, like all those who tried before her, and perish. Now Kate has to do everything in her power to pass, even though she doesn’t want to spend her life in the realm of the dead. Reality and fantasy blend seamlessly as she’s further drawn into a world where the Greek gods are real, where she’s meant to be the new Persephone, and where appearances are deceiving. It’s an intriguingly romantic, heartfelt twist on an old set of myths, with plenty of potential for future offerings.
When the enigmatic James Li comes to the Arizona town of Santo del Vado Viejo, he finds new friends, and new enemies. One of the Yellow Dragon Clan, he’s in the process of embracing his true nature and destiny. To do that, he’ll need to find his own limits while battling the drug dealers and gangbangers terrorizing the town, as well as winning over the locals and resident spirits. It all comes down to an epic clash of magic, emotion and music, in de Lint’s uniquely addictive style. Rich language, lush descriptions, complex situations and the intricate blending of mythologies and beliefs demonstrate why de Lint is still considered a master of the genre. It rarely gets better than this.
Rick Riordan, author of the popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, follows his earlier success with the start of a new series, one focusing on Egyptian myth and lore. A brother and sister discover their link to an ancient lineage of magicians, while seeking to thwart a god’s evil plan.
Though siblings, Carter and Sadie Kane barely know each other, ever since their mother’s death six years ago split them apart. Sadie went to stay with their grandparents in London, where she’s led a normal life ever since. Carter remained with their father, renowned Egyptologist Julius Kane, living out of a suitcase and constantly traveling around the world. One Christmas, they’re reunited by their father, who takes them to the British Museum while acting even stranger than usual. One bizarre magical ceremony and an explosion later, Julius Kane is gone, kidnapped by mysterious forces.
In the aftermath, Carter and Sadie are pulled into a globe-trotting series of death-defying adventures. First, their long-forgotten uncle Amos shows up to take them to New York, where they encounter a white crocodile, a basketball-loving baboon, and a mystery-laden library. And then the bad guys attack, and for the Kane siblings, there’s no turning back as Egyptian mythology comes to life all around them. From gods hiding in human form, to ancient menaces chasing them, from an age-old secret society to their own previously untapped magical abilities, Carter and Sadie are immersed in a conflict that’s been raging for thousands of years. In order to save their father and prevent one of Egypt’s most evil gods from roaming free and wreaking havoc on the world, they need to master their potential and work together. But with dangers on every side, and treachery close at hand, that’s easier said than done.
While set in the same world as Riordan’s bestselling Percy Jackson series, this opener to the Kane Chronicles maintains only the subtlest of links to the Greco-Roman pantheons featured there. Instead, this serves quite satisfactorily as an introduction to a whole new cast of characters and an entirely different set of gods and their stories. As explained in the text, the Egyptian mythos is older and stranger than the Greeks, operating by different rules and structures, where gods can possess people or places and humans oppose them as often as not. Fans of the Percy Jackson books will find a similar, yet unidentical experience here, as the Kane siblings and their allies plunge into the heart of Egyptian lore and beliefs, though occasionally updated for the modern era. From the wisecracking, knife-throwing cat goddess Bast, to the absent-minded barbeque-loving god of information (among other things) Thoth, they run into old myths in new and surprising forms.
While on one level, this is a gleefully indulgent, action-packed race against time, it also addresses the issue of family and loyalty. Carter and Sadie are almost total strangers due to their lengthy separation, and they have to learn to trust one another and rebuild their familial ties in order to succeed. As they work, they uncover secrets tying into their family history, including the tragic truth behind their mother’s death and why they’re tied so strongly to the Egyptian gods. Simultaneously, they move through the convoluted, complex family tree of the gods, where deities can be husband and wife, brother and sister, or mother and child, depending on the depiction and the tale in question. The gods themselves are like any squabbling family, love and hate, pride and disappointment, anger and sorrow going hand-in-hand.
The Red Pyramid is the perfect jumping-on point for a new series from one of today’s most popular YA authors, a rousing adventure steeped in myth and lore and guaranteed to spark interest in exploring the source material which served as inspiration. It’s sure to appeal to those looking for excitement and resourceful teen protagonists.
Scarlett and Rosie March hunt werewolves. It’s what they do, it’s all they’ve really known since they were young. For Scarlett, who proudly bears the scars of her battles, it’s her way of protecting others from the terrors she’s lived with all her life. But for Rosie, it’s increasingly a chore, something that prevents her from having a normal life. The closer the sisters are, the more it feels like they’re pulling apart, which could prove disastrous when they stumble across a massive Fenris conspiracy, one worse than any lone wolf they’ve ever encountered.
At the same time, Rosie begins to fall for Silas, a young man possessed of many mysteries. His presence answers as many questions as it raises, especially as the werewolves gather in numbers for a purpose only they understand. Now, Rosie and Scarlett have to decide where their hearts lie, and what they’re willing to fight for, before everything falls apart.
This darkly romantic retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale is intriguing and well-woven. With its bad-ass heroines, visceral moments, and action-packed moments, it’ll appeal to those who like Buffy, Supernatural, or Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon books. Admittedly, the theme’s been done before, but Pearce still does a great job of making it her own. Sisters Red exudes power and passion, and that’s bound to bring the fans.
When Lily visits Princeton with her family for Reunions Weekend, she’s ready for the usual campus tours and alumni parties. What she gets is a surprise, when she’s asked to take the mysterious Legacy Test. Pass, and she’s accepted into Princeton, no strings attached. All she has to do is locate the so-called Ivy Key. Her quest quickly takes a turn for the bizarre, as the secrets of Princeton unfold around her. Talking gargoyles, boys who become tigers, man-eating monsters, an alternate world full of magic, and a family secret that changes everything. The SATs are nothing compared to cranky dragons, and this test‘s a killer. Durst’s passion for her alma mater shines through with every whimsical, exciting page, as she weaves a captivating, magical tale that demands a sequel.
Elizabeth’s new job at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, which houses and lends out everything under the sun except books, takes an unexpected twist when she discovers the Grimm Collection, an array of magically-imbued fairy tale artifacts. Unfortunately, someone’s stealing the good stuff, replacing them with fakes, and if Elizabeth can’t help her co-workers find the culprit, she may lose more than her job. This whimsically inventive mystery provides a new and interesting twist on fairy tale tropes, making for a fast-paced, gripping read and hopefully spawning future installments.