Tag Archives: book

Rick Riordan’s The Mark of Athena excites columnist

By Sidney Reynolds

Rick Riordan’s latest book The Mark of Athena, the third book in the The Heroes of Olympus series, is full of action and plot twists that will keep readers on the edge of their seats throughout the entire book. During the story, there is never a dull moment whether it is monsters attacking, a god or goddess going on a rampage, or another prophecy being shelled out to our heroes. The plot of the story also has the minds of the readers constantly trying to figure out the prophecy and wanting more.

The story begins with Percy Jackson at Camp Roman. Recovering from his amnesia that goddess Hera gave to him and Jason Grace, he is reunited with Annabeth and the young heroes she brings along. Together, Percy and Annabeth combine their groups of three Roman heroes: Jason Grace the son of Jupiter, Hazel Levesque daughter of Pluto, and Frank Zhang son of Mars. The two other Greek heroes — Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, and Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus — make up the seven heroes from the Prophecy of  Seven.

The seven must go rescue Hazel’s half brother Nico di Angelo from giants while dealing with other monsters, Roman soldiers, and gods/goddess that have it out for them. Annabeth, in her own quest given to her by her mother Athena, strives to learn more about the Mark of Athena. She wants to know what it has to do with her, and what she needs to do in order to fulfill the prophecy.

Because Percy was one of main reasons for the popularity of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it was really nice to have this new story being told from his point of view. It reminds readers of how much Percy has developed from the first time we read about him in the book The Lighting Thief. It gives readers the nostalgic feeling they experienced with him in his first series.

The book is also told from the point of views of Leo, Annabeth and Piper. While I feel like this could have easily gone wrong and would have made the book hard for readers to understand, Riordan did an amazing job making sure all of the points in the plot lined up with the side stories in the book. This allows readers to see what is happening with the other six members of the group and to get a more complex story.

I could not put this book down for a moment and I cannot wait for the fourth book, House of Hades, to come out next fall. If you have not read this series or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I highly suggest starting. Reading the books in chronological order will keep things from getting complicated. The overall plot is thrilling and the characters themselves are deep and complex. This book is worth reading over and over again.

Book turned film disappoints critic

By Blake Dykes

Friday night was a night I had been looking forward to ever since I finished the book Safe Haven. I finally got to see the movie. While I was not entirely excited about the overall outcome of the movie, I also was not disappointed. It is typical that movies are usually never as good as the books; that is mainly because movies do not go into as much detail as the book.

For starters, I enjoyed the book more because it really went in depth about Katie’s past and all of the abuse that she endured. The book really made me feel her pain, and I could vividly see each punch Katie would take from Kevin. However,  the movie just showed a few flashbacks, never allowing the viewers to see how wicked his character truly was.

Another better aspect of the book is that the reader witnessed how insane Kevin was because we were able to read all of his thoughts. I read how he rationalized his abuse that he inflicted on Katie, and how he made it acceptable in his head.

A bigger difference between the book and movie is the role that Jo plays. In the book Jo is more significant, and the connection between her and Katie is much more developed. Jo is constantly giving her advice about Alex and his children.

Despite the obvious connection between Katie and Alex, the book seemed to have more events that brought them closer. I was able to understand what drew them together. I specifically remember a passage in where Alex came over to Katie’s, and Katie relieved her past, telling him everything that had happened to her, and Alex was her shoulder to cry on. However, in the movie, it appears Katie will never admit her past, or the awful marriage that she is still involved in. It actually shows that Alex does not even believe Katie’s past, he just thinks that she is lying.

Overall, Safe Haven is a good movie if you have no read the book. However, if you have read the book, I would brace for some disappointment.

Patterson’s ‘Witch and Wizard’ casts a spell on readers

By Lauren Holstner

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson, also known for the Maximum Ride series,  is a spellbinding series that has readers wanting more.

Patterson brings out an old concept of how society might be controlled one day, with laws and rules about everything and “The One Who Is The One,” in other words, the supreme ruler.
This series is about two siblings, Whit and Wisty Allgood, who are dragged from their family and put in a security prison, where they escape using their new mysterious powers.  Are these children really a powerful witch and wizard, and the kids mentioned in an all powerful prophecy no one seems to know?
This book is extraordinary, there is always something happening, either fighting the bad guys, fighting for their lives or rescue missions.  The detail is amazing and brings the book to life, along with the characters the reader can picture perfectly.
I loved everything about this book, and would not change thing, from the details to the story line; this is a great book that everyone who can read and likes fantasy stories should read.

Popular book fails to transition to big screen

By Meghan Poff

*long pause and sigh*

Yet another well written novel ruined by Hollywood and marketing hype.

I hate to have to be the Debbie Downer since everyone else I know loved the movie, but then again most of those people didn’t even read the book and if they did, they read on such a surface level that they didn’t even comprehend the theme of it.

Let me start by pointing out that we know we have seen a truly disappointing movie when we leave the theater with the only plus side being the attractiveness of the actors. On that note, I feel an excellent job was done casting Liam Hemsworth as Gale.  But as I said, this is not the point.

I feel the greatest fault of The Hunger Games was Hollywood’s need to make money from it, which is not surprising but a setback nonetheless. I know violence was not a major theme of the film, but it was important to show because that is the reality of the story. The movie could have easily obtained an R-rating, but that wouldn’t have drawn as many target audience viewers to theaters so therefore, we get a watered-down, 10-year-old appropriate version of the story. Which, excuse my adjective use, was incredibly lame.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly didn’t pay nine dollars for a movie ticket to see 20 minutes of Katniss sleeping in various trees.

Another fault of the filmmakers was using the tired camera style of shaking the camera around and switching back and forth between different cameras quickly to make the scene look action packed. The reality is the only thing I got from the spectacle was a headache, and had completely missed the scene because I had to avert my eyes.  Shout out to director Gary Ross for making that call.

Despite everything else, I must give credit where credit is due. An excellent job was done with the scenery and costuming. Whenever I read a book, I always get an image in my head of what I think the setting and characters should look like, and the movie literally took the pictures out of my mind and put them on the screen. So at least that was adequate.

But probably the main reason I stayed in the theater the full two and a half hours, a ridiculous amount of time even for a good movie, was the fact that I had already paid for the ticket. And only because I’m cheap.

In all my hypocrisy though, I probably will go see the other two movies when they come out in theaters just because I am already committed to the series.  Nothing else.

So really, what I’m trying to say is that you will love The Hunger Games if you also love the Twilight series and/or the Justin Bieber movie.

What more needs to be said?