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Review, Young Adult / April 26, 2016
The Raven King by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Publisher: Scholastic
Date: April 2016
439 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

This series has captured my heart and imagination since I first read it in 2012. The first book, The Raven Boys is an amazing example of magical prose, and wonderful characters and plot. The mystery of the boys’ search for the legendary Welsh king, Owen Glendower and Gansey’s foretold death have loomed in my mind for so long, I was so, so eager to see how The Raven King would wrap it all up.

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / February 13, 2014
The Night Itself by Zoe MarriottThe Night Itself
Author: Zoë Marriott
Series: The Name of the Blade #1
Publisher: Walker Books
Date: June 2013
368 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy
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When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend's party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.

Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it's already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.

With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru - and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu - Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn't learn how to control the katana's incredible powers, she's in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can't keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she'll lose not only her own life... but the love of a lifetime.

I loved this book. Zoe Marriott has written an extremely exciting start to this London-set, urban fantasy story full of Japanese mythology influences. It made me think of the anime greats of my childhood—fantastic story, loads of action, witty characters and the coolest set of mythological creatures since Percy Jackson.

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By: Daphne
Middle Grade, Review / August 9, 2013
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick RiordanThe Battle of the Labyrinth
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: March 2008
375 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mythology
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Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

Reviewed by: Mary

I was very excited for the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series because it was focused on one of my favorite myths – Daedalus, Icarus, and the Labyrinth. In most of the previous books, the stories Riordan is updating are done with a modern and sarcastic twist. While the sarcasm is still present in this book, he actually goes to a deeper and darker place this time and really lays the groundwork for an epic final battle in book five.

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By: Daphne
Middle Grade, Review / August 2, 2013
The Titan’s Curse by Rick RiordanThe Titan's Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 2007
304 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mythology
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When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared—a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

Reviewed by: Mary

The Titan’s Curse is the only book in the series that doesn’t start at the beginning of summer, and it actually starts in the middle of the action in a way that made me wonder if I had accidentally missed a chapter somewhere. Even the introduction of Blackjack (the black pegasus) feels like there was a piece missing in between. The opening feels a little out of place with the rest of the series, but it very quickly comes together and begins to feel like home. Or, rather, feel like Camp Half Blood.

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By: Daphne
Children's, Middle Grade, Review / July 16, 2013
The Sea of Monsters by Rick RiordanThe Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: April 2006
279 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mythology
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Percy Jackson’s seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed.

In this fresh, funny, and hugely anticipated follow up to The Lightning Thief, Percy and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to save their beloved camp. But first, Percy will discover a stunning new secret about his family—one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

Reviewed by Mary

In “The Lightning Thief,” Rick Riordan updated the hero’s journey and origin story from classic myths. This time he tackles some similar ground with an update of Jason and the Argonauts, as Percy and Annabeth must sail through the Sea of Monsters (the Bermuda Triangle) to find Grover, who has gone missing, and the Golden Fleece, which may be the key to saving their camp.

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By: Daphne