Ding, ding, ding! Commence round 2 of Ashley Townsend & Friend’s Reading Extravaganza. So, wipe off your sweaty palms—I know you’re that excited—and check out some of the latest books I’ve read. Let the reading games begin!
*****Ohmysweetgoodness! I loved this book and everything about it! “Of Poseidon” is definitely on the shelf of my favorite books of the year and is probably at number one on my favorite newly discovered reads of the summer. The book is about mermaids—ahem, excuse me—Syrenas, and has a very complex backstory concerning the legend of Poseidon and the half-human, half-Syrenas the author concocted. I was actually super excited over this idea, but I know it might be a turn-off for some people because mermaids can either be a winner or a stinker. I’ll admit that I was curious to see if I would be jumping for joy or plugging my nose while I read, but this form of fantasy was handled extremely well by the author. If you’re into flesh-eating mermaids and the darker version of these tales, sorry; it doesn’t get that creepy, though I was pleased with it. The story centers on a “normal” high school girl who loses her best friend in a shark attack in the first few pages (I love when they get right to it!), and this event leads her to a discovery about her past and who she is … Syrena, though there’s more to it than that. And then, of course, there’s Galen, the incredibly handsome Syrena prince who is mutually attracted to our heroine, though things become complicated when they discover that Emma’s special abilities means she must be betrothed to Galen’s brother. I really appreciated how scientific Anna got with this story, and she did a fantastic job of crafting the history of Atlantis, the Syrena (fish?) people, and the children of Poseidon without the story veering off into cheesy territory. I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about this book, except that it ended on a cliff-hanger and I have to WAIT for the next one. From the endearing characters the author crafted—my sweet Toraf!—to the more delicious ones that my heart did a little flip over to the chuckle-worthy sarcasm and fantastically-handled plot, this book wormed its way into my heart and made a little gypsy camp in there, with teeny-tiny acrobats that jump around and make me giggle whenever I think of it. I have no intention of ever evicting it, because I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a while!
*****Okay, this is going to sound cheesy, but I wish I could time travel so I could go back and read this book all over again … And
it would also help with the late fines at the library, since I could technically read sixty books in a week. Emerson Cole has the ability—or how she sees it, misfortune—to see dead people. I’m not going all “Sixth Sense” on you, and the author didn’t either; Emerson can see people from the past as though they’re part of the scenery—which can be a little embarrassing when she has a full-blown argument in the middle of the cafeteria with someone no one else can see—but what she doesn’t realize is that it’s because she has a specific time-traveling gene. Since she weaned herself off the meds that kept her from seeing these odd visions of non-existent Southern Belles, dead soldiers, and jazz trios from the past, the haunting phantoms seem to be getting worse. Concerned for her sanity, Emerson’s brother brings in a consultant from an organization called the Hourglass that specializes in “visions” like she’s been experiencing since her parents’ death years ago. The consultant is, of course, handsome, sympathetic, and intriguing, and he and Emerson are strangely drawn toward each other. I won’t give too much away, but Michael explains that he can also see the strange apparitions that are slowly leaking through time, and he tells Emerson that he needs her help to bring someone back from the dead by using her time-traveling gift. The thing I liked the most about this book was that the time traveling aspect was so technical and not at all “magical.” I’ve been reading a lot of books about time travel for research for “Rising Shadows” and the next books, but most of them involved magic or just some poof or fantastical element, so I loved the fact that Myra really got down to business. It was obvious that the author really did a lot of research on the space time continuum, wormholes, and the like, and it really shows in her writing. The plot was well planned and timed, and I loved her witty humor and sarcasm. Her characters were excellent; I actually liked the heroine, which doesn’t happen too often, and I felt the subsequent characters never really veered off the path and became someone else. I am so excited that the second book is from Kaleb’s perspective, though, because I definitely want to get to know him better. It wasn’t as though this book was an action-packed adventure, but it was seriously entertaining and, dare I say, gripping? Definitely my favorite time travel book this year, and it’s on my top five favorite summer reads.
****I really enjoyed this book! I originally got it for the cover and because it was similar to my own book, with the time period and Robin Hood theme. I was delighted to find that it was full of adventure, fast-paced, and all about the start of Robin Hood (my favorite character and legend of all time!) and his gang. I loved the fact that the author set the book around the time that the gang got started, so readers get to see a little bit of the beginning of Robin’s Merry Men … and Woman. There was a fantastic amount of historical research that went into this book, and I loved what Gaughen did with the characters, changing them up with fun and endearing little spins, and how she tied everyone together in this story with the characters of old. I would have given this book a five for the story and characters alone, but it was a little odd to get used to the heroine’s London-inspired grammar, though I found that I didn’t notice it after a few pages, so don’t let that stop you. Robin Hood is so fantastic in this story; exactly my type of Hooded Hero—strong, mysterious, caring. The romantic triangle was also handled really well, and I kept thinking they were real people. All in all, I loved this book, and I will definitely be reading it again! If you’re a fan of the Robin Hood legend, or just completely obsessed with it like I am, then you should give this one a try; you’ll be glad you did.
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