Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin

Starry River of the SkyI found this book on a list of recommended titles, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Rendi runs away from his father, an evil magistrate, and he ends up in the Village of Clear Sky. He notices that the moon has disappeared, and he hears the sky crying and moaning in the night. It seems as though no one else even notices. Most of the villagers have unhappy dispositions, and everyone is constantly arguing. Then, Madame Chang shows up and things start to happen. She tells the characters stories, and she makes Rendi tell stories too. The stories can teach them lessons, if they'll only listen and understand the messages.

The whole book reads like a folktale, and there are shorter folktales throughout it. The plot isn't overly suspenseful, but it is well-written. You will need to do some thinking as you read, because the shorter tales have a great deal of symbolism. They make connections with the larger plot, and the truth should be evident in the end. Forgiveness is an important lesson to be learned.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Infinity Ring #1: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner

A Mutiny in Time (Infinity Ring #1)This book reminds me of The Time Riders, and I gave it rating of four out of five. Dak and Sera are best friends, and they're also geniuses. They sneak into Dak's parents' lab and discover a time machine. A group called SQ is controlling most of the world, and it turns out that they gained power due to some mistakes in history. After Dak's parents go back in time and are captured by British soldiers, Dak and Sera meet the Hystorians, a group whose purpose is to correct the mistakes in history. The kids agree to help them, since Sera is the only one who really knows how it works. They also want to go back and rescue Dak's parents. SQ and the Hystorians have people in the past who are awaiting their arrival, so they never know the identities of their friends and foes.

It was funny ready some of the historical changes during the rising action of the book. For example, the nation's capital is now Philadelphia, and Christopher Columbus was killed during a mutiny on his ship. The author was able to mix suspense, action, and humor into the plot, so I found it very enjoyable.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

This book was recommended by a student, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Whit and Wisty are kidnapped from their home, and they are charged with being a wizard and a witch. During their capture and time in prison, the kids learn that the charges are true. A group called the New Order has taken over most of society, and they are capturing and eliminating all witches and wizards. The two children slowly learn about their different powers, but learning to control them is a different story. Wisty is able to set herself on fire, and she accidentally changes a bully into a weasel. From his dead girlfriend, Whit discovers that there are different levels of reality (Overworld, Underworld, Shadowland, etc.), and one man with great power plans to control all of them. There's a prophecy about Whit and Wisty stopping him, but will it come true?

I enjoyed the plot, but I did not care for the formatting of the book. The chapters alternated from Whit and Wisty's points of view, which is fine. However, I think the longest chapter was four pages long; most were only three pages in length. The frustrating thing was that the same character told several chapters in a row, so I didn't understand why they weren't combined into one chapter. The short chapters made the plot seem very choppy to me. There is a sequel.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)This book was recommended by students, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. The setting is in a dysptopian future where people are divided into five factions based on their character (i.e. bravery, honesty, etc.) Beatrice reaches the age of sixteen when she must decide the faction she'd like to join. She takes some tests and discovers that she is Divergent, which means she shows character traits from several different factions. She is told to keep this secret, because there are people who will kill her if they discover the truth. Although she grew up in a selfless faction, Beatrice changes her name to Tris and joins Dauntless, the brave faction. Four, one of the trainers, befriends Tris, but he tells her that the training is very different from the way it used to be. It is very competitive, and some of the initiates are seriously hurt. There seem to be conflicts developing between the different factions. Tris's divergence may be the only thing that can save the world.

The plot contains a great deal of violence as the Dauntless initiates compete to become number one. Imagine being stabbed in the eye with a butter knife while you sleep! Only ten initiates will be accepted, and the rest will become factionless. The plot has mystery as Tris discovers some truths about her parents, and the secret behind the faction conflicts is revealed. It builds to an exciting climax, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Insurgent.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)This book is the sequel to Divergent, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Many of the Dauntless revolt and become allies with the Erudite. Tris and the other Dauntless find refuge with Candor, but it's only temporary. Some of the members of their faction have their minds controlled and actually kill other members. Tris has difficulty knowing who to trust, and her former friends aren't sure about her. The Erudite are trying to locate all of the Divergents, and Tris seems to be at the top of their list. Tobias is reunited with his mother, but Tris isn't sure she can be trusted. She is the leader of the factionless, and they outnumber all of the actual factions. There is a war brewing, but the warriors aren't aware of what's at stake. The Erudite have the knowledge, and they'll do anything to keep it quiet.

This plot is similar to the first book, but I found it harder to follow. There were more characters to remember as members of other factions were introduced. Also, some of the characters were moles within other factions, so that created some issues. Some of the secrets were surprising, in a good way, but there were already many other things going on. The author mentioned a world outside the factions but didn't reveal any information about it until the end of the book. This information was the root of all the conflict.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville

Aliens Ate My HomeworkThis book has a fun little plot, and I gave it a rating of three out of five. Rod is intent on finishing his paper mache volcano and not getting beaten up by the school bully, Billy Becker. Then, a tiny spaceship crashes into his volcano, and Rod gets involved in the search for an intergalactic criminal, Billy Becker. It turns out Billy is actually an alien and is wanted for cruelty, the worst offense in the universe. Billy is not going to be captured easily, and a human like Rod might create problems for the intergalactic search team. He doesn't have any special powers or cool weapons, and he has a bad habit of always telling the truth.

The plot is simple and goofy, but it's fun. Rod's interactions with the aliens are humorous, and his truth-telling sometimes creates problems. As might be expected, trying to keep the aliens secret from your mother and best friend is difficult, but they probably won't believe you anyhow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The 13 Curses by Michelle Harrison

This book is the sequel to 13 Treasures, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Rowan, called Red, gave herself to fairies in book one, and she is now trying to find her little brother who was taken by them about two years before. Warwick, named Stitch in this book, is caught in a fairy trap and ends up helping her. Red is given a quest to complete that involves Tanya's bracelet with the thirteen treasures. Meanwhile, Tanya and Fabian are trying to find Warwick, and they become involved in the quest too. In the end, Red discovers something about her past that might be her greatest curse or her greatest treasure.

This plot had more substance than the first book, and I enjoyed it more. It has all of the main characters from the first book but added some others. There was more action, and the conflict provided a mystery that needed to be solved. The characters needed to figure out the location of tiny charms without much information about them. The curses surrounding the charms got stronger as the characters got closer to finding all of them. The book included flashbacks to when Red was younger and explained the kidnapping of her brother. This book is the second in a trilogy, and I suspect Eldrich will be a part of the final book. Red left the fairy trapped in a cellar, and he swore that she'd regret it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

The Thirteen Treasures (Thirteen Treasures, #1)I chose this book because I saw some students reading it, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Tanya has the ability to see fairies, and they are currently tormenting her. Her mother is fed up with her stories about them, so Tanya is sent to spend time with her grandmother, who doesn't seem to like her at all. Tanya discovers that her grandmother's best friend disappeared in some nearby woods about fifty years ago, and Tanya realizes that the fairies are involved. Despite being warned to never enter the forest, Tanya knows that she must disobey in order to solve the mystery, but does she know enough to survive?

The book reminds me a bit of the Fablehaven series (type the keyword into the search box above), which I recommend. There aren't many friendly creatures in this story; there are good fairies and bad fairies that take turns ruling, and the bad ones seem to be in charge now. The plot has a mystery to solve, and characters, especially the adults, seem to be keeping secrets. The climax to the plot was surprising, so that's something to look forward to. I think the plot could have moved more quickly, so I couldn't give the book a rating of five. 13  Curses is the sequel to this book.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques

Martin the Warrior (Redwall, #6)This book is part of the Redwall series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. It shares the origin of the story of Martin, a legendary warrior mouse in Redwall. Martin is captured when he's very young and spends much of his time as a slave to Badrang, an evil stoat. Martin escapes with a few others, but he vows to return and free the rest. He also swears to kill Badrang and retrieve his father's sword. The rest of the book follows several plots. Martin has a difficult journey to reach Noonvale, the home of another mouse named Rose, where he hopes to enlist some help. Rose's brother meets a group of traveling performers who help him free additional slaves. Badrang has another problem in the form of his former partner, Clogg, who plans to take over the fortress and the slaves.

To be honest, I enjoyed the plots of this book, but there are a couple of things that might bother some readers. All of the characters are animals, but I'm okay with that. The main complaint I hear from some students is they can't understand the speech of the moles, shrews, and a couple of other characters. Some animals don't speak clearly, and the author writes the dialogue the way they sound. The rest of the characters should be easily understood, and I haven't had much trouble following the plot. The author is able to mix action and suspense with moments of humor. With regards to the series, I know there's a correct order, but I've skipped around to different books and haven't found that it's a problem. I read this book after Redwall, because Martin was mentioned in it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Michael Vey #2: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans

Rise of the ElgenThis book is the sequel to The Prisoner of Cell 25, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Michael and the other "Glows" are trying to locate and free his mother, but they discover that she is being held in Peru. The group first returns to Idaho, but Elgen is waiting for them. Michael receives phone calls from a mysterious voice that offers them help, but he's not sure if the person can be trusted. Meanwhile, Elgen has discovered a new energy source and plans to take over the energy production in all of the major countries of the world. Hatch, the leader of the Elgen electric kids, has a falling out with the board of directors controlling Elgen, so he comes up with a new plan to use the powers of the children. Hatch on the loose with the massive power of the electric kids means trouble for the rest of the world! Michael and the Electroclan travel deep in the Amazon Rain Forest to stop him.

You must read the first book in the series before reading this one. There is background information about the characters and the plot, and I don't think you can skip it. This book has two plots going on at the same: Michael and the Electoclan are trying to free his mother, and Hatch has a conflict with the other members of Elgen. I enjoyed the interaction of the characters and each group has its own internal conflicts. I didn't like the resolution to the book, but a third book must be on the way.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

Epitaph RoadThis book was a classroom gift from a student, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. It takes place in the year 2097, thirty years after 97% of the male population dies from a mysterious virus called Elisha's Bear. Kellen's cousins, Tia and Summer, come to town, and the three of them uncover some overwhelming secrets. Tia had suspicions before arriving, but it looks as though the Elisha virus wasn't a random event; it was intentionally spread. And Kellen's mother is involved. He discovers that his father's life is now in danger, so he heads up north with Tia and Summer to save his father's life. However, once they arrive, they make some new discoveries that could spell the end of humans on Earth.

The conflict was very interesting, and it brings new meaning to the term "battle of the sexes". It takes concerns with society today and comes up with an unusual, and hopefully unrealistic, solution to the problems. The twist to the plot when the kids arrive at the bunker was probably predictable, but I didn't have my thinking cap on before that. The second half of the book had much more suspense than the second half, and I smell a sequel. I don't know if it will happen, but the door is open.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)I believe this book is going to be the first in a series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Jacob's grandfather tells him many strange stories about people he knew as a child. He even has photographs, but they are too peculiar to actually be true. I mean, a girl with fire in her hands, another who can make herself rise off the ground, a boy who is invisible, and another child with a mouth in the back of their head? It all seems too wild until Jacob's grandfather is attacked and killed one night. Jacob starts having bad dreams, and it's decided that visiting the home in Wales where his grandfather grew up will help. Jacob can't believe what he finds there, and he may be the key to saving many lives, possibly the world.

You need to be prepared to think if you choose to take on this book. Obviously, grandfather's stories turn out to be true, and the book is full of photographs of the various characters. In addition, the plot involves a time loop and additional creatures that will require you to use your imagination. Jacob finds himself traveling between today and 1940, and he knows he will eventually need to choose to stay in one of the settings. The exposition of the story describes some evil characters who remain free and Miss Peregrine may be stuck in a morphed body. The children set off to make things right. Sequel!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)This book is the first in a spin-off from the Percy Jackson series, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Jason wakes up on a bus and cannot remember anything about his past. He is taken to Camp Half-Bloods along with his friends, Piper and Leo. It turns out they're all children of gods and goddesses, and they must go on a quest to save the world. There is a great force planning to destroy all of the gods and demigods, so the mysterious force can take over the world. Piper is destined to betray her friends, and the gods and demigods must work together to stop the force. Of course, there are prophecies and obstacles along the way that only make matters worse.

The style of this book is just like the Percy Jackson series. Actually, Percy is a missing character in this book, but Annabeth and Thalia are part of the plot. Leo adds a humorous angle to the story with his mischievous personality, but he's also able to create all kinds of machines. A big part of this plot, in case you're slow to notice the hints, involves the similarities and differences between Roman and Greek mythologies. This situation creates a conflict that I'm sure will be a main focus of the sequel.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I gave this book a rating of four out of five. Conor's parents are divorced, and his father has moved to America. However, the biggest problem he's dealing with is his mother's battle with cancer. She has some good days, but most of them seem to find her tired and in pain. Then, the dreams start. Or are they dreams? The yew tree in the backyard starts to speak to Conor, and it tells him three stories that will teach him lessons about people, and himself. In the end, Conor must tell the tree a story, and it must be the truth. Conor's story will force him to face his most terrible fear and truth.
This story is not an uplifting, inspirational story. It's sad. Conor feels lost and alone with his dad away, his mom frequently in the hospital, and living with his strict grandmother. He's pushed away any friends he might have at school, and bullies enjoy tormenting him. All the while, Conor must try to accept the truth about his mother. I found the yew tree's stories interesting, because they didn't turn out the way Conor expected. The stories involved rewarding and punishing positive and negative characters, but it wasn't always easy to tell one from the other.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This book won the Newbery Award, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. A one-year-old boy's family is murdered, and he finds refuge from the murderer in a cemetery. The ghosts of people buried there decide to protect him and raise him within the fences of the graveyard. Since no one knows his real name, he grows up being called Nobody Owens, or Bod for short. Bod is taught his lessons by various ghosts, and he learns some ghostly powers that come in handy. He makes some unapproved trips into the human world, and they all end up as problems. It's predictable that the murderer will return to kill Bod during the climax.

The idea of ghosts raising a child as their own was quite interesting. Bod was very happy living with them, but he became curious of the outside world. The adventures were entertaining, but the main conflict with the murderer seemed to be forgotten for too long. His return came later in the plot, and I would have liked to have seen it developed more. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much.

Lexile level from lexile.com is 820.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

This book is a graphic novel, and I gave it a rating of three out of five.There are actually three plots in the book, but they all come together in the end. The first plot involves a monkey king who wants to be treated as a god. He's rejected because he's a monkey, and he does all he can to transform himself into something greater. The second plot describes a young boy of Chinese decent who strives to be accepted by his peers. He discovers that he likes a girl and is embarrassed to share his feelings because of his heritage. The third plot centers around an Ameican boy who has moved to a new school each year. Each spring, his Chinese cousin comes to visit his schools and behaves obnoxiously. As a result, the American boy must move after the teasing he takes from his classmates. Again, all of the plots unite in the end to form an interesting conclusion.

I'm not a huge graphic novel fan, so I'm reluctant to give them good scores. This books offers a valuable lesson to people to accept yourselves. Be proud of your heritage.

Lexile level from lexile.com is 530.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Alfed Kropp: The Seal of Solomon by Rick Yancey

This book is the second in a series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Alfred is called on again when the Seal of Solomon is stolen. The seal can be used to release all kinds of demons that have been imprisoned for three thousand years. Alfred is kidnapped by a rogue agent but escapes and ends up going to Egypt to help stop the demons. Unfortunately, the rescue team is too late, and the demons are unleashed on the world. The rogue agent planned to rule the demons, but he lost the seal that controls them. The demons now rule themselves, and there's no weapon on Earth that can stop them.

I put the first book in the series with the adventure books, but this book fits more into the fantasy genre. Alfred is a likable character and reluctant hero. He's amazed at how he can mess up but still have good things happen. Action scenes are mixed in throughout the plot, so they can help hold the interest of readers.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Time Riders: Day of the Predator by Alex Scarrow

Day of the Predator (TimeRiders, #2)This book was recommended by our school librarian, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Liam, Maddy, Sal, and an artificial intelligence named Bob are in charge of keeping the correct version of history intact. They are able to travel into the past or the future to fix any events in history. In this book, Liam is sent into the future to save the life of a boy named Chan, a key person in the creation of time travel. However, in the process of saving Chan, there is a huge explosion that sends about a dozen people back in time to 65,000,000 B.C. The group needs to figure out a way to send a message to Maddy and Sal to let them know where/when they have been sent in history without leaving any evidence that might change the course of history. To make matters worse, the group must survive attacks by intelligent reptiles that work and communicate with each other and have the ability to learn. Some members of the group don't make it.
The beginning of the book was a little confusing as the setting jumped to several times in history. However, it quickly settled down to two settings and was easier to follow. This book requires some thought to follow the plot and keep things in order. The present-day characters are trying to figure out ways to find Liam and Beck, a female version of Bob, and other characters show as history seems to be altered. I guess this book is actually the second one in the series; the first book is called Time Riders.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is a dystopian novel, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Tessa worships Gideon and is especially proud of him on the day he's to receive a medal for bravery in the war. However, Gideon refuses to accept the medal. Tessa decides to help him search for the truth about his heroic mission, and it involves flying a black-market plane across enemy lines. What they find only confuses them more, and with the help of a stowaway, Dek, the trio returns to the military headquarters for some answers. The truth is unbelievable and unimaginable.

The plot reminds me a bit of an old movie War Games, but it goes beyond that. I thought the trio were a little slow to catch on to the truth, but I guess it makes sense if you're whole view of the world is based on lies. I thought the ending was a little anti-climactic, but the novel was still very enjoyable.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

This book is a little strange, and is the first in a series, but I gave it a rating of four out of five. Spencer starts seeing some strange creatures lurking around his school, but no one else can see them. Classmates think he's trying to get attention, and his teacher thinks he's being disruptive. Eventually, Spencer learns the creatures "... inhale brain waves of young people and exhale certain toxins that affect children's ability to learn." The janitors want to gather the creatures to get their magical properties. Or do they? Spencer later realizes that he may have made a huge mistake and that his actions may lead to dumbness of all future students in the world.

This plot is so unusual that it's interesting. Who could think up the idea that brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, and lint could actually become weapons against magical creatures? I kind of expected the school bully to become Spencer's helper, but that didn't happen. Spencer ended up being assisted by his mousy, gullible classmate, Daisy. This book won't interest everyone, but it's a change from more serious novels.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Death Cure by James Dashner

This book is the last one in The Maze Runner trilogy, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. You should read the first two books in the series which are described in my blog. Thomas discovers that the trials aren't quite over, but he's had enough. He escapes from WICKED and travels to Denver, one of the few cities that has not been destroyed by the Scorch and the Flare. He discovers an organization that is fighting against WICKED, but it may be too late as the Shanks start an uprising. Thomas also finds out that other people like him are being captured to begin new trials. Thomas seems to be the key to the solving the whole disaster, but is he willing to give up his life?

The format of this book is very much like the first two books, although there aren't as many surprises from WICKED since Thomas has escaped them. The reader is still left to wonder which characters are good and bad. Some of the characters have been working for WICKED while the Flare has been working on the brains of others. The resolution to the story was not what I expected.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This book is the sequel to The Maze Runner, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Thomas and the Gladers find themselves in a new world, but Teresa has been taken away. They are eventually told that they must walk down a very long, totally dark, tunnel, cross The Scorch, an area of land that's been ravaged by the sun, and then make their way to the Safe Haven. They weren't told about the metal weapons that dissolve their heads in the dark, the lightning that would blow them off the face of the planet, or the Cranks that would ambush them along the way. Thomas also wasn't expecting to be betrayed by one of his best friends.

You'll probably enjoy this book if you enjoyed The Maze Runner. Most of the main characters remained from the first book, but a few more were added to this plot, including a group of girls. I liked when many of the characters were labeled with tattoos that identified their roles in the group. However, Thomas's tattoo seemed to be a prophecy that the girls would soon kill him. There were many twists and turns, and the conclusion leads right into book three.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This book is the first in a series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Thomas emerges from an elevator box and discovers he's in the middle of a camp full of boys. He decides it must be some type of prison, but none of the boys can remember anything about their pasts. The place is surrounded by a wall, and that's in the middle of a huge maze made of ivy. The exits to the walls close each night, because Grievers will kill anyone caught outside the walls. The boys have been trying for two years to find a way to escape through the maze, but a couple of strange things happen once Thomas arrives. Thomas becomes the first person to survive a night outside the walls, and the first girl shows up in the box. There's something deep in Thomas's mind about the whole situation, and he senses the other boys will hate him if they find out about his past. Things start changing quickly, and everyone figures out that they will all die very soon if they can't find a way out of the maze.

I enjoyed this book, but there will probably be some readers who do not. The conflict was imaginative, and action was mixed into the plot. It satisfied my interest in mysteries, because I needed to figure out the solution to the maze and how Thomas's past affected the whole problem. Thomas couldn't remember anything about his own life, but other boys said they had memories of him. Things seemed to start falling apart when Thomas and the girl arrived, so they are blamed. Thomas and the reader were left to figure it all out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Lorien Legaices #2: The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

This book is the sequel to I Am Number Four, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. The plot opens through the eyes of Marina; she is number seven, hiding in a Spanish convent. Her Cepan, has given up hope, so Marina is left to learn her Legacies alone. She's not sure what she'll do when the Mogadorians finally arrive to kill them. The plot also follows John and Number Six from the first book, as they flee the Mogadorians who have attacked them. They, along with Sam, travel back and forth across the country, trying to stay hidden from their attackers. Number Six laments that she has lost her Chest, the box containing powerful crystals from their home planet, and she also tells John that she knows the location of the Mogadorian base. The one thing that makes sense to them is that they must find a way to get all of the surviving gardes together if they hope to defeat their enemy.

The second half of this book was very similar to the first with a great deal of action, fighting, and suspense. My main criticism was with the way the author switched points of view between John and Number Seven. This technique can be effective, but there were a number of chapters where it took me several paragraphs to realize that the setting and point of view had changed. You'll like this book if you enjoyed the first, and I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series, The Power of Nine, due out in August of 2012.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This book is the first in the Percy Jackson series, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Percy notices some strange things occurring around his school and has one of his teachers attach him. He later discovers that he has some special powers when he gets around water. After nearly being killed, Percy goes to Camp Half-Blood where he discovers that his father is Poseidon. His father is feuding with Zeus, because Zeus believes Percy has stolen his lightning bolt. Percy is given ten days to retrieve the lightning bolt and return it to Mt. Olympus. It is believed that Hades actually stole to bolt, so Percy must travel to the Underworld to find it. The world will go into a monumental war if he fails in his quest.

I thought the plot moved along well, and the character interactions are fun. Percy and his two companions constantly mix their roles as mythical characters with their unique personalities. I also enjoyed the oracle's prophecies. I like reading unclear predictions and then seeing how they actually turn out in the end. It's fun to make predictions as an active reader.