Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (book) by Rick Riordan

I previously wrote a blog post on the Lightning Thief movie, I still think that it is horrible. However, I am now doing the book, you can see how different it truly is from the movie.

            The book starts off with Percy Jackson, the main character, sitting on a school bus next to his best friend Grover. They are going on a field trip to a museum. After their tour they go outside for lunch. Percy somehow makes a fist of water come from the fountain grab a girl that was being mean. She claimed that he just pushed her. The other teacher, Mrs. Dodds, takes Percy inside to “talk with him”. She instead turns into a monster and tries to eat him. His disabled teacher comes in and throws him a sword. He kills the monster and then walks outside, the teacher and his friend act like nothing happened.

            He was expelled from his school and went home to his apartment that he shared with him mom and horrible step-father. His mother surprises him and takes him to their favorite place, a cabin at Montauk beach. In the middle of the night, they are disrupted by his friend Grover knocking on the door saying, “it is coming”. They run to the car and drive towards a camp that Percy’s father wanted him to go to. He finally sees that they are being chased by The Minotaur, the half-bull half-man from Greek myths. They are fighting it and his mother is taken and squeezed, she then poofs into magical powder. Percy, using his anger, breaks the Minotaur’s horn and kills it. He then faints and wakes up a few days later, being fed a magical drink by a girl. He learns that he is half-god and half-human and he is at a training camp for people like him. He is taken around this new camp, called Camp Half-Blood. He spends a few days there, getting used to the Hermes cabin, where he stays until he is claimed by his father (who is a Greek god).

            They play Capture the Flag and he is injured by and Ares girl named Clarisse. He stands in the river and is somehow better. His father, Poseidon god of the sea, claims him. For the next few days, everyone skirts around him. He isn’t technically supposed to be alive. After World War 2, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon had made a pact to have no more children, they were too powerful. Percy is then given a quest, he must retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt, which was stolen.

            He decides to take Grover, who he discovered is half-goat (a satyr) and Annabeth, a child of Athena, who has always wanted to go on a quest. They start traveling west. They stop and have different adventures including, meeting Medusa, meeting Echidna and falling out of the Gateway Arch and getting trapped in the Lotus Casino. They also meet Ares, who gives a backpack full of things and a quest. They are then almost killed by mechanical spiders for said quest. They go to the Underworld, with the intention of retrieving Percy’s mom. The problem is that they need a soul for a soul, someone needs to stay down, or Hades’ Helm of Darkness is returned which was also stolen. They don’t have either, so they escape back to the overworld. They find out that Ares has the helm. Percy fights him. He then finds out that the Lightning Bolt was in the backpack and Ares was acting under orders of someone. They travel to Olympus and return it. Everything is better and Percy goes to camp. He is then betrayed by Luke who he thought had been his friend, he is stung by a scorpion and must stay at camp. When he is better, he goes home and stays with his mom, who got rid of the horrid step-father.

            I really enjoyed this book. It has many twists and turns and some ups and downs (quite literally).  Would definitely recommend reading this book, the series, and all the other books he has written.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

This book starts off with the muggle Prime Minister. He has a meeting with Cornelius Fudge and meets Rufus Scrimgeour. It then goes to Narcissa Malfoy meeting Severus Snape to discuss something forbidden. It then switches back to Harry, who is waiting for Dumbledore to come and whisk him away to the Weasley’s house. He goes. While making a detour, Dumbledore tries to convince a retired teacher to come to teach at Hogwarts.

            We are at Hogwarts, after spending all summer at the Weasley’s house. Harry can continue his ambition to be an auror when he thought he couldn’t. He needs to borrow a potions book from the school storage until he can buy one. He happens to get one that has lots of odd scribblings and markings on it. It almost seems like someone revised the book. Harry tries one of the edits and miraculously, it works and gives him the reputation, that he doesn’t really deserve, as expert potioneer.

             We progress through the year; Professor Slughorn tries to “collect” Harry, as his crown jewel to his selection of people with famous contacts or have good potential to have a successful job. Harry is invited to his Christmas party, after avoiding Slughorn as much as possible. Halfway through, Draco Malfoy is dragged in, claiming he wanted gate crash. He is taken away by Snape. Harry follows them and his suspicions, which have been going on for a while, are confirmed. He tries, in vain, to convince Ron and Hermione that Malfoy is up to something. He however, has a hard time doing this as Hermione and Ron are having one of their biggest fights yet.

            Ron has been dating Lavender Brown, which Hermione dislikes, she tries to do things like make him jealous, to some degree of success. Ron however, is still in a passionate relationship with Lavender Brown. This whole fight was started because Hermione had kissed Victor Krum, two or more years ago. Hermione is hurt and doesn’t know why Ron is angry and Ron refuses to explain or apologize. Then something happens, that both heals their friendship and makes Harry even more obsessed about finding where Malfoy disappeared to and what he is doing.

            Throughout the year, Dumbledore has been teaching Harry about Voldemort’s past, how he has made Horcruxes in his quest to become immortal. Dumbledore found a potential Horcrux and takes Harry with him to find it. In a secret cave that Voldemort visited as a child, they find Slytherin’s necklace. They are successful. However, when they are returning to Hogwarts, they come upon a horrible sight, Voldemort’s sign, the Dark Mark, is hovering above the school. They come and land on the Astronomy Tower, after riding brooms there. Harry is somehow frozen in place and must watch as a horrible scene unfolds before him. After said horrid scene happens, the perpetrators run away. Harry is freed from his bond and chases after them. There is a large fight and when Harry calls someone a traitor, he finds out who the “Half-Blood Prince” is, who he has been obsessing over almost as much as Malfoy. The Half-Blood Prince is the person who has been providing helpful tips and spells in his Potions book all year.

            Livid and yet very sad, he goes back up to the castle, after who he was chasing managed to escape. There is a funeral for a very special person who died, and everyone goes home for the summer.

            I really enjoyed this book, although the ending was both a surprise and was quite sad. I expect anybody who has been following the Harry Potter series, after reading this book, will understand. Sorry that I didn’t include who died and such, but I feel that would be a large spoiler. This book was very good. It follows lots with Harry’s obsession, which made me a little irritated. I expect that was supposed to be the effect though. Harry would think of nothing else, aggravating even his best friends. Overall, I would suggest this book.

                        I would rate this book a 8.5/10

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Movie Review)

This movie was kind of utter trash. I would not recommend this movie if you want it to be like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief book. If you just want a movie, sure it might be okay. It isn’t anything like the book and doesn’t even introduce some of the more important characters.

            It starts off underwater. Percy is sitting at the bottom of a pool and seeing how long he can hold his breath. The book starts with him on a fieldtrip, where he is attacked by Ms. Dodds. He then gets to Camp Half-Blood, completely skipping the beach and just going straight to the Minotaur. The mother then poofs into magical dust and he fights the Minotaur and wins the horn.

            He then wakes up, finds out his Latin teacher was a centaur and is then sent on a quest. He then must travel to find some magical shells, which will enable him to come back from the Underworld. This is where it goes completely off topic. There are multiple reasons.

  1. It doesn’t even introduce Clarisse at all in this movie, she comes in at the second movie (which is the end of the movie series)
  2. They receive the magical pearls from a goddess in the book (if I am not mistaken), not go around on a quest to find them.
  3. They don’t ever get a map of any type.

            They then start their travels, first going to Medusa’s lair, then to the Parthenon in Tennessee (I went there a few years ago and they have the pearl on display used in the movie) and lastly the Lotus Casino. If you have read the books, you would know this Casino is like an overlarge arcade that you get trapped in for all of eternity. To stay trapped, they eat some weird Lotus flower cookie type things. They eventually escape the Lotus Casino and manage to make it to the Underworld and Hades, who is waiting for them. Persephone makes an appearance and does punch Hades in the face to get them free from his firm clutches in the Underworld. They manage to get back to the surface, alive, intact, and with Percy’s mom.

            Yay for everybody. In my opinion, this movie was horrible. I am a great lover of all of Rick Riordan’s books, especially his Percy Jackson series, and frankly, this movie is just an insult to the books. If you haven’t read the books, it would be just dandy, but if you have read it, I wouldn’t recommend it at all.

            There are multiple parts where they completely stray from the book. Of course, every movie that comes from a book series does that, even Harry Potter. Whether they leave stuff out or create a scene or two, it is still okay. But this movie just misses too many things and adds what makes up 90% of the movie, none of which is in the book.

            A few things that really annoy me, which are sometimes big roles in the events of part of the story, are changed. Such as: Annabeth doesn’t have blonde hair or gray eyes, which is stated many times within the books, Clarisse and Nancy Bobofit are never mentioned once, let alone having a character. Also, the cabins are set up in a U shape on a central green, and Poseidon’s cabin in gray and sea-like. The movie shows it at the waters edge, with no other cabins evident. There is also just the fact that Chiron is showed with a dark brown coat in the movie, while in the book, is described as a palomino horse.

            Overall, this movie could be okay, but if you have the read the books, not.

I would rate this movie 2/5 stars

The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This book starts out relatively normal, a girl and her friend are entering a club called the “Pandemonium”.   It is written from two different views, one with Clary, the main character, and one with a demon boy. The demon is led into a closet by a very pretty girl.  Clary enters the closet and witnesses the “murder” of the demon boy. He poofs into magical mist and Clary gets a horrible phone call. Her mother is telling her to not come to the house, she sounds in danger and very scared. Clary goes back to her house, leaving her best friend Simon confused. She returns to see her house ruined, she is attacked by a Ravener demon, somehow managing to survive. She then meets Jace Wayland, a handsome boy who helps to bring her to the Institute, a magical place where Shadowhunters can stay. She stays there while she recovers as she was bitten by the demon.

She meets Hodge and then other people of the Institute. She then goes on a multitude of adventures with the other Shadowhunters, who are the people who hunt and kill demons, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood and of course Jace Wayland. Simon also comes on some of the adventures. Some of the adventures include defeating a Forsaken and traveling to the City of Bones and meeting the Silent Brothers. The story ends on a very interesting note, which includes lots of drama with her love interest and we uncover some new things about her newfound brother and her apparently dead father. I will let you read this and find out what truly happens.

I really enjoyed this whole book, it is the first in a six-part series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire). The series was introduced to me by a friend, who happens to show me most of the books that are now my favorites but anyway, I am really glad that she showed me this book series because I love it!

            It has many twists and turns. Some parts that warm your heart, make you angry or sad and just the parts that you can’t help but love. Cassandra Clare has also created some really unique characters. Overall, I would recommend this book and the rest of the series too.

I would give this book a 9/10

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This starts with Katniss Everdeen. She lives in the 12th District (coal mining). She is a hunter, who’s father died in a mining explosion. Her city Panem has the Hunger Games every year. A girl and a boy from each of the districts is chosen and, after training, must fight to the death.

When the time comes for the choosing, she is chosen (kind of, read the book). The chosen boy is Peeta Mellark. Katnisss meets Rue during the training, but she comes in more later. The Games start and Peeta teams up with what people call the “Careers” (the really strong people that kill most of the people). Katniss meets Rue and they work together, Rue is then killed, and Katniss must try to find some way to survive to avenge her. She finds Peeta lying injured and helps nurse him back to health. They fight together and end up as the last two surviving people. They have started to love each other so obviously, they don’t want to kill each other. They decide they will die together so there is no winner, ruining the Games. Their plan is ruined, and they are the first people to survive together. They get to come back to their homes as heroes.

  I really enjoyed this book (and the other two books too, Catching Fire and The Mockingjay). It had many twists and turns, it also had heartbreaking moments, scary moments, and just general heartwarming moments. This book was recommended to me by a friend (who recommends most of my now favorite books) and I am glad that she did recommend it as it is now one of my favorite books. Suzanna Collins’ book is really unique. I have never really read any book that was similar to this book series. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who was looking for a book to read. On another note, the movie was quite accurate to the book and was quite good. It was one of the movies that has been most like a book, even if it did take out some parts (every movie based off a book does that so I wouldn’t be surprised). Anyway, I would highly suggest that you give this book, or the whole series for that matter, a look.

I would rate this book a 10/12 Districts (Some Hunger Games humor for you, I am so funny, I know HA. HA. HA.)

Aladdin Movie Review

Movie poster from Aladdin

This movie starts off on a boat, with four people.  A man starts singing and tells of Arabian Nights. This movie, especially the songs from the old movie, gave me chills. It was good. It was definitely different from the original movie, but I still think it was the same, if not better.

            As I said, it starts off on a boat, it then switches to Aladdin (Mena Massoud), who is in the market place. He meets Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and they go on an adventure. Jasmine has to eventually return to the castle, where Aladdin later meets her. After being captured and trapped in the Cave of Wonders, he finds the Genie (Will Smith). After they escape, and Aladdin wishes to become a prince, they make their grand entrance into the city of Agrabah.

            There is then a festival, where Aladdin tries, in vain, to talk to Jasmine, after a dance number, they all disband. Afterwards, Aladdin comes for a MAGIC CARPET RIDE (A WHOLE NEW WORLDDDDD, A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW) They stare at each other. Yay!

            Then Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) comes in and figures out that Aladdin is a fake. He then proceeds to push him off a building. Once he manages to get out, meanwhile demolishing the second of his 3 wishes, he goes and puts a stop to Jafar’s plans in taking over the kingdom. Once they have stopped him, Aladdin leaves the palace, Jafar steals his lamp and gets the Genie.

            When Jafar has successfully become powerful and a sultan, he traps the Sultan, sends Jasmine for death, and Aladdin to a very cold area (the end of the Earth apparently). Jasmine then comes in and sings her new song. She defeats Jafar and traps him in a lamp instead. Aladdin then comes back, and all is good (I won’t spoil the end).

            I really enjoyed this movie overall.  It had much more of the Arabian type culture that the original animated movie somewhat lacked. It also included Jasmine being much more independent, even wanting to be sultan. They introduced some new songs, one of which is called “Speechless”, this song is sung by Jasmine and is about her not being quieted just because she was a female. It was quite inspirational and showed you can do what you want, no matter what you are (cheesy, I know, but it is true).

            I would definitely recommend going to see this movie, or if it is already out, go and watch it that way, or just…. whatever way you can. It was really good, I can confirm that.

                        I would rate this movie 4.5/5 stars.

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter thought he was a totally normal kid. Until a giant by the name of Hagrid came and took him to a land of wonder far beyond his belief. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, a boy named Harry Potter thought he was just a normal kid. But, when letters from somewhere start coming, his aunt and uncle get worried. They don’t let him see any of the letters even though he tries to get them. When so many letters come to the house that they can’t stand it, they travel to different places to try and find somewhere where they won’t be bombarded by letters. On a tiny rock out at sea, they think they are safe but when a giant named Hagrid comes to tell Harry he is a wizard everything changes. Now that Harry knows his backstory, he must go off to Hogwarts to learn magic.

            At Hogwarts, he makes many friends along the way, he also makes enemies and learns about what happened to his parents, why he is famous, and why he has a peculiar scar shaped like a lightning bolt on his forehead. He learns that an evil wizard named Voldemort (He-who-must-not-be-named or You-know-who) killed his parents and tried to kill him but, he couldn’t kill Harry. The lightning scar was where the spell had touched him. He was the only person ever to survive the Killing Curse.

            Harry gets on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and is the youngest person in a century to play. He competes to win the Quidditch Cup but, when his broom starts to go crazy, his friends must try to rescue him. They think that Professor Snape is behind it, nobody else believes them. Once Harry is safe, he catches the Snitch and makes everybody (except Slytherin) like him even more.

            He also finds the Mirror of Erised which, when you look into it, you see your heart’s deepest desire. Harry, who never really had a good family, sees his mother and father. When he tries to see it again, he is confronted by the headmaster, Dumbledore, who tells him it is being moved and not to look for it again.

            Harry goes on many more exciting adventures, some of which include fighting a troll and going into the dreaded Forbidden Forest. He makes new friends along the way too, who help him greatly along the way.

            When Harry and his friends find a plot to steal something special hidden within the school, they want to try and stop whoever is planning to steal the object. They think it is Professor Snape but, when they go through Devil’s Snare, a room with winged keys, and a giant living chess set, they find out that it is…… read the book!

            After all the exciting things that happen to Harry, he must go back to his aunt and uncle’s house for the summer but, he always comes back to Hogwarts.

            I really enjoyed the whole Harry Potter series (there are 8 books total). I thought they were very original, and they had many twists and turns within them. If you are fans of things like the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Percy Jackson, I would advise this book. Or, if you just enjoy fantasy and adventure, this could be the book series for you. This book is just as good now as it was 20 years ago. I would especially recommend it if you have seen the movies, as the books are much better than the movies (as they are with every series)

                                    I rate this book 9 ¾ (some Harry Potter humor for you).