March 13, 2013

Recently Read: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Beautiful Creatures and more

Since my Recently Read introductory post in January, a children's series caught my attention, I revisited an old YA friend, and I got to know a little more about the first Doctor.

What have I been reading lately?

The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian (the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) by Rick Riordan

Here's the synopsis of the first of the series:
Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school ... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
I've been wanting to read this series for ages, but just never quite made the effort. My lovely (and enabling) sister-in-law gave me the first book while we were visiting Portland over the Christmas holiday, and I added it to my list of to-reads. Once I actually sat down and read it, I had to read the rest of them immediately. The books are easy and quick reads, but Riordan doesn't skimp on the entertaining plot twists.

Genre: Children's/Mythology/Fantasy
For fans of: Greek myths with a twist, the Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief movie


Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Here's the book's synopsis:
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I first read this book in 2010, but with the movie adaptation hitting theaters earlier this month, I wanted to give it a re-read to refresh my memory of the people and places in the story. Although the movie take a lot of liberties with the plot, I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed the book more. The fact that the main character is a boy is a refreshing take on the typical female YA protagonist. And Ethan is just adorable, so getting to know the strange business that happens just under the noses of the overly respectable Gatlin natives is a lot of fun. (You can expect to see the rest of the series in a future Recently Read post.)

Genre: YA/Supernatural/Witchcraft
For fans of: Southern belles, forces of nature

A Big Hand For The Doctor (First of 11 Doctor Who 50th Anniversary e-Shorts) by Eoin Colfer

Here's the e-book's synopsis:
Eleven Doctors, eleven months, eleven stories: a year-long celebration of Doctor Who! The most exciting names in children's fiction each create their own unique adventure about the time-travelling Time Lord.

London, 1900. The First Doctor is missing both his hand and his granddaughter, Susan. Faced with the search for Susan, a strange beam of soporific light, and a host of marauding Soul Pirates intent on harvesting human limbs, the Doctor is promised a dangerous journey into a land he may never forget...
I know nothing about the First Doctor other than he was old and most (all?) of his adventures took place in black and white; therefore, I have very little to compare this short story to. That said, I enjoyed what I can only assume is a somewhat accurate mini-adventure for the First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan. The story is an quick and entertaining read, and I am excited to read the rest of the collection and get to now the first eight Doctors a bit better as the year progresses.

Genre: Scifi/Short Stories
For fans of: Doctor Who, Doctor Who expanded universe stories, Doctor Who fanfiction

I've actually read a few more books in addition to the ones above in the past month and a half, but I think I'll save those for the next Recently Read, as this bad boy is getting huge.

What have you been reading lately? Anything I should add to my list?


  1. On his most recent blog post (, Caleb wrote about wanting to read Beautiful Creatures. I feel like it's the hip thing to do right now!

  2. i just started rereading the percy jackson series a couple of months ago (having kids (and trying to finish merlin) makes mama a slow reader). i love visiting this series. it's nice easy reading but there is so many details woven in. plus i love mythology. ")

  3. Have ypu watched any of the "Classic Who" available on Netflix Instant? It's such a tiny taste and a weird selection, but it made me fall in love with science fiction - and the Doctor! - all over again and deeper than before!

  4. I tried once, but the video quality was so terrible. I really want to catch up with the Classic vids as much as I can some day soon; I feel like I can't be a complete Whovian until I understand more about 1–8.

  5. I was out of college when they were first released, and for some reason they never quite made it onto my radar until years later. I'm excited to have read them, though.

    I'm sure you'll be happy to pass them on to the boys, too, when they get to that level, yes? :)

  6. Awesome! I must make the time to check out his blog more often.

  7. oh for sure. elijah would love the PJ series. we just started reading the first harry potter book this week!! elijah still isn't quite old enough for it be he said he really wanted to read it and i'm no about to say no to reading (especially something awesome) with my kids.