Here is a book with edgy angels, intrigue and basic bad-assery. In Remiel's world, angels come to earth to help and protect humans from themselves. The archangel Gabriel swoops to earth as a suave and sophisticated human. He sets up a private investigation business, Seeker Investigations, and within hours has his first clients. He has to free a dozen young prostitutes from their scumbag pimp.
He guards those in need of protection with a furious determination. Wielding a lethal sword, Gabriel dispenses a quick and heavenly justice. His Brethren companion, Nathanael, provides a similar service, but his heart is tormented because he actually enjoys killing the bad guys. He has a difficult choice to make...continue or turn.
I enjoyed this book for the sheer fun of the characters and the good/bad angels :)
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First, let me state that of all the books that I've ever read in my life, HOMER is my favorite author...the Iliad and the Odyssey are my most prized books. So, when I found the Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller I was, shall we say..."stoked." Superficially, I liked the ancient helmet of raised gold on the cover. I read the back and thought, "okay" this should be a decent portrayal of a beloved character...Achilles.
It's hard to talk about this book and Miller's particular view of Achilles without making comparisons to a more widely-known portrayal of Achilles in the movie TROY. The only things I loved about that movie were the costumes and the casting of Brad Pitt as Achilles (with the exception that he was too old, but he was definitely the "golden" type and hunky...). In the film, the story was butchered beyond repair. They could never do a sequel without eliminating other mythological stories, say the bathtub murder of the cuckolded Agamemnon by his estranged wife Clytemnestra, because OOPS! Hector killed him in the movie. And Achilles chopping off the statue head of Apollo when he knew damn well his mother was a sea nymph was an act tantamount to him snubbing his nose at the arbitrary nature of the gods' will, which he knew existed because his mother was one of them. I highly doubt that Achilles would ever do that. And Orlando Bloom as a mewling Paris made me wish Legolaus, a worthy warrior-prince, would show up and target him with an arrow in the heel. And the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus...cousins? No. No. No. What David Benioff did to Homer was nothing short of sacrilege, as far as I'm concerned, and since this is less about how awful I thought the adaptation of the Iliad was in the movie TROY and more about the adaptation of that story in the Song of Achilles, I will stop now.
Miller's story of Achilles was much more on point with the basic mythology of Achilles. I enjoyed her inclusion of Achilles young wife, the ruse almost wedding to sacrifice Iphigeneia, his education by the centaur Chiron, and the eventual arrival of Achilles's little-spoken of son, Neoptolemus. I applaud her for taking the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus into a more appropriate love-zone. They definitely shared a close loving bond, a bond close enough that Patroclus's death caused Achilles to lose all his marbles and fly completely in the face of tradition and the gods. The best evidence we have by Homer about their mutual affection is the extent of Achilles's grief regarding Patroclus's death. That said, Miller takes us right into their bed, a literary interpretation that made me realize I was NOT reading a YA novel, but one meant for a more mature audience of women, non-homophobic men, and classical Greek mythology lovers. I suppose that is one of only three criticisms:
1. that it read like a young adult novel
2. that Patroclus was as mewling as Paris in the movie TROY
3. that Thetis was a grotesque, shining blob with a grating voice and gnashing teeth
Why did Miller make Patroclus such a thin and weak sounding character? Was it too hard to conjure the image that two warriors might be boon companions and in love? At least in the movie, Patroclus was a much more sturdy character visually and more militaristic, which is more in line with the Patroclus of the ancient Greeks. I find it hard to believe that Achilles, the greatest among the Greeks, the captain of the Myrmidons, would find a love interest in a "mewling" anyone. Patroclus becomes the physician, in Miller's novel, who in the end begins to seem more like a man.
Thetis. Sea-nymph. Lower-level goddess. Love interest of Zeus. Neither the movie nor this book do justice to her at all. Miller makes her out to be grotesque, frighteningly eerie...which raises the question: Why would Zeus want to bed anything that hideous? Or Peleus for that matter? "Her mouth was a gash of red, like the torn-open stomach of a sacrifice, bloody and oracular. Behind it teeth shone sharp and white as bone." I sort of envisioned the Sea-Witch from the Little Mermaid...how would this vision make Hera jealous? It was a weak point for me.
All in all, I liked the book. I liked her story. It fell short of the "epicness" we expect for anything related to Homer. Achilles and Patrolcus's relationship, the primary focus of this work, was a step in the right direction paying homage to a love story between warriors (okay, one warrior and one tent-wife-turned-physician). And because Miller was brave enough to write this love story, as a love story, I liked it enough to give it five stars.
Reluctant Angel has been sitting in my TBR Kindle stack for a while (too long in fact!) and I decided it was time to start devouring all those downloads. I clicked on the book cover and off I went. In two days, I read this scintillating novella by Chastity Bush (writing as Anna Snow). Holy cow this was a "hot topic" to say the least.
Killian Sams is a fire-cracker of an angel. She fights. She curses. She is a force to be reckoned with. She's just landed on Earth to face off with the Destroyer, a monster-demon with shape-shifting abilities and a voracious appetite for human souls which he consumes for power. And, she must save a lost soul along the way. She agrees to the angelic mission for one reason: to get a second chance at being human. If she fails? She'll be obliterated for all time...no soul, no angelic form, nothing.
Chase Crawford lost the love of his life. He finds solace in his mercenary work...saving others...but not himself. Chase doesn't even recognize that he's in need of saving, until he meets Killian in the wildness of the jungle. At first he thinks this petite woman needs him to rescue her, but soon discovers she can defend herself quite well, all on her own.
What Killian and Chase are unprepared for is the battle of their passions. She is forbidden to love a human and he thought his heart was dead. Try as they might, they are drawn closer together by circumstance and lust...or love? They steamed up the screen on my iPhone Kindle app...
This is a novella length read. Fast paced. Lots of witty conversation. Steamy love scenes. Perfect for a summer day by the pool or beach retreat. Download with a quick click @Amazon.com.
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When I think of Killian...
When I think of Chase...
Mark of the Princess by B.C. Morin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I just finished reading Mark of the Princess from Kingdom Chronicles. I remember when the author B.C. Morin first started posting teasers about her novel series. She has created a very colorful world of faeries and mythical beings. In her fae world, the faeries carry marks on their skin, like a tattoo, that emerges as they develop their particular talent or power. The first novel revolves around Princess Alannah, whose mark is steeped in mystery. She is frustrated that she is maturing and doesn't know what her power is supposed to be. She has light hearted adventures with her companions Evyette, Tristan and Kaleb.
But life becomes dangerous and complicated by the dark forces of Miligo and Samil. Alannah needs protection which is unexpectedly provided by a brooding warrior named Brennus. He's darkly handsome and just aloof enough so that you want him to be the guy that gets the girl! Life gets emotionally complicated, as Alannah finds her passions drawing her to Brennus. In the end, their choices are stripped from them and the path to happy-ever-after for Alannah and Brennus appears to be a dead end. B.C. Morin left me wanting to know what happens next. On to book two!
Kingdom Chronicles reminded me of Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I think the characters in the book are sweet enough for young teens and YA with plenty of adventure. Lots of talk about clothing and the excitement of young love will appeal to this crowd. Some formatting issues detracted from the story, but I already peeked at book two on Amazon and it appears the second book addressed those kinds of issues. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I need to know what happens to Brennus and Alannah! Well done first novel.
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