Magnus Chase has experienced his fair share of trouble since the night his mother was murdered two years ago. Living on the streets is never easy and Magnus thought he had seen just about everything until he ends up confronting a fire giant on a bridge in Boston and dying. But as with most things, dying is but a beginning. Finding himself in Valhalla, warrior hall of the dead in Norse mythology, Magnus is about to experience a whole new world, hopefully it won’t kill him again.
I picked up Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer on a whim while at Costco. While I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series I had been unable to get into The Kane Chronicles (mostly because I tried to read it while studying for the Arizona Bar, never try anything new while studying for a Bar, FYI) and haven’t really given any of Riordan’s newer books a try since then. The Sword of Summer was a fun read that I devoured it in about two days. It’s a first person narrative so Magnus is telling the reader (and he does address us specifically) about what happened to him. It’s been a while since I have read something this informally written so it took me a chapter or two to get used the writing style, and it is an informal style because it is a teenager telling us the story, not that that is a bad thing it just took me a little bit to get used to reading it.
Riordan’s chapter headers are entertaining like “Gunilla Gets Blowtorched and It’s Not Funny. Okay, It’s a Little Bit Funny” but it is Riordan’s characters that I love. Not only are we dealing with the Norse Gods, and not the pretty Hollywood fancy version but a television addicted Thor who looks like a brawler, which is more I how I image the God of War to look but minor gods and other mythical characters. What really amazed me in the Sword of Summer is the character of Hearth, an elf who is deaf and yet Riordan is able to seamlessly include the elf’s signing into the written word. It’s not that the character is suddenly understood by everyone so we forget that he is signing to communicate but that Riordan is able to make it part of the conversation. Hands down, though, my favorite character is Odin. I’m not going to talk about him because it would ruin it for you but just know I giggled through his appearance. The only thing I wish The Summer Sword had is a pronunciation guide included with the glossary. I am just not that familiar with the Norse words used and especially don’t know how they should be correctly said. I give The Sword of Summer five stars and highly recommend it!
Read an excerpt here.
The Hammer of Thor (Fall 2016)
Third Book to be Announced
Author: Rick Riordan
Format: Hardbound, eBook
Page Nos.: 512
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Available for purchase: Amazon
Novel Reaction is excited to show you a sneak peak of Shelley Coriell’s The Blind. I am currently enjoying this intriguing read and am loving having the main character be a bomb expert. Below you will find an excerpt to give you a taste of this new release.
THE BLIND by Shelley Coriell (July 28, 2015; Forever Mass Market; The Apostles #3)
As part of the FBI’s elite Apostles team, bomb and weapons specialist Evie Jimenez knows playing it safe is not an option. Especially when tracking a serial killer like the Angel Bomber. He calls himself an artist—using women as his canvas and state-of-the-art explosives as his brush. His art lives and breathes . . . and with the flick of a switch . . . dies.
As the clock ticks down to his next strike, Evie faces an altogether different challenge: billionaire philanthropist and art expert Jack Elliott, who’s made it clear he doesn’t care for Evie’s wild-card tactics.
Jack never imagined the instant heat for the Apostles’ defiant weapons expert would explode his cool and cautious world—and make him long to protect this woman. But as Evie and Jack get closer to the killer’s endgame, they will learn that safety and control are all illusions. For their quarry has set his sight on Evie for his final masterpiece…
The Apostles Reading Order
At the door to the roof stairs, Jack dug into his pants pocket and frowned. He patted his suit coat and shirt pockets.
The frown reached his eyes.
“What is it?” Evie asked.
“I left my key card in my other suit coat.”
“No worries.” She dug into her bag and pulled out her key card. “I got us covered.”
He waved it off. “Visitor badges don’t allow roof access.”
She swiped anyway. The dot remained red.
Jack dug out his phone and jabbed at the face. He barked an order, then disconnected the call with another jab. “Security will have a man here in ten minutes.” He jabbed at the phone again. “Let me call my maintenance team and see if they can get here quicker.” His face now sported a full-fledged scowl.
“It’s not that big a deal, and there are worse places to be stranded.” Evie wandered back toward the garden. Back home in Albuquerque, she had a potted cactus garden one of her nephews had made her for her last birthday, the perfect type of garden for her as it could stand the heat, was small, and didn’t need much tending.
“As you keep reminding me, a clock is ticking.” More than a hint of irritation edged his words.
She laughed and sat on a bench near the copper-sheeted fountain. “This isn’t about a clock, Jack. It’s about you making a mistake.”
As expected, he strode to her side. “Excuse me.”
She propped her boots on the rock surrounding the koi pond. “You’re the type of guy who doesn’t make mistakes, and it ticks you off that you left your key card in your other coat.”
He watched the fish slide in and out of light dappling the waters before shaking his head and sitting next to her. “I take it you know this because you’re not the type of gal who makes mistakes.”
A laugh ripped from her chest. “Hardly.”
“There’s no room for error in the bomb business,” he argued.
“True. I don’t cross wires while at work, but I’m no stranger to messes.”
This time he laughed as he reached out and plucked a leaf from her hair. “So you get a little ruffled.” He held up the leaf.
She plucked it from his fingers. “Oh, no. I make full-on mistakes.”
“I think we’ll need more than ten minutes.”
“Like?” He kept that intense gaze on her, a man who commands attention and answers. But she didn’t have anything to hide.
She cupped her hands behind her head. Where to start? “Like having an egg hunt with my nephews last Easter in my mom and dad’s house and not being able to track down all the eggs. For three months the house stank until my mom unearthed the last of the rotten eggs, which six-year-old Tommy had hidden in a vent in the laundry room.”
“I call that unbridled enthusiasm.”
“And there was the time just last month when my teammate Finn Brannigan asserted his motorcycle was faster than my truck. Of course I had to prove him wrong, and I did until a cop pulled me over just as I got the speedometer past one hundred. Definitely a mistake, and for the record, we both got speeding tickets.”
“And that’s team bonding.”
She could see why Jack Elliott was so successful in business. He could put a twist on anything he wished. She unlaced her hands and let them fall in her lap. Did he even remember kissing her fingers? Did he sense the jolt his lips had sent through her entire body? “And then there’s last night.”
A vertical line striped the center of his forehead. “What mistake did you make last night?”
She grabbed his hand and twined her fingers with his. Last night he’d been vulnerable when he admitted his hope, his bone-deep desire, that his sister was still alive. Looking at him over their clasped hands, she said point-blank, “I should have kissed you back.”
Jack’s eyes sparked, and she knew he remembered the touch of his lips to her fingers. His shoulders, so wide they blocked the rising sun behind him, bounced in a soft laugh.
“Does that bother you?”
“No, not at all. I like strong, courageous, independent women.”
“Is that the type you take to your bed?”
“I . . .” He tilted his head, not a single wave of hair falling out of place. “Yes, it is.”
“That’s good to know.” Because knowns were always so much easier to work with. She was about to open her mouth, when the roof access door opened, a harried security guard rushing at them and apologizing for not getting there sooner.
For a solid five seconds, Jack stared at their clasped hands before turning to the guard. “No worries,” Jack said as he pulled her to her feet and walked her toward the stairs, their fingers still intertwined.
I want to wish all of you a happy Fourth of July! I will be spending the day with my family trying not to melt in the Phoenix heat (last year the fireworks at 9:00 pm was a 104). I will be trying to sneak some reading time in between the swimming, grilling, and fireworks. I love the Fourth holiday, for me it is a great time to reflect on the men and women who sacrificed so we can enjoy the freedoms we do. I also love it because it means time spent with my family: laughing, talking, arguing, but over all, making memories together.
What is everyone reading this holiday? I will be reading some Harlequins, it has been a while since I read any so I thought it would be fun to read and review a couple.
Joint Investigation by Terri Reed
Under other circumstances, FBI agent Samantha Bennett might welcome a bit of backup—but not from an overprotective Mountie. She’s been on the trail of a serial killer for six months and no one has ever taken the case seriously…until now. When Royal Canadian Mounted Police inspector Drew Kelley saves her life, he decides that the hunt for “Birdman” is his problem, too. Together they begin a cross-continent chase to stop the madman before he strikes again. However, Samantha fears her growing feelings for the lawman may weaken her focus, or worse—put Drew directly in the killer’s sights…
Northern Border Patrol: Keeping the U.S.–Canadian border safe
The Cowboy’s Surprise Baby by Deb Kastner
After years away serving his country, Cole Bishop finally returns home—with a newborn baby in tow. As a single dad, Cole needs help. But the last thing he expects to encounter at his new job is his high school sweetheart—all grown up and more beautiful than ever. Tessa Applewhite might have broken Cole’s heart years before, but she’s never forgotten him. And he can wrangle her heart like no one else ever has. But Tessa rejected him when the stakes weren’t nearly as high. Can Cole trust her again—and in the process, form a forever family?
Happy Holiday everyone!
Sabina Grey was once the shallow head cheerleader but after her sister’s accident Sabina has tried hard to overcome her past and make sure her sister gets the best of everything, even if that means Lucy marries the man Sabina wants.
Lucy Grey was burned in a bad house fire in her teens, as a result of the surgeries and numerous medical procedures she had no control over, she now tries to plan everything in her life, down to when she will get married and what they will have as a couple. But sometimes life throws unexpected things into your life and Lucy has to decide if unplanned events can bring joy or just chaos.
In Last Chance Hero by Hope Ramsay, Ross Gardiner has returned to Last Chance to be the chief of the fire department, the only paid member of the volunteer force, and the only man on the force with professional firefighting experience. After striking out asking out the beautiful Sabina out, Ross has settled for the safe and stable relationship with her sister Lucy.
But when Miriam Randall visits Sabina with some love advice, the whole town gets buzzing with the news and Ross feels the need to move things up more quickly with Lucy. When Ross’s newly purchased home burns to the ground, along with several other homes, things start getting a little out of control in his life and he starts to wonder if he is with the correct sister after all.
Last Chance Hero is a great addition to the Last Chance Series. Ramsay took on a difficult story line when she wrote about a love triangle involving one guy and two sisters. It is a fine line you have to tread as an author between allowing the relationship to flourish with the sister to end up with the guy without making the reader hate the other sister, or hating the sister who ends up with the guy for being a man stealer. But Ramsay did this with southern charm and had me cheering for all three people to get their happily ever after by the end. Ramsay’s fictional town of Last Chance is a great place to visit (you can see by the number of reviews I have written for this series that I love to come back and visit) and, as always, she does as superb job with the fun secondary characters without them over shadowing the main characters (and a cute puppy named Sparky doesn’t hurt).
While Last Chance Hero is a stand alone novel, I don’t think new readers to the series will fully grasp the significance of Miriam Randall’s visit to Sabina and the town’s resulting fervor without having read some of the earlier novels where Miriam’s love predictions have played out. That being said, if Last Chance Hero is your first visit to Last Chance then it is a good one to start with by showing the town’s entertaining residents in a good light and by making you want to turn the pages quickly to figure out with Grey sister Ross ends up with.
You can read an excerpt here.
Last Chance Reading Order:
Small Town Christmas (anthology)
Last Chance Bride (short story)
Last Chance Summer (short story)
Title: Last Chance Hero
Author: Hope Ramsay
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 344
Publisher: Forever Romance
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.