Books

Books of January (2014)

The Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan is the second young adult adventure novel from “The Heroes of Olympus”. I must warn you guys, you’ll be seeing a lot of Riordan here, since I’m going to read the whole series. Ok, maybe a lot is exaggerated, just three more books.

It picks up after the events of the Lost Hero, just not with Jason, but with Percy Jackson, Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque as the main characters.

If you like Riordan’s work, you’re going to enjoy this one as well. I think it was better than the last one (probably because Percy Jackson is back). It is fun, full of adventure and mythology. It’s easy, quick to read, and well-written. In short: it has everything we love about a good Percy Jackson book.

From Russia with Love

The second choice for January was spy novel classic From Russia With Love, by famous English writer Ian Fleming. It’s the fifth book in his James Bond’s series, published in 1957.

The story tells Bond’s secret mission to pick up a Russian Agent (a cute girl, of course) in Istanbul and take her to London. What he doesn’t know is that everything is part of a plan devised by SMERSH (soviet intelligence) to kill him.

If you’re thinking “man! James Bond’s book? It must be full of cool action scenes!” you’re wrong, very wrong. At least that’s what I thought when I picked it. I must confess I decided to read this just because it is James Bond. We’ve all seen at least one Bond movie, probably most people have a favorite Bond, but not everyone has read a novel. Besides, Fleming is the 14th in The Time’s list “The greatest 50 British writers since 1945”. So back to the action thing: nope, it’s definitely slower than the movies (even the first movies). Still, it is very well-written, it’s interesting and I enjoyed it.

If you choose to read it, I should probably remind you: this was published in the 50s. A common critique is that it’s sexist and racist, and it absolutely is. We can enjoy things while being aware of their issues, but if these things get in the way of you enjoying a book, then don’t read it. I read it, I liked it well enough, but I don’t think I will ever read another Bond book again.

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