The Door in the Mountain by Caitlin Sweet
To be published: Oct 21, 2014
The book is the first of a two-part series about Minos’s Labyrinth and the Minotaur. Ariadne is the daughter of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae of Crete during the Minoan era. She is not godmarked like the rest of her family, and is especially resentful of her younger brother Asterion. He is her mother’s favorite as he favors the god Poseidon and can transform into the Minotaur (who the local populace worship as a god) when fire is near. Ariadne is always being left behind and ignored so she decides to plot with her father to get rid of Asterion by locking him away inside of a mountain and getting the great inventor Daedalus to build a labyrinth to contain him. Chara, a slave girl, who grows up with Asterion and is his only friend. She watches Ariadne and her scheming from behind the scenes as Ariadne’s personal slave.
Honestly when I first read the description for this book, I thought “It seems like a Percy Jackson rip-off”, and there are some similarities. The story was very very slow-moving and I almost lost interest in finishing it. In a way, you almost feel sorry for Ariadne. However, she brings a lot of her hardships down on her own head with all the scheming for power and control. Although I didn’t like her character, it was interesting to see how she became bitter, resentful, and cruel, which ultimately leads to her downfall. I really felt bad for Asterion who ended up being the pawn in the manipulations of his mother, sister and step-father. I also felt bad for Icarus as he was always pining after Ariadne, who was completely not worth his time, and also because he was godmarked to almost fly but not very successfully. However it evident from the text that the author has really done her research into Minoan history and culture, which is something I always like and appreciate. The reader is transported back to Bronze Age Crete and I could just imagine the costumes of the royalty, especially the princess as she did the bull dance. The only thing I would have liked is a glossary of names at the front of the book as all of the names were Greek and got rather confusing after awhile. Recommended for ages 15+, 3-1/2 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader’s copy book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Published July 29, 2014
Leila is traveling around the US on her own on her way to see the Northern Lights in a journey of self-discovery. She starts off in Louisiana and then heads to Mississippi where she meets Hudson, a 17-year-old mechanic about to head off to Ole Miss to become a doctor. She only spends one night with him, but that night changes their lives forever. She goes on to change the lives of three more teenagers: Bree, a runaway who believes in Carpe Tuesday, Elliot, a nearly-hopeless romantic, and Sonia, who is dealing with the recent death of her boyfriend.
First off, I had no idea this was written by a guy until after I finished the book. He really captured what it was like to be a teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood. Although I couldn’t completely identify with the main character, I did enjoy her development and the ending was a complete surprise. I loved the beginning story in Mississippi, and could identify with Hudson living in a Southern town as I have lived in many during my life. I really enjoyed Leila’s story, as well as that of Elliot and Sonia. Overall, I thought it was a rather good first novel. I would definitely read more of his work in the future. Recommended for ages 14+, 4 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader’s copy book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.