Book Review: The Empty Throne

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

So, after reading another Xena novel, Prophecy of Darkness by Stella Howard, I was eager to read more. Luckily, I had bought a few others at the same time, and so I dove into this one.

To say I was disappointed was an understatement. These books were so vastly different it was disturbing. Yes, they were written by different authors, so I expected them to be a bit different in the writing style, but where as Howard’s book felt like a written version of an unaired episode, Emerson’s was like a really bad fan fiction.

There was a lot that bothered me about this book. All too often, Xena was referred to as “The warrior”. Okay, fine, she’s technically a warrior, but why use that label more as a name than anything else. Also, Argo, Xena’s trusty palomino mare, was never referred to by her name. In fact, I can’t even recall the author stating that she was a mare. Anytime the horse was mentioned it was much like Xena, only ever being called “the horse”. Only, I can’t recall a single time when the horses color was even mentioned. I realize that is a small detail, but one that any Xena fan would expect to see in the story. I was honestly surprised that Gabriel wasn’t called “the sidekick” throughout the book given how things were going.

Add into the fact that the story line seemed to go no where. I realize that there isn’t always a direct line to the end and that sometimes things have to happen outside of a heroes initial quest in order to full move things along, but ugh what a slog this book was. Even half way through I felt like Xena, or should I say ‘the warrior’, was no closer to getting anything done that at the beginning.

To continue my list of unpleasantries. Let’s talk about Xena’s weapons. She has a sword, sometimes a whip and this thing called a Chakram. Unfortunately, time and time again, the author spelled it Chakra. Close, but not quite. It’s little missteps like that that really dragged the book down. I don’t know is she half-assed her or just never watched an episode of the show, but nothing felt right about this book.

Really the only reason I gave it two stars is because, in the end it is a Xena novel, as bad as it was, and it was mercifully short. If your a Xena fan, you can read this one if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I really hope her other books are better, because I own two more.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
None

What I did Last Week

Read

I didn’t read anything in full last week. I did start two books but didn’t get very far in them. I am less than fifty pages into Through Stone And Sea, and honestly, I’m very bored already. This one will be hard to finish. I also started The Battle of The Labyrinth, but only made it about fifty or so pages in, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Watched

I watched the entire second season of The Last Alaskans, which was short but good. I also watched a few episodes of My 600lb Life. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Daredevil. I honestly don’t remember that movie being so long and boring.

Life

Life was crazy last week The first half was spent cooking and making dog food, a supply which should last several months. The second half of the week I ended up getting a nasty cold. This is turn led me to play far too many hours of World of Warcraft, but I enjoyed the game and have made a ton of progress.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’ll be working through the rest of The Battle of The Labyrinth this week. I should get it done in a day or two if I can find reading time, and if this cold ends, I just can’t read when I’m sick.

After that, I’ll probably be working my way through Saga. I started the first volume last week, and nearly finished it, but never did. It’s really good and I’m looking forward to finishing it.

 

Watching

Not too sure what I’ll be watching this week.

Life

The house needs a good cleaning because the in-laws are coming up soon, so I’ll be doing that. Otherwise, I have no real plans.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

What I did Last Week

Read

I did a decent amount of reading last week, managing to get through three books, though they were all fairly short. First up I read Warcraft: Legends Volume 1. While I enjoyed this, I did find a couple of issues with it. I’ll be posting a full review of this book soon.

 

 

Next up Warcraft: Legends Volume 2. Much like the first volume, I enjoyed this book but again found a couple of issues with it.  I’ll be posting a full review of this book soon.

 

 

 

Lastly, I read Murder In Minor Key. While I liked this one, I have to say it was one of my least favorite Murder, She Wrote novels so far. Like the previous novels, I highly doubt I will post a review of this one.

 

 

 

Watched

I didn’t watch much last week. I finally finished the third season of The Golden Girls. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Wonder Woman, the 2009 animated movie, and we all enjoyed it. Outside of that, I pretty much ignored the TV.

Life

I honestly didn’t do much last week. I did some writing, but not a ton. I am ahead on my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo, though I have failed at keeping my word count updated on the site. I did some baking but not too much. I also got sucked into World of Warcraft again. I’ve been wanting to play it for a while now, especially since Legion came out, and I finally broke down and did that, but now it’s eating up a lot of my time playing catch up since I hadn’t played it for four years. Other than that, I spend a bunch of time outside, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I just started reading Through Stone And Sea. I only got a few pages into this one, but I’m hoping to get it done this week. However, if it’s like the previous book in the series, it may be a bit of a slog to get through.

 

 

I also plan on reading Saga this week. I just got these books and I’m dying to read them. I think reading these in between chapters of Through Stone And Sea is my best bet. I may or may not read all seven volumes of Saga this week.

 

Watching

No real plans for TV or movies this week. I will probably watch stuff based upon my mood or what I happen to find on on a particular day.

Life

I really need to get back to the house purge, so the plan is to get one room done this week. I also need to take a bunch of stuff to donate from the previous round of purging that I did a month or so ago. Writing will also be a priority, because I would like to reach my word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo early and at the rate I’m going, that will happen. The weather should remain nice this week, so I will have a chance to clean up the yard and maybe even work a bit in the garden to start prepping it for planting next months.

March 2017 Wrap-Up

With April here, it’s time to take a moment to look back at all the things I accomplished in March. Firstly, I can’t believe it is April already. This year is just flying by. Though I only read five books, I had a very productive month.

So what did I read in March?

  • The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
  • Illidan by William King
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
  • Buffalo Girls by Larry McMurtry

For the most part, I enjoyed everything that I read. Though I think my favorite was a tie between Buffalo Girls and Scarlet. On top of reading, I did a crap ton of writing during the month of March, churning out 75,000 words in three weeks. I definitely think that having a spot set up specifically to do my writing at has been a major factor in getting so much writing done in such a short period of time. I also did a bunch of baking, mostly dog treats and a few things for us as well, but it certainly wasn’t an overly busy baking month – which I’m kind of grateful for because sometimes I just need a break from it.

As far as watching things during the month, I got through the entire second season of The Golden Girls and part of the way through the third season. I also caught up on Heartland, which I had fallen behind on by several episodes. I also watched My 600lb Life and River Monsters. Movie wise I ended up watching Green Lantern, Moana (probably about 20 times throughout the month, The Day After Tomorrow, Best In Show, and Jumper.

Overall, I have to say that the month of March was pretty good. The icing on the cake has certainly been the gorgeous weather we’ve been getting, which is definitely strange because normally March is still very much winter up here. Looks like we are finally getting spring on time this year.

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars

So way back when in 2010 (wow has it only been 7 years), I watched The Lightning Thief movie, and while I liked it, I told myself I needed to read the book because the books are almost always better than the movie. It took me a couple years to get the series and then a few more years passed before I finally got around to reading this book. Another reason why I waited so long to read the book, is that I wanted to details of the movie to fade from memory, so it was like walking into the book with a clean slate. I had only the most vague of memories of a few things that happened in the movie, so now was the perfect time to read it.

Right from the beginning I was pulled into the story. I like how the book started with a confession from Percy, which really helps to set everything up. It makes you intrigued about why he wouldn’t want to be a half-blood. From then on the story just keeps getting better.

The flow of this story is fantastic. There aren’t any noticeable slow points, sure there are moments where the action has died down but they don’t feel like a lull in the story, more like the calm before the storm. The mix of characters in this story is great as well. Obviously most of them are half-bloods, with a good dose of Greek monsters and Gods mixed in, along with a plentiful dash of mortals to finish it off. I have to say I really liked Annabeth’s character, which they were all great in their own way, but for some reason her character stood out to me the most.

One thing I thought was interesting is how the perspective of mortals changed when viewing half-blood and monsters. For example, a sword fight looks like a gun fight to mortal eyes. They never see what is truly going on, which os course can work both for and against the characters as they make their journey across America to get to their ultimate destination.

Really my only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that we didn’t get to see a lot of the Gods in this book. I get why, the focus isn’t on them, but on their kids. I just wish there had have been more. I’m hoping that as the series progresses that they will have a bigger role and influence in the books.

Overall, I found this to be a really good book and a great start to a series. I am really looking forward to continuing on with their series to see what else the characters must endure throughout their years at Camp Half-Blood and beyond. I also look forward to seeing my son read this book, and hope that he enjoys it as much as I did.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Top Ten Fandoms I’m A Part Of.

I don’t know if I have ten fandoms or not, but I’ll see how close I can get.

  1. Star Wars. Well, duh! I am obsessed with Star Wars and this should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever visited this blog. It’s awesome.
  2. Friends. I loved this show when it was on the air and still enjoy watching reruns when I spot them on TV. If the urge to watch it really gets to me, I can whip out my trusty DVDs of the series and watch whatever episode I want to.
  3. Xena: Warrior Princess. Loved the TV series. Another one of those shows I religiously watched and often rewatch on DVD when the need arises.
  4. She-Ra: Princess of Power. This show was my childhood and I still love it today. I would give anything for a live action She-Ra movie.
  5. Studio Ghibli. I love all of their movies, at least the ones I have seen, which is pretty much all of them. I seriously felt at a loss when Hayao Miyazaki retired, but luckily he has come out of retirement to make one more film – hopefully more.

Okay, that’s it. I feel like there might be a couple of more, but honestly I’m drawing a blank at this moment.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
War Crimes by Christie Golden

What I did Last Week

Read

I actually managed to read two books last week, which was pretty awesome. First up, I read Violet Grenade. This was a very different book that I got sucked into right at the beginning and didn’t want to put it down. I enjoyed it and will be posting a full review closer to it’s publication date at the beginning of May.

 

 

Next, I ended up reading Buffalo Girls. This is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while now and I’m so glad that I did. The story was a bit slow at first but definitely picked up later on. I really enjoyed this one and now it’s got me wanting to consume all things western. I’ll be posting a full review of this book in June.

 

Watched

This was another week where I didn’t watch much. I got almost all of the third season of The Golden Girls done, but I think there are two episodes left. I did watch My 600lb Life and River Monsters as well. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Annie Oakley. I’ve seen this one several times and always enjoy it. Hubby liked this one but the boy wasn’t overly interested.

Life

A lot of baking happened last week. I had some dog treat orders to fill, which kept me pretty busy. Then I tried to plan out what I was doing for Camp NaNoWriMo, but n the end, I just sat around and did very little. On Saturday, I finally started to write again, after two weeks off (I did write a few words on Friday but nothing to be proud of) and while it started out slow, by the end of the night I had over 5000 words, which was a really nice start.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I don’t have any solid reading plans for this week. I may or may not read, it all depends on how much time I devote to writing and how badly I want to pick up a book.

Watching

I will finish the third season of The Golden Girls, which should be easy considering there is only two episodes left to watch. Outside of that, I don’t know what I will watch. I might try to clear a few more things off of the PVR or watch something new.

Life

Writing will probably consume most of my time this week. I like to get a head of work count when starting Camp NaNoWriMo, that way if I have to take a day off for some reason, I don’t fall behind on words.