Before I Wake by Kathryn Smith

I had some doubts about this book before I even started it. I thought, oh no, it’s an avon romance. And that it’s too much like the mass market writers. But guess what? I was thoroughly surprised when I loved this book.

The characters are a little cliche, but all in all who can diss an ass-kicking heroine? Dawn is like Buffy meets Willow but instead of kicking ass on vampires, she is a Nightmare, protector of dreams. Dawn is half human and half dreamkin. Her father is the god Morpheus and she has a human father. She decided at a young age that she wanted nothing to do with her real father and built herself a wall that she thought he could never breach. And until she turned 28 and came of age in The Dreaming, she was safe.

Now there is a Night Terror after her and a patient of hers, Noah Clarke. Noah is a vivid dreamer that is capable of changing his nightmares and being lucid in his dreams. The Terror wants to use Noah’s abilities to take him over and reign havoc on Earth.

Dawn must learn what it means to be the daughter of Morpheus, how to kick butt, and overcome her feelings of distrust in her father and mother. Will she learn all this in enough time to save Noah?

I loved the description of the Dreaming, Morpheus’ realm. It was really thought out and interesting. I love anything Mythological and it took me to that place where anything is possible. Even the scary stuff.

Nobody’s Prize by Esther Friesner

What do you get when you add fiction plus Greek Mythology? You get a freaking awesome story written by Ester Friesner!!! Hehehe O.K. so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s so true.

In this second novel about Helen of Sparta, we are placed in action at the very ending of the first in the series, Nobody’s Princess. We start out on the trek that Helen and Milo has started, looking for the warriors that are seeking the Golden Fleece. Helen and her best pal Milo use their wiles to trick and convince other seamen to lead them to their ultimate goals.

Through their journey they meet a lot of interesting and “historical” figures. They meet the almighty Herakles, his nephew Iolaus, Jason and his Argonauts, Hylas, and many many more. Their adventures are extremely dangerous and not everyone makes it out of them alive.

The story is very dramatic and makes you want more and more to see what will happen to Helen next. By the end of this story we end up meeting Agamemnon and Menelaus, which only shows the reader that there will have to be another in the series. The story is so well known its exciting to see how it will unfold.

I really enjoy these types of stories, because we don’t have any clue as to how history played out. We know nothing of the back story and to have an author play out one of many plots that could have happened, its exciting to see what they can come up with in the end. I really enjoy Friesner’s writing and how she makes you emotionally involved with all the characters. You really feel for Helen and all the crap that she has to go through. And even though the story is so well known, you still want to read on because you don’t know what other mishap can befall upon her.

I definitely would recommend this series to people that like Mythology and just a plain good story.

Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

I read this about a month ago and never got around to writing a review. I think I was inbetween blog spaces at the time. Hopefully I can do the book justice.

In saying that, I really really loved this book. I have a thing for Irish history. I don’t know why, I just do. I think it has to do with my obsession with faeries and they mostly are thought of as an Irish thing.

This story follow Melkorka through her years as a princess and then a slave on a slave trading ship. Her family was attacked by Vikings and they had her and her sister leave their town to seek shelter at a nearby village. Unfortunately they were captured by the Viking ship and put into slavery. Melkorka’s sister made a daring attempt to flee and jumped overboard and Melkorka couldn’t get out in time to be with her. They never end up seeing each other again.

Once again this is a sad story, but with a heartfelt twist. Melkorka learns what real friendship is and how to adapt to certain environments. She also learns what real heroism is and how to stand up for herself and others.

I really enjoyed this, even though it didn’t have a happy ending. Napoli does an excellent job of description throughout the novel. I could picture everywhere the slave boat went and even picture all the characters. It was like watching a movie in my head. I definitely recommend this book and any others of Napoli.