Review: Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

Title: Sol of the Coliseum
Author: Adam Gaylord
Series: N/A
Pages: 262 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (September 17, 2015)
Rating: 4.5 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

 

GoodReads Synopsis

Deep in the bowels of the Coliseum of the mighty Astrolian Empire, the orphan, Sol, is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed Gladiator in all the land. Alongside K’nal, his giant Frorian fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. But when an oppressed populace transforms Sol into a revolutionary folk hero, the Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to put an end to the uprising. Sol’s only chance is to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the Coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

With elegant prose, Adam Gaylord tells a fast-paced gladiator story with layered, multi-dimensional characters. Sol of the Coliseum is not your typical Hollywood gladiator story. It is a story about someone just trying to survive to see the next day with their humanity. Even though he is a famous gladiator, Sol (the main character) kills only for survival, has strong values (despite his circumstances), and tries hard to keep his humanity, which I admired.

The author’s skilled prose made reading great fun (despite the small smart phone screen I read on). When Sol must fight in the Coliseum, the fights are detailed and descriptive with Sol more often than not having a clear strategy in mind for how he and his fighting partner (K’nal) are going to survive.

I am giving Sol of the Coliseum 4.5 stars, but there were just several small things that were preventing me from giving the extra half star. While the majority of the book was very suspenseful and action-packed, the beginning got off to a slightly slow start, so I had to power through for a small stretch before things started to pick up. However this wasn’t too much of a problem because the author took that time to help the reader gain a better understanding of Sol’s world and its inhabitants. Also I would’ve liked to see more character motivations/objectives/goals. Does Sol really want to escape or just live to see another day? Why is Lysik the evil sadistic assassin that he is? Why does he serve the empire and how did he come into its service?–since I don’t see a clear motive for his homicidal streaks other than that he is clearly insane, does he have some secret backstory or history?

On a positive note, I really liked how the author had the main POV’s storyline and then minor POVs’ storylines told and then at the end they all came together and fell into place. Also I liked how there was no love triangle between Sol, K’nal, and Korra and just a friendship, which is a hard phenomenon to come by sometimes. I’m also pleased that there was more than what meets the eye with Slink (a guard who puts up an unfriendly front who is constantly enduring ridicule from the other Colisium guards) instead of just having Slink being the classic nasty guard. Furthermore, Sol was actually mature enough to listen to Occi (his mother figure) and try to be nicer to Slink.

Overall I immensely enjoyed Sol of the Coliseum and am pleased that I got the chance to read it in exchange for an honest review as I do not think that I would’ve picked up this book (much less heard of it) on my own. This book is definitely a hidden gem in gladiator stories and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a unique gladiator story. I’m left with wondering whether there will be a sequel after Sol of the Coliseum‘s ending–what will happen to Sol, K’nal, Korra, and Slink?

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord in exchange for an honest review.

WWW Wednesday #54

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardguo, The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heiligwww.amazon.com

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry BrooksSol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord

I have recently finished reading* Fairest by Marissa Meyer, Stars Above by Marissa MeyerRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (re-read), The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, Uprooted by Naomi Novak, The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan, The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine, Riders by Veronica Rossi, The Last Star by Rick Yancey, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, How to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman Ph.D., The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine, The Whispering Statue by Carolyn Keene (re-read), Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie, and Third Girl by Agatha ChristieIf you’re interested in reading a bit about my thoughts on these books, read my Return From Hiatus + Reading Update post.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodmannerdist.com

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski The Winner's Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Uprooted by Naomi NovakThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearsontweenthepages.wordpress.com

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryStardust by Neil GaimanThe Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

Riders by Veronica Rossiwww.amazon.com

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonThis Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonWhere She Went by Gayle Forman

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareHow to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine WioodfineThe Mystery of the Jewelled MothThe Whispering Statue by Carolyn Keene

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha ChristieThird Girl by Agatha Christie

I hope to read The Circle by Dave Eggers, Eon by Alison Goodman, and Poison Study by Maria V.  Snyder next.

The Circle by Dave EggersEon by Alison GoodmanPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

*I have been on hiatus, which is why I have so many books under ‘recently finished,’ but I wish I could read books that quickly though:)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays: a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of July 19, 2016 is: top ten books set outside of the US–by outside the United States, I’m assuming that means anywhere else in the world (since high fantasy worlds are separate?).

Top Ten Tuesday

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling — Set in Britain

apilgriminnarnia.com

2. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman — Set in Regency-era Britain, I believe

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

3. Winter by Marissa Meyer — Set in outer space, Luna (the moon), and the Eastern Commonwealth (?)

usatoday.com

4. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie — Set in Egypt

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

5. The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine — Set in Britain

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Wioodfine

Continue reading

Return From Hiatus + Reading Update

Hi Readers,

After an approximately two-month long hiatus, I’ve returned to blogging. As I said in my hiatus post, I took a break to focus more on my writing, but I’ve decided to return after encountering a particularly nasty stretch of writer’s block.

I’ve still been reading though (quite a lot) and would love to hear your thoughts on these books:

Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer — While this was definitely not my favorite book of The Lunar ChroniclesFairest was still an entertaining and insightful (if dark) book into the mind of the series’ main villain, Queen Levana.

 

 

 

Stars Above by Marissa MeyerStars Above by Marissa Meyer — I did find this collection of novellas to be quite delightful, but I’d originally read it with the intent of finding out what happened to everyone after Winter and I thought only the last story really did that.

 

 

 

How to Write with Flair by Heather HollemanHow to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman Ph.D. — An instructive and short book on writing.

 

 

 

 

Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard — I’d seen both positive and negative reviews, and sadly if I do review this book, my review will fall under the latter. While mildly entertaining with relatively smooth writing, Mare just got on my nerves and I felt like the over-all concept wasn’t too original.

 

 

Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard — I still wanted to find out what happened (thanks to that cliffhanger), but I liked Mare even less and I ended up skim reading to the end (another cliffhanger), but this time I don’t think I’ll pick up the sequel. On a positive note, I did like Farley’s character more in this book.

 

 

The Dark Days Club by Alison GoodmanThe Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman — I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this historical fiction-fantasy blend.  The writing style was unique and the main character a strong willed, independent young woman.

 

 

 

nerdist.com

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir — This was a re-read. I love reading this book because of how action-packed and suspenseful it is, but I really can’t love the two POV characters and their decisions.

 

 

 

Continue reading

Blogging Hiatus

Dear Readers,

Recently I have not been posting as much on my blog. At first it was because I was working on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, but now since I’ve finished it, I’ve been hit with a severe case of writer’s block for blogging. As a result, I’m taking a blogging hiatus of indeterminate length. Hopefully I’ll start blogging again in summer.

I’m not quitting blogging because I do enjoy it. It’s just that I want to take time to step back and write some good-quality book reviews while working on revising my novel.

Thank you all for being supportive of my blogging!:)

— T.K.

WWW Wednesday #53

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading How to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman Ph.D.

How to Write with Flair by Heather Holleman

I have recently finished reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and it was worth the hype.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I currently have no plans on what I will read next.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

Reader Ravings: 2016 Cliffhangers — Dying for the Sequel

The definition of ‘cliffhanger’ according to The New Oxford American Dictionary:

cliffhanger |ˈklifˌhaNGər|

noun
an ending to an episode of a serial drama that leaves the audience in suspense.
• a story or event with a strong element of suspense: the game was a cliffhanger right up to the final buzzer.

DERIVATIVES
cliffhanging |-ˌhaNGiNG|adjective

My definition of ‘cliffhanger’ from a bookworm’s perspective:

cliffhanger |ˈklifˌhaNGər|

noun
(of a book in a series) a suspenseful, sometimes abrupt ending
• a story device used to generate excitement for the book’s release
• a story device used to provoke questions about the upcoming sequel’s events

DERIVATIVES
cliffhanging |-ˌhaNGiNG|adjective

Here are some sequels whose release I can’t wait for after those cliffhangers:

1. Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
Waiting On: A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray
Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia GrayA Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray

2. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Waiting On: The Last Star by Rick Yancey
www.amazon.comwww.amazon.com

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Waiting On: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
nerdist.comA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Waiting On: Untitled (Truthwitch #2) by Susan Dennard
www.amazon.com

5. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
Waiting On: Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini
Firewalker by Josephine AngeliniWitch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

6. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Waiting On: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
www.amazon.comThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

7. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Waiting On: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
adweek.comCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

 

8. The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Waiting On: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
kernelscorner.comThe Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Continue reading

WWW Wednesday #52

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. The meme was formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. The questions are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

pinterest.com

I am currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I have recently finished reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (the beginning was a tad slow, but other than that I thought the book was amazing and had great character development–hopefully I’ll write my review soon!) and The Reason by Lacey Sturm.

allgeektome.net

The Reason by Lacey Sturm

I currently have no plans on what I will read next.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on them? I’d love to know. Feel free to post a link to your WWW in a comment.  :)

P.S. I apologize for not being as active at reading your posts–I will probably catch up in my post reading by the end of April. Happy Reading!:)

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books Every Non-Bookworm Should Read

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesdays: a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic of April 12, 2016 is ten books every x (fill in x with your choice) should read. So I chose to do a list of ten (YA) books people who don’t consider themselves bookworms should read or consider reading:

Top Ten Tuesday

I think all, if not most of these books have film adaptations (or soon to be released film adaptations) and are relatively well known films, so from a non-bookworm’s perspective, I think it would be interesting to read one of my favorite movies as a book.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

saltmanz.com

saltmanz.com

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

lolliepop156.glogster.com

lolliepop156.glogster.com

4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

mmriley.com

mmriley.com

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

6. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

booksfromtheaddict.wordpress.com

booksfromtheaddict.wordpress.com

7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

jeriwb.com

jeriwb.com

8. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

bookriot.com

bookriot.com

9. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

100bookninja.wordpress.com

100bookninja.wordpress.com

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green