Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Book 2 is called: THE SEA OF MONSTERS.

The movie was way better than the first one. I think Tyson was kinda hot lol


Percy changed school and met a very scared and very enormous boy named Tyson. Protector of the bullied, Percy was always there for Tyson and vice versa. One day, a game of dodgeball became a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants – the Laestrygonians and he found out that Tyson was a fireproof cyclops and also *surprise, surprise!* his half-brother.

Meanwhile Grover who was looking for the Lord of Nature, Pan, who was lost at the Sea of Monsters. The whole Camp Half-Blood was in ruins because their protector, a tree that was supposed to be the incarnation of daughter of Zeus, Thalia was poisoned. The tree marked the border between the real world and the enchanted strawberry farm. Annabeth deduced that Grover had found the Golden Fleece, a cure for all poison and nature and was trying to communicate with them for help. So Percy, Annabeth, Tyson and coincidentally Clarisse, daughter of Ares – God of War, was thrown into the chase and they have to figure out how to save Grover and steal the Golden Fleece from Polyphemus, a giant cannibal cyclope guarding it and to bring it back to Half-Blood Camp to cure Thalia/the tree.

Percy’s sarcasm:

“Mythologically speaking, if there’s anything I hate worse than trios of old ladies, it’s bulls. Last summer, I fought the Minotaur on top of Half-Blood Hill. This time what I saw up there was even worse: two bulls. And not just regular bulls – bronze ones the size of elephants. And even that wasn’t bad enough. Naturally they had to breathe fire, too.”


I’d say I like Book 2 better than Book 1. Maybe because of Tyson. Maybe not. I didn’t like Annabeth much in this because she reminds me too much of Hermione Granger. Percy, of course is the kind of man you want to read because he’s so stupid and so honest. His relationship with his new found half-brother was sweet and heartfelt. Overall the book is worth 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I’ve read more Percy Jackson than Harry Potter. Sometimes I wonder why and then I thought about the Epilogue in Deathly Hallows and I loved my decision more than ever.


I saw the movie first and didn’t like it. If you do, you probably haven’t read the book. Justice was not even there to witness how they ruined it. I don’t always pick books over movies. Some versions were better, for example The Witch, The Lion and the Wardrobe, The Giver and The Maze Runner. For Percy Jackson’s case, I really felt a deep sympathy for Uncle Riordan.

Enough of that. We start with the first book; THE LIGHTNING THIEF.

Perseus ‘Percy’ Jackson was a troubled 12 year old studying in a boarding school deemed for special kids. He’s dyslexic with a touch of ADHD. His only friend was Grover and his favourite teacher was Mr. Brunner, a paraplegic man who taught Greek Mythology. He hates school but he hates his stepfather even more. His mother works at a candy store and he would do anything for her. He’d been brought up to understand that his father had left him after he was born.

After several curious incidents, he found out who was his father; Father of Horses, Earthshaker, Stormbringer. All hail Percy Jackson, son of the Sea God, Poseidon.


He was not the only half human-half God in the world. These kids are called demigods or half bloods and they’re sent to a special camp called the Half-Blood Camp so that they can learn how to defend themselves. Apparently they’re delicious delicacy and their smell attracts all sorts of Greek demons and monsters. Most demigods can’t survive in real world without proper training.

Our story starts when a Minotaur kidnapped Percy’s mother to the Underworld, so he knew right away that he got to save her. Meanwhile Zeus, God of the Sky lost his lightning bolt at the same time when Hades, Lord of the Underworld lost his helmet of darkness and they all blamed Percy. He just need to figure out how to get everything back along with daughter of Athena, Annabeth Chase and his beloved undercover satyr, Grover.


Damn, I did not see that coming would be the appropriate thing to say. This scene, even while reading gives me goosebumps every single time. It’s when Poseidon officially declared Percy as his son.


Riordan has a particular set of skills that turns you into an addict without you even noticing. It’s a bit annoying to be honest because you don’t want to fell into the well but when you realized about it, you’re half drowning already.

He has his own style. If you’re into Greek gods, action and witty sarcasm, this is the book for you.

My favourite quote:

“Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment,as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades’ underwear?”

Seriously, Hades is one of my favourite gods and his wife, Persephone is metal as fuck 🙂 She’s all flowery and growing flowers in spring but in winter she’s the Queen of the Underworld.

Greek gods are awesome 🙂

The book is worth 3.75 out of 5 stars. The only thing I hate about the book is the constant interruptions at crucial moments. Read it and you will definitely understand why. I understand why people who enjoyed Harry Potter were recommended to read this book but I don’t see the point of comparing it. I thoroughly enjoyed Percy’s point of view and I was lucky because I got Book 2 ready by the time I finished Book 1.

This is Embarrassing

Really, it is. How long was it, five months? Damn. I knew it was a long time since I’ve written something but did I really sunk that low? That’s like five months of full throttle otaku mode!

Senpai, notice me!


Yes. I am admitting to the world. I am joining the anime fans. I no longer watch regular television programs, need very little sleep to function like a proper human and eat leftovers throughout the day. I am only a simple girl wishing to end one episode after the other and falling in love with fictional characters.

Honestly, it wasn’t meant to be a permanent status. I watched anime when I was young but I don’t like it, I mean, I can live without it. No big deal. One of the reasons I was not so into it was because the Malay dub was nothing short of remarkable, it’s boring. They did a pretty decent job but it’s the same actors day in, day out, this series and that series. The story line was mainstream. Either the protagonist had the best skill at spinning a top or racing cars or catching furry little monsters. I’m way past that phase, as far as I’m concern.

And then I tried following Aang: The Last Airbender (A:TLA) and I thought that it was one of the most awesome, memorable cartoon/animation I watched on t.v. It had proper essence, like, it actually taught me something valuable about myself and I did not expect that from a kids’ program. I was hooked.


The picture accurately portrayed the 61 episode journey from start to the end and I loved it. I was so excited with this new found genre (I thought this was anime – it’s not) that I immediately started watching Legend of Korra (LOK) – the sequal of A:TLA.


Big mistake. All 52 episodes of it. The series had the biggest potential to be a better hit than A:TLA but fell short. They had pretty strong points – the fight scenes packed more power and the worldbuilding are way better than the first counterpart but the story line after Book One: Air was totally ridiculous and I can’t empathize with any of the the villains afterwards. I reached out to fellow LOK followers online (the series was still ongoing at that time and everyone was hoping that it will knock our socks off – fat chance!) and while waiting for the next episode to be uploaded online, I spent some time watching some anime recommendations from my virtual friends.

One of it was Barakamon. It was supposed to be a trial series since it only has 12 episodes. It should not burden me or waste my time or left me sobbing after the first episode or made me more determined to practice my art no matter what. Handa Seishuu was an infamous calligrapher known for his short temper and he had punched the director of an art gallery for criticizing his masterpiece. The story unfolds when Handa’s father suggested that he should cool off his temper on an island where his father grew up. The series was not about magic or vampires or demons. It’s simply about life and how you handle failure. I have never felt this kind of resonance with a character before. Handa and I, we’re both on the same page. Angry and struggling and we want to be the best. It got me from the very first episode and never let go.


Do you know what happens after that? I went absolutely crazy and it will get more and more embarrassing after this.

Second Official Book

I’ve waited 2 months (in agony) for them to evaluate my second full manuscript. I had high hopes that it will be published (I’m pretty optimistic sometimes) but I didn’t expect it to take almost a year to do so.

Yep. They sent a contract saying that I can only see my baby by May 2016. [*hyperventilates*]

Don’t get me wrong. I’m ecstatic that I finally found out that they were really going for it because it was not the kind of book that they would normally publish. I’m my own category. But I feel like frothing in my mouth with all the bubbles of my future expenditure. A year, man. And the royalty is paid annually, at the end of year. [*throttles myself*] I must have made a serious gamble.

I was hoping to escape this prison, maybe further my study with the royalty. I don’t know. I need to breakaway as soon as possible. My heart is not in the right place. But this is actually a step backward. It will take me at least another 2 years to actually get paid. Oh my god, thinking about it makes me ill.

This will not do. Gotta step up my end game. I’m game for another book.


I rarely speak nowadays. If I am required to look for a new friend, I’d tremble at the thought of new conversation, like a kindergartner on her first day. I would rather stay in my room or look for a clean table and began to type. I might offer an occasional ‘hmmph’ so my parents knew I was listening. Other than that, I’m quite mute and it came naturally.

The society was not impressed. It was called ‘snobbish’ or ‘pretentious’, I guess. They tried to lure me out with cute children, gossip and food and I deliberately took the first bite. And then I learned my lesson – people really suck sometimes and they do it for fun.

The gathering was totally unplanned, of course. The objective is to exchange latest stories – dramas within 10 mile radius, recipes, children’s traditional remedy for simple ailments, religious talk and of course, the timeline of someone’s humiliation that’s coincidentally was not there. I came from a girls’ school and it was supposed to be the broth and blood in my bones but now I’m just sick of it. I had the same feeling when I scroll down my Facebook’s newsfeed. I was there, mute and judging silently. Sometimes I feel proud of myself. Thank God I’m not that pathetic. Most of the time I felt more awful than the previous time. Then I unfollowed them all, leaving the updates of some book bloggers, artists, photographers and writers.

And yet I still felt annoyed. Ugh. Pesky humans. They don’t even mean what they say!

I realized it way too late. People talk and say things. Promised things. Jokes about things. A word of advice; they don’t really mean it. They scatter the words into the wind and forget all about it when they sleep. Some never intended to keep it. They said you’d be their best friend forever and you thought that should last long enough after the sun collapses and you were wrong. They left and stomp your heart with their feet. They said they worry about you because they love you and they don’t want you to make mistakes and that’s why they’re not going to support your decision. You need some networking, not wasting your time doing petty things, they said. You’re not supposed to be happy. Just suffer life like the rest of us. Use your degree. They tell you if you have any problems, they’d be there. The same one that says ‘all your secrets are safe with me.’ When disaster struck, I had to chase them one by one. I begged them to protect me. I was that scared. All I received was uncomfortable silence and a voice saying ‘call me when you’re better and we’ll celebrate!’

And I just stood there with all the words printed on my bleeding skin. Reading it all over and over again, asking myself which part of this conversation I didn’t understand.

New Books

Every time I write a new post, WordPress is updating something. Either the panels are suddenly on the right and then on the left and then it’s everywhere. It’s confusing. That’s how long I’ve been doing other stuffs besides blogging.

I’ve been working hard to the point that my hand isn’t what it used to be. The tiny bones around my middle knuckle is not happy each time I grab a pen or typing something. It aches like a mother. It’s my fault probably. I punched a wooden cupboard in fits of anger and now I’m paying it with my unworthy fist.

I finished an English book about 56 K unedited words. A paranormal thing that I thought a lot about. I’m letting it stew for about a month before I have another go at it. I sent the 3 first chapters to my old publisher because one of the workers told me back in 2014 that they were looking for English manuscripts but it came back with ‘we no longer publish English books’ in my inbox. That’s a shame. They published a few, I think. I have to find another publisher who does. I’m nervous when I think about book agents and international bestseller with my name but it would be so cool to break out from this maze.

I finished a travelogue with about 60 K, edited without mercy. I thought it was one of my most emotional works. I put a lot of effort into it. Sent the 3 first chapters to the same publisher and it was rejected after miserable 2 months. The long manuscript queue almost drove me insane. One should never advertise to give one’s feedback after 3 weeks when one only have time after 8 weeks. The panels (there were 9 people judging me, most of them writers of the same company) said that the 3 chapters don’t have enough ‘hook’ to bait the readers. I admit that’s true. I moved it back to chapter four because I need to say something important (and boring) in chapter three. 4 people agreed to publish it. 5 said it sucked big time. I accept defeat and try to connect with another publisher.

I wrote to him in fits of anger. Maybe this dude could help. I followed his rants on Facebook. He seemed cool and fearless and just absolutely sincere to the point that he was banned from giving speeches in universities and some public places. He didn’t reply. I was desperate. 2 down. I have to search for other people and I’m running out of lists.

I sent to another publisher, a relatively new name with 12 books under its belt. It was a scary mail. I was terrified of another rejection mail. 4 days later they said yes. We want your full manuscript. I was over the moon. It’s been a month after they asked me for it. I hope it went well. I really do. The manuscript is important to me. It contained half of my precious life. I was hoping to publish it since the past 10 years and when I’m ready, I hope to do it as swiftly as I could.

Meanwhile, I found another publisher who publishes English, Malay and even short stories. Interesting. I worked on several short stories (sucky ones, I’ve been told but this is when I didn’t know much about short stories) and sent it to them on their website. The CEO liked it. Sent me a mail on the same day saying that it caught his attention. The 10 stories was about 13 K, a meager meal way below the company’s requirement of 20 K words for short stories. He said he had forwarded the stories to their English editor and it has been a week that I’ve been waiting for that bloody girl to write me something. No word.

I have two pending works and I am going crazy because I can’t do anything about it. Now I’m working on a love story. It should be about 70 K but that was not the most terrifying thing about it. I didn’t know much about love but I’m lying about it anyway. I’m up to chapter 5 (out of 35) when suddenly I thought it would be a great idea to write a series of Malay short stories. Now I have three. Needs seven more before I could send it off.

My thoughts are everywhere. I hope my babies are all alright. I’m paranoid. My hand hurts. I hope things will get better soon. I really do.

The Crater

For years I’ve been dancing around the crater of wound

Ignoring the hunger, the pleading, the blistering screams

Daring myself to laugh at soulless skins drowning inside the burning pit

Fucking idiots, I would say. I pitied the weak.

And then I slipped. My feet touched a corner oozing with pus and I screamed his name.

The memory burrowed out of the marrow of my bones. A dimpled chin. A tuft of black hair, darker than a cloak of nightmare. Shots of laughter bottled inside the core of the sun. Stolen kisses on the cream sofa. Long and infinite warm hugs. Caramel stuffed clog porcelains. Hot chocolate flavored tea on silver tray. Homemade guacamole. Fingers licking pungent pumpkin curry. Purple checked shirts. Accent tags. Eyes like pools of amber nectar. Heart that reached out and dutifully mends.

Like a little goldfish, I’m breathless in the palm of his hands.

Put me in the crater, dear. I promise I won’t climb out again.

Book Review: Chaos Walking The Trilogy

I’ve decided that I should write a review for a beloved book series of mine. To be honest I’ve never heard of Patrick Ness and the Chaos Walking trilogy but I’ve heard wonderful reviews (4-5 stars at least) about it on tumblr and the books are wonderfully weird in an awesome way.

So be it.


Pardon the quality. My sister borrowed my digicam to take photogenic HD photos of her pet fungi (she’s a research assistant in a bio lab) and I’m left with a poor quality cameraphone. I want to do this so bad today so here we are, battling curiosity and hopelessness in judging stacks of papers.

*sigh* I need distractions.

Look! See the invisible writings? The book cover is nothing short of glorious!


Each cover bears it so you will find yourself caressing them like your first born child. You heard me. First born biological child. *strokes cover*

So I should start with the first book. I loved the title ; THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. We are to be presented with our hero, Todd Hewitt and fair warning for the faint hearted, his companion, Manchee.

We’re presented with the New World, sort of new settlements (think American colonies in the 16th century but planet-wise) where in the sky you will find an extra moon. The new planet was inhabited by an ‘alien’ race called Spackle and they communicate by hearing each other’s thoughts.

So when the new human settlers came, they did not expect to hear each other’s thoughts out loud. You will see it demonstrated in the book as below.


I’ve never seen something so random, pretty and wonderful as those bold scribbles. Those are called Noise.

So our story began in a small town called Prentisstown (you can guess what’s the mayor’s name) where it’s been thought that the Spackle released a kind of germ to the humans making them hear their thoughts out loud (even the animals) and the Noise was not only annoying to men but it killed off all the womenfolk including Todd’s mom.

Todd was adopted by his two fathers and he was the last boy in town whose going through the age of men – thirteen, but unbeknownst to him, his fathers thought of a way for him and Manchee to run away from their hometown before he turns 13. Mayor Prentiss had a horrible idea and Ben and Cillian didn’t want Todd to be any part of that plan.

When Todd was walking Manchee out of town, he stumbled upon a spot of Silence in the middle of nowhere. When he told his parents, they immediately want him to leave. Todd didn’t like the idea one bit but he did it anyway and found out that the Silence moved.

It was a girl and she fell from the sky.

The whole Prentisstown was out on a hunt for Todd and he had to bring the girl along with him but how are you going to escape an army when they can hear your every thought?

Dun. Dun. Dun.

The second book is called; THE ASK AND THE ANSWER.


Blue color. Lovely. This is my favourite cover.

The story started with Todd carrying Viola (The Moving Silence) who was badly hurt to a new place called Haven, a supposedly safe and promised place. He surrendered to Mayor Prentiss’s army and was separated immediately from Viola. Meanwhile Mayor Prentiss conquered Haven and renamed it to New Prentisstown and hoarded all the cures for Noise.

Viola was placed in a house of healing and while getting better, she also learned on how to be a healer like the rest of the women of Haven under guidance from Mistress Coyle. Unhappy with the new mayor, Mistress Coyle led a resistance movement called The Answer to carry out bombings in strategic places in the city. The other side retaliate with The Ask.

Todd, working for the mayor now had to manage a herd of Spackles for municipal works and one day he saved a Spackle from a bombing. His balance shifted. Which side should he take, his employer, Viola or the ungrateful slave?

The last book is called; MONSTERS OF MEN.


Spoiler alert; there will be war.

The Spackle army was marching towards New Prentisstown and Mayor Prentiss was in charge of his own army while Viola was trying to communicate with a new spaceship bringing the next batch of colonists, new weapons and advanced technology. Which side will win?


1) The Knife of Never Letting Go was a very emotional book for me. I didn’t like Todd in the beginning. He abuses Manchee for no reason whatsoever! I hated him for being such an idiotic, whiny boy. I didn’t think he’d make a brilliant hero because he’s always scared and to be honest, he made a lot of stupid decisions. He can’t even spell and read. UGH. I thought he was going to get everyone killed because he was stupid.

And I was wrong. I took everything back. Just read the book and tell me how you fell in love with Todd.

2) The Ask and The Answer discussed very delicate theme. It went deeper than most young adult literature (YA lit) ever did to me. I’ve read many YA lit discussing wars, propaganda and tactical but this book sent chills down my spine. It makes you think about the calculating mind reasoning behind a purposely destroyed public watertank and why people are ready to suffer to make the other side die/lose/break in a certain manner.

We are cruel beings. It tells you how humans in war are not much different than monsters. You try to figure out the motives of leaders like Mayor Prentiss who was all about power and Mistress Coyle who talks about rights. You think of why certain people think that their opinion is valid enough to kill innocent victims. Why suicide bombers think that they can achieve something by taking their own life. Was it worth it, an eye for an eye?

Man, the book is just brilliant. I loved the short story at the end of last chapter. I can almost imagine reading with Noise and I wanted to be a Spackle.

3) Monsters of Men was the most difficult read for me of all three. It discusses not two side of a war but three. One side is protecting their own country/people/rights (the Spackle), one side is fighting for power (New Prentisstown) and another side is fighting for survival (the latest colonists who came from a broken planet faraway) You’ll understand why there would be allies and peace treaty. There’s so many hidden things in the war that we saw on t.v and reading this book made me understand the world and the kind of people we live with.

Overall it was a five star book for me 🙂 I don’t know if they’re making a movie out of this but it would be a challenging one that is. You’ll see.

Perks of Being a Translator

Last year, I translated a book from John Green called The Fault in Our Stars.


It wasn’t my first choice. I wrote to the publisher and asked if they were interested in paying me to translate The Hunger Games and they told me that it was already an ongoing project (for 2 damn years) Instead of moping, I asked if there was another project and they said yes, for Mr. Green.

I mean, I’m on tumblr and you, sir sucked big time if you failed to read all the quotes that crept slowly on your dashboard. I thought it was ‘deep’ and philosophical but no way I would read the book. It’s just not my kind. And yet when in Waterstones I saw that book up for a quid and I bought it without thinking twice. Part of it was curiosity but another part was just a dim wish. I might get to fangirl with them (tumblr girls crying over Gus) and get some friends. You know, shallow, selfish stuffs.

So I read it. To be honest, I cried but not a lot. I cried more reading The Hunger Games (sorry, wrong genre) Honestly, I think it’s an equally brilliant book though I have to admit that I disagree on certain parts. I loved how he managed to make Amsterdam a metaphor for Hazel and The Anne Frank House for Gus. It’s like it’s written in the stars [*teary eyes*]



So my publisher said there was another girl who was supposed to be doing the translation but she had to continue her studies and there’s a possibility that she can’t do it. I said fine and it was supposed to be a 50-50 deal but in the end she just managed to translate up to chapter three. I was fine with it but I would suggest that anyone with the right mind should really think of translating one book alone. It’s a headache to fuse two minds into one voice.

The editor said that I have less than 2 months (we need to publish it before the movie screening in Malaysia) so I did my best. It was hard because Malay words are formal (sometimes philosophical) but not well adapted to be embedded in the minds of teenagers and TFIOS is a book aimed for youth. It’s a young adult literature. So you have to fence fight with literary terms and jostled it with really shallow street slang. You have to mix it right so it should not be too sharp, nor too blunt. I revised and fought for my translation. Sometimes the editor thought it was okay but sometimes he changed it, sometimes without telling me. I told him the truth. Some I do agree and some I didn’t. In the end, the book was done and was sold out in 3 weeks. It went into second print until today it’s one of the bestsellers of the company.

I guess I did okay. Some complained that it was a really formal translation of TFIOS and not ‘groovy’ enough but I’m fine with it. It’s over. Can’t change anything and won’t.

The publisher sent me another manuscript called Cat out of Hell right after the day I sent him the full translation. A pretty dark humored book, if you ask me but he wanted me to choose between Park and Eleanor and Cat out of Hell and if given another chance, I would still choose the same book. I love Cat out of Hell.

Can’t stand P&E. Sorry. Too much brands promo/pop culture references to shape up an identity. I know it’s for youth but not everyone has the same ideology or identify with American brands. In certain countries outside of USA, a common brand costs a fortune and we only saw them on second hand shops or donated during floods. It’s a pathetic excuse to build a character.

Well, yes. Moving on. I was being upset about something more important than labels.

My publisher and beloved editor.

He gave me some time to peruse the book and then told me that I should contact him when I’m done. I guess I deserve some break after TFIOS so after a month, I mailed him asking for updates. I was translating the book (for about 10 pages) and then he promptly said that we’re not printing that book. Malaysians might not understand the dark humor.


Fine. My fault. I should have asked him first.

I met this editor many times. Always smiling, having fun. He knew I speak Spanish so sometimes he would say some Spanish babble and I just laugh. I guess he’s a nice guy to work with.

I asked him if I can get some discounts for some poem books and even my translated copy. He said I can get it for free. WOW. This is so cool! I was looking forward for those copies but then he promptly forgot about that. Fine, I said. Next time.

He put on Facebook that his company was looking for an in-house translator and I immediately applied hoping to get it because I helped them before. No reply.

I asked for my royalty after 6 months. Nothing. There were some mails back and forth. Asks and answers. There was something about consignments, and bookshops not paying it but other than that I guess I have to wait for it. I kinda break my heart because I was asking about it since early December to get to a book sale. Nothing. When my grandmother died, I didn’t have a dime to chip in (that was early January) so I am quite upset with the whole arrangement.

And then again, on their FB page, he’s asking for a Spanish translator (when he already got my resumé from the in-house translator vacancy. He knew that I speak Spanish) Still, I sent my CV. I wanted to see how long can he ignore me, push me and just pretend that I didn’t exist.

I once sent a manuscript to be published (long time ago when my English REALLY sucked) and got nothing as a reply. I can accept that. But now? It’s the same voice. Same action. I feel like a candy wrapper, now discarded at a wrong recycle bin.

I guess I can expect the same thing from him now. No-fucking-thing.

And it’s just so sad because his echo is blaring; that I’m not good enough, that my part of the answer equation did not matter to him and my efforts were worthless. All those nights and worrying and dictionary browsing were nothing. I was just a mean to get a book published and I should not take offence because they’re a big, established company with money.

And stupid me, I thought that if I did a good job they would want me 😦


LATEST UPDATE 14/05/2015:

The royalty has been paid some time last week 🙂 I felt like it rained golden nuggets. I thank the unfaulty alignment of stars for this.