The Mark of Athena hit bookshelves early last week. We’ve read it from cover to cover and we’re here to share the good, the bad, and the monstrous.

Rick Riordan doesn’t disappoint with his latest installment in the Heroes of Olympus series. His trademark humor is spot on, causing more than one real-life LOL. All the silly monsters and clever lines that we fell in love with when we read The Lightning Thief are new, improved, and back with a vengeance. We’ve got fresh retorts and the latest Greek god-inspired spoofs (our favorite one being, “So you think you can weave better than a goddess?”), and each one packs a serious punch.

The Mark of Athena sees representatives of the two camps – Half-Blood and Jupiter – together in the same place, but not necessarily united under the same flag. Seven demigods have to venture forth on the quest of a lifetime, but the hardest part might prove to be working together. They must fly on the Argo II, the Greek trireme adorned with the head of our favorite dragon Festus, cross the United States, traverse the ocean, and end up in Rome – one of the most dangerous places in the world for demigods. (Go figure, right?)

The story is told from four different points of view: Piper, Leo, Percy, and Annabeth. Stepping back into Percy’s shoes always feels like soaking in a nice, clean, freshwater river after a particularly arduous day at Camp Half-Blood. Leo is also a personal favorite, and his witty retorts and unique perspectives don’t go unappreciated. Even hopping into Piper’s brain for a while feels familiar and secure. But this truly is Annabeth’s story (hence the title of the book) and we can’t help but say: finally!

On the whole, the book was another success as far as we’re concerned. The funny moments weigh equally with the emotional bits, and the suspense keeps you turning pages as if the fate of the world is resting on your back (or maybe that was just Atlas wanting a quick break). The most exciting part had to be when the demigods finally made it to Rome. Despite the fact that they knew what they had to face there, the crew of the Argo II and the readers alike take a moment to appreciate finally stepping foot in one of the birthplaces of all those legends.

The book slows down periodically to take note of everyone’s situation. There are a lot of characters aboard the ship, and taking stock of what each one is thinking or doing can become tiresome. This book is as much about relationships as it is about finding a way to stop Gaea, and while that’s all fine and dandy, sometimes we (as in this writer in particular) just wants to see some ancient mythological monster’s head flying instead of hearing about how everyone feels about everyone else.

Gone are the days of the 12-year-old boy who just found out his father was Poseidon. (Can we just take a moment here as well to say that we really miss those snarky chapter titles from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series?) Percy is almost 17 and the tone of the book reflects this. The various couples find themselves alone more often and we sense that our favorite characters are almost fully-fledged adults. The humor is sometimes in contrast to this and doesn’t fit as well with the story as when our characters were pre-teens. On the other hand, we can’t say we didn’t laugh when a giant with an affinity for ballet popped up in a blue tutu and insisted on performing a pirouette with every attack.

The novel on a whole answered a lot of questions, although we probably have just as many new ones for the following book. But these set us up perfectly for the next installment as well: we know the goal (to save the world…again), but it’s an impossible task under an impossible deadline. It’s nothing new for our heroes, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Oh, and the ending? Well, we’re obviously not going to give that away. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

How did you like ‘The Mark of Athena’?

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Read full article

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Last year, Sony had their pick of three complete scripts for a live-action Barbie movie. Of those three, they chose Hilary Winston’s. Now that Schumer is on board, THR says to expect her and her sister, Kim Caramele, to rewrite Winston’s original idea.

The plot, given that Schumer doesn’t change the major details, “begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”

The outlet also addresses the fact that Mattel has had to deal with plenty of criticism regarding body image and race when it comes to the Barbie toys. Schumer’s casting is a great way to speak to some of those issues, and will hopefully provide a positive and uplifting message by the movie’s end.

There will be, of course, some hesitation given Schumer’s previous work. One only has to look as far as Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer to see her comedy is often brutally honest and raunchy. Barbie would be shocked.

But Schumer is an actress, after all, and a brilliant comedian. For this “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity,” she seems like just the right fit.

What do you think of Amy Schumer as Barbie?

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Read full article

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Stream ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’:

Spotify users can easily stream The Hamilton Mixtape below. You can also listen here via Apple Music.:

And you can purchase a physical copy from Amazon here (you know all the Hamilton fans in your life will want a physical copy):

Hamilton Mixtape tracklist

1. No John Trumbull (Intro) – The Roots
2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] – The Roots
3. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
4. Wait For It – Usher
5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] – Watsky
6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) – Sia
7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) – Regina Spektor
8. Valley Forge (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. It’s Quiet Uptown – Kelly Clarkson
10. That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
12. You’ll Be Back – Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) – Ashanti
14. Take A Break (Interlude) – !llmind
15. Say Yes To This – Jill Scott
16. Congratulations – Dessa
17. Burn – Andra Day
18. Stay Alive (Interlude) – J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
19. Slavery Battle (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
20. Washington’s By Your Side – Wiz Khalifa
21. History Has Its Eyes On You – John Legend
22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) – The Roots
23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) – Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights

What are our favorite performances on ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’?

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

Read full article

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21