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The Eternal City by Paula Morris
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The Eternal City

by Paula Morris

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It was great! I loved it. ( )
  Lillian_Cyrway | Apr 22, 2016 |
Less than "meh". Thankfully, it's a short book, so I didn't waste too much time with it. But, you know, if it had been longer, it might have been better. Go into more detail, give us a little more of the gods...EXPLAIN more, please. As it was, most of the action made no sense and character motivations--when there were any--were unclear. There's a solid three- or four-star book that could be made from this story. Unfortunately, this wasn't it. ( )
  BillieBook | Mar 1, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A trip to Rome goes wrong when everyone but a handful of schoolkids are left to survive a war with the gods!

Opening Sentence: Laura Martin wasn’t even meant to be in Rome that June.

The Review:

This book is aimed at the younger adults and would be great for someone looking for an adventure story mixed with magic, myths and legends.

The combination of mysterious characters in The Eternal City intertwined with the legends of the gods was intriguing. My favourite God was Mercury, probably because the others weren’t as prominent in the story and had less interaction with the humans than Mercury did. And part of my fascination with him was because I could sense an attraction between him and Laura so I expected something more to happen; unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

The storyline was fairly predictable, which I would expect given the target audience, but there were parts that surprised me. For example, I expected one of the teachers to be secretly involved in the whole war of the gods thing (Percy Jackson springs to mind) but again that didn’t happen. The poor kids were literally stuck to fend for themselves in a foreign country, caught in a war between the Roman Gods! I guess if the teachers were involved and the teenagers had some sort of protection, then I would have compared it to Percy Jackson and assumed the author lacked originality.

“Jack was right,” Dan muttered to Laura. “This is the worst school trip ever. If our parents knew we’d be fighting random seagulls and statues, they’d sue the Department of Education.”

My main disappointment was the character of Megan. She had so much potential to begin with but it sort of disappeared when she became one of the students that fell ill. I can understand why the author chose to remove her from the main storyline; if Megan was still there no one would give Laura a second thought. It’s a sad reality but some people have stronger personalities than others. It was clear that Laura was Megan’s shadow, so to speak. The author tried to bring more spark to Laura but there’s only so much you can do to a natural vanilla!

A plus point to this read is that there were a lot of action and drama filled scenes. I liked the contrast between fighting to survive in one scene and teenage issues like ego clashes, cliques and crushes in the next. The story is centred around an odd but interesting mix of school kids and it was pretty obvious that Dan would like Laura but I still found their mini romance sort of sweet. Especially when Dan becomes jealous of the attention Laura receives from other guys. A war might be going on but boys will be boys.

Overall, a fun light read, great for the younger adult.

Notable Scene:

The trouble was, Laura thought, that dangers seemed to lurk everywhere. A dart wielding cherub on a tomb. The Mouth of Truth. The walls of a fresco. The woman at the Trevi Fountain, and the man here at the Fountain of Tortoises. Stone horses that moved, painted snakes that slithered, bronze tortoises that crawled and snapped and bared their teeth. Rome was alive with danger, seen and unseen, real and artificial. How could she believe anyone when they told her not to be afraid?

FTC Advisory: Point/Scholastic provided me with a copy of The Eternal City. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Dec 1, 2015 |
This book gave me a split personality. One shout, “Wonderful! Magical! Amazing!” while other scream, “Don’t you see all the flaws!”

Two things stop me from loving this book as much as I suppose to.

First, I find it very hard to connect with the character. They are bizarre, if you ask me. Despite the fact that most of them are seniors (except for our protagonist), they act quite silly. Nobody runs around a city with a can-be-erupted-anytime volcano. Well, except for this group of students. No teachers would let their students run around with bruises and constantly earthquakes outside. Well, except for these students’ teachers. Also, the author was focusing in the surrounding’s details too much, the emotion and feeling of our characters seem…dim. Which, it leads me into a situation where I was surprised and taken back by the actions of our fellow characters because I thought their personalities were different.

Second, book with details is good, book with a lot of details is amazing, but book with too much details is, eh, not so nice anymore. I actually was amazed by how detail The Eternal City is. Never been to Rome myself, I could still imagine how the streets, the stores, or the Pantheon would look like. That is how amazing Paula Morris’s writing is. But despite all the amazing things I told you, only 50% of the book are actually about the story. Reading through the first half of the for me is like walking through Rome, and although it seems like a good thing, nothing actually happen that relevant to the plot except for a group of teens walk around Rome with the possibility of erupted volcano, taking pictures of fountains and temples.

Our protagonist, Laura, is a very intelligent girl, or according to other characters, she is. Along with her friends, she experienced an unforgettable adventure in Rome. Although she was described as smart and calm, there is no scene in the book that actually show her intelligence. Her thoughts and actions are so different, I find it hard to fathom her personality.

The book just ended, too quick in my opinion. I’m torn between the pros and cons this book or not, since you can gain a lot of knowledge about Roman gods and goddesses, or the beauty of the this ancient city, Rome, although there are many flaws in these book. I would say this is a fine book, but there are a lot of flaws to begin with. Still, give it a chance, and who knows you might love it.

Read this review and more on https://bookisglee.wordpress.com ( )
  mariananhi | Jul 1, 2015 |
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Laura Martin wasn't even meant to be in Rome.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545251338, Hardcover)

From master of suspense Paula Morris comes a tale of gods and goddesses, thrilling romance, and mystery set in present-day Rome.

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:45 -0400)

Laura Martin is on a class trip to Rome when Mercury, a dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels, appears to give her a message, and Laura soon realizes that she is at the center of a brewing battle between the gods and goddesses--and only she and her friends can unravel the mystery behind what is happening.… (more)

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