Series review: Olympus Bound by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Olympus Bound by Jordanna Max Brodsky
I've been looking for an interesting new UF series and have been surfing the net for a very long time. I'll give every book a chance and that's what I did with this series, Olympus Bound. I was attracted to the synopsis of the first book, Immortals, on Goodreads and liked it. You see, I'm a History professor and I really liked the whole Greek pantheon theme of these books. I was also intrigued by this series because their writer is a History professor, too.
So, the series has two books so far, Immortals and Winter ofthe Gods. The third is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018 (according to Goodreads). I'll only talk about the first book here and rate the second in a few short lines. The reason is simple, the first book sets the stage, and I don't want this post to be the size of War and Peace (LOL).
With the arrival of Christianity, the Greek Gods were abandoned by the human race. They stopped being worshipped and the great God Zeus decided that the Olympians would leave Greece and never return. They have lived all over the world slowly fading away, living off of their former power because no one was paying hommage to them any more.
Now, if you'd like to read about the series after the jump, be warned there will be SLIGHT SPOILERS.
Book #1: Immortals
We meet Selene, former goddess Artemis, the Huntress, protector of women and innocents. She works as a vigilante for abused women and children. The main plot of the book deals with very gruesome and violent deaths of women. Selene realises that the murders are connected to a Greek ritual but doesn't know how, why, who, what and where. This is where we are introduced to a classicist professor Theodore Schultz. He gets involved by accident, the first victim is his ex-girlfriend and a fellow classicist, Helen. Selene uses Theo to understand the ritual better and as a connection to the cops.
We meet other fallen Olympians like Apollo, Hermes, Hephaestus, Hades, Cupid, etc.
Selene DiSilva is a hard woman a couple millenia old, burdened by a past she barely remembers. Her Olympian and Titan friends and family members are slowly fading or are already dead. We get an insight into her inability to conform to the world of humans even though she has lived in it for thousands of years. She prefers wilderness and nature. Even though she is a vigilante for women, she doesn't much care for them emotionally, they are just her „job“, her charges. She despises weakness. She feels so much, yet is unable to express herself and allow people in her life. Through her we are introduced to the world of the ancient gods and their way of life and thinking. Her inner monologues show us her inner struggle with her mortality, loneliness, feeling for her family and her slow fading.
I like Selene, she's brave and just. However, she isn't the one to think things through and make a plan of attack (I guess that is the job of Athena). She is The Huntress, very impulsive and brash, often crude, she follows leads and clues and rarely apologises. I did get frustrated with the fact that she is so badly integrated into society she has lived in for the past few thousands of years and has such poor social skills. It was a bit unbelievable.
Theodore Schultz is a classicist professor and a true connoisseur of ancient Greek and Latin, and a lover of mythology. His former girlfriend Helen was brutally murdered and he gets involved in her murder by accident. He is a warm and caring person. Highly intelligent and observant. He is fascinated by Selene and her perspective on the well known myths. He is the character the reader is supposed to identify with, in my opinion anyway.
Theo presents the human element in the world that sees humans as mere tools to be used for various purposes. He uses his intellect and compassion to understand and solve problems presented to him. He has connections to other people and is deeply rooted in the society he lives in. Selene is a bit difficult to identify with. Her social skills are non-existent. She doesn't even appear human in her descriptions of the world around her and they way she relates to people. She is detached from them, almost blames them for the mighty fall of the Olympians even as she realises her own dependency on them and their worship.
Even though I liked the book, there were some minuses. The connection of Theo and Selene has fallen short for me. On one hand, the author gave a detailed description of the Greek pantheon and characters's inner monologues and did so brilliantly. On the other hand, she has completely disregarded the descriptions of their developing connection and later a relationship. It was written in a two dimensional way, no real depth. There are signs that she tried, but not enough if you ask me. The book is almost 450 pages long, what's a few lines here and there to flesh out their budding relationship.
Furthermore, the story itself isn't as complicated as the author hoped it would be. I realised who was behind the whole thing pretty fast. Also, Greek Gods were a pretty violent, self serving, often evil and thoughtless bunch. It's hard to root for them and feel sorry for them sometimes and you feel ambivalent when considering their fate. For me the problem was also the fact that things often have a dark outcome. Another minus was that all the characters are white (except Gabi, who is a stereotype in itself). However, what I did like was the way the author approached mythology. It might bore some readers, but I loved it. She does go into details and even offers her own ideas on some remaining historical mysteries (she explains it all in the Author's Note at the end of the book).
This wench rates it with:
This book starts three months after the events in the previous book. They get called in to help with another cult-like killing. When they arrive at the scene of the crime, Selene realises that the dead person is an Olympian. Suddenly, both Selene and Theo are faced with more then they believed. The case gets complicated and so does their relationship.
I liked the second book, the story is interesting and well written. I had my suspicions about who is behind the whole thing but it took me a bit longer than in the first book. The author still stumbles in writing the emotional connection between Selene and Theo, but it is better in this book. We see a growth in Selene's character; how the events of both books influence her as a person. The ending of this book was something I didn't expect and I'm not really sure if I like it or not. I understand the reasoning behind it but still….
This wench rates it with: