3.5 The good: the heroine actually has to work at getting her powers working, is tested and it's not the kind of tests like in the awful The goddess Te3.5 The good: the heroine actually has to work at getting her powers working, is tested and it's not the kind of tests like in the awful The goddess Test. She's likable, she's smart. The plot moves fast. The action scenes are good. The premise is great. I love time travel, mythology and seeing how someone from our times would fare in the past. And Zeus- it's hard to write a romance with Zeus, so I was curious.
The not so good: some language struck me as too modern. While the ancient folks in the book didn't know stuff about iPhones and Facebook, they shouldn't have been using modern methaphors and american teenager speech patterns. I suppose I could try to explain this as Zoe's mind translating things to sound more modern...
The gods - ok, they are powerful, spiteful and selfish - I can buy them acting a bit like teenagers, but they lacked some more nuance, depth. the cliques and the typical high school, popular couples behavior as seen in american films was a bit much. Not subtle at all. I get that we're ment to find out that history has changed some things about them, but I'd have thought there'd be some more similarities - basis for why Zeus is known for his cheating ways, etc. No Demeter and Hermes as a woman... ok. Why not a gay couple? This Zeus as the leader of gods - I'm not sure I buy. Perhaps if they were much younger... I guess it's the problem of having readers who already have some idea what to expect of the mythological figures. I kind of liked the character of Zeus in this book, as long as I stopped reminding myself he was supposed to be the mythological Zeus. And so the Romance while being ok overall, just didn't work for me for Zeus. I guess I hoped for more conflict stemming from what we know of him from mythology.
For teens. For someone without much knowledge of greek myths, or less conservative about them ;) this would be a good book, though. Light, romantic, entertaining. This would make a great teen movie, actually....more
It had promise but in the end I gave up half way. It's just not what I expected. It's neither purely historical, nor paranormal and the parts taking pIt had promise but in the end I gave up half way. It's just not what I expected. It's neither purely historical, nor paranormal and the parts taking place in the present time are the least interesting ones. Either have the magic be more prominent or just make it purely historical imho. There's very little connection between the two plots by half way and I have very little interest in the part taking place in the present- the characters are uninteresting and dull.
The historical parts are better but the characters there are pretty one dimensional too. Neferet feels a little too modern. If you want a modern view point on the historical times just throw in time travel and not this half baked supernatural connection. It's all pretty thin - the intrigue, the characterization. I expected polytheistic cults and some magic, people truly believeing in different things, truly having different point of view and way of thinking, what we get is monotheism in disguise, and almost modern sensibilities. The heroine Neferet even has qualms about incest - in the royal Egyptian family?! really?! Like a cliche good modern princess she even asks servants to be her friends and call her by her name.....more
Gods don't have to be omnipotent and omniscient. They certainly weren't in many mythologies. Greek gods, especiallly were much more human-like than thGods don't have to be omnipotent and omniscient. They certainly weren't in many mythologies. Greek gods, especiallly were much more human-like than the Christian god. So the whole point (subplot) in the book of underlining how Dionysus and his fellow Greek gods aren't truly 'gods' was, well, pointless imho. They have powers, they are not human, worshiped, other. Capable of seeing beyond the mortal world. I'd have liked less emphasis on the Mother - sure, there were strong cults like that in that area but they did not figure prominently in Greek myth. though I guess Crete did have somewhat different culture.
Other than that it is a very good book. Among the ones I've read that tried to retell the myths this one is pretty close to perfection. It's not too cleaned up, christianized or modernized. There's still plenty of bloodshed and humans and gods acting like idiots and playing with fate and lives. It also makes the myth of Ariadne and the god Dionysus far more interesting than they ever seemed to me before. It delves into what life on Crete could have been like and how the court and life of a priestess could have looked like. It's fantastical but with mentions of enough things that seem real enough that it rings true to the myths. The only other thing that I didn't care for was the 'obstacle' between Dionysus and Ariadne that doesn't get resolved until the end. I found it too unbealievable. (too reminiscent of bad romance novels, I guess...)...more
I've spent ages as a kid just browsing this book. It is a dictionary/encyclopedia. Folklore, myths and legends, historical basis for them. It's well wI've spent ages as a kid just browsing this book. It is a dictionary/encyclopedia. Folklore, myths and legends, historical basis for them. It's well written, well researched, easy enough, and interesting....more
It was very handy for school. Easy, well written, interesting. Dictionary of symbols with their historical context and references to myths, legends, fIt was very handy for school. Easy, well written, interesting. Dictionary of symbols with their historical context and references to myths, legends, folklore....more
I loved it when I read it as a kid, I probably woulnt so much have I read it now. I do remember some annoyances about what woman's place was supposedI loved it when I read it as a kid, I probably woulnt so much have I read it now. I do remember some annoyances about what woman's place was supposed to be and how they were acting - though it's not incorrect, I guess, given the times, but I had a feeling the author approved of some of that - especially by making strong, stubborn, headstrong Selene become meek and compliant in the final parts of her plot/ relationship struggles with Juba. Although, i supose she went through enough (regarding her brother and her guilt especially) to perhaps warrant such a change. It has been awhile since I read it, after all, I might be misremembering. Over all as a fan of ancient history, Egypt and Rome, I loved it....more