Michael Offutt's Reviews > The Crown of Zeus

The Crown of Zeus by Christine Norris
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's review
Sep 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from March 09 to September 18, 2011

What Ms. Norris has created in these books reminds me of the Librarian movies that star Noah Wylie. The only difference is that we have a young protagonist and young sidekicks and the setting is British instead of American. Fair enough.

As I finished the book I thought to myself that this thing could potentially go on for as long as the writer wanted to milk the franchise. She's got it set up so that there's a magical library and hidden within the pages of magical books are magical objects of great power. Each has its own method of retrieval and each has its own challenges inherent within the story. The only dangers of this is that the writing becomes formulaic. Protag selects book, protag enters story to find magical object, protag faces many challenges and overcomes them, and protag emerges triumphant at the end with yet another magical object.

I don't think I like that approach to writing as much as I'd prefer an overall story arc with a riveting tale wherein each book had something different than its predecessor to offer us.

Things I liked:

1) The book is well written with believable dialogue. She also handles the voice of the main character well.

2) The pacing is excellent.

3) There are clever plot elements like the riddle section between the sphinx and the girls. I rather enjoyed that part of the book.

4) The protagonist is smart. They don't fall into stupid mistakes for the sake of increasing the danger in the book. I like that.

Things I don't like:

1) It's a stroll through a mythology 101 course at any university.

2) Everything is extremely safe. They kill Medusa to get her head and Medusa is napping. How hard is that? Like...really?

I'm a little puzzled at Samhain publishing this series. They specialize in romance fiction and the book isn't a romance. It's a mid-grade novel akin to the age group that found the first Harry Potter book engaging. Yet it's sold next to books featuring bare-chested men and scantily clad women. It just seems a bit...odd.
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Christine Norris Michael

Thank you for taking the time to give that well-thought out review, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

To answer your question, the book (and its sequel) was bought by Samhain when they were considering expanding their lines into all genres. They have a few YA titles still, but I don't think they're doing any more.,

The rest of the LoA series (books 3-5) have been contracted to Zumaya Thresholds. Book 3 was published in Dec. I hope you'll give the rest of the series a chance, because things DO get more complicated (I considered the formulaic thing when I wrote it, because I hate that too!)

Thanks again!

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