Bret James Stewart's Reviews > In Search of Gods and Heroes

In Search of Gods and Heroes by Sammy H.K. Smith
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really liked it

This book has a lot going for it. The cover art is attractive, and the text is pretty much error-free. I mention this because the publisher seems to be a hybrid publisher close to self-publishing, and my primary gripe with self-published works is lack of quality in regard to art and editing. The novel is largely based upon Greek mythology, thematically and character-wise. I am somewhat confused as to the audience of the book as some descriptions refer to as a YA book whereas others do not. In any case, there is enough sexual content in the book to make me feel it is not targeting a YA audience (or shouldn’t be).

The story does have a strong female protagonist, so those liking this characteristic will be well-pleased. The protagonist is flawed, and she grows throughout the novel, which I appreciate even if she does possess the rather trite characteristics of the unwilling heroine with stereotypical romantic problems including agonizing between the “good” and the “bad” boy. The world is realistic in its own context, and the Classical/mythological tropes help an educated reader relate to the story. This is a classic good-vs-evil smackdown, although some of the characters are in the middle.

The general tale involves the setting of Ibea and the divine realms wherein the gods are struggling over the world and its inhabitants. Enter the protagonist, Chaeli, who is actually a demi-goddess (not an unusual occurrence with the promiscuous gods of the Greek pantheon), and who is the key to the future. A good bit of the storyline revolves around the question of which god is her father as the fate of the world depends upon this fact.

I find the characters well-done, and some of them, such as Anya, the scarred (literally) sister of one of Chaeli’s love interests, I particularly liked. Smith has included characters who are polar opposites who must cooperate in order to create conflict and tension, which is an effective, if not new, literary device.

Despite all of its good qualities, I just couldn’t get into the story. The only other book I can remember ever doing this with was Moby Dick—I spent the entire time thinking I would get into it and enjoy it, although it was good enough to keep me hoping. In the end, neither book delivered for me. I almost hate to say this because of the other positive qualities of the book, so I am ranking it four stars as the tale probably would be great to others and my lukewarm end view unusual. There isn’t even anything about the book I can think of that I did not like. I would be willing to read the next book in the series or another of her books.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 6, 2015 – Shelved

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Sammy Smith Thank you! Reviews like this spur me on *time to dust off the keyboard*


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