After a long hiatus from the public eye, the gods are back in business! And it’s all thanks to whoever murdered Zeus (at least some good came out of it). The new flurry of worshipers, sacrifices, and temples have all the gods bursting with mortal love and fulfillment– all except Apollo. A god with an already bursting list of duties, he’s decided that the paparazzi is more than he can handle. With the aid of his favorite red-headed muse Thalia, he rounds up the unlikely pair of executive Tracey Wallace and unemployed Lief to resurrect the king of gods. And it’s turned into a monstrously inconvenient adventure filled with killer kittens and ridiculous “quests” (or assignments, however you want to call it).
I was skeptical on this book because the immediate thought that popped into my head was Percy Jackson. And I love me some Percy Jackson. I almost read this book solely because I thought I could complain how it copied the quests of my favorite green-eyed hero. This book is completely, utterly, and unimaginably different from Percy Jackson. So if you’re like me and think that all modern mythology is just a lesser version of Percy’s adventures, then think again.
The writing style is full of humor and sarcasm. Instead of focusing just on one person’s quest, the book jumps around from Apollo to Hecate to Tracey to Lief to the gods…. You get the picture. The various settings and focuses of the third person perspective keeps the reader on their toes and guessing about how all the subplots tie in with the main text. The author keeps the situation serious with a light tone and uses a very conversationalist writing style to add in mythological information and comedy.
Each character has a very distinct voice, and all the dialogue is very realistic (despite the fact that gods are involved). The author jumps into different characters’ thought processes which are interesting to read. You can go from focusing on a mission to thinking about ice cream or admiring someone’s beauty to running for your life. The plot isn’t just about bringing Zeus back to life. It’s also about the hilarious transformation of ancient gods in modern times, a peculiar romance, and generally mundane things turned interesting due to the writing style.
On the other hand, there is a thin line between adding humor and conversation to the narrative and babbling. And I think it crossed into babbling in some points. I found myself skimming certain sections because it came to the point where I just didn’t care. I really did enjoy the author’s quips and distinct style, but there either needed to be less narrative or less action. For the sum of the whole book, I think the length was unnecessary.
The puns (and I love puns), jokes, and witty conversations really made the book. In reality, I think people do think of stupid and off-topic things to say at all the wrong moments. Or they have normal conversations in a dire situation. Or they say their sarcastic remarks and snide comebacks automatically despite the circumstances. Munz illustrates these hilarious traits in people and exemplifies it to make the book more comedic.
Otherwise, the plot is always moving and interesting. There isn’t ever any lulls, and there’s action at every chapter. Almost too much, like I said before, though. A couple scenes could have been cut out, but it wasn’t ever insipid.
And back to the writing style again (Guys, this really did make the book. It completely set it apart from all other mythology books and most fiction.) He uses beautiful and fun words. For instance, Thalia, the main muse, is a muse. Writing is her thing. So there are references to other works (like Dickens), and she angrily changes her sentences to active voice instead of passive. Plus, the normal vocabulary throughout the novel was fun. The descriptions and dialogue were absolutely perfect.
But, in some places, it was downright corny. A lot of the jokes and conversations permit a smile or a chuckle, but a lot don’t (and it’s a long book). For being a comedic novel about mythology, I feel like it’s hard to have good material in every situation that arises. Sure, there’s a bucketful of irony with the gods and such but the length of the book caused the same type of jokes to grow old. Plus, I found that there are a couple questions I found about the logistics of the gods that didn’t make sense, but I didn’t think too much into it because 1. it is a comedy and 2. they are gods.
Overall, a shorter book would have been more enjoyable to read. I did enjoy the writing style, characterization, and vocabulary in the book, but I did feel like some of the narration turned into babbling. It’s a funny book about crazy gods and weird situations, and the added bonus of an amusing writing style and dialogue set this book apart from others.
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