I am a big fan of Greek mythology so the concept intrigued me and the “advance praise” on the back cover from the Gods (“This novel will wind up on many keeper shelves – or there will be thunderbolts to pay” – Zeus) made me laugh out loud. I had a hard time with the first chapter though. Everything just happened so fast. One minute she’s winning a race at a USC cross country summer camp and the next her mother tells her they’re moving overseas. Just like that they’ve packed two suitcases and are on a plane. WHAT?! Who does that?! To me that was even more unbelievable than finding out the Greek gods really exist.
But once they’re settled on the island, the novel finds its flow and it’s a super fun read. I thought it was clever that even at god school you have your cliques – the cheerleaders are descendants of Aphrodite, the jocks of Ares, the nerds of Hephaestus and so on. Phoebe has to deal with the machinations of her evil stepsister Stella and her Hera buddy Adara while nursing her crush on bad boy runner Griffin. Fortunately, she is befriended by Nicole and Troy – two characters I would have liked to have read more about.
One of the major themes of the book was that sometimes change happens quickly – and you can embrace it and adapt to it, or you can stay bitter and stuck in the past. In that context, I can sort of see the first chapter in a new light, and have to admit that as a device it fits what the author is trying to convey.
Better get it, lest Zeus smite you!