Other elements: Parent/child relationships, Greek mythology, learning disabilities.
Read it: If you like YA fantasy, if you enjoy Greek myths, if you are 10 years old.
Overall rating: 6.9/10
This is a bright, fun, clever little YA fantasy novel. It’s the first in a series, and it was rather popular a few years ago, if I remember correctly. I ran into it at the library and decided to give it a try.
Most of the YA fantasy I read feels like it’s aimed at young teenagers. This reads like it’s aimed at 10-year-olds. The voices in this book are occasionally a little too childlike for me to fully lose myself in the story. It really feels like I’m not the target audience. But you know what? I’m not. So I really can’t hold that against it.
I enjoyed this book. I’ve always loved Greek myths, and the idea of what happens to the Greek gods and their children in the modern world is unique and interesting. The characters are engaging, although one of them – the satyr – was slightly irritating in a slapstick, Jar Jar Binks, unnecessary sidekick kind of way. Still, the characters are creative and they have to use their brains as well as their swords to get themselves out of trouble.
Something I thought was really great was the author’s detail that most children of Greek gods have learning disabilities – ADD, dyslexia, etc. In the book, the reason given is that their brains are hard-wired for ancient Greek. So their disabilities are basically a side effect of their superpowers. I loved that. I don’t imagine that children struggling with learning disabilities are often given such a creative and positive way to think about themselves.
The main female character, a plucky, intelligent, resourceful daughter of Athena, feels a bit like Hermione Granger…but I love Hermione Granger, so rock on. The more bookish heroines we have out there, the better.