053 – The Dig by Audrey Hart

The Dig cover Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece.

As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people – humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what.

Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her – all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her.

Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess – all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.
I tried really, really hard to like this book. I wanted to, I wanted to so badly. Around the point where our heroine, Zoe, was using her newly-discovered powers to single-handedly take down the Hydra, I found myself thinking, Oh my God, this is what The Goddess Test should have been. Hallelujah, someone answered my prayers. I was excited – here is a book about a modern girl, who is told that she has to face a series of actual life-or-death trials to maybe become a god or something, IDK, but look a HYDRA! And sure, there’s a boy and insta!love, but she doesn’t need his saving. In fact, she tells him to book it when she thinks there may be danger. And sure, there are some narrative and coherency issues, but I can muscle through those if this turns out to be The Goddess Test that I’ve been waiting for.

…and then Zoe had finished the trials, and we were only halfway through the book, and things kinda went downhill from there.

But to avoid getting…well, overly rant-y, we’re going to look at this in terms of the story. As the summary above suggests, The Dig follows Zoe, a girl who travels to Greece for the summer to assist on her aunt and uncle’s archeological dig. Once there, she intentionally wanders off on her first day to explore, and ends up in a room with a giant iPhone mounted on the wall. Except, of course, it’s not an iPhone, just some sort of doorway that inexplicably looks like an iPhone, and – again, inexplicably – transports Zoe thousands of years in the past, to ancient Greece. There, she discovers a new-found ability to manipulate the earth, which gets her mistaken for a god.

Yes, she was transported back in time by a not-iPhone. And no, it doesn’t really make any sense, nor do we ever get any explanation whatsoever as to why it looked like that, or why Zoe traveled back in time in the first place. But that didn’t bother me very much, because let’s be honest, any reasoning we get is just going to be an excuse. The author wanted to set a modern story in ancient Greece, it sounded fun, and the rest is just window dressing. Of all the as-yet-unfulfilled plot holes, that concerned me the least.

Plot hole that did bug me a bit? The language. Zoe speaks Greek, I get that, but she mentions briefly that the people she encounters in this ancient era are speaking a much older version of Greek than the one she understands. Her first few conversations are pretty rocky, coming down to awkward one-word exchanges…and then that issue just sort of disappears. Her conversations with every other important character is flawless, natural, to the point that I seriously wondered, “Did I miss some scene where they said that everyone started speaking English?”

I know that language is another one of those time-travel details that gets excused away, but after the initial shock, there’s not even an attempt made here at any sort of communication difficulties or “olde” speak. Characters are only confused by the most obvious technological references (movies, Facebook), and many utilize modern idioms and slang. My personal favorite example of this is probably the way the goddess Hera speaks like the teen queen she’s supposed to be, passive-aggressively insulting Zoe’s clothes and condescendingly calling her “sweetie” and “dear”. Does ancient Greek even have an equivalent to those words, with the same kind of catty connotations? And if it did, would Zoe understand it? Dialect is a tricky thing. Ask anyone who’s taken a high-school Spanish class and then tried to use it in Mexico.

Then there’s Zoe. As far as protagonists go, she kinda gave me trouble from the start. While her characterization is fairly typical for heroines of the YA genre – a Pretty-Ugly loner who doesn’t feel she “fits in” with other girls her age – we’re blatantly and repeatedly told that this is what Zoe is from the start. By Zoe. Without getting the chance to suss it out for ourselves. It gets old, fast, and gives her a serious likability problem.

I’ve said it before, but it’s incredibly irritating when otherwise potentially likable characters feel the need to drone on and on about how much they don’t fit in with other people, and doubly so when they do it with a haughty, condescending attitude. According to Zoe, she isn’t like other girls, you see, because other girls are vapid bimbos only concerned with things like Gossip Girl and boys and makeup and celebrities, where as our heroine is sooooooo much better, because she’s interested in important and deep things like archaeology.

URGH. This really is the single most unlikable attitude a heroine can have, and I really can’t tell if Hart is trying to portray this as Zoe’s rationalization for isolating herself from everyone, or if she’s honestly trying to capture and express the feelings of neglected bookworms and nerds and teenagers outside the mainstream. Either way, it’s incredibly annoying. It turned me off of Zoe’s character almost instantly, and the way the plot ultimately ended up going only exacerbated the problem for me.

Fortunately, Zoe’s relatively decent sense of humor kept me from wanting to continuously strangle her. She generally reacts to her situation like a normal teenager – sarcasm, fear, despair – and you can relate to her sense of displacement. Her likability issue flares mostly when she has time to reflect on her life at home, so when she’s kept otherwise occupied by the plot and other characters, Zoe is generally a tolerable character. Unfortunately, once we hit the romance portion of the book, her actions become a little less relatable.

In a bid to get back to her own time, Zoe is told to seek out the Oracle – and of course, she meets a boy along the way. Almost immediately, Zoe’s attraction to the boy begins to detract her from her quest to get home. This makes no kind of sense to me. I’m sorry, I don’t care how cute this guy is or how much you feel you connect to him, who in their RIGHT MIND lets a boy distract them from escaping the wrong TIME PERIOD. No. The wrong city, sure. Country? Maybe. But time period? I don’t buy it, not even from the geekiest of archaeology-nerd teenagers. That’s just one of those situations where the pure terror at being stuck in we-don’t-even-have-indoor-plumbing-1000-BC overrides everything, even the possibility of getting laid.

Which is why I also don’t buy the plot-extending contrivance of Zoe following her nymph friend’s advice to not let anyone know that she’s from a different time. LIKE HELL. I mean, if they’re not burning you as a witch for being able to control the earth, chances are it’s not going to be any worse if you explain that you come from the future. Plus, the more people who know you don’t belong here, the greater the chance you find someone who knows how to undo it. It seems like common sense – or at least, desperate, inexplicably trapped-in-the-past sense. Thus, Zoe’s decision not to do that seemed more transparently like a contrivance to keep the plot from resolving too quickly.

At any rate, after meeting and being briefly detoured by the obligatory love interest, Zoe makes it to the Oracle. In true Oracle fashion, the woman tells her what to do without telling her why. In this case, Zoe is told to ascend the nearby Mount Olympus, completing trials along the way, because woooEEEEoooo destiny.

And that brings us to the trials, probably the best part in the book, simply because there are lots of cool action scenes (do want) and Zoe is really allowed to shine in them (YES). Her first test requires her to defeat a Hydra, which must be a traditional Greek cherry-popping monster or something, because it seems like it’s always the first monster every aspiring hero fights. Anyway, Zoe not only decides – and manages – to defeat the monster on her own, but is allowed by the author to do so without any interference, despite the availability of a handsome, powerful love interest.

This is ridiculously rare in paranormal romance and even urban fantasy, so I really praise Hart for writing her main couple as equals. Zoe doesn’t shirk from a fight, and Zeus doesn’t feel the need to “protect” her by telling her to sit out every battle. They are equally competent, and Zoe manages to use her powers to complete each of the trials without any outside help.

On the downside, while Zoe frequently and willingly uses her powers, I never really felt like I got a good sense of how it felt to use them. We’re told more than we experience – Zoe just states in her mind what she wants the earth to do, and it does it. There’s so little description that you never get a real visceral feel for what it’s like to have these abilities, and there were so many opportunities to show this. We could have felt the way the earth crumbles at her will, the weight of the boulders as the flings them around, the strain involved in breaking apart the earth and sealing it back up again. Instead, it’s “I concentrated and then it happened”, which is nowhere near as fun.

There’s also apparently not much of a learning curve in mastering God-like elemental control. Hart basically skims over the part where Zoe initially fails to make her powers do what she wants (in like a paragraph), so her general mastery of them doesn’t seem as difficult or as much like development as it could have.

I had a couple of other issues in this vein, as well. The book tends to suffer somewhat from a lack of…spacial coherency and continuity, I suppose. I never really got the feel for where things were in relation to other places – how long Zoe had to walk to get there, how far, how she managed to scale Mt. Olympus in a day, etc. Other times, the action seemed to directly contradict the description we’d been given. At one point, Zoe is placed on top of a tall plateau “the size of a boxing ring”. She closes her eyes and starts running…and somehow winds up miles away on top of Mt. Olympus again. Um, how? Did she fly? Did she ask the ground to rise up and provide her with step-stools as she ran? That’d be nice to know, if she did. And I got the impression that she was pretty far away from Olympus in the first place, how did she manage to run there in what seemed like a brief, blind panic? Was she not that far away at all? I honestly can’t tell.

Hart also occasionally tries to do what I think of as the “Holly Black” method of showing – she opens a sequence with Zoe narrating a seemingly unrelated story that winds up having some relevance to the situation. Usually it seemed to be how Zoe came to a particular realization or decision, and it’s also meant to give us more of an insight in to her character. While I did appreciate the attempt to show, often the ideas that were used to tie these memories to the present situation felt a little strained. For example, during one of her trials, Zoe recalls the time she tried to make a dress, and being terrible at sewing, ended up weighing it down with beads and accents until it fell apart. This, of all things, gives her the idea to try and weigh down a tornado with stones.

Not a total non sequitur, but it did seem like a bit of a stretch ^^; Sometimes it felt more like we were just getting a story for the sake of a story.

Anyway, once Zoe completes her trials, she finds herself in Olympus, and this is where the epic hero plot that I’d been enjoying devolves into some high-school mean girl shenanigans that I honestly thought we might manage to avoid for once. I mean seriously, the book is set in ANCIENT GREECE, but apparently I was I wrong.

On Olympus, Zoe learns that yes, her new love interest is actually Zeus, and that his pals in the Greek pantheon are not “gods” so much as beautiful teenage X-Men who’ve been alive for hundreds of years after touching a magical stone. They’ve used this time to decide that these circumstances make them better than everyone else, and have set themselves up as gods. This might actually have been cool, if the gods’ personalities and group dynamics didn’t end up following every Over-privileged High School Clique cliche, ever.

Zeus, of course, is the nice one. He puts up with the rest because they’ve known each other forever, but it still all gets to be too much some times, so he goes out to roam amongst the unwashed masses. He is literally down-to-earth. His girlfriend Hera is the Alpha Bitch, the actual leader of the Olympians, and because Zeus has so obviously fallen for Zoe, she immediately declares passive-aggressive war on her.

The other Olympians are completely under-developed – they’re all basically Hera’s super-powered posse, with the sort-of exception of Athena. In what I’m thinking may be a deleted subplot, Athena develops a conscience for exactly one scene, and almost sort of bonds with Zoe. Alas, the constrictions of IDK page count and peer pressure goad her into giving up her flirtation with character.

I just couldn’t get in to this interpretation of the gods. It’s not an inherently bad concept, but the characters here are so one-dimensional and limited in their power scope, they just don’t seem like gods. As with most things in the book, we’re told they look down on humans and probably mess around with them when they’re bored, but in the context of the story, they don’t really do anything. They’re just there on Olympus in the background, murmuring agreement while Hera rails against Zoe. Even when they use their powers and get involved in a climactic battle, they’re still more like props than characters, bearing little to no resemblance to the mythological figures they’re supposed to represent.

Accordingly, I suppose, Hart takes the liberty of excluding and altering various members of the pantheon for the express purpose of pairing them up. Deities like Demeter and Hephaestus are totally absent, and Hermes is even made female so that there can be an even male-to-female ratio (not to mention a pretty pointed absence of homosexual couples). I really didn’t get why that was necessary. Their numbers didn’t have to be even for them to constantly be in relationships with one another, and even so, is that really a vital aspect of this group’s mythos? Why? I know Hera throws out her theory of “balance among the gods”, but that seems more like rationalization bullshit on her part, and didn’t seem terribly necessary, as far as motivation goes.

So yeah, just in general, I didn’t find myself caring too much for the interpretation of the gods here. But the Olympians aren’t the only problem with the story once we get to Olympus. The plot’s turn, as well as Zoe’s incredibly strange shift in priorities, made for some difficult reading.

Thanks to Hera’s jealousy and influence, the Olympian’s reception of Zoe is less than friendly, even though they are ostensibly supposed to be accepting her into her ranks now that she’s proved her worth. Instead, they – gasp! – exclude her, shut her down her when she tries to make friends, and ignore her. The most frustrating part is that this matters to Zoe. She sulks about the ~bad impression~ she’s apparently made on “Zeus’ friends”, and keeps going stupidly out of her way to be friendly, despite the fact that they don’t extend the same courtesy. The most mind-boggling part is that by ANY LOGICAL STANDARD, Zoe should not give a shit what these people think of her. What she should be doing is doggedly interrogating all of them about whether or not they know a way to send her home.

Sure, as far as Zoe knows, the gods know nothing about how to get her home, but she doesn’t even ask. She just totally suspends her quest in order to cuddle up to petty immortal teenagers, indulging and participating in their stupid little power games, and letting them get to her.

The idea is still that Zoe could be in danger if she were to expose her true origin, and that she’s in love with Zeus and wants his friends to like her, but I don’t buy that. Again, I really feel here like getting home should supersede every other concern, and once it’s established that not only does Hera dislike her and want her gone, but may actually physically harm her because they don’t know where she comes from, Zoe really has no logical reason to not just spill the beans. Granted, she does do this, but not without Hera’s getting her really drunk first, and it just shouldn’t have come to that in the first place. Because guess what? Hera knows the way out, and she tells Zoe for the sake of getting rid of her. Problem solved, everybody wins!

Except that Zoe doesn’t want to go. She’s too into Zeus, and lkndflnsdfknsdfsdf WHY? Zoe lengthily considers staying in Greece forever and making her home on Olympus because of Zeus, and that has to be not only the least believable, but the most selfish decision ever. Apparently, who gives a shit that her aunt and uncle might miss her and spend years desperately searching for her until they give up in despair, believing her dead. At least Zoe has a boyfriend, right? I don’t understand how any teenager, especially one as responsible and grounded as Zoe supposedly is, could even entertain this notion. Does. Not. Compute.

Sadly enough, when it comes down to it, the only reason Zoe actually does try to leave is because she sees Zeus kissing Hera and is just SO DEVASTATED that she runs away in heartbreak. Really doesn’t seem like it should have taken that, but okay, at least we’re on the same page.

Except that from there, the villain becomes Hera. This is because, of course, she is jealous and “scorned” and wants Zoe dead/gone by any means possible. It’s here that the book and I really, finally part ways, because I just can’t do this Arch Nemesis Queen Bee thing.

This trope just frustrates me. It frustrates me almost as much as stalker boyfriends and sexist werewolves, because it supports this idea that all women are jealous bitches, catty and petty or vain and stupid, and completely unable to maintain friendships without being in competition or feeling threatened by one another. Especially if there happens to be a guy involved.

I realize that Zoe and Hera weren’t friends, and that Hera was legitimately “losing her man” to Zoe. I also realize that this, of all things, is generally true to Hera’s mythological characterization. It still bugs me that this is the route we’re going for the ultimate conflict, and that none of the other gods or goddesses tried to stop it. In this way, it seemed to me like the book was validating Zoe’s overall opinion of her peers. Excepting Zeus, of course, the gods were ultimately as shallow, cruel, and conforming as Zoe had perceived her classmates back at school to be. They are all pointedly and universally less than Zoe herself, and that’s disappointing – it’s lacking in characterization, lacking in complexity and depth, and perpetuating some pretty frustrating tropes, especially about girls.

Hera as a villain felt really phoned-in to me. She isn’t so much a character here as a tired archetype, with no real original motivation or characterization. She’s simply every mean girl in every teen movie ever – jealous, shallow, controlling, conniving. She can’t let go, she can’t just say “fuck you” and get over Zeus – who, naturally, is portrayed as blameless in all this. Hera has to be the woman scorned. We’re told that she’s insecure, lonely, pitiful, and that’s supposed to pass for multifaceted characterization, but it’s just another aspect of the mean girl that we’ve seen before.

Admittedly, these are all things that could be fixed in the sequels. The gods could turn out to be some really stellar characters, the story could go somewhere amazing, and Hera could turn out to be on of the most complex villainesses around. But the job of a first book in a trilogy is to grab our attention, wrap us in this world with these amazing characters that we want to learn more about, and The Dig just didn’t do that for me.

two stars

Thanks to the author for providing us with a review copy.


12 Responses

  1. Sarahbotbonkers

    December 16, 2011 6:58 am, Reply

    Your review made me hesitant to give this book a try. I love Greek mythology but I have low tolerance for heroines who like to think woe-is-me and stuff like that. Nice review, btw. 🙂

  2. Kayla + Cyna

    December 16, 2011 5:39 pm, Reply

    Ahh, now I feel bad for being so harsh on an indie author. To be fair, Zoe is not exactly “woe is me”, in fact, she’s portrayed as being fairly content with her independence and solitude. What bugged me was that a) we’re told this, not shown it, and b) she was either *so* content or so unconsciously *discontent* with it that she devalued the people around her for their supposed “superficial” habits.

  3. Shiori @ Panic in the Lingerie

    December 16, 2011 10:52 pm, Reply

    This is not necessarily a reflection on “The Dig” (which I haven’t read) but on the themes this review specifically touches on.

    While I understand the motivations behind crafting a heroine who is just so *DIFFERENT* from *OTHER GIRLS* I find the trope troublesome, particularly in books aimed at the YA market. It fosters a concept of division between women that is unnecessary and problematic. A considerable number of teenage girls feel isolated and estranged from peer groups, regardless of their hobbies and cliques. Rather than dwelling on this difference, on what makes the heroine the exception to all those *~nasty girls~*, more of these books need to focus on concepts of inclusion and the bonds between women.

    Is your heroine is SOOO SUPER SPECIAL because she likes BOOKS and SILENTLY JUDGING PEOPLE while all those OTHER GIRLS are being TOTES VAPID without their BOOKS and PEER JUDGEMENT? Well sorry, I’m not going to be purchasing your book for the young women in my life.

  4. Kayla + Cyna

    December 17, 2011 5:42 am, Reply

    *brofist* The *different from other girls* trope has pretty much become the genre. I mean, it seems like 90% of these heroines are disaffected teenagers who have strained relationships with other girls their age, and only find acceptance and strength from some supernatural creature who single them out as worthy of love. Yes, it’s fantasy-fulfillment for what I’m sure some authors perceive as the introverted bookworms out there, but I wish there were half as many books out there focusing on girls who find acceptance through peer bonding and friendship :/ Because really, that’s where you’re more likely to find a lasting source of security and strength. But these books don’t tell girls that, they just insist that some boy will swoop in and be wonderful and solve all your problems.

    So we’re stuck with heroines who have one or two mostly token, underdeveloped female friend(s) who have some quirk or personality flaw that makes them “less” than the heroine, and on the other side, some vapid cheerleader bitch who singles the heroine out for hatred and ridicule for little to no reason, except making the heroine look better by comparison.

    I’ve honestly found that most books don’t have their heroines explicitly say/think of themselves as better, but usually the attitude of the book and the portrayal of the other female characters is enough :/

    tl;dr GRR THIS GENRE.

  5. Shiori @ Panic in the Lingerie

    December 17, 2011 7:03 am, Reply

    *double brofist* You’re right, it has essentially become the entire genre. Girl who is TOTES DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OTHER GIRLS is recognised by SUPERNATURAL STALKER as being SOOOO SPESHUL because she’s into BOOKS and HISTORY and other THINGS that *THOSE BITCHES* would NEVER BE INTO.

    Blah blah blah women are always in competition with each other over recognition/power/men. Learn it young, kiddies. Ugh.

    As you mentioned, most of these books don’t explicitly state that the heroine thinks she is better than her peers. In many ways, however, the use of allusion/implication is even more insidious and pervasive than straight up saying “My heroine is basically better than everyone else.”

    Young readers are repeatedly shown that to be like the heroine, to gain access to the cute boys and all the fun experiences, they need not improve their attitudes or perceptions of others. Don’t worry, some guy will come and love you for the judgmental asshole you are! It’s not like you need female friends anyway!

    This is why stories like Sailor Moon, I feel, still have significance to young women reading today. Sure there’s a magical reincarnated romance, but the value of friendship between the girls is consistently shown to be of key importance to the world and its mythology. I only wish more YA novels today would embrace the idea of female friendship in a similar manner.

    Though to be fair, plenty of adult PNR and UF titles could stand to drop this infuriating trope too.

    tl;dr ARGHHHHHHH

  6. Kayla + Cyna

    December 17, 2011 5:35 pm, Reply

    Young readers are repeatedly shown that to be like the heroine, to gain access to the cute boys and all the fun experiences, they need not improve their attitudes or perceptions of others. Don’t worry, some guy will come and love you for the judgmental asshole you are!

    This is true, and even if the characters weren’t assholes, it’d be an issue. I mean, these girls all find love without even the slightest effort on their part. Rarely do you see a heroine actively dating (because then she’d be a slut) – she’s usually studious or focused on other not-boy things, until lo and behold, the right man sees her and falls instantly in love. Why put any effort into finding love? Sooner or later some supernatural hottie will hone in on you and bring you in on all of his wild adventures?

    It reminds me of this Tanemura Arina quote about Meroko from FMwS – Meroko’s all moping in her apartment, wondering when someone’s going to come and find her, and Tenemura was like “That’s selfish, because nobody’s going to find you if you’re hiding in your apartment.” But that seems to be the attitude that a lot of these books take.

    You know, I remember back in the day (before Twilight) there were a few series about groups of magical girls a’la Sailor Moon. Reprints aside, though, it seems like the books with the more diverse premises have been strangled out by SECRET VAMPIRES and LOVE TRIANGLES and people telling the same story over and over again.

    Creativity. It’s for jerks.

  7. Shiori @ Panic in the Lingerie

    December 17, 2011 10:54 pm, Reply

    Amen to all of the above x a billion.

    While the “not-dating-gotta-stay-non-slutty” thing ties into greater myths about female purity, it also links to the overall theme in these books of a passive heroine. The only way to achieve your dreams (i.e. land a man) is to do nothing. If the heroine protests too much or asks too many questions of her supernatural protector, she is often chastised. Just sit there, trust him. Don’t halt his sexual advances no matter how uncomfortable they make you feel, you’re in TRUE LOVE so it’s totes OK for him to do whatever to you. Magical hot guys always have your best interests at heart, mmmkay?

    It’s becoming all too rare for these books to focus on young women who are active participants in their own damn lives. Being a passive, entitled rag doll is seen as the ideal. This is a jump from a lot of the books aimed at young girls, many of which focus on groups of female friends enjoying adventures and musing over school issues together. I check out books I’d love to get my niece once she’s of reading age and heck, there’s no shortage of decent little stories about girls helping animals/girls going on space adventures together/girls standing up to bullies at school. Then I look over at the YA shelves and I worry for my niece as she gets older. It seems that the moment teenagers are thrown into the mix the emphasis is less on “go do awesome things, ladies” and more on “awesome things will happen to you if you wait for a boy.”

    Ugh, do not want.

    (Sorry for posting twice, I let a typo slip through and it was bugging me lol.)

  8. Kayla + Cyna

    December 18, 2011 5:30 am, Reply

    The consensus seems to be that once a girl hits puberty, ~finding love~ becomes the be-all end-all of her goals and life aspirations. And it’s not like love isn’t important, but god, the hype and the emphasis, it’s insane. x.x

    The irritating thing is that the love triangles and passive heroine thing is bleeding through into other genres. Dystopian, especially – you can’t pick one of those up nowadays without finding the heroine torn between one man or the other. Even The Hunger Games, which I enjoyed, has a triangle at its center. I hate those now. I didn’t use to, but JESUS CHRIST, could we please get another trope to beat into the ground, please?

    But really, it hurts that paranormal romance has become this – there’s so little emphasis on story that it seems like a lot of big, published books these days were essentially written like mad libs. Insert paranormal creature here, reason for girl to be emo here, and go. When I first got into the genre, sure, romance was a big part of it, but the books also generally required a PLOT to get published. Not so much, anymore. I hate to harp on it, but it really seems like the publishers and authors learned after Twilight that plot and conflict can be almost completely nonexistent and still sell millions. And shit just went downhill from there.

    lol it’s ok, I’ve erased ALL EVIDENCE.

  9. Vicki

    March 6, 2012 10:10 am, Reply

    Great synopsis – I found a lot of the same issues in my reading. I’m still holding out some hope for characterization in the sequel(s), but I kinda wish Hart would edit and fix this first one before tackling a second. Le sigh.

  10. dragonslayingprincess

    October 17, 2016 9:31 pm, Reply

    Ohh no, how could you butcher the Greek Gods! I mean- they’ve got great personalities and they’re so flawed, petty and so unabashedly like ‘I’m clearly in the wrong- but I’m a God and I’ve got more power than you NOW TURN INTO A SPIDER!’

    If you want to see them done well, one series you HAVE to read is George O’Connor’s Olympian series: its a graphic novel series about the Greek Gods that’s so nuanced, historically accurate (‘not now Hermes, I’m gloating’ has to be one of my favourite lines in anything), and the writer admits that HERA is his favourite Goddess and she is AMAZING in this. She gets such a fair portrayal and Aphrodite: Goddess of love together with Ares: Bringer of War is such an excellent version of the Judgement of Paris and the Trojan war.

    If you need more convincing, I’ve written a review of Hera here: ttps://wordpress.com/post/ghoulsgryphonsandgadgets.com/2827

    But trust me, after Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, you will fall for the series! This series needs to get out there and be seen as many people as possible!

    • Cyna Cyna

      October 19, 2016 4:02 pm, Reply

      Oh man, you’re telling me that there actually exists a fucking nuanced portrayal of Hera that doesn’t characterize her as a jealous fucking harpy? I’m down. Also, is that a brown Aphrodite? Dude. I am all up in this.

      • dragonslayingprincess

        October 19, 2016 6:54 pm, Reply

        Hehe I knew you’d love that (I certainly did- and to boot she’s one of the most beautiful Aphrodites I’ve seen). And Yay!! More people need to know about the wonderfulness which is this series!

        There was one amazing scene when Demeter was rushing at Zeus with a scythe and everyone else is shocked, but Hera just rolls her eyes and is like ‘Oh Zeus- what have you done this time?’ Just… I am fangirling so hard right now.

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