Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hera, Queen of Gods - Goddess Unbound #1 - T.D. Thomas

Release Date: October 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Self-published
Age Group:  Young-Adult
Pages: 536
Format: e-book

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Hera couldn't care less what the other gods think, even when it's about her. And it often is. Frankly, Hera couldn't care less about anything, except doing her duty as queen - protecting order and defending the mortal world against any threats. But when the Fates go missing, Hera and a handful of other gods must temporarily become mortal to search the human world for the missing goddesses.

Hera finds that mortality begins to change her. It's not just the loss of her divine powers. She expected that. It's deeper somehow. It's affecting how she thinks, how she feels, what's important to her. And it gets much worse after she meets Justin, who defies every prejudice she once had
about mortals. At the worst possible time, and despite all her efforts, Hera's black-and-white world starts to unravel.

Torn between who she's becoming and who she needs to be in order to fulfill her duty, Hera must survive a horde of murderous creatures sent to exploit her new weakness. In the end, only Hera can stop a traitorous plot conceived by a secret alliance of ancient and new enemies, a plot that threatens to destroy not only the order Hera is sworn to protect, but all of existence itself.


Mythology, and especially Greek mythology has always been one of my interests. As a kid I loved reading books about the gods and the customs of old Greece. I went on a vacation there 2 years ago and visited the ruins of Knossos. You could say I’m a bit of a history-of-Greece-geek.  So when I got a request to read a YA book about Greek gods, I said yes, although YA hasn’t been my thing for a while now. This is a self-published book and my encounters with self-pub books haven’t always been that great, but this one was largely ok.

The story reminds me of Percy Jackson and his Greek mythology adventures. Although I haven’t read the books, I’ve seen the movie and it had the same feeling in my opinion. Obviously, the story is different and the point of view is different between the books, in this book being from the point of view of the gods themselves.
I was a bit afraid the different gods wouldn't be represented as well as I'd like. Although there were some kinks here and there, the overall portrayment of the gods was fairly well done.
Despite the Percy Jackson feel,  T.D. Knows how to separate his story from this popular series and give it a spirit of its own.
“Hera, Queen of Gods” is an ok YA book. As you know I've a bit outgrown this sort of YA, but I think a lot of younger people could really enjoy this. I really liked the ending, really well executed, with an open ending to get you interested in the second book.

I do have a few points of critique though:
Hera's constant struggle with her feelings for zeus and how he's treated her are a bit repetitive and though I understand why it had to be repeated in certain situation, it was still a bit too much.
This is a common trait in YA however, even in what young adults consider the better books (I mostly don't agree with them) so I guess most YA readers won't mind.
The characters are worked out in a rather special way. Hera was fleshed out the best, but that's logical since she's our main character. Justin had a lot of "fog" hanging around his character, I couldn't really place him most of the time. But that cleared up a bit while the story evolved. Demeter and Athena were two examples of characters that had a distinct personality from the very beginning, but Apollo and Artemis needed a little more time to show some of their personalities and in the end they were a lot less fleshed out then the previously named characters.
Also, this is the first book I've ever read that doesn't use italics, but underlining to emphasize words in a sentence. This can get a bit too much sometimes, but this got better nearing the end.
Overall, the story was just too long in my opinion. Nearly 600 pages for a rather simple story is just too much and was filled mostly with fighting scene after fighting scene, which were very well written, but got too repetitive. It seemed like every time the characters got anywhere they were attacked, again and again and again.
This made the climax of the story a bit of a disappointment. With all that build up, you expect something explosive to top it off, but I couldn’t find that here.

Conclusion: for a younger audience this is a really ok book, I think lots of younger people will enjoy it. I enjoyed it too, but it was too long, a bit to repetitive and too simple to wow me. It was definitely too much YA for me, but again, that doesn’t mean teens won’t like it.  I’ve read far worse, even published and extremely popular titles, but I’ve also read far better YA books. This one’s somewhere in between. 


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