Athena’s Champion by David Hair & Cath Mayo (#1 Olympus Trilogy)


Athena's Champion

Athena’s Champion by David Hair

Published by Canelo

Published on the 8th November 2018

Book #1 in the Olympus Trilogy

364 Pages

Mythology/Fantasy

Purchase from Amazon AU/ Amazon UK/ Amazon US/ Fishpond AU/ Booktopia/ Book Depository/ Dymocks

My rating: ⭐ :Star: ⭐
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Canelo, and the authors via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death.

Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits, and his skill as a warrior, can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive.

When one of Athena’s schemes goes drastically wrong, and the young Helen of Sparta is kidnapped, Odysseus must journey past the gates of Hades to save her. Falling in love with a Trojan princess, a bewitching woman who poses a deadly threat to both his homeland and Athena, won’t make his task any easier…

I have always had a fascination with Greek mythology, though I must admit, I don’t know it all that well. I know the players and the rough idea of everything but I’m not completely up to date with all the happenings. So when I saw this title available for request, I hit that button as fast as I could. Then I left it sitting in my TBR pile along with around 200 other titles I haven’t quite got to yet. So I thought I’d start from the bottom of my netgalley request list and work up to the most current one so I can clear out a bit of backlog and appease the netgalley review Gods.

I found the first half of this story rather slow. I understand the point of everything that happened in that part of the story, I understand why it was slow, but it doesn’t change the fact that that first half of the book was a pretty hard slog for me. It was all the set up for Odysseus and what was to come. Once the book hit the halfway mark though, the pacing of the story picked up a lot and just flew by, action all the way. This was great. I really thoroughly enjoyed the second part of the book, but the first half had me wondering if I should bother to continue and contemplating DNFing it.

If you’re not completely on the up and up with your Greek mythology and all of the players, it can be a little bit of a task to get your head around the locations and the names. 90% of the names in the story were familiar, though there were a few, I’m not afraid to admit, I was spelling out in my head to make sure I was pronouncing them right. So this could have had something to do with the pacing problem I experienced as I felt like I had to slow down to make sure I was reading things right hahaha.

I’ve read a lot of reviews for this book saying that Odysseus has never been a favourite of anyone, and sure, he’s not my favourite either, but I actually really liked the way Odysseus was portrayed in this story. I really felt for the guy. His whole world is shattered into a million pieces and then he keeps getting kicked in the guts when he’s just trying to do the right thing. In a way, I think me not being completely knowledgeable of all the stories worked in my favour here. The character of Bria was interesting, and I liked Eurybates (not sure if I spelled that one right). I also absolutely LOVEDDDD Hades and Persephone. Something about them just made me smile.

The imagery of the world was brilliantly described and set up, the characters were well envisioned and I honestly had no idea what was about to go down which caused Helen of Troy to be kidnapped, I was honestly shocked by that outcome, so that was nice.

All in all, this was an okay story, by the end I did enjoy it but the first half was a major slog. I am interested to see where the story goes from here as this is the beginning of a new series, though I’m unsure at this point whether I will continue.

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