Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Flame of Olympus

By Kate O’Hearn

When Pegasus crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm, thirteen-year-old Emily’s life changes forever. Suddenly allied with a winged horse she’d always thought was mythical, Emily is thrust into the center of a fierce battle between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of multiarmed stone warriors called the Nirads. Emily must team up with a thief named Paelen, the goddess Diana, and a mortal boy named Joel in order to return Pegasus to Olympus and rescue the gods from a certain death.
Along the way, Emily and her companions will fight monsters, run from a government agency that is prepared to dissect Pegasus, and even fly above the Manhattan skyline—all as part of a quest to save Olympus before the Olympic flame burns out.

This was a much better story than I initially thought it was going to be when I picked it up in the library. I thought it would be a little girl centered story about horses (I mean, what little girl didn’t love Pegasus?) and while it certainly was that, it was also a great story about Roman mythology. Yes, Roman, as all the incarnations are the Roman versions of the pantheon like Jupiter, Mars, and Diana instead of Zeus, Ares, and Artemis. Emily is a sort of place-holder character for young girls to insert themselves in the tale. She isn’t horribly flushed out as a distinct character, but young readers won’t know or care, as she is a good girl and has a heart of gold. Joel is a little more interesting as a boy obsessed with Pegasus with a rough home life. Paelen is actually my favorite and most interesting of the characters, the thief with all the luck and the reluctant hero. If you enjoyed Rick Riordan’s books then these are a safe bet for your kids. This is geared more toward girls and boys probably won’t enjoy it as much as Percy Jackson.

I give it a 3 out of 5 for average writing and plot.

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