Thursday, June 30, 2011
Source: Received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow-I have some conflicting feelings about this book although as you can see from my rating I ended with positive feelings and I'm interested to read the second book as there will be a lot to develop.
Helen Hamilton lives on Nantucket with her father and her best friends. One day the large and mysterious Delos family arrives and Helen takes an immediate dislike to them, going so far as to try to strangle Lucas Delos in the hallway the first time she sees him. Although their loathing is immediate and virulent, when Lucas and Helen save each other's lives, their hatred dissipates and turns very quickly into love. As they fall for each, Helen is brought into the Delos family to learn about their heritage as Scions, descendants of the Greek Gods. The Delos come from Apollo's house while Helen's is a mystery due to the disappearance of her mother. As more secrets unravel, the danger amps up, and no one is safe.
On the one hand, I've read reviews that compared this to Twilight, which is not a positive comparison and I can see that in the almost instant love of Helen and Lucas as well as his dominating nature when he thinks he knows better than her and his refusal to be seduced by her (although for very different reasons). There's also a big family filled with amazing fighters, opposing relations across the Atlantic, and Helen lives with her father. However for me the big difference is that Helen has a personality and skills. There is also thankfully no love triangle although there are still complications aplenty.
The part I really liked though was the use of Greek myths to create something different and fascinating. Personally I wanted to know even more but we have our main theme for the series: how Helen with the help of others will eventually either raise Atlantis or break the curse of the Gods. I also appreciated that there was a lot of death and injuries even though, as demigods, they can heal themselves much faster than normal people.
My favorite character was probably Cassandra, who is like her namesake in that she can predict the future has the dreadful fate of being claimed and she is slowly turning into an Oracle, where she will forsake her family. She is also interested in learning more about Helen's past, just like me and she is very sweet at the start even as she has to start distancing herself. I wish I had liked Helen more but there was something about her that I couldn't warm to: how she kept herself apart; how she didn't want to learn how to fight and harness her powers (initially); her inexplicable attraction to Lucas.
Speaking of Lucas, I feel like there wasn't much romance, which reassured me as I didn't much like the romance. Perhaps it's because they're starcrossed and aren't allowed to be together (it would literally destroy everything) or perhaps because I skimmed those sections in favor of more of the kick-butt action and revealing of mythology. Either way, I would probably recommend this to people who are less interested in romance in the hope that the action scenes would grab them.
Overall: A different take on mythology that makes a worthy entry into the YA paranormal genre.