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Oh, My Gods! 4 Novels about Greek Gods that will make you glad you are not an Olympian
By Ashley Herbert
Being Immortal would be amazing, right? Well, for some Olympians, not so much. Here are some fascinating takes on the Olympian gods and goddesses that might make you rethink how great it would be to live forever.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Greek gods are terrible parents. For Circe, the daughter of Helios, being immortal is more of a curse than a blessing. Her father rejects her, her brothers and sisters hate her, and she has a compassion for mortals that her Titan family seems to lack. The palaces of gods can be lonely for a goddess who doesn’t fit the mold.
Circe might have spent her eternity silently hiding in her father’s halls, until she realizes she has the power of witchcraft. In order to make the man she loves immortal, she uses her power to transform him into a god. Big mistake. When she does, he leaves her for another goddess. Jealous and rejected, Circe transforms her rival into a monster.
Threatened by her power, Zeus banishes Circe to the island of Aiaia. She finds refuge there, hones her skills, and meets some of the most famous figures in Greek mythology. Figures such as Deadalus, the Minotaur, Medea, and of course, Odysseus, with whom she has a son.
Her independent spirit, and her refusal to bow to the gods, puts her in the crosshairs of both mortals and the gods. Ultimately, Circe must face the wrath of one of the most vengeful of all Olympians, the mighty Athena.
To protect the mortals she loves most, Circe must summon all her power and skill, and finally decide whether she really wants to live forever.
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1) by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson thought Greek Gods were a myth, until his math teacher turns into a fury, and a minotaur almost kills him. He ends up at “Camp Half-Blood,” a summer camp for the children of the Olympian gods. It turns out that Percy’s father is none other than Poseidon, one of the “big three” Olympian gods.
But being the son of Poseidon is no picnic. First of all, there is the matter of the fact that Poseidon had vowed to not have any more children, and now Hades and the furies want him dead. Then there is the fact that someone has stolen Zeus’s thunderbolt, and Percy is the chief suspect. Now Zeus is after him too.
Percy must find and return the thunderbolt and bring peace to the warring Olympians if he is going to survive. It’s going to be an interesting summer!
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
It turns out that even immortals need to be needed. In this humorous, whimsical story, the Olympian gods are alive and well in the 21st century, but they are not what they once were. The 12 Olympians are living in a rundown flat in London and getting on each other’s nerves.
Aphrodite is a phone sex operator, Dionysis is a DJ at a night club, Artemis walks dogs, and Apollo is a T.V. psychic. Their powers are waning because people don’t believe in them anymore.
All those gods living in one place takes its toll on their apartment. They hire a housekeeper named Alice to keep their place in order. Alice isn’t sure what to make of her employers, but when Aphrodite convinces Eros, the god of love, to cast a spell, Apollo falls in love with Alice. Complications develop when Apollo finds out that Alice has another suitor, Neil.
As the feud between Apollo and Aphrodite intensifies, Alice and Neil are caught in the middle. Alice and Neil must travel through the underworld to set things right and save humanity.
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherril
I sometimes feel sorry for the monsters. Remember the Minotaur, the frightening half-bull, half-human monster of the Labyrinth? 5000 years later, the poor creature is living in a trailer park in North Carolina, and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. He’s sworn off human flesh and is socially awkward, lonely, and just wants to be loved.
Can a former monster ever find love? The story revolves around the Minotaur’s feelings for Kelly, a waitress with epilepsy. Her epilepsy makes her “different” as well. Will she return his feelings? The course of interspecies love is not a smooth one, but maybe, just maybe, there might be a possibility for a monster to find happiness.
This is an intelligent, thoughtful novel that goes beyond the myths to the humanity that unites us all.
Ashley Herbert is a fantasy writer, avid reader, and mother of two. She writes freelance articles and is working on her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Finder. Visit her Facebook page to read some of her short stories, as well as excerpts from her new novel, and updates.