When an amnesiac girl is rescued from the sea, she finds herself aboard a voyage of the damned. Led by the legendary immortal Charon, the crew must set sail across a vast subterranean ocean to reach Mt. Olympus, home of the gods. Being the only living person on a ship full of deceased criminals, traitors, and murderers, Hope must learn who to trust before her soul joins the ranks of the dead for all eternity.
With an array of obstacles before them, sailing across a world so hostile it can kill even the dead, Hope, Charon, and the crew of the Styx are not expected to succeed. But they must try, for the price of failure is beyond imagining. Along the way, they must come to terms with their own difficult pasts, an uncertain future, and what it means to be human.
Definitely one of the most unusual fantasy books I’ve come across recently. I love it when someone takes an old story, and turns it on its ear. In this one, that definitely happens, so when you start be ready for an interesting ride.
The initial world building is done quickly, and efficiently. Though not everything is known, there is enough to set the stage for the rest of the story. Then, as the plot progresses more of the world is revealed with little enticing snippets. Even knowing as much Greek mythology as I do, this story kept me guessing what was going to be revealed next, and how it would relate.
The character building… Oh, it was a joy to wander down the twisted avenues of who the cast was. I was familiar with most of the cast from the traditional mythology, but that was definitely NOT who was portrayed. And, I liked these portrayals better. They are a updated a little, but more than that, they are taken down off the unobtainable pedestal many Greek mythological figures are on, and shown to you with a realism that makes you love a few, hate a few, love to hate a few, and then wonder why you do either or both. Even the situations the cast find themselves in wind up to a small degree being specter characters in this work, which makes for a constantly evolving cast with its fun interactions, squabbles, alliances, and break ups. Definitely a well played drama without becoming annoying.
As I said, this one draws you in, and then takes off running from the start. Like most Greek mythologies, it is a wonderful, memorable tale with a strong moral or phenomena explanation barb at the end. However, you don’t realize just how deep the hook has been set until you close the cover, and sit back. That’s when the barb sets in. This is definitely fast paced, but there is no feeling of a formulaic writing. Without giving anything away, there is definitely a sense of a race against time under an impending doom throughout the entire book. And, when that tension breaks, it is sudden, unexpected, and leaves you wanting more story to come after.
This is a stand alone, and though there are a few threads that could be tied up, they are very few, and very minor ones in the same spirit as the original Greek myths. Over all? Definitely a fun five out of five stars, and highly recommended for those who enjoy Greek mythology and a fun character driven, quest based read.
If you would like to find out what has sent me raving, hop over to Amazon Here and pick up a copy. I seriously believe you will not regret it.
If you enjoyed the review, and wish me to review your own work, please stop by my Offered Services page, and send in a submission. Almost all genres accepted, though science fiction and fantasy are preferred. (Erotica and steamy romance will be turned down – I am not comfortable enough with those genres to give them an honest opinion. Short works will be given preference over longer reads until Christmas 2015 due to school schedule requirements.)