Saturday, June 05, 2010

Book Review: Athena the Brain by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Book: Athena the Brain
Author: Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
Published: 2010
Source: ARC from author at KidLitCon

Who I Told I’d Read It: the author
Time: 0:24:28

Athena's never felt like she fit in down on earth, so it's no surprise when she gets a letter from Mount Olympus, saying that she's actually a goddess, the daughter of Zeus. Whisked away to Mount Olympus Academy, she now must adjust to her goddess powers and at the same time, deal with bullies like Medusa, pretty boys like Poseidon, and just possibly, make new friends.

While entertaining in a fluffy sort of way, this is a pretty clear mashup of various currently popular elements from children's literature. From the Harry-Potter-style summoning to a magical school to the Lightning-Thief influence of ancient Greek mythology, there's not a lot that's new or different about Athena the Brain. Also, while we're told that Athena is having difficulties, she seems to sail through them. Even when she has to leave her best friend and foster sister back on Earth, it doesn't seem to penetrate.

Still, this is cute, and clearly a quick read. For those already in the know about Greek mythology, seeing how the traditional stories get riffed on or adjusted is kind of fun. I particularly liked the way the Trojan War was worked into the plot. But I'd still read the Pandora series by Carolyn Hennessey for mixed-up Grecian fun that's not all surface.

The ARC I got had the next book in the Goddess Girls series packaged with it, Persephone the Phony, and it looks a little more promising. But since I've read some very short books recently, I'm going to hunt through my stack for something I can really sink my teeth into.

No comments: