Sunday, November 18, 2012

Witchy Reviews: Athena’s Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy) by Annetta Ribken

Title: Athena's Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy)
Author: Annetta Ribkin
Publisher: Word Webber Press
Length: 306 Pages
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Format: Given by Author


As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers.  The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead and that's not the only problem.


            I love Greek mythology.  I have this amazing infatuation with the Gods and Goddesses in these fables that show the imperfections of mere mortals.  The stories are life lessons that show us how to not piss off the Gods and the chronicles of these characters fascinate me.  So whenever I was asked to review this book “Athena’s Promise” as part of the Aegean Trilogy, I couldn’t wait to read it.  This book shows what would happen if mythical creatures, fictional characters, and Gods and Goddesses walked amongst everyone else in this world and how the world changes because of it.  Overall, this novel delivers everything it wants to, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t any bumps along the way.

            From the beginning of the novel we are introduced to the novels protagonist, Pallas, a human mortal (possibly in her twenties, although I don’t remember if the novel ever reveals her age) who manages a hotel that is on the brink of shutting its doors for good.  Pallas has a lot on her plate from managing the staff made up of zombies, vampires, and pixies to dealing with unsatisfied guests to reporting back to the woman behind the hotel-Medusa herself.  I LOVED this part of the book.  Apparently there was this event in life called “The Crossing” that caused all of these worlds to collide.  I really would have liked to know more about this event in the book, but I imagine the author goes into more details with the other two books in the trilogy.  Ribken introduces us to so many “critters” in this world and brings forth new mythologies for some of them, which I really thought was creative and something your average fantasy reader wouldn’t expect.  For instance, zombies aren’t zombies at first, they are given a certain amount of time before they “turn” and when they do-it is ugly.  We meet suave, sexy Centaurs, diva singing mermaids, and money loving gnomes.

            My favorite character that Pallas must deal with is her boss, Medusa.  In Greek mythology, Medusa is one of the most hideous monsters with slithering snakes as her hair, and could turn anyone to stone if you looked at her.  Her character is a lot of fun in the book as the hotel owner.  She only stays in her office and watches the cameras throughout her hotel acting as a sort of game master.  Only a handful of people are allowed to enter her office to talk to her, so she is very secretive.  Medusa is very stylized and very descriptive with her snakes hissing whenever she is in a mood and her cool demure by smoking black cigarettes (which she stubs out regularly).   I loved her relationship with Pallas and hope this builds more throughout the trilogy.

            The novels protagonist, Pallas, is a very interesting character because I’m not sure if I really cared for her.  We see her struggle throughout the whole novel wonderfully, but that’s all I feel I knew about her.  Of course she’s smart, responsible, strong, powerful, and we can relate to her whenever she’s dealing with really incompetent people.  However, I felt she just kept rolling her eyes throughout the whole novel and that was a big problem for me.  It would have been nice to see her loosen up a bit and be a little happy about more things.  Granted that with her back ground story (which we learn later in the novel and it is excellent!) and everything the character goes through, we can certainly understand where she comes from, but a lot of the times she just seemed unpleasant.  I wanted to like her more because she is such a strong person, but I never felt that connection.  I cared for her some, I certainly didn’t want her to meet her maker in one of the books great climactic scenes featuring creepy spiders, but I wanted more from her.  Maybe this was because I felt she seemed a little immature mostly in part to her language.  I’m not a prude about curse words or foul language, but I often feel it dumbs down strong characters.  Plus, I was really put off by her use of the word “fucktard” and “fucktardery”.  Kids might use these words these days, but I really don’t feel as though this woman would use them.  Are they even words?

            Overall, it was a great, inventive, imaginative tale that had a lot of wonderful elements.  These elements include nice action scenes, a great sense of mystery, and a story arch that really explains the world these people live.  I was a little thrown off by the attitude of our lead because I felt she deserved more.  Hopefully when I read the other two books in the trilogy, Pallas will become the woman I see her and she will get her happy ending.  


Witchy Rating: 3 Black Cats

This review has been brought to you by The White Witch, Jadis at Witchy Reviews

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