Saturday, November 12, 2016

Series Saturday Review: Mayhem by Gemma Brocato

Series:     Goddesses of Delphi #2
Pub. Date:Nov. 8, 2016
Length:196 pages
Source:Kindle Unlimited

So I was scrolling my Facebook feed one day a week or so ago, and I came across this article: Ancient mosaics unearthed in Zeugma, Turkey. How cool is that? And it fits right in with Gemma Brocato's new series, the Goddesses of Delphi. (I know the article is a couple years old, but it was new to me.) So it made me even more excited for this series because you don't see many stories of the Muses in mythological fiction. 

You may remember from the first book, Tyranny, this series is about The 9 Muses, who are Zeus' daughters with Gaia, and they inspire mankind in all kinds of areas like sacred song, written word, the Heavens, history, etc. Pierus was a jealous lower God, who also had 9 daughters known as the Pierides. Pierus and his daughters were always trying to subvert Zeus and, as a result, Zeus turned the Pierides into magpies. It is this story that Gemma has taken and given a unique modern twist. The Muses now have mortal life spans, to be reborn again throughout eternity with all their prior memories in tact. Olympus is being run by Zeus as if it were an international corporation, and all of this is taking place in modern day Delphi. 

The heroine of this second installment of the series is Urania ("Nia"), Muse of Astronomy, protector of celestial objects and stars. She has inspired great historical figures such as Galileo and Newton, and had involvement with placement of the great stone monoliths like Stonehenge. Today, Nia is an astronomist at the Helios Institute in Delphi, and is still nudging scientists in their work with the stars and space. Nia was a good heroine... I liked that she was smart and working in the field of science. I wish there would have been more focus on her intelligence, but with a book of this length some things need to be sacrificed for the sake of the plot. Her intelligence was balance with insecurity, which helped Nia feel more "real" in the eyes of the reader. It's nice to know that not even goddesses and muses are perfect!

Each challenge that Pierus issues against a Muse requires her to work with a man who they must inspire to believe again. This puts the romance in the fated mate category as each couple seems to have a supernatural spark when they first meet.  Nia's match for her challenge is Thomas Wilde, a true Doubting Thomas, who has lost his belief in humanity after a personal tragedy. I really liked Thomas and his dedication to his young niece, Hailey. I couldn't quite match up his surfer boy good looks with his Doubting Thomas television show and cynical personality, but it was an interesting contrast. Hailey was an endearing addition to the story as well - she certainly helped fill the cuteness quotient. 

The romance between these two had to move quite fast by necessity due to the length of the novella. But it was not a type of instalove that bothered me... there was instant attraction and lust, but also some angst and emotion thrown in. And much like Thomas, there were times that I doubted whether these two would make it, and whether Nia would win her challenge and save the world. The complications to the challenge were well-plotted and interesting. I liked that they were of a scientific nature and it seems that Gemma put in some additional time researching all things solar and lunar. I also liked that we had other Gods and Goddesses helping... Atlas, Mars, Hermes, Mnemosyne, etc. I just love mythology-based stories because there aren't as many out there so I always feel like the material is fresh and new. I commend Gemma for taking the little known myth of the Muses v. Pieredes and working into something fun and entertaining.

This book was available on Kindle Unlimited as of the date of this review.

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