Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Age of Zeus by James Lovegrove

April 2010, Solaris Books
688 pages, Paperback 
Review copy 

Science fiction, 

Moderate to graphic violence, some moderate to graphic innuendo/adult situations, awesomely cool attack suits, great twists

Summary by Solaris 
The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind is under the jackboot of divine oppression. Until former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down: the chance to join a small band of guerrilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battlesuits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which some will not survive.

Nayuleska's thoughts
The blurb on the back cover intrigued me. I was delighted at 4.30am in the morning when I first started this book that Sam was female. The book started with everything I wanted. Strong female lead, who ends up with a brilliant opportunity in a world gone mad. I was thinking Percy Jackson gone wrong type of Olympian (yes some of them were evil in PJ, but even the 'good' ones were evil. The TITAN suits are everything I dreamed of. They move beautifully. They offer both offensive and defensive protection. They enable to wearer have super strength, super speed. My eyes were shining (not just because of the early hour). The pacing was relatively fast, with lots of elements of a thriller. I wanted to know what Sam's secret past was. Why she'd been chosen to be in charge of the group. 

Then it started to drag a little. I understood that the reader needed to know what happened on the missions, but for me when the results of the missions were explained as interlude chapters, my eyes began to glaze over. I carried on, because of the how it all started. Sadly I confess to skim reading most of the second part of the book. The pacing was quite slow in places for me. I felt there was quite a lot of explanation, and not as much action. I loved the twists in the plot regarding the Olympians, that was nicely done. It just took a long time in arriving. Even near the end where I did read more than I skimmed, it was a bit anti-climactic. I've spoken to someone who has read the previous book, The Age of Ra and they raved about it. Like me their concentration wandered a little in the Age of Zeus, so I think I will give the forthcoming title a go when it comes out. There were a lot of good points about this book. Sam is very human, very approachable. She sees what other people don't. She tries the impossible with a few characters. And the ending is a happy one. 

Final conclusion: 
Aside from the pacing which veers off halfway, this was an enjoyable read. Definitely an author to keep an eye on. 

If you like this, check out The Age of Ra which I hear is really good :) 

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