When Angie’s big fat Greek wedding goes bust, her grandmother sends her on a trip to Greece with the instruction to set sail on a mysterious fishing boat that will take her to an uncharted island. Waiting for her at the dock is Milos, who’s charming and handsome and confesses he’s been crushing on her for years, even though he’s never met her. He also tells her he’s a descendant of the original Gods of Olympus, who are plotting their return to power.
Before she can say “Oh my God,” Angie is flying a winged horse alongside Milos and finding love in his arms. But there’s one little hitch: Milos’s elders are forcing him to marry a malevolent goddess named Electra to fulfill their plan. If Angie is to have any hope of hanging onto Milos, she’ll have to battle monsters, both reptilian and lipsticked; uncover secrets about her past; and go toe-to-toe with Zeus himself, whose recipe for world domination doesn’t call for a sassy girl from the outer boroughs.
Well, snap! The first thing to jump out at me about this book was that it was genuinely funny.
Not ‘trying to be funny’ or ‘laugh a minute’, but genuinely and sincerely hilarious. The main character Angie is lovable and tough, she has the same insecurities as most larger ladies and the resilient attitude to deal with them all which makes her instantly a girl I know that I’d get on with in the real world if I met her. Perhaps a little sexist of me, but I was very much impressed that a male author was able to fit that degree of believable femininity into his main character (ok, definitely sexist of me but I liked how insightful he was).
I did worry, once it had been mentioned a couple of time that she was from Queens, that she was going to be a bit of a charicature of sassiness, but she was perfection itself: whatever she did in this book, you just wanted her to win.
Angie was able to hold her own against everything the Greek pantheon was able to throw at her with fabulously good humour but without being unrealistically calm about recently discovering that the gods really did exist, had intimate ties to her family and were in fact considering world domination. Knowing that this book is the first in a trilogy makes me very excited to read what comes next as I feel that now the base of characters have been introduced, shit is going to go DOWN.
Milos, our chiseled and neurotic love interest was a little…. erm…. limp for my tastes. I infinitely preferred his delightfully camp and compassionate brother, who has a great depth of character waiting to be described in the next novel. That’s not to say that Milos wasn’t a perfect role for this story, it’s just that I wouldn’t ride a winged horse into a soiree of angry deities for him myself.
The story itself is captivating, with a nice blend of mystery, mythology and unconvenientional romance – once I started, I couldn’t put this book down! The ending was perfect, I’m eternally grateful that it leaves you wanting more without the cruel torment of a cliffhanger. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my hatred of cliffhangers before…. seems like the kind of thing I would have ranted about in the past.
This story didn’t stick too closely with the mythology, giving all of the characters of a godly persuasion a lot of leeway as to personality however that did help keep the storyline fresh and unpredictable to those among us who are up to date on our Greek mythology (I blame my recent obsession with all things Greek gods on Eva Vanrell, author of The Butterfly Crest)
If you’re looking for wit, romance, fun and a no-nonsense heroine then this is definitely the book for you!
‘Recalling a trio of Greek fishermen she’d passed a few minutes earlier unloading sardines while crooning, of all things, a Coldplay song, she made her way back to them…’ – A Girl’s Guide To Landing A Greek God by Bill Fuller