Saturday, March 5, 2016

'The Immortals'

Mythology has always interested me.  Be it in a comic/graphic novel universe, an ancient civilization, or even a children's book series.  Not all of it centers around religion.

But the book I just finished does center around religion, albeit an ancient one.

'The Immortals', a new book written by Jordanna Max Brodsky, takes ancient Greek mythology and turns it on it's ear.  It's the first in a series, and after experiencing great satisfaction in reading it, I'm anxious for more.

The city sleeps as Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson river. She enjoys her solitary existence; she doesn't have friends, and she doesn't speak to her family.  Most of of them are simply too dangerous.

During her walk, she finds the body of a young woman that has been gruesomely mutilated and wearing a laurel wreath. Selene's ancient rage arises, and so does the memory of a promise she made long ago---when her name was Artemis.

This book was recommended to me, and once I held it in my hands, I wasn't sure if I had the time to do my customary 'plopping down on the sofa' and devoting a couple of hours to the story. 

But I did.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  Brodsky is a good writer; she keeps up the frenetic pace, and really knows her Greek mythology.  The story is set in our time, and Greek gods and semi-gods are walking the earth, no longer important idols.  As the centuries pass and civilization forgets about them, their powers lessen, while their anger grows.

As most scholars (and fans) of Greek mythology know, Artemis was the Huntress, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. But in this story, Selene-Artemis is given a chance to narrate her own life. She chose chastity, but fell in love with Orion.  She was the goddess of the natural environment, yet lived in the city where she spent the last of her days.

Author Jordanna Max Brodsky
At first, I didn't have much sympathy for her (Artemis was a rather aloof goddess), but when I learned that her current passion for helping women in distress was her life choice, I grew to respect her.  After a slow start, the story began to move, and with it, more characters were introduced.  Theo Schultz, a professor of mythology, comes into her orbit; Helen, the murdered woman was once his lover and a colleague.  As the story progresses, Theo and Selene set off to find Helen's murderer, and in doing so, discover that an ancient ceremony is taking place, one which offers up human sacrifices. 

Jordanna Brodsky 'knows her stuff', and it's a wonderful education for the reader.  

But, most of all, it's so damned interesting.


'The Immortals', first in the 'Olympus Bound' series by Jordanna Max Brodsky, is available at your local library and favorite bookstore. 
ISBN 9780316347181

1 comment:

Ruth Dixon said...

Gonna have to find out if our local library has this, or will order it. Thank you!