Book: Olympic Challenger | Author: Astrid Arditi | Pages: 348 | Published: 3rd July 2018
What is it about?
A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.
Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…
As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.
Thanks to the author and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!
I am a huge nerd for mythology, especially if it is Greek mythology. And this sounded very intriguing as well. And I did enjoy it. I basically read until my eyes refused to stay open for another second. I really liked how the writing style worked with the fast-paced, action filled plot. On the other hand, the speed of which the story pushed forward, made it hard to get deeper into anything.
While the reader gets to see a lot of Greek gods and heroes and the challenges they have in store for the contestants, we don’t get to see much of the contestants. Yeah, there is Hope with her friends Amy and Gabriel. But apart from them, minor characters appear and disappear and you just think „wait? who was this? What did they do?“ There is definitely not enough time to explore the characters. And there is also not much time for character growth. As far as I could see, none of the characters changed much. Some probably became meaner, but Hope stays the way she is. And to be honest, she is kind of a Mary Sue, which annoyed me at some parts. Because she never looses and if she does, it’s because she has done something brave and selfless and everyone loves her anyways. And while she tries to escape in the beginning, only thinking baout how to safe her mother from illness, Hope never really thinks about how she could actually help her. Though if she wins, she has a free wish from the gods.
Anyways. I think the characters really had potential, but the outcome could have been better. As well as the lovestory. While it wasn’t insta-love exactly, everything went pretty fast. Like, way too fast. The story’s time span are only a few days and in those days, Hope gets to know him and as soon as they kiss they both go „I love you“ and… no. Please. I know that there are people you bond with immediately, but you can’t just fall in love right after declaring you’ve never loved before in all of your hundreds and hundreds years of living. The whole thing felt off somehow, and I wish it would have been slower, like, over the course of several books maybe.
Those were my main issues with the book. I enjoyed it nevertheless. The whole concept was really keeping my interest and even though I did not get attached to the characters, I still wanted to know what was going to happen next. And now that I’ve finished, I still want to know how the story continues. So I guess I’ll be reading book 2 as well.
And what I haven’t said yet… I love the cover! It’s gorgeous!