Hera, Queen of Gods by T.D. Thomas
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)
What do you do when you are Hera, Queen of the Gods, facing impossible odds? Well, you rise to the challenge and you win at all costs, because you know, you’re Hera, Queen of the Gods.
In what may be T.D. Thomas’s first full length published work we meet Hera and a host of other Greek Gods. The Gods are on the mortal plane attempting to locate and to free the three Fates who have been kidnapped by an unknown and nefarious enemy bent on destroying the gods and “unmaking” both the Heavens and the mortal world.
Hera, Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Artemis, Hermes and Demeter each take over a mortal teenager’s body – then set about finding the Fates. They run into several monsters and challenges early on, and encounter an unusual and important teenager named Justin. Justin is identified as a “Dreamer” – someone with the power to control his dreams in the reality known as “The Dreamlands”. Because Gods don’t dream or sleep, they rarely visit the Dreamlands -- and the clues to the Fate’s disappearance leads to the Dreamlands.
The action picks up from this point, building to the confrontation between Hera, the Gods that are left on the mortal plane, the monsters and the unnamed, unidentified nemesis. As a side plotline Justin and Hera predictably fall in love and agonize about being in love with each other.
The start of the story is very slow and it drags a lot in some places. Some judicious pruning of the text and action could go a long way to making this book move faster. In some places the flow was choppy, and the pacing uneven. Many extraneous details are provided. On the other hand, the action scenes are very good and the prose surprisingly decent. Thankfully there is no hint of Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey level of writing here!
Although it is labeled as YA – it is not nearly as graphic or explicit and adult themed as many YA labeled books are (e.g. Twilight and the like). Some libraries might be tempted to place this in the Juvenile collection next to Rick Riordan and his Olympian series which it somewhat mimics.
An Oona Review