Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi

Olympian ChallengerTitle: Olympian Challenger 
Author:  Astrid Arditi
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC 
Publishing Date:  July 3rd, 2018
Pages: 348
Genre: YA Modern Fantasy/Mythology
Series:  Olympian Challenger #1
Source:  Audio

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.

I found this book on Netgalley and thought it sounded like a good read so I grabbed it up. I haven't read a book on mythology in a very long time and I really did like the sound of this one.  It was a good story, clever, adventurous. It had a lot in it and I thought it was well written. I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped but I think it was more my mind wasn't in the right mood. I was having issues with so many books at this time. I was in a bit of a slump. So I think I would have enjoyed it more another time but even with my mind somewhere else, I still thought the book was really good and I do want to read more. 

Hope is a teenager with a lot going on in her life. Trying to get through school and taking care of her sick mother. Her days are busy and her life is full. She just wants to get through the day she is in. Everything changes when she receives a mysterious invitation. She planned on ignoring this invitation but an accident happened and she ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She now finds herself among the gods. She is told she is a descendant and they are looking for the next hero. There is a series of tests, and lessons to learn, and new friends and enemies. The only thing Hope wants to do is get back home to her sick mother. What she gets is a new outlook on her world. 

There were many things I did like about this book. I liked the main character, I liked the plot, I really enjoyed the tests. It was written well and it was really different than anything I have read in YA in quite a while. It wasn't completely unique, there are many similar stories out there, but I haven't read one in a while and it does have it's own set of differences that set it apart from the others. 

The main character was a breath of fresh air. She did have her issues and a couple of times she was a bit irritating. She was a very loyal daughter and friends. She has a very honest and innocent and caring heart. She wanted what was best for others, never herself. Sometimes her selflessness got in the way of the bigger picture. I never thought I would say this, but it's so true. Her biggest fault was she couldn't see past the obvious. She had a one track mind and it was hard for anyone to get her to take off her blinders. Other than that I really liked her. She was just good. Sometimes I need to read a book where the main character is just good. 

There were other really fun characters too. The book was full of good and bad and in between. There were so many fighting to be that last standing hero so they can get their prize. They weren't all good either. It seemed the gods didn't know what to look for in future heroes. It was fun to see though how each one ended up on Mt. Olympus and which god brought them in. 

The story was full of relationships, family, and friendship. Relationships was definitely a focal point of the story and watching the relationships form and the characters bond, well I just love this kind of thing. 

The tests were really fun too. Sometimes I felt they did get a little confusing, but again focus issues. They were interesting though and a fun way to work through the story. They were creative and they were very relative to the story. I really enjoyed this part of the story. 

I think the main issue I had with the book was the pacing. I think this wouldn't have been such a thing if my mind wasn't having issues focusing at the time, but it was. 

Really good read with a good story and great characters. 

Astrid Arditi

Astrid Arditi has studied at Hogwarts, ridden a dragon, swam with mermaids and flown to the moon. Recently, she traveled to Mount Olympus…
She leads a double life: one of words and whimsy; the other one chasing her two young kids around the playground and kissing away booboos.
She’s a spy, a princess, a unicorn, a wife, a mother and an author. Life is never dull in her messy home in Brooklyn, or in her dreams where she escapes as often as she can.
She writes from experience, of course. You may not believe it, but everything in her books has actually happened to her…even if only in her imagination.

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