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.
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Title: Olympian Challenger
Series: Olympian Challenger #1
Author: Astrid Arditi
I really liked this one. The Greeks always fascinate me and I haven’t really read a book that spotlighted the Greek pantheon since Percy Jackson came out, so when I read this book by Arditi, I was excited. It started off really cool with a mysterious invitation to the kids of New York and introduced a hard-working girl who didn’t want to lose her ill-ridden mother. What isn’t endearing about a scholarship student who means well? Then up on Olympus, she went through a lot of things in the tournament. And while she did have a few faults, she always seemed to overcome them. The Greek gods were always a huge part of my childhood, so seeing them so… villainized… was a bit weird. The gods have always been indifferent to mankind but due to what’s been going on in this book, it’s only obvious that I assume they’ve lost touch with what they loved about mankind
and perhaps what they once had loved about themselves?.
The tournaments were great. I loved Hope’s abilities to figure things out and her “pure heart of a hero” was fun to follow. At times she felt just a little close-minded and judgmental, but I also had to remember that she was a senior in high school, and that a lot of times, the “pure hearts” are all too similar to “good guys” who live in a white and black world. Bad is bad, and all. But there were a few times in the end when Hope would reflect about the past few days, and I did like that she’d realize that life wasn’t always one way or another. It’s messy, and complicated, and sometimes you just have to go with it. The romance bit of this was really fun for the hopeless romantic within me, and though I wish it’d been a little more deeper, this book is also just an urban fantasy so I didn’t criticize the romance bit too much
even though her guy is pretty much who helps her through it all. This, and her earlier reluctance, are the only things I can think to dislike. At first I got her reason for wanting to get back to her mother, but even when her worries had been proven otherwise, she still kept trying to get back. I just didn’t really understand it. Toward the end, things started to slow down for me, but other than that, I thought this was an overall interesting read. I loved the entertainment of competitions and Greek gods, and the ending left open a pretty scary perimeter for the next installment. If the gods get any darker, I could totally be down with this.