Number of pages: 256
Publishing: April 13th, 2021
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Opening Lines: "If you think finding out my dad was Zeus made my life a bed of roses, think again."
I quite enjoyed reading Alane Adams Witches of Orkney series and was excited to learn that she is now delving into Norse mythology with her Legends of Olympus series. SparkPress was kind enough to offer me the first and second book of her newest series for the upcoming release of The Medusa Quest.
In book one, The Eye of Zeus, we're introduced to twelve-year-old Phoebe Katz, a girl who has been in foster care since her parents left her at a bus stop in Manhattan. Phoebe has been bouncing from foster home to foster home, because trouble always seems to find her. Her only support is her social worker, Carl. Then one day at school following an incident that almost gets her expelled, Phoebe is startled when the bronze statue of Atlas in Rockefeller Plaza begins to speak to her telling her a doorway between worlds has been opened. Phoebe also learns that she's the daughter of Zeus, and was banished because of a prophecy that states she will destroy Olympus. Phoebe also learns that she has a twin brother, Perseus who is need of her help. Phoebe then travels back to ancient Greece with her friends Angie and Damian to try and protect Perseus. Once in Greece, Phoebe learns that she and her friends must collect talismans from six legendary Greek monsters before time runs out and Olympus is destroyed. The first book is a fun fantasy adventure similar to Percy Jackson in some ways, there's lots of action and the characters are interesting. The illustrations by Robin Thompson really add to the story.
Medusa Quest picks up about two months after the first book. Phoebe has now moved in with Carl and his two cats in Brooklyn. She still misses Olympus and learning more about her extended family. Then Phoebe's friend Damian uncovers news that history has been altered, instead of Perseus slaying Medusa, he has instead been turned to stone. In addition, by completing one of Hercules labours, they have caused him to fail his first two trials. In order to set things right, they must return to Olympus and this time collect the items they need to rewrite the history they've changed.
Greek mythology is one of my favorite type of stories to read, there's always lots of action, quests to acquire various elements, epic monsters and um a Pegasus, who doesn't like that? I certainly was feeling a lot of Clash of the Titans vibes, in a good way while reading this story, especially in the lead up to the battle with Medusa. Writing your own Greek mythology story is always tricking, if it's a book for kids you'll get compared to Percy Jackson, which I don't see as a bad thing. At least in the ones that I've read, I always find something new to enjoy. I mean sure there are only a few ways to chop off Medusa's head that don't lead to you being turned to stone, but Alane Adams always seems to include enough differences in her stories to make them stand out, while also being very entertaining. It still might be fun to read Medusa Quest and then watch The Clash of the Titans though. I really liked Phoebe, despite her slight bossiness and harshness at times with her friends. She had this propensity to call up her lightening ability as a first response in a situation, I would've liked to see a little less lightening blasts and maybe see her friends take a more active role. Come up with an alternative strategy to handle the situation, outsmart them if you will instead of blasting things. She also has a strong stubborn streak and really wanted her own way, sometimes forgetting to include her friends in decision making. Yet at the same time, this felt pretty realistic given Phoebe's upbringing and having to rely on herself for making decisions. Overall, I quite enjoyed Medusa Quest and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
**A huge thank you to SparkPress for the E-ARC.**