The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Summary from GoodReads:
MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.
SOME ARE OLDER THAN THE CITY ITSELF.
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.
In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way.
With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who’s her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they’ll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city’s other Immortals.
I love Greco-Roman mythology. Heck, I love mythology in general. So when I saw this book, I knew I had to pick it up.
And I was… not disappointed, per se, but underwhelmed. I expected a lot out of this book, and in some respects it delivered but in others it fell short.
So, the good: the murder mystery. We know thanks to the dual POV who the murderer is not. But we don’t know who it is, and there are never a lot of suspects clamoring for our attention (unless you know a whole lot about the meanings of names, in which case, you might just get it before I did). Although Selene’s obsession with one particular suspect came to annoy me because it felt obvious he didn’t do it.
I loved the use of the Eleusinian Mystery Cult. It was a good way to look at how worship can change over the years and the way Selene tried to use it to help Leto was very cool. Although the idea that human sacrifice was involved was very hard to swallow considering the traditional depictions of the Greek gods holding human sacrifice as anathema.
All of the characters were very well-developed. They all felt distinct, and it was great to see the different ways the gods dealt with their immortality, their untrustworthy memories, and the mortal world around them. The mortals, too, felt believable as they struggled to comprehend the immortals in their midst.
But. And this is very nitpicky, but some of the gods didn’t match my vision of them, and that made it very hard for me to focus at times. This is nothing against Brodsky. It’s hard when you’re using such well-known figures because everyone approaches them with different baggage. But her vision of Hades in particular didn’t match mine. And that drew me out of the scene with him in it, because I was busy saying, ‘no, that’s not how I see Hades’, and she was unable to convince me to her side of it.
So that’s what I mean by underwhelmed.
Then, too, there was something else missing from the story, and I’m not sure what it was, but it kept me from loving this book. If I figure out what it was, I’ll update this review.
Final rating is 3 of 5. It’s apparently the first in a series, but I’m not sure that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book.
Anyone else read this book? Thoughts on what it’s missing – or did I completely miss the awesome?