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Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess (Olympians) Hardcover – April 13, 2010

22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Olympians Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5–9—Five myths featuring the Greek goddess are included in this volume. Dialogue is modern ("What's gotten into you, Zeus?" "I wanna bite him!"), while narration, provided by the Fates, retains a more formal tone. A good balance is struck between exposition and action: readers familiar with these stories will enjoy seeing them brought to life with such vigor, while sufficient background is provided so that children reading about the Greek gods for the first time will not find themselves lost at sea. The family tree of the immortals is a useful tool even for the most experienced readers. O'Connor's drawings, full of energetic diagonals and expressive faces, are nicely balanced by spare settings and minimalistic backgrounds. A sophisticated color palette, full of midtones and subtle contrasts, and panel layouts that vary from page to page further distinguish the art. The author's affection for his subject is evident in a chatty note. Profiles of major characters, notes, and discussion questions appear in addition to the usual back matter. An exceptional graphic novel.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

O’Connor kicked off the Olympians graphic-novel series with Zeus: King of the Gods (2010) and now follows up with the story of Zeus’ forehead spawn. Top-notch artwork and design values are used to tell five myths involving Athena, including complementary (or conflicting) stories of how she gained the Pallas moniker along with quick treatments of Perseus and Medusa and the weaver Arachne. O’Connor’s take on mythology is well researched, synthesized, and presented, yet it still maintains a stupendous superhero appeal. The next 10 planned books in the series can’t come out fast enough. Grades 5-9. --Ian Chipman

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Series: Olympians (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436497
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Ker-Splash, and Sally and the Some-thing. His debut graphic novel, Journey into Mohawk Country, was published by First Second. O'Connor's current project is The Olympians, a series of graphic novels for young readers about Greek Mythology. He is over 7 foot tall, and is the handsomest man in the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on April 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

This second book starts off with a one page summary of volume one. It also introduces The Fates who are the storytellers of this issue. Different from Zeus, this volume is not one singular story but a collection of vignettes of Athena's creation and birth story and her other adventures. Each story, in the end, tells how Athena added to her Aegis, which became her most powerful weapon. Plus there are two versions of why she took the name Pallas Athena and of course no collection of Athena would be complete without the story of Arachne.

A superb follow-up to Zeus and I'm definitely hooked on this series. The myths are brilliantly told, following mostly exactly as I expect them to with a few exceptions plus I'm also finding a few new-to-me tales as well along the way. One thing I didn't mention in my review of Zeus, which became an invaluable resource in this issue is the Genealogical Chart on the inside cover which starts with Gaea goes straight through to the Olympians and then ventures off to show the lineage of the gods and demi-gods who one presumes will be seen in future volumes. Many characters are introduced in this volume from The Fates and The Gigantes to Pallas and Medusa and I loved being able to flip to that chart to see where everyone fit in!

I'm loving the artwork. I really appreciate the facial expressions and the uniqueness of the creatures, it really brings the myths to life in a way that an all-text version just cannot accomplish. There is a lot of violence in this volume, considering Athena is the Goddess of War, but there is no bloodshed shown, (unless you count a puddle of green Medusa blood) in keeping with the age appropriateness of the series. The only thing I'd consider of concern to parents would be their comfort level with the word "lover". Looking forward to the next volume which will concentrate on Hera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deb Nam-Krane VINE VOICE on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Greek myths and I go way back. Of all of the goddesses, Athena has always been my favorite. Aside from being the goddess of war, strategy, wisdom and crafts, she also has a fascinating origin story. After her father Zeus swallows her mother Metis (Prudence), Athena (Wisdom) springs fully grown from her father's head.

The classic retellings of the story leave Metis to the side once Athena emerges into the world. However, in this retelling Athena continues to be haunted by the memory of a loving mother. It's a nice touch to address the questions modern readers would ask, particularly younger ones.

This story picks up after the first book Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians) in which Zeus has established the supremacy of the Olympians. It has the same style that balances the dark tone of the stories with the humor inherent in some of them. We see not only Athena's origins but also the story of the two Pallases, Medusa, Perseus and, of course, Arachne. O'Connor almost achieves the impossible to make us fully sympathize with a larger-than-life character. Almost, because the story of Arachne really doesn't leave much room for sympathy, but we won't hold that against O'Connor.

I see that editions for Hera and Hades (!) will be coming out soon- I can't wait.
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Format: Paperback
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar

“All of us are born naked, helpless, and defenseless. Not so Pallas Athena.”

After the events in Zeus: King of Gods, Zeus kept his promise to Metis (Goddess of Good Counsel,) and when he became King of gods he made her his Queen. But Mother Earth loved all of her children and was not happy that Zeus had locked his father and the other Titans in the Tartaros. So as she did with Kronos, she prophesied against Zeus:

“As you overthrown your father, so shall your child by Metis overthrown you!.”

Zeus thought like his father, which led him to develop a plan: he took his wife for a fly Because Metis was daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, she was able to change forms as Zeus and the other Olympians could, too. He tricked her to change into different animals: from bird to raven to bat; to serpent; to eagle, and finally a dragonfly. He stayed as an eagle and ate her in the form of a dragonfly to always be together.

Time passed and Zeus forgot to listen to the voice in his head. He then took Hera as his new Queen. But unknown to everybody Metis was pregnant with his child. Zeus and Hera had children of their own and in his subconscious Metis had their child, a daughter. Inside Zeus’ head, Metis’ daughter learned about science, and fought the anxieties and nightmares of his father. When time was near for her debut on Olympus, Metis made the perfect clothings for her daughter pouring the last of her essence to it.

One day Zeus had the worst headache of his life. He asked for help to his children Hephaistos and Ares. While Poseidon and Ares hold him down, Hephaistos took his hammer and spike, and delivered a blow to Zeus’ forehead to ease the pain.
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Format: Paperback
Written and illustrated by George O'Connor, ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS is the second volume in a graphic novel series entitled "The Olympians" that tells the story of the ancient Greek gods and their mythology. ATHENA isn't an origins story, although there is a very brief introduction that summarizes the events of the first volume in the series (ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS). Instead, ATHENA is a story narrated by the Fates that tells four distinct tales about Athena: how she came to possess Zeus' aegis, how she defeated the giant Pallas, what she did with Medusa's decapitated head after Perseus used it, and her weaving contest with Arachne. The stories are each different and reveal distinct characteristics of Athena. Although the book doesn't strictly follow some of the more canonical elements with certain Greek myths, the book does an excellent job of combining many of those varying and sometimes conflicting stories into a unified whole. Although tastefully done, ATHENA doesn't shy away from the violence contained in many of these ancient tales. The tales of Athena are wonderfully illustrated and lend themselves well to the visual medium of a graphic novel. The inside of the book contains a genealogical chart which is extremely useful while reading these tales of Greek mythology. At the end of the book, there is a note from the author, some notes about the text, a few charts about various characters in the story (Perseus, Medusa, and the Fates), a bibliography, and some discussion questions. ZEUS: KING OF THE GODS was the origin story of the universe of the Olympian series and I like the way the series is progressing, now focusing on just one Olympian each. Overall, ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS is a great book that anyone with an interest in Greek mythology is sure to appreciate.
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