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Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians) Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 5, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Olympians Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 5, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—This 12-volume series debuts with the origins of Zeus. O'Connor begins his retelling by starting from literally nothing. Then a simple brown circle introduces readers to Gaea, or Mother Earth. The creation of Olympians unfolds slowly with simple straightforward lines and silhouettes. Dark browns and blacks echo the early development of the Titans. The first fully rendered face is that of the infant Zeus, with his birth symbolized in a pastel palette. This new race of Gods is visually and strikingly different. Zeus's virility and vitality both bring the story to life and make it accessible to young readers. Zeus's encounters with gods, particularly his battle with his father Kronos, are visually compelling. Images of grasping hands, thunderbolts, close-up visages, gaping holes in the earth, and silhouetted bodies bring Zeus's struggle for dominance into clear focus. Oversize panels reinforce the heroic proportions of the story. It is telling that from such a simple beginning, the complex story is able to evolve naturally to a satisfying conclusion, as depicted on the final page showing Zeus and the new race of numerous immortal gods. O'Connor clearly hints throughout the retelling that more stories are forthcoming: "And that is a tale for another day." Endpapers show the Olympian Family Tree. Back matter includes an author's note, notation of Greek words, discussion questions, and recommended reading. This ultimate superhero story will appeal to anyone who enjoys Greek mythology or great comic art.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

O’Connor unveils his new Olympians graphic-novel series with this story of the daddy of Greek gods. Most immediately striking about this, aside from the exciting artwork, is the care O’Connor takes to visualize the creation myth that begins with Gaea creating and taking as a husband the sky, Ouranos. Their children—the Titans and other proto-Olympian entities—are often neglected or at best murkily covered, but here they’re vividly portrayed with all the magnificence of their beyond-good-and-evil power. After this breathtaking and lengthy sequence, Zeus enters the scene to grow from a feisty nymph-needling youth to a lightning bolt–wielding avenger. The extended, earth-shattering battle he wages with his father, Kronos, takes up the bulk of the story, delivering page after page of cataclysmic blows with the sensibility and hyperkinetic pacing of a literary superhero comic. While O’Connor includes a generous bounty of bonus materials to gratify myth hounds, this series could well become the initiation point for a new cadre of acolytes. New volumes should come quickly, with Athena's book due in April 2010. Grades 5-9. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Series: Olympians
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436255
  • ASIN: B0057DBW34
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Girl walks into my library. I'm putting her age at around nine, maybe ten. Asks if I have any books on Ancient Greece. Turns out the kid is so into Greek mythology that she is willingly learning more about the true history behind that area of the world for her own personal knowledge. In other words, she is every children's librarian's dream patron. I show her what we have and then we get to talking about mythology. She's a huge fan of the "D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths" so we start talking fiction. Has she read "The Lightning Thief" and other Rick Riordan titles? Roll of the eyes. Of course. Has she read Anne Ursu's Cronus Chronicles starting with "The Shadow Thieves"? Double roll of the eyes. All right. Has she read the brand-spanking new Olympians series coming out via First Second, illustrated by George O'Connor, and reimagined as graphic novels? Not only had she not heard of it but she was practically clawing my eyes out when I informed her that I didn't have a copy on the shelf at the moment. Kids love myths. Kids also love comics. Put the two together by a guy who actually knows how to turn a crazy myth into a comprehensible, even dramatic story, and you've got a natural pairing that is going to have your patrons, big and small, hungering for more. Buy in bulk.

"In the time before time, there was nothing, Kaos. From out of Kaos came Ge, or Gaea, our Mother Earth.
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Format: Hardcover
The story of the Greek gods is perfectly suited for adaptation to comics. They're all visually interesting--there's the Titans, all rocky and brown creatures that have sprung from the earth, and the Olympians, the fair-skinned and beautiful children of the Titans--and they possess powers and abilities that even the most powerful of superheroes would envy.

Plus, the Greek Pantheon has been the inspiration for more than a few superheroes, some more obviously than others. Artist and writer George O'Connor, however, has gone back (way back) to the original source material for his Olympians series. Like all myths, the story has changed substantially in some places throughout the centuries. But O'Connor's painstaking research delves into the more authentic original versions. He begins his series, naturally, with Zeus, king of the gods and the one charged with bringing about the downfall of his own father. The hardest tasks always fall to the youngest chidren, don't they?

Zeus is the only one of his siblings not swallowed whole by his father, Cronus. Instead, he is hiden away out of Cronus's sight until he reaches adulthood and begins to be spurred on to war against Cronus by his grandmother, Mother Earth herself. He does as she commands, and in doing so rescues the rest of Cronus's children, and the war between the Olympians and the Titans is waged in full, lasting years.

It's a fantastic adventure story, and O'Connor illustrates it beautifully. He also includes several handy texts that help flush out his work here: lineage charts, a guide to the spelling of the names, a history and recommended reading. All of it is extremely useful, for both casual readers and students who wish to learn more.
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Format: Paperback
George O'Connor has done a marvelous job on "Zeus, King of the Gods." As a matter of fact, his interpretation of the story of Zeus is soo smooth...(how smooth is it?). It is so smooth that with all the Zeus/Posideon/Hades/Cyclops/Titans mythologies that this book presents it ultimately clear and makes sense of the twisted tales.

Mr O'Connors' narration is simple, powerful, and pointed. The art, I assume by O'Connor, is very clear and cinematic. Some panels, all you need is the sound of thunder to make them complete. Coverwise, the lightening bolt held by Zeus shimmers with power!

O'Connor presents not only the story of Zeus, but the stories surrounding the imprisonment of the Titans, his brothers and sisters and despise for his father. Truly, this book reads almost like Hercules except there is not comedic relief! There is no Phil, nor Meg, but there is duty, sacrifice, honor, and a cosmic style battle that truly cracks the skies! Did I mention the art is top notch?

Being part I of 12, I look forward to the remaining books, Athena, Hera, and Hades.


Truly a stylish presentation of the story of Zeus.

Long may he rule!
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Format: Paperback
Greek mythology has long been a fertile ground for characters employed by comic book authors and contemporary writers of fantasy novels. So much so that their personal stories as detailed by those ancient Hellenic bards has been obscured for all but academics. Now the tale of the origins of the Greek pantheon and the creation of the earth and the heavens has been re-told in the form of a superbly illustrated graphic novel by artist and storyteller George O'Connor, who accurately draws from primary sources to reveal the same kind of riveting tale that engaged the total attention of appreciative audiences some four millennia past. The first title in what promises to be a four-volume series (subsequent titles will include the background stories of Zeus' wife Hera; his brother Hades, and his daughter Athena), "Olympians, Zeus: King Of The Gods" is enthusiastically recommended reading for its entertainment value alone. The fact that the mythology is so accurate and makes it ideal for community libraries and school (including home schooling) curriculums is a bonus!
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