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Andromeda (The God-Haunted Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This is a book set in a historical setting and Trotter makes me feel like I am actually there instead of just reading about it. The amount of research she had to do to write a book like this shines through at every moment. Everything from geography, to dress, to hierarchies, and different gods and their attributes is written seamlessly and integrated into the story not from the historical view of someone looking back in time, but as though she was actually living with these characters at that time in history.
I love how Andromeda takes charge of everything, while still showing her weakness. Even when she is terrified she still continues forward because she is not going to let the sea beast destroy her kingdom. It’s always so important for me to show heroes with weaknesses as well and while Trotter has shaped Andromeda into a strong willed character, she isn’t afraid to show her uneasy side. Apprehension lurks around every corner as she is forced to go on the quest, but she never lets that stop her or slow her down even at the very end. It could have been so easy for her to walk away and let the sea beast destroy her kingdom while she hid away for the rest of her life, but she doesn’t.
Trotter doesn’t focus a lot on romance, this is a girl who was married off as a teenager, widowed as a teenager, and then while still a teen she is arranged to be married off yet again. It only makes sense for this story to not be about Andromeda falling in love or finding her true love, but for her to find herself. She created two unlikely friends while on this journey and while I do hope she finds love eventually with one of them, it was so refreshing to see the protagonist not giving their heart to someone else during the story.
The ending was fantastic. I was slightly apprehensive while reading, but once I got to the very end I was blown away. This is the first book in the series and while the other book focuses on another character, I know these characters will (hopefully) return and I cannot wait to see that happen. I need the next book in my life yesterday and I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great read with a fantastic lead who happens to shatter her expectations as a woman at this time.
I am extremely excited to be writing this review. If you've been around my blog for a while, you've seen many mentions of my bestie Meg of Myth-illogical. This is her book! Yay! I'm so glad to be able to share with you all my love of this book. I've loved it for years, but next month (NOW! IT'S OUT NOW!) it will finally be available for all to read. Meg isn't my friend that just happened to write a book - she is a (great!) writer that became my friend (we met at a creative writing group of which we two were the youngest and instantly bonded over our love of Harry Potter and love/hate of Twilight).
So let's get to the business where I tell you how awesome Andromeda is!
From the get-go, information, description, dialogue, and voice are all balanced to paint a vivid picture of every scene. It felt like I had a movie playing in my head, a movie that was funny, interesting, and exciting. No dialogue or description felt extraneous, I felt the tension of the action scenes, and I simply did not want to put it down (and considering I had read many previous versions, that's saying something!).
There is a lot of YA involving Greek mythology out there, but I've not come across many that are set in the original time period, probably because it's hard to get right. I know how much research went in to this novel because of this, and it was 100% worth it. I was blown away by how easily I could imagine every place.
A lot of the time, setting is something that is just in the background that I don't pay much attention to, but in Andromeda the settings almost felt alive. As I mentioned before, the amount of description was just right and made me feel like I was right there with the characters. I have a hard time picking which setting was my favorite, but it's probably between the Underworld, Medusa's island, and Delphi. I also loved the scenes at the Parthenon, but I've been to the replica Parthenon in Nashville many times so I feel like it has an unfair advantage.
Speaking of characters, I love this cast so much. Andromeda is right at the top of favorite YA heroines for me. She is stuck in a terrible situation, and once she breaks free of it, she does absolutely everything in her power to keep that freedom. She refuses to wait around on the "heroes" to save or help her. I loved every moment when she gave a man what-for because she wasn't being proper, pointing out that she had bigger things to worry about than proprieties. And while being a grade-A bad-ass, she is also caring and compassionate.
Perseus is a character made of more quiet strength than Andromeda. He tries to do what is right, is respectful and sensitive, but when someone he cares for is hurt, watch out! I loved how ready he was to jump into any fray and how, despite being doubted by everyone around him, rose to each occasion. I loved that he was both physically and morally strong without being a macho-tough-guy.
Zeth was probably the most surprising character for me. He comes across as typical of the time-period, valuing heroes and dismissive of anything a woman could offer on something like a dangerous quest. He's also a poet and his attempts at recording the trio's adventures were hilarious and so very wrong. I loved his buddy relationship with Perseus and how he and Andromeda bickered every chance they got. He also had the most growth of the characters, and that was really nice to see.
The villain of the story, Amphitrite, is a little on the typical side for a bad guy, but considering she is a Greek goddess, she was right on par for what you'd expect of that lot. But my favorite thing about her was her physical description, which sounds weird, but it was one of the coolest ways to present a character that I've ever seen and I loved it.
Beyond the main cast, all of the other characters felt fully-formed, from Andromeda's friends and family to the various gods and goddesses and monsters. But there is one other character that I can't go without mentioning because my love for him knows no bounds: Hades. He only has a very small part in this story, but from my very first glimpse of this novel, I have loved Hades. I've literally been saying I HEART HADES for years because of this book. I cannot wait to read more of his snarky wit in future novels.
The only minor thing I found while reading this is that Andromeda gets hurt. A lot. Granted, a lot of the injuries happen while she is fighting or something like that, but she's also very jumpy. Thinking a bit more on it now, it could be because of her life with her first husband, which if so, is really sad and further goes to show how strong she is.
Beyond Hades being the coolest of the cool, I absolutely loved every little wink to Greek mythology, especially when the characters would say something off-hand that referenced the original Perseus myth. Between that, the humor, and the many well-thought out actions scenes, I was giddy while reading this book. It was just so much fun while still being surprising in how it differed from the source material.
If you couldn't tell by my gushing all over this review, I love this book. The great writing, fantastic settings, action aplenty, and fun twists make this a book not to miss. Andromeda is the epitome of an amazing heroine, being cunning, kind, and feisty simultaneously, and the dynamics between her, Perseus, and Zeth make them a trio I want to adventure with again and again and again.