Hera, Queen of Gods (Goddess Unbound, #1) by T.D. Thomas
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Synopsis: The Fates are missing. As in the Greek Fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. This means that the balance between Chaos and Order is disrupted, so 7 gods come down to inhabit human bodies to try to find them: Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hermes, Zeus and Hera. Hera has spent ages fixing things that go wrong and making tough choices, so, with her husband Zeus, she leads the pack of gods on their hunt. But none of them expected mortals to figure out something was wrong, or that mortals would be able to help them. Especially Justin, a high school boy who is smarter than he lets on and Beth, a snobby girl who has more power than she knew.
In a race against time and a fight against monsters, the gods and their mortal allies must find the Fates and restore the Order/Chaos balance before the world ends...or die trying.
My thoughts: Having read the Percy Jackson books (including the follow up series, Heroes of Olympus), it was nice to see the Greek mythology story line take a different spin. Instead of gods manipulating the heroes, this time the gods are the heroes. Not that the mortals aren't heroes, they just have as much to do with the fight as the gods. Having a basic knowledge of the Greek gods did help me get into this book. I knew which gods had which powers and what their basic personalities were, their flaws and their strengths. Thomas does explain this to you, but since I already knew, it just flowed easily for me.
The book is written from Hera's point of view, and while she can be depicted as cold and heartless, this lets us more into her psyche and reasoning for why she acts that way. She's had the weight of the world on her shoulders (metaphorically, of course - literally would be Atlas), and it's made her suppress her emotions. It was neat to imagine how all that stress would effect someone, even a god.
Justin and Beth were wonderful characters, especially Justin. I just loved him - brave, strong and hopelessly sweet. Totally swoon-worthy. The other mortals, Sarah, Stella and the witches, were great: brave and self-sacrificing. But not all of the mortals were great - don't want to romanticize things here! Also, this isn't all sunshine and roses at the end. Be prepared for some losses, and be prepared to be upset by them.
I really enjoyed this book and am really looking forward to the next book. This one is fast paced (I was almost exhausted by how fast paced it was!), fun and exciting. It keeps the pages turning and there's never a dull moment. I recommend this for fans of the Percy Jackson books and anyone who likes a sweet romance set among gods, mortals and high school.
And wouldn't you know it, but the book is free today on Amazon? Lucky you! So go download it. And if it's no longer free, buy it. It's only $0.99 Hera, Queen of Gods