Hera, Queen of the Gods, by T.D. Thomas is the first book in the Goddess Unbound series. The author gave me an e-copy of this book in exchange for a review. A review that I’ve actually had a hard time writing. Not because I didn’t like the book, I actually did quite a bit. But with I liked it only as long as I set some (probably unfair) reservations aside. Let me see if I can explain myself:
Hera, Queen of the Gods is a fun modern twist on Greek mythology. I really enjoyed the way Thomas introduced these ancient gods into the modern world, with a lot of their legends coming out in quirky banter or Hera’s inner dialogue – which was delightfully snarky. Given the ancientness of these legends and how many times these stories have been retold, it is pretty awesome to be able to say that Thomas came up with a really original plot. It was a really fun read, because of that originality. Along with ancient characters and their legends, were some new facets and rules in the worlds of gods, mortals, and monsters.
My reservations come in mostly because of my history in studying Greek mythology. I think maybe it has made me kind of a snob. And it’s not that Thomas gets anything wrong—I actually thought the historical interpretations were accurate enough for the story—it is that this story is SO original that by the end of the book, the world of Olympus has completely changed forever. Changed, as in, you can’t go back from that. I feel like if you’re going to write a new myth for the Gods of Olympus, there are certain constants you just have to abide, certain conditions that should never change. And I kept waiting for the plot to take us back to those standards, but instead it just kept getting farther away.
And again I have to say that I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the plot. There was just this underlying discomfort with all of the change. But this book leaves you really feeling ready for the next book, which has a lot of promise. Maybe some of those constants will come back to me. Maybe there will be even more change. And maybe that is okay and I just need to embrace the newness of it. I don’t know, but I am looking forward to reading it either way.
I kept going back and forth between 3 stacks and 4, and finally decided to give it: