🌟 3 stars 🌟
I am still not really sure how I feel about this book? I loved it enough that I read it in two days and stayed up to finish it, but it was also riddled with overused tropes and left me with lots of questions.
A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?
Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.
Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…
As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.
Olympian Challenger is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.
The story begins when Hope receives a letter in the mail inviting her to some mysterious event. She learns that basically every high school senior in New York has received the same message and they think it’s an invitation to a big party that is happening soon. However, the card turns out to be an invitation to a competition to become an Olympian Hero and all the challengers get transported to Mount Olympus including Hope.
Half of the book is basically the challengers getting accumulated to Mount Olympus and the other half of the book are the challenges that are each based on the stories of different Greek heroes. I love Greek mythology which I feel drew me in the most; I liked how the gods were portrayed as imperfect beings who are fueled by their own greed. However, I didn’t really feel anything for any of the gods except for Hades , because there wasn’t much information about the rest. They kind of blended together.
The challengers were also confusing to keep track of sans Gabriel, Amy, Heath, and obviously Hope. There were just so many names, but not many defining qualities. I was also left with questions, because some parts confused me so much? I also love Gabriel so so much, but I felt that Hope thinking about how much he’s grown was stated way too much. I understand, trust me.
I do feel that Hope realistically portrayed how a teenager would react to the situations she was put in and I liked her character development throughout the book. I am also not the biggest fan of the chosen one and insta-love tropes, which are very apparent in this book. Hope has someone telling her every other chapter that she has to win the competition and become a hero. Also, I can understand instant attraction, but I cannot stand instant love.
Overall, I still have mixed feelings, but I did enjoy it for the most part. I felt like it was paced pretty well and there weren’t any parts where I felt that it dragged on too long. It was a cute mythology retelling and I think I’ll be continuing with the series when the next book comes out.
ARC generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.