Immortality is supposed to be one of the perks of being a god, so what happens when this isn’t the case?
Every chapter begins with one or more quotes from television shows, books, signs, and interviews that take place within this universe. This was a clever way to introduce new scenes to the audience without relying too heavily on exposition. More than once it made me wish that I could actually read or watch the piece of entertainment that was being referenced!
I would have liked to see more character development during the course of this novel, especially when it came to the humans who found themselves wrapped up in the affairs of the gods. Many of these mortals had fascinating backstories, but so much time was spent on other matters that I sometimes had trouble seeing how those experiences influenced their current predicaments.
The list and brief biographies of Greek gods at the end was an incredibly helpful tool for me. The cast is quite large even for a full-length novel, and without this reference I would have mixed some of the less prominent ones up over time. Readers who are familiar with more obscure gods might not need it, but I’d encourage anyone who isn’t well-versed on this subject to give the glossary some attention before beginning the first chapter.
It would have been helpful to have a similar list for all of the human characters as well. There were so many of them drifting in and out of the main plot that I had trouble remembering their backstories. I ended up compiling my own list of them, and I’d recommend that other readers do the same thing.
Strong, even pacing as well as the narrator’s tendency to inject a splash of tongue-in-cheek humor into even the fiercest fight scenes made me feel like I was watching a superhero movie inside of my mind. This is a heavily plot-based story. Given the tendency for so many of the gods to act larger than life, though, this technique worked well.
I’d particularly recommend Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure to anyone who likes super heroes or comic books.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.