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I Belong


Review: Pantheons by E.J. Dabel

Title: Pantheons

Author: E.J. Dabel

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Pantheons (Book 1)

Publication Date: January 5, 2012

Format: eBook, 572 Pages

ASIN: B006V7NPJE (Sea Lion)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis

On the streets, they call fifteen year old orphan Isaiah Marshall the “Indestructible Diamond”. Isaiah is the leader of the “Redrovers”, a group of teenage misfits consisting of his friends Jeremy, Monty, and Pipsqueak, but when they trespass into “Kaliber Academy” to get even with the arrogant Jason Ollopa, they are in way over their heads.

Principal Webb enrolls them into the High School and Isaiah soon learns about the existence of the gods of the Ancient World. Because the gods have refused to fight the last War for fear of the Mysterious Dark, the Powers-that-Be have stripped them of their spiritual bodies and given them mortal, teenage forms.

Isaiah discovers he’s not only a god, but that he’s the child of the Greek goddess Metis, the son destined to overthrow his cruel and sadistic father Zeus, the Darkener of the Sky, and become the greatest god in all the Pantheons.

Isaiah is thrown into a world where the democratic Olympians, war-mongering Norse, Gothic Celts, firstborn Egyptians, the enlightened Hindu, the animal-like Aztecs, the martial artist Asians, the intelligent Babylonians, the great spirits of the Native American Indians, and the fierce Finnish will war against one another for the greatest of all prizes: the Dominion.

Quick & Dirty: A long and shallow look at ancient gods from the perspective of teenage-dom.

Opening Sentence: “Hey Isaiah, what are we up to this morning?”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I can safely sum up this entire book in one word: long. Yes, long.  Too much time spent on day-to-day happenings without any extra character depth derived from it. And too little details for too many pages. There’s too much fighting without character growth arising from it. Pantheons, the first installment of a new series by the same name, reads like an adaptation of a comic book.

Isaiah Marshall is a boy from the streets.  He is the leader of a small gang of ruffians, named the Redrovers, and a nobody. He and his friends, through unlikely events, are given an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a prestigious Academy based solely on the Principal liking them. Of course, the real reason is revealed later that Isaiah is actually the son of Zeus, chief-god of the Greek/Roman Pantheon, and the school is a housing ground for those same gods who have been cursed into mortal teenage bodies. Isaiah has been prophesied to be the one that will kill Zeus once and for all. Sounds a little familiar doesn’t it. But wait, there’s more. Isaiah gets elected as a chief-god of his very own pantheon of godlings, children born of some minor gods, that want to start an all-out pantheon brawl for god supremacy.

Let’s start with the story. It’s 572 pages long, much longer than most young adult books. Though book size is usually not an issue with me, I found this one tedious to read it in its entirety without losing focus. I mean it when I say that it reads like a novel version of a comic book; only without as many insights. I would akin it to the old Batman series starring Adam West. Lots of pow, bang, pop that lacks substance. I would like to think that it was geared for a younger teenage audience, but I doubt it due to its sheer size. Perhaps I could have enjoyed it more if it had more visual cues. Maybe even split up into two or more books for an overall story arc with more details in between. While it did pick up the pace toward the end of the book, I felt it was a little too late in the game to hook me in.

The characters were lacking a three-dimensionalness that I could endear myself to. Even though I truly enjoyed the idea of teenaged gods (since most stories have them coming off as spoiled anyway), I didn’t think that this book showed their personalities well. Again, it is as if it needed facial features to show the emotions rather than by words alone.

I love underdog stories and this one tries to deliver. I just don’t think that it is worth a fan of mythological-themed tales, and the like’s, time. If you enjoy a more simplistic storyline, this is the book for you. If you are looking for insight and intrigue, pick something else. Might make a good movie though; just saying.

Notable Scene:

I looked back just in time to see the flash of the knife as it sped towards my stomach. Principal Webb’s eyes locked with mine right before the final deadly impact. I had seen eyes like his before, but I couldn’t quite remember where exactly.  The shock of the brutal attack brought me back from my thoughts and numbed me all over as I felt the knife savagely rip into my flesh.

The Pantheons Series:

1. Pantheons

FTC Advisory: Sea Lion Books graciously provided me with a copy of Pantheons.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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