The Immortal Game

Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. May 2021. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250262905.
Gr 6-10–On Mount Olympus, the children of the gods must best a beast in combat in order to gain their immortality and ascend to godhood. Galene Unnamed, daughter of the god Poseidon, also hopes that by passing her immortality trial she can erase the stigma caused by the rebellious actions of her older brother Chrysander, making it even more devastating when she fails. Chrysander and some of Galene’s friends suspect the Olympian rulers of stacking the deck against her. Before she can fully recover, Olympus is attacked and Galene framed as the perpetrator. Exiled from the mountain, Galene and her loyal friends leave to seek out Chrysander and his rebel army, where they discover a plot to overthrow the Olympian pantheon. Spotting an opportunity for redemption, Galene and company begin a race against time to stop Chrysander and save Olympus. This book hits the ground running with a brisk, action-packed adventure narrative that keeps readers turning pages. The story’s strength is in its action sequences, however it could have benefited from fewer fight scenes and more time spent developing the characters and building the world. Having spent little time on Olympus, readers are left to wonder why it should be saved, especially as the Olympian gods are painted as corrupt from the beginning. The idea of corrupt Olympian rulers has merit, but the text is not interested in exploring that, nor in fully explaining the events that led to Chrysander’s rebellion in the first place. The characters, whose races aren’t specified, are bland and the romantic sublots tepid, though there are exciting moments—such as a clever duel-by-card-game—and the popularity of the ancient Greek setting is evergreen.
VERDICT A secondary purchase where stories of Greek mythology circulate well.

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