Review: The Dig

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The DigThe Dig by Audrey Hart
Series: Zoe and Zeus Trilogy #1
Published by Backlit Fiction on November 11, 2011
Genres: Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Goodreads
one-half-stars

Zoe Calder has always been an outsider. Stashed away in boarding schools since her parents died, Zoe buries herself in the study of ancient worlds. Her greatest thrill is spending her summers with her archeologist aunt and uncle on digs around the world. And one day, while investigating a newly unearthed temple in Crete, Zoe discovers a luminous artifact that transports her to ancient Greece.

As Zoe quickly learns, the Olympian Gods are real, living people—humans with mysterious powers… Powers that Zoe quickly realizes she has come to possess, as well. However, when the people of ancient Greece mistake Zoe for an Olympian, the Gods must restore the balance of the ancient world… No matter what.

Zoe is forced to play a confusing and dangerous game as Hera rallies the gods against her—all except for Zeus, the beautiful, winged young god who risks everything to save her.

Out of time and out of her element, teenager Zoe Calder finds herself in ancient Greece, battling against the power of the Olympians and the vengeance of a scorned goddess—all for the strange and mysterious boy she has come to love.

My reactions to this book were really mixed. I loved the concept quite a bit and the writing wasn’t too bad. The sense of humor that shows through at certain parts was also quite excellent. Unfortunately, there were also some aspects that really didn’t work for me, including the sickeningly and terrifyingly quick romantic relationship between Zoe and Zeus.

Putting aside the giant iPhone that was apparently built in ancient Greece (I really hope this gets explained in a later installment), I loved the whole time travel thing and the fact that there were Greek Gods running around. These are things that make for an excellent premise, especially when some humor is added in. Certain books can’t take themselves too seriously or they’re not going to work out right. Hart did a great job with that at the outset.

What really frustrated me about this story can be boiled down to two different factors. First is the mythology. Hart is doing what has been done with so many other topics and reimagining the Greek gods. This has been done, of course, but it’s pretty safe to say that her envisioning is original. I’ll definitely give her that. Unfortunately, I had trouble buying into it. For one thing, there are only 12 gods on Olympus. Where’s everyone else, like Hephaestus, the guy who was actually with Aphrodite? Plus, she’s matched them all up into couples like a CW show (and they all stopped aging at 17 and are gorgeous). And, to do so, she had to change Hermes’ gender to female. Why not just let there be a gay couple? I would give her props for that. Also, can we really ignore the fact that Zeus was a serious womanizer and that sometimes he raped women in animal form (ex. Leda and the Swan). This can be rectified with explanations of how his image changed in history, but it’s really hard for me to get past thinking of him that way.

The second thing, which is even tougher for me, is that Zoe does not seem at all a consistent character. The Zoe of the beginning chapters is a loner and happy about it; she only vaguely cares about dressing up or boyfriends or what people think about her. Then, as soon as she meets a cute boy, she can think of nothing but those things. I liked the fairly confident, unique girl she was in the beginning, not the hair-flipping, mindless, immediately in love, Zeus-obsessed girl she became. This too could be rectified in the next installment. Perhaps after the honeymoon phase of their relationship, she will recover her normal personality. I hope so.

Obviously, I did have some concerns about the novel. However, I do imagine that it will be quite popular with teen readers and it is certainly better than some of the teen fare I have read in a similar vein. Also, if the CW doesn’t pick this up for their lineup, they are missing out.

One response to “Review: The Dig”

  1. I read this book last week! I really enjoyed it! Thanks for the great review!

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