While the cover is beautiful, I don’t find it to be representative of the overall work. To me, that cover invokes an air of mystery, a speculative work of either high fantasy or science fiction. So I think that also affected the way I perceived the novel – because it’s not any of those. Instead, it’s a delightful, light, funny work with a little magic thrown in.
Athena’s promise feels like what would happen if Janet Evanovich started writing fantasy. The female characters are bright and sassy, the overall premise of both the world and the story are amusing, and the telling is original, fresh and funny (although I did find it a little stretched in one or two places.) Ribken’s editing background comes out pretty strongly – I found only a few minor errors in the work, and absolutely nothing that affected its comprehensibility – just minor things like missing punctuation marks and occasional shifts in tense.
Its overall style and tone are very evocative of “chick-lit”, but I think that the creativity of the author (as well as her knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology) really put it a cut above the genre. For example, her treatment of “zombies” is sensational – Ribken gives them a subculture all their own, and has thoroughly investigated their religion, appearance, interactions with other members of society, segregation in living arrangements – it’s pretty clear that she’s put a ton of thought into developing an intriguing world with a complicated and complex structure. All of the “critters”, from vampires to centaurs, get the same treatment. I think that’s why that, although I’m not a fan of romances overall (and I don’t know that I would classify this book as a strict romance, although the relationship between the main character and a supporting character takes a pretty pivotal role towards the end), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a quick, light read – perfect beach material for the more magical of us.
(reviewed 71 days after purchase)