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Official James Lovergrove Website
Order "The Age of Zeus" HERE
Read FBC Review of "The Age of Ra"
INTRODUCTION: In my 2010 Anticipated Books Post I initially said:
"Do not know more than the title but it seems to be related to the superb The Age of Ra so another must."
Later I found the blurb:
"The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind is under the jackboot of divine oppression.
Then former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down, the chance to join a small band of guerrilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battle suits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which not all of them will survive!"So the same theme as in "The Age of Ra" but this books is quite different, less deep and campier, but a lot of fun and a fast and engrossing read which is Mil-SF's take on Urban Fantasy.
FORMAT/CLASSIFICATION: "The Age of Zeus" stands at almost 700 pages of mostly non-stop action, interspersed with comedy and follows the POV of Samanta Akerhust aka Sam, a former London Police Detective hotshot who emerges as the de facto leader of the Titans - though the cast is multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural and as PC as it gets.
As opposed to "The Age of Ra" which remained mysterious to the end, "The Age of Zeus" provides explanations and the ending while predictable is very good and fitting. As mentioned above the best classification for the novel is Mil-SF's take on Urban Fantasy.
ANALYSIS: I finished Age of Zeus by J. Lovegrove which is a very fast read despite its almost 700 page bulk; in the same thematic with Age of Ra but this time with the Olympians taking over humanity, Age of Zeus is quite different from Ra, though it is closer to what I expected Ra to be with a mixture of low-bro comedy (mythporn says it all with titles that are hilarious in a sick way so to speak, though there is no explicit language beyond those titles but those are quite explicit), monsters and urban ...more "The Age of Zeus" is a very fast read despite its bulk; with the same thematic as "The Age of Ra" but this time with the Olympians taking over humanity, "The Age of Zeus" is quite different from Ra since it is what I expected Ra to be: a mixture of low-brow comedy - "mythporn" says it all with titles that are ultra-explicit and hilarious in a sick way so to speak, though there is little explicit language beyond them - monsters and urban combat with enhanced technology, while Ra turned out to be one of the most philosophical Mil-SF novels I've ever read.
The short summary from the blurb is accurate - Olympians appear some 10 years before the start of the novel with all the monsters from the myths in tow as well as their corresponding powers and enforce peace and order on humanity at some cost like obliterating cities to make a point, defeating and destroying any army sent against them...
Twelve experienced and scarred (army and police) veterans are chosen by a rich industrialist and offered the chance to strike back using special armor that give them powers on the Olympians' scale - lower but on the same level so the attempt to overthrow the Gods has a shot; of course all take Titan names and they start by hunting the monsters (Hydra, Lamia, Typhon, Cyclops, Gorgons, Minotaur...) . Of course the rich industrialist in cause has his own secrets too.
The Olympians steal the show with their hijinks and there are a lot of "current issues" jokes, jibes and fun poked at politicians, media personalities and celebrities in general many of whom are sort of recognizable at least as type if not as actual persons.
While David Westwynter of Ra is a more interesting character than Sam, it does not matter here since the strong points of "The Age of Zeus" are action, technology, humor and of course the superb rendition of the Olympians and their pet monsters.
Hercules (a demi-god that is part of the Pantheon here), Zeus and Aphrodite are the best developed of the Gods, with Ares and Apollo a bit too strident; Hermes and Hephaestus also have strong secondary parts, while Dionysus forms a great pair with Aphrodite when they "corrupt" the celebrities with sex, alcohol and drugs, though he has less of a principal role than the Goddess.
The technology of the armored suits, weapons and related paraphernalia is extremely well done too and counterpoints very well with the Olympians' powers and their creatures' abilities which all are described in a scientific way despite the seeming supernatural involved in them.
And the action is just unbelievably good, keeping the reader on his/her edge of the seat so to speak; the monster hunts and later the direct fights with the Gods are the highlights of the book, while the humor and the jibes balance the tension well - though the explicit titles of mythporn movies that are used as cover against the all-seeing Argus who is now the "global moderator" of the world are not for the easily offended.
While lacking the deep and mysterious part of Ra, "The Age of Zeus" is a lot of fun in a campy way and better than I expected once I saw how it goes; a strong A from me.