Series: Children of the Gods #1
Publisher: Zova Books
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Source/Format: DAC Arc Tours (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this for promotional purposes. This in no way affects my review.]
Elyse has been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.
I feel so incredibly spoiled to have received a second novel via the DAC Arc Tours that is BRILLIANT. I absolutely adored Oppression (as I made clear to many of my Twitter followers). From the moment I started it, I found I could not put it down until I found out what would happen (which resulted in me finishing it in one night!). It was just SO good - it combined a hint of mystery, a touch of mythology, some good old romance and wonderful characters into a neat little package.
Elyse was a heroine that I found quite relatable, especially in her longing to fit in and belong. As she is introduced into a community where that's actually possible, I could feel for her as she tried to adjust to the "new normal". I also felt for her as she struggled to deal with her new discoveries about herself and her abilities, especially since everyone seemed to have an opinion about who she was and what her purpose was. Though I enjoyed seeing her stand up for herself and be strong and fight, it was actually the teenager bits (hanging out with friends, falling in love, going to school) that I really liked for some reason. Headstrong, stubborn and independent - I definitely ended up really liking her.
I absolutely adored William. William was smart, headstrong and kickass, though he also fit into the mold of the boy-next-door type. I loved his genuine concern for Elyse, as well as his demonstration of his feelings for her. He was actually such a good guy, which makes a change from the whole “falling for the bad boy” plot. I’ve repeatedly said this on Twitter (and Jessica knows this as well) - I’m definitely Team William.
Apart from these two, there's a whole slew of interesting characters. Since they're all descended from the gods, there's a variety of abilities that are made known. This was fascinating to me, and also helped me remember who did what.
One thing I'm immediately drawn to in any book is the presence of mythology. Just about any work that integrates mythology will peak my interest. I enjoyed reading about the history of this particular group of people, as well as learning more about the present state of their community. Jessica Theirren does a wonderful job weaving mythology into a modern storyline, in a manner that's easy to accept.
I absolutely loved how the romance didn't feel in any way like insta-love to me, when it absolutely could have been (and you'll probably understand better why I said that if you read it). I loved how there was an evolution in their relationship, moving at a pace that made sense. There was a definite attraction, but it took time for them to build up their relationship. (Oh, and once again, TEAM WILLIAM!)
Though I did enjoy the romance, I think it's cool that the story did NOT revolve around the romance in general. The main focus was on Elyse's discovery of this world and figuring out what her role is in it. Because she's headstrong and intelligent, I like how she's weighing her choices, trying to figure out what she feels is the right move for her to make. I'm anticipating discovering more about things in the next book!
Personally, I say you should...
... definitely pick up Oppression if you're a fan of stories with a mythological twist. This one is pretty interesting, with a well-crafted story and awesome characters, and I'm definitely excited to find out what happens next!