Monday, August 20, 2012

Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

By: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
Published by: Aladdin
Released on: August 7th, 2012
Ages: 8 & up
Source: book from the authors to review
4.5 stars: I Really Enjoyed
Purchase from: AladdinAmazon | Barnes & Noble
Series: Heroes in Training #1

After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series!

The terrible Titans—merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans—have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....      

Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.      

Zeus gets his wish—and a lot more than he bargained for—when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, Zeus grabs the first thing he sees—an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime—and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods - quoted from Goodreads

From the authors of the Goddess Girls series, comes a brand new series with whole new cast of characters, Heroes in Training. Though some of the characters have the same name of those who are in their Goddess Girls series, these characters are anything but the same. I really enjoyed the creative spin Joan and Suzanne have given this Zeus. It makes reading about his epic adventure appealing to a much younger audience and it's a great introduction to Greek mythology for young readers. Combine that with the length of this book, and I think this one even a reluctant reader will enjoy. It's a fun, fast paced read with a handful of great illustrations that help bring this story to life.

We all know Zeus as this great powerful God whom many feared, but before he become that fearless leader he was just your average awkward teen who sought out adventure. Maybe that fearlessness he had when he's first introduced to the story, and the fact he was hit my lightening more than anyone you've ever read about will be an indication about the type of person he came to be. Orphaned, and alone, Zeus knows how to defend himself, and do what it takes to survive. So when the giants come and take him away, he's not as scared as you might except a young Zeus to be. This leads him to one of my favorite characters in this story his thunderbolt, Bolt. Similar to that of a loyal dog, once Zeus found or rather retrieved Bolt they became inseparable and had each other's backs.

There are a few other well known Olympians in this story, but the primary focus is on Zeus, Bolt and their quest to save the others. Don't worry, Poseidon, and Hera both make appearances in this book, as dose a rather comical Oracle. Though she's suppose to be able to tell the future, Oracle's often foggy glasses tend to confuse her a little bit and she might mix a few things up. Her part in this series is definitely humorous and one I think a lot of readers will enjoy.

This series reads like a greek mythology for kids. One of things I enjoyed about this original spin on Zeus is how relatable Joan and Suzanne make Zeus, while at the same time staying true to the heart of Greek Mythology. It's modernized and yet still loyal to the mythology many of us grew up reading. It's fun, easy to follow along and full of adventure. This creative spin on Zeus's epic adventure is sure to be a hit with young readers!

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is a weekly feature started by MG author Shannon Messenger and is a weekly post featuring an upcoming MG release, a MG Author Interview or a MG review. You can find out more about this series posts, and find links to author authors and bloggers who are taking part in this feature here. You can also my Must Have Middle Grade Reads feature on Mundie Moms

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Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
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