Olympian Challenger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Well written and easy to read. I love mythology retellings and this one is one of those that really grabs the readers attention. Such a fun read!
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I enjoyed this book! Great storyline, dialog, action, and writing. I definitely recommend checking it out!
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What can't I say about this work?! I loved the cover, the story, the intrigue. I couldn't put it down. Definitely would recommend this work!
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So not the book to read while pregnancy hormones are going haywire! Every death made me cry like a baby, and by the end of the book I was so angry that I couldn't sleep. This is the first book in this series, and I can't wait to dive into the others!
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I DNF'ed this book at 30% because I didn't quite feel it. The idea of it all felt like something between The Hunger Games + Percy Jackson. I feel like the latter may be because this story is about greek mythology, but even when I try to differentiate the two books from each other, I still feel the same. 

I find greek mythology a really interesting subject to read about so I was excited for this book and what it had to offer, but I ended up rather disappointed. 

We meet Hope, who gets a letter just like every seventeen year older in New York City, except — her letter is longer than everybody else's. The start of this novel was good, which is why I decided to continue, but then it went downhill. 

The characters in Arditi's novel weren't really fleshed out. They were extremely one sided and had one trait only which defined the entire character for the rest of the book. I didn't see much plot development. You've got this girl who was really violent, and we didn't really see any other side of that furthermore. 

Then there's Gabriel who lives up to the gay stereotypes. He can't fend for himself, is weak and loves fashion. That's understandable, but I don't understand why he's not like this further in the book? For sure, people can develop themselves during a book, but I think his change of character could be written in a different way without conveying stereotypes.

I'd recommend this to younger teens in the age between 11-13, as this will more satisfy them than what it did me. Overall, I had no problems with the writing style in this book-I found it quite easy to read!
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~~ I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~~ 

The premise of Arditi's book intrigued me, I love any interaction with Greek mythology BUT this book got painful after a while. I liked Hope at the beginning but her journey felt disjointed to me, and although the book described the Gods a lot - they're still very two dimensional. The romance was predictable and tropey and finishing the book didn't really give me any sense of gratification at completion. It elicited more of "oh, ok, its over now" than anything else. It has potential, but not my cup of tea.
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*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I started out this book in love with the whole scenario. The mythological base for this book is so strong that it is lovely. Whenever a new hero or quest is introduced it is a bright highlight of the otherwise bland story. Our narrator, Hope, is way too good for her own good. She often gives up so much to help people which is, typically, fine by me. That is until that is literally all she does. Her whole person is just giving up parts of herself for others without having any flaws. Everyone loves her because of how nice she is including the handsome god. I was able to overlook the case of no-flaws Hope until Kieron, the dark love interest, insisted that he was a man compared to Hope. This happens after they kiss each other while she is in his arms. It has been stated before that he has been alive for thousands of years but please, please, please don't remind me of this fact after he kisses a seventeen-year-old girl. I really didn't want to be reminded about this fact. 

the rest of the characters are also very one dimensional. Amy is only known for her love of stealing bright gems and Gabriel for his love of one of the gods. If more thought had been put into the characters I feel like this would have been a great book. Instead, it has become one I am going to never finish just due to the fact that the characters are all flat and never remind me of just how giant an age gap is between a mythological being and the young YA narrator.
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Olympian challenger is a fun take on the traditional Greek mythology characters.. As a fan of mythology, I had high hopes that were not disappointed.  The main character just wants to find her way home after mistakingly accepting a challenge that transports her to Mount Olympus. Expected to compete with the hopes of having one wish granted. Her mother’s health is declining, so of course she digs in and finds the grit to fight for her wish. There are interesting characters along the way and a little romance too. This challenge is a win!
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such a refreshing read! knowing it was about greek mythology I knew it was going to be a fun read and it really was. I loved the main character and the concept of the book was just really exciting and interesting, loved every bit of it!
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If I read this years ago during the height of YA paranormal, I would rate it higher. Now? This book turned from a 3.5 read to a 1.5 star read quickly. I may have enjoyed this book for the first 20% or so, but then it went downhill really fast. The protagonist is likeable, but the romance is not for me and this book felt unoriginal, like a mash-up of popular YA books. I really enjoyed the tasks set for the challengers though, they are interesting and introduced readers to various Greek Mythology.
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It's a bit of quick read but not one I found all that enjoyable. It's a bit of a predictable plot with characters I didn't much care for.
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First off - I really enjoyed the story overall. It was a fun quick read for in between.
I really liked the premise of the book: A big group of teenagers is transported to Mount Olymp from New York (apparently they could only open the window for transport on a small area). All teenagers are decendants from the gods and are thrown into a competition to become the new Challenger for the gods. The winner will have a wish granted.
We are following our heroine, who is living and taking care of her sick Mom and who doesn`t want anything but spend as much time with her as possible - or cure her. She at first does not want to stay on Mount Olymp and participate in the challenge because she wants to be with her Mom - until she realises that she can cure her Mom through that wish if she wins.

For my taste, there were just a few plotholes or tropes that I felt were not written well or unnecessary and are the cause for my rating not being higher.
1 - The love interest - really? Why did that need to be in the story? It felt forced and unnecessary and it did not bring anything to develop either the characters or the plot. It wasn*t touched on enough to make me swoon and I was just annoyed.
[Spoiler] What really annoyed me was that in the beginning, our heroine (human) asked her love interest (god) what the biggest differences between humans and gods is and his answer pretty much is that humans can love. So how does he pretty quickly turn into this loving mushball? This *could* have worked if the author would have explored him starting to develop these feelings more and how these strange feelings started to develop. But no, it just happened without explanation. Thats a no for me.  [/Spoiler]
2 - The sheer amount of characters that were not explored really but all just were defined through one single trait. Most of the characters had no depth or real development. You just follow this one trait (which usually correlates to the god who picked them to come to Mount Olymp
3 - Why just New York? The reasoning behind it felt forced and from a story perspective there was no reason to limit the teenagers all coming from one City.
4 - The heroine annoyed me SO MUCH. She is too goody-good. She is always the morally white person who makes these *perfect* decisions, always caring about others .... not saying these are bad traits but this was too much, it simply was not believable anymore. Especially in the end 
[spoiler] as she gave up her main motivation to actually go through this challenge because somebody else was sad because the lost somebody. Her wanting to cure or spend time with her Mom was held up as such a humongous thing in the beginning of the book and we see NO character development that shows her values change. So why do you give that up? Just because somebody you have literally NO connection with is sad to have lost somebody. No,[/spoiler]

Disclaimer: Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The characters were great. The descriptions of Olympus were beautiful and detailed without being obnoxious. I loved the story and the mythology tie-ins with the challenges. It didn't feel anything was skimped on for this book. I enjoyed it all.  It was a quick enjoyable read and I can't wait for the sequel! This book is worth more than their charging so if you're wondering if you should take the leap. You definitely should, you're getting a deal!
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You will like this book if you like:
- Greek Mythology
- Hate-love relationship
- "Obstacles"
- "Competition

I really appreciate the Olympian Challenger's accuracy regarding Greek Mythology, and the adventures are actually really fun, action-packed, and entertaining to read. 

The romance is also one of the redeeming factors, because this book had a decent enough hate-love relationship (between a god I might add), and it was definitely enjoyable and shippable. However, (I  have never say this in a book review before by the way), this book really need to work on the kiss scenes. Which is SUCH  a shame because I actually really like the Kerion and Hope's ship. But I found the kiss scene not...just not that good  (How do I say this)? It's an instinctive feeling, and it's just that I've definitely seen (a lot) better, so I would really advise the author to improve in this area.

However, I myself have a hate-love relationship with Hope and her narrative. I understand that that is who she is, it's her character, but her "saint nature" is just increasingly getting on my nerves as the book progressed. It's only because that she is actually a really capable character that compensated this problem enough for it to not completely drive me away from reading this book. If you get annoyed by characters that are a "saint" because they are just SO kind, selfless, and always saving the characters even when you really just wish that she let those characters die because all they bring is trouble, you will really, really hate Hope. 

I enjoyed this book as an ARC, and if you're looking for just an okay-enjoyable-pretty good read, this book would be appropriate for you.
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"When he's near, I'm a moth circling a flame--trapped and forgetful of the danger ahead."

As a HUGE sucker for anything related to mythology... this was a such a treat to read. It's reminiscent of The Goddess Test trilogy, which I really enjoyed too. Olympian Challenger is a mix of romance, fierce battle scenes, humor and diversity.

It all started with a strange invitation:

"You’re cordially invited…
To embark on a singular journey.
If your heart is true,
And your soul heroic,
Dare to face your fears,
And your most precious wish will be granted.

If these words you can read,
Don’t breathe them to a soul,
The punishment would be severe,
That confidant may disappear.

You have until midnight."

Essentially, you're following a teenage girl and her struggle in dealing with her mother's debilitating illness, trying to keep up her grades up to get into MED school and, somehow, manage to take care of herself (just barely). One day, everyone at school receives a very strange invitation, but only Hope (our MC) is able to decipher the full message. And to win a wish? Hmm... this invitation seems very tempting. So what happens when our MC is thrown into a world she never thought could possibly still exist? Ha, not what you're thinking. Our MC here doesn't give a crap about the prize and the outrageous tests that she must go through in order to get it - she just wants to get back home, back to her mother and spend whatever time left she has with her before she's gone. I mean, that was until she met Kieron, Hades and Persephone's (smoldering) son. It was then, that maybe, just maybe, she could win this wish to save someone who she really cares about with the encouragement of someone she's gaining feelings towards. But are they reciprocated? 

Olympian Challenger did not disappoint! This was a such a fun page-turner and I am excited to see what happens in the next installment to this trilogy.
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Very good book!! I enjoyed reading this book a lot, the characters were strong and had relatable personalities, the plot was straightforward and gripping, and the romance - while not particularly memorable - did not take away from the story. Overall I would rate this book well and recommend it to others not as an all time favorite but definitely a good read!
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The Greek Mythology aspects were well done but the character development could use some work. Hopefully sequels will create more rounded characters. It will be a good suggestion for certain readers in our store and I have already talked to one customer about it who sounded interesting and would look into the book.
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It is a good book for those who are fans of Percy Jackson. This is like but it darker. Hope Diaz is a good character who is strong but suffers bouts of self-doubt. The story had a great rhythm and is good ya book.
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It took me a few days of off and on reading to get into this book, but then "BAM", I was hooked and couldn't stop reading. I have unintentionally been reading quite a few books that center around mythology this year. 

This book is well written and the story just pulls you in. All the major characters are well developed and you continuously learn more about them through their actions. I will definitely be reading the next book!

This book is about Hope who receives a mysterious invitation. While she is curious about the invitation, she is more concerned about her mom who had dementia. The night she receives the invite, she does something that lands her smack dab in the middle of Mt. Olympus. She really does not want to be in the competition that she unwittingly qualified for, but when she hears that the reward is one wish, she knows exactly what she will ask for. 

This book is about being true to yourself, bonds that are forged under unusual circumstances, a little romance, and becoming a true hero.
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The cover is very beautiful and I like it very much. The blue colors are really appealling and i like the magical thunders around it. Also the blue moon is perfectly fitting, as it even has a meaning in the story.

The writing style was fluent and easy to read. The book is written from the first-person perspective of Hope, so it was really easy for me to empathize with her feelings. The length of the chapters was appropriate. I liked the short time jumps between the chapters.

Hope is a very strong and brave main character. When someone needs help, she is always there, without even reconsidering that it might cost her her life. She has a really good heart and never looses it. Her interaction with Kieron was really fascinating. I liked the slow development of passion between the two. Kieron is also a really fascinating character. I am really fond of him, although in this first installment not so much details of him were provided. His belief in Hope was really strong and made him really sympathetic. The variety of the other challengers was really admirable. Some of them I hated to the bone, other I really liked - Gabriel, with his wish to be loved as he is and Amy with her lonliness for example. Also the portrayal of the gods and divinities was really satisfying - I think Astrid added some of her own ideas, but a lot of the characteristics matched the known stories and legends.

The story itself was really interesting. The main idea - a challenge to find a new olympian hero or heroine -was quite refreshing. The basement of the challenges on greek myths was interesting, although a lot of them were quite brutal and murderous. Especially also some challenges were not only physically brutal but on a emotional level, which can be even worse. The apathy from the gods to this things was really disgusting, but written magnificently. The dialogs between the characters were also written very compelling - it was really easy for me to empathize with the speakers.

The end of this book really fills like a end in some way - but it feels like a end to the first step of a even greater challenge, which will probably await Hope in her near future.

Conclusion:
Refreshing main idea, nice variety of characters, unsparing brutality, empathizable emotions - I give the book 5 out of 5 stars :)
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