Olympian Challenger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I enjoyed reading this young adult novel and found the plot to be interesting. I was not a fan of the characters and feel like they are lacking in depth/backstories
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Imagine The Hunger Games meets Percy Jackson plus a little bit of Disney villainy and swoon-worthy characters all tied up in one novel and you get an idea of this book.
The plot is great, it's full of action, romance and drama combined with a coming of age story and a main character who has to use courage against the odds to triumph.
There were aspects I really enjoyed and I will definitely be reading book two!
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This is the first book I've read by Astrid Arditi and let me tell you it was awesome!! The MC Hope has such amazing growth through the book. She starts off taking care of her sick mother and then gets swept away into this fantastic adventure/competition on Mount Olympus. There are epic conflicts along her journey that she must puzzle out in order to survive. It is now up to you as the reader to see if she makes t to the end. Happy reading! 

This book contains new friends, romances, danger, epicness and beautiful gods/goddesses.

 Enjoy!
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Hope Diaz has never quite fit in. It's not that she's all that awkward or different; it's just that she has more pressing issues to deal with. Her mother, the only parent she's ever known, is slowly losing her mind, just like her grandmother did years before. It won't be long before Hope's mom isn't able to recognize her own daughter and Hope doesn't want to miss one minute with her beloved mom.

When a strange invitation arrives for her, Hope doesn't know what to make of it. What's weirder is that every single senior high student in New York City seems to have gotten the invite, but no one else around Hope seems to be able to read past "You're cordially invited". Hope sees more but she's not sure if she's really seeing it or if the dementia that affects her mother is starting early in Hope's own mind.

Through a series of events, Hope finds herself transported to Mount Olympus and discovers that she's descended from the heroes and gods of Greek Mythology. These descendants have been brought to Mount Olympus to compete for a chance to be the new Hero and complete a task for the gods. 

Now Hope must compete in ten events, each inspired by a different god and hero, in order to win and get one wish. Her wish is obvious; how to win isn't. 

Final thoughts: My initial reaction was 4 stars. Then I had time to think things through. I'm dropping my rating to 3 because there are some plot holes here and there. Many of the characters are one-dimensional, which makes sense because of the sheer number of them, but some needed to be fleshed out a bit more. I don't understand Heath's character at all and the chemistry between Hope and Kieron just isn't really there. The Hunger Games aspect was a little distracting, as well. The end was just a little off-kilter and the motivation for the whole event just felt unimportant. So, here I am, wishing there was more and I'm probably going to read the second book, but it's not quite enough to make me enthusiastically endorse this one.

Rating: 3/5

ARC from NetGalley
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I had fun reading Olympian Challenger; it reminded me why I still love reading teen books (20+ years later!). Hope Diaz, a sweet and selfless girl, is overwhelmed with love for her mother -- a mother that is slowly sinking into dementia at an early age. Hope is given an extraordinary chance -- to compete against other teens in a heroic challenge at Mount Olympus -- under the watchful gaze of the Greek Gods. The winner receives their heart's desire -- and Hope knows she has a chance at healing her mom. She befriends two other teens and starts to piece together the stories of why these were chosen as challengers. Top that off with a young god determined to have Hope win, it's a fun, quick, and clean read.
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This book is nothing short of amazing! I can hardly believe I got to read such a wonderful story. No matter how hard I tried to predict what happened,it always came as a fantastic surprise!

Everything in this book was written perfectly,from the quests to the romance. I loved all the characters in this book,even ‘Hateful Heath’ 

All I have to say now is that the author has to get going on the next book,because I don’t know how long I can go without knowing what’s going to happen!
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This is the story of Hope Diaz. One day, Hope is invited to some mysterious party. Except, it isn't a party. Hope is actually a decent of the Greek gods and it seems that there's a challenge going on. While Hope just really wants to go back home, she stays in the competition because of the prize: the Gods promise to grant the wish of whoever wins. 

Look. I'm going to be completely honest with you. I read this book because the cover is simply gorgeous. I read the summary of the book, and having an intense love of the Greek gods and the cover, figured that this book would be a great read for me. It'd be Percy Jackson but with a girl! Sweet!

Except not. The cover lied to me. So much lying. 

I'm not even sure where to begin with this book. The main protagonist, Hope, is just so... indecisive. She literally changes her mind almost every page. On one page, she doesn't want any friends and on the next, all she wants is a new bff. And rinse and repeat for different problems (and sometimes the same problem just for some variety, I guess). For 360 pages. Dammit, girl, make up your mind for once and stick with it. Also, her ability to just accept anything is just... weird. I'm sorry, but if I ended up on Mount Olympus (after jumping into a river), my reaction wouldn't be "Oh, hi, Aphrodite, how are you?" I think I'd be too busy having a panic attack. 

Another thing that bothered me was the use of background characters. I felt like all the character except for the main ones could have been replaced with cardboard cut-outs and nothing would have changed. Seriously. I'm pretty sure at one point the author got her background characters confused because they all have the same personality and are all the exact same. No one in this book is well-rounded character. They all just kind of exist. And then most of them die, but I didn't care because I didn't get attached to any of them. 

One other pet peeve about this book was the vocabulary the author used. While I get that this book is aimed at the older side of YA lit, a lot of readers are going to struggle with the vocabulary. I'm a pretty well-read person with a decent sized vocabulary, but even I had to go and look up some of the words. I can see a lot of readers picking this up because they have fond memories of the Percy Jackson series and then not even finishing the first chapter due to the word choice of the author.
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I give this book 2.75 stars
This book was a struggle to rate. On one hand I really enjoyed the premise of the plot, but the writing was so awful, that it was hard to get into.

First off, the verbiage in the book was try hard and awkward. The author tried to sophisticate her language by throwing in different adjectives and mixing up the sentence structure but it just ended up being read as awkward and poorly executed.
Here are some examples of the weird sentence structure or strange word choice:
“His keys rattled mournfully”
“I worried the skin on my thumb with my teeth”
and there are many many more.

Not only that, but the author showed us but not told us what people were feeling. The author spelled out every single emotion that the characters were feeling instead of letting us see it through their actions.

Not only that character development was non existent. The author gave each character a one-dimensional analysis of their personality and would lazily add another character if it would bode to aid the author. It was just all over the place and not well developed.

The relationship in this book reads like a bad soap opera. They went from hating each other to proclaiming their love and it was just so cringe and badly executed.

The plot itself of the book wasn’t bad and I liked how they accurately used mythology but the vigorous adjectives and verbs took away from the description of the Gods.

I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the protagonist.

I thought the premise of the plot was unique and could be interesting, but the execution was so flat, that it left me wanting for more. I hope the next book is written better, and the writing is elevated and more mature. 

I received this book on NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
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I felt like this was another churned out young adult book. While the synopsis was interesting and really intrigued me, the emotionless writing and typical romance just had me rolling my eyes. 
It could have been better if it wasn't so...typical. 

Sorry guys
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I have been searching for a YA fantasy for a while... actually from the time I read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi in 2016. With a few good books by Ednah Walters (the Runes series) I was lost. I thought that I will not find a book that still makes me feel, but I was wrong, this is a perfect book for me and I hope it will gain the earned fame.

I haven’t read the other books published by the author, but I will try in due time.

So... what did I like so much?
Actually, I liked a lot. I liked the theme of Greek gods, I loved how they were made (not a very lovely picture, I assure you), because usually we get only a glimpse of their ruthless ruling and having fun at the expense of humans. 
I loved Hope. It is rare that I love the main female heroine, but she proved me wrong.. she was bright, good friend, brave, sometimes very human, but mostly - very kind and not sappy as sometimes nice heroines get. I still wanted a bit more passion regarding hurt and love, but I hope for that in the second book, which I already cannot wait for (coming at the beg of 2019).
I am not very fluent in Greek mythology, maybe there were mistakes as I cannot remember Hades’ son, but as I loved the story so much I did not care. 

I hope every reader will enjoy the read as I did, it was perfect to me. So perfect that I skipped all my chores and necessary projects just to finish the book till the night hits.

* I reviewed an ARC provided by Netgalley and the publishers.
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(I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.)



Book review: Olympian Challenger (Olympian Challenger #1) by Astrid Arditi (5 stars)



“If your heart is true,
And your soul heroic,
Dare to face your fears,
And your most precious wish will be granted.”



Title: Olympian Challenger (Olympian Challenger #1)
Authors: Astrid Arditi
Format: kindle (eARC)
Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy, Mythology
Rating: 5/5 stars
[Synopsis] (Taken from goodreads) 

A hero’s tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus?

Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer.

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers—the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay…

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer—the granting of her heart’s deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother’s cure would be within reach…but only if Hope can ignore the tournament’s dark purpose.
Olympian Challenger is the first book in a bold YA urban fantasy trilogy. If you like Greek mythology, forbidden romance, and feats of courage, then you’ll love Astrid Arditi’s heroic coming-of-age tale.


(Review)

(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only and may contain coarse language)

Hope receives a mysterious invitation that promises her a wish if she wins. While trying to save someone, she gets transported to Mount Olympus, the land of the Gods. She is chosen to take part in a tournament and to try to emerge victorious, the only problem is that she has to find a way out since she felt that she abandoned her mother, but one handsome shadow god might convince her to stay.

This book is a perfect combination between the Percy Jackson series and the Hunger Games. If you loved Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland, this book is like a reverse version!

I really liked the fast pacing and concept of the story! This book had me hooked since the first page and I was addicted and devoured the book really quickly! The story development is great and the budding romance between Hope and Kieron makes me swoon. This novel was action packed and fans of Greek mythology will be hooked! After I finished this book, I immediately wanted to read the next book!

I really liked Hope’s character, she isn’t as selfish as everyone suggests and she’s really good hero material. I really disliked Hades and Heath.
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UMMMMM i'm ready for book two now. Wow, this story was like a movie in my mind. See this is why i get iffy about series's because i get attached and now i'm attached. It had everything from romance,drama,and action. I really can't wait for the next one!!
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Another late nighter. I was lucky enough to read this one, which I picked because I love Greek mythology. It’s a bit of a double edged sword because there are some that I’ve read which are bleh. I really liked this one, though I will warn it is part of a trilogy and does end on a cliffhanger. There’s plenty of action and a little romance to balance it all. The main characters are well written and of course have their own story. The heroine is the selfless type but I did find her whiny in the first few chapters (understandable) and by the end I was cheering her on. I found it easy to read in one sitting and definitely want to read the next one.
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If you enjoy Greek mythology, heroes, action, adventure, betrayal, love, and hope, this is a novel you need to read!! Life is full of choices and one must make a choice between doing what is easy and what is right. The story is told from first person point of view.
Hope lives in NYC and deals with her mother who is suffering from a mental illness. Hope focuses on her school work, swimming, and her mother. She does not go out and party like many teenagers her age. When she sees a boy jump off a building and land in the water, she does not hesitate to dive in and try to save him. She ends up transported to Mount Olympus, where she and others will face several trials to see who will be the Gods' champion. Hope makes friends and enemies, but all she wants to go home. However, the winner of the trials will receive a wish, which tempts Hope. Hope and the others are descendants from Gods, demi-Gods, who have forgotten the Gods. Due to this, the demi-Gods suffer from mental illnesses. The demi-Gods do carry powers from their God descendants.
Hope cares for others, which shows in the trials. However, the Gods have an ulterior motive for the trials. Hope can trust no one, even the one God who makes her heart soar. Kieron, a Shadow God, has hid own plans. Hope helps him to remember what it is like to feel. He loves her, but needs to keep it a secret from his father, who would hurt Hope's mother in retaliation. As Hope goes through the trials, she must make difficult choices and sacrifices if she is to win and save her mother.
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Hope’s world doesn’t have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she’s invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won’t take no for an answer. Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers the pantheon of Greek gods. When I started reading I couldn't put it down I read the book i couldn't put it down. Astrid is magnifysent writer.I cannot wait to read more of her books.Keep up the great work.You should definitely read this book.
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The book was original, and fresh strep in Greek mythology. The main character wasn't some bratty, whiny girl but someone who was actually enjoyable to read about. Overall I give this book 4.5 stars and I'm excited about the next book in the series.
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I have a soft spot for Greek mythology. It was my obsession growing up. So I completely loved this book. Olympian Challenger is about a group of high school seniors who suddenly find themselves on Mount Olympus competing before the ancient Greek gods. The gods have called on their descendants in the modern world to become the next Olympian hero. Hope Diaz, our main character, becomes absorbed in the extravagant world of the gods and their challenges. As she fights to stay alive and continue her quests, she learns secrets of Olympus that suggest the gods are not as benevolent as they seem. 
Overall, this is a pretty typical YA book for right now. A group of teens being thrown together and fighting, questing, etc. I thought the world-building could have been fleshed out a little more and lots of scenes felt somewhat rushed to me. I felt like there wasn't a whole lot of time for climactic tension to build. However, I did think the author had some interesting ideas about the gods and demi-gods, especially relating back to mental illnesses. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book!

The beginning of the book was interesting and I was captivated after few pages. I liked the plot. What I was not excited about are characters and the romance, there was no chemistry. 

All in all, it was not bad. 3 stars.
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Greek mythology is probably one of my favorite genres of storytelling because there is so much to work with when developing a story and the premise for this book sounded like everything I was waiting for but unfortunately it ended up being a watered down almost Disney like version of the Gods meets the The Hunger Games. 

The entire concept of this book is fantastic I loved the idea of descendants being summoned to Mount Olympus and vying for a sponsor to help them compete in quests that are taken right out of the greatest myths in order to become the new hero and the idea that it took a grand act of fearlessness to attract attention of a specific god was such a great addition, however once you got down to it the characters themselves fell flat. We have a large group to begin with so naturally many remain nameless until it’s time to reveal their fate while others have one stop personalities that are meant to fit whatever conflict or obstacle they’re needed to represent against our main character and cast aside when that challenge is overcome. 

There was also a lot of not so subtle foreshadowing and yes I get this is a series and we have our main heroine, but there should still be some sort of tension and wonder with how it’s all going to turn out closer to the end of the book rather than all but spoken aloud 20% into it. 

And finally we get to the romance section, which again this is a book with Greek gods and goddess whose love lives are pretty well known and intricate so I hoped for something a little more meaningful or at least a foundation of what was to come that spoke to that legacy but instead we’re given something that’s reminiscent of a first season high school love worthy of a CW show just before the guy you root for shows up. However I will say I’d take an entire series on Gabriel and his love interest.  

I wanted to love this book I really did but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me, to be fair I’m also a huge Madeline Miller fan so I’m sure that’s a factor putting a lot of weight into how I read books on this subject but for anyone else who might want to try something of this nature, the quests themselves and the shout outs to famous myths and deities should be enough to tie you over and of course the the cover itself which is stunning. 

**thank you to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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Olympian Challenger took me to a new world! I absolutely loved this Sci-fi teen read. Throughout the book we see Hope enduring these challenges on Mount Olympus that are so awe inspiring. I love how the author made this character out to be a true hero, but also a hero that yes has flaws. Towards the end of the book you think Hope can do no wrong but she too is human. I love that the author didn’t make this hero out to be wholeheartedly good without facing challenges in her character as well. A true hero is one pure of heart but is also one who can overcome the obstacles that can lead to ones downfall. I sure hope in book two Hope can get the justice that is well deserved for not only her friends but for the Gods as well. 2019 can’t come soon enough!
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